This is the sister-post to Abandoned Hunting – The Abandoned. We were afforded quite a variety of scenery and subjects in our travels. The wildlife was plentiful and spectacular. The sheer number of geese that will congregate in one area can be quite the spectacle. We were reminded how nature can often be raw and brutal. We witnessed a bald eagle ripping away at a deer carcass and another that dispatched Fluffy on the side of a road and then proceeded to carry it away. The Whitetail deer were seemingly as numerous as grains of sands. There were three different occasions that we spotted entire herds milling about in the middle of the day. I very much enjoyed the small towns we passed through. I could have spent a lot of time photographing their character, but per usual, we were on a mission.
The sunlight was high in the sky, harsh and the shadows it cast where long. A few clouds graced us with their presence overhead throughout the day. It was only in the low to mid 20′s, but with the sun, I would have sworn it was 40. It was one of those Sunday’s that you welcome a drive; some time to be out and about – out of the house.
Today’s mission was simple…some cheese from the Eau Galle Cheese Factory. The outing was different in that we actually planned to go here rather than happening by it an hour early or 10 minutes after it closed. It is a somewhat narrow window to hit on a Sunday, 11-4:30. Blueberry Cheddar, Cranberry Cheddar, Buffalo Wing Jack and even Chocolate cheese…all seriously yummy.
While en route to and the return trip from our destination, we happily took in familiar sites. The drive through Porcupine, WI area and surrounding bluffs and valleys always affords spectacular views. The deer where out in numbers this day – no doubt soaking up some sun. They too seem anxious for Spring, or at the very least look it. These are not your common yard-fed critters.
Our last stop of the day before home was in Stockholm, WI at the Stockholm Pie Company. Oh my. Yes, I would love a slice of pecan pie. Small and quaint place with lots of character.
Revisited – February 2013 hot out post processing. Lots of shooting this last month – love it. There was even an album I didn’t seem to get around to processing. That hardly ever happens.
…there is no question in my mind.
Revisited – January 2013
Going back and reviewing what you have done for a period of time; in this case, month to month, can be a gratifying exercise. I fully believe that you cannot chart a future course without continually studying and reviewing from where you have come. Isn’t that the quest we are all on with some aspect of our lives…be it a hobby, our health or some other aspiration?
Ever since I started this blog, each month I have gone back and reviewed my shots for the month. I call it revisited (category/tag). I typically pull the photos I especially like the most and often do a black & white conversion (Silver Efex Pro) on those I think would be a prime candidate. Other times I will apply a color treatment (Color Efex Pro), dabble with faux HDR/HDR or other treatments/techniques. Sometimes it is a simple adjustment to the composition. Cropping an image can present it in an almost entirely different way.
It is one part fun and one part self-critique. If you do not attempt to acquire a deeper understanding of what you are seeing/photographing and how you are presenting it to the world, as your art, what is the point then? Just going through the motions is not enough. Without examination and review there is no growth or betterment or your craft.
A recent drive about yield a few interesting shots of a diverse and varied subject matter. Sailors, piggies, round bail walls, eagles, photographer and one very nice coupla. I haven’t encountered a coupla to-date that has glass panels. The rest of the design is as common as others I have seen in the area. There were lots of eagle watchers/photographers out along the river. The area between Maple Springs and Reads Landing is always a hot spots.
Wind surfing over a frozen Lake Pepin will likely never be my cup of tea, but it was interesting to watch for a few moment…until the warm car called us back.
The furry piggies where just a bonus we encountered while on back roads. We crested a hill and could see something in the distance; not big enough to be cattle or horses. Little furry piggies they were.
The wall of round bails were masterfully position to block the shrill and chilling winds of winter. It appeared to be quick the fortress of sorts; the only thing missing was a draw bridge.
The path from Red Wing to Lamberton is long. From the bank of the Mississippi River to the Southwest plains. There were several towns in between here and there filled will all sorts of interesting things to photograph – New Ulm, St. Peter and Sleepy Eye to name a few. We left early and allowed for some exploration, but we still had an arrival time to hit and winter days light only last so long.
One thing I noticed immediately in this neck of the woods (expansive fields actually) where the A.C.O. tile silos and block barns. There were a number of them adorned with Adophy Casimir Ochs initials. I have only seen a few silos that looked like these; not A.C.O.’s either, but very much the same. There are so many in the area because Adophy Casimir Ochs located his brick and tile company in Springfield, MN. I have seen photos of these silos in North Dakota; that is quick a distance and likely an expensive rail transport in the day of dirt roads.
These hollow-tile silos are made of hollow, hard burned or glazed tile blocks reinforced typically by iron bands that fit into the mortar between the blocks or in grooves made in them. With properly glazed block, air and moisture is not an issue. The hollow space in the blocks protected the contents against extreme temperatures.
These silos and barns are magnificent structures standing the test of time and they elements.
Here are the photos from out trip.
The Memorial Day Holiday was another nice break from work-work and yard work (getting close to done; can see a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel now). It was a gorgeous day with lots of big poofys in the sky. The sun was shinning, the temperature mild, wieners hanging out the back windows and it felt great to get out for a backroadin’ shoot. No misadventures this time around (well one minor one*); only harsh light and deep shadows to contend with. We have exchanged the dingy browns of late Winter/early Spring for the lush greens of late Spring / early Summer. There was lots of livestock, rolling hills and a few barns to shoot. We stumbled upon what must be the most character-rich goat ever. I didn’t capture him mid-chew or anything; that was his natural look. He was a handsome fellow
And true to form, Cyndie and I ran across another abandoned farmstead. I explored the outbuildings and barn while she shot up the house. It wasn’t as old and decrepit as I would like to see, but it was still interesting.
*Not once, but twice a wiener got into the snack stash. Tindra ate almost 1/2 lb of the driest beef jerky I have every tasted – no loss there, except she was awful thirsty afterwards and eventually hurled it all up…in the car. While at the farmstead she decided to tear into a bag of animal crackers – lil piggy she is. Both times, Audrey, the angel she is, was just sitting there watching when I returned to the car.
This last weekend Cyndie and I took advantage of the continued beautiful weather and shoot our way to Rice Lake, WI via Isanti, MN (that is the long, long way for those not familiar with the area). Small communication glitch as to our final destination; it’s was all good though. We had a pretty long and varied path full of interesting things to shoot along the way.
We started the day hopeful for a beautiful sunrise, but instead we were met with glorious fog. An acceptable alternative indeed. Fog is an interesting animal; the way it creates layers and softens object in the distance is quite fun to shoot. After a few hours of playing with fog we headed North on back roads towards Isanti via Hudson, WI; up through Lake Elmo and onto Mahtomedi. We also drove around Hugo, Forrest Lake and Wyoming before we hit Interstate 35 and eventually our first stop in Isanti. Beautiful country all around. At one point we were going down a road and we spotted two swans in a pond just off the road. We quickly turned off to take a closer look. Upon arrival at the water’s edge it wasn’t completely apparent that the swans were in fact decoys, but it became very clear rather quickly. We had a good laugh and got on our way before the locals laughed themselves silly at the sight of us photographing their swan decoy’s.
After a stop in Isanti we meandered a considerable distance East to St. Croix Falls, WI. With DQ Crunch cones in hand, we headed North on 87 towards Grantsburg and to a location of a barn I had shot before on a previous outing; specifically this barn/photo. While we were shooting and older gentleman pulled over to stop and chat. He stated that this barn was actually a creamery back in the day (1940-1950′s) and supported the war effort with dairy products. I am still in the process of researching this and will hopefully have a post out soon.
We did manage to stumble upon an abandoned house as we headed West. It wasn’t really that old of a structure and was more of a slightly tattered home full of messes, but abandoned none-the-less.
After a bit we found ourselves on Hwy 48 heading towards our final destination – Rice Lake, WI. Anyone that has traveled this stretch of roads know that this is a little piece of barn-shooter paradise. We did stumble upon an all-wood silo; I have never seen one before this day. It was in good shape, full of texture and ripe with color. The day was getting on and dinner awaited our arrival at 6 p.m. in Rice Lake. It was time to hasten the pace towards our final destination and pass up shiny and interesting things along the final stretch. Hwy 48 is full of interesting thing; we’ll be back. 230+ miles and a 12 hr. day. Life is good.
This past weekend was gorgeous with unseasonably warm weather. Cyndie and I spent most of St. Patrick’s Day en route to Alexandria for a wedding. Sticking to the main drag of Interstate 94 until the Clearwater exit; then the discovery and shooting began.
I continually feel so incredible fortunate to be able to consistently stumble upon wonderful sites to capture. And to do so with Cyndie makes these experienced all the more memorable and fun. As you have no doubt have gathered from past posts – the old, decrepit and crumbling structures is high on our list to shoot. From time to time we have been lucky enough to stumble upon the complete abandoned farmstead: barn, house, and if we are really lucky, additional out buildings. We were just that lucky, not once, but twice this trip. The awesomeness was plentiful and seemingly forever in-frame for the duration of our departure to our return. On the return trip home we were super-double-lucky and happened upon the whole enchilada at one single location: barns (yes, plural), house, out-building, and a dozen or so old cars. What a glorious, spectacular mess of exquisitely aged color and texture. Loved every minute of it.
Day two began with very tasty breakfast at the Jailhouse Inn. The just-out-of-the-oven apricot walnut scones, juices, coffee, and variety of fresh fruit made the already bright sun-shiny morning even better. Breakfast continued with John & Lois serving up herb cheese omelets, fried seasoned potatoes and sausage - delicious. Well-coffee’d and full bellies, it was time to begin the second day of shooting.
This area along the Root River held exactly what we were after…more leisurely driving and picturesque scenery. Our path through the winding county roads, hills and valleys afforded more visions of barns, rusty things and very old things. We stopped by an old cemetery just Southeast of Weaver on 74 in the Whitewater River bottoms. Several very interesting headstones dating back to the late 1800′s. Another great day of shooting.