Revisited – May/June 2013

Oops.  I completely forgot about reviewing my May 2013 photography.  I’ll just chalk it up to being a crazy Spring.  It has been a solid couple of good photography months.  In reviewing albums, 12/May & 13/June, I see we covered some ground.

The first part of may we still had snow (lots of it) and on Mother’s Day we saw flurries at the St. Paul Farmer’s Market.  The weather finally warmed up and we put lots of hour into yard work.

I can’t believe June is gone already.  Cyn and I had a great trip to SW Minnesota, we did a photo shoot for a special project, hit the St. Paul Farmer’s market again, did some back roadin’ and some more yard work.

Just like that…July is here and the year is half over.  Time sure flies.

Here are my B&W conversion picks from May/June 2013; I hope you enjoy them and comments are always welcome and appreciated.

Happy Independence Day everyone!


2013: Week #24 Photography

Finally some palatable weather.  I never tire of the blue skies and puffy clouds.

Nicer weather means getting back into the yard and finishing some things up…or getting them closer to completion.  A freshly installed spigot on the front side of the house will open up new opportunities in the front yard no doubt.  The backyard is getting closer to completion as well.  Cyndie has all the photos of or work wrangled together.  It has been quite the transformation.  I look forward to seeing them altogether in the near future.  In the meantime, here are my shots from this last week.   All are from my weekday commutes as I have been very busy in the yard; in fact, I am headed out to do some more work in the yard.  Enjoy the beautiful day everyone!

Southwest MN – #5 Morton, MN Monuments

Birch Coulee was the site of the Battle of Birch Coulee, one of the deadliest battles of the Dakota War of 1862.  It is now preserved at Birch Coulee State Memorial Park one mile north of Morton, Minnesota and has self-guided trails and markers about the battle from both sides.  It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

The Friendly Indian Monument recognizes the six Dakota Indians who befriended and protected government employees, immigrant settlers, missionaries, or aided soldiers during the United States – Dakota Conflict of 1862, most often at the risk of their own lives.  Even though only 6 names are listed on the monument, many more aided those of white descent who are not listed there.

Southwest MN series [#1 The To and From] [#2 Gibbon, MN] [#3 Pipestone National Monument] [#4 Blue Mound State Park] [#5 Morton, MN Monuments]

On a hill overlooking the beautiful Minnesota River Valley and the city of Morton, stand two 52-foot tall granite monuments. These monuments are known as the Birch Coulee and Friendly Indian Monuments. The Birch Coulee Monument was erected in 1894 for the soldiers who fought at the Battle of Birch Coulee on September 2, 1862. The Loyal Indian Monument was erected in 1899 to honor 6 Dakota who saved lives of whites during the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862.

Southwest MN – #3 Pipestone National Monument

We had wonderful weather for our exploration of Pipestone National Monument in Pipestone, MN.  It is amazing to see these quarries and see the amount of Sioux Quartzite rock that was removed by hand with only hand tools to expose the pipestone.  We were not fortunate enough to witness the actual mining of the pipestone, but did speak with the artisans inside that were carving pipestone and working with sumac to form the pipe stems.

I won’t ramble on with the complete history of this very interesting place.  Just let you imagination wonder while viewing the photos of what it must have been like in a different time.  If you want to know more, visit Pipestone, MN and see it first-hand.  The National Park Services has a wonderful website about all things in Pipestone, MN.

Southwest MN series [#1 The To and From] [#2 Gibbon, MN] [#3 Pipestone National Monument] [#4 Blue Mound State Park] [#5 Morton, MN Monuments]

Catlinite (also called pipestone or pipeclay) is a type of argillite, usually brownish-red in color, which occurs in a matrix of Sioux quartzite. Because it is fine-grained and easily worked, it is prized by Native Americans for use in making sacred pipes such as calumets (Fr: “hollow reed”) and chanunpas. Pipestone quarries are located and preserved in Pipestone National Monument outside of Pipestone, Minnesota, in Pipestone County, Minnesota, and at the Pipestone River in Ontario, Canada. ~Wikipedia

Southwest MN – #2 Gibbon, MN

Gibbon is situated along the Western edge of the Sibley County boarder.  This small town of just under 800 has character much like others in the region.  Most notable is its village hall that was built in 1895 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

WCpaintTINCyndie and I spent some time wandering about in Diana and Lyle Bad Dog Antiques and Other Attractions (1059 1st Avenue Gibbon, Minnesota 55335).  This place definitely had some character.  The proprietor was very proud of his wife’s enormous collection of watercolor paint tins.  It was quite large.  I never knew people collected such things.  I guess you can collect just about anything.

The state bank sign also caught our eyes; not only for it’s eye-catching sea foam green color, but also it’s simple and clean design.

Southwest MN series [#1 The To and From] [#2 Gibbon, MN] [#3 Pipestone National Monument] [#4 Blue Mound State Park] [#5 Morton, MN Monuments]

2013: Week #20 Photography

It appears I lost a week between this on and two prior.  That’ll happen; especially this time of year.  The weather is beautiful and there is much to do.  Cyndie and I are back working on the yard project.  The late Spring has not allowed the time we had last year; we were working away late March in 2012.  Time is flying and June will be here in no time.  I am happy to say that the hammock patio is almost complete.  We spent some time in it yesterday afternoon and it works perfectly.

Spring has finally sprung.  The farmers have been in the fields planting away and  the birds are back in numbers singing their little hearts out.  It’s time to go enjoy the season some more, but first, here are a few shots from the past week.

100 Miles of something has a great website with information on where to stay, eat, shop, and things to do – all around Lake Pepin.  There are several 100 Miles of… links: vistas, boating, birding, fishing, history and even garage sales.

The big big big 100 miles of garage sales was May 2-4 this year.  Cyn & I didn’t get out for a drive until Sunday and by that time most sales where over and done.  We found some stragglers still open though.  I was more interested in the drive, but the potential for an awesome find is always around every corner.  The super-find of the trip was an old produce crate in the dumpster outside of Reads Landing Brewing Company.  I spied the little treasure as we sat on the patio sipping our fire-hot bloody marrys.

Prior to landing for refreshments we spent a significant amount of time roaming around the little river town of Stockholm, WI.  There are several unique shops to wander through.  Among them is a fantastic bakery – Bogus Creek Cafe & Bakery.  The cranberry walnut bread is out of this world.  You may have noticed in past posts…if there is a bakery in the vicinity  I’ll be sampling the local fare.

Stockholm is great small town to spend a few hours just walking around.  There is no shortage of interesting art.  Be sure to check out Adobe Stockholm.  Juno & Me has some of the best candies I’ve had is awhile and their pet product are worth browsing.  For more information on additional shops, see Stockholm’s official website.

Here are a few other shot I took around town before we got on our way to the next town.

There is so much to see and do around Lake Pepin.  Hwy 35 on the Wisconsin side boasts some spectacular views as does Hwy 61 on the Minnesota side.  You are never board around here – take a drive around the lake!


Reunited and it tastes so good…

The last Sunday in April Cyndie and I went to the St. Paul Farmer’s Market – the alley edition.  The full farmer’s market was set to open the first weekend in May.  To my surprise and delight, LoveTree Farms was selling their absolutely wonderful goat and cow cheeses partway down the alleyway.  I no more than saw the name on the table and the memory of their cheese and pizza filled my mind.  I knew exactly what I was going to do with the goat cheese we purchased…make some semi-homemade pizza.  Yum.  Far from wood fired, but still plenty good.

Pizza 001 Pizza 002

Pizza 003

I first tasted this delectable cheese back in late October of 2011 at LoveTree Farms in the Trade Lakes area of Wisconsin (Approx 15 minutes Southeast of Grantsburg).  They make wonderful wood-fired pizza (Pizza by the Pond) on Sunday’s (after Memorial Day) from 2-8 p.m.  I didn’t make it back to LoveTree Farms in 2012, but am hoping to get their this season.

I live in a great area full of gems and wonderful surprises like LoveTree Farms and the St. Paul Farmer’s Market.  If you are out and about, check out LoveTree at their farm near Grantsburg, WI for Pizza by the Pond or at the farmer’s market –   you won’t be disappointed.

Here are a few photos from my original trip in 2011.  The original post from October 2011 is here:  Hugo, MN to Grantsburg, WI.

The Big Purge

It has been a long time coming now.  Backing up to the cloud takes time even with plenty of bandwidth.  My recent back up revelations have led to incessant purging of files.  It is a very long process.  2011, not a complete year (Aug – Dec), has been reduced to approximately 1000 shots retained; I am sure that could even be reduced further if I really had to.  I will leave some for a likely future last round of digital cleansing.  I guess when I first started to dig into photography I kept everything.  For the most part I am glad that I did.  When I look back it is very clear to me what worked and what didn’t.  I know a few more tricks in salvaging an image that was less than perfectly exposed, but that isn’t the ultimate goal.  Shoot and learn; shoot more and learn even more.

I am hoping with further review of subsequent years to see a style emerging; your style isn’t so readily apparent to you – at least it isn’t to me.  I have spent the last few years experimenting with many different things photographically.  It is interesting to look back at what you have shot. Remembering why you shot something is my biggest challenge (thankfully the memories are still fresh).  These are a few photos from 2011 that caught my eye while sifting through the nearly 4000 shots.