The Progress of Spring

It's still spring, even in late June, in some areas of Isle Royale. I had a fascinating visit to Edwards Island last week, in which I walked through spring as I moved away from the lakeshore on this small, narrow island up near Blake Point at the farthest northeast reaches of Isle Royale. I walked in from the stone beach I had pulled my boat onto and found that the plants were just coming out, as shown in this first photo, which also shows many spruces blown down by the winter winds, as is so common near the edges of the main island and its outlying islands.

As I moved northeast toward a pretty cove on Edwards, I found the plants higher, though still in a stage that I would call spring-like. This next shot is of the cove, looking northeast toward North Government Island, the next island up the chain that forms Rock Harbor. You see that the vegetation has progressed toward a stage that we could call late spring. The day I was there, you could feel clearly how this works. Near the beach, the cool wind off cold Rock Harbor, water temperature about 40 degrees, was sharply cooler, perhaps 15 to 20 degrees, than the air up amid the spruces.

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