Houghton Falls State Natural Area-Bayfield County, WI
Winter has been tenacious in the North country this year. I am writing this post near supper (last year's brook trout with brown rice and zucchini), with 3.5 feet of snow in the woods (a foot of which came again last night). Trout season opens two Saturdays from now, which has found me wondering how to fish in snowshoes, instead of the waders. As the week ahead is predicted to see the 40's, one can assume the great melt will be forthcoming. If you enjoy photographing or observing torrential spring rivers, the Black river in Gogebic County, below rainbows falls, provides a "grab a tree and hold on" view of the raging spring torrent. It you come with a friend or partner, the deluge is so cacophonous, you will not be able to hear each other shout over the din (yes-maybe that is a blessing for some). Satarday, Benny and I made what has become a bi-weekly pilgrimage up the Chequamegon/Aposlte Island shoreline, North of Ashland, to Washburn and Bayfield, WI. This trip generally focuses on a requisite visit to my two favorite booksellers-Apostle Islands Books-downtown historic Bayfield (www.apostleislandsbooksellers.com)
and Chequamegon Books and Coffee Company (www.chequamegonbooks.com/), in Washburn, WI.
This weeks selection included two by author, Ron Rash- Serena and The Cove, as well as Heart Songs, by Annie Proulx, and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe', by Carson McCullers (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter), published the year in which I was born-1951. Chequamegon Books is a timeless and vast used bookstore (new as well), with turn of the century charm and ambience. Unlike many used booksellers, whom I find organize their inventory by arcane and happenstance formulae (not unlike garage sale bargain bins), owners and bibliophiles extraordinaire, Richard and Carol Avol, have somehow managed to arrange their inventory of over 70,000 titles, in a welcoming fashion for us browseaholics. Apostle Islands Books in Bayfield, is also located in a quaint and historic building, offers the best in both classic and contemporary titles, including regional authors, such as Peter Geye, a fellow WMU graduate (The Lighthouse Road, Safe from the Sea). No diet books or tourist kitsch in this fine store-just serious reading for those with intellect and curiosity.
On the way home, Benny and I hiked to Lake Superior through the Houghton Falls State Natural Area, just a tad north of Washburn. The trail follows the river, which during the summer is dry. The river channel is cut in a pre-cambrian sandstone gorge and is awe inspiring. Unlike previous visits, the spring melt has begun and the river was flowing steadily across the gorge and sets of falls. Benny and I met a few groups of college students from Northland College in Ashland, know for its environmental and outdoor focus. Everyone was enjoying the temps in the high 30's.
Added some shots to my ever-growing winter porfolio. The Fourth Season, a monograph featuring a selection of my winter photographs will be released this coming November by Blurb Books. Back to photo-editing...