Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘photography

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Living in farm country has exposed me to the life cycle of cultivated crops and I was just commenting to Cyndie the other day how entire fields of soybeans suddenly all turn from green to yellow-brown in about a day. I wondered what it is they trigger on. The hours of sunlight? The reduced angle of the sun? Some particular overnight low temperature?

Boom. All at once, the field is no longer green.

Walking through our woods yesterday, I realized some of the ground cover that grows beneath the canopy has abruptly traded its green color for yellow.

That is a blurry photo but I am using it anyway because it still shows exactly what I’m describing.

Driving through the countryside to see the fall colors won’t show you this version of autumn. The view from within the forests of the fading greenery provides a different perspective of transformation after summer is over.

I did succeed in capturing a couple of other views from yesterday that weren’t as blurry.

It won’t be long before our boardwalk will become entirely obscured by a thick blanket of leaves. You won’t see any of the wood blocks after the maple trees drop their leaves.

The views from within the forest of the changes from summer to fall are a wonderful compliment to the brightly colored tree tops available from a distance.

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Written by johnwhays

October 3, 2022 at 6:00 am

Aerial View

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We were finishing breakfast yesterday morning when our friend, Mike Wilkus, texted that he and his niece would be flying over our place in twenty minutes. Cyndie responded that we would be out in our field with the horses and asked for a photo of the labyrinth. Right on time, we heard the sound of a small plane approaching.

They flew right over us and made a turn to come around again. It was easiest for us to see them when they were right over us but from my experience as a passenger in small planes, I knew it is most difficult to see what is directly below. It felt a little dorky to be waving my arms broadly toward a small visible speck of a plane so far away in the sky, but I was guessing that was when they would have the best-angled view of us.

Soon, Mike was sending us pictures he took and Cyndie was sending hers right back. It went a little like this:

The four horses stand out pretty well in that last image. Cyndie, Delilah and I were a little above and to the right of the horses. To the right of us, the bottom portion of our brand spanking new driveway stands out rather nicely, too. Looks pretty good even from that altitude.

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Written by johnwhays

September 30, 2022 at 6:00 am

Strolling

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

September 27, 2022 at 6:00 am

Alternative View

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This photo begs a caption but I’ve got nothing. Feel free to share your ideas by posting a comment.

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Written by johnwhays

September 22, 2022 at 6:00 am

Waves-2

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

September 16, 2022 at 6:00 am

Dew Drenched

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You know, I could get a lot more mowing done in a day if I didn’t need to wait so many precious hours for the grass to dry out from the overnight soaking of dew.

On the other hand, the wet hours during the first half of the days lately have given me a chance to knock off a few other miscellaneous chores that otherwise get passed over for the larger jobs.

I finally took a wheelbarrow into the woods to pick up a big pile of half-buried landscape fabric that had been dumped years before by previous owners. I discovered a piece of it several years ago in a most unsuspecting place off a trail, pulled up what seemed like an endless amount and then walked past it over and over through the seasons ever since, always thinking, “I should haul that out of here one of these days.”

Well, now it’s been hauled. Dew is not a bug, it’s a feature!

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Written by johnwhays

September 14, 2022 at 6:00 am

Nature’s Magnificence

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It was a beautifully warm sunny afternoon that found Cyndie and me splashing in the lake to clean duck shit off the inflated floating platform in the swimming area. A thankless task because not long after we leave, the ducks return and make themselves at home again. A price we pay to co-exist with wildlife.

At the time, we had no idea stormy weather might be lurking nearby. As the dinner hour approached, pizza from Coop’s was chosen and I got elected to drive into town to pick up our order. Emerging from the trees onto the road to Hayward, a view of the open sky revealed a most spectacular display of roiling cumulonimbus clouds that were so engaging I struggled to pay appropriate attention to my driving.

While waiting at the bar to pick up our par-baked circle of deliciousness, the two tv screens overhead began to display ominous-looking warnings about a thunderstorm in Sawyer county. Based on what I had just seen in the sky, I wasn’t surprised in the least, but the folks around me who were oblivious to what it looked like outside were caught as unaware as I had been 10-minutes earlier.

It just didn’t feel like a storm-threatening kind of day.

With the pizza box safely stowed on the seat beside me, I checked the radar view on my phone before setting off and saw we were on the backside of this long line of storms that were percolating just to the southeast and moving away from us.

I called Cyndie and suggested she check out the view, knowing her deep appreciation for cloud formations. By the time she was able to see it and take pictures, the clouds had lost some of the initial splendor of the freshly blossoming thunderstorm that I was able to witness, but because we were granted a rear view of the event, it still looked impressive.

As the rotation of the earth moved the sunlight closer to our western horizon, the storm in the distance began to glow and bounce vivid color off the lake for a whole nother visual presentation.

Isn’t nature magnificent?!

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Written by johnwhays

September 3, 2022 at 9:16 am

Big Blade

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We had a close-up view of a wind turbine blade outside the Eco Experience building at the Minnesota State Fair. It provided a dramatically different perspective from how these blades appear when slowly turning a great distance away.

I framed this picture to remove any visual references that reveal this blade was attached to the ground and pointing straight up into the sky. These blades are massively large.

I’ve been telling myself the image is well-suited to become a Words on Images creation but that moment hasn’t materialized yet. In the meantime, I am posting it today, as is, because I didn’t have anything else to write about.

I mowed the lawn for the last time in August yesterday. Wish I could say it would be the last time this year but predictions for September warmth hint the growing season will last well into the fall again this year. After the significant amount of rain we received last weekend, there are areas on our property where the grass is as long and lush as we’ve ever seen it.

The big blades I’ll be spinning in the weeks ahead will be all about cutting grass, not generating electricity.

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Written by johnwhays

September 1, 2022 at 6:00 am

Fair Fun

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Just as I suspected, getting there required the first long wait in a queue for an express bus ride to the great Minnesota State Fair. There would be more lines to come but none of them ended up becoming unbearable waits and they always came with a good reward.

Not having to drive through traffic and pay a high price to park made it well worth the approximate half-hour wait for the bus ride.

We were able to bypass the LONG line at the front gate to purchase an entrance ticket because we bought ours online in advance. The nice young ticket checker was able to tap my phone for me to navigate to the e-ticket barcodes. Saved me the embarrassment of trying to do it myself.

If I could post just one picture for our day at the fair, this next one would be my choice.

Breakfast of champions. Cyndie asked, “Is it too early for cotton candy?”

We’d been inside the gate for a mere few seconds. “No,” I answered.

What could I say? We were at the State Fair! She was going to need the sugar buzz to survive a LOT of walking in the hours ahead.

What else should we eat?

There went my sugar quota for the day. Look at how many you have to eat just to get the cover on to save the rest for eating when you get home.

Biggest highlight of the day for me was chatting up the DNR folks for information and ideas about caring for our fields and forest. We have a lot of ash trees in our woods and they most likely won’t survive another decade based on the odds of emerald ash borer infestation. As a result of the warming climate, we should consider replacing them as they die with trees that have historically done well in the growing zone just south of our location.

Moose picture. Just, well… because, moose! And a really big one, too.

Speaking of art, fine art at the Fair is always fun.

It occurred to me that some visitors from rural farm country might be experiencing museum quality art displays for the first time in their lives. It’s a gas seeing the mix of humans from every walk of life mingling in the wide range of “neighborhoods” at the Fair. From the Fine Arts building to the hog barn feels like a world away.

Some streets were wide open and food vendors there required little in the way of wait times. A few blocks later, it was an elbow to elbow mass of people trying to walk in multiple directions. We bought deep fried cheese curds from a booth on a less-crowded block. The greasy goodness was just as satisfying as if we’d gotten them from the busiest corner of them all.

We never did find the 4-H kid who was showing a cow that spent much of the summer on the field next door to us, but we did get to see some kids who really love their livestock. The young man in the photo above was taking a little rest with his prized porker.

There was this large array of feathered coyote food in cages. Since that was my first thought, it is my opinion that I’m not ready yet to go back to having those sweet birds roaming our land again.

I forgot to take a picture of the incredible pork schnitzel sandwich that was probably the best thing I ate all day, but a chocolate malt from the Dairy Building was photographed in the nick of time before the cup got emptied.

Of all the days we picked to attend, Tuesday is not a good day to see horses.

The horse barn was closed all day. Really?

It took until we were about to leave before I finally came upon a person I knew. Friend, Mary Jo, from the Tour of Minnesota bike trips, was helping one of her friends who had space on the second level of the Grandstand selling things from a store she has near Rice Lake, WI (I think it was). Another highlight of the day.

We had a fabulous time at the Fair. Now, all we have to do is figure out how to stop eating everything in sight and get back to normal.

Whatever normal is.

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Written by johnwhays

August 31, 2022 at 6:00 am

Morning Scenery

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I got absolutely skunked by Cyndie in our rematch competition of CrossCrib yesterday. Four or five hands and I didn’t score a single point. In one case, she had 40 points before I counted my hand and the points in the crib. No contest from the get-go. I used to pride myself in defensive play but that ploy was entirely insufficient against her cards yesterday.

Cyndie also outdid me in capturing fabulous images of the early sunlight on a walk with Delilah while I exercised my world-class lethargy, staying in bed longer than I care to admit.

Wait. Did I just admit that?

Gorgeous.

It is my great honor to be given the privilege of featuring them on my blog.

Thank you, Cyndie! I’m happy to give up CrossCrib success against you forever if you will keep giving me access to your photo library. 🙂

As if I had any control in that.

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Written by johnwhays

August 28, 2022 at 9:35 am