MAWIKWE ICE CAVES
It was late February and the Tooth-fairy had just dropped of a new lens after Santa had kindly brought me a new camera. However, the Easter Bunny had failed to advance me a travel budget. So here I was with new toys looking out at the frigid midwest winterland and no amount of wishful thinking was going to miraculously transport me to Maui, so I came up with a plan Z. My bright idea was to get in the trusted metal pony and drive the 4 hours to the Mawikwe Seeacaves. The fact that there was a winter warning in effect and no traveling advised didn’t deter me much as I figured it would thin out the crowds drawn to this site. Now, I need to clarify that more than 5 people is crowded for me and I go to great lengths to eliminate this factor by getting up early, staying out late or in this case - going out on Lake Superior in temperatures ranging between -17F/-27C to -40F/-40C. With the junior assistants situated off I went packed with more fleece and technical clothing than a girl should admit to. The Mawikwe (weeping woman in Ojibwe) Ice Caves was renamed as recently as 2007 from the derogatory name Squaw Bay. The caves are part of the Apostle Islands National Seashore in Wisconsin and borders the Red Cliff Nation (Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa). The tall sandstone cliffs are reddish from the iron contents and the ice shine in spectacular hues depending on the light.
Just in case you were wondering - this is what it looks like when the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales unite at -40. Or as the locals like to phrase it - colder than a Witches titty.
SHADES OF ICE
Disclaimer- skip this if you are not a Battlestar Galactica fan. (At lest until the last 2 seasons)
It was probably the beginning hypothermia playing with my mind but as I frozenly tried to work the dials for some ice abstract images, all I could think of was that this looks like the organic matter the Cylon's made their ships from.
In the summer during calm high tide you can kayak through this portal. I tried it once in rough waters and ended up in the drink - but a much better ride then whatever Disney is offering.
Sometimes that flip screen comes in handy as I did some pretty fancy yoga postures with my tripod to get this angle.
ICE DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIENDS
Inside one of the many Apostle Island ice cave just as the setting sun was lighting up the ice formations like sparkling diamonds.
MAWIKWE ICE CAVE
Inside a Mawikwe ice cave just as the setting sun rays crept in to illuminate it on a chilly (-17F / -27C) February sunset. I had scouted this cave and the light was never just right until I got lucky with a little help from the handy Sun Calculator apps. Right before sunset the sun's rays creep into this cave and illuminate the icicles for a gorgeous light show. This one was all about ignoring the warning signs of hypothermia and frostbite and wait on the light.
"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek."
ICE OF GOLD
The sunset rays illuminated the ice to a shiny gold and gave my camera's light-meter quite the workout.
I absolutely detest having my photo taken, having done some sport and child modeling, silhouettes are the exceptions. ; )