Sunday, July 22, 2012


It has been several months since my last post. A lot has happened since March. I do have some resolve to my last post and will get to that soon enough. My wife, Melissa, accepted a job offer from The Northern Highland- American State Forest.  So,on May 21st we moved about one hundred miles north from Stevens Point to Minocqua, Wisconsin.

Yesterday, we drove down to Stevens Point and collected the rest of our belongs that was in storage. Two months to the day, I am not sure why but it just worked out that way. It was an odd feeling going to a place that we used to live and called home for three years and know that it is no longer home. We loved our time there much like every place we have lived.  The task of moving is offset by wanderlust. 

On a cold march night, I set out one night to observe the Northern Lights. I came up empty that night like many times before. Last week, I finally got to witness the lights firsthand for the first time in my life. What a treat. I stood alone on a lake shore with a good view of the northern horizon. This time the aurora borealis was strong overall with spikes of light that looked like sun-rays that would increase in intensity, then decrease.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Haunted by What?

Saturday morning's forecast was for the potential for the northern lights to be visible in our area. I have seen many pictures of the aurora borealis. I knew what I was looking for or at least I thought. I tried one night last summer to get a look at the spectacle without success. This time I found out I needed to be able to get a view of the northern horizon. I drove a couple of miles from here and parked next to a sod farm. I set up my camera on my tripod and waited. Staring at the horizon I could hear Canadian Geese and a dog barking off in the distance. I saw the occasional car headlights driving along a nearby road. The moon was very bright that night, bright enough that I did not use a flashlight I had brought along. I made a couple of exposures finally ending up along a bank of a ditch that got me up off of the road.

This exposure is at f 8.0 at 30 seconds. The bottom left horizon is light pollution from a town several miles away.The moon's brightness reflecting on the melting ice intrigued me so I turned around and snapped a picture with my Iphone and stuck my phone in my pocket. I waited around for about an hour before deciding to make my way back to my vehicle. Before leaving I made this image which includes our new used vehicle backlit against the night.

 I hopped in and drove home and went back to bed. I did not see the northern lights that night and made a few images just for the fun of it.

The story does not end here. As I was taking a look at my images so I could post them. I thought what about that picture I took with my Iphone? I took out my phone and brought up the picture I had taken. I am posting this image below as a composite and levels adjusted in Photoshop.

I have been around photography for about ten years and have come to the conclusion that this is a picture and there is a face in it. I've never seen a ghost. I've been creeped out before but usually have been able to rationalize each situation.  I have also given some thought about that night. The top of the image is the horizon and the field had melting patches of ice. What are the chances of ice patches in a field melting into the image of a face? Possible I guess. I can't go back and recreate this image..  The warm days and rain we have had has melted much of the ice. Was I not alone that night? I do know that there was not a physical body around me for at least a mile in every direction at 3:48 a.m. when I turned around from the direction I was looking and snapped it. I made a couple of images in a pretty dark room using the same program and settings with different results. I also contacted Hipstamatic where I was informed that they do not use a layer containing a face within the program. So, what happens now. I don't know.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Natural Light

Today, I noticed a Mason Jar that we use for canning that had some color to it. We take for granted the beauty in ordinary things.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Macaroni and Tomatoes


1 Medium Onion
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil/ or Bacon Fat
1 28oz. Can of Whole Stewed Tomatoes
1 15oz. Can of Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of Light Brown Sugar firmly packed
2-3 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Molasses
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
3/4 Pound Elbow Macaroni
2 Tbsp salt for Pasta water

Take a medium Green Bell Pepper and a Medium onion and chop.

Add chopped onion and pepper to a pot with oil or bacon fat over medium to low heat cook about five minutes strirring occasionally until onions become translucent.

Add ingredients. Starting with the tomato sauce first. Then add the whole tomatoes crushing the tomatoes by hand as you add them to the pot. Add sugar,salt, pepper,crushed red pepper, molasses, and cider vinegar. Bring to a  low simmer while you prepare the macaroni. (Pictured here is a an optional small can of tomato sauce. I did not use it.)

This is a good time to taste. It should be sweet and have a slight vinegar finish.

 Bring approximately 4 Quarts of water to a boil.   

Pictured here is about a pound of elbow macaroni. I recommend using a little less than this about 3/4 pound. Add Salt to boiling water, Then add Macaroni. Boil for about 6 minutes over high to medium high heat until macaroni is al' dente. ( The macaroni needs to have a little chew to it)

Drain water from macaroni and stir into your pot.

Turn down heat to a low simmer. Serve and enjoy!

Seeing Beyond Ordinary

I love the light this time of the year. Looking out to see a thin blanket of snow on the ground that reveals the subtle details of the ground below is like magic. The snow that lay on the ground had fallen a couple of days earlier and was fine like powder.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Landscape

Back in November, while driving around on stretch of road I rarely travel, I noticed an image of a rural landscape I needed to capture.  For the last couple of months have been stopping by there to try to recapture what I had missed. I have returned there several times checking it out. Yesterday, I went there with some success.  Today, I returned and while it is not exactly what I wanted it's close. The snow in the cut cornfield is an important element in this image for me. As is the power line. I have spent a lot of time over the years trying to exclude power lines from my images for aesthetic purposes but here it works.  The field was disc ed up at the end of the season making it a rough surface and it shows.  I will return again in the spring when the melting snow just exposes the ground and glistens in the sun.