Swimming in the Dark

Swimming in the Dark

Anchor the “Little Dipper.” Slip into the wetsuit and step carefully down the swim ladder into the blue-black water of Lake Superior. That sudden, bracing sting of cold that passes as you remind yourself to just breathe in and out, floating alone in the...
Eyes in the Dark

Eyes in the Dark

It was three a.m. and the northern lights were out. I had anchored the Little Dipper just off shore, slipped into my wetsuit, and swam to a flat rock off the north end of Basswood Island in the Apostles to photograph Honeymoon Rock against a backdrop of aurora. There...
Earth Day History in a Sock Drawer

Earth Day History in a Sock Drawer

There are a lot of Earth Day posts out there but I’ll bet that few of them revolve around a 100 year-old man’s dresser drawer. Several years ago I was honored to spend an afternoon interviewing 100 year-old Julian Nelson, a prime figure in the creation of the Apostle...
THIS LAND OF LIGHT: An Artist in the Midnight Sun

THIS LAND OF LIGHT: An Artist in the Midnight Sun

(paintings by Margaret Florence Ludwig) THIS LAND OF LIGHT: An Artist in the Midnight Sun To see the world like an artist, spend time with artists. Years ago, I was asked to contribute a chapter to a National Geographic Society book on the national parks of Canada. I...
Fog Visions

Fog Visions

FOG VISION: Some questions only become clear when you are lost in the fog There is nothing to do but watch. Like an avalanche of clouds, the fogbank spills off the peaks of the Brooks Range and swallows us, cutting off the horizons as surely as a shroud. Moments ago,...
WEAVING WATER: The Aesthetics of Rivers

WEAVING WATER: The Aesthetics of Rivers

The light in the canyon at this hour makes the river flow like braided strands of the morning sky. It is early, too early, and I am up and sitting at the edge of the river watching. Behind me, the canoes are pulled far up on shore and turned over; in the dim light...