My Memorial Weekend Adventures: A Collection of North Shore Photos
Happy Monday! I feel like it has been forever since I posted, even though it's only been two weeks. I've missed this! How was your Memorial weekend? I hope it was spectacular!
I know I've been posting a LOT of pictures lately, but I hope you're OK with that. You have to understand that after not seeing any colors outside except for white, brown, and if in the right area, green (due to coniferous (pine) trees) for 4-6 months, I tend to get really excited this time of year. I promise that I have exciting tutorials and tips coming up within the next few weeks!
Today's post is recapping my Memorial weekend. My husband and I decided to head north, like 87.39281% of Minnesotans*. Let me explain. In the summer, at least 50% of Minnesotans*, head up north every weekend to their cabins, go camping, a friends cabin, you get the idea. In fact, it is such a big deal to us that some companies give their employees half days on Fridays, and where I work, our marketing department plans their campaigns to not have anything on Fridays. I'm not joking. It is a big deal to us.
*Statistics I made up for the purpose of this post
Now I am not one of those people who has a cabin, or even goes up north every weekend. That being said, after the ridiculous winter we had, as I mentioned above, my husband and I wanted to get away for the weekend.
The north shore of Minnesota starts in Duluth, MN and ends at the Canadian border. The 'shore' is the shoreline of Lake Superior, aka, Minnesota's ocean, aka the best. lake. ever.
On this particular trip, it was my goal to 1. relax, 2. take some pictures of maybe the scenery and some wildflowers, etc. 3. enjoy the scenery.
I did relax, I did enjoy the scenery. I did NOT take any pictures of flowers. WHAT?! I know, I know. But I didn't. I DID however, take pictures of lots of other organisms.
I have never claimed or considered myself a wildlife photographer, but on this trip I felt like one. In the three days we were up there, we saw a lot of wildlife. Not only did we see the wildlife, but I was lucky enough to be able to capture some of these animals.
So, without further ado, here the pictures documenting my North Shore adventure!
These two kits were non-stop playing near their den. The mom was very close by, keeping watch. Occasionally they would try to initiate play-time with her, but she was clearly not having it. So instead, they would roll and wrestle with each other, play with random items, or chase each other around. They were adorable and such fun to watch.
(Let me say a quick disclaimer that I 150% respect wild animals and their space. I would never push an animal's boundaries, ESPECIALLY animals with babies nearby. For all these animals, we were far enough away that while they knew we were there, they did not feel threatened. I am not one of those photographers who try to get as close as possible, hence why I don't claim I'm a wildlife photographer (and before I get myself in trouble, I know not all do that, but some do). I do have a telephoto lens).
Seeing this moose was very surprising. I have been lucky enough to see a couple moose in Minnesota, and it's always a treat. It was especially surprising with this encounter because it was 85 degrees that day, and moose do not like hot weather.
You may notice that the moose looks really light in color, or almost white. No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you, your monitor does not need calibrating, nor was it a bad edit job by me. Unfortunately, this moose WAS very light white and grey in color. I say unfortunately, because this is becoming a big problem for moose populations in the north. According to one article, moose populations have declined by over 9,000 moose in Minnesota, and by as much as 50% in Canada over the past 20 years. Other states around the U.S. are seeing similar population declines. Scientists aren't 100% sure what is causing the rapid decline, but warmer average temperatures and winters that aren't getting as cold are driving populations north towards cooler temps. These temperature changes are also causing parasites and ticks to survive throughout the winter, whereas in the past they normally would die off. According to the same article mentioned above, as many as 100,000 ticks can be attached to a moose at one time which can cause the moose to become anemic. The moose will try to scratch themselves on trees to break the ticks off, and they break all their hair off. The broken hair follicles are white, thus appearing as a 'ghost moose' (source).
I saw moose pretty close while hiking on Isle Royale National Park, and with binoculars, you could actually see the large ticks in vast numbers hanging on the moose. I didn't know much about the declining moose population or the 'ghost moose' syndrome at the time, but this is a problem that probably won't go away any time soon.
I am not sure what, if anything can be done, but just being educated and aware is the first step. I apologize if I seem like I'm being a bit preachy, that is not my intention. This is just a situation that hits really close to home, and is happening in a place that I love.
Well, that is all for this week's post. Be sure to check back next week for an all new post!
Is there an environment issue that is happening in your area that you are concerned about?
Did you go on any adventures over Memorial weekend or even last weekend?
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