Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day 90 > Natural Bridge At Fonferek's Glen

The natural bridge in Fonferek Glen is a truly unique rock formation in northeastern Wisconsin. First time visitors are always stunned to discover such beauty only a short car ride from home.
I've shot this scene on a couple of occasions but have been unable to find a time of day when the cavern behind the bridge is not deep in shadow so I thought I'd give an overcast day a try.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Day 89 > Spring Migration On Green Bay

Tens of thousands of ducks are currently massing on the lower end of Green Bay as part of their spring migration north. In places, ducks seems to stretch across the surface of the bay almost as far as the eye can see.
In trying to approach as near as possible to the position of one gigantic flock near the shore I managed to spook the birds into suddenly taking flight en masse which quite unexpected provided today's photo.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 88 > Spring Snow At Green Bay's Riverfront

Consid ering the persist ence of Wiscon sin winters, it should come as no surprise that the month of March is going out like a lion...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour (Day 87 Extra)

Lights go out across planet for Earth Hour

(CNN) -- Lights went off across the world Saturday as millions of homes and businesses went dark for one hour in a symbolic gesture highlighting concerns over climate change.

Organizers expected more than 2,800 cities and towns worldwide to dim their lights at 8:30 p.m. local time for the third annual Earth Hour -- a day-long energy-saving marathon spanning 83 countries and 24 time zones.

Major cities in the United States, Asia, the Middle East and Europe had already gone dark for the event by Saturday night on the U.S. East Coast.

In Washington, the lights went out at the Capitol dome at 8:30 p.m. ET; the same time the Empire State Building, Central Park and the George Washington Bridge in New York went dark.

The Philippines topped this year's participation for Asia, with more than 650 communities taking part in the event, according to Earth Hour's Web site.

The light illuminating the face of the landmark Big Ben clock tower in London, England, went out at 8:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. ET).

In Dubai, iReporter Sharad Agarwal turned out the lights and sat down to a candlelit dinner with his family.

"I personally believe in going green and everything that goes with it," Agarwal told CNN.

In Australia, floodlights of the Sydney Opera House were extinguished as the city's iconic harbor kicked off events for Earth Hour. The event's Web site reported that hundreds of people lined the harbor for a glimpse of the dimming skyline at 8:30 pm.

Sydney became the birthplace of the Earth Hour campaign in 2007 when 2.2 million turned off their lights, igniting a grass-roots movement that has become a global phenomenon.

In China, illuminations at major buildings including the "Bird's Nest" Olympic Stadium and the Water Cube were extinguished as 20 cities joined in, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Other landmarks around the world expected to join the World Wildlife Fund-sponsored event were the Egyptian pyramids, Vatican, Niagara Falls, the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Acropolis in Athens and the Las Vegas casino strip.

CNN iReporter Marie Sager of Los Angeles, California, said she planned to hike up to the Griffith Observatory to experience the massive lights-out event.

"A good portion of the city is participating. We'll see the Capital Records sign go out. A lot of these places haven't turned out their lights in awhile," Sager said.

Event sponsors hoped participating U.S. cities would set an example for the rest of the world.

"We think we are going to have 100 million people around the world sending a message that climate change is real, and we need to take action now," World Wildlife Fund CEO Carter Roberts told CNN.

"The world is watching to see what America is going to do," he said, "because if America acts on climate change, the world will follow."

Earth Hour events got off to an unofficial start in the remote Chatham Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean where locals switched off their diesel generators, organizers said. Shortly afterward, 44 New Zealand cities and town joined in the event.

Organizers say they hope this year's event will send a message to world leaders meeting Copenhagen, Denmark, in December for a major summit on climate change.

"We are asking one billion people to take part in what is essentially the first global vote for action on climate change by turning off their lights for one hour and casting a vote for earth," said executive director Andy Ridley. hour and casting a vote for earth," said executive director Andy Ridley.

Day 87 > Point Beach Morning

A fierce, sus tained north wind was blowing off Lake Michigan this morning making the cold nearly too much to bear after only a few minutes spent facing into the wind while shooting.
It took great effort to stay there until I was satisfied I'd gotten the shot but as I've learned, beautiful photos are rarely captured in the most comfortable of situations.
One day the the painfully cold hands, numb face and burning eyes will be long forgotten but in this photo the beauty of the morning will remain.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 85 > Devil's River Cascades

My inten tion today was to shoot an old grain or grist mill built in 1847 in the countryside near Cooperstown.
But as so often happens, my attention was drawn elsewhere.
I did photograph the mill but then followed a path back to the source of the water that once powered the mill's waterwheel. Below the mill runs the Devil's River and at the edge of a raging cascade I discovered the remains of the stone dam that once raised the water level to allow it to be diverted to the mill. Part of the dam can be seen in the background the top of the photo.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 84 > Heavy Surf On Lake Michigan

If there was an upside to yester day's miser able weather it's that the strong winds churned the lake into a frenzy. Elsewhere the day still seemed gray and lifeless but at the shore, the crashing waves seemed to wash away the gloom.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 83 > Beastly Weather

A horrible day. As close as I've come to failure by a far. I was wet. I was cold. I was frustrated. And then my car was damaged by road debris on the drive home. Just perfect :(

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 82 > Vacancy

Sup posedly known as "Hotel Hell" by Town of Mari
bel locals, a great number of urban legends have been attached to these old ruins. The legends paint a very dark history of this place but the stories of murders, tragic deaths in fire, skeletal remains, black masses and a portal to hell are entirely fictional.
However, there is no question that when first seen, this building standing stark and alone and staring vacantly at passersby cannot fail to stir the imagination.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 81 > Devil's River Horses

I thought that I'd already wrapped up my photo of the day at a location a few miles up the road before I came upon these two enjoying a delicious lunch of hay within earshot of the rushing waters of the Devil's River just south of Cooperstown.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 80 > Behind Fonferek Falls

I did not wake up this morning with any inten tion of climbing behind a waterfall for today's photo but as has happened so many times in the past three months, this project once again took me where I never imagined I'd be.
Just 16 days ago Fonferek Falls hung heavy with ice (daily photo March 5th).
It is now free of the ice and thundering over the edge of the river gorge into the glen below.
Behind the falls is a cavern with a very low ceiling that gives enough room for a person to creep behind and look down the creek through the falling water.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 78 > The Last Day Of Winter

According to the calendar, tomorrow is the first day of spring. However, it would seem that Old Man Winter does not pay much attention to such things...or perhaps today's sudden snowfall was his final farewell before giving way to spring.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 77 > Return Of the Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes at Bark hausen Wildfowl Pre serve. Besides our White Pelicans, these may be my favorite wild birds. And perhaps what would put them at the top of the list would be their call which I've heard described as having a prehistoric sound to it... as if you could imagine hearing a similar sound during the age of dinosaurs.

So today, as an added bonus, I'm also adding a short video shot from the same position as this photo was taken.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 76 > Maple Syrupin' Time!

Another sure sign of spring's arrival in the Upper Mid west... Maple Syrup making season!
I must have arrived to shoot this on the perfect day (cold nights and warm days make the sap in the tree run) because I'd never before seen the sap drip from the spout at such a frequent rate.
After being collected the sap is brought to the "Sugar Shack" to be boiled and boiled (and boiled) to evaporate the water leaving only the thick, sugary substance that is the syrup. Approximately 40 gallons of Maple sap will yield 1 gallon of syrup.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 75 > Spring's Messenger

For many people, the sighting of an American Robin is the surest sign that Spring is on the way.
I spotted my first pair in a backyard tree yesterday and today I found the forest at the Barkhausen Wildfowl Preserve was absolutely filled with Robins.
Winter weather in Wisconsin can be expected to last into April but seeing and hearing these birds again gives me hope that the snow and cold will soon be gone for good.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 74 > Gulls At Dawn

I went to the river front this morning before sunrise to find a bird RIOT in progress! It's sights like this that keep me going on this project...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day 73 > Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Entrance

Today's shooting took me back to the Lake Michigan shore (are you beginning to see a trend?) but about 35 miles north of the location of my last visit on Thursday.
Here at the entrance to the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal, a pair of lighthouses guide ships in from Lake Michigan on their way to the west end of the canal and the entrance to Green Bay.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 72 > Washington St. Shop Signs

Retro shop signs in Green Bay's historic theater district. Well... ok, there really is a beautiful, historic 1930's theater (The Meyer) on Washington St but I may be sarcastically exaggerating a bit in calling it the theater district.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day 71 > Canada Geese On Lake Michigan

A flock of Canada Geese rest on the calm water of Kewaunee Harbor as Lake Michigan stretches to the horizon behind them.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day 70 > Out Of The Shadows

Luka is rather myster
ious and unknow
able. Of three cats, she is by far the least interactive. She's not unfriendly but tends to be very nervous and seems to prefer to be by herself more often than not. She does, however, have moments when she will come around, dragging her length against an available pair of legs while meowing and staring up as if she has some urgent point to make. But mostly Luka is a loner. Any sunny morning she can be found sitting quietly in this spot in the middle of the upstairs hall where the light pours onto the floor from the window of the adjacent room. The mix of shadow and light here seem to accurately represent the two sides her personality.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day 69 > New Bloom: Lady's Slipper Orchid

It's raining today which may or may not be better than getting MORE snow (which will probably happen later today) but inside, the houseplants are ready for spring.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Day 67 > Wisconsin Woodland Indian Spear Point

Although I dis covered this Native Amer ican spear point almost twenty years ago in the disturbed soil of a construction site near the bayshore and though it has been one of my most prized possessions since that time, I've never bothered to properly photograph it. I once had this spear point examined by an expert who determined it was made by a people who inhabited the area of Green Bay during a time known as the Woodland period which occurred between 500 and 800 A.D.
I'm thrilled by the direct link to the past this point offers and the likelihood that mine may have been the first human hands to touch this point in as much as 1400 years.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Day 66 > Wild Lake Michigan Shore

Lake dunes at Point Beach State Park; Two Rivers, WI

Friday, March 6, 2009

Day 65 > At The Mouth Of The Fox River

Twin Lighthouses mark the entrance to the Fox River for ships approaching on Green Bay. Slightly upriver, the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge towers overhead.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 64 > Frozen Waterfall At Fonferek's Glen

Today was my first ever visit to Fonferek Glen and its falls in nearby De Pere. WI. I'd only heard of this place in the past few years, presumably because it had been privately held property until relatively recently when the land was donated as a preserve and established as a county park. I'd seen a few photos online since that time and never got the impression from those that the falls were worth the trouble to seek out.
This morning, as I was considering a visit to another waterfall outside the city, I remembered Fonferek and thought it might be fun to visit a place I'd not seen before versus one I had seen many, many times. So, keeping the original waterfall in mind as a fallback location for today's shoot, I googled Fonferek Falls and soon was on my way. Twenty-five minutes later I was pulling the car onto Memory Lane (yes, that's the name of the road it's on!) toward an old farm. The Falls overlook was just a short walk through the snowy, overgrown field behind the barn. One look and I realized that the internet is sorely lacking in quality photos from this place! A still life torrent of ice hung from the edge of the gorge plunging 25 ft to the frozen surface surrounded by the colorful, eroded walls.
The view from the overlook was nice but I wanted to get closer for photos so I followed the path of a previous visitor through the woods down to the edge of the creek. The footprints I had followed that far were not fresh. They led out onto the frozen surface of the water but realizing the tracks could be days old, and considering the warmth of the past day, I could not be certain that the ice would not give way. I took a step onto the ice and tested it with my weight...it seemed ok. I headed up the creek toward the waterfall trying to think light thoughts (feathers, balloons, etc) as I heard rushing water gurgling just below my feet. I broke through the surface in a couple of places where there were hollows pockets but never actually ended up wet.
Once I arrived at the waterfall my perils continued. As I ducked behind the massive wall of ice hanging from the ledge to have a look, I heard cracking sounds from above that were rather disconcerting. If all that ice were to come crashing down at once...yikes!
The daily photo project would likely come to an abrupt halt!
Then, looking directly above my head, I became aware that if the ice didn't get me, the rocks just might. The entire ledge was crumbling in layers. Many pieces big enough to hurt (or worse) if they fell on a my head looked ready to come loose at any time. Judging by the rocks strewn just below the ledge, this happens quite often.
Fortunately, I escaped serious injury and got my shots without incident other than a short struggle with a rather persistent thistle that attached itself to my fleece glove at some point during this adventure.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day 63 > Sturgeon Bay Tugboats

My weekend trip to the Door County penin sula resulted not only in some great photo ops on that particular day but also led to my discovery of the subject for today's photo. As I passed through the city of Sturgeon Bay on the return trip, I spotted this collection of tugboats docked for the winter in the ship canal backed by the city's old bridge. I tend to automatically frame scenes in my mind as they appear and I immediately recognized a great shot waiting to happen. Coincidentally, these tugboats belong to the same company as the tugboat I photographed in the Fox River here in my own city on that brutally cold morning a couple of months ago.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Day 62 > Bootlegs

My original plan for today's shoot fell apart by mid-morning. An appointment and a sudden, unexpected problem kept me tied up until the afternoon after which I had to make the best of a small window of opportunity to come up with something for the daily photo. This composition is something I had been considering as a shot for just such a day...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 61 > Union Church Detail

Some of the finer detail in the church from the day 59 post.

I con verted this image to black and white in Photoshop Elements then had some fun with the contrast levels.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Day 60 > Lake Michigan At Cave Point

Wisconsin's Door Co. Peninsula is well known for it's scenic beauty. Over the years this region has been, without question, one of the greatest sources of photographic treasure I've had the pleasure of exploring. There are many"must see" destinations to visit and many paths to follow, some well worn others rarely traveled. I've visited all of these places and traveled both paths countless times and have seen amazing things and beautiful places all along the way. But every once in a while I come upon a scene that, though quite familiar from past visits, is transformed by the light or weather conditions. It so literally takes my breath away that it's as if I'm seeing it again for the very first time.
My first glimpse of today's image through the camera's viewfinder made me gasp...it was like a photographic perfect storm.