New Sugarbush House at Riveredge

I’ve been taking pictures at work, here are some shots of the new Sugarbush House within a winter nature backdrop.

With hundreds of sugar maple trees on the property, maple sugar season is a big deal. I’ve enjoyed watching and documenting the progress of this building as it sits amongst the trees. Complete Maple Sugarin’ details here.

I’m in a photography class this semester, intro to photography. Interestingly enough, it’s a film class. I’m learning to understand the mechanics behind taking pictures: aperture, shutter, ISO, the relationship of how one must compensate for the others, all that necessary stuff. I’m glad those words are beginning to have meaning, and I look forward to developing a greater understanding. Working at it, trying to improve on what I’m doing.

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Ode To The Plow Drivers: A Poem on NPR

During the snowstorms we had in the Midwest, I was driving behind a snow plow and started noticing the nuances of the driver operating the vehicle. I pulled off the freeway, wrote this poem on my phone, sent it to the 89.7 WUWM Lake Effect staff, went home to shovel snow, then went to the studio to record. Give a listen here.

Green Moss and Lichen on the Last Day of Fall

I went out for a little jaunt to take some pictures of the vibrant, rain glistening greens of lichen and moss on the last day of fall at Riveredge Nature Center. Here are my favorites from my brief walk. Click the arrow on the right side of the image to see more.

Foggy, then Sunlight at Riveredge Nature Center

Yesterday it was a pretty foggy morning at Riveredge Nature Center…

but then the sun came out for some pretty nice shots of light, shadows, and residual fog. Click the arrow to see a few more.

 

“This Is Just To Report” – Poem as a Journalist Taking a Poetry Class

When you’re a poet going for a journalism degree, filling out the teacher evaluation after attending your first ever poetry writing class, but stylistically have always been a journalist amongst poets. I added actual constructive criticism afterward, but couldn’t not write this down once the idea occurred to me.

In case the allusion isn’t obvious, check out the original William Carlos Williams poem.

This class was taught by poet Brenda Cárdenas, and I enrolled specifically because she was the teacher. I plan to take another in spring, one which deals with book layout. On my computer sits got a decade-long backlog of poems waiting to be published, so this class should prove convenient and helpful. The writing has been done, that’s the important part. Publishing can always happen later.

Exploring Riveredge Nature Center

I started working at Riveredge Nature Center in early October and I’m enjoying getting to know the landscape. Riveredge is comprised of 379 acres along the Milwaukee River, and is located in Newburg, Wisconsin. It’s about a 40-minute drive from Milwaukee.

I’m primarily a writer, but I use photographs as a companion to words. Sometimes pictures can more quickly communicate an experience than words are able to translate. Taking pictures has given me an excuse to go exploring the 10 miles of trails and find things to write about.

I’ve been trying to look at the place with new eyes, try to see things from perspectives other people may not, or from places I haven’t thought to look from.

I liked that this view was initially a little confounding to look at. The angles of the tree shadows, the grass through the water, the water now becoming solid instead of aqueous and taking on a different sheen.

I’ve been trying to capture the sense of topographical dynamism that I observe between the hills, ponds, immediate trees, skyline, and forest in the distance.

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One thing I’ve realized – it’s pretty challenging to get pictures of birds. They just don’t stay still! I saw these hawks tussling above the prairie, and unfortunately I had the wrong lens to capture any of them individually. Ah well, we all learn (hopefully) new things, and I’m glad this is giving me an opportunity to practice new skills.

Here is a shot of the Milwaukee River in late October.