Friday, August 31, 2007

Nip and Tuck

School starts in three days, and THEY said the bridge would be completed by the time school started. It is going down to the wire.
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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Happy, but I still want a new camera.

I am not happy with my digital camera. Yes, it is convenient, and yes, I am happy to not be lugging my old EOS around; but, and it's a big but, I am never happy with the color that my Canon digital captures. Part of the problem is the convenience. I don't concentrate, and I don't spend the time on the shots that I used to. Trade-offs! It is so nice to have the camera close at hand to snap shots of things I never would have normally got, but the color sucks. Here's a shot of a Hemlock Varnish Shelf, Ganoderma tsugae (I believe), where the camera did a mind-numbingly good job. This was exactly the way it looked, and of the shots I took of fungi, this one perfectly captures the way the thing felt, too, leathery and soft, yet, very there-for-the-long-haul.
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mixed Emotions

State fair time across the border in Minnesota (we get nothing but Minnesota news way out here in western Wisconsin, so technically it is our fair). Combining the culinary train wreck that is Spam with the gift of the gods, cheese curds, could be a top ten historical sin. Did not try them, out of protest more than anything. They were probably good, for it takes more than congealed pork fat to ruin manna (depending on your Biblical interpretation, meaning "best choice of foods" in this instance).
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Academy Playground

School building that houses the Renaissance Academy, a bunch of civic organizations, and the River Falls Public Montessori, a premier learning institution.
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Monday, August 27, 2007

Upriver from Town

It is impossible to get a good picture on the Kinni, especially with an eight-year-old navigator running the other paddle. When the good shots arise, the water is flowing too quickly; when the water is deep and calm, there's nothing but green. Don't get me wrong, green is nice. It is probably the color we midwesterners take for granted, because we got a ton of it. Crops are green, trees are green, and most of our planted plants are mostly green. It's the other colors we have a shortage of. Some gorgeous reds and oranges along the river today, but they were to be found exclusively by rapids. I do have some pictures, but they suck.
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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Like Midwesterners say...

..."There are only two seasons-winter and road construction." Some sort of concrete artifact from the Maple and Main construction projects.
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Saturday, August 25, 2007


Sunflowers are not actually flowers, but rather a collection of thousands of little flowers emanating from a common center. They truly are phototropic, with heads following the sun over the course of the day. Heads are bagged to prevent pollination, often times to test the effects of disease or insects. 90% of sunflowers grown are used for oil, the remaining 10% are confectionary (to be eaten).
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Friday, August 24, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

South Fork

Walking the South Fork from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (hereafter: UWRF) campus to the Kinnickinnic is a perfect afternoon trip. Expect to climb over tree falls and expect bugs (but, really, not too bad). More importantly, expect little contact with humanity and lots of animal tracks. You probably won't see much for animals, save a few birds, but know that the depths next to you probably contain lots of little eyes watching you travel noisily by.
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The river flows into the town of River Falls from the north as the Kinnickinnic and from the east as the South Fork. Once connected in town at Glen Park, the river flows to the St. Croix, then to the Mississippi, then to the Gulf of Mexico. It is not a rambunctious river, and whatever activity is to be found is generally man-made or the result of a fallen tree. It is walkable in most spots, and few activities more wonderful can be found then to spend a day making your way through town on the South Fork.
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The cicadas blur...

This is a photo of the cicada rebirth of a year ago. We have seen the empty suits of the cicadas this year, but have yet to catch them in the process of crawling to a tree and shedding their walking clothes. It is one of the oddest things to see up close. You can't determine if there is mating or fighting going on.

Dog Day Cicada here in Wisconsin (genus Tibicen); supposedly we were to get the 17-year this year. Have yet to see them, here, though (perhaps we missed them).
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