Sea Smoke :: Duluth, MN

When the temperature in Duluth gets insanely cold, sea smoke rises from Lake Superior and shrouds the shoreline and anything out in the water in an eerie mist.  On a simpler level, it’s basically fog formed when very cold air moves over warmer water.  The same principle leads to lake-effect snow.

I have no idea how in the previous three years that I’ve been up here that I never made it down to the shore or up along Skyline Parkway to photograph this amazing event.  I have no doubt I will be returning later this week for some more shots.  To get these, I had to rise at 530 a.m. and drive down to Canal Park.  I made it there way too early as I waited in the parking lot for almost an hour before any light broke through the horizon.  At about 7 a.m., the parking lots began filling with other people who had the same idea as me.  They lugged their tripods, cameras, jackets and mittens out to the shore to capture what in my mind is one of nature’s most awesome spectacles around these parts.  The temperature when I stepped out of the house this morning was a balmy 21 below zero with wind chills approaching 35 below.  Beautiful day.

The shots of the lighthouse were taken in Canal Park while the shots from above were taken along Skyline Parkway.  Next time I am going to have to remember to bring my tripod as I missed some cool shots right when the light was breaking through, but I’m both happy with my first effort and in awe of what Mother Nature shows us each and everyday.