Nighttime Snapshot of the Riverwest 24 Bike Race

This picture I took during the Riverwest 24 Bike Race caught the eye of CBS 58 in Milwaukee so they shared it. Such a fun annual community experience.

* technicality – it’s the Riverwest 24 not a 34-hour bike race (not my typo)

Great Blue Heron photographed at Riveredge

I’ve worked at Riveredge Nature Center for nearly three years and I got my first usable pictures of a Great Blue Heron today.

Unfortunate about the northern wildfire haze in the background, but I’m nonetheless glad to have pictured this gangly specimen.

These birds are native to the area and I’ve seen them plenty of times, but they always managed to spot me first and I’ve watched them fly away along the Milwaukee River.

In this instance I saw this one land at a nearby pond while I was eating lunch and hustled to grab the work camera while the salad waited. See more pictures here on the Riveredge Instagram account.

Film Pictures from the Wisconsin River

I brought a 35mm camera while canoe camping on the Wisconsin River so as to not be using water vulnerable electronics.

Morning coffee while watching the swallows.

I’m pretty happy with how some of these turned out. And kicking myself for those few shots when I forgot that pesky film advance function. Ah well.

Something fun to do while doing something fun. Oh, and if you’ve never…grab yourself or try out flinging a set of horse shoes. See a few more pictures here.

First Rites of Spring: a Poem While Mountain Biking

Hepatica while riding at Pleasant Valley Park in Grafton, Wisconsin

Stopped and write this poem during my first ride of spring. Working at a nature center has the benefits of now beginning to recognize the plants along the trail.

WordPress being WordPress it didn’t retain intended line breaks, so I suppose I’ll let you imagine where they exist.

Grinning in the sudden fragrance

of last year’s Christmas pines

winding now scenic trails;

a lemonade of civil engineering

in the echoes of the town dump

bike tires lean past

Wild Leeks leafing amidst moss

as the auburn of Wood Betony

stretches it’s floral tentacles

nowhere near an octopus ocean.

I crouch down, saying hello

to the pinkpurple Hepatica.

Blood still thick with last month

body baffled by this new mercury

panting gladly for a breath

within the leaves of last year

A Moment of Learning

Was present with my camera for this moment of discovery at work. Students learn about tiny holes in theoretically solid pieces of wood. This displays the paths that transport sap as evidenced by blowing bubbles with one’s breath. Click the arrow to view all pictures.

Bald Eagle Pair, Photographed in Flight

One of those days when you’re out taking pictures of Sugar Maples for spring promotion and you hear oddball chittering sounds…it’s not the squirrel over there – ah it’s a couple of Bald Eagles flirting up in the sky.

Photos from a recent prescribed burn at Riveredge Nature Center

To quote the Riveredge Instagram post I wrote…

Prescribed burning is a time tested practice for prairie and savanna rejuvenation that existed in the Americas centuries before European settlement. We embrace this practice across appropriate Riveredge habitats.

Prescribed burning spurs prairie seeds to sprout, consumes encroaching invasive species, and expends potential wildfire fuel in a safely controlled situation.

Thanks to our wonderful burn #volunteers for helping keep everyone (and everything) safe!

A perhaps unorthodox building portrait.
Lines of fire are strategically placed with a drip torch to collide and extinguish together.
Riveredge School students were able to learn and observe from a safe distance.
This shot is probably my favorite, the combination of high-leaping flames and indecisive sunrise.
For all the technology in the world, the best burn tools are still a flat piece of rubber to suffocate any flare-ups and a backpack full of water with a hose.
I was even able to participate in a burn later in the day (photo by my colleague Matt Smith). I should probably clarify…the fire is moving slowly, for this picture moment, I’m in a safer landscape than this may appear.