Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What kind of bird is this?

I tried to lighten this one...please click to enlarge and get a better view.

We saw these on the Mississippi...I first thought pelican and then I thought no. I really don't know their range. Then I have just been checking out the internet a little and still undecided. So, tell me what you think they are.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A little detour

These two photos were taken by my daughter....on her cell phone.

Yesterday evening we met my daughter and her husband for dinner...I was asking about Otto among other things and she whipped out her cell phone and showed me these two photos of Otto. They make me smile just to look at them....he is such a love. He loves Jeremy, and wants to go with him whenever he can. He really tries to keep up with Jeremy...if Jeremy is in the garage fooling with a car, Otto is perfectly content to go out there and just get in the car and wait.

He also has this thing of seeing a squirrel or bird out in the yard. He will spot it and do this exaggerated sneaking walk to within a few feet of bird or squirrel and then make a mad dash to try to catch it. I have seen it once and cracked up laughing. So far, any time he has met young children, his demeanor changes and he settles down and becomes very gentle. With us, he is so happy to see us, he about beats us to death with his tail wagging so hard.

I just had to share this...thought maybe they would make you smile as they do me.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Today's churches

Churches are another thing I love to photograph. These are from the trip...I almost wish I had asked to turn around and go back where I got the last photo shown. There were two of these churches, side by side and the quick glimpse I caught of them they seemed to be identical. I was lucky to get this of just one of them, but I will always wonder what the story behind the churches are.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Icebreaker Mackinaw

This is the Icebreaker Mackinaw, decommissioned in 2006. It has a length of 290 feet with the lower hull being constructed of steel plates 1 5/8 inch thick, and steel beams being 16 inches apart...just like the studs in our homes. Instead of cutting through the ice as we normally think of, it is made to be propelled up on the ice and the weight of the Mackinaw breaks the ice.

It can carry 46,910 gallons of diesel fuel, has 6 huge diesel engines that provide the electrical power to turn two 14-foot diameter stern propellers. It also has a brow propeller that is 12-foot, weighs 7.2 ton...it first draws the water from beneath the ice ahead, which weakens it...thus sagging under its own weight..and it sends water back along both sides of the hull reducing ice friction.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The day is done...almost

I looked for this photo last night and couldn't find it...I forgot I had not downloaded yesterday's photos. I just love this one...not sure why. It is another one from Illinois....as are all the others.

Fields were/are starting to be harvested. We seen this plume of 'smoke' off in the distance, only when we got closer we found that it was dust from this combine.

I may have found a new thing to photograph...grain elevators. I wished I had counted how many we seen....

And got to photograph a corn crib...
And this picture just makes me smile to look at with all those birds on top.

I have been busy today doing laundry and I mowed most of the yard. And I made a big pot of chili which I will probably be mine alone. Other than the one bowl Roger ate, that is. I wanted to make chili before we left, but no one else wanted any. So all the time we were gone, I craved chili. I did have a bowl at one place that tasted a lot like my own...it was good. There was just not enough of it...when I crave chili or vegetable soup, I make a pot and eat on it all day long. I told Roger it was the first thing I made when I got home, but it was actually the second, because I did fix a bite of breakfast this morn.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Home at last!

We headed home yesterday, the long way round so to speak. We headed west across Wisconsin because we just wanted to see the countryside one more time. I would love to know how many barns are in that state! There were times when I could not see all that were visible...there were times when there were just too many to see while driving. I took 281 pictures yesterday, many of which has reflections in them or the windows so bug splattered that I don't know if I will ever get them clean enough to use on here. But I will still enjoy looking at them for the memories.

We came across and hit the Mississippi River right below Eau Claire, Wisconsin and followed it down into Illinois a ways. I do not have one decent shot of it because the sun was just at the right height and we were there at the wrong time. It was still fun to see, though. We did not cross it; both of us were just ready to head for home.

These are a few scenes from the drive...I love that vine covered silo or crib or whatever it was. It was in Wisconsin. The others I am not to sure where they were...I think Illinois. the northwest corner is so beautiful--big wide valleys with rolling hills. It felt like you could see forever. And there were a few places that really looked and felt like Eastern Tennessee.

We ended up in a run-down motel last night...I will leave the rest to your imagination. I would have taken over the driving, but that would not have did much good. We were out in the middle of no where, with no major road to get on and just go...we both had to be awake for one to navigate and the other to drive. I guess I should put a GPS navigation thing on my Christmas wish list!

I am so weary...I am stopping on this now. It may take me a day or two to get back to normal. But I will catch up with everyone.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Today's scenes...

As we left town today for a drive, this is one of the first things that caught my eye. I read it's name, but think it left my mind the minute I read it. I haven't a clue to what church this is.And this house below was not too far from the above church...we passed by it so quick I was amazed I got even this shot of it. I do not know if it was a private house, or if it was used for a business.
We were driving up to the tip of Door Peninsula...we explored a couple of side rows, and this is the scene that met my eye as we were approaching Lake Michigan....believe me, this picture does not do it justice.And I just had to add a little more fall color! Right here in Green Bay, the city itself, there doesn't seem to be quite as much color as there was up on this peninsula or as much as in norther Michigan.
The two photos below are on the main road to the tip of the peninsula...taken through the windshield of course. I tried to clean them up a little with Photoshop but could have did a better job if I had been in the comfort of my own home. At least I think I could have.

Take a close look at the silos! There were a lot of them made this way on our drive. I have never seen any like these that I remember.
And here are a couple of barns...I think I could spend a year on the peninsula alone and be lucky if I got all the barns photographed. I have been in Wisconsin before and I remembered liking the barns, but I did not remember there being so many of them. And they are all so unique. I really wish I had at least a month up here to just roam around at my leisure taking photos.I didn't even attempt to take any pictures of the orchards we seen. Just no opportunity for even a half decent shot....I am pretty sure there was one peach orchard, and then there was another orchard that I think had hundreds of young trees that might have been cherries. And we seen some apple trees as well.

That is all for now...I hope I am able to connect to the internet tomorrow night but I have no idea where I will be. We are heading over towards Minnesota tomorrow..we may stop at the Mississippi River though and head south. Not sure. We are both getting weary.

My Cougar kitty got hurt the other night, but it doesn't seem to be serious. Just a small gash near his nose, he was bleeding, but doesn't seem to hurt otherwise. I know it is silly to be so attached to a cat, but I am not sure how I would handle it if anything happened to him.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumn is flying her colors!

We crossed this bridge this morn. It is the Mackinac Bridge....I did not realize it until my best friend/sister-in-law mentioned it that it is 5 miles long. I knew it was long but had not really estimated it. It was opened November 1, 1957....the height of the main towers above water is 552 feet. The total length of wire in the main cable is 42,000 miles! Hard to imagine. But if you want to read these and more figures, go Here.

Most of the drive today was along a road which at times had Lake Michigan on one side and woods on the other. The closer we are to the lake, it seems the more cedar and pine trees there are with just a few hardwoods thrown in. All the dead trees are some kind of pine or softwoods. The day was overcast a big part of the day, with a slight haze to it a big part of the time.

My pictures aren't the greatest but maybe you can still get a feel for what it is like. We are now in Green Bay, and it is quite a bit warmer than it was in Michigan. One of the highways we came in to Green Bay on is being widened, and where we could see the soil, it looked like good, rich loam...the kind you would like to have for a garden. The kind that is pure joy to dig into.

And there were these...I have had no opportunity to get a really good picture of them...we saw so many going into Mackinaw City the day we arrived but we were on the interstate, so no stopping there. I got this today from the car, but I still like it. I think they are paper birch, but not positive. A lot we seen over in Michigan had yellow leaves.

I just had to throw this one in simply because I like it...I would love to know what it was/is used for with that chimney. I wondered if the chimney was for a forge or something.

That is about it for tonight. I don't know why, but I had a hard time connecting. But now that I am connected, things seem to work fine.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


The above is a church we ran across yesterday at Cross Village here in Michigan. It is so beautiful and so well crafted. One thing, we have seen several buildings made of local stone. Lots more than we ever see in Indiana, or Tennessee for that matter.This morn we went to Mackinac Island and the church below is one of the first things I noticed. I did not get any more pictures because we went up to the Fort Mackinac and spent almost the entire day there.Trinity Church was right near the entrance to the fort...I took pictures from street level as well as from up at the fort.

There was another church I seen in the distance but did not get to visit because we were running out of steam....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Favorite things today

We are having a wonderful time...these are just a few of the things I seen and liked today.We toured an ice breaker that is docked just down the way from us a little ways. As we were leaving the area I glanced up and what did I see? And eagle! I could hardly believe my eyes, but if you enlarge this you can see its white head. It was just so awesome.We toured the ship and then took off on a rambling drive. I first heard the geese, then finally spotted them. I only had one good shot of them before they disappeared again behind trees. The gulls were walking along the edge of the water at this public beach area that is out away from town. This is the first picture I took of these two and did not realize till I downloaded it that I had caught them both preening themselves.

This was on farther down the road...we came around a slight curve in the road, and there it was. I was so thankful that there was no traffic behind us! We pulled over and I got out to try to compose a few pictures...these were my favorite two from there.

I sort of like the name--Just a Plain Farm.That is all for tonight...I want to touch base with a couple of my childhood friends and then settle down for the night.