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Tag Archives: Photography

Last Thursday we decided to take a walk around Downtown Duluth, Minnesota. It had been a while since our last visit and we wanted to see what was going on. Our first stop was to check out the Superior Street Construction. Duluth has decided it was time to replace Superior Street and update the utilities under the street. This is phase one of a three year project. Unfortunately in redesigning Superior Street the Duluth City Council had it’s head buried in the sand. Rather than rebuilding the street for the future they decided to build for the past. After all parking was the top priority of the businesses along the street even though there was plenty of unused parking in adjacent ramps. Having traveled extensively I was aware that the future of downtown’s is in walking streets and both in this country and Europe are many good examples of walking streets. Reykjavik, Iceland turns their main streets into walking streets during the summer months. Well Duluth is not know to be a forward looking community.

 

We then attempted to walk down to the harbor area through the sky walk. Unfortunately access to the harbor was blocked off. A severe spring storm damaged the waterfront a few weeks ago. There were already problems along the harbor as the seawall had been undercut and the land was falling into the harbor. The storm made matters worse. This happens to be the area where the Tall Ships dock when they come to Duluth. Probably no Tall Ships until the area is repaired. There were workmen in the area attempting to assess the damage.

While we were checking out the damage we noticed some unusual smoke coming from the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior, Wisconsin. We figured there had been a minor accident and didn’t pay much attention.

 

We then had to take a circuitous route to The William A. Irvin because the harbor area is blocked off. This is an old ore ship that has been turned into a museum and offers tours during the summer. This area was already under repair because pier had been undercut by wave action. The $6.1 million Minnesota Slip seawall reconstruction project just resumed after a lengthy delay. Unfortunately the project failed to get the proper signatures and was closed down for six weeks. The plan is to drive new steel pilings then pour a new seawall. The delay has caused problems for the Vista Fleet tour boats one of which docks in back of the Irvin. If that wern’t enough the slip is contaminated and remediation is scheduled to take place this fall.

In addition the Blue Slip Bridge was undergoing painting and it was also closed.

This section of the seawall was breached in the April storm. Waves were above the seawall and sand still has not been removed. The waves were so high they touched the bottom of the Aerial Lift Bridge.

Canal Park remains a disaster zone. A sever October storm severely damaged the lakewalk. The April storm did even more damage. The pilot house used for the bike rentals is closed and will likely not open this summer and perhaps it will never reopen. Because of the damage to the lakewalk the city decided the rental bikes take up too much space in the remaining walk area. The bike path will have to be used for walkers and bikes because the boardwalk was destroyed in the October storm and experienced even more damage in the April storm. Current estimates are that it will take two years to repair the damage.

The city has not been able to assess the damage from the most recent storm because the boardwalk and surrounding area is still covered in ice from the latest storm.

After lunch we decided to take a walk over to Park Point to assess the damage to the beach area. As we started our walk we could see huge plums of smoke coming from the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior. We decided that we had to drive over that way to get some meat at Superior Meats so we should check out what was going on at the same time. As it turns out there was a minor explosion which is what we saw in the morning but around noon there was a major explosion and fire. Fortunately no one was killed and only one person was seriously injured. Most of the workers were having lunch in blast shelters at the time of the explosion.

This shot is from the Blatnick Bridge.

A second shot from Superior.

A shot taken near the Superior Airport which is near the refinery. As were driving toward Superior Meats my wife complained about all of the traffic. She though there might be an evacuation of the area. I thought she was nuts it was just a busy time of day. When we reached Superior Meats the door was locked but there was no notice on the door. About that time my wife received a mandatory evacuation order on her phone. The all of the employees came running out of the store. We decided that maybe we shouldn’t be driving around through a toxic cloud.

Later in the day we drove up to Enger Park to check out the fire in Superior. It was getting late in the day and the fire was still spewing a toxic cloud of smoke. There were a number of people watching the fire. Apparently some of them had been evacuated from Superior because the kids wanted to know when they could go back home.

After that excitement we drove down to Park Point. We love to walk the Park Point beach but between the eroded shoreline on one side and the high ice wall on the other there wasn’t much to see so it was a short visit. It doesn’t appear that this storm cause much more damage along the shoreline. The October storm caused considerable damage. That along with the the high lake levels in Lake Superior had caused flooding in the basements of many Park Point homes. They have been running sump pumps to keep water out of their basements.

What started out as a nice walk through Duluth turned in to a disaster tour of the Twin Ports.

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When we visit Custer, South Dakota one of the things we always do is walk around town and photograph the Buffalo Statues. Apparently they put up some new statues every year and various artists paint them. The statues are auctioned off at the end of the year.

We were up relatively early and headed over to Mount Rushmore from our hotel in Hill City. Although we are out in the Black Hills quite frequently we spend most of our time looking for wildlife or hiking. We had a couple of Linda’s sisters along with us so we spent more time visiting traditional sites on this trip. It was cloudy when we arrived but as the morning wore on the sun came out.

We were lucky to see some Mountain Goats as we walked along the boardwalk below the carvings.

There were a few flowers in bloom at the Monument.

 

These are some of the photos I took on a walk through the farm prairie this week.

Monarch Butterfly

Gloriosa Daisy

Lilies

Sowthistle

Honey Bee

It was late in the day and we planned to stay in Grand Junction, Colorado. On the way we took a detour to drive through Colorado National Monument.

 

 

One day in Page we signed up for the Canyon Adventure Boat TourĀ  out of Wahweap Marina. The tour lasted several hours and covered Glen Canyon Dam, Antelope Canyon, and Navajo Canyon. It had been years since we had been on Lake Powell so the leisurely tour was a nice way to spend part of a day. The first shot is from the Wahweap Marina Overlook.

A spectacular setting for boating.

Glen Canyon Dam from the Back.

It was a beautiful spring day and it was spring break many places. Antelope Canyon was filled with paddle boarders.

We headed back through Navajo Canyon.

We were up early and decided to drive out to Horseshoe Bend and look around. When I first visited this location I drove out to photograph the sunset. I was the only person visiting except for a ranger who was out looking for Peregrine Falcons. We spent an hour together and didn’t see another sole. My how things have changed thanks to social media. When we first arrived in page I suggested that we drive out to Horseshoe Bend to take some sunset photos. As we neared the parking lot we noticed cars parked along the road. The parking lot was full. We decided to come back another time. When we arrived in the morning we were able to get the last parking slot. Those following us were parking along the road. Apparently this location is on the bucket list for every foreign visitor. As you can see the place is a zoo.

After getting a bite to eat we drove out to Bonanza Falls to photograph at sunset. As I had mentioned in earlier blogs there was a lot of water flowing in the rivers. Bonanza Falls also had more water than normal. Generally I like less as opposed to more water flowing because it provides more opportunities for intimate shots of the waterfalls.

 

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One of the most popular photographic locations at Bond Falls is called the Z. It provides an opportunity to capture falls reflections and an waterfall all in the same photo.

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While the main attractions at Bond Falls are the waterfalls there are also opportunities to photograph fall color reflections.

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