Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 211 > A Place To Be Alone

I'm home now. The big city was fun. But maybe I can only tolerate the noise and commotion for just so long. This morning I went in search of a little solitude and found it in one of my favorite places to be alone....

Day 210 > Chicago Harbor At Lake Michgan

There can be no greater proof that Chicago has a million and one things to do than the fact that, from the hotel, I was just a 10 walk from the shore of my beloved Lake Michigan and yet it took me a full two days to even set eyes on her and another day before actually walking down to the waters edge.
It's interesting to see the very same body of water that I regularly visit in a much wilder setting here in the north surrounded by high-rise buildings and concrete. It's still beautiful but in a different sort of way.

Day 209 > Millennium Monument / Grant Park

At the far north end of Grant Park sits Millennium Park... a place that, to be honest, sort of defies description. I spent quite a bit of time shooting in this area, especially at night when it's various attractions are lit in one way or another. It really must be seen to be believed. This photo happens to be my favorite from this particular day but there are others taken both before and after that are "must see" pics so be sure to check out my Flickr page at where I will be posting the rest of the trip photos as soon as I can.

Day 208 > Grant Park Chicago / Agora

Grant Park is an amazing Chicago green space stretching for several city blocks in the downtown area bordered by Michigan Avenue on the west side and Lake Shore Drive and Lake Michigan on the East. Throughout the park can be found gardens, statues, fountains and sculptures such as this one on the south end of the park named "Agora". I saw this from my hotel window and at first didn't know what to think. Actually, I still don't. But I like it.

Day 207 > Chicago!

It took a few tries to get this shot just right. Luckily Chicago trains run quite frequently...

I'm Back!

I realized too late that I should have posted news of my imminent 4 day absence before leaving on a road trip to Chicago just so nobody got the idea I had quit! I'll be back soon with all the faithfully taken photos of the day from Sunday thru Wednesday in the Windy City as well as an all new Thursday photo...stay tuned!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 206 > Golden Rays / Morning Sun

I returned to the prairie on the university campus this morning hoping to capture the blooming compass plants. Many of them had newly opened flowers but the shooting proved to be quite a challenge with these six foot tall plants swaying constantly in a fairly strong breeze. After finding it was basically impossible to compose or even focus, I tried holding the stem to steady the flower then shot holding the camera with just my right hand. I was convinced I had NO chance of getting a sharp, well composed photo under these conditions so I was thrilled to find upon returning home that the results were much better than I had feared.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Day 205 > Tiny Garden Invader

I loaded my camera gear into the car early this morning prepared to head out on the daily shoot. But before leaving I decided to take a walk to the back yard to check out the progress in the veggie garden. As I approached the garden fence something stirred, rustling the leaves below, as it headed for the far corner. I walked around the perimieter several times with this mysterious creature staying ahead of me, just out of view beneath the plants. Finally after my fifth time around, I spotted the tiniest young rabbit...tiny enough to have somehow slipped through or under the fence! I went back for the camera and after a few more minutes of pursuit managed to catch it resting, not surprisingly, next to the row of lettuce.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day 204 > Walking The Cofrin Arboretum

The walking trail through the Cofrin Arboretum at The University of Wisconsin Green Bay has led me to many of the photos I've used for this project. Today, as I revisited this woods for the first time in a while, it was the trail itself that captured my interest as it disappeared around a bend ahead of me. I had enjoyed this same scene in very early Spring before the foliage had obscured the view of the trail which, on that day, had been highlighted by a light dusting of newly fallen snow as it wound over the bare, undulating landscape ahead. Yet today, it was the inability to see what lay over the next hill that I found particularly intriguing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 203 > Unfurling / Queen Anne's Lace

The developing flower head of Queen Anne's Lace. Also known as the Wild Carrot. The fully open flower is worth a closer look as well but the intricate structure is most evident as it unfurls.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 202 > Prairie Morning

The native plants of the prairie at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum have begun to put on their summer show. A sea of flowers in shades of purple and yellow, white and orange now covers the land and stretches toward the blue sky in a dazzling display of color.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 201 > Morning Stretch / Black-Eyed Susans

I went back to the meadow in the Baird Creek Parkway this morning in search of blooming compass plants. Unfortunately, I found that the plants are not yet flowering but have grown higher than my head at this point. They should be spectacular in a couple weeks at most.
What I did find where thousands of Black-eyed Susans blooming throughout the tall grass.
Once again I found myself up to my neck in flowers as I searched for an interesting perspective, first above and then finally below the blossoms, with stems taut, stretching toward the sun.
It's the memory of a perfect morning like this that I hope might take some of the chill out of a future shoot some cold December morning following winter's inevitable return...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day 200 > Old Duck Creek Cemetery

The old Duck Creek Cemetery just outside of the City of Green Bay is said to have begun as an Indian burial ground before becoming a Catholic Cemetery in the mid-1800s. Later, nearby St. John The Baptiste Church was destroyed by fire, likely with all it's records, and as time passed the cemetery became neglected and fell into ruin. The remaining headstones were eventually gathered up and used to create a single monument at the center of the grounds which today is ringed by colorful perennial gardens.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 199 > Warehouse Wall At Anderson Dock; Ephraim, WI

Graffiti covers the walls of the warehouse at Anderson Dock on the shore of Green Bay at the town of Ephraim, WI.

As the sign posted to the old dock warehouse states, boaters and visitors are encouraged to continue with the tradition of “signing” the warehouse walls with the boat name and the year(s) they docked there. Of course, they do ask that all graffiti be appropriate, yet they encourage you to be creative but tasteful.

Anderson Dock is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Special thanks to Peggy for her invaluable assistance with this shoot! ;)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 198 > Abandoned

A railway, no longer used, is slowly reclaimed by Mother Nature. Howard, WI

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 197 > Evening Reflections / Lake Michigan

I had just mentioned in the course of a conversation with a friend earlier in the day that I have been unable to get myself out to the lake shore to shoot in the evenings so far this year. So when an amazing sky full puffy white clouds developed toward evening I decided it was a good day to finally make it happen. I arrived 40 minute later and with the first look through the lens was reminded once again why I wish I owed some lakeside property!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 196 > Mourning Walk

Dappled early morning sunshine falls on a dirt track through an old section of the Fort Howard Cemetery.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 194 > Fallen

Allouez Cemetery; Green Bay

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Day 193 > First Ave / 7th St. Entry

No alt/punk/rock music fan's visit to Minneapolis is complete without a stop at the famed First Ave and 7th St. Entry! The walls are decorated with the names of multitudes of great national acts as well as Twin Cities rock heroes such as Suburban Commandos, Husker Du, The Replacements and Soul Asylum who have graced the stages of these venues.
Few would disagree that this club is to the Twin Cities what CBGBs was to New York City.
If you like good rock n' roll, your favorite band probably has it's very own star shining from these walls.

Day 192 > Kiss Me On The Bus / Green Day On Tour/ Minneapolis, MN

Perhaps this is not the most artistic selection I could have offered as this days photo. Yet, as the main reason for my weekend visit to Minneapolis, it seemed fitting to feature something to commemorate what turned out to be a fun trip and EPIC Green Day concert experience.
For those who don't know, the title is my witty reference to a song by the great Minneapolis rock band The Replacements to whom Green Day paid homage during their show.

Day 191 > The Cathedral Of St. Paul / Minnesota

God, is this place awesome! An architectural marvel, I have been repeated drawn to this place with every trip to the Twin Cities.

One of the finest examples of Beaux Arts architecture, the Cathedral was designed by E. L. Masqueray. The cornerstone was laid on June 2, 1907. The first liturgy was held on Palm Sunday, March 28, 1915. Work continued on the interior for decades. On October 14, 1958, it was consecrated by Archbishop William O'Brady, securing its place among the premier houses of worship in the United States. It was placed on the National Register of Historical Buildings in 1974.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

There will be a slight delay...

Just so nobody thinks I've quit, the next three days posts will not appear here until at least Sunday night which is when I will return from a short vacation to Minneapolis, MN to attend the Green Day concert on Saturday night. Hold tight!

Day 190 > Wild Tiger Lily

I'd never had the pleasure of meeting a wild Tiger Lily either in the Baird Creek Parkway as I did today or anywhere else for that matter so I was very excited to spot these strikingly colorful flowers blooming alone beneath a tree across the meadow. As a lover of plants, a first time find like this is, for me, akin to winning the jackpot or holding a winning lottery ticket.
In taking this photo I decided to try using a fill flash to remove the shadows on the underside of this nodding flower and though I am rarely a fan of artificial lighting, in this case I am quite pleased with the resulting effect.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 189 > Thistle Patch

Thistles are not so nice to stumble into but not bad to look at from a safe distance..

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 188 > Safe In Her Element / Whitetail Deer

Mother Nature has clearly taken pity on me in offering such spectacular subject matter as this. :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 187 > White Lily / Carpel and Stamens

I would have preferred that a bit more adventure had lead up to the capturing of today's photo but the Asiatic Lilies in the garden are in their prime right now. Of all the lilies blooming, the flowers of the white variety are particularly much so that I could not resist getting some shots, one of which I liked well enough to choose it for the daily photo.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Day 185 > Like Fireworks On The Meadow

Just in time for Independence Day, the Purple Coneflowers on the Baird Creek Meadow have exploded into bloom, adding striking bursts of color throughout a sea of green.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Day 184 > Turkey Vulture

My photo hunt had been rather unproductive this morning. It was one of those days where I had no particular subject in mind so I'd gone out for a walk waiting for something to present itself to me.
After a long, tiring and fruitless hike through meadow and forest I was beginning to feel that old frustration coming on. I had decided to return one last time to the meadow where some nice butterflies had been visiting the large blossoms of the Purple Cone Flowers that had just begun blooming. As I cut through the tall grass I suddenly notice shadows from something large passing overhead again and again. I looked up to find a group of five Turkey Vultures circling above my head.
Had the long walk had taken more out of me than I realized? Were these birds just waiting for me to expire? Is this how the photo project would end??
As it turned out they were actually offering me an opportunity to breath one more day of life into my photographic endeavor and I gladly took them up on it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Day 183 > Midsummer At Baird Creek

At the height of Summer, the torrent of melt water that rushed through Baird Creek just a few months earlier is replaced by a much gentler flow. All along the creek bed the lower water level exposes the surfaces of the rocks, some of which are embedded with fossils and hunting crayfish scurry between them seeking cover. Looking up the creek, it is seemingly swallowed up by the lush vegetation that overhangs the water and crowds it's edges.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 182 > Iron Cross At St. KIllian's Cemetery

Today's damp, dreary, bone chilling 57 Degree F beginning to the month of JULY seemed like the perfect occasion to spend some time in a cemetery...serving perhaps as a fitting place to mourn the death of SUMMER!
I discovered this little country plot near the town of New Franken just off the highway I've traveled the past couple days en route to the lakeshore.