SOLD Historic Lake Home on Upper Saint Croix Lake (Solon Springs, WI)

Here’s another sale that just became official yesterday.  This lake home was sold by Jean Hedren, your Northwest Wisconsin Realtor.  It was also, as it happens, photographed by yours truly.  This historic 1926 lake home in Solon Springs, Wisconsin has a number of unique architectural features, and I made sure to showcase them in my photos.

You might call this a cottage, because back in 1926 it was built as a summer place and not as a primary residence.  But it’s not your ordinary cabin up at the lake.  It was built by Joseph Lucius, a canoe builder, contractor, and noteworthy local citizen who in 1905 was profiled in the Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region.  A few excerpts: “…Since then he has lived on the Brule River, where he kept a summer resort for several years… Most of the buildings and boats on that romantic and historic stream have been built by Mr. Lucius… He is a contractor and employs a number of men… Mr. Lucius’ own residence, commenced in 1902, is an ideal rustic home, furnished both inside and outside with natural cedar.  This, as well as the club houses he has built, is fitted with water works and other modern conveniences… Mr. Lucius is a man held in great respect by all who know him, and the trust reposed in him has always been amply justified.”

Amen to that.  And this Solon Springs lake home is a great example of how the trust reposed in Mr. Lucius has always been amply justified.  (It’s also, of course, fitted with water works and other modern conveniences.)  For more, just scroll on down.

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SOLD Log Home in the Woods Near Trego, Wisconsin

Here’s another one sold by Jean Hedren, your northwest Wisconsin Realtor–with photos by yours truly.  It’s a lovely log home tucked away in the woods near Trego, Wisconsin.

The interior of this log home is quite nice.  But since today is December 1, let’s leave the snowshoes behind, open that door, and step back outside into springtime.  For more, just scroll on down.

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SOLD NW WI Lake Home in Voyager Village (Near Webb Lake and Danbury)

It’s SOLD.  There goes another lake home sold by Jean Hedren, your Northwest Wisconsin Realtor.  We have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

A few months back, when photographing this home in Voyager Village, I was thankful for the beautiful day and this incredibly blue sky with its unusual mix of cirrus and cumulus.  It made for spectacular exteriors.  And the inside of the house wasn’t bad, either.  Nearly every room in the house had a great view of Loon Lake.  For more, just scroll on down.

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SOLD House in the Woods Near Solon Springs, Wisconsin

It’s sold.  There goes another northwest Wisconsin home sold by Jean Hedren.

Even though this home in rural northwest Wisconsin didn’t have spectacular lake views, it was in an especially private location nestled in the woods west of Solon Springs.  The aerial drone photos really helped showcase that privacy and remoteness.  But the house looked pretty good from ground level, too.  For more, just scroll on down.



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SOLD Lake Home on Upper Eau Claire Lake (Barnes, WI)

It’s SOLD.  There goes another northwest Wisconsin lake home sold by Jean Hedren.

I especially enjoyed photographing this one.  It’s a beautiful home, and I was able to create some lovely interiors.  But the outside’s pretty photogenic, too; this lake home has an especially nice waterfront with a sand bottom that’s perfect for swimming.

And just to clarify…  Yes, “Eau Claire” is French for “Clear Water.”  That’s how the Eau Claire Chain of Lakes got its name.  For further evidence, scroll on down and check out the final photo in this series.


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Why Drones Should be Illegal for Hunting AND Fishing

Lately you’ve probably been hearing about new laws that ban the use of drones for hunting.  Here in Wisconsin, for example, it’s “illegal to hunt any animal with the aid of any aircraft, including unmanned aircraft and drones.”  That last part was added back in about 2014.

When these laws were first proposed, they seemed to anticipate technology from the far distant future.  But today drones with live, high-resolution video feeds are readily available and hugely popular.  Fortunately, most hunters would still agree that using a drone to scout, spot, or herd game does not fit the definition of fair chase.

True, it’s also reasonable to ask about the ethics of certain other hunting gadgets.  Digital trail cameras are one thing, but now some models use cellular technology to transmit images in real time.  While sitting at her laptop hundreds of miles away, a hunter could watch a trophy buck stroll down the trail toward the elevated stand where she’ll be waiting in ambush on opening morning.  Or, from just a hundred yards away, a hunter already sitting in his stand could do the same thing on a phone.  That, too, might be taking things a bit too far.  But somehow, adding drones to the hunting experience feels like an even more egregious violation of fair-chase principles.

I’d like to suggest that the same is true for fishing, and that it should be illegal to use drones for fishing in any way.  I don’t mean underwater drones like these; nor am I concerned about surfcasters and British carp anglers using drones with a release mechanism to lift their baits out farther than they could cast.  Yes, these are questionable developments.  But I’m referring specifically to the use of drones for scouting and reconnaissance.  Let me explain.

My wife, Jean Hedren, is a Realtor here in northwest Wisconsin.  I help her out with real estate photography and video, and in recent years I’ve been learning a lot about both.  (A brief word from our sponsor: If you’re thinking of selling or buying a lake home or cabin here in northwest Wisconsin, please contact her at  You can also visit her blog and website at  Check out her YouTube channel at Jean Hedren, Your NW WI Realtor. )

Last year we decided it was time to add aerial drone photos and video to the services we provide our sellers.  During the winter I studied up for the FAA Part 107 test so I could get my Remote Pilot Certificate and legally fly a drone for commercial purposes. Then, after several hours of practice flights, it was time for the real thing.  That was back in May.

If you’re an angler, you know that in the Northern Hemisphere most species of fish are spawning about that time of year—often in clear, shallow water where they’re easy to spot from the air.  Some species, like bass and sunfish, make gravel nests that are even more visible from above.  Despite being abandoned, these nests are still obvious months later.  Even if you’re not looking for them, they’re hard to not notice.

I wasn’t looking for the fish; I just wanted aerial photos of the houses.  Most of Jean’s listings are lake homes and cabins, and so this happens all the time.  But that afternoon when I downloaded my first lakeshore drone photos, it was quite a surprise.  Just offshore from one lake home, I saw dozens of sunfish nests.  Within 100 yards of a cabin on a different lake, I saw half a dozen widely scattered bass nests.  I figure it’s only a matter of time before someone at a major bass tournament is busted for using a drone to locate vulnerable bass guarding their nests.

And since several lakes in this part of northwest Wisconsin have thriving muskie populations, I know of a couple shallow bays where I could easily find trophy fish next May and June.  I’d just fly over on a calm, sunny day and look for the submerged logs that aren’t actually logs.  Not that I would.  But I could.

For more examples of unintentional fish-scouting photos, just scroll on down.  They’re downsized for faster loading, and mostly shot from fairly high up.  So potentially, photos like these could reveal even more.  But to protect the innocent fish, I did crop a couple shots so the location is less obvious.  (At the very end, as a final non-drone bonus, I also included two lucky dock shots.  I tiptoed.)

And that’s why drones should be illegal for hunting AND fishing.


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SOLD Hayward, Wisconsin Lake Home on Nelson Lake

It’s official.  This beautiful NW Wisconsin lake home on Nelson Lake just closed this morning.  Last spring it was one of the first homes I photographed with a drone.  There were several during those first couple weeks; I wanted to quickly leverage my investment in learning and hardware.  Last winter I studied hard so I could pass my FAA Part 107 test and earn my sUAS Remote Pilot Certificate.  That way I could legally fly a drone for commercial purposes.  And then there was an investment in the drone itself, plus all its various accessories.  Since then, both investments have paid off by allowing me to capture spectacular aerial stills and video that wouldn’t have been possible in any other way.

The aerial drone photos of this lake home helped showcase its private, end-of-the road location on Nelson Lake.  The home and its surroundings were just as beautiful up-close, and I was also able to to create some great interiors and exteriors from images I’d captured with my “regular” camera.  To see a few examples, just scroll on down.

And if you’d like to sell or purchase a lake home here in northwest Wisconsin, just contact  Meanwhile, you can visit her blog and website at For videos of this and other spectacular properties, check out Jean’s YouTube channel at Jean Hedren, Your NW WI Realtor.

Posted in Photography, Real Estate, Uncategorized