Portaging to the Milky Way


Last night on Lake Superior felt surreal. I went to the lake to photograph the Milky Way and brought my canoe along with me. The lake was as calm as the lake gets with a gentle breathing of waves running up the basalt shore. On the horizon, a thunderstorm was flashing lightning and it was so dark that I could see the stars reflecting in the water.

As I pushed off shore in my canoe my headlamp illuminated the water in front of me and because the big lake is so clear I could see the bottom just lit up by my light. Around me all black except for the stars and their reflections and the path of light I was projecting.

I didn’t want it to end.

Here’s a shot from last night. You can see the Milky Way’s galactic core and there’s a fair amount of green air glow in the sky. And, of course, you can see me portaging my canoe to the Milky Way. On the horizon, you can see the light pollution of two towns and several lighthouse in the Apostle Islands. From left to right: Ontonagon (80+ miles away), Outer Island light, Devils Island light and Cornucopia (65 miles distant).

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