Photo of the Week: Wisconsin Wild Lupine


This week we are in Bayfield, Wisconsin getting a lesson in patience from Lake Superior. We came with the intention of paddling kayaks along the Apostle Island National Lakeshore to the caves carved out of the sandstone cliffs. Just our luck, today the Great Northern Sea was charcoal gray and waves out on the open lake were topping 11 feet. A 1000-foot ore ship took shelter behind Madeline Island. The temperature was about 52, tops, and the sky came down on us with varying intensity, from a mist to a downpour.

But Bayfield has more to offer than water adventures. We drove around a bit to see some of the orchards and berry farms, and everywhere up here the lupines are in bloom. But it wasn’t until we came upon an entire field of them that we decided to stop for photos. Peung and I had to jump across a ditch partly filled with water and climb a short embankment to get to the flowers. Standing in the midst of them we were overwhelmed by the fragrance and the colors spread out before us — bright purples, blues and a bit of pink — actually felt uncomfortable on the eye under the sullen skies, like it was physically demanding to look at it at first. Really impressive. We shot tons of photos, shielding the lenses from an intermittent sprinkle and soaking our shoes a bit. While we weren’t able to get out on the waters, we can’t say the day was lost.

(See more Wisconsin Wildflowers on The Mad Traveler)

8 thoughts on “Photo of the Week: Wisconsin Wild Lupine

  • June 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm
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    Gorgeous. With all the rain this spring the wildflowers should be beautiful all over.

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    • June 23, 2011 at 4:00 am
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      Thanks, Ted. The flowers are just one of several saving graces for a week of really crappy weather here in the Northland.

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  • June 22, 2011 at 10:10 pm
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    That’s quite impressive field of wildflowers. I love those bright purple ones the best. Sure would love to visit there some time. Thanks for inspiring photos.

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    • June 23, 2011 at 3:59 am
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      Thanks! That was one of the best, but really these flowers are in patches nearly everywhere you look. It’s spectacular!

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  • June 24, 2011 at 3:10 pm
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    Lovely! When I first came to Wisconsin – before the days of “road-side spraying” (which they are now giving up on, thank goodness) – there were many wild lupines for viewing. Now they rather hard to find unless you get to an area that hasn’t been “managed”. (And you’re right – the weather this past week has been very crappy!)

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    • June 26, 2011 at 11:46 am
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      There was (is?) a variety of blue flower that would fill up the medians along the Beltline. Some parks have restored the old native meadows as well and they are unbelievably beautiful. Table Bluff on the Ice Age Trail is one.

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