A Bluff With A View

I continue to feel fortunate for living in such a beautiful area of the country.  Without bluffs all would be flat – or at best a bit hilly.  I haven’t spent very much time in this spot atop Sorin’s Bluff @ Memorial Park this year.  It is a lovely place to take in a sunset or watch a storm roll on by.  It is a favorite location so shoot panoramas.


Red Wing’s lime industry started at the base of Barns Bluff where, in 1853 Phineas Fish operated a makeshift kiln. He gathered limestone debris from the bluff and reduced it to lime. More distant Sorin’s Bluff didn’t get into the lime picture for another 25 years. Then it challenged Barn Bluff for supremacy in Minnesota’s lime center.

Quarrying ended around 1910, and activity on Sorin’s quieted until Red Wing civic leaders of the Womens Community Association and Soldiers Memorial Association combined forces and started work on Memorial Park, a scenic Sorin’s Bluff retreat dedicated to soldiers of all wars.

They first raised money to buy 93 acres, then improved the quarry road to the summit. A parkway around the bluff top completed the first phase of the project. Veterans of the First World War made improvements to the park by clearing brush and planting trees. Red Wing dedicated Memorial Park in the fall of 1929, and over the years the city secured more land for the reserve.

– http://www.red-wing.org/memorialpark.html


Beautiful Sunday Drive

The sunlight was high in the sky, harsh and the shadows it cast where long.  A few clouds graced us with their presence overhead throughout the day.  It was only in the low to mid 20’s, but with the sun, I would have sworn it was 40.  It was one of those Sunday’s that you welcome a drive; some time to be out and about – out of the house.

Today’s mission was simple…some cheese from the Eau Galle Cheese Factory.  The outing was different in that we actually planned to go here rather than happening by it an hour early or 10 minutes after it closed.  It is a somewhat narrow window to hit on a Sunday, 11-4:30.  Blueberry Cheddar, Cranberry Cheddar, Buffalo Wing Jack and even Chocolate cheese…all seriously yummy.

While en route to and the return trip from our destination, we happily took in familiar sites.  The drive through Porcupine, WI area and surrounding bluffs and valleys always affords spectacular views.  The deer where out in numbers this day – no doubt soaking up some sun.  They too seem anxious for Spring, or at the very least look it.  These are not your common yard-fed critters.

Our last stop of the day before home was in Stockholm, WI at the Stockholm Pie Company.  Oh my.  Yes, I would love a slice of pecan pie.  Small and quaint place with lots of character.

Weekend Afternoon Drive

This Winter weather is holding fast even though we have had a couple of warm-ish snaps.  Any day now the big melt will begin; I can’t wait.  I’ve had enough of Winter, snow, cold, ice, shoveling, lengthy commutes, etc.

Despite all I listed above, Winter is one of my favorites times of year to shoot.  Creating black and white images during this time of year can be both challenging and rewarding.  It is a time of the year to really focus on composition, detail and light.  Some days, like today, the light is really flat.  Overcast skies and no glint of sunlight poking through anywhere.

Cyn and I went for an afternoon drive last weekend.  We did a loop from Red Wing to Lake City and back again.  Frontenac State Park has some wonderful views of the bluffs in Wisconsin towering over Hwy 35.  I really like the detail in the trees against the snow-covered bluff as a backdrop.  You can really make out the contours of the valley slopes.