A Collection From Winter 2022 – Lake Superior and Superior National Forest

A collection of winter photos from Superior National Forest and Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota – 2022

It’s the last official day of winter. Spring begins tomorrow, and a lot of us are probably ready for it! Here’s a collection of photos from the past few winter months. There are some dog sledding photos, a lot of grouse, some lynx, a moose and some other random, scenic winter wonders. I hope you enjoy.

This winter, we got some ice. It never really stayed long enough up here in our neck of the lake, but we did have some great ice piles and ice sheets breaking up and moving.

Ice Break Up at Sunrise on Lake Superior – Schroeder, MN 2022
Piles of ice along the shoreline of Lake Superior – Tofte, MN 2022
Morning light on the rocks – Schroeder, MN 2022
Icescape – Tofte, MN 2022
Sunrise Sunburst – Schroeder, MN 2022
Icy Overhangs on Lake Superior – 2022
Sunrise Glass – 2022
A pastel sunset on the shores of Lake Superior – Temperance River State Park, MN 2022
Lakescape in Ice – 2022

Grouse are probably the most abundant wildlife species I find in the winter months. The moose tend to move a lot less, and therefore, I rarely spot one. The grouse seem to be plentiful, especially the spruce grouse. Here’s a fun collection from this winter.

A spruce grouse gives me a quick, beautiful warning with his stunning tail display. The spruce grouse will do this display for females, or for territorial reasons as well.
Superior National Forest, MN 2022
Here is a little video clip of the strut that leads up to the tail flash. It’s in slow motion, so you can imagine how quick the full flash actually is. If you study the strut, and have seen it enough times, it can be easier to time for a photo! Enjoy the slow-mo video.
And a flash for good measure! from up in the tree – Superior National Forest, MN 2022
Morning sun for the spruce grouse in Superior National Forest, MN 2022
Roosting on a below zero Morning
Superior National Forest, MN 2022
This was possibly the largest group of spruce grouse I have ever seen. 15 in the photo, 2 more out of frame on the ground, and more in the trees. At least 20 out pecking gravel in the road on a below zero morning in Superior National Forest 2022
The grouse needs small gravel in their gizzard to help grind up undigested foods. You’ll often encounter ruffed and spruce grouse in the mornings, pecking gravel for their digestive systems.
Female spruce grouse
Superior National Forest, MN 2022
A group of grouse pecking gravel.
Superior National Forest, MN 2022
Winter grouse Tracks
2022
Fresh tracks from a Canada Lynx deep in the forest of northeastern Minnesota 2022
hunting the roads together on a cold winter morning.
Canada Lynx
Superior National Forest, MN 2022
Canada Lynx
Minnesota 2022
Tracks from the Canada Lynx.
Moose sightings are a bit more rare for me in the winter months. I saw a lot of tracks this winter, but probably only a handful of brief sightings, including this one.
Minnesota Moose 2022

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is always a winter highlight along the North Shore. The race takes dog teams from Duluth, MN through the forests along the Lake Superior Shoreline inland, almost to the Canadian Border and to the finish in Grand Portage, MN. Here is a small collection from the race at the end of January.

The backroads are always a treat in the winter months. We really had a LOT of snow piled up by the end of February. It was a TRUE Minnesota winter.

Winter beauty on the backroads – Minnesota 2022
Sun breaks through on a morning drive in Superior National Forest
Winter trees – Minnesota 2022
A 22 degree halo around the winter morning sun 2022
A boreal chickadee in Superior National Forest, MN 2022

Happy Spring, everyone! As much as i like the beauty and variety our winters bring, this has been a long one and I’m ready for the greens of spring and summer. Thank you for taking a look at this winter collection.
Tom


Summer So Far in Pictures…

It’s been a fun summer for wildlife and landscapes in Minnesota’s Arrowhead region. I have spent a lot of time working on the Gunflint Trail and the rest of my time exploring and photographing the rest of Cook County, mostly on the backroads and at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Here is a selection of photos that may or may not have been shared on my social media pages. We still have plenty summer left, so I’ll update and do another post a little closer to fall. Thanks for stopping to take a look. As always, you can browse more photos for viewing and for purchase at my Gallery Site by using this link. Photo Gallery

Morning fog on a canoe country lake as a camper enjoys coffee by the shore.

I have had numerous moose sightings this summer. I think I have already seen more moose this summer than I did all of last summer. This young bull ate in a swampy river area for 30 minutes one cool morning at sunrise as fog moved across the water.

Turtles have been abundant. Early summer, our painted and snapping turtles can be seen along roadsides near lakes, swamps and rivers as they lay their eggs. It is a time to use caution, but it is a great opportunity to see turtles somewhat close. Of course, do not disturb them as they are digging and laying eggs. Give them and all wildlife a respectable amount of space. Pictured here are a couple Snapping turtle shells and an odd, deformed painted turtle. The painted turtle has a condition known as kyphosis. Kyphosis is a condition that causes an abnormal, convex curvature of the spine. It happens in humans as well as turtles. I had never witnessed this condition in our painted turtles.

Working this summer in the mid Gunflint Trail area has provided a few fun wildlife sightings. The early morning commute was good for a handful of great, yet brief moose sightings. This red fox greeted us many mornings at our jobsite on a BWCA entry point lake. Some mornings, it would be sitting in the grass nearby when we arrived.

Red Fox near a BWCA entry point lake.
Our red fox friend was often willing to pose for a photo before it moved on.
Cabin Reflections off the Gunflint Trail

I have had numerous wolf sightings and encounters this summer as well. They are always pretty shy, but this one cooperated for photos

Gray wolf – Superior National Forest
Gray wolf in the tall grass
This gray wolf wasn’t too impressed with me taking it’s photo. 🙂

More moose! This healthy looking cow moose gave me a few minutes of photo opportunities. She looked pretty flighty at first, but she calmed down and allowed me to take a few photos and some video as she chewed on the grass and brush one morning near the edge of the BWCA wilderness.

Cow moose and a sideways glance
Canoe country sunset at Sawbill Lake – Boundary Waters

And a few more summer photos from the past few weeks in the forest. Still plenty of summer left, so I will be back with more in a few weeks. In the meantime, keep following on Facebook and Instagram for more weekly photos from Minnesota’s wildest, most beautiful area. The woods and lakes and shores of Superior National Forest.

Bald eagle eyeing up lunch in Superior National Forest
Morning light and morning fog in canoe country
Lupine, morning fog and morning light on an inland swamp