Monday, January 26, 2009


OK, so I haven't been updating this blog very much...but I have a semi-good excuse. I have been riding my bike quite a bit in preparation for the Arrowhead 135 which starts Feb 2 at seven a.m. Riding my bike “quite a bit,” means that I did a ride Thursday morning that started at two o'clock a.m and lasted 'til about nine a.m and another yesterday that started at 12:40 a.m. and ended at 8:40 a.m. Even if, like me, you like riding your bike, that many hours is still a long time to ride. So that's my excuse...maybe after Arrowhead I'll get back to a more normal blog schedule.

Since it has been a while since I posted a blog entry - so I've had a while to take these pictures – these pictures are from all over. There are some taken at Lake Superior, one in Marquette, MI, and a few in Lancaster's Memorial Park.

Since I tried to excuse myself and my irregular blog entries with my riding my bike in training for Arrowhead I thought it would enhance my credibility if I included a picture of myself directly after a training ride.

I woke up one morning and was making breakfast when I looked out of the window and saw this frost on the glass. I thought I'd take a picture quick before I made pancakes. I never find myself lacking in things to take pictures of – if I'm in the right mindset. It is virtually impossible for me to not find something interesting around (whether or not that something makes a good picture is another matter – one of personal opinion).

This leaf should get some sort of award for being weird.

This leaf by itself wouldn't be all that interesting – but the shadow it casts in combination with the leaf make it worth noticing. I got lucky with the light hitting it just right to make the shadow look this way.

This was an awesome sight to see. I'm afraid a picture doesn't do it justice – maybe a video would. You can see the waves in the picture and if you use your imagination you know that since waves move, the water/ice you see in the picture was moving and heaving around with the surges of the water. (This reminded me of a documentary I saw on the filming of Shackleton on the ice-pack of Antarctica. They filmed in the summer and the ice-pack was mostly broken up and heaving around with the surges of the Antarctic Ocean so they had to hunt around for chunks of pack-ice that were big enough to film on.) Last time I was visiting Marquette, MI (November) I saw surfers in this bay (they were wearing drysuits).

This was taken from the top of a big hill overlooking Lake Superior. You can see that the sky was blue except for out over the lake, where – I assume – moisture from the lake was evaporating into the air to make the clouds you can see.

This is just another picture of the same chunk of shoreline taken last Nov.

I tend not to like cheesy things, and so – in general – pictures of sunsets are not things I like all that much...and I don't take pictures of them all that often. But the colors the sunset was making bouncing off these clouds and back at me was just too tempting. (Once again you can see the clouds over the lake while the rest of the sky was clear)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

When I finally rolled out of bed yesterday morning I looked out to see everything was coated in a layer of ice that would make for some pretty cool photos. So skipped breakfast – I did gulp down a PB sandwich though - and headed outside to get some pics. It was fairly cool (in the teens) so the ice didn't melt off of stuff...including the street. [I walked on the street to the park because the sidewalk was ridiculously icy, at least the street had some salt and gravel on it] At one point I almost wussed out and turned around and walked back to my house because it was so icy. I'm glad I didn't because the footing got much more sure shortly after the spot where I turned around (truth be told I actually did turn around and started to walk back to my house, then I thought better of it and turned around again. I don't think it's a good way to go through life being entirely prudent all the time.)

So I got out to take some pictures in the morning for about an hour. I came back here, had breakfast, did some editing of the pictures I took that morning, and did some work to ready gear I'm taking on the Arrowhead 135 (the big bike race I'm doing – if you're wondering why I've been slacking off on this blog, I have been doing a lot of riding my bike and fabricating gear for the race [since biking in the winter is such a fringe sport nobody really sells gear for extreme cold - like 20 below - so I have to make virtually all of it with my imagination and sewing machine]) coming up in less than a month, ate some lunch (which was late because I had breakfast late) and then took off to go and take some more pictures.

In the afternoon I had some snowshoes with me since when I was out in the morning the snow was such that it was frozen on top but the frozen part wasn't thick enough to support my weight so I continually punched through. Kind of annoying. With the snowshoes it was much better. Plus the snowshoes I have have crampons on them so it made my footing a helluva lot sure sure. A funny side note on the crampons on my snowshoes: since the traction is so much better with them on I wore them when I was walking on the icy roads back to my house. I got a few strange looks from passersby as I walked down the street.

This picture was taken in the light just before sunset in the late afternoon.

Here's a picture of my feet in my snowshoes. You can see how far they sink into the snow or - more precisely – how far they don't sink in. Makes photography, or anything that involves walking in this kind of snow, much easier.

This was taken in the morning. I hadn't really noticed before how the ice freezes in shapes inside the water drop. One thing I like about photography, and something I try to convey in my photographs, is that I'm learning new stuff when I get out there with my camera.

There are a line of rocks that are big enough to discourage people from driving on the grass of the park. This is one of those rocks with the freezing rain on it.

Here is another picture of frozen freezing rain on the same rocks as the picture directly above but it was taken back in '07. The ice on the rock was a bit thicker and the blue is caused by blue sky reflecting in the ice.