Off Season

A few weeks ago the winter restlessness settled in again and I took off for a short trip to Devil’s Lake. There was a winter storm brewing which didn’t make for very good light for photos of the lake and cliffs so I focused on some of the other things that were around. The last time I was here was at the height of summer and the lake and beach were packed. It was almost eerie to be at the now deserted park with only the sound of distant birds and the lake shifting underneath the ice. With the storm coming in, I didn’t hang around for long. But even 30 minutes in that beautiful stillness was well worth the trip.

Advertisements

Restless

After almost two weeks off work for the holidays, I was feeling pretty restless. While the time off was nice, without a routine to keep me out of the house for 8+ hours of the day, I go a little stir crazy. On January 2nd, I took a little road trip to Spring Green for the afternoon to just get out of the city and check out some of the local shops downtown.

I didn’t really take any photos while I was there, but there are some great little spots. My favorite visit was to “The Opal Man”. It’s a small little store that specializes in opal jewelry. The two men that run it were extremely warm and inviting, something I wasn’t exactly expecting from a high-end shop like that in a small Wisconsin town. I am so glad I stopped in though, as I learned a lot about opals and saw the most stunning (and expensive!!) necklace I have ever seen in my life! That was the first shop I visited in Spring Green, and it alone was worth the visit.

Since it was a sunny day, and much nicer than the last time I was there, I made a stop to revisit Halfway Prairie on the way. I also stopped to take some photos of hay bales in a field a small wintry creek. It was a good day.

Halfway Prairie

Today I got to do something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Often when I’ve been on drives with other people, I’ve seen interesting things that I would like to stop and explore. But because I wasn’t the driver and we were on a different schedule, I would have to just let those opportunities pass by and keep on rollin’.

When I purchased my first vehicle a few weeks ago, that changed. Today I went out to The Shoe Box which is about 28 miles from where I live in a little town called Black Earth. I took the route that didn’t go through town to get there and stuck to the county roads and highways. On the way there I passed something that looked interesting and without thinking, I stopped, turned around and went to check it out.

The place is Halfway Prairie near Mazomanie. All it is is a big field with a an old stone building and the remnants of frames of another building. I don’t know anything about it at all, other than it’s part of a larger wildlife area. It has lots of hiking trails and it will be great to visit again in the spring. As I stood there on top of the hill and looked out over the expanse before me, the wind whipped around my face and sent a chill to my bones.

Even though it was cold up on the hill, I was happy in my moment of freedom. I could get used to this.

Touch

(Originally posted on July 14th, 2014)

When I was looking through photos to put in the Classic TWE section of this site, I came upon a photo called “Touch”. Many a nights I took countless self-portraits in my bathroom and this particular piece has always been one of my absolute favorites. Tonight I decided to revisit the concept and here are the results. It’s good to be back in my digital darkroom. We’ll start off with the classic “Touch”.

touch3

Independence Day 2014

For the last couple of years around the 4th of July I have taken a bicycle ride out to the area where I grew up. It’s a nice ride out to Eagle Heights through Shorewood Hills and University Houses. I stop off at a couple of places and walk around the woods. I also park my bike at Picnic Point and hike the trails before I head home. This time I brought lunch and stopped for a picnic of sorts at Brittingham Park along Monona Bay. Days like this are what I live for and luckily for me, I get to do this often.

Trail Running

(Originally posted July 9th, 2014)

When I hike at Picnic Point once a year, one of my favorite things has been running on the trails, up the hills and over all the nooks and crannies. I’ve been wanting to take up running but the treadmill isn’t good for you (not to mention boring!) and running on asphalt just isn’t my thing. Something about running in the woods though just does it for me and I wanted to try it again. I was off work today so I biked out the walking trails near Starkweather Creek in between Bridges Golf Course and MATC. I found a good spot to start and took off. Let me tell you, there is such a different feeling that you get when running through the woods. You almost feel like a deer, leaping over branches and ditches, running up hills and watching birds and butterflies fly past. I felt fast and fearless and agile. It’s a great feeling and I’m already planning out my next run. Time to get some trail shoes!

Frolic

(Originally posted November 14th, 2014)

It’s November 16th, but it definitely felt and looked like December 16th today. After the teaser snow we got on Halloween and after some flurries last week, we finally got some real snow. Not much, maybe just under an inch, but enough to make everything look all white and pretty. Excited about the new snow, I got up at 6:15am, laced up my boots and hit the pavement to do some frolicking. It honestly surprises me how much new snow makes me happy, considering that I also live for the hot days of summer. No matter the reason though, new snow is my favorite thing this time of year. A nice long walk, my first bench at the train yard in the snow and a little bit of sunshine before work at the market. It was a good day.

Cream City

(Originally posted January 19th, 2015)

I took a short, but long overdue trip to see my friend Brittani in Milwaukee this weekend. Brittani moved to The Cream City almost 4 years ago, and I’ve only been once, partly due to our clashing schedules. I took advantage of the last weekend before the semester starts with Monday off work for MLK Jr. Day and hopped on the Badger Bus Sunday morning. We didn’t do anything special other than walk around the city (about 8 miles!) after I arrived and it was nice to just have low-key quality time together. Brittani is one of my oldest and dearest friends and even though we don’t see each other often enough, when we do it’s like no time has passed at all. It was a good trip and I’m glad I got out of Madison for a little bit. I hope I can go back soon, but next stop is Minneapolis in the next few months!