The last Sunday in April Cyndie and I went to the St. Paul Farmer’s Market – the alley edition. The full farmer’s market was set to open the first weekend in May. To my surprise and delight, LoveTree Farms was selling their absolutely wonderful goat and cow cheeses partway down the alleyway. I no more than saw the name on the table and the memory of their cheese and pizza filled my mind. I knew exactly what I was going to do with the goat cheese we purchased…make some semi-homemade pizza. Yum. Far from wood fired, but still plenty good.
I first tasted this delectable cheese back in late October of 2011 at LoveTree Farms in the Trade Lakes area of Wisconsin (Approx 15 minutes Southeast of Grantsburg). They make wonderful wood-fired pizza (Pizza by the Pond) on Sunday’s (after Memorial Day) from 2-8 p.m. I didn’t make it back to LoveTree Farms in 2012, but am hoping to get their this season.
I live in a great area full of gems and wonderful surprises like LoveTree Farms and the St. Paul Farmer’s Market. If you are out and about, check out LoveTree at their farm near Grantsburg, WI for Pizza by the Pond or at the farmer’s market – you won’t be disappointed.
Here are a few photos from my original trip in 2011. The original post from October 2011 is here: Hugo, MN to Grantsburg, WI.
Country Swimming Pool
Aaaahh the holiday seasons…what’s not to love? Time off of work, lots of food and drink, spending time with family and friends – oh yeah and some time to get out and shoot. Even though it was a short amount of time, it was photo-time non-the-less. We shot our way from one holiday gather to another. We didn’t have all day, but we were in familiar territory and only ventured off the beaten path a bit.
We envisioned a vague course East from the North metro toward Rice Lake, WI. We deviated only slightly due to time constraints [you don't want to be late for dinner].
It never fails, we usually stumble upon an abandon house or even two or more; this trip was no different. Each find may not be superb one, but we always try to take a closer look anyway. This one only contained a tattered hide-a-bed sofa.
The slide off of the work-site trailer house was a great find. The pheasants were great as well. I have put on many miles in recent times and haven’t seen near the numbers I did this day.
Happy belated holidays to all. I hope they were as wonderful for you as they were for Cyndie and I (and the wieners).
Luck was with us once again on our travels to and from Augusta, WI last Sunday. It was a double good find once again. Two abandoned farmsteads. These two had some character and wonderful light.
We barely covered the whole county and I am sure there are even more in the area. There were several coop farms along our route. Lots of coop farms usually means there is a very good chance that there will be other abandoned farmsteads in the vicinity. That’s been my experience anyway.
We actually ran into a third but the day was getting on, the sun was going down and we were tired. There is always next time.
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.
It is tough to beat a fine Winter day…unless you consider any of the other seasons. As long as there is sun, not much wind and it is twenty-some degrees, I am content. It’s not bad when you are shooting from the car mostly and only get out from time to time to chase down something interesting. A winter day with some clouds is bonus.
Either during or after (can’t recall) the June solstice the Earth’s North Pole begins to tilt 23.5 degrees towards the Sun relative to the circle of illumination. This tilt through our Winter months provides an angle of light that will most likely produce some sort of shadow throughout the entire day, unlike in the summer when the sun will get directly overhead and give extremely harsh light. Outside of the obvious time restrictions involved when photographing sunrise/set (during the Golden Hours), I find the light during a winter’s day fun to work with. The shadows cast on snow through the trees are especially inviting to photograph.
The light just happen to be fantastic as we rolled up to an old bridge spanning the Isabelle River in Esdaile, WI. My shooting partner for this trip, Cyndie Mackowick, spotted something “shiny” as she usually does. The Winter’s light was beaming down through the trees and lighting up this wonderful, rusting and crumbling, old bridge. Rust is hard to pass up as it is so interesting to photograph. The texture and varying colors can be quite nice. I especially enjoyed the way the sun’s light danced around between the decaying steel beams – illuminating the rivets, rust and whatever else seemed to be hanging about. This is such a nice spot to shoot. It’s calming quiet as the Isabelle flows gently by – only briefly interrupted by the occasional Red Tailed hawk calling out, making its presence known.
Another fine day and plenty of sites to take in. From Esdaile to Maiden Rock and on through the bluff lands and back roads through the rolling hills of the countryside. The scenery was rich with barns, rivers and streams and of course the occasional wild life spotting and a horse or two. The real gem of the day was arriving at the old Salem School. That post will be coming up next.
Another finally Friday with unseasonably warm weather. Love it. It was quite comfortable rolling down the back roads East of Prescott, WI this afternoon with the car window down. It was a short run; a detour from my normal commute route. There are so many different routes to take from St. Paul to Red Wing and when you put Western Wisconsin into the mix the possibilities become seeming endless. I ran across a whole bunch of sheep today. I’ve seen a few small heards here and there, but today there were hundreds. Fuzzy wuzzy bugger they are.
It was a great afternoon for a drive.
:the old buildings with the moon – that is an eagle next to the moon…way the heck up there and beyond my zooms reach.
I guess my affinity towards barns and distressed buildings (some which also happen to be barns) has become quite evident as of late as I continue to experiment with black and white photography. Buffalo County was a wonderful place to capture images suitable for further examination. I am especially happy with the calf peering out from behind the jagged metal siding and the curly-faced cow. The small building with the layered hillsides in the back and wires hanging from the pole I thought also converted well.
If you ever find yourself heading South from Kellogg, MN on Hwy 61 – hang a right onto 74 @ Weaver. Take a drive through the Whitewater river bottoms. 74 is a very scenic path all the way through Elba to the Whitewater State Park. Once the leaves start to turn this location will hopefully be amazing. It is still very very green. Co Hwy 39 to the South & East of 74 will make a loop back around to Co Hwy 26 (which runs East out of Elba) by Co Hwy 24; then Co Rd 37. Follow the Crystal Springs signs. There is a very small spring creek (along Co Rd 37) that feeds the rearing ponds at the bottom of the hill where the DNR Crystal Springs Hatchery is. Head East from there on Co Hwy 26 and then North on Co Rd 114. This stretch will bring you out of the river valley into high lush farmland (windmill pictures). Co Hwy 25 will bring you into Rollingstone and into a valley once again. I went to Winona and crossed the river and headed to Alma. On top of the bluff there are spectacular views via Buena Vista park. This park is worth a visit. 160 or so mile loop – great drive.