RO, Alba – Freezing in the summer @ Scarisoara Ice Cave

After we visited Bear’s Cave and a local museum the day before in Chiscau, I was the first one to wake up (after a sleepless night) and explore the surroundings. I could talk a lot about my morning walk, watching the people doing their daily chores, listening the happy birds chirping in that glorious morning, and admiring the rich greenery surrounding the village. But the plan of the day was to visit another cave from this area, and by the evening to visit Corvin Castle in Hunedoara.

 

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RO, Bihor – Romania, a land of hidden gems: Bear’s Cave

It was a regular work day for Traian Curta, when, back in 1975 he was in charge with dynamiting a new area while working in a local mining exploitation company, when suddenly, a big grotto had opened beneath the ground. He didn’t want to get famous for being the first person to be lowered into that grotto, but he did it, and he was the first person who “visited” the cave up to the main gallery. After 5 years of explorations by amateur and professional speleologists, and building a basic infrastructure, the cave was opened for visitors in 1980.

Bears’ Cave is located in the Apuseni National Park, in the western side of the Apuseni Mountains, Transylvania, on the outskirts of Chiscau village, Bihor County, Romania.

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CA, Ontario – Kissing birds and other stories – Bird watching around Lake Buckhorn

The month of December is coming to an end, and so is 2018. I’m not the type of person who usually makes a list of accomplishments, but I was thinking it would be nice to have a post with my best photos of the year. Then I realized that I have not made any posts this year with one of my favourite hobbies: bird watching. Observing the birds – these little and colourful creatures, gave me great joy this summer: I started noticing how much quicker a movement is in the air rather than on the ground, more than I did in the past. I started learning a lot from just observing them and seeing how they take care of their chicks, or how they feed themselves.

This summer I spent some time up north, around Lake Buckhorn again. Sometimes catching some fish, sometimes catching a good time, but definitely catching some pictures and wonderful memories.

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US, Michigan: Best of UP – Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Lake Superior’s Graveyard and Au Sable Light Station

Around Huron Lake in 8 days: Best of UP, Part 4 – Lake Superior’s Graveyard and Au Sable Light Station

20 km West of Grand Marais, Au Sable Light Station can be visited following the 2.5 km trail that start at the Hurricane River mouth, where the big red food storage box is located. The trail goes through the forest for a while, until the path splits in two and one way goes toward the beach. Along the shoreline lays some of the coastal graveyard, where we saw several parts of the old wrecks that washed ashore. You probably guessed which way we took, since both ways were heading to the light station.

Hurricane River
Hurricane River

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US, Michigan: Best of UP – Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Beaver Basin Hiking – Twelvemile Beach

Around Huron Lake in 8 days: Best of UP, Part 2 – Beaver Basin Hiking – Twelvemile Beach

Hiking in the Beaver Basin can start from the trailing parking lot beside the Little Beaver Lake Campground, after a 5 km of unpaved, narrow, twisting, and size restrictive road.

Little Beaver Lake
Little Beaver Lake

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US, Michigan: Best of UP – Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Munising – Munising and Miners Waterfalls

Around Huron Lake in 8 days: Best of UP, Part 1 – Munising – Munising and Miners Waterfalls

We left behind the soggy morning at Tahquamenon Falls, and by the time we arrived in Munising the clouds were letting the sun show up in the sky. We headed straight to the marina, where we had the evening cruise booked in advance, ready to enjoy the sunset and the Pictured Rocks. Even though the sky was not without clouds, the weather was beautiful, and we didn’t expect to hear that the evening cruise is cancelled due to rough waters. Jaw dropped, really? Yes, the boat cruise can be cancelled anytime and without notice, as the weather is unpredictable on Lake Superior.

Rough waters on Lake Superior

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CA, Ontario: Evening walks & Birdwatching – Riverwood Conservancy

The caressing sun is whispering promises to melt the snow by the end of the day.

Two years ago I spent Earth Day planting some trees. This year I’m still looking at the melting snow. And it will melt soon, as the Mother Nature was very generous with us this weekend (after last weekend lashes of freezing rain, snow, ice pellets and strong wind). But the nature is always recovering, and we along with her.

I invite you today for a walk in the park.

Pine Sanctuary - contemplative art at the entrance of Riverwood Conservancy
Pine Sanctuary – contemplative art at the entrance of Riverwood Conservancy

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US, Michigan: Seney National Wildlife Refuge

Around Huron Lake in 8 days: Seney National Wildlife Refuge

Even though we wanted to be at the Refuge entrance before sunrise, we were not able to be there. We were wondering if the late barbeque we had the night before or the stars I couldn’t stop gazing at in the middle of the night had something to do with this. Anyway, with a fresh enthusiasm we got to the Refuge gate around 10 am, an hour drive from Munising, where our host was living. The late August sun was up in the sky, and I knew the wildlife was well hidden at that late hour of the morning. The refuge is vast, and has several trails for hikers, or bikers, and needs a lot of time to have it explored. Since we were late already, we decided to have only the drive-through ride, with few stops along the way.

Seney one quiet and calm pond

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US, Michigan: The road to Tahquamenon Falls went through Paradise

Around Huron Lake in 8 days: The road to Tahquamenon Falls went through Paradise

Leaving Canadian land via the International Bridge that links the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie of Ontario and Michigan let us have a glimpse of what kind of weather would be greeting us in the neighbouring country, where we were going to continue our road trip around Huron Lake.

After a beautiful and serene sunset on the St Mary’s River shore, we didn’t expect this kind of weather. Gloomy clouds and foggy roads were following us from the morning, but when we saw the post of Paradise town, we knew the rain would stop soon.

Paradise

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