Archive for the ‘Wisconsin’ Category

It was the fog that woke me, trailing insistent fingers against my bedroom window, urging me to wake up.

I resisted, burrowed deeper into my bed, but one glimpse of those foggy tendrils grabbed me, pulled me out of my cocoon, and sent me in search of my camera.

Because everyone wants to be wandering around in the fields an hour before sunrise, right?

As usual, I really didn’t know what I was looking for and the first three or four dozen shots I took proved that. I kept walking. Then, I started to play with the ribbons of fog as they wound through the trees and fields.

And then fog around the abandoned farm site.

And then, the first peachy hues of the approaching sun.

And then… And then…

An oddly-stacked gallery from that morning walk, but I found that I was most happy with slices of the landscape, rather than full-on traditional ratios. Please click on any image to view the shots in a gallery format.

One more shot to share. I was out for a little more than an hour and returned home pretty satisfied with my morning’s work. Came in through the back patio doors, put down my camera, took off my wet shoes…and glanced back outside to see this display over my flower garden:

20160801_2673

Sunrise plus lingering fog, all filtered through the trees, equals WOW!

 

Petite wet-snow blizzard Friday afternoon. It was like shooting in the rain.

fresh tracks B

fresh tracks 2

fresh tracks 3

fresh tracks 5

I’ve driven over this little overpass a few zillion times in my life, but it never occurred to me to stop until I caught a glimpse of it in the storm on Friday.

Just when we think our lives are settled and predictable, circumstances can change abruptly,  rocketing  our complacent selves into a whole new narrative. That doesn’t mean bad things are happening in Wabi Sabi land, but an unexpected turn of events has switched us all onto a wildly different track. I put aside my camera for a while, something I haven’t done in years, but I’m thinking it’s maybe safe to quietly exhale now.  Even new narratives should yield a little creative space.

Hmmm…maybe I should buy a new lens. Major metaphoric statement, yes?

Not enough haze to be fog, but enough to lay a filter over my early morning outing.

 

Six images

The abandoned farm around the corner. There’s a tear-down in progress, though I’ve never seen anyone working at the site.

20151222_9205

20151222_9207

20151222_9242

20151222_9245

I think these last two ladder shots have a little Wyeth vibe going for them.

20151222_9233

20151222_9231

Monday was “Fog and Trees Day” for your friend, Wabi Sabi. I opened the morning in the arboretum with mighty oaks, hungry turkeys and light fog and a few hours later moved into much thicker fog and many acres of fir trees on a Christmas Tree farm in Kewaunee County.

This place should be renamed Leading Lines Tree Farm, a Photographer’s Delight.

20151207_9153

I’ve been here before (and in the fog) and the pure orderly arrangement of perfectly trimmed trees makes my head swim. 

20151207_9115

In a good way.

No matter what angle you take for viewing, it is a pure visual delight. The fog adds another element, blurring rows in the distance and creating a grainy overlay on images.

Click on any picture below to view this set as a gallery.

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

20150916_6894

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.

*** *** ***

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.

 

I’ve brought you along with me many times to the deserted farm around the corner…and here we go again.

A developer (hissssss boooo) purchased  the property a few months ago and several of the buildings have been torn down. The two or three remaining have really deteriorated.

Yet…on a foggy morning last week there was so much beauty still to be found.

20150904_6683

20150904_6694

Today is my photo version of The Dance of the Seven Veils: a slow reveal of one of the last buildings standing.

The tall brown stalks are mulleins going to seed. The mullein is a wildflower as well as an herbal utility player.  You can smoke it, drink it or apply it as a poultice.

20150904_6691

Or, you can crouch behind some to shoot your photographs, getting some pretty sweet vertical lines in the bargain.

20150904_6670.

The fog doesn’t play a starring role in this series, yet it served as a filter for all of my shots that morning, subtly softening both the landscape and the buildings.  That will be more obvious in the next couple of posts.

20150904_6671