Andrew's Blog

This site is about photography and the inner thoughts of photographer Andrew Plath.

Back To The Beginning

Waiting In Line Whitewater Rodeo-2
Whitewater Rodeo-4
Boat-acrossThis is probably my  last post to this photoblog.   I will be moving all of my images and content in the near future to http://www.thewildlightphotography.com.    I chose the title and these images to me represented a part of a major foray into becoming a published photographer albeit in 35mm film as the world was changing to digital.

I spent a lot of time at the Whitewater Park Kayak Course on the Wisconsin River in my home town of Wausau, WI.   This called me into the challenging world of getting these images published as well as other subjects.

My sister had talked me into shooting images of this sport, and I walked off the course in a state of half shock because I had just ran through $100.00 worth of film and processing because I was learning how to judiciously use my camera’s motordrive.   I learned that shooting action sports is a lot of hit and miss.

Being a somewhat avid cyclist, I found a commonality with these guys in their spray skirts on a warm Sunday afternoon.   Some sports are ageless.   In the events last Sunday, I saw young gals and old men with the stamina of youth.   As I near retirement, I am inspired by that.

No one in their right mind retires to the rocking chair right away.   We all want to get the joy out of life with our mind and our bodies because we all know that our time on earth is limited and the years after age 65 go by so fast to the point where all we can do is look back.

The river is always flowing and the trail is always leading somewhere.   You just have to be ready to follow it.

This is the Quarter-mile bridge on the Mountain-Bay State Trail as viewed from the seat of my Trek 920 mountain-bike.

This is the Quarter-mile bridge on the Mountain-Bay State Trail as viewed from the seat of my Trek 920 mountain-bike.

 

 

The Flag of Freedom

The flag still flies.  She may be old, but never out of date.  Men have fought and did for what this flag stands for in places as close to home as Cold Harbor, and Antietam, and as far away as Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima.   That a nation conceived with liberty and justice for all shall not perish from the face of the earth.

This nation has been torn apart many times through the most bloody civil war and the demonstrations for civil rights 100 years later.  We’ve endured attacks by foreign enemies  of all types that wanted to bring our people to their knees.   The flag has been spat on and burnt and yet it still flies high.     For many, it still symbolizes the hope of freedom and justice to worship the Lord in the way that they choose without any interference.  It means for the right to assemble and speak out without fear.

i pray that this flag may continue to fly.  May this always be a symbol of freedom for all mankind.

I always wanted to do a shot of the American Flag against the sky.

I always wanted to do a shot of the American Flag against the sky.

Mosinee, A City On the Move

I have often ventured in to Mosinee on a number of different occasions throughout the year.  Most of my readers might have seen my other blogs like Mosinee in the Mist.   Mosinee has more frontage on the Wisconsin River than many of the larger cities like Wausau or Stevens Point.  The river adds character Mosinee.  With Mosinee Papers now known as Expiron, this city is a mill town.   It is the southernmost community in the Wausau Metro Area and it is on the Metro Marathon County bike route system.

 

I ride with my eyes wide open.  I can see things that others miss.  Mosinee struggles with attracting customers to local businesses in its downtown.  For too long, it has been seen as place that you just have to go through to get someplace else.  State Highway 153 is often seen as a route  to get from the interstate to places like Marshfield.  There is a lot right here for people to stop and explore.   So get out, check the shops out.  Spend some time in beautiful Mosinee!Mosinee, A City On The Move

The winter here in Wisconsin just does not want to stop.  Last Saturday, I found some time to get out and check out the conditions of the Mountain- Bay State Trail.  Unfortunately, I did not have the time to get out there with the bike and start to build my distance.  Rail-trails offer a chance to travel more slowly off the highway from community to community while seeing nature at its best of all time.  As the webmaster for the Marathon County Friends of the Mountain-Bay State Trail group, I get to promote all this to the public.   I also get to do the photography and having a good high resolution DSLR helps.Spring Is Happening Somewhere

Storm Creations

Late winter storms can be hard on people with the amount of ice, but then ice adds  its own sense of art work.  Here along the River Edge Walkway and in Oak Island Park in the City of Wausau, WI along the banks of the Wisconsin River,we see what nature has done with trees and shrubbery.   Many trees around Wausau were covered with ice on Saturday Morning.  People woke up wondering if it really was April 4, or were the calendars wrong when they saw the slippery glass-like coatings on everything.   This is nature.Spring Conditions-1-5Spring Conditions-1-3Spring Conditions-1April Storm-1-3April Storm-1-2

Wausau’s Northern Riverfront in Winter

I was looking for open water when I took these images.   Some will grumble that winter is dragging on too long.  But there still is a mystery to it.

 

Underneath that smooth surface of a river is a torrential current that is still flowing.  Soon, we will hear the noises, the cracking and crunching of the ice as the river begins to open up.  These scenes come from Wausau’s northeast side where the river, the railroad, Horseshoe Spring, and North 6th Street seem to come together.  It is where two of Wausau’s most unique and somewhat exclusive neighborhoods of Forest Park and Riverview come together.   Both, like the rest of the city, are shaped by the Wisconsin as it makes its journey down to the Mississippi.   From Brokaw to Big Bull Falls, the river slows a little and the journey ponders each moment.

The boat landing at Forester Park longs for the spring when it will be open to anglers as they get ready to go after the walleyes that populate the once polluted waters of the Wisconsin.  It  is clean again, and the dream of warm summer days on the river is going to be real again.

The river front takes a person away from the hubbub that makes up city life.  Can we say that a river flows through it?  Yes we can.

Enjoy the blog.  It might be in hardbound books later on.
Gilbert Park 2

Gilbert and Forester Parks are situated between the Wisconsin River and North Sixth Street on Wausau's East Side offering splendid views of the river.

Gilbert and Forester Parks are situated between the Wisconsin River and North Sixth Street on Wausau’s East Side offering splendid views of the river.

Horseshoe Spring Horseshoe Spring

 

Petunias in a hanging Pot

Petunias in a hanging Pot

A Solitary Rose

Lupines do add their color.

Lupines do add their color.

Spring Celebration 4-1Tulips From the TopTulip Fire

The first flowers of spring.

The first flowers of spring.

With the depth of snow and cold, I thought that we needed something to look forward to.   I decided to check my archive on WordPress and found these gems from my yard.  Take a close look at the lilacs, and you can just smell the aroma.  Within 6 weeks the crocuses should start to push their heads through to the surface and begin blooming followed by tulips and all of the other perennials.

Some of these things were planted by me. Others were planted by the generations that lived here before me.   In the effort to beautify Wausau’s near west side neighborhoods, I think I am ahead of the game.

The temperatures are sub-zero today and I had hopes to do some snowshoeing and move a little further along on the photography for “Faith In the Heartland”  which is something that I really want to put together.   However, I needed to help people become a little more optimistic for the season to change.  This is after all Wisconsin and not the arctic.

All of the photographs that I use in my blogs are high-resolution and would make quality enlargements.  So, if you really love them and have walls to decorate, e-mail me at andrewplath@frontier.com and I will see what we can do.  I have a PhotoShelter site too.

Faith In The Heartland

St. Paul's Lutheran, Town of Berlin

St. Paul’s Lutheran, Town of Berlin

This part of a project that I hope to engage in over the next few months.  It could result in a book.  St. Paul’s Lutheran, Town of Berlin, http://www.stpauluac.net/ shown here is one of those places where the Gospel is being preached to the country side.   Like many rural congregations, St. Paul’s membership traces its linage back to the original settlers who immigrated from the northern German region of Pomerania to the United States in the 19th century.

These people came here for many reasons.  Freedom of religion is chief among those for “old Lutherans”  who were simply looking for a place to live and worship their Lord without government interference.

This project that I am aiming to start may result in a hardbound book looking at the faith of those who settled this land and the roots of many who live here now.

The faith communities which I intend to showcase are not  boarded up pieces of  old architecture with nothing but decay.  I will be providing the  website URL’s for congregations like  St. Paul’s so you can see that they are alive, growing places of worship where all are welcome.

 

 

Winter Sports: Fat Tire Bikes

When I first saw one of these things in a bike shop, my thought was “you’ve got to be kidding”.   On Saturday, January 18, 2014, the Central Wisconsin Off-road Cycling Coalition http://cwocc.org/ held its first ever snow bike race out on the newly carved trail system in Sunnyvale County Park.   I decided that I should check these things out.   I wanted to see how they performed. I should have stayed around for more.

 

The weather was cold, but beautiful.   It was a good day to see cyclists slug it out with these big tire bikes in the snow.Fat Tires-0256 Fat Tires-0239 Fat Tires-0243 Fat Tires-0241

Mosinee In Winter

One of the little known gems in Central Wisconsin is the City of Mosinee, WI http://www.mosinee.wi.us/.   Not too long ago, much like the other communities along the central stretch of the Wisconsin River, Mosinee managed to develop a riverfront trail.   The Wisconsin Riverwoods Trail http://www.mosinee.wi.us/parks/Wisconsin%20Riverwoods%20Trail.html is a beautiful example of public-private cooperation.   Much of the river frontage in Mosinee was owned by the local paper company which also has a  hydroelectric dam.

It is a very scenic trail meandering through much of the wooded shoreline of the Wisconsin River in Mosinee past the dam south of Main Street and the Highway 153 bridges.   I walked up from Chuck’s Landing, one of three boat landings on the Wisconsin River in Mosinee.   Chuck’s landing is south of the dam on the west side of the river and is accessible from Third Street in Mosinee at Freemont Street. http://www.mosinee.wi.us/parks/maps/Wisconsin%20River%20Trail.jpg

So, if you are traveling through Central Wisconsin, take the Highway 153 exit off of I-39, go into downtown Mosinee and do check out the Wisconsin Riverwoods Trail any time of the year.

Mosinee River Trail Boardwalk-0213 Mosinee River Trail In Winter-0209 Chuck's Landing-0216

Another Look

If you really think of what digital photography has done, you might realize just how things have changed.   Not too many years ago, to take photograph in both color and black and white, you would have to either shoot the image with two identically equipped cameras, or hope to make a print usually from a color negative on pan-chromatic black and white emulsion paper.

The way I use digital photography for this end is to make a black and white conversion of the image in post processing with my editing software on my pc.  I think like that.   I look first at an image in color .  Then I think about how it will look in black and white.

In black and white landscape photography, there are two great photographers who I consider to be mentors.  Clyde Butcher and Ansel Adams, whose primary tool has been the large format film cameras called field cameras for their ability to fold up compactly and be transported to the location with the greatest of ease, produced large images that transported the viewer into the environment where the scene was shot.  While I am not sure that my 10 megapixel D-80 could do that, the enlargements that I have gotten from images taken with that camera do hold up quite well.

To create a black and white image and make it work, it changes the way one thinks.  I generally change from thinking about color and more about tone and texture.   I think more about the surface of that piece of quartzite or the texture of this piece of granite than whether one is red or gray.   I think more about the tone of the image.  I think more of grayscale and the zone system that was originally conceived by Ansel Addams.

The cameras work differently.  With film cameras, this is done with different colored filters on the lens ranging from red to green.  Adams used Red #25 most often.   In digital photography, this is done with the electronic filters in software.

However, you look at it, these scenes are yours to enjoy.

The Quarry in Winter - Black and WhiteThe Quarry Wall in Black and White

On December 28, 2013, my birthday, I joined in with the Friends of Rib Mountain State Park for a day-time snowshoe hike.   I love this park and the big hill that it gives a name to.  I’ve hiked its trails many times.   What a beautiful day it was.  The trees were frosted in a way that nature provides Rib Mountain with its own Christmas decorations.   It speaks to me.  It calls me to come out and help show off the beauty.   My D-80 is almost always in tow on these hikes.   I stop the camera down to ISO 100, use shutter priority and exposure compensation and hold on still since I was not carrying a tripod-pod or even a monopod.

Looking Towards the Valley

TFrom the southern side of Rib Mountain near the top.
From the southern side of Rib Mountain near the top.

The Quarry In Winter

Hello Winter

Cones forming on a tree that my aunt had given me about 15 years ago.

Cones forming on a tree that my aunt had given me about 15 years ago.

The Tree-0080 The Tree-0071I have a passion for the things I see and I have grown to love life in Wisconsin even though it means enduring cold.  The river here in Wausau is so much a part of life.   It offers lot of fascination at each season.  I even doubt  that Wausau could be Wausau without the river.

It shapes our lives from season to season.   Even in the stillness of winter, it is still flowing under the ice and snow churning and driving the turbines that make our electricity.

Christmas happens in winter.  It may also be the winter of our lives when all seems dismal and dark.  God comes to us with the Light of the World.  He comes to us as a baby born in a forgotten manger in a nondescript village in a far corner of the earth.

Winter On The Wisconsin RiverWinter On The Wisconsin

Each year, I become more fascinated with Christmas.  Christmas is, after all a season of light.   The Light of the World was coming and the angel appears ready to proclaim it.  In Luke’s gospel angels appear right in the beginning.   To Zechariah, a temple priest, an angel appears in the Holy of Holies to tell him that he and his wife were going to have a son who will be the forerunner of the Savior.  To Mary, a poor young maiden in the small village of Nazareth, an angel tells her that she will give birth to the Savior of the World!   To shepherds,, an angel proclaims the virgin birth.

The Christmas Angel

Cones forming on a tree that my aunt had given me about 15 years ago.

Cones forming on a tree that my aunt had given me about 15 years ago.

Even at the onset of winter, there is the hope of new life.  The evergreen trees bear cones and each cone contains the spores that provide that new balsams, spruces, pines, cedars, and other conifers can start anew.

The trees remain green all year.  That is a refreshing sign against the stark reality of the cold whiteness  of winter.

This tree is from my backyard right here in Wausau, WI.

Nature's Ornaments

Vose & Sons Quality

Music and Photography: Food For The Senses

Vose & Sons Quality

This is the keyboard to an old upright piano which sands in my downstairs living room.

This is the piano which I never quite learned to play.    I only took one year of lessons on this instrument.   I somewhat regret not pursuing it further.

Here the piano sits with soft sun light on its aging keys.   I never thought much of it, but the Vose name did have a reputation for quality.   This quality for sound comes from the availability and the quality of old growth hardwood lumber that was quite common in the 1890s especially in the northeast.There is something common between a great photographer and many composers.   I think it is the ability to see or imagine things  which are not in plain view.   For instance, many people have visited Yosemite and some have even climbed El Capitan.  Yet few people  have really noticed the interplay of light and shadow like Ansel Adams or even paid attention to the thought of when the best light comes like Galen Rowell.  That is half of the stuff right there that makes a good photograph  or any work of art great.

This is a quality sounding piano, if it gets fixed up.    I want to get it assessed and find a good buyer for it.  I want people to enjoy the music from this instrument.   These pianos were built to play anything from Bach to Joplin.  This was often a center for entertainment for my family for generations.  It accompanied many sing-alongs.

This photo of a church window, for example was taken in my film days using Kodak Ektacolor 160 color negative film.    It was taken on an ideal day because the skies outside were cloudy during that afternoon.   The solitude of the empty church on a Sunday afternoon made for a good time to just play with the camera and see what comes out.

The film recorded the colors in their natural tones.  The cloudy skies eliminated any bright spots.   The sanctuary lights were off therefore leaving the walls darkened to the point of blackness so nothing else shows but the content of the window itself.   Shooting this was a moment of prayer quietly worshiping the Good Shepherd.

Sometimes there are pictures begging to be photographed.

Jesus the Good Shepherd at Trinity Lutheran in Wausau.

Winter in Black and White

SnowA View From Klaver Kame Winter in Black and WhiteThe All Season TrailThese photos are my entries in the black and white challenge on CaptureWisconsin.com.   Please go to that site and vote!

Autumn On the Ice Age Trail

This is what people see as they leave the parking lot.

This is what people see as they leave the parking lot.

This is what the Ice Age Trail  is all about.  This is the Plover River Segment just north  of Sportsman Drive in the Town of Plover near the eastern border of Marathon County.

This segment in Marathon County first opened in 2010.   The great scenery is made accessible by many volunteers in the Mobil Skills program of the Ice Age Trail Alliance.   I have been on this segment already in different seasons, but autumn produces these stunning colors as the trees ready themselves for winter.   It is the change of the season and the crispness in the air.    Nature is taking its course.

This is Wisconsin at its best.  Our weather is not boring here.  It changes with the seasons, and all nature responds to it.   Though definitely not as popular as the Dells Segment, the Plover River Segment has its own experience  with kames, kettles, eskers, and drumlins that make up the terminal moraine.

My hope is that you will enjoy these images and want to get out and explore the Ice Age Trail here in Wisconsin.   Come see our changing seasons.

There is more to see on CaptureWisconsin.com.

Look Up and see the ColorSavanahA View From the FieldField & ForestYoung Elms (1 of 1)Young Oaks (1 of 1)Meadow

Autumn in My Hometown

Autumn shows it's colors on 4th Avenue in Wausau, WI

Autumn shows it’s colors on 4th Avenue in Wausau, WI

 

The Paff Woods in Autumn

Paff Woods Paff WoodsThe Wisconsin River takes on brilliant colors along its banks each fall. The Wisconsin River takes on brilliant colors along its banks each fall.

 

Paff WoodsPaff WoodsThree Boats

Living in the north country gives one a real sense of the seasons. Just by taking a walk down my street here in Wausau in either direction, there is a rich collection of maples, elms, and oaks with leaves of every color.   Add in the greens of evergreen trees and you have it all.

Looking across the river from almost any point in town, you can see the rich colors that the Wisconsin flows by on every day.   The Wisconsin River makes the character of every city and village that it passes through or by.  Wausau is nestled in a valley with hills that come alive with color each fall.   Some, like, Forest Park, almost touch the river.

If you enjoy these images  and wish to have one for your own, then journey over and pay a visit to my sales site, http://www.wildlightphotography.photoshelter.com.   Images can be printed on a wide variety of materials  from matte and lustr papers to canvass wraps to metalic.

They make great gifts and will make for any decor.

I will also license images to businesses and corporations for calendars, etc. too.

Christ The Good Shepherd

Jesus the Good Shepherd at Trinity Lutheran in Wausau.

 

Earlier today, my pastor, the Rev. Gary Schultz at Trinity Lutheran here in Wausau http://www.trinityonstewart.org, used this image as a Power Point slide for a sermon based on Luke 15:1-10 entitled “Lost, but Not the TV Show.  The weather conditions outside were exactly the same  as when the photo was taken, cloudy.  Those conditions provide perfect lighting for stained glass windows as the light is even.  Otherwise Jesus would have an over-powering halo that would wash everything else out.

Instead, we see Jesus as he is.  He is the good shepherd who will seek and save the ones who are lost.   All of us, especially me, would be lost.

I do photography because I have the gift of sight and I want to share with the world the things that I see and are beautiful.   This window stands out because it is displayed as it was photographed with only the light that shines through it.  The house lights in the sanctuary were off that afternoon and I had the sanctuary to myself.   The darkness that surrounds the window with its wooden tracery allows the light from outside to bring the image alive in itself.   After all, Jesus is the light of the world!

Old Glory Still Flies

Tomorrow is the 12th anniversary of a date that lives in infamy.   This flag is from my house, but it could have been like the one that the firefighters raised on that frightful day when the Towers of the World Trade Center came crashing down and 3,00 souls lost their lives.  Tomorrow is Patriot’s Day.   We remember a time when the true patriots stood tall when terrorists wanted us to cower in fear.   We remember all of those who responded to the call.  The police, the firefighters, the soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen who stood tall to face the enemy.Old Glory-3

I always wanted to do a shot of the American Flag against the sky.

I always wanted to do a shot of the American Flag against the sky.

Old Glory 5

Black-Eyed Susans

Black-Eyed Susans often line the banks of Wisconsin's Rivers.

Black-Eyed Susans often line the banks of Wisconsin’s Rivers.

Not every image leaves a digital camera perfectly.  Sometimes you have to correct the image in Photoshop or, in my case, it’s Capture NX2.   To bring out the color, you often have to adjust brightness, etc.  Capture NX2  allows for this by letting the user adjust the histogram graph which I did.  I then adjusted the primary colors.

I wanted to bring out the water of the river in the background.  I then turned up the blue setting.  I also made adjustments to red and green as well.  The results are what you see.   The flowers were photographed using my 70-210mm f4.5-5.6 Nikkor Zoom.   And I lost a lens cap in the process…

On A Wing

A Turkey Vulture searches for carion in and around the quarry at Rib Mountain State Park

A Turkey Vulture searches for carion in and around the quarry at Rib Mountain State Park

 

I had looked at photographing these magnificent flyers as a change both for me  and the focus tracking system on my D-80.  To my amazement,   I was able to track these birds in flight with my 70-210 f4.5-5.6  Nikkor zoom pushed  out to the max with an ISO setting of 500.

Last time I did this, my end results were not so good.  But the focus points were lighting up in my viewfinder and the camera was picking the birds up.  What an amazing day!

On A WingOn A Wing-8On A WingOn A WingTurkey Vulture On  A WingOn A Wing

A Summer Night at the Airport With Balloons

Getting ready for the glow.

Getting ready for the glow.

Sorry, folks.  I did not stick around for the fireworks like I should have.  There are technical reasons for that.  These pictures come from plenty of study of when and how to photograph a balloon glow.   Others were shooting these balloons with iPhones, and for them, that’s fine.  For me, a good basic DSLR like my Nikon D-80 is a fun thing.

I like to tweak things.   Call me a control freak, but that is how I learn.  I kept adjusting the ISO (film speed) levels as the evening went on.   The balloons and their crews did the rest of the work.

It is an investment, and it is fun.

GlowUp On The Ground

Glow

Glow

Glow

Let Us Brighten Our Spirits

The first flowers of spring.

The first flowers of spring.

Spring Celebration 2-1Spring Celebration 3-1Spring Celebration 4-1Tulips In PinkTulips From the TopTulip FireFlowers of Spring & Summer

The first flowers of spring.

The first flowers of spring.

A Solitary Rose

The flowering crab apple blossoms come t\from the south side of Trinity Lutheran on Stewart.

The flowering crab apple blossoms come t\from the south side of Trinity Lutheran on Stewart.

Images of an Early Spring

A hike to the parks on Wausau's riverfront brings home some gems.

A hike to the parks on Wausau’s riverfront brings home some gems.

The first flowers of spring.

The first flowers of spring.

Spring on the Wisconsin-1-4

Spring on the Wisconsin-1-2Spring on the Wisconsin-1-3I went around some of Wausau’s riverfront parks yesterday morning searching for images of spring.  Instead I saw the jewels that the river makes as it begins to open up in springtime.

Stopping a shutter down or increasing the speed for a greater depth of field makes the pictures stand out.  The color is there.   I just try and bring it out.     I also make adjustments in my post-processing too to create the maximum effect such as I did with the tulip.

The Flower of Easter  is a symbol of hope in the promise  of life.

Ressurrection

The Flower of Easter  is a symbol of hope in the promise  of life.

The Flower of Easter is a symbol of hope in the promise of life.

With all of my southern friends boasting about having their gardens already in bloom, I thought I could search for an image of an Easter Lily to show that there still is hope for spring here in Wausau,  WI.  It is hard for us to even think about Easter when we look outdoors and it still looks like winter.

The hope of Easter comes not in the change of seasons, for  we who live in the north country know that seasons do change.  In Wisconsin, we have a saying that, if you don’t like the weather, just be patient, it will change.   The hope of Easter is in the promise of life made full when the Son of God won victory over death.

 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.  1 Corinthians 15:21-22.

“Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24 Oh that with an iron pen and lead
they were engraved in the rock forever!
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.[b]
26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in[c] my flesh I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see for myself”

Job 19: 23-27a

 

Lines and Perspective

This farm was very much a part of my life.  It belonged to my great Uncle Bernard "Ben" Rusch.

This farm was very much a part of my life. It belonged to my great Uncle Bernard “Ben” Rusch.

Downtown Play Holes_032

This is the Quarter-mile bridge on the Mountain-Bay State Trail as viewed from the seat of my Trek 920 mountain-bike.

This is the Quarter-mile bridge on the Mountain-Bay State Trail as viewed from the seat of my Trek 920 mountain-bike.

SnowWausau-1Way back when I was a student at Trinity Lutheran in Wausau, John Kupsky had us do an assignment in his Art Class to draw perspective.  Simple perspective means lines converging to a point on the horizon.  ERailroad tracks easily lend themselves to this as the two rail tracks converge on each other.

This is a spur line and  I am facing south from Bridge Street just east of Walgreen ‘s on Wausau’s west side.  These tracks feed into the Graphics Plus packaging plant just to the north of Bridge Street.

Even the lines of the snow fence form a degree of perspective using parallel lines.

Some of these images are going to be in the black and white category on CaptureWisconsin.com.   So log on to that  site.  There is a link to it on this blog site.  Just get on it and vote!

Building Art

One of the oddest looking buildings in Wausau is the Black Purl knitting store on 3rd Street just north of the downtown district.  If you take a walk  on Wausau’s River Edge Parkway or pass by on 3rd Street, you cannot help but notice the stark overtones  of this building.  To the naked eye, it looks like it could have been in a fire with its blackened siding.  It must seem odd to the railroad locomotive operators to see these colorful chairs sitting as if they were waiting for a train to come by on the main line.  It is outdoor art!

Art comes in all forms and shapes and in all colors including black.   Take a walk with me through my hometown, and you will see all of it and wonder why.

One of the most distinctive buildings in the Wausau area.

One of the most distinctive buildings in the Wausau area.

The River

Water running over the rocks at the Dells of the Eau Claire County Park..

Water running over the rocks at the Dells of the Eau Claire County Park..

Downtown Play Holes_032

Water pouring over the rocks at the Dells of the Eau Claire River.

Water pouring over the rocks at the Dells of the Eau Claire River.

Rivers are wild living things always flowing, always meandering,  working their way down hill.     These pictures remind me of springtime when the forces of nature awaken from a long wintry sleep.

These rocks are part of the gorge  created  by the Eau Claire River in eastern Marathon County, WI.  A fine stop on the Ice Age Trail.

The Wisconsin River itself flows through the heart of the City of Wausau on its own journey to the Mississippi and to the Gulf of Mexico.  The Wisconsin is a part of life here in Wausau.  On it’s east channel near downtown paddlers challenge the rapids and play holes of the racecourse at Whitewater Park, while, over on the west channel, anglers work to land walleyes.   Each in their own way see the river as  a natural resource to be shared by all people..

Ice Age Trail In Winter

This is the trail going north from Popular Lane.

This is the trail going north from Popular Lane.

Even in Black and White, the trail looks good.

Even in Black and White, the trail looks good.

Looking Towards My Favorite Erratic Rock

Looking Towards My Favorite Erratic Rock

Ice Age Trail Best inMid-WinterIce Age Trail Best inMid-WinterIce Age Trail Best inMid-WinterIce Age Trail Best inMid-WinterSo seldom in Wisconsin do we get winter snow that actually remains on trees.  Usually by the time the skies clear, the wind has blown the fluff off.

On January 26, 2013, I ventured out to the Plover River segment of the Ice Age Trail near Aniwa, WI.   It was an awe-inspiring experience  just to be out there.  It was so peaceful to get away from the hubbub  of life in Wausau and experience this.

I love breaking a trail through new fallen snow in the quiet stillness of winter.  The peace is there.  It is my hope that you feel just as moved by these images as I was when took them.   It was a great day just to put on my snowshoes and take a walk through the woodlands of eastern Marathon County.   We are really blessed in living here with so much so near and four seasons to boot.

I will be out on the trail somewhere this weekend.

The rock seen here was one that I encountered while working with Will Sanford on a clean-up crew from the Marathon County Chapter back in 1996 on the Ringle segment near the landfill just north of the Mountain- Bay State Trail.   We laughed at it because it was right in the way of the trail.

It is an erratic moved into position by the last Ice age glacier.  As such, we were not even going to try to remove it.   It is a part of the trail in Marathon County.

The Snow Fence

SnowIt is amazing how common ordinary objects can make one think about how they look.

The snow fence is one of those ordinary objects where form follows function.    It has a pattern all of its own.  Digital photography allows one to shoot in color, but think in black and white.

Winter Along The Wisconsin River in Wausau

These are rocks that make up the Kayak course at White Water Park in Wausau.

These are rocks that make up the Kayak course at White Water Park in Wausau.

Snow adds to the beauty in Riverside Park.

Snow adds to the beauty in Riverside Park.

Wisconsin In Winter-12 Wisconsin In Winter-13

The natural beauty of the Wisconsin River never takes a vacation in Winter.   In these scenes  water continues to flow past snow-covered rocks in the channel past Whitewater Park where water still ripples, splashes and falls even in the cold dark nights and sunlit days of winter.

On the other side at Riverside Park, one can hear the crack of ice as the water continues to flow underneath.   The river is never silent even in winter.

Through the White Pines of MarathonPark in Winter

Marathon Park In Wintermarathonparkwinter-7

A wintry walk amidst the White Pines o

A wintry walk amidst the White Pines of Marathon Park.

Gone is is the excitement of carnivals and the bustle of animals in people in the fairgrounds.  The cold silence remains.  The time is there to focus on the towering majesty of these living remnants of Wisconsin’s past in the “pinery”.

These are the giants that once dominated our forests with their towering beauty.  These giants are decorated for the season with fluffy white snow.  They are the silent watchtowers guarding Wausau’s western entrance.   They continue to shelter birds and other wildlife.  Nature decorates these trees for Christmas in her own way.

Christmas Home Alone Again

For the second year I put up a tree alone.

For the second year I put up a tree alone.

I love to play with my camera around a Christmas Tree.

I love to play with my camera around a Christmas Tree.

A year ago, I had my doubts as to whether or not I would put up a real Christmas Tree.   It is a challenge when you live alone and no extended  family really visits this house anymore.   Who would see it?

This house is awash with memories of friends and family that last more than a century.  It as seen over a 100 Christmases.  It has seen the laughter and the tears that come with life.   It has seen the solemn joy of many weddings, baptism, confirmations, and greeted each life’s passing with remembrance.

Christmas continues to bring the joy of peace on earth, goodwill among men even in times when that seems so far from reality.   Christmas brings the hope for all mankind for real peace.  It came quietly 2000 years ago in an obscure small village in one of the far-flung quarters of the Roman Empire.   It came with the birth of a baby in a manger who would grow up to take on the sins of this whole world.

For me there is an interplay between light and its reflection in the ornaments.

Christmas is after all a season of light.  It’s reason to celebrate is simply that 2000 years ago, the Light of the World was born.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.
Isaiah 9:1-3

Autumn’s Change

This is from just along the river at Rothschild.

Even though the colors have changed and the trees have all dropped their cover, I somehow thought there was something worth catching in this image from my own backyard.   So, with my D-80 and a 60 mm Micro-Nikkor with a star filter attached, I set out to see what there is to be seen.

Frost on bee balm flowers in the diffused light of morning.

Autumn Along the Wisconsin River in Wausau

I like to take long walks in town just as much as I like to hike wooded trails out in the country.   A walk along Wausau’s riverfront this morning yielded these gems.   Most were taken with a Nikkor 20 mm lens on my D-80.   I walk these trails quite often and it is nice to have peace in a city full of hubbub.

Color is not always high in the air.

The aspens on Barker-Stewart Island glow in late autumn.

The yellow leaves of a maple tree glow as the river calmly passes by.

And The Trails In Wausau Grow

The Wisconsin River from the west bank north of Bridge Street in Wausau.

Northern end of the Rivers Edge Walkway on the west side.

Wausau is continuing to expand my favorite walkway in the city.

While these photos were taken from the newest stretch of the River Edge Walkway on the west side, the city has acquired a 16 acre parcel on the east side to connect two existing sections of trail there. http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/article/20121006/WDH01/310060147/-1/7daysarchives/Wausau-river-trail-expand-again

For the meantime, you can sample some of the fall scenery in my images here.   Many of my best images are available for sale at http://wildlightphotography.photoshelter.com/ and others are also seen on Capture Wisconsin http://www.capturewisconsin.com/photos where prints are also available.

If you have trouble ordering through Photoshelter, tell me about it.   I can help you select the print and give you a wide range of choices through myphotopipe.com   I have ordered prints through Myphotopipe.com and they have always come out on top with quality high-resolution emulsion-based prints and wraps of almost any size to fit your walls.   If you are looking for images for calendars, etc, my work will fit fine.   Just let me know.   Leave me a comment, and I will get back to you ASAP.

I Went to Visit My Grandfather Falls Today

I had not hiked on this segment recently. The boardwalk was a project of a mobile skills crew.

I went to visit my grandfather today.    That is Grandfather Falls on the Wisconsin River.   This is a fascinating and beautiful segment of the Ice Age Scenic Trail located north of Merrill, WI just off of State Highway 107.  The dense hardwood forest that surrounds this section of the Wisconsin River makes for a gorgeous hike in the fall.

Rocks in the river. This is a tranquil section just south of Poskey Rapids.

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