Hoar Frost and Rime

There have been number of days this month when everything was covered in hoar frost – I think. The covering could also have been rime which I just found out is not the same as hoar frost. Whatever it is, when it’s present, photographic opportunities abound. Here are some of my shots of rime or hoar frost or maybe both.

Best Of 2020: Photography

Here are my favorite photographs from 2020. I got a late start with my first photo of the year taken on March 31st. Before that I was under the weather and didn’t have enough energy to get out.

Click on a photo to see a slideshow.

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More Waterfalls In Winter

These waterfalls are in Amnicon State Park in far northwestern Wisconsin. It’s not far from Pattison State Park that also has waterfalls as shown in a previous post.

The falls in both parks are along the Douglas Fault line that runs from Ashland, Wisconsin to Minnesota’s Twin Cities. The fault, last active 500 million years ago, passes through both Pattison and Amnicon State Parks. There were many earthquakes around the fault. “Over thousands of years the force of the earthquakes created the ridge that runs through Amnicon Falls State Park and Pattison State Park.” *


* Who knew? Fault line connects Pattison and Amnicon state parks, Superior Telegram, March 13, 2009

Waterfalls In Winter

Over the past week, I’ve visited Big Manitou Falls and Little Manitou Falls on the Black River in Pattison State Park in northern Wisconsin. It’s been freezing at night long enough for ice to accumulate around the waterfalls. The ice takes on strange, bulbous shapes. The orange/brown color in the ice and water is from tannin. “Streams that flow through watersheds dominated by conifers have a characteristic brown tea color that is the result of tannins leaching out of decomposing conifer needles.” *

It’s a fine time for hiking – no people, no bugs, no foliage blocking sight lines for photography. It hasn’t snowed much; not enough to prevent hiking.

Little Manitou Falls, Pattison State Park
Big Manitou Falls
Black River Rocks and Ice (1)
Black River Rocks and Ice (2)
Black River Downstream From Big Manitou Falls


* U.S. Forest Service Web Site (https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/ethnobotany/tannins.shtml)

Returning Home

Geese returning home for the evening cooperated with me to get this photo.

The geese flew in from the left of the photo, got to the center of the frame, then turned back to the left and out of the frame. It was as if they detoured from a straight flight to be in my photo.

This is at Brunet Island State Park in Cornell, Wisconsin. The water is the Chippewa River.

Geese At Sunset

Crepuscular Rays

A crepuscular ray is “a streak of light that seems to radiate from the sun shortly before or after sunset when sunlight shines through a break in the clouds or a notch in the horizon line and illuminates atmospheric haze or dust particles.” *

I’ve been fortunate recently to be out with my camera when I saw such rays. Here are my photos:


* Merriam-Webster Dictionary

A Sense Of Place I

I’ve started taking an online workshop put on by Santa Fe Workshops called A Sense Of Place, presented by Susan Burnstine.

In the first session, Ms. Burnstine showed examples of the work of noted photographers in various genres of landscape photography. Our first assignment was to choose two of the genres and shoot two to four photos within that genre. Here are the photos I shot.

In the style of Michael Levin in the Second Wave Of Pioneers landscape genre:

In the style of Edward Burtynsky in the Documentary: Roots in Civil War, American Landscape, Farm Security Administration (FSA) * genre:


* The Farm Security Administration (FSA) was a New Deal agency created in 1937 to combat rural poverty during the Great Depression in the United States.  It succeeded the Resettlement Administration (1935–1937). . . The FSA is famous for its small [including, for example, Dorothea Lange] but highly influential photography program, 1935–44, that portrayed the challenges of rural poverty

Best Of 2020: First Half

I used to post “best of” photo/videos once a month. I haven’t done so in a year. I’m now photographing again, having recovered enough from a stubborn illness. So here are my best photos from March, April, May, and June.


Freedom, Justice, and Trees.

I read the words below in an e-mail from Playing For Change, an organization well worth supporting.

Let us learn from our wrongs.
Let us recompense and make right.
Let us make this a better place.
To be silent is to be complicit.
We will use our voices to drown out this hatred together.

The e-mail also had a link to A Better Place, a fine song about freedom and justice.

And a link to another stirring song: Love Train


This week I worked on the Digital Photography School’s weekly challenge: Trees. I went to the Benson Brook Route trail in the Governor Knowles State Forest in Western Wisconsin. Plenty of trees. I also found subjects on the county roads in the area.

Violets On One Fine Day

Kevin Drum, who blogs for Mother Jones, writes today that “violets traditionally represent peace and healing,” That a good reason (excuse?) for posting some of my recent violet photos.

Before you look at the photos check out this fine song, One Fine Day, featuring the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, David Byrne, and Mauro Refosco.

Storm Chasing Again

I chased a storm the other day but never caught it.  I started the chase a half-hour too late.  By the time I reached my destination, the storm was well off to the northeast.

So I turned back for home without having taken a single photo.  Luck, however, was with me.  Just as the sun was setting, I came upon a tractor that had been left out in the field.  I had just enough time for one photo.

Tractor At Sunset
Tractor At Sunset


Bells, Bells, Bells . . .

Here is my best photography from May and June.  It is accompanied by songs about bells.  The first is “I Want To Ring Bells” by Joe Venuti and His Orchestra, released in 1934.  The second is “Whispering Bells” recorded in 1957 by the Del-Vikings.

Best Of May and June


200 Main Art & Wine

200 MainA collection of my photographic prints is now on display at 200 Main Art & Wine in downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  It’s a pleasant gallery to visit with good art and good wine.  Also, the biggest white dog in Wisconsin, or at least in Eau Claire.

200 Art & Wine
200 Main Street
Eau Claire, WI  54701

Just a Dandelion

I finally saw my first wildflower of the season at Willow River State Park.  I wasn’t too excited when it turned out to be a dandelion.  Within a yard of the dandelion were a few small, blue violets.  I don’t know what type of violet.  Wildflowers can be hard to identify.  For example, I also saw some small white flowers that could be either a type of everlasting or a type of pussytoes.  I’m not sure which.


Blue Violet

Everlasting or Pussytoes

Willow River


First Wildflower


I’m working on a project to photograph wildflowers in Willow River State Park, but the first wildflower I’ve seen this year was on the North Country National Scenic Trail, three hours north of Willow River.  It’s a round-lobed hepatica.  The flower is about 1/2 inch and is two inches above the forest floor.  The resulting photo is below along with a few other shots from on the trail.


Round-Lobed Hepatica

Scott Rapids Campsite, St. Croix River

Footbridge On the North Country National Scenic Trail


St. Croix River On the North Country National Scenic Trail



I’ve started working on a project to photograph wildflowers in Willow River State Park from the start of the season until the frosts of autumn:  wildflowers in the same location throughout a single season.

I’ve seen no wildflowers yet, so I’ve been shooting leftovers from last year that have spent the season under the snow and whatever new growth I can find.  The first things I noticed were the sporophytes of moss.  The moss is a brilliant green among the drab browns and tans of early spring.

Then there is a small plant with geranium-like leaves that always seems to be green.

Within the last week, the buds on trees and shrubs have plumped up.  They’ve added a tinge of color to the forested hillsides.  Over the last few days, new grasses have emerged and are adding their bit of green.

Wet Leaves and a Roll Of Birch Bark
Wet Leaves and a Roll Of Birch Bark

Grass That's Spent a Season Under the Snow
Grass That’s Spent a Season Under the Snow

Old Bracken Ferns
Old Bracken Ferns

I'm Reminded Of Bryce Canyon
I’m Reminded Of Bryce Canyon


Last Year's Acorn
Last Year’s Acorn

Withered Mushrooms On a Trunk
Withered Mushrooms On a Trunk

Moss Sporophytes
Moss Sporophytes

New Grass
New Grass

Buds On a Shrub
Buds On a Shrub

Rising From the Forest Floor
Rising From the Forest Floor

What Will This Become?
What Will This Become?

New Growth
New Growth

One Of the Earliest Things To Sprout
One Of the Earliest Things To Sprout

No Irony


Spoken without irony by Nigel Danson:

Photography is so much fun.  It’s minus two with a wind chill of about minus thirteen.

The quote above is from one of Nigel’s YouTube videos from Iceland.  It’s just as cold in Wisconsin, actually colder and a lot more snow, but photography can still be fun!

On Burnett County Road O
On Burnett County Road O

Shed and Bare Tree

On Grettum Dike Road

As if!

Winter On the Chippewa River

Animal Tracks On the Frozen River

Open Water On the Frozen River


Stuck Again

February 3rd, 2018:  Stuck in the snow in Cornell, Wisconsin.  It was a Saturday, and I had to call 911 to get a tow truck to come and pull me out.

February 16th, 2019:  Yesterday, a year later, and I was stuck again, in the ditch of a dirt road in Pierce County, Wisconsin.  Again I had to call 911.  Lots of help eventually showed up at the same time; a sheriff’s deputy, a farmer from the top of the hill, and a truck from Larry’s Towing.  The farmer pulled me out before the tow truck arrived.  The towing company didn’t charge me a cent even though they drove many miles to where I was stuck.  I greatly appreciated all the help.

Stuck Again!

Cady Creek
Cady Creek

Pierce County Quarry


Three Winter Days

Day One:  January 30th.  -20° F, wind chill -39° F, clear and bright

Day Two:  February 3rd.  +36° F, no wind chill, dense fog throughout the day

Day Three:  February 7th.  +19° F, wind chill 7° F, heavy snow, wind, getting colder

January 30

February 03

February 07


To Go Or Not To Go

I wrote what follows yesterday at noon.  The weather remains frigid.  I’ll stay inside today.

Cold Road
Cold Road

I’m trying to decide if I should leave my apartment today.  It’s blisteringly cold outside – minus 20° F, wind chill minus 39° F.  I do not want to go out there.  On the other hand, I’m bored with the food I have on hand in my apartment.  Should I venture out in search of food?

At some time today, whether I go out or not, I’ll use a great app I recently discovered, A Soft Murmur.   A Soft Murmur does an excellent job of playing “Ambient sounds to wash away distractions” including rain, waves, wind, birds, crickets, fire.  One can adjust the individual sounds and mix them.

I’ve found that if I lay on my sofa listening to my mix of waves, wind, birds, and crickets and feeling a soft breeze (my ceiling fan on low), I can close my eyes and feel that I’m relaxing on a warm June day.  I find it somewhat uncanny.  All that’s missing is some scents of summer.  It’s free and easy to use.  You can find it at asoftmurmur.com.  (I’m not getting a penny for this plug.)

It Is Cold Out There
It Is Cold Out There

I did go out and even took a few photos.  In doing so, I was only out of my car for two minutes.  Then my lungs started complaining about being subjected to the icy air.  Here are a couple shots that I don’t think actually convey how cold it was.



Best Photography From 2018

My best shots from 2018.  I shot the landscapes in Western Wisconsin, between the Chippewa River and the St. Croix River.  Most of the others I took in my kitchen-table studio.


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