My colleague Brian Peterson has been photographing Minnesota since he was 18. Growing up in Duluth, he never doubted that his career would develop and stay right here. I am a Minnesotan, too, from Farmington, who during years away came to appreciate that this stunning piece of the world holds its own glorious exotica.

Brian and I share a deep affection for this land, and that sensibility underlies every aspect of “State of Wonders,” the four-part series that begins in Travel on Sunday.

As Travel editor, I had been hunting for a way to tell the tale of the state’s natural beauty. I learned that Brian was hoping to do the same through photographs. We teamed up to create this series, with three more to come this year.

Both in print and online, we’ll bring you visions of the delicate beauty of bogs and lakes in spring, tallgrass prairies and farmlands during the full glory of summer and the bluff country dazzling with color in autumn. (Find upcoming dates on G4.)

“You can head in any direction, go to the four corners of the state, and find landscapes that are totally different; there are not many places like that around the country,” Brian said.

During Brian’s first of several trips up the North Shore in December, 42 inches of snow fell in Two Harbors. Undaunted, he set out in frigid weather to begin making photos and video that convey the snowy woods and icy Lake Superior. See more of his photos, a video set to tunes by Minnesota musician Michael Monroe and e-postcards you can send to friends, at wonders. The page also provides a link to an order form, should you want to purchase prints of any of Brian’s stunning images.

We hope you enjoy this first of four stories.


Send your questions or tips to travel editor Kerri Westenberg at, and follow her on twitter @kerriwestenberg.