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.

History

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

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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!

2013: Week #34 Photography

It was a long short week for me having been in and out of the office a couple of different days and then playing catch up.   I have been enjoying the sun rises and sets in August, but have not photographed them nearly enough.  I finally took some time and barely caught a gorgeous sunset.  The Queen of the Mississippi was in town docked at Levee Park this week too.  I always try to grab a couple of shots when these river boats pass through.

I’d say have a great weekend, but is Sunday and the weekend is almost over and another week will quickly be upon us.  It is going to be a steamy one around here – 90’s and humid the whole week; just in time for the Minnesota State Fair.  Stay cool and have a great week everyone.

I Love Farmer’s Markets

Who doesn’t enjoy a farmer’s market?  I simply cannot image anyone that would not.  The hustle and bustle of it all make the market a great place to spend some time.  The wonderful smells of food and flowers, the diverse individuals milling about and the sights and sounds of consuming local wares all contribute to the experience. The Saturday before Mother’s Day, Cyn and I made our way to the St. Paul Farmer’s Market.  We had been earlier in the season, but things were setup in an alley and there were not many vendors present.  This was our first trip of many I imagine.  Right now the market is void of fresh produce, but there is so much more to a farmer’s market than produce.  There were many things available:  lots of flowers, plants, meats, cheeses, sauces and breads to hold my attention for a while. At one point during our walk around the market it began to snow!  It was short-lived and everyone had a good laugh.  Thankfully, that has been the last sighing of snow in our area. I wish we lived closer to St. Paul as I could go every weekend; it is my Saturday morning cartoon equivalent.  We are lucky to have a nice farmer’s market in Red Wing as well.   I foresee a trip there this Saturday in search of The Grateful Bread – I’ve missed it over the Winter season.

In 1853 St. Paul was indeed a frontier town. Dirt streets, log cabins and steamboats were the order of the day. As early as 1852 the Minnesota Pioneer newspaper called for an organizational Farmers’ Market. A Market House, a two-story brick building, was constructed at Seventh and Wabasha streets. It was St. Paul’s first public market. While fresh produce was only available during the season, dairy products, flour, cakes and candies could be purchased year-round. For over 150 years The St. Paul Farmers’ Market has been proud to enjoy the support of the community.  That tradition of support continues today.  For more information regarding the farmer’s market, please visit http://www.stpaulfarmersmarket.com/

The American Queen 3

Up and at ’em early to shoot the queen on its way to Red Wing.  That was the plan anyway.  I thought it would be interesting to see her in low light coming down river a lit up.  I didn’t have a clue how I would approach shooting that, but I just wanted to give it a whirl.  As we drove across the bridge to Wisconsin it became evident that our plans needed to change.  Instead of arriving at 8 a.m. this morning, it apparently arrived at 10:30 p.m. last night.  Bugger.  What are you gonna do?  Oh yes, I complained about it considerably before shutting up.  We had a nice sunrise shoot around our beautiful town’s waterfront.

Upcoming Red Wing riverboat schedule:

American Queen
October 18—Dock at 10AM, Depart at 5PM
October 21—Dock at 8AM, Depart at 5 PM  <- apparently it docked on 10/20 around 10:30 p.m.
October 23—Dock at 10AM, Depart at 5PM
November 4—Dock at 8AM, Depart at TBD
November 6—Dock at 10AM, Depart at 5PM

Queen of the Mississippi
October 26, Dock at 2AM, Depart at Noon
October 27, Dock at 7PM, Stay Overnight
October 28—Depart at Noon

!@#$ not responsible for the accuracy of this schedule as it is subject to change and is likely not even remotely close to being accurate !@#$

The American Queen 2

The American Queen was back in town again yesterday.  I grabbed a few more shots as she made her way up-river to St. Paul.

Upcoming Red Wing riverboat schedule:

American Queen
October 18—Dock at 10AM, Depart at 5PM
October 21—Dock at 8AM, Depart at 5 PM
October 23—Dock at 10AM, Depart at 5PM
November 4—Dock at 8AM, Depart at TBD
November 6—Dock at 10AM, Depart at 5PM

Queen of the Mississippi
October 26, Dock at 2AM, Depart at Noon
October 27, Dock at 7PM, Stay Overnight
October 28—Depart at Noon

The American Queen

American Queen

There was another reason for going to the farmer’s market the other weekend.  The American Queen is said to be the largest river steamboat ever built and it was docked at Levee Park.  It is always fun to see these riverboats come to town.  These boats usually draw a pretty good crowd.  That can make it a bit challenging to shoot with people everywhere.  They are grand floating structures to say the least.  I have only had the pleasure of being one of  these paddle boats once – The Mississippi Queen; that was back in the last 1990’s.

Cyndie & Linnae on the RipRap

Cyndie and I shot the queen from Levee Park, across the river, from the Eisenhower Bridge and also just down stream [and wind] of the waste water treatment plant.  That is where the last seven shots where from as it backed its way under the bridge and then swung around to head downstream.  The smoke stacks where still down at this point and only one was completely up as it passed by Colvill Park*.

We should have just called it a day from there, but we didn’t.  I really wanted a photo of the American Queen on the river and away from the levee with both smoke stacks up.  Not sure why, I just did.  We headed down river to a favorite location in Old Frontenac to wait for her to paddle by.

My Double Knee

Old Frontenac has a nice public boat landing to park at and you can walk along the beach for a pretty good stretch.  This stretch of beach leads out to a point; that’s where we were going to wait.  At this point, there is a pretty good size rock pile.  Nothing insurmountable; not even close to what we walked down at the waste water treatment plant (pictured above; our photo friend Linnae joined us).  The rocks weren’t as big either, but my oh my did they leave a mark.  I am not even completely sure how it happened, but I took a bit of a spill.  I had a camera in each hand at the time of the tumble.  There were no hands breaking my fall.  Cameras came through mostly unscathed and one lens hood was broken.  It probably would have been two lens hoods, but I already broke the other one earlier in the day :-/  Bad day for lens hoods.

Upcoming Red Wing riverboat schedule:

American Queen
October 18—Dock at 10AM, Depart at 5PM
October 21—Dock at 8AM, Depart at 5 PM
October 23—Dock at 10AM, Depart at 5PM
November 4—Dock at 8AM, Depart at TBD
November 6—Dock at 10AM, Depart at 5PM

Queen of the Mississippi
October 26, Dock at 2AM, Depart at Noon
October 27, Dock at 7PM, Stay Overnight
October 28—Depart at Noon
aa
*Colvill Park in Red Wing, Minnesota is named for Colvill, and he is represented by a statue in the Minnesota State Capitol. In addition, a section of Minnesota State Highway 19 from Gaylord to Red Wing is named in his honor.

Red Wing Farmers Market

There is nothing like a small town farmers market.  It doesn’t get any more local or fresh than this.  The market in Red Wing is located by the train station adjacent to Levee Park.  This is a great place to just walk around and take in all of the wonderful sights, sounds and smells.

Foggy Rainy Day

It was a misty and foggy day in Red Wing.  A perfect day to not rush anything; just sip coffee, mill around town a bit and enjoy the morning.  No Saturday a.m. is complete without stopping by the local farmer’s market.  There are still plenty of fresh vegetables there, but a loaf of tasty something-or-other was in order from The Grateful Bread.

The Fall Festival of Art is this weekend (Sat & Sun) and Red Wing was buzzing right away this a.m. with artist setting up their booths and displaying their wares.  The on and off sprinkles did not make for optimal browsing weather – tomorrow should be nicer.

Red Wing Shoe Company is having their 1st annual tent sale.  Awesome deals to be had there.  I added two pair of boots to my collection, but no luck on cold weather boots for Cyndie 😦  Fall is in full-gear and Winter will be here soon :-/

Oops

After we departed the tent sale we witnessed a boat tangling with some power lines while being transported through town.   Traffic was hosed up for a while – it was already slow due to the art festival.  When the boat hit the wires, they popped from the poles and building along a two block stretch.  That didn’t look like any fun.

Much to do.  Falling behind on photo processing.  Two shoots from last weekend to do yet.  Busy busy busy as usual.  Since we were already out and about we decided to shoot some more.  The foggy, misty day served up a variety of opportunities.  Life is good.  Happy weekend.