Saturday, 12 October 2019 15:27

Kitchi-Gami on the Cusp of Change

How Red Jack Lake received its name is a mystery I have not solved in the 14 years I have been visiting Hiawatha National Forest, but I have enjoyed my time here very much nonetheless. Sadly, over the years, I have watched as the water level in all of Hiawatha's waters, including Red Jack's, has risen, cutting off access to many of the wonderful locations that have historically offered so much creative opportunity. However, I do not despair, the beauty of Hiawatha will always be available to anyone who is willing to look. Red Jack lies upstream from Council, which lies upstream from Snipe, and thus so to Fish Lake and the waters of Little Indian River, Indian River, and in the end to the wide waters of Lake Michigan itself, all the way down where the Manistique River joins the lake by the town of Manistique. It is a convoluted drainage, whose geologic history is equally tortured.

A focal length of 70mm, on the short side of telephotoland, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted, isolating a small corner of the shoreline crowded with firs and the ever-present maples, but excluding the sky in favor of an old white birch log waiting patiently to come closer to the shore.. An aperture of f/14 provided depth-of-field from the camera-to-subject distance, and a shutter speed of 0.5 second at ISO 100 gave me an overall somewhat lighter-than-medium exposure.

The children of Kitchi-Gami are many, and their varieties make for an astounding diversity in the Great North Woods, but the winds of change are blowing and what they may herald remains unknown.

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