This looks like a wonderful opportunity and I hope to take advantage of it in the coming weeks.
Many of you know that Monticello, MN., here on the Mississippi River, is home to “Swan Park“. Swan Park is possibly the greatest viewing and photography opportunity to the largest collection of wintering Trumpeter Swans in the world. I am happy to announce that you have available an exciting opportunity to view and photograph from a better vantage point the 2,000 Trumpeters and over 1,000 Canadian geese and ducks here in our back yard. I live right next to Swan Park. We have world-class photographers from all North America come to take pictures of all these magnificent water fowl.
Traditionally, all photographers are required to take pictures of these birds only from Swan Park located on Mississippi Drive here in Monticello. Pictures from Swan Park are limited because of trees directly on the river in between the park and the river. I have constructed a huge heavy-duty 10’ by 24′ deck in my back yard. This deck is located much lower to the water level than pictures taken from the park. It is within 10 yards of the birds, and capable of safely holding 4 photographers at a time. The deck allows all photographers panoramic shots up to 180 degrees rather than being limited to 90 degrees because of obstructions from two huge trees in Swan Park.
Our goal is to use the profits from the use of the deck and our concession stand to help pay for the $18,000 to $20,000 worth of corn it takes to feed the birds each winter. The price of using the deck is a $10/hr. per person donation. When you arrive, come to my front door to sign a liability waiver first, and then you may go to the deck.
Be sure to email in advance to confirm there will be a spot available for your reservations for the deck. Thanks to all of you for your support.
201 Mississippi Drive
Monticello, MN. 55362
After shooting some hoar frost in the early morning, it was off to Lake Elmo and the Washington County Fair Grounds for the Winter Spirit of Yesteryear Rally with the Manes and Tails Harness Club. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough snow for sleighs, so carriages and wagons it was. There were all sizes and varieties of horses, carriages and wagons going about the grounds. Some of the participants adorned themselves with elaborate costumes too. It was fun photographing these beautiful beasts as they pulled their drivers along.
What a pleasant surprise to wake up on Saturday to a foggy frosty morning. The hoar frost was magnificent. It was my first time this season seeing such a spectacular sight. A dew point of 23 F, overnight low of 17 F and a 9 mph wind produced some wonderful spicules of ice.
First and foremost I would like to thank everyone that has visited this blog and viewed my photography. 22,000+ hits since 9/9/11. This has all been an incredible and humbling experience. I appreciate all your feedback, likes, reblogs, follows and shares. Many thanks to you all for making this so very fun and interesting!
I would also like to thank those that have nominated me for blog awards in these past few months. I feel bit guilty that I have not been able to take the time to fully participate in the effort that these blog awards are putting forth, but I felt inclined to mention them and thank those that have offered them. A big THANK YOU to all that have helped to promote and support this blog.
The first month of the new year I had a solid dozen outings. That’s a good month for the Wintertime. The fairer-than-normal weather we have had in the upper Midwest is no doubt the reason. January was a great month to shoot and I have so many favorites it was hard to narrow things down.
Sleepy Hallow Road – This was an easy pick. It is such a great place to shoot and that particular day everything was just spectacular, including the light coming through the trees.
Connected - This one was shot out of my office window in St. Paul. The sunrises that I see most every day pull at me constantly. It’s hard not to go outside and start shooting. I’ve always found these power poles to be interesting because their frames resemble hearts.
Tattered – This old house was so very interesting. This was what fell into frame as soon as I walked up on it. An instant favorite. The torn screen and texture of the wood really caught my eye.
Weathered – The rich tones and texture in the grain of old wood…need I say more?
Big Dipper - This was shot at Covill Park on the night of the Wolf Moon. Love this shot. Just after the exposure completed a shooting star shot right through the dipper.
Stars in the Night - Another shot from Covill Park, two day’s after the Wolf Moon. This was a magical scene for so many reasons.
As I was looking through all of my January shots some of the most memorably and interesting to me were taken while in observation of other photographers. There is just something about shooting a shooter. This particular shot popped immediately upon review in post processing. The intensity and focus of her gaze is very evident. I don’t recall what she had in her line of sight, but It was certainly dialed in.
Getting low and capturing an alternate point of view is what it is all about.
And last, but certainly not least, a flurry of shutter clicks brought the Evolution of a Smile all together. From smirk to grin to smile, it will brighten your day. It does for me every time.
I can’t wait to see what February will bring. Happy shooting all.