Archive for the ‘17-85mm lens’ Category

IT WOULD BE NICE…

Posted: February 29, 2016 in 17-85mm lens, Photography
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…if our lives came equipped with such easy-to-read markers.

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Buoys are marking the entrance to Lake Pepin, a really wide spot on the Mississippi River.

I’ll admit that I was looking for architectural grandeur with this bridge, the cathedral-like quality to be found looking dead-center through the piers. Instead, I was most taken by the qualities of the concrete, with its subtle cracking and vague hieroglyphic markings.

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And, about the aforementioned barges that work the Mississippi twenty-four/seven: when you are anchored on a sandbar for the night, the sight of one of these massive vessels sliding by is all kinds of other-worldly. They are remarkably quiet and you can only stand on the deck of your little craft, mouth slightly a-gape and  contemplate their lights slicing through the silence of the velvet-black night.  Three shots of a passing barge in the slideshow below

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BRIDGE SUITE I

Posted: February 22, 2016 in 17-85mm lens, Bridges, Details, Photography

 Taken from the deck of a houseboat as we moved slowly up and down the Mississippi River in mid-September.  Click on any thumbnail for a full-sized gallery slideshow.

A partial and less intimate view of said bridge whose function it is to connect the great states of Wisconsin and Minnesota.

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My function on this grand adventure was to stand in the front of the boat and, if I spotted a barge coming towards us in the distance, begin to chant like the Rainman “We’re all gonna die! We’re all gonna die!”

Feral barge attempting to sneak up on our vessel:

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I think I did a splendid job of keeping us all alive.

This isn’t a barge,  of course, but I sounded the alarm loud and clear, alerting ship, captain and crew to the danger here as well:

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Wabi Sabi: Your Canary in the Coal Mine of Nautical Doom.

Behind the Gateway Lodge in Land ‘O Lakes, Wisconsin.

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The Gateway was quite the swanky place back when it was built in the 1930’s. Heavy timbers, a massive fireplace in the main lobby, trophy heads all over the walls–the quintessential hunting lodge in Wisconsin’s north woods. The dining room was huge, with high timbered ceilings and room for a band at one end, the bar dark with leather-upholstered booths.  A long list of B-level celebrities stayed there over the years and their autographed black and white photos line the walls. (Trophy heads of a different sort, I think.)

I worked here as a waitress, summers and holidays, from the time I was 16 until I was 21. The Gateway was already in steep decline from its glory days but it was still an adventure and an education for me.

Like Kellerman’s from Dirty Dancing, there was an alternate universe at the resort where the help existed, especially the summer help.

In the kitchen, wait staff quickly learned to fear the chef–a cruel and moody ass. His assistant had a serious speech impediment, so often you could only smile and nod and hope that you had somehow not agreed to bear his love child. Do not piss off Sylvia, the salad dominatrix, or your life could be a living hell.

 I will spare you the rest of the stories: how to stack a tray and carry it above your shoulder on one hand, how to smile at rude and boozy patrons, fold napkins into boats and chip candle wax out of the table lights. It was both an adventure and an education.

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Taking a week or so off for adventures of other sorts: a houseboat trip on the Mississippi is next on the Wabi Sabi agenda. Packing all my camera gear for this one.

And meclizine. Lots of meclizine. It is only just now occurring to me that I am not a big on-the-water kind of gal.

Uh-oh.

 

Seven images

Last of the shots from my foggy morning walk to the Wabi Sabi farm:

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I thought this image should stand alone.

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Same time and place as last week’s foggy farm posts, different building. Five images.

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I like this last picture: a selfie shot into the window of today’s building. I didn’t plan it, but I will have to say it puts me in mind of the painting The Arnolfini Portrait  by the Dutch painter, van Eyck, where each component of the painting carries symbolic/iconic weight. Here I am, face obscured by my favorite camera and reflected in a smudged and dirty glass, framed by old and cracking brick. Instead of roses or flowers, the scene is graced by a spray of thorny brown thistles. Interpretive possibilities abound!

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I believe this picture should be titled “Exceedingly Prickly Wench” and it would certainly reflect my current frame of mind quite accurately.  However, I am on my way to northern Wisconsin for a couple of days where I will hang out with my friend,  Karen, we will revisit the scenes of our misspent youth and with any luck at all, we will have the chance to poke around the Abandoned Sawmill. (Yes! Please! Yes!)  All of that…plus a couple of Old-Fashioneds in the bar at the Gateway…and the current annoyances and demands of the world should appear a lot less thorny.