Lake Superior, or Gichigami (Ojibwe for “a great sea”) is a constant presence in the city of Duluth.  Here are a few fun facts about this grand lake.  Gichigami :

  • is the largest freshwater lake by surface area in the world, third largest in volume, and contains 10% of the world’s available surface fresh water.
  • contains three quadrillion gallons of water (2900 cubic miles).  I’m told that this would be enough to cover both North and South America in one foot of water.
  • is 1332 feet deep at her deepest point
  • has 1826 miles of shoreline (about the same as walking from Duluth, MN to Miami, Fl.)

These numbers are impressive, but they don’t really tell you how dynamic it is from day to day.  Following are my pictures taken over the last few months, showing some of the many faces Gichigami shows.

View from Pincushion Mountain near Grand Marias, taken 12/9/2017
The beginning of our cold snaps, taken 12/26/2017.
Very cold adventure up the shore. Splitrock lighthouse. Note the “sea smoke” hanging over the horizon!
Sunset on the first day of 2018.
1/10/18.  A not-so-cheery day!
Ice tossed up after a storm.  1/23/18
Sugarloaf Cove, 3/10/18
“Antarctica” (taken from the Lake Walk in Duluth) 3/15/18
Pressure ridges near Park Point.  3/13/18
Pancake ice, 3/22/18
“The tree is on fire.” Sunrise from my bathroom window, unenhanced.  3/24/18
The ice piled up after the storm. Note the human for scale, almost directly below the bridge in the picture (but standing on the little bit of beach by the shore) 4/17/18.
Shipping season is open. A tranquil evening 4/19/18


Pictures do not do the lake justice.  Before I lived up here, I had no idea of how dynamic Gichigami is. The change from month to month, day to day, and even hour to hour is incredible.  I had thought to add in little natural history tidbits, but I think I’ll let the pictures tell their own stories this time.

With thanks to the Minnesota Master Naturalist resources for the lake facts!