Tag Archives: Barn

The Frozen North

It has been a long and cold January.  One of the coldest winters for us ever, and one for the record books.  The Governor closed schools on at the beginning of January for the first time since 1998, because of the cold.  The temperature was -28 below with a wind chill of -44 below when I woke up that morning.  Individual school districts closed the next day on their own, the temps not being much better.  Last week, districts were once again closed on Thursday.  This week, yesterday and today, which interfered with my sidekick’s final exams of the semester.  Temps have been in the upper teens below zero with wind chills in the 20’s and 30’s below.

This almost NEVER happens.  As a kid, I remember having snow days.  But I NEVER remember missing school because of the cold.  Yes, we get way below zero with an average of 24-25 below zero temps each winter.  You can see the statistics here in this article.  The article names the Twin Cities the coldest city/cities in the U.S.  I live about 30 miles NW of the Twin Cities.  About average, the temps are 5-10 degrees colder than what the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport reads.  And when it has warmed up the 1 or 2 days, it has snowed.  We have a lot of snow already this year.  It’s not even the snowiest month yet.

Don’t get me wrong.  I like winter.  I love the snow.  I like it more when it hovers between 20 and 30 ABOVE 0.  I go for winter photo walks all the time. We’ve hiked in 10 degree weather. We’ve bundled up and gone to the refuge Winterfest two years in a row, last year it was 5 above.  I drove for three years without heat in my Blazer.  I got my beautiful Snowy Owl pick in frigid temps.  I’m not a wimp by any means.  That being said, it’s cold.  Damn cold.  Except for having to go to work and to the gym, and the “necessary” grocery store runs and dance invitationals, we haven’t been out much.  And we’ve been drinking a lot of hot chocolate!

Cabin fever made me venture out beyond work today.  Just for a bit on my lunch hour.  It was a balmy -9 below with -22 below wind chill.  I drove around my town  (I will be doing a blog about my town all on its own soon) getting pics of this and that in the cold.  A few Golden Eyes and swans down by the river, but took off when they saw me approaching.  Even a bunch of robins puffed up in a tree.  Too far away to photograph.

But I got a few things, some I didn’t have to get out of my car for.  I have also added some of the photos that I have taken over the past couple weeks for my Project 365, mixed in with my Sunday Snippets that I have not posted.

Looking at 22 degrees ABOVE zero tomorrow!  I say we put the top down on the convertible!

Enjoy!

The river in the bitter cold
The river in the bitter cold

IMG_0167

Frigid Sunset
Frigid Sunset
Forever in peace may you wave
Forever in peace may you wave
Sunset on the water tower at just the right time.
Sunset on the water tower at just the right time.
Hi beautiful
Hi beautiful
Handke Pit getting ready for Hockey Day Minnesota
Handke Pit getting ready for Hockey Day Minnesota
My baby girl, Chloe.
My baby girl, Chloe.
This is what bottled water looks like when you leave it in the car and it's below zero.
This is what bottled water looks like when you leave it in the car and it’s below zero.
Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples
I wanted the moon, I got the snowkmobiler on the lake.
I wanted the moon, I got the snowkmobiler on the lake.
Frozen window, it was 12 below and 26 below wind chill.
Frozen window, it was 12 below and 26 below wind chill.
She's discovered a knitting loom, better than that dang phone
She’s discovered a knitting loom, better than that dang phone
Needs the snow to be cleared off the lake
Needs the snow to be cleared off the lake
My tracks in the snow
My tracks in the snow
Snow path
Snow path

IMG_9547 IMG_9539 Day 23

Frozen cat tail.
Frozen cat tail.
A snowy walk when the weather was warmer
A snowy walk when the weather was warmer
Out of place
Out of place
3rd Place Championships this day.
3rd Place Championships this day.
Perfect Timing
Perfect Timing
2nd place, not too shabby
2nd place, not too shabby
JV Jazz 2nd place in the JV Championship.
JV Jazz 2nd place in the JV Championship.

 

Project 365 Week 1

I figured I would work on a weekly basis, as far as posting my Project 365 photos.  I try to post to my FB page daily, but we know how that goes.  And Twitter and Instagram?  I’m lucky those will be posted monthly, LOL.  Just never have time for all this social media :)  I have now appointed my sidekick as my Social Media Assistant.  The pay sucks, but the hours are great and there isn’t anything a teenage girl does better than social media, am I correct?  HA, oops, sorry sunshine, I guess there is Dance, and the fact that you are an honor roll student ;)

Anyhoo, I have already posted Day 1, but for good measure, here it is again.

Enjoy!

Sheila

Day 1
Day 1. Sunset at Henry’s Woods Park. On my way home from following a snowy owl around for about 90 minutes. Too far away to get a shot, but enjoyed seeing one for the first time anyway.
Day 2. Day 2 of 365. Ventured down to the river today in the bitter cold, it was about -11 below.
Day 3. The first anniversary of my mother’s death. This one was a no-brainer, we do miss her so much.
Day 4. Searching for something…I found this. A barn in the area that I haven’t photographed yet. In processing, I changed this to an old fashioned finish, Albumen, widely used from 1855-1890, this inexpensive photographic method produced paper-based photos. Negatives were captured on glass, and the print was then created on paper that used albumen from egg whites to bind the light-sensitive chemicals to the paper.
Day 5. I took this right before I rounded the bend and found the Snowy Owl.
Day 6. I didn’t think I was going to go out and about on this frigid day. I guess I don’t know myself very well. This is what -20 below with -44 below wind chill looks like on the Mississippi River. Noon today. With my iPhone.
Day 7. A far cry from the Snowy Owl I photographed on Sunday, but my mama always used to say, “It takes all kinds to make the world go ’round.” Pigeons gotta live too :)
Day 8. A different perspective on an old favorite
Day 9. This came about by accident. I didn’t like the others I took, and my camera wasn’t focusing. This was a practice shot. I do love my Equinox :)

Project 365 Day 1

A little about Project 365:  Project 365 came about by a man who decided to take a photo a day for 365 days. His popularity soared and since then others have followed suit.  I read his story a couple of years ago.  Right now I’m too lazy to look it up again to give details. But I will again, eventually!  There are a lot of people who put their photos into books, do blogs, post to Flickr, etc. I did my first Project 365 from April 2011 to April 2012.  I used my older Canon Rebel DSLR.  I learned a lot about my camera in that year, and learned that I can take a good shot when the stars are aligned.  I now have a Canon T2i DSLR and primarily use this camera with an occasional iPhone shot thrown in.

The great thing about Project 365 is there are no rules. Just take a photo a day for 365 days. That’s it. Most people do that with their phones, and don’t even realize it. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. It can be a photo of the weather, your pet, your big toe for that matter. Anything. Just one photo. I like nature, birds, other wildlife, etc. so mine tend to veer toward that.  But believe me, sometimes it gets to be a bit much. A long day at work, teenager activities, and it’s 10:00 at night and I’m looking for a photo.  You may just see my big toe :)

During my last project, I posted my photo pretty much daily to my FB page From Moments to Memories. I am very busy so I don’t know if I will be able to post daily; every few days or weekly will probably be more like it. I will also post to my photo blog here. I blog about my nature/photo walks and experiences throughout the week and will feature photo stories as well.  So if you’d care to follow, be my guest.

My first photo was taken during sunset tonight on our way home from Snowy Owl searching today.  My sidekick and I set out to see one of the 80 or so sightings in Minnesota this season.  We found one!  And had so much fun following it around from afar in my vehicle, weather was -10 below, with -15 below windchill.  It was too far away for any good photography.  I just don’t have the “heavy” equipment of the professionals.  Still, it was a lifer for both of us and it was exciting.

Time got away from us and I was determined to get a good pic for day 1.  I have passed this place so many times and never stopped.  They recently made it a park and I can’t wait to explore it.

Sunset at Henry's Woods Park
Sunset at Henry’s Woods Park

Hope you enjoy what you see, and if you do, let me know!

Enjoying Spring!

WOWSA has it really been two weeks since I’ve posted?  Why, yes, yes it has!  We have been busy running here and there, and I have been taking photos of course!  We have definitely been enjoying Spring in Minnesota!  We last left off a couple weeks ago and I was getting antsy for the birds to arrive, and a few were arriving here and there.  We have had some outstanding weather here.  It has been in the 60′s and 70′s and we have total ice-out on the lakes and rivers.  We have buds on the trees and grass is greening fast.  Very, very unheard of in most Minnesota winters. It has been a very unbelievable winter, and so far, Spring.

The last couple weeks we have had walks at the park, fed the ducks, and I have hiked some trails.  Signs of Spring are all around!

Here are a few of my Project 365 photos and more, enjoy!

We took a walk at our local pond park one beautiful evening and this was one of the first Red Winged Black Birds we saw this season.

This male Mallard was totally flirting with me and posing, he was so dang cute :) 

Mallards are plenty at this park, as you will see shortly.  However, this night there were a couple of Buffleheads thrown into the mix as well.

Throughout the week, I walked different trails in the area and saw a few “FOS” (first of season) birds for me (the above Buffleheads are included in this category). 

I wasn’t sure what this was while I was taking the photo.  When I got home, my sidekick had to identify it for me :)  A Brown Creeper.  That’s my girl.

This Song Sparrow was singing me a wonderful tune, too bad the branch was in the way.  I hate branches!

This was my favorite that day, the Sandhill Cranes have returned!  My sidekick’s favorite, I wished she would’ve been with me.

And the cattails, I love them when they are in “full display” in the summer months, but I also like to take pictures of them while they are in different seasons!

There was the day we went to our local Dam park.  We had heard of the Osprey nest, but never found it.  However, I got a couple photos of the dam, and we came across this beauty.  A Great Blue Heron rookery.  However, the herons weren’t to be found until we got back into the car and started to drive away, go figure.  But would’ve been too far away to take photos.  It was pretty cool anyway.

Someone obviously was not a happy camper when they left that day, LOL. 

Then there were these hilarious Canada Geese.  There were others across the river and this guy/gal was yelling and running around like a chicken with his head cut off.  I think it was a mating display, but we were cracking up!  There were also a couple of beautiful Woodducks (FOS) across the river, but too far away to get a good shot.  Story of my life.

There was the night that we went for a walk after it had been a bit rainy, and I had gone during the day to the same walking trail.  Residents have been saying there are a couple of whooping cranes calling in the park.  I had heard a couple of squacks, but didn’t know what it was.  When my sidekick and I went back, we heard it again, but didn’t see it.  It would be fantastic, as they are very rare around here, around anywhere I think.  But we did see another set of Sandhill cranes fly over and came across this beauty.  I think it’s my favorite of the whole couple weeks.

We stopped back at the “mallard park” on our way hone and this time brought some bread.  Oh, my.  What fun she had.  At one point she had almost 20 mallards hanging out following her with that bread.  She called herself the “duck whisperer”.  It was hilarious!  We saw and heard a Bluebird couple (FOS) but I was too far away for a good shot.  Not worried, they are in abundance this time of year around here :)

Last but not least, these were taken yesterday.  Woke up yesterday morning to fog and had to stop by the river.  I was 8 minutes late for work :)  My boss laughed because the minute I got to work he said “let’s see the camera” LOL.  Then I walked for a bit at lunch, and this little guy was following me.  “chipmunk stalker”  hehehe…

And I suppose I should throw in a couple barns from the last couple weeks.

We went back to the mallard park today with bread in hand.  Not very many mallards, though.  Seagulls, geese and one lone Redhead (another FOS for me).  Wouldn’t you know, I grabbed my camera to find no memory card.  It was back at home still in my laptop from last night!  UGH.

At any rate, we are headed to my Peaceful Place hiking tomorrow, hoping to find some Sandhill Cranes or other furry or feathered-friends.  We are bringing along one of my old highschool girlfriends, we should have some fun! 

Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed my photos.  I will try not to stay away too long this time :)

Sheila

This Old Barn……

I love old barns.  I love new barns.  You just don’t see new ones as often as the old ones.  My favorite subject in school was history.  I still love history.  My sidekick has inherited my love for history and I am so proud of that.  I look at old barns and I see the history, charm, romance, character.  Everything.  I try to think of how the people who built that barn lived.  Needless to say, I love taking photos of barns, farms, silos…Unfortunately, they are a dying breed.  I stop on the side of the road and take them all the time.

Today we ventured out on a short road trip.  On a tip from a friend, he told me to head to Foley, Minnesota on a back country road.  He said he thought of me when he went that way last time, and told me that there were alot of barns and farms along that route.  First up, however, I had to stop and take a picture of “the red barn” in Zimmerman.  Everyone takes a photo of “the red barn” locally here.  Except me.  I haven’t yet.   It was on the way, so I finally stopped because I didn’t have a picture of “the red barn”.  I drove past it at first, and ran right into this one.  My favorite of the day, and just might be my favorite yet.

This barn was on private property and there was a car in the driveway, so i didn’t dally.  I turned back around and headed back to “the red barn”.  What everyone said is true, it was beautiful.

So off we went further north.  It was cloudy, trying to snow and quite windy.  It was about 27 degrees I think when we left.  When I turned down County Road 12 in Mille Lacs County, I immediately noticed what my friend said.  I had entered Rural Minnesota.  However, as we drove I became somewhat disappointed as most of the barns/farms were inhabited.  Meaning “no trespassing” signs.  I always get a little scared if I pull off to the side of the road and people are home.  I know all they have to do is yell at me, LOL, and they have.  But you never know.  There were a couple that I did pull over and “sneak” a photo of here and there.  But there were more that I did want to take, only didn’t because I was either too chicken or there was no place to pull over. 

 

I liked the photos I took today, but like I said, I wish there had been more.  But there is another day and another time.  We drove through the small town of Foley, I snapped a couple photos of the church in town and we headed to lunch. 

After lunch we we were thinking of what to do next and decided to hit the Swan Park in Monticello again.  The last two times that we had been there, all we had were mallards and geese.  Today there may have been about 500 Trumpeter Swans, and more geese and mallards.  Noisy little buggers, all of them!  At any rate I decided to wait to post my Trumpeter photos until next post and reserve this one for my barns. 

I thought I would leave you with more barn photos I have taken over the past year.  Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year

I took over 7,000 photos in 2011. If you count portraits I’ve done for others, it is closer to 8,500. Oh, I am sure there are photographers out there who have taken thousands more, but I am very proud of my photo accomplishments this year.

When I started my Project 365 journey last April, I had no idea where it would bring me. A photo a day for 365 days. How hard could it be? I took a lot of pictures, so I thought for sure I would have no problem with this project. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets about it at all. But I will admit it has been a huge challenge to say the least. I took on the project to get to know my camera better and become a better photographer and I believe that I have done both. Granted, I am not a professional, not anywhere near it. I have taken photos that I have loved and others not so much. I have taken photos that I haven’t really liked, and other people loved them more. Go figure, LOL.

I have stumbled on days, but a couple of months ago I told myself every picture didn’t have to be a masterpiece. It is what it is. I work full time. I live in Minnesota. The weather is not always going to cooperate. I don’t have to take outside photographs. Although I like to, LOL :) My cat and my kid have been my subjects a few days when nothing else jumped out at me or it was the end of the day and it hit me that I still didn’t have a photo. I have also used my iPhone when I have forgotten the camera. Hey, it counts. Day 243 was today. I have a little over 100 days left and find myself wondering what I’m going to do come April on day 365. Will I continue on? Will I stop? I can’t imagine stopping, I will have to do something. Maybe a 52 week challenge?

I have developed a love for spring, summer, fall, and yes. Even winter and all that it brings with it. Snow, cold. I live in Minnesota. Last year we received 86 inches of snow in the winter season. I hated it. I drove a 60 mile commute each day to work. It was always snowing and my commute was 2 hours long each way. Now that I work close to home and want to take snow and icicle pictures, we have hardly any snow. On New Year’s Eve, it was over 30 degrees. That is almost unheard of around these parts this time of year. I took so many pictures of fall color (what we had) that I couldn’t wait for snow pictures. I am sure the same will happen come spring when I will be sick of the snow, and so on.

I have also developed more of a love for birds, mammals, trees, landscapes, etc. Wildlife and nature all together. I think I have taken pictures of birds more than anything during this project. I have always liked old barns, abandoned buildings, historic or otherwise. I have laid my eyes on those a few times in the last few months as well, yesterday being one.

Which leads me into the reason I was posting :)

My New Year’s weekend has gone well photography wise. Yesterday my daughter and I ventured out on a photo drive. She is 13 and I have given her my old Canon Rebel XT that I just replaced in August with my T2i. She lost her point and shoot a few months ago and has expressed an interest so I thought what the heck. Let me tell you, she took some great photos yesterday and today and may have the knack. We ventured out in the 30 degree weather in search of….something :)

We found these old, abandoned outbuildings that I had been familiar with on my old drive to work. I always told myself I wanted to pull over and take a picture some day. Well, that day was yesterday. I think the site is scheduled for demolition soon :( Here are some photos I took on this excursion. The property had so much character and history, I longed to know what it was like when the farm was really working.

This was my Day 242

Today, New Year’s Day, 2012 was also a good day. We got about 3 inches of snow overnight and I had to venture out. Wind gusts were supposed to be up to 40-50 MPH for this afternoon. Brrrr……we bundled up and headed out. I decided to visit my peaceful place, the local refuge. We hadn’t been there since Thanksgiving weekend. The wildlife drive is supposed to close on October 31, but with the mild weather last I heard they were keeping it open until they had significant snow fall. With the high wind I figured we wouldn’t see much in the way of birds or wildlife, but figured we’d at least get some good snow/landscape shots. On the way there, we saw a hawk struggling to fly in the wind. Much to our dismay when we arrived, the drive gate was closed :( We were disappointed to say the least. So we ventured off elsewhere.

We stayed on the refuge and stopped at the Old School House in Zimmerman, Minnesota. The school house itself was condemned a couple years ago, but it remains a hot spot nonetheless. The refuge is trying to get it on the list of Minnesota historical sites so they can get money for renovation. We wandered around the property, braving the bitter cold and winds. We came across a little bridge that served its purpose for me :) My daughter creeped on me and caught this one of me :)

This was my Day 243 today

We furthered down the road and pulled into the refuge headquarters grounds and building. It wasn’t open today but I know that it sits on a little creek and wanted to see if there were any photo ops. We walked by the creek and took a few pictures and came around the corner of the headquarters building just as six blue jays were leaving the bird feeder. My 300mm zoom was in the truck :( which I left running. We took a few pics and went back to the truck. I grabbed my 300mm lens and snuck up behind the building. We came upon a Hairy Woodpecker, several Black Capped Chickadees, a White-Breasted Nuthatch, and some on the ground I couldn’t identify. I was in heaven. I haven’t seen any for so long! I get geese and swans around my house. Don’t get me wrong, love those too, but they get old after a while. So I snapped a few photos, then let Baylee borrow my 300mm to take hers. The wind was really picking up by then and it was getting really cold so we left. I was going to make another stop at a local park, but on the drive home, the blowing and drifting snow was getting pretty bad so we decided to just head home. We did, however, see a Bald Eagle soaring above us on our drive home.

Hairy woodpecker
White breasted nuthatch
White breasted nuthatch and black capped chickadee
Hairy woodpecker and black capped chickadee

The year is turning out well already, and it is only Day 1.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Monday Modge Podge

I didn’t have the best week, but more than made up for it on Saturday when we went to the Oliver Kelly Farm to see how the holidays were celebrated on a real life working farm back in the mid-1800′s.  It was a lot of fun.  Not to mention beautiful weather at about 30 degrees.  Wish we would get more snow.  We went on an oxen-drawn wagon ride and saw a Great Blue Heron rookery.  So glad we went.  Other than that, real life settled in this week with the holidays, science projects, birthday parties and what-not.

Enjoy :)

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Monday Modge Podge

I had a variety this week, Monday to Monday.  It was 40 degrees last Wednesday with blue skies.  Today it was under 20 with a light snow falling and a dusting on the ground.  Tonight it will be single digits, and then supposed to get warm again this weekend.  Only in Minnesota. :)

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No Trespassing!

I have been asked by a couple people in recent weeks if I have ever been yelled at, kicked off property, etc., for taking pictures.  Up until today I could honestly say no.  Well of course my mother and other family members get mad at me for always having the camera in their faces.  They get sick of it, lol.  Oh, I have gotten a lot of stares too.  People see me with my tripod and then look all over trying to find out what the hell I’m taking a picture of.  I love it.

But in search of my Project 365 photos, for the most part I just pull over on the side of the road, put my flashers on, get out and take the picture.   However, a couple times I have ignored “No Trespassing” signs, which I know is wrong.  But it has only been for a couple of seconds, barely on the property, and usually when no one’s home.  I have even taken a picture of a “No Trespassing” sign and featured it in my Monday Modge Podge.  I know, bad ;)

Today I was driving by this beautiful bright red barn that I have driven by many, many times on my lunch hour excursions.   It is not an old barn, but it has spoken to me.   It is just sitting there on a corner with another out-building and an old rusty tractor sitting in front of it.  I finally turned off on a side road today, put on my flashers, and grabbed my camera.  I didn’t even get out of my truck.  I snapped several pictures sitting there, and was just thinking about getting out and walking across the street when I heard a woman yelling from across the way.  I turned and looked at her and she yelled again “No Trespassing,” to which I replied, “I’m not, I’m on the County highway.”  She was a thin little bit of an woman, gray hair, wearing what my mother always called a “house coat” or “duster”.  I guessed her between 70 and 80, standing on the front door steps of an old farmhouse.  She then said, “what are you doing?”  I yelled, “taking a picture of your beautiful barn, do you mind?”  She then huffed, and said “Yes, I do.  That’s why it stays beautiful.  People leave it alone.  Please leave.”  I thought of replying to her that it was public property, thought of going up to her and giving her my card, explaining my purpose, and my blog.  But then I know there are rules in photography about taking pictures of other people’s property and what not.  And I figured she probably didn’t even know what a blog was.  So I backed off.

I respected her wishes, got in my truck, waved at her, and drove off.

Touche’.

That was the first time that I’ve “gotten in trouble” for taking pictures.   But I am about 99% sure that it is not the last time J

Here are a couple of shots of the barn.