2013: Week #35 Photography

Dang – this last week was a hot and sticky one.  It wasn’t any fun being outside at all.  The week in winding down along with the temps and dew points and things are looking much better for the immediate future.  Hello long holiday weekend of nice weather.

This week’s mashup of photos feature my usual mixed bag of urban and rural along with some incredible fog that we usually see in August with these nasty temps and dew points.  The American Queen docked in Red Wing today; always some photo ops there.  And per usual, I spied some irrigation to photograph too.  Have a great long holiday weekend everyone!


A walk about the yard

Sounds simple and easy enough…a walk about the yard.  Normally I would agree.

A week ago today I had a septoplasty and bilateral turbinate reduction procedure.  I had heard horror stories regarding the septopaslty procedure – packing and splint removal to be specific.  I viewed videos of this prior to my procedure.  I viewed many…some good; some a bit worse.  I was fortunate enough to not have packing or splints.  I’ll spare you those videos – go ahead and search them out if you wish.

I spent most of the week of recovery laying in bed propped up by pillows.  This was incredibly mundane, but necessary.  If I moved around too much my nose would bleed; not good for the healing process.  As the week progressed, I was able to move around more, but not nearly as much as I would have liked to.  The gorgeous weather made me want to be out and about even more – very mild; average 77 degrees.  I did lay there with the windows open with all of the lovely flowers in view.

I ventured out the day before last.  To be vertical and walk around upright was an absolute delight.  The mere act of doing so made me feverish and sweaty.  Lay around on you back for a few days doing absolutely nothing and sitting up makes you break a sweat.   Great.  It wasn’t like I was running around yard either.  It is amazing what a few days will take out of you.  Each day not getting up and moving about has gotten better.  Each day I walk around a bit longer.  I just returned for the doctor and all is well.  I do need to go back though in a couple of weeks.  The Dr. needs to pull the “crust” off both turbinates; then I’ll really be able to feel the difference.  Sounds lovely; any video requests?


Here are some shots from the yard over the past few days.

Revisited – July 2013

July was an incredible photography month; perhaps the best on record yet.  I think this was the month both Cyndie and I have been waiting for.    Our back roadin’ activities picked up some, we took a MN North Shore trip and went to Chicago via train.  Back roadin’ is always good, no matter if you find anything to shoot or not, it is just plain relaxing.  The North Shore trip was fantastic given the less-than-ideal weather…or was it?  I think it is pretty difficult to had a bad time along Minnesota’s picturesque North Shore – no matter the season or weather.  If you missed the any of that series here is a recap:




Here are my B&W conversion picks from July 2013.  I hope you enjoy them.  Comments, critique or any other feedback is always welcome and appreciated.

Irrigation Fascinates Me

I professed this some time ago; you may have already forgotten by now.  I will bring it all back to the surface again and remind you all of my somewhat bizarre attraction.   Irrigation systems fascinate me.  I know part of it the perspective they create as they roll across the farm fields and produce wonderful lines.  Large quantities of water being sprayed everywhere certainly adds to the equation.  They just look cool.  I can’t really explain it much more than that.

All these images were taken today.  You see the tall corn and the tiny corn as well.  A farmer on my commute route just planted corn about a week ago?!?!  I don’t know how that plays out towards the end of July.  There doesn’t seem to be enough time.  Perhaps the crop will just be chopped for silage?  I am not wise to the ways of the farmer.

2013: Week #30 Photography

Holy Cow!  What a week.  Super moon, big poofies and fuzzy dice hanging from a lamp at garage sale – how is that for random?

Mostly all good things this week with the exception of Wednesday morning – early – 6 a.m.   I was headed down the main drag of town on my way to St. Peter for a work thing and all I saw was light.  That is never a good sign.  I learned later it was a scooter vs. car accident; the person on the scooter didn’t make it.  I never really found out the specifics; it doesn’t matter, it is sad no matter how you look at it.  This is just another reminder to slow down (myself for sure included) and quit being in such a damn hurry because very bad things can happen in a blink of an eye.  And on that note I will leave you all with my photos of the week.  Have a great weekend everyone.

What I like about Summer

I know I have mentioned this more than a few times – I love the Spring and Fall seasons.  Summer is o.k. depending on the temperature and dew points as I am not all that heat-friendly.  One super-duper bonus plus plus thing about summer is fresh vegetables.  Another is semi-homemade pizzas.  You know…the ready-made pizza crusts from the store; you pile on all your favorite topping over a tasty sauce and smother it with cheese.  That is some very fine super good stuff right there.  The only downside is turning on the oven.  I have not ventured out and made a pizza on the grill yet, but that is next.  Or a pizza oven would get the job done too – and you could take that outside on the deck/patio easily enough.

I like a really thin crust even though I am a super-fan of all things carbs.  Thin crust allows you fill up more on toppings and cooks faster in my humble pizza making opinion.  Golden Home Bakery Products (by Quaker Bakery Brands, Inc.) from Appleton, WI makes a mighty fine thin pizza crust.  I have not tried the 100% whole grain, only because the grocery stores in Red Wing do not carry it.  The regular is great.

The pizza you see here below was my masterpiece from last night.

Sauce:  mango red pepper salsa – pureed.  I mixed in a small amount of tomato sauce with it as well.
Toppings:  chicken, black beans, minced garlic, cilantro*, basil*, cherry tomatoes* and mozzarella cheese.

*fresh from the garden

Minnesota North Shore – The In-Between, Day 3

Day3Ahhhh beautiful Grand Marais, MN.  This (and points North) is my favorite area of the North Shore.  We got off the beaten path and explored a few forest roads on our way to Judge CR Magney State Park.  The wild flowers were incredible as were the butterflies.  One of the forest road dead-ended out in the middle of nowhere.  That wasn’t terribly convenient and it forced us to backtrack back to where we started.   .It could have been worse; we could be at work 🙂  We had the windows down driving along the forest road just fast enough to stay ahead of the mosquitoes and then…Cyndie was viciously attached by a dragon-fly.  Yep, from out of nowhere a dragon-fly came in the window and landed between the seat and the door.  Cyndie about jumped out of her seat.  The danger was quickly ejected from the vehicle and we continued on our way.

We spent a fair amount of time at Judge CR Magney State Park and generally took it a bit easier than we had in the last two days.  We did set a pretty aggressive pace initially and we were both starting to slow down some.  We arrived in Grand Portage in the early afternoon.  The lodging available is somewhat limited in these parts.  There are plenty of places to stay, but if it is a cabin, you’ll have to stay a minimum of two nights.  We had hoped to stay at Hollow Rock Resort so we could just wake up at sunrise and walk out right onto the shore for sunrise, but the two-day stay stamped that plan out.  The Grand Portage Lodge & Casino is a suitable solution to your one night stay needs.  Hollow Rock Resort is part of the casino and there wasn’t an issue gaining access to do a sunrise shoot there.

We checked in and then explored the surrounding area some as a late afternoon thunderstorm rolled on through.  An early dinner at the Casino and some much-needed shuteye seem like the perfect end of another full day of traveling the North Shore.

Here are my shots of the Minnesota North Shore – The in between, Day 3

Minnesota North Shore – The In-Between, Day 2

Day2The second day started much like how the first ended – heavy think fog blanketing our surroundings.  The fog certainly added an extra element to the photos though.  After a bit of breakfast at the lodge we made our way out to the fish house and then out to the point.  The hike was great – especially in the fog.

After leaving Cove Point Lodge we went back South to visit Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.  It was too late the previous afternoon to Split Rock Lighthouse.  We spent a great foggy morning there before heading back North and stopping at Palisade Head.  There essentially was no view at Palisade Head, other than a ship heading for shore in some very dense fog.  Tettegouche State Park was the next stop.  We ended up skipping Gerorge Crosby Manitou State Park.  The entrance isn’t right off of Hwy 61 and we just plain missed the turn.  We continued on our way and visited Temperance River State Park as well as Cascade River State Park before arriving in Grand Marais.  We secured a room for the night at The Shoreline Inn and made our way to My Sister’s Place for a much anticipated evening meal.  Traveling & photography are hungry business.

Here are my shots of the Minnesota North Shore – The in between, Day 2

Minnesota North Shore – The In-Between, Day 1

Day1This was a complete impromptu kind of trip.  Being the planner that I am I still put together an itinerary of possibilities.  We did plan to focus on photographing waterfall in the state parks this trip.  We no sooner made the plan and were met with a potential hurdle.  Just outside of Duluth on I35 we were met with a wall of fog.  If you have ever been to Duluth or been there multiple times, there is a good chance you have experienced this king of fog of epic proportions.  Visibility was nil.  All was not lost as Duluth was not the destination, but rather a blip on the trail of this particular journey.  Little did we know the fog would run the whole length of the North Shore and only really clear one morning during our visit.  It made for an interesting trip photographically, that is for sure.

This post and the next few after will recap the details of each day of our trip to the North Shore.  I will highlight where we went, what we did and saw and where we ate and stayed.

Knife River, MN was our first stop.  You couldn’t see much of Lake Superior, but you could smell the fresh air and the lake.  Russ Kendall’s Smokehouse is always on the itinerary.  Cyndie isn’t a fan of smoked fish, but I am.  I got a quick fix in the parking lot and even shared a bit with the seagulls.  Just down the road from Kendall’s on the opposite side of the road are some fantastic old vehicles.  I photograph them every trip.

CovePointThe first day we milled about in Two Harbors a bit and then made our way to Gooseberry Falls State Park.  It was this first day that we noticed the abandoned building, but we didn’t photograph it until we returned later in the trip.  This was a long day filled with many miles and great sites.  Cooter Pottery  and Two Island River/Taconite Harbor were great destinations of the day.  We settled in at Cove Point Lodge for the night.  We had a wonderful dinner just up the road at Cove Point Crossings Bar & Grill.

As you can see by the satellite view there is a nice point to observe the bay and lake from.  There is a trail all the way out to the point.  This was an interesting and picturesque hike after breakfast the next morning  in the fog .

Here are my shots of the Minnesota North Shore – The in between, Day 1

Minnesota North Shore – Two Harbors Waterfront

It was a beautiful morning with a touch of fog rolling about on the lake.  A quick visit to the waterfront and a stroll out along the breakwater was in order.  From this vantage point it was easy to get a better view of the exterior of the abandoned site we just came from.  The left behind Polaroid made you wonder – who was she, where was she from and what did she think about the beautiful place.  The lone fisherman set against the lake and fog was interesting as well.  The stroll was short, but pleasant.  There is only one bad thing about traveling the North Shore of Minnesota; that is realizing it is time to head back home :-/