Tag Archives: sunsets

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,


Better Late Than Never. Random Thursday Thoughts.

Better late than never – I used to hear that a lot as a kid.  I guess I was late a lot.  Our whole family was late.  I seem to recall being the last family filing in to church on Sunday, and always getting stuck having to sit in the first row.  So uncool.  I guess it’s not surprising I am writing this blog late, and that I won’t be posting it until late either. I’m hoping it’s still Thursday when I do, but heck – I’m easily distracted.

Here’s the thing.  It’s not my fault.  It was the first warm Thursday this spring and it didn’t thunderstorm like every single weatherman predicted, so I had to take advantage and ride the Highland Howie ride.  I suppose you are wondering A) Why didn’t you write it earlier in the week so you would be prepared like you normally do and B) What the heck is a Highland Howie?

I did start writing it, but it’s not finished.  I ran into some writers block and my entire idea that sounded so great when I was out walking the dogs has been hard to nail down on paper.  Or…whatever this is.  What do you call this anyway?  In the old days, you either wrote on actual paper or typed on actual paper.  What do you call it when it’s on your computer screen?  Sorry – random thoughts.  Now you know why I’m behind.  Anyway, hopefully I will have it all figured out for next week.

Then again, I might still be running around the neighborhood taking sunset pictures like a moony thirteen year old.  Seriously.  I have taken like 20 of them since Saturday. The bonus is that an iPhone takes far better pictures than my 110 camera did 20 years ago.  HA.  Yeah, more like 30 years.  If you round down.  A lot.   Man.  Remember those old 110 cameras?  And the giant flash thingies you had to buy for them that sat on top like a plastic tower?  Oh, and you had to get the film developed and all the pictures were grainy and none of the sunset pictures looked like the one you saw with your eyes but you still kept taking them because your a big sap at heart and you like sunsets.  Even at age 50.

You can’t see enough beautiful sunsets.  It never gets old, ya know?

You know what does get old?  A crappy bra.  That get’s old real fast.  If your talking to a woman and she’s crabby, it’s probably her bra and not PMS.   Who invented these torture devices anyway?  Why do we even have to wear them?  Who decided it was such a fashion statement?  I bet a 50-year-old having a hot flash started the bra burning fad back in the 60’s.  I think it might be time to revive that.

Our moat is gone.  Dave pumped it out and then the builders brought in about 5 loads of dirt and filled in a bunch of the low spots.  And they knocked a good portion of our mud hill down, so we can actually see the entire pond, which is much better for wildlife stalking.  We have a couple of geese that keep coming back and even though they are messy, I don’t mind if we just have a couple.  It would be cool if they bring babies to the pond.  The blue winged teals still stop by and so does the white egret.

I downloaded a bird app from Cornell to start trying to identify the local song birds.  So far, I haven’t done much but drive the dogs crazy with it.  Entertaining in itself, but I was hoping to track down some of the songs I have heard.  The problem is that so many of them sound exactly the same to me.  I did realize I have heard bluejays and chickadees for years, and just didn’t know it.  And that the owl I heard was probably a great horned owl.  But that’s about it.  However, it’s still pretty cool, and I do get some revenge on the dogs.

I have more random thoughts but it’s 10 pm and most of you are probably in bed and I still have to upload all my sunset pictures because – oh yes – I am going to share them.

May the sun shine upon your faces and the warmth seep into your bones.  Yay, spring!  Finally!


Trailside Sunset

Trailside Sunset

Sunset at Bayshore Park

Sunset at Bayshore Park

Fingernail Moon over Bayshore

Fingernail Moon over Bayshore

If you look closely, you can see the dew drops on the blades of grass.

If you look closely, you can see the dew drops on the blades of grass.

Sunset over the Bay.  Notice I even got a seagull in this shot.  Am I good or what?

Sunset over the Bay. Notice I even got a seagull in this shot. Am I good or what?

I Got A Rock.

I Got A Rock.

Sunset over the bay 2nd try.

Sunset over the bay 2nd try.

Random stream close to where we live.

Random stream close to where we live.

Spring!  I'm hoping these are trilliums.  I will know soon!

Spring! I’m hoping these are trilliums. I will know soon!