Walk on Frozen Lake Superior to Visit Rare Ice Caves

While this year’s bitter winter has created its share of problems, Mother Nature has provided a beautiful and rare treat for those living in the upper Midwest. For the first time in five years, people can visit the mainland sea caves of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore by walking on a frozen Lake Superior. The lake’s ice is thick and stable enough so that visitors can trek across it. The round-trip hike can take three hours or more, and yet, since officials declared the ice “low risk” on January 15, there have been more than 35,000 adventurous people who have taken the more than one-mile route.

“We have never had this number of people coming,” park spokeswoman Julie Van Stappen told reporters. “It has been a bit overwhelming, but it has been great for the local community, and [the caves] are gorgeous.”

Photographer Brian Peterson captured an otherworldly photo of the ice caves (above). You can see more of his photos in this gallery. In addition, photographer Andy Rathbun got his own first-hand look, taking the shots below and writing about his experience in this article. As he states, “Sandstone caves filled with thousands of icicles. Frozen branches hanging over cliffs, clamoring in the breeze like wind chimes. Blue ice, orange ice, white ice.

“Winter is not without its gifts, and this year, it has built a cathedral along the shore of Lake Superior.”

He goes on, “Waves have splashed across the cliffs, leaving ice sheets along their faces. Waterfalls, some made by underground springs jutting out from bedrock, have frozen in place before breaking and crumbling like Roman ruins. Consistent cold has kept hoarfrost-covered cave icicles untouched.

“The views of this winter wonderland are spectacular, and people are taking note.”

First photo credit: Brian Peterson/Star Tribune
All other photos: Andy Rathbun

December 2, 2016

Sexy French Farmers Pose for Shirtless 2017 Calendar

Last year, the holiday season was set ablaze by France’s Pompiers Sans Frontières (Firefighters Without Borders) and their sizzling, stripped-down calendar. Shot for a good cause by renowned Paris-based fashion photographer Fred Goudon, the risqué calendar proved to be a popular Christmas gift—both in France and abroad. In keeping with tradition, Goudon has photographed a new crop of au naturel pin-up models for his 2018 edition: French farmers.

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December 1, 2016

Meticulous Landscape Paintings Beautifully Represent Intangible Emotional States

Artist Crystal Liu intimately ties her emotional states to beautiful abstract paintings. In large-scale works, she constructs landscapes that are metaphors for the intangible forces that drive us. Visually, elements of the Earth and sky are the actors for the feelings we cannot easily imagine. Together, the sun, mountains, and more depict “narratives of conflict, entrapment, longing, and precarious hope.” These symbols allow Liu to seem removed, yet make the pieces deeply personal.

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