Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wayzata Tracks

wayzatatracks both ways
Tracks heading in and out of Wayzata @ -14 degrees.

The unseen snowman.

The Unseen Snowman
Like icebergs, the bulk of a snowman lies hidden beneath the surface. Similar to the mountains of dirty snow in a Target parking lot that remain till mid May, the snowmman's roots linger well into the Spring.
OK, this is just an artist rendering of his thoughts while it is 14 below.

Monday, January 28, 2008

On the Back Porch

A glimmer of sunset
Everyday life sometimes slips by us.

A reader asked if I had heard the MPR discussion on the state of photography. I did not.
I will make my own observation and try to fix on the positive aspects of photography today.
The digital camera age has made photgraphy and the art of seeing things through the camera's eye a very accesable and immediate experience... for anyone. Camera quality has grown exponentially. It has made it possible for everyone to capture lifes moments without the costs and time of film processing and even printing. A quick view of FlickR, or other photo posting and sharing sites show the creativity and beauty that many see every day. People that previously may have been daunted by the costs, and assumed technicalities now are shooting photos daily and seeing things they might have missed.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Winter Panes

Winter panes

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Chanhassen. Lake Susan @ 12 below F.

Lake Susan @ 14below F
A cold sun. A few ice houses. Chanhassen's Lake Susan is a cold setting on this winter morning. After a few shots I hustled back to my car.
Time: 9am.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A little Friday humor

Bathtub sunami

Thursday, January 17, 2008

O Per One!

The steel gate is open, and entry is free. Take a walk down the snowy dock. Oh! Per one.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Excelsior: A Name, a State Seal and a Poem

“L. excelsior "higher," comp. of excelsus "high," pp. of excellere (see excel), taken 1778 as motto of New York State, where it was apparently mistaken for an adverb. Popularized 1841 as title of a poem by Longfellow.” - On Line Etymology

The Longfellow poem was inspired when Henry W.L. took a look at the New York State Seal and was inspired to write this cryptic poem. Today, in the depths of winter, this is a very appropriate piece with some local associations. The Lake Minnetonka/Excelsior Historical Society was a partial resource... here is the poem. (1841)


The shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, ‘mid snow and ice,
A banner with the strange device,

His brow was sad; his eye beneath,
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue,

In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,

“Try not the Pass!” the old man said;
“Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!”
And loud that clarion voice replied,

“O stay,” the maiden said, “and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast!”
A tear stood in his bright blue eye,
But steel he answered with a sigh,
“Beware the pine tree’s withered branch!
Beware the awful avalanche!”
This was the peasant’s last Good-night,
A voice replied, far up the height,

At break of day, as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
A voice cried through the startled air,

A traveler, by the faithful hound,
Half-buried in the snow was found,
Sill grasping in his hand of ice
The banner with the strange device,

There in the twilight cold and gray,
Lifeless, but beautiful he lay,
And from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell, like a falling star,

Note; The first settlers of Excelsior, Minnesota were from upstate New York. In 1852 George Bertram organized the Excelsior Pioneer Association. In 1853 the Town of Excelsior had its first settlers...

Monday, January 14, 2008

A yellow bird@Carsons Bay

Yellow bird

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Story of Columns

Across the street
Our neighbors are building a new house. A Cottagewood USA home. Without reservations I can say that this is a classically styled home. The builder (I do not know them at all) - is Landschute - and they have been respectful of the neighbors and very skillfull. The house is, in my artistic estimation, vintage Americana. That is an unsolicited endorsement.
BUT TO THE POINT - Let's look at the columns. The columns are proportionate to this structure. Columns are the key to a building. They ae not a facade, they set the tone for the architecture of the whole structure. It is said that a Greek temple or could easily be determined if only one columne of the structure survived. Ionic, Doric, Corintian, size and scale.
Looking at many new homes and remodleled homes in the area; if only one column survived these houses, anarcheologist would reconstruct and project a building the size of the Parthenon or an entrance to the Mall of America.
(Note: I could not in good consciense, show photographs of the homes in question.)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A year ago January

winter leaves
Near Vinehill. Hanging on to their leaves.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Monday morning greys

I have tried to take some lovely, dramatic lake shots... But lately, the greys (grays according to your prefernce) have overrruled. Sorry but like Monet, I need light.
Here is some morning humor, with a movie recomendation.
From the Movie: The Lookout
"What do you call a mushroom who is very popular"
Answer: " A fun guy"

2nd place goes to " She/He is so fat that when she goes camping the bears hide their food in the trees"

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Lake Minnetonka Polar Plunge

Polar Plunge
Youthful anticipation - they were waiting their turns 15 minutes before the event.

The Polar Plunge -Excelsior Bay Center / Lake Minnetonka

Minnetonka Polar Plunge founders:  "What were we thinking?"
We used to call them "choppers"; Fat, ochre colored, fleece lined leather mittons. The "Plunge" crowd of spectators were all sporting these gloves or their contemporary conterparts. When the frigid gathering went to applaud, a low thudding rumble was all you could hear.
The first "Polar Bears" were greeted with this muffled applause, and a sharp icy wind. (I know that I was surprized by the intensity of the cold). Next they were shocked into looks of absolute panic as they plunged into the water,- happily climbing out a few yards later.
I am always a queezy about any 20 second event that requires a staff from the Excelsior Fire Department AND the Hennepin County Rescue Squad.
The crowd was congenial but bundled-up to the point of anonymity. I do not think the waves of shivering particiants set any records for numbers. They declared Excelsior "The Winter Plunge Capitol of the World". Well earned, if not wisely earned.

Later Note: 689 Plungers set a World Record!