Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 334 > Devil's River Lower Falls

If asked to chose one place, one new discovery with which I've become completely enthralled during the course of my yearlong daily photo expeditions I would not hesitate's the Devil's River Gorge, no question. I love this place. And as one of the most beautiful river ways I've seen in my time spent traveling around the state (and the midwest for that matter) I am stunned that it has not become a much more visited attraction. Yet none of the people to whom I have mentioned it had ever heard of it (admittedly they are few..this is MY place!). Maybe it's best to keep it that way. It's nice to go there and almost always have the place to myself.
Today's scene was captured a bit farther down river from the main falls. I had been so enamored with that part of the river that I had failed to notice the beauty of the lower part of the gorge. But on my recent shoot I did notice the possibilities there and so today brought boots and waded into the river, around a rocky outcropping and came upon this amazing view.
I hope now to avoid shooting this river until the first snowfall...wish me luck!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 333 > Mute Swans

I took a long drive up the peninsula this morning with lighthouses in mind but halfway to my destination I ran into a steady rain. The rain persisted upon my arrival at Peninsula State Park and ruined all the shots I'd had in mind when I set out. Just as I had sort of given up hope of finding today's photo in this place under such miserable conditions, I spotted these swans feeding just off shore. I was already wet so the soggy trudge through the marsh to the water's edge nearest the birds didn't really phase me.
When I first saw them I had hope they might be migrating Tundra Swans but they are in fact Mute Swans, an introduced Eurasian species. But native or non-native they saved me a much longer day of hunting.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

332 > Rock Collection

Wandering down the railroad tracks this morning I came across this...small pebbles trapped in the cracks of one of the old wooden ties. To me it looked a little like a rock collection displayed on shelves.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Day 331 > Late Night Black and White

Another late night/ early morning for the Nikon and I. However, this night of shooting differed from others before this due to the C-C-C-C-C-O-O-O-L-D.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 330 > The Ultimate Goal

These words are really part of a longer slogan painted long ago on the broad side of this old downtown building. The advertisement may have been in full view at one time but now, decades later, additional buildings partially obscure the view for the passerby. From the vantage point of a back alleyway where I first noticed it, only the words BE HAPPY could be seen.
Read alone, they seemed less like the last words in a slogan for chewing gum and more like words to (try to) live up to.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 329 > Courthouse Foyer

The Foyer area of the Brown County Courthouse in downtown Green Bay. A beautiful place to get a good shot on a rainy day :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 328 > Point Beach Feather

I went to the Lake Michigan shore at Point Beach State Park this morning hoping for something I bit more grand but the beads of condensation on this gull feather sort of stole my attention.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 327 > A Well Worn Porch

The front porch of an old homestead built in mid 1800's, now part of the historic Rock Mill site near the Devil's River.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 326 > November Dawn / Kewaunee Light

I was on the road this morning by 5:45am driving cross country through a pea soup fog on my way to the Lake Michigan shore. Upon arrival I was at first discouraged to find that the fog in the harbor was so thick that it obscured any view of the lighthouse I had intended to capture with the sunrise which now also seemed in doubt. My only hope was to walk the pier and get closer to the lighthouse. Halfway down the pier the light came into view shrouded in fog giving it a really eerie feel (see my Wish You Where Here blog). 15 minutes later the sun finally fought it's way up through the mist and crawled into the sky appearing as a great orange ball. At that moment the memory of my way too early morning start became a whole lot less painful.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 325 > A Late November Surprise

I can't say for sure that this find is entirely unprecedented but it certainly was a big surprise this morning to find fresh mushrooms this late in the year sprouting from the trunk of a tree along the trail. There is no doubt that there have been many years when winter has been in full swing by this date so these unseasonably warm November days spent exploring wearing only a light jacket definitely feel like stolen time.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 324 > Devil's River Gorge

I've presented several photos from this river and waterfall over the course of the year but for whatever reason had not yet captured the gorge from this amazing vantage point.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 323 > The Mourner

The forecast for today said scatter showers. Riiiight. The rain has been falling steadily and by the bucketful since I rolled out of bed making for an absolutely lovely day of shooting. Ai, ai, ai. I can't think of a day with less perfect conditions for photography. Please be gentle when considering today's submission....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 322 > Deep In The Parkway

Sometimes wandering aimlessly can prove fruitful. A simple scene but something about the sunlight streaming through the trees and illuminating the creek just caught my eye this morning.
It was a tricky shot to capture with the sun shining directly toward the lens but with a little messing around I managed to avoid a lens flare and the combination of light and dark somehow balanced out for a perfectly lit exposure.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 321 > Holding On For Dear Life

In the lowland White Cedar forest of the Baird Creek Parkway, the old, old trees try to maintain a perilous grip on the earth, their very lives depending on it, as natural erosion slowly carries away the soil beneath exposing their roots. Inevitably, these trees will one day topple, unable to hold on any longer.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 320 > Pear-Shaped Puffball Mushrooms

No, an alien life form has not invaded the Baird Creek Parkway. These odd looking "pods" are actually the dried remains of the Pear-Shaped Puffball Mushroom. When they first appear they have a mottled white appearance but now, like nearly everything else in their surroundings, they have taken on the typical gold or brownish cast so prevalent throughout the forest in late Autumn. The mushrooms may no longer be living but they continue to do the job for which they were intended. Even a slight disturbance of one of the pods releases a little puff of spores through the hole at the top which is quickly carried away on the action that, when witnessed, may indeed seem like something out of a bad alien invasion flick.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 319 > A Fluff Piece

My 9am arrival at the milkweed patch that I'd had in mind for this morning's shoot could not have been more perfectly timed. The sun had not quite peeked over a the nearby hill leaving the patch in shade during which time I looked over the many seed pods bursting with tufts of fluff. Just as I found the one I wanted, sunlight began streaming through the branches of the oak trees on the hill and bathed the dead plants in a perfect dappled light, highlighting the color of the pods and adding a shimmer to the tufts which will soon take flight and carry the seeds away.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 317 > Friday Night Lights

I had a little fun painting with light tonight on Monroe St where a passing city bus helped to add a sense of motion to this night scene.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 316 > Darkness There And Nothing More

I spent my evening last night, no not "pondering, weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore" but searching the internet for interesting raven images that could be used as a tattoo design. I was disappointed to find so little that caught my eye and I wondered if perhaps I should just forget about it. But first thing this morning, upon raising the shade on an upstairs window I was surprised to see three large, black crows perched just outside. When I went out several more sat in the trees.
Is it a sign?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 315 > Autumn Berries

Brilliant red berries hang before the drab late autumn landscape of the Baird Creek Parkway. These are sure to become a meal for a hungry bird once the snow arrives.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 314 > Ornaments

A lonely old apple tree somewhere in the Baird Creek Parkway.
The intense red of these apples lit by the early morning sunlight made them stand out like glowing Christmas ornaments against the blue sky and the drab shades of the now dormant land.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 313 > Hickory Leaves

The large Hickory nut tree to which these leaves belong was broken at the midpoint of it's trunk in late summer by high winds. I recall finding the upper half of this tree blocking the trail one morning, with the leaves still fresh and green. Now they are indistinguishable from the remaining leaves on still living but dormant trees. These leaves however have seen their last Autumn.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day 312 > Midnight On The Waterfront

I've always con sidered the draw bridges that connect East and West Green Bay to be relatively uninteresting from a design perspective but tonight I developed a new appreciation for one of them...the Ray Nitschke bridge over the Fox River. I took a late night walk along the waterfront and when I saw the bridge from this low angle with it's lights all Quite the transformation.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Day 310 > Mausoleum

One of the things I find really interesting about photography is the way that I am able to control the atmosphere present in an image simply with the angle of view or the details I choose to include or omit or by choosing to present it in color or black and white. This photo is an accurate representation of the basic scene but the feel of it is far from reality. Sort of dark and spooky, no?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 309 > Lonely Station

At first glance this photo felt too much like a postcard but there was something about this place this morning - the sky maybe- that caused me to take note of the emptiness surrounding the old train station and liked it. It's almost unbelievable now to think that this was once the hub for travel in and out of the city. Passenger rail service between Green Bay and Chicago ended decades ago and despite higher gas prices and some talk of re-establishing a new high speed passenger rail system in Wisconsin, it still seems like a pipe dream that I could ever experience what once was the only way to go.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 308 > What Lies Beyond?

A different look at the old chapel in the Allouez Cemetery.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 307 > A Surprising Encounter

I dis tinctly remem ber thinking to myself as I walked through the fast fading autumn woods a week or so ago that opportunities to capture photos of many of the small creatures that had been so prevalent throughout the spring and summer were more or less coming to an end. With this realization I felt rather disappointed not to have included in the project things like snakes or frogs which I had so frequently seen during the warmer months.
With that in mind, it was a welcome surprise today to happen upon this Leopard Frog soaking up a few last rays of dappled November sunlight while resting on an old washed up timber on the bank of the Fox River. Like so many other encounters with frogs in the past, I expected it would quickly leap away but it stayed put and seemed to regard me not warily but in a sort of matter of fact way, as if to say "What, ya never seen a frog before?"
My intention in stopping by the river this morning was to capture a large ship about to pass under the tall bridge at its mouth and not expecting the frog to stick around, my mind stayed on the original subject. Frog continued to bask and since I had a few minutes before the ship was in position, I said hello and sat down beside my new friend, expecting Frog to flee finally, with me so close but still it stayed. Realizing at that point that a photo opportunity was quite literally staring me in the face, I carefully moved to Frog's sunny side and fire off a few shots.
Once again I post my daily photo completely surprised at what I've encountered...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 306 > Shine On

Halloween may be over but that doesn't mean I can't have a little midnight fun with the Jack o' Lanterns!
I have always been fascinated by everything to do with this pagan celebration, from it's history to it's traditions, and at no other time of year do I feel such a deep connection to my childhood. I often say that Halloween is my Christmas and like a kid who doesn't want to pack up the toys Santa brought and go to bed, I try to prolong my favorite holiday for as long as possible.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day 305 > Wind Farm

I've had this shot in mind for the entire year but have repeatedly passed the turn off of the highway in favor of other locations. I finally made that turn today, not wanting to quit shooting on the most perfect Fall day I've seen in weeks. Beautiful Autumn light lent a warm glow to everything. And though I was happy with the shots I'd taken earlier in the day at Lake Michigan I found the clean white lines of the windmills set against this brilliant blue sky irresistible.