Saturday, December 16, 2017

Lake Monona Ice Views

I've noticed the ice on the lake the last couple weeks as I drive to and from work and I'd been thinking of stopping to take a few pictures.  Well, today as I was running errands I took advantage of the beautiful weather - sunny and above freezing - to stop for a few minutes and actually do it.  This is Lake Monona from Olbrich Park, where the Olbrich Biergarten was opened late this last summer.  The migrating water fowl, possibly including a population of trumpeter swans that I'm told is in the area, can be seen in the distance here if you look close, where the ice meets open water.


And to my right as I stood is again a beautifully framed view of the downtown isthmus and our picturesque capitol building.  I like this picture enough I've made this my background on our computer.


The ice closest to shore is mostly rough from being broken and refrozen, with the water spray freezing on the rocky shore making another nice photo opportunity.  I'm not a total stranger to being out on the ice, but it is much too early to trust it.  At least one overeager ice fisherman has already had to be pulled from the lake.


A zoomed in view to the left may provide a better indication of all the water fowl out on the edge of the ice.  Their noise actually made a quite a dull roar from where I was standing.  The Madison lakes are a popular spot on waterfowl migration routes.


And another zoomed in view of the downtown isthmus area that shows the transition from the broken/refrozen ice, to the ice sheet and then open water.  It's too early to say if the lakes will fully freeze over this winter or not.  On the left you will see the Monona Terrace convention center, a bike destination over the summer, and to the right that bit of green you see is the copper top of the Barrymore Theater, also pictured in my last Atwoodfest post.


You may also click on the pictures to see them full size on Flickr.

On a side note, this last week or so Windows had two updates that took some time to install and ever since then my display is darker than normal.  My new monitor is and has been at 100% brightness, but in my windows display settings there is no longer the choice to change the brightness.  I've tried everything I know to do to remedy this, to no avail.  Anyone have any ideas?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Thoughts, And Cats!

Hamish, top, and Basil
Welcome to winter.  We got our second snow last night and this morning, about an inch is all.  My wife went out and scraped it up off the driveway and walks earlier today and the rest will melt when the sun makes short appearances or may stick around in the corners and shady areas since the outlook is for high temperatures around or just below freezing for the foreseeable forecast.  It looks like we may get a bit more Monday, but nothing to be concerned about.  A white Christmas is still not assured.

20171003_19325620171025_203835Speaking of, I need to get shopping, like now.  We won't be traveling far this year so I need to get gifts chosen, ordered and shipped to where they need to be.  I think we may scale it back a bit this year, not due to lack of funds but we're not going to see them opened and I'm, quite simply, running out of ideas.  I've always tried to put much thought into what I get for presents, especially for the kids, but I just don't feel that inspiration this year.  But who knows?  We'll see what happens when I've been on Amazon for a while later today.

DSC00074We don't have much planned this weekend except for the Packer game, so I am looking forward to plenty of rest, the aforementioned shopping, and there are several little things I can get done around the house.  The Badger football team lost in the Big Ten Championship game and have a tough bowl game to finish their season in a few weeks.  The basketball team is young this year and not quite as dynamic as the past several years.  The Packers may get number 12 back soon but it may be too late to save the season.  On the bright side, the Bucks are looking a lot better this year.  Okay, that's it for sports talk.

20170930_204847Not knowing what to write and not having enough ideas for a This-And-Thats post I decided it was time to post some cat pictures.  After all, we have a ton of them.  They can be so adorable and we always have a camera with us, thus the phones fill up with cat pictures.  I wish I could be so relaxed and content with all my needs taken care of.

So now I present to you our cats, brothers, Basil and Hamish!

I want to remind everyone who reads this via email or notification that my posts are viewed as intended on the desktop website:
Other views get the point across in a convenient format, but not necessarily in the view I crafted.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Badgers Time

This is what's on my mind this week.  Our undefeated Wisconsin Badgers have a shot at the national championship playoff, but they have to win on Saturday night for the B1G Conference championship against Ohio State.  There's a lot more to it than that, but that's all for the talking heads on TV.

I'll be watching.  And I believe it will happen.
Go Badgers!

Hotlinks to these pictures may not last long, but the excitement is NOW!  Go, Badgers, Go!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

Today we made a day trip about 100 miles or more west southwest into an area of the state that borders up with Iowa on the Mississippi River, with Illinois just south, the tri-state area of Dubuque, Iowa.
This picture faces west, Iowa is across the mighty river.

20171123_102054(0)We were on our way to see my Mom and Dan, and my sister's family.  It was a nice day with a nice Thanksgiving feast, card games, football and good company.  The kids are getting bigger (James may be taller than me next time I see him!), and my sister and niece are also doing well.  Mom and Dan are looking forward to another winter in Alabama and sound like they are keeping happy and busy.
We had a very good time with all.  This picture is the view from the bridge, upriver.


Whenever we make this trip I always want to take pictures, especially when we cross the Mississippi River area into Dubuque.  This trip I made my wife get her camera ready so she could take pictures for me.  Yes, my wife Kate took all these pictures - at highway speed, mind you.  I briefly said kinda what I was looking for and to just take a lot of them.  Several turned out very good, the best are here.
This one is coming off the bridge back to Wisconsin.


There's other scenes along the trip I wouldn't mind getting, too.  Like the big M on the mound in Platteville, seen for miles around.  And other random things, like the big cutouts through the rocky hills for the roads, some had icicles from the spring water that seeps out, and other scenic roadscapes.
This is a brilliant sunset picture over the Mississippi River for 60 miles an hour over a bridge.


I must say - though I've said it before - I've started to really like taking pictures, and this blog this year has shown that.  I don't plan on investing in any special equipment or anything, I just enjoy getting a good picture, and now I'm seeing, or looking for, those opportunities more often.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

First Snow of the Season, 2017

The first snow of the season fell this morning.  What you see is about all we got, and it isn't expected to stick around long, thankfully.  I expect a weekend filled with football and relaxing.  I do have a growing to-do list, but nothing terribly urgent at the moment.


I've noted our first snow here on the blog over the years:  October 10, 2009; December 4, 2010; November 9, 2011; December 9, 2012; October 23, 2013; hard drive issues and a break around this time in 2014; November 20, 2015; December 4, 2016 and now, November 18, 2017.  It was interesting to look back at the dates.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

1000 Posts!

20171104 1000 posts