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Monthly Archives: September 2018

This summer we made a day trip from Oslo to Lillehammer. This is only the second time my wife had been back since she attended Nansen Academy in the 1970’s.

More photos from our visit to Lillehammer can be found on my website.

The train station holds special memories for us. Back in 1999 we were on a hut to hut hiking trip to Norway. After the hiking adventure we toured around Norway for a few days making a stop at Lillehammer. We were a little late getting to the train station and ran through the station to catch the train. Then we waited and waited. Turned out there was some kind of problem on the tracks and we had to get off the train and spend a good part of the day on the street waiting for buses to transport us back to Oslo. The original station has been expanded since our last visit.

It was a warm day and as we walked through town we noticed a couple of kids ridding their bikes through a fountain.

We walked past the local church and a large athletic complex.

Our destination was Nansen Skolen where my wife attended school. She had a great time while attending school and became fluent in Norwegian as well as a good cross country skier. Some of of here stories about learning to cross country ski were quite funny. They usually involved her being face down in the snow and some little kid asking her if she was alright. As it turned out one of the reasons we got together because I was one of the few people in town who knew how to cross country ski. The second photo is the house she lived in while attending school.

After visiting several places we headed back into town to catch the train. Lillehammer like most European towns has a great walking street. We really wish more cities in the U.S. would wake up and convert some of their streets to walking streets. We spent some time wandering around looking for some of the places my wife remembered visiting as a student. As it turned out things have really changed since she was in school and most of her local haunts were no longer around.

On the afternoon of the first day we decided to make the trip up to the North Unit. We heard that the traffic on highway 85 between the north and south units was heavy and we weren’t disappointed. Lots of farm trucks and oil equipment on the road. One of the reasons we decided not to make the trip a second time.

More photos from Theodore Roosevelt National Park can be found on my website.

Shortly after entering the North Unit we encountered these strange rock formations. There were quite a few large round rocks embedded in the formation.

A short time later we noticed a female Mule Deer and two young deer walking along the road. This turned out to be the first of many we saw along the road. We also saw Buffalo but mainly solitary bulls well off the road.

We drove out to Oxbow Overlook. There was some color but in a week or so the yellows along the river will likely be spectacular. What a great view of the river valley below.

The fall colors were great along the entire drive through the park.

 

 

We have visited Oslo a number of times and on each visit we walked past the Oslo City Hall (locally referred to as the brown cheese). Our only stop was to use the restrooms on the harbor side. It never occurred to us that city hall might be worth a visit. One day I happened to read that there were free tours of city hall and we were going to be in the area later in the day so we decided to take the tour. After all city hall mentioned in Jo Nesbo’s books about Harry Hole and I’m a big fan.

More photos from Oslo City Hall can be found on my website.

The strange thing is the back of city hall faces the harbor area. We had just assumed that the back was the main entrance. Much too our surprise the main entry faces the city. One theory is that the builder had the plans upside down when they started construction and when they realized the error it was too late. Another is that the harbor was not the beautiful place it is today and they didn’t want the building facing the harbor.

On the side of the building there is a beautiful flower garden.

The facade is dominated by a beautiful clock. On both sides of the steps there are beautiful pieces of art and at the bottom of the steps a great fountain. Turns out all of this was a portent of what was to come.

Once inside the great hall we were surrounded by frescoes on all of the walls. Each telling a different story about the history of Oslo.

The second floor contains still more beautiful artwork depicting the history and culture of Norway.

This is the view of the harbor from the second floor on the back of the building.

This a free tour that should be on your list when visiting Oslo.

 

It took us a full day to drove to Dickinson, South Dakota where we stayed for the night. The next morning we drove over to the South Unit where we spent the morning driving around and getting a feel for the Park.

More photos from Theodore Roosevelt National Park can be found on my website.

It was overcast but we could see occasional glimpses of the sun. Fall was in the air and the colors were starting to change. In some places it was outstanding.

We stopped at the Prairie Dog town. In addition to the Prairie Dogs we saw a couple of Pronghorns.

Our next stop was Peaceful Valley Ranch where we notice a number of folks getting ready for a trail ride. I have to admire anyone who rides horses. It looks like a lot of money and time is involved just getting to the trail and saddling up the horses. I wouldn’t have the patience.

At Skyline Vista we noticed these strange rock formations. We think the second shot is an ancient see creature that had absorbed a lot of iron and is embedded in the rock formation. We saw this same thing at other locations in the park but this was the best example.

As we drove down the road I noticed a Buffalo back behind some rocks. I walked back to get a better look and discovered a small herd in a wash. The one hiding behind the sage brush seems to by quite interested in me so I was also keeping a close eye on it.

As we drove down from Dickinson we noticed a couple of wild horses along the highway. When we entered the park we ask about the horses and the ranger said we would see them if we were lucky. As it turned out we were lucky. For some reason we took a dirt road off toward the Roundup Horse Camp. As we came over the hill we found a small group of five horses. The group consisted of a stallion and four mares. We watched them for about a half an hour before moving on.

We then continued on the loop road finishing in Medora in the early afternoon.

The following photo appears in the November 2018 Lake Superior Magazine. The article is entitled “Transitions – Celebrating Our Seasons of Colorful Conversion”.

Full color at Oberg Mountain is almost upon us. More photos of what you will find can be found on my website.

 

We took a day trip on the ferry from Oslo to Oscarborg Fortress. It was another beautiful sunny day in Norway. The ferry made many stopsĀ  along the way most them on small islands out in the inner Oslo Fjord.

More photos form the Oscarborg Fortress trip can be found on my website.

The Fortress was impressive. It is noted for its defense of Norway when the Germans invaded on 9 April 1940, all of the fortress’ armament was over 40 years old, and of German origin. Both the guns and the torpedo battery worked flawlessly when Oscarsborg encountered one of the German invasion flotillas; they sank the heavy cruiser Blucher and threw back the German naval force heading for Oslo, thus managing to save the Norwegian King and government from being taken prisoner.

I managed a few bird photos. A pair of Eurasian Oystercatchers and a fledgling Gull.

The last photo is he home of the Fortress commander.

The last few weeks I’ve been walking around the farm looking for insects. These are just a few of what I’ve found.

 

These are a few of the late summer flowers blooming around the farm.

 

We were gone most of the summer. When I returned in early August I put out a few hummingbird feeders. It was only a couple of days before the hummingbirds turned up at the feeders. The second week of September they are still around. They are also feeding on my Red Prince Weigela and my Sunflowers.

We made a short visit to Crex Meadows last week and were rewarded with quite a few different thing to photograph.

Bald Eagle

White Water Lily

White-tailed Deer

Sandhill Cranes

Red-legged Grasshopper

Pied-billed Grebe

Painted Turtle

Milkweed Seed

Great Blue Heron

Autumn Meadowhawk