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Sunday, December 17, 2006


Wisconsin's Winter Wonderland: Photo Ops of the Caves at Apostle Islands

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's article, "Cold Creativity" offers some great tips about how to enjoy winter beauty in Wisconsin. My favorite recommendation - something I'm anxious to do now - is to visit the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore area on the south side of Lake Superior. This park has some spectacular sandstone caves that normally require use of kayak to experience, but in winter, when the lake is frozen over, you can walk to the caves. Great idea! And the combination of ice, sandstone, and sky makes for some great photos. Can't wait! But I may have to - it's best to go in February when the ice is sure to be thick enough.

Here is an excerpt from "Cold Creativity" by Donna Marie Pocius, Dec. 9, 2006:
Also a must-see for arts lovers are beautiful ice-encrusted sea caves on the Apostle Islands - 22 islands in far northwestern Wisconsin, off the Bayfield Peninsula. The mainland caves on the west side of the peninsula, about five miles northeast of Cornucopia, are a good place for travelers to visit.

Weather permitting, people walk on a frozen Lake Superior to sea caves, where red sandstone cliffs take on a kaleidoscope of ice color and formations. Ice forms in spectacular ways as waves, once crashing on the cliffs, are frozen in place. Also, water coming down the rock is stopped cold in its tracks.

"You got the colors of the ice - not to mention the color of the rock, the water, the sky. The sandstone is red, the ice is mostly white, but in some places it is light blue and pink," says Neil Howk, assistant chief of interpretation and education for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

"And there are all different shapes of ice. You will find the finest of icicles. Some inside the caves are so delicate, they look like a carrot in the ground with roots. So delicate that if you breathe on them they move. It is all pretty amazing."

The best time to come is late February and early March - but do call the ice line, (715) 779-3398, Ext. 499, to check conditions before making the drive.
Mr. Howk also advises people to dress appropriately (hat, gloves, etc.) and to bring a ski pole to test the ice as you go. Being out on the ice can be dangerous, so use caution and check with local experts (e.g., call the ice line number given above).