Tag Archives: nature

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge Week 18

Today I am participating in Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge for the first time. According to Cee:  “This challenge subject is all about capturing the roads, walks, trails, rails, we move from one place to another on. You can walk on them, climb them, drive them, ride them, as long as the way is visible. Any angle of a bridge is acceptable as are any signs.”

You can see her entry HERE.  Links to others are in her comment section.

My entries this week are all taken at the same place – just different seasons.  Guess which season gives you wood ticks??  😉

Enter if you dare.  Beautiful - yes.  But blood sucking danger hides in the foliage... Mwa hahahahahahaha!

Enter if you dare. Beautiful – yes. But blood sucking danger hides in the foliage… Mwa hahahahahahaha!

Bare but still beautiful.  And wonderfully bug free.

Bare but still beautiful. And wonderfully bug free.

Taken on the coldest day of this past winter.   Windchills of -40.  But the sun was shining!  And no bugs!

Taken on the coldest day of this past winter. Windchills of -40. But the sun was shining! And no bugs!

Have a great day, youse guys!


Sue the Oddball: Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge Week 32

Before we moved, we lived close to a community trail that I often used for biking or walking my ankle biters.  Last spring, I found this random kitchen chair along the side of the trail.  It was shortly after all the snow melted, which is when odd items previously snow bound reveal themselves in the melt.

But a chair?  How was this even out there?  Was it abandoned by it’s mother, a frightened young table who didn’t know where to turn?  Or was it running away from a hoard of toddlers armed with permanent markers and blunt scissors, hoping for a better life in the wild?  We may never know.

It was gone the next time I wandered down the trail.  I can only hope it found a safe haven, and wasn’t hustled by a used wood-peddler and sold into the sleazy diner trade.

Running away from home or abandoned by the mother ship?

Running away from home or abandoned by it’s mother?

For more fun odd ball photos, check out Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge – Week 32!

Don’t Fence Me In

Tonight I tried to take my cat for a walk.  We had limited success.  He was pretty happy until I wouldn’t let him sit in the weeds all night.  Then we had a bit of a tiff, which I won after several minutes of coaxing, pulling, cajoling, and hissing (him, not me).


You might be wondering (most normal people would) why I was walking my cat, and the best explanation I can come up with is that we were both bored and we both wanted to be outside, even though I am currently covered in bug bites and smell like chemicals.  But that’s the point of tonight’s blog – I would rather swat mosquitoes and beer bugs than sit safely indoors.  For me, that’s the point of summer – to get outside and explore the world.  That would be Midnight’s point too, but he is not allowed unsupervised outdoor visits due to neighborhood garden pooping and baby bunny decapitating.

Do you think she can see me?  I don't think she can see me.

Do you think she can see me? I don’t think she can see me.

I have had several outings since my last photo blog.  I even took a break from sunsets to switch to wild flowers and waterfalls for a bit.  My traipsing around snapping photos has earned me 280 miles on my Cannondale and around 30 on my Townie – not a bad start, although I would like to finish up the season at 2000 overall.  We will see how ambitious I get, and who wins my weekends – the bike or the beach.  Of course, if I bought a Burley, I could throw my cooler and lawn chair in it, and bike TO the beach…hmmmmm…

My first pictures are not outdoor explorations.  My friend, Joe, the captain of our mTT (My Team Triumph) Bellin Team from last year came to my day job to rally the troops about mTT and tell his story (always worth repeating – you can read it here).  Any day I get to see Joe is a good day, and it’s wonderful to see him spreading his wings as the race ambassador for mTT.  If you are looking for an organization to add meaning and heart to your running, check them out and sign up to be an angel.  Life changing, I’m tellin’ ya.  DO.  IT.

Left Picture: From Left to Right - Grandma Marge, Mom Dee, Aunt Do-Do, Joe, Christian Jensen (Wisconsin mTT Director) and me. Right Picture:  Joe, myself and Christian.

Left Picture: From Left to Right – Joe’s Grandma Marge, Mom Dee, Aunt Do-Do (Doreen – my bestie so I get to make fun of her), Joe, Christian Jensen (Wisconsin mTT Director) and me.
Right Picture: Joe, myself and Christian.

My first excursion took me on a 25 mile circuit thru my ancestors old stomping grounds.  I purposely mapped my ride to run the entire length of Conard Road, because the dork in me found it exceedingly cool to ride down a road named after my ancestors, even if it’s just an old farm road.  It was also cool to find an ancestral  headstone in the local cemetery, although it seems to be one stone marking the very short lives of three children.  Two of them died within a couple of months of each other (April 1882 and May 1882 – if I am reading the stone correctly.  It’s a little worn so hard to tell), so now wondering if there was a local illness that year, and if so, what?  May have to have a little discussion with my dad on that one.



As my ride continued, I noticed storm clouds in the distance, so had to hoof it a little, but I did take time to stop on Mary Road to grab some pictures of blooming wild flowers, including our beautiful state flower, the trillium.  I think the small yellow ones are marsh marigolds – notice how they are thriving right next to an old plastic bottle.  Gotta love man’s mark on this earth, and nature’s ability to thumb its nose back at us.  Does anyone know what the single yellow flower is?  Wild or accidental cultivation?


Incidentally, my mother tells me it is not illegal to pick trilliums – just illegal to dig them up and transplant them.  I’m not sure if she investigated this or if she is just covering her tracks from all her illegal trillium picking.  She’s a little shady, that one.

My next ride took me to Red River County Park, so named because of the color of the river that runs thru it, feeding into the Bay.  I’m not sure what causes it – it looks like iron to me, but my dad thought it might be from the clay in the earth or from the bark of local trees.  I tried to find something on the internet but Google failed me, so a trip to the library is in order.  I supposed I could randomly ask a local too, although the “weirdo factor” kicks in when sweaty strangers in spandex start asking questions.

Red River County Park, Wisconsin

Red River County Park, Wisconsin

Notice the shells?  When I first visited this park with my Grandma Conard way back in the day, this was all sand.  I swam in the river with a bunch of other kids – I was a little freaked out by the water, which is probably why I remember it so well.  The shells are from an invasive species called the zebra mussel.  These little buggers have taken over the Bay and many other local waters, and are causing ecological issues such as avian poisoning and smothering native clams and mussels due to the sheer number of them. My intention is not to start a dissertation as to why the zebra mussels are tiny evil crustaceans, especially seeing as we have so many other ecological issues going on that zebra mussels seem like they would be pretty far down the “should we be alarmed” list.

This picture shows two sides of the same tree at Red River, taken on the same day at the same time.  What a difference a little perspective makes.  Kinda like life.


My next adventure involved a hike in the woods.  There is a bird preserve that has a trail used by birders and forestry students at the local college.  Dave and I heard about it thru his cousin Jeremy, and ventured down it a short bit back in April.  It was too wet then to continue, but I knew I wanted to come back and explore it.  Given the current bug population, Dave declined my invitation.  Apparently he is rather attached to his blood.

It was still a little wet – in fact it reminded me of some southern bayou.  It occurred to me that it would make a great place to hide a body and I started nervously looking around for the serial killer.  And giant hair Shelob spiders.  And bloody-muzzled slavering dire wolves.  Right about this time I scared up a deer and nearly wet my pants.  The beauty below is not imaginary, though.


Memorial weekend Dave and I visited Wequiock Falls, and then Matt and I returned this past Monday night.  The difference in foliage in a week is phenomenal, but so is the water volume.  Monday’s photos were taken after 2 days of heavy rain – the current was crazy.


This is just a pretty shot of the falls from when Dave and I went over Memorial.


Saturday was spent lounging on the beach at Bayshore, which is primarily crushed zebra mussel shells and rock, but enjoyable anyway.  When I got too hot and was tired of dozing in the sun (although honestly, who ever gets tired of dozing in the sun?), I stone hopped along the larger shoreline rocks, occasionally dipping my feet in the Bay to cool off.  Notice the “peace” rock.


The rest of these are more sunset pictures – some taken at Bayshore and some at the local boat landing.  I also experimented with the panorama function on my iPhone for the first time.  Turned out pretty cool, I think.  I also really like how the dock and the rocks have a pink hue from the setting sun, and how the one sunset has a cloud that looks like a giant space ship.  Oh, and a random flower picture thrown in for good measure.

I did enhance a few of these – the camera never seems to capture the vibrant colors as well as my eyeballs.  Hopefully I didn’t over do it!






Stay adventurous my friends!

Until next week,


Fall Photo Journey

Today I am posting a few pictures from fall.  I think it is safe to say that the beauty of fall is passing, and winter is setting down roots.  The last couple of mornings we have had temperatures below freezing and certain yorkie-poos I know were hesitant to venture out on the frosty grass.  They gave me the evil doggie eye when I made them go out anyway.

The first set of pictures are from the Fox River Trail in late September.  The most interesting thing is what someone wrote on the boards of the bridge that goes over the East River.  You have to look closely to read it all, but I also have it in the caption beneath it.  Has anyone read this book?  Interested to hear your take on it if you did.  I never have.

Fox River Trail

“Want the truth about why the world is the way it is? Were you in a union? Read: “Hope Of The Wicked: The Master Plan To Rule The World” by Ted Flynn. Read the whole thing before you judge. Then you’ll understand!”

Fox River Trail

Bridge over the East River on the Fox River Trail

Fox River Trail

Under the bridge.

Fox River Trail

Fox River Trail

Final blooms!

This next set is from my work trip to Boston in early October.  Not much time for goofing off, but we did get some fun in.  The pictures of all the fabulous bakery are from Mike’s Pastry in the North End.  They have the BEST cannolis.  Totally worth the blisters I got from wearing brand new shoes that day.  Yes, now I know – never bring new shoes on a trip!

Mike's Pastry


Mike's Pastry

Another great shot of Mike’s. Check out the tin ceiling. You can only pay with cash at Mike’s, so leave your Visa at home!

Mike's Pastry

I really wanted to get one of these too, but didn’t want to have to have all my clothes altered before I went home.

Mike's Pastry

My chocolate chip cannoli. Sooo good. Sadly, I only had one.


Quincy Square



Quincy Square

While walking around the Quincy Square area on Friday morning, we ran across the New England Holocaust Memorial.  It began to rain while we walked thru the monuments with the millions of tattoo numbers inscribed on them.

New England Holocaust Memorial, BostonNew England Holocaust Memorial, BostonNew England Holocaust Memorial, Boston

Some of you may not know what I do for my ‘day job’.  Nothing to glamorous – I sell commercial furniture for KI in Green Bay.  Part of my trip was visiting customers with my field reps.  The next two pictures are from an install of ours at Simmons College.  I love it when a plan comes together!

Simmons College

Portico tables with Strive chairs.

Simmons College

Sela Chairs in Pallas Busy Bee fabric

The following weekend after getting back from Boston, I went to Chicago with my sister and my niece to watch my other niece kick butt in the Chicago Marathon.  This was her first, and we decided we needed to cheer her on!  Congratulations, Alyssa!

Chicago Marathon

We know Alyssa is in there somewhere!!

Chicago Marathon

There she is!! Close to the finish! We were eating Garrett’s popcorn while we cheered!

Chicago Marathon


While we were looking for Alyssa at the start, we ran across these ladies.  I chased them down for the photo because my daughter’s name is Lindsay and she absolutely hates running.  Then they turned around, and I had to agree!  Lindsay IS the best!  🙂  Love you, honey!

Chicago Marathon

Lindsay says, “No! No!”

Chicago Marathon

I wholeheartedly agree!

A couple of random pictures from the weekend after the Chicago Marathon – one from the Bridge Between in Denmark and the other from the Fox River Trail.

The Bridge BetweenThe Fox River Trail

And my final pictures are from a walk I took with the dogs.  I walk them every day, but with the shorter days, it’s often dark by the time we leave.  This was one of the rare occasions we got out before the sun set.  I love walking thru cemeteries, although they used to scare me as a kid.  I read the tombstones and imagine the lives of the person beneath it – especially if it’s from the 19th or early 20th century.  I try to imagine how the city must have looked then, and what they wore and what they did for a living.  I think the pictures below capture the solitude of quiet in the midst of a busy day.

Mount Olivet Cemetery

Mount Olivet Cemetery

Mount Olivet Cemetery

Mount Olivet Cemetery

Mount Olivet Cemetery

Mount Olivet Cemetery

Mount Olivet Cemetery

Mount Olivet Cemetery

Mount Olivet Cemetery

Mount Olivet Cemetery

I will leave you all with my last picture – a little less somber!  This one reminds me of confetti or fireworks or sprinkles on frosting.

Stay warm my friends!