Outdoors Posts

Nautical Milestone for the Duluth Autonomous Navy

Announcing the formation of the Duluth Autonomous Navy, with co-Admirals Jim Richardson and performance artist Troy Rogers aka Robot Rickshaw. We want you. Every time you touch water, it becomes a naval engagement…

I would like to use my newfound powers of the co-admiralty to declare Troy a menace for his recent naval actions (see below), and I hereby issue a call to the new city attorney, who is a personal friend of mine, to charge him with sedition and place him under arrest before he causes an international incident. And then where will you be? I’ll tell you where: you’ll be in a room with the mayor and she’ll be saying, “Will you please just start listening to Jim Richardson, he’s Secretary of the Navy around here and in fact I’m giving him your office.” It’s a funny story, involving as it happens, my secret contact on the police force – another personal friend of mine – and what kind of superhero would I be if I wasn’t cultivating levers of law enforcement power from within the machine, a lot like Batman? I am all up in the Deep State of this chooch town.

Like I was saying, the public might recall the former autonomous-watercraft hijinks of this madman Troy and myself, from our iceberg ride, to going solo with my Flamingo Patrols. Then we were going to have a team-up for the Floaty Flotilla, the weather-sensitive non-event recently canceled at the last minute due to winds above 10mph, albeit blowing toward the Lakewalk – you’d be unlikely to blow out to sea, is the best I can say there. I’d had an irrational hope that the winds would dip below 10mph and perhaps be manageable. But there were whitecaps, and a small craft advisory and everything, so: no way. I found out later someone put in on some kinda floaty, and paddled it a short ways using shovels; I feel horrible and I shouldn’t be surprised these brave citizens didn’t get the message about the last-minute cancellation. So right there I’m like: I gotta quit doing this stuff.

Duluth Cross City Trail 2020 Update: Segment 2 nearly complete

The River Route segment of Duluth’s Cross City Trail has been under construction this summer in West Duluth. It should be paved and ready for bicyclists in a matter of weeks.

PDD Video Lab & UMD Viz Lab: Hartley Park Hike 360 Reframe

In this edition of the PDD Video Lab we’ve stolen footage from the UMD Viz Lab and added music. The video features hikers in Duluth’s Hartley Park, shot in a 360-video reframe technique. At PDD we’ve enhanced it simply by adding the title track from the Who’s 1973 rock opera Quadrophenia.

Selective Focus: Comet Neowise

A collection of stunning comet Neowise photos from across northern Minnesota. Here’s a link to some info from Astrobob. The comet should be visible for one more night tonight.

Clinton’s Bog Ventures: Battle of the Nest-building Creek Chubs

Clinton Dexter-Nienhaus, head naturalist for the Friends of Sax-Zim Bog, presents the fascinating world of creek chubs, which build ridge-pit nests out of small stones they move in their mouths.

Video by Kristina Dexter-Nienhaus, with editing by Sparky Stensaas.

PDD Quiz: Northland Swimming Spots

What better way to beat the summer heat than to visit your favorite local beach or swimming hole? Whether you prefer a secret pool in the woods or a popular beach, options abound. Dive into this week’s quiz to test your knowledge of area swimming spots!

The next PDD quiz will review the headlines from July 2020; it will be published on July 26. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by July 22.

Fourth of July Duluth Hillside citizen fireworks anarchy Coronavirus pandemic 2020

Official fireworks canceled, fireworks sales at all-time high, some visible across the lake distantly in Wisconsin around midscreen, the region is lit. That is a full moon hidden in the clouds. This mainly posted for the audio to give the insane flavor.

Chester Creek Waterfalls

This video by Douglas Feltman showcases waterfalls on Duluth’s Chester Creek.

Dogs of Lake Superior


 

Twelve photos representing seven dogs and one Great Lake. The past few years, whenever someone’s dog is in the water, I ask if I can take underwater pictures of it. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t. Here’s the best ones, including three dogs of winter.

Selective Focus: Annmarie Geniusz

If you want to see Annmarie Geniusz’s original artwork, it’s a “right place, right time” situation. She works in chalk on the sidewalk, and the next rainstorm can carry away the masterpieces in minutes. This week in Selective Focus, Annemarie fills us in on the appeal of doing public, temporary artwork.

AG: I work in illustration, stained glass, and chalk art. This time of year (and since the start of quarantine) my main focus has been chalk art. This is a form of street art that involves drawing murals and 3D illusions with artist pastels on pavement. It is considered a performance art, and is often the focus of summertime “Chalk Art Festivals” across the country.

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.

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