Outdoors Posts

Selective Focus: Richard Hoeg

Rich Hoeg is a naturalist, photographer and children’s book author. His blog, 365 Days of Birds, provides daily updates on the birds and animals he follows, as well as an occasional post about his human activities. In Selective Focus this week, he talks about how his other interests have influenced his wildlife photography.

RH: Unlike most photographers who like to use DSLR’s and big lenses which are heavy with lots of reach, I chose to use a “super zoom / bridge” camera. I wanted a camera setup which allowed for easy portability whether birding, bike touring or cross-country skiing. This decision was driven by a decision to retire from the traditional work world (I was a software techie) at the somewhat young age of 57. My wife and I had planned a 2,500 mile self-supported two month bicycle tour of northern New England, the Canadian Maritime Provinces and the St. Lawrence River from its mouth to Quebec City. A large camera would have been impractical and heavy in my bike panniers.

Ruffed Grouse Drumming Encore

Back by popular demand, northeastern Minnesota’s favorite musical grouse.

The Drumming Log

Grand Portage-based photographer Travis Notvitsky captured this ruffed grouse performing a drum solo atop a log. Drumming is the male grouse’s way of saying: “Yo, this is my territory and I’m ready to mate if anyone is interested.”

Ghosts of the French River: the book

 

My friend Erin Tope and I collaborated on these pictures in the French River a few years ago. From the first they suggested characters and supernatural narratives, which I initially put to a series of four wordless video shorts set to music.  That sparked years of subsequent imagining about who these ghosts are. Words have now been joined to pictures to form the final iteration of the project. In the absence of an actual physical publisher, I have posted them at their own site where I consider it a free 16-page e-book. I post them here as well for your enjoyment — although you may want to leave the light on.

Fish I Have Met

 

In my years of recording every moment in the lake (and the rivers and streams), I have encountered many fish. Here are some highlights.

Lake Superior Aquaman: Top 20 Videos

Top 20 list of my Lake Superior Aquaman videos, with commentary, from a billion years of posting at Perfect Duluth Day:

#1.) Official video for the Low song “Gentle.” 2015. My one paying video gig and crowning achievement. Low saw Lake Superior Aquaman footage I posted here and requested I fit it to this song. The imagery is of the collapsed column of Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum/The Icehouse in Duluth’s outer harbor off the Lakewalk.

Most natural surface trails in Duluth now open

Woohoo! The city has opened most of its natural surface trails. Now we all get to figure out the dance required to stay six feet apart when meeting someone on those narrow trails.

The Slice: Tischer Creek in Spring

In its series The Slice, WDSE-TV presents short “slices of life” that capture the events and experiences that bring people together and speak to what it means to live up north.

Nature!

These blobs of red clay embedded with pebbles can currently be found at select spots along Wisconsin Point.

Also available on Wisconsin Point: large uprooted trees, juju, spirits.

Chester Park Walk: 360 Reframe

Shot in Chester Park with a GoPro Max 360 using the Reframe effect.

Keep Duluth Clean Virtual Cleanup Day

The city of Duluth is hosting a Virtual Cleanup Day on Saturday, April 25. The city’s website has an info page set up for the event, and participants can win a chair from Loll Designs. The website also has important information for keeping safe while participating.

Lake Superior Aquaman: Top 30 Photos

My favorite captures from a billion years of posting at Perfect Duluth Day. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

Selective Focus: St. Louis River Alliance Virtual Art Show

The St. Louis River Alliance is posting photos, poems, illustrations or other art inspired by the St. Louis River and Lake Superior to its Facebook page. The organization will have a virtual art show on its website on April 21.

Artists and writers can submit creations until Wednesday, April 15. Send submissions to [email protected]. Include the image, along with your name, title of the piece, location of the piece and any further details you want shared.

Links:
Facebook page with more info
St. Louis River Alliance website

PDD Quiz: Parks of Superior

With other venues closed and the weather getting nicer (for the most part), public parks offer an opportunity to get out of the house while still maintaining social distance. Test your knowledge of the parks of Superior (and the surrounding area) in this week’s quiz!

The next PDD quiz, reviewing the month’s headlines, will be published on April 26. Please submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by April 23.

Wooing Antics on the St. Louis River

“April is a great time to sit and watch the incredible courtship displays of ducks,” writes Sparky Stensaas on the YouTube description for this recently posted video with footage shot in 2011. The segments show the wooing antics of common mergansers, common goldeneyes, bufflehead and hooded mergansers.

“Here in northern Minnesota, the ice is just going out on the lakes and early returning male ducks are trying to impress the ladies,” notes Stensaas.