Ice Island at Sunrise


The sun rises over Lake Superior at Cascade River State Park in Cook County, Minnesota. An ice island is surrounded by waves.

Cascade River State Park has some of the best shoreline to photograph in winter. In the months of February and March, the sunrise appears over Lake Superior from anywhere in the park and the rugged basalt shoreline gets coated with thick ice created by the waves. After ice forms on the big lake, it pushes up over the basalt and makes a maze of ice chunks.

The hardest part about shooting there is there are no trails along most of the shoreline, and the only trail in winter is a xc ski trail along some of the shore. Today, I went to a location that isn’t accessible by xc skis, and had to posthole up to my waist through the snow to get to the shore. On the way, I kicked up a couple of whitetail deer from under a spruce. Once I got to the shore, the hiking was much easier, but it was over ice with snow only boot-top deep.

Before the sunrise, I shot a few example images for a lecture that I’m doing and then I moved on to find something that appealed to my imagination, and found this ice island. Then, I waited for the sun to break the clouds on the horizon and for a big wave to push water around the island.



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