Archive for the ‘Minnesota’ Category

The second night anchored on a sandbar near the bridge in Winona, Minnesota.

The thunderstorm rolled in around midnight. Loud! Holy Mother of Pearl! Had you told me cannons were firing from the upper deck, I would have believed you.

The only cannons firing, though, were mine.

Okay…Canons, not cannons.


There was no way to go out on the deck to shoot, though…not unless I wanted to sacrifice my equipment to the storm so I spent my time running back and forth from the front of the boat to my berth, shooting through the glass and playing with colors and focus. Lovely jagged bolts of lightening would have been splendid, but this wasn’t that kind of storm. The sky kept blowing up all blue-white which was enormously cool to watch, but not much for photographic drama.


Eventually, I ran out of shots to take, stowed the cameras and climbed into bed. By positioning myself just so, I was able to fall asleep to the sounds of thunder, wind, and driving rain while keeping the bridge in sight.


This makes my short list of Best Nights Ever.

The bridge at Winona, Minnesota, spanning the Mississippi River.


When I first saw this particular bridge, I thought it was fine, but I was not doing a Happy Bridge Dance on top of the houseboat. I took a few shots as we passed below it and didn’t even beg to make a nautical U-turn in order to take more. (Last year, under the bridge at Wabasha, we made so many passes back and forth that a casual observer might have thought we were caught in a maelstrom.)

Then came the sunset,  and the lighting–both natural and manmade– created a beautiful picture.

I began tapping my toe on the deck. I was warming to my neighbor.


Somehow, the transition from sunset to full dark happened without my help or notice, because the next time I looked…Hello, Bridge!


What an incredible surprise! This ho-hum worker-bee bridge by day turned into a bedazzling star after sunset and I celebrated with a series of wildly enthusiastic Happy Bridge Dances from one end of our boat to the other.


Perhaps those wildly enthusiastic Happy Bridge Dances had an impact on the weather, because still to come: major midnight thunderstorms and your friend Wabi Sabi runs for her camera.

Winona, Minnesota. Bridge over the Mississippi River.


I have more. LOTS more. We anchored our (rented) houseboat on a nearby sandbar  for a day and half, during which time I was able to capture the bridge in sunlight, fog, dusk, full-on night and a raging midnight thunderstorm. Very cool.

This bridge post is an offering to the gods since I am having some bridgework of my own done today (Tuesday) that for sure involves a Sawzall and direct access to my savings account.

mpls mini shot

This shot was taken with my iPad mini through a window at dusk and I haven’t cropped or enhanced it. I was trying to capture fine sleet highlighted by the street lamp. Not so much success with the sleet, but I’m still more than pleased with the overall results.



Some additional shots of the railroad bridge in Hastings.






Be honest: I’ve been gone for a week and you were wondering if it would be necessary to launch a “Free Wabi Sabi!”  letter-writing campaign.

I am back safely in Wisconsin. While I really don’t care to go into the whole pie escapade (on advice of counsel,)  I will say that there is more than one place to slip across the Minnesota border to avoid jack-booted guards wielding canisters of Reddi-Whip.

But, ooooh…..Damn those pie-sniffing dogs!

Thanksgiving on my mind.

Three shots of one segment of a railroad bridge in Hastings, Minnesota.

rr slice1

 rr slice3

rr 3

What bizarre ideas possess us at times when we are gathering with our families? Why is it that your friend, Wabi Sabi, is determined beyond all reason to bake a pie and bring it to Minnesota on Friday?

First of all, I believe that there is some Minnesota law that forbids the import of any pie not baked by either a Scandinavian woman or at the very least, a non-lapsed Lutheran, so there might actually be a border incident on these points alone.

There is no discussion to be had on this one. I have baked a Brulee Maple-Pumpkin pie (Saveur, December 2013) and am hauling it across Wisconsin for a 7 hour drive. Tucked into one of my countless bags, I have my blowtorch and raw sugar so that I may actually do the brulee part on site.

If I don’t declare the blowtorch at the border, can I get nailed for violating a concealed carry law in addition to the charges of Felonious Pie Transport?