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Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve – Day 2

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve

Day 2 at Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve actually started on the bluff, trying to capture the sunrise over Lake Michigan (as seen in the picture below and to the right).

Sunrise over Lake Michigan

Since the park doesn’t open until 6:00 AM, and sunrise in Wisconsin in July is earlier than that, I couldn’t get the sunrise picture I wanted. However, there were nice clouds in the sky, and the clouds obscured the sun to where the photo could be taken without blowing out the surrounding landscape.

This photo was taken for 1/800 second at f/8 (ISO 50) using a 28 mm focal length.  The fast shutter speed and low ISO were necessary to decrease the exposure below what the camera would have wanted to do on its auto setting – ensuring that the sun is an element in the photo, not the only element distinguishable.

Wildlife Bog

Where I spent most of my time that morning, however, was at the wildlife bog inside the park. As you can see in the photo to the left (and in the panorama above), the bog is covered with green moss, speckled with white flowers from the waterfowl, with trees, branches, and other vegetation poking out of the bog.

The early morning sunlight (taken within an hour of sunrise) provides some warmth to what are otherwise cold colors. The shadows are longer and add more texture to the screen as well.

To see more photos from day 2, click here.

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Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve – Day 1

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve

Recently, my wife introduced me to a new park that I’ve not been to before – Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve, which is on Lake Michigan just north of Milwaukee. While this first trip was short, it was quickly apparent that this park required a number of visits to fully explore.

I spent 3 days in the park, each day exploring a different area of the park. On my first visit, I discovered the bluffs over Lake Michigan, with stunning vistas to the north and to the south. This photo is taken looking to the south, from the south edge of the park. The sky was filled with interesting clouds, adding to visual impact of the scene. There are no rails along the bluff, just numerous footpaths leading to the edge, overlooking a narrow beach below.

Walking inland from the bluff, I found wild flowers, butterflies, and much more.

Bog at Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve

What I quickly fell in love with, though, was this bog located just inside the park. Home to numerous waterfowl, the bog was covered with a thick skin of green moss, covered with speckles of white feathers left behind by the waterfowl. Sticking out of the moss are tree stumps, branches, and more.

Due to time constraints, I left the bog for further exploration on another day, and I’ll post some of those pictures soon. For now however, this first short trip had to end, with the promise of another trip at sunrise the next morning.

Additional pictures from day 1 can be seen by clicking here.

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