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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Summer in the northwoods

I was going through my photos and realized I forgot to post some of my favorites from this summer's treks in the Upper Pennisula.

I took these in July during our impromtu drive from Watersmeet to the Sturgeon River Gorge wildnerness and Lake Superior. It was a leisurely day trip and quite different from our usual pell mell rush down the highway to get to our next destination.

This shot is supposed to capture some of the grace of a concrete bridge spanning the middle branch of the Ontonagon River. A commemorative plaque told us the bridge was completed in 1929, just before the stock market crashed. Shots like these make me wish for a better camera, but hopefully you get a sense of how peaceful it was.

This railroad trestle bridge is just a few yards away. Again ... the camera's not big enough to take in the scene.

The 4th shot is the Ontonagon rushing below the bridges.

Since these bridges are out in no where, I wondered what it was like to be on the construction crew, and did a little searching on the internet. I think the iron bridge was constructed in the late 1880's, by a crew that slept and ate in the railcars that brought them to the site. After the rail lines were laid, the loggers (Finns, Swedes, and French) moved in.

On the walk back to the car, we found this evidence of a pileated woodpecker. Hopefully I'll get a picture of an actual bird next summer. They're mostly black, with some white patches, and have scarlet mohawks.

A few weeks after this trek, an artist friend helped us sketch our impressions of the northwoods, and I tucked a few pileateds into my trees.


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