May 31, 2007

Stairs To Freedom

COUNTDOWN: Only 3 Days Until The End....

I was tempted to flip this photo upside down to see if anyone noticed it was wrong. Except for the washed out sky, to me, it would be tough to tell what way is up. Take a look, turn your head and see the photo upside down. It could be an optical illusion, a life sized one. These stairs are in the middle of the Freedom Bridge, also known as the Wabasha Street Bridge heading into downtown St Paul. About in the middle of it, there are a set of stairs on either side that lead down to Raspberry Island and to a small parking area.

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Torino, Italy
Cypress, Texas
St Paul, Minnesota

May 30, 2007

More Fun With Photos

COUNTDOWN: Only 4 Days Until The End....

Yesterday's photo was just pure luck to be standing with the A-frame around the 1st national bank building. Today I'm going to play off that very theme. If you are standing in Harriot Island closer to the Mississippi River, you can magically turn the 1st National Bank Building into the 1st National Crown Plaza Hotel! How cool is that?

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
New York City, New York
Riga, Latvia
Dubai, UAE

May 29, 2007

A-Framed Skyline

Took this one while in the Harriot Island playground area. I was watching my kids play here, I turned around and the a-frame was nearly aligned with the 1st National Bank building. Strange inspiration for taking a photo eh?

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Cape Town, South Africa
Ithaca, New York
San Diego, California

May 28, 2007

Where's Your Other Hand....Between Two Pillows?

There was this massive cloud bank to the east on Saturday. I had to take a photo of it. I also wasn't alone. Head over to St Paul Daily Photo by Carol for a different view of the very same cloud bank! It really was impressive as the east had the beautiful clouds in the photo, while the rest of the entire sky was completely cloudless and full of blue. I had to drive around for a bit to get rid of the house and trees to get a clear view of the sky.

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Chandler, Arizona
Buenos Aries, Argentina
San Diego, California

May 27, 2007

Somebody's Gotta Feel This

I'm going to keep with the concert series theme since it's Memorial Day weekend. I've had this photo in my photo vault for well over a year now. I took this one during the Kid Rock concert back in April of 2006 when they performed in St Paul at the Xcel energy center. Wifey and I were sitting in row 14, center section. I challenge you to find anyone who enjoys a concert of this music genera and also enjoys concerts that features nothing but brass instruments as show in the previous daily photo. The photos I took during the show were very tough to take. Low light, no tripod, lots of movement. Needless to say, most of the photos were a blur and not very presentable. This one was fairly decent with the pyrotechnics in the background giving me more light for this photo.

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Bastia, France
Joensuu, Finland

May 25, 2007

The Quintet With The Money-Back Guarantee

This past spring, I attended a brass quintet concert in the northern part of the Twin Cities. I brought my wife and two kids to see Classic Brass Inc. The word on the street is they are one of the busier brass quintets in the Twin Cities area. Their repertoire is quite varied and they also throw in a money-back guarantee, what a deal!

I've grown up watching two of the members of Classic Brass Inc playing various types brass instruments since the early to mid 80's. My Uncle Roger and Aunt Tina, the two in the photo on the far right. I first saw them perform with Minnesota Brass Drum & Bugle Corps at many Drum and Beauty Competitions and have always enjoyed the shows.

Classic Brass Inc has a few summer concerts on their schedule. The June events I have prior events already scheduled, but the August 27 concert in Minneapolis at Lake Harriot Bandshell, I have marked on my calendar to attend.

My Top 4 Daily Photo Favorites
St Paul, Minnesota
Torino, Italy
Antigua, Guatemala
Naples, Florida

May 24, 2007

Ladies And Gentleman, Your American Idols

No silly, I wasn't at tonights American Idol finale show in Hollywood, this is from the 2006 Idols road tour. The 2006 version toured through Minnesota last summer performing at the Xcel Energy Center in St Paul. It was an enjoyable show. My kids loved it as this was their first concert they had ever been too. Congrats to Jordan Sparks, the 2007 American Idol winner. She gave me goose bumps when she sang the 'Broken Wing' song on Tuesday. Blake Lewis had the most original song ever this season with Bon Jovi's 'You Give Love A Bad Name'.

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Riga, Latvia
Katowice, Poland
Joplin, Missouri

May 23, 2007

Cause I Drink Alone, Yeah With Nobody Else

Yeah, the other night I lay sleepin'
And I woke from a terrible dream
So I called up my pal Jack Daniels
And his partner Jimmy Beam

My son and I were heading back home one Saturday and we pass this Jim Beam sponsored racing car driving on the streets of Cottage Grove. He squealed the tires a bit as he turned the corner. I had to see where it was going. I did a u-turn and the next available spot and went on a chase. I saw the parking lot it drove into and read the sign that said the car was on tour at a new local liquor store, how ironic. Interesting way to advertise I though. My son asked if I had the camera because he wanted to take a photo for this website. So this is his first photo he took for the Twin Cities Daily Photo. The car was only there from 4:00 to 6:00 and it was 6:07 at the time of this photo. They actually were rolling the car onto the trailer for the day, otherwise he would have gotten a better shot from outside the car.

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Mainz, Germany
New York, New York
Antigua, Guatemala

May 22, 2007

Who Are You

Last photo from the Carpenter Nature Center. This great horned owl was impressive to me. Mainly because I heard them a lot when I lived in St Paul, but never ever saw one. Living out in Cottage Grove, that is one thing I do not hear that often. So to finally see one, wow, larger than I expected.

May 21, 2007

From The Biggest To The Smallest

Yesterday I had a photo of the largest bird in the raptor family, with a wing span of about 6 feet long. Today we have the smallest of the North American Hawks, the American Kestrel. This is quite a colorful bird up close. Not what I would expect to see from a bird of prey. Although, for the birds that make Minnesota their home, it's one of the most colorful birds that I have personally seen around here.

I didn't get the information from the volunteer holding the hawk if this bird would be released back into the wild.

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
San Diego, California
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Phoenix, Arizona

May 20, 2007

Bald Is Beautiful

Another photo from yesterday's Carpenter Nature Center. One thing I never realized about the bald eagle....I was very surprised to see feathers covering it's legs. It actually looked strange seeing all of the feathers. Most birds legs are exposed to the elements, but the bald eagles legs were covered with feathers. Perhaps being such large birds with large feathers, one can actually notice their legs. My guess is the extra covering helps the eagles who do not migrate. Not all of them do, which I was also not aware of. When I was awaiting the raptor release, I observed nine bald eagles flying in the sky. I had never seen so many eagles flying at once in the sky. It was quite a sight to see. I know a lot of the bald eagles success comes from the Carpenter Nature Center. I wonder just how many of these beautiful birds call this area home.

- Donate to the Carpenter Nature Center
- Carpenter's current Wish List

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Silver Spring, Maryland
Brookville, Ohio
Sydney, Australia

May 19, 2007

The Home Of The Brave

Made a visit to Carpenter Nature Center for their annual raptor release event. It certainly was amazing to see if you've never been to an event like this before. They released four birds on this day. One bald eagle, two red tail hawks and I cannot recall the fourth bird they released. This was the first time I had been to this type of event and had no idea that a place like this existed. The short story, they help injured birds of prey back into the wild. They come in to the center for various reasons, broken wing, the bird was caught in a live trap and had a broken leg, etc. To see these birds up close like this was awe inspiring. Today's photo is of a bald eagle that had been injured in some way, but could never be released back into the wild for fear of it not surviving if it was released. Some of the birds just are not able to be healthy enough to make it. The center is run by donations from public and private charities. All of the workers are volunteers, which again is quite amazing in this day and age.

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Nelson, New Zealand
Torino, Italy

May 18, 2007

The Big Screen

Made a visit to Cottage View Drive-In located off of Highway 61 in Cottage Grove. We made it there a few weeks ago on their second open weekend of the season. The sun was setting and turned the white screen a shade of orange. I completely missed the sunset, which has quite a vantage point from where the drive-in is located. I guess I was too busy people watching at the time and talking with my wife and family to notice. Currently they are playing Spiderman 3, with Shrek the Third coming out on Friday, we are hoping they will be changing to it Shrek so we can bring the family to another show. One of my first couple daily photos featured the Cottage View drive in from outside the gate back in April 25, 2006.

See what's playing at Cottage View Drive In

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Boston, Massachusetts
Paris, France
Bastia, France

May 17, 2007

All That Glitters Is Gold

I took this photo back in, I believe it was the end of February, perhaps early March. Took this through one of my windows in my kitchen. I really like how this turned out with the sun shining through the clear ice with the neighborhood as the back drop. The longest icicles were roughly three and a half to four foot long from the overhang of the roof.

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Kansas City, Missouri
New Orleans, Louisiana

May 16, 2007

Ramsey Mill On Vermillion River

Hats off to Tara of Baton Rouge Daily Photo for correctly guessing the ancient ruins discovered in the Twim Cities were of a mill of some kind. Indeed, these are the remains of one of Hastings first flour mills. This is the Ramsey Mill, built in 1857 by Governor Alexander Ramsey [construction was started in 1855].It burned down in a fire on December 22, 1894. The mill was rather small and produced about 100 barrels of flour a day. Gardner Mill, located on the Vermillion Falls produced about 1000 barrels of flour per day. I've featured the Gardner Mill, now called the Hastings Flour Mill, as a past Daily Photo.

I found this photo of the Ramsey Mill taken in 1930. Photographer is unknown.

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Maple Ridge, (BC) Canada
Delta, Colorado - another WOW!

May 15, 2007

Ancient Ruins Series Continues

I wanted to continue on with the ruins of a building I found while on a walk with my wife and kids. Standing back to give you a bigger perspective on the area the building is sitting in. I mentioned a river it was built along, this river is in Hastings and empties into the Mississippi River not too far from here. I recall a comment a couple posts ago about how could they let the building stand in fear it will fall on someone. I can honestly say, that thought had crossed my mind when I was standing inside of the building remains.

I would like to return to this site when the sun is nearly setting and the river waters have warmed up a bit more. Looking back on the first two photos of this site, the sun setting with a reddish tint in the sky, standing in the water on the other side of the river bank near the beaver! Did you see that beaver over there on the east side of the bank? Throw in a bit of river water reflection. I can picture the shot in my mind, but I need to be there at the right time and I do need a replacement camera. I brought my broken camera along to the Breakfast Club gathering and described what I did to break the LCD screen.

Tomorrow I will give all of the details on this site that I can find.

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites

Calcutta, India - WOW!
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Brownsville, Texas

May 14, 2007

Daily Photo Breakfast Club

Of all of my years I've spent communicating on the internet, Saturday, May 12 2007 was a first for me. It was the first time I've ever met someone in real life, where I developed a friendship over the internet. Thank goodness it was with people who all share the same hobby as I, photography. Kate of Visual St Paul was the initiator in the gathering. We were joined by fellow photographer, Carol of St Paul Daily Photo and Chris, Deb, Sophie and Kitty of Minneapolis Daily Photo. From right to left, Chris is holding three year old daughter Sophie, who is holding kitty. Carol in blue, Kate with the hat, and myself in black. The photographer for the photos was Deb.

We discussed many of the other daily photo blogs that we all enjoyed, there were quite a few of you who were mentioned during our conversations. When we first starting setting up for this shot, I half expected Chris to poor water on the ground to get the reflective lighting that he is famous for. Was just an obscure thought that crossed my mind and had to share that with you all.

If down the road, and I imagine there will be another gathering of the daily photo people from the Twin Cities area, I do have to remember to check the calendar to make sure it's not during my peak allergy season and agree to meet at a place that will not set my allergies over the edge. I have a month of allergies per calendar year, when the lilacs are in full bloom is the time I stock up on allergy medicine. I am looking forward to the next gathering.

Chris, Deb, Sophie, Kitty

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Minneapolis, Minnesota
St Paul, Minnesota
St Paul, Minnesota

May 13, 2007

Ancient Ruins Located

Happy Mothers Day

Another angle of the ancient ruins. From walking around the old building, the horizontal lines in the stone is where the floors were located. The open areas were windows at one time. The vertical lines of wood, I believe it was wood, I'm guessing it was to help support the roof when it was there. The building location is located along side a not so well known river.

My Top 3 Favorite Daily Photos
Phoneix, Arizona
Sydney, Australia
Zurich, Switzerland

May 12, 2007

Ancient Ruins In The Twin Cities?

Ancient Ruins? 1885 this building was built. Does over 100 years count as ancient? That's debatable for sure. So what and where is this place in the Twin Cities....Especially you locals who are familiar with the area. I can assure you, it is in the Twin Cities metro area. I discovered in using one of the photo areal sites, I was looking at a particular place from the satellite view when I discovered this odd shaped remains of a building. If you think this photo looks mysterious in this photo, try looking from a satellite image and try to figure that out. As I wasn't sure exactly what I was looking at....There it was, I had a mission, I had a quest, I had to discover it for myself....I will let you discover it with me.

My Top 3 Favorites Daily Photos

Little Rock, Arkansas
San Diego, California
Mainz, Germany

May 11, 2007

Mississippi Boat Line Up

Just a few of the boats that were lined up on the Mississippi River, docked up by Harriot Island in St Paul. I would have liked to have had more of a clear reflection shot for this one, but the river waters and the wind was moving rather fast this day.

My Top Three Daily Photo Favorites
Sequim, Washington - fixed
Baziege, France
Melbourne, Australia

May 10, 2007

Far And Wide

I want to expand a bit off of yesterday's photo about the Lock and Damn number 2. It's a very interesting place to visit, I'm a short distance from the dam for this shot. The bad news, if you read the sign on the closed entrance gate in yesterdays photo, the dam is closed for visitors. So, that is about as close as one can get to the dam and the observation platform. It does have to do with the terrorist attacks on September 11.

Read the expanded warning message about why the dams are closed for the moment.

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Honolulu, Hawaii
Cape Town, South Africa
Selma, North Carolina

May 9, 2007

Dam It Is Closed

Payed a visit to Lock and Dam Number 2 which is located near the Hastings border on the Mississippi River. This is the entrance to the observation area which obviously leads to the area where you can watch the boats rise and fall, depending on which way they are headed.

My Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Newcastle, UK
South Shields, UK
Oulu, Finland

May 8, 2007

Snoopy I'm Home

Snoopy in pinstripes, very fitting for this West Side neighborhood. This snoopy is located on Wabasha Avenue near the green stairs.

Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Barcelona, Spain
Riga, Latvia
New Orleans, Louisiana

May 7, 2007

60 Miles Per Hour Wind Gust

We had some very high wind speeds here in the Twin Cities today. The wind gust topped off around 60 miles per hour. The strange thing was, there was no rain in sight where I was. It was all winds, just like it was a severe thunderstorm, but lacking the rain. Lots of tree branches down, items blown over, found a couple new things that blew into my yard. For todays daily photo, I can only imagine what this large weather vane looked like during the wind storm today. This unusual sized weather vane can be found in downtown St Paul right next to the farmers market. I left the light pole and the fire hydrant in the photo for size reference.

Top 3 Daily Photo Favorites
Budapest, Hungary
Bastia, France
Hong Kong, China

May 5, 2007

Pre-Historic Cave Carvings

Well....maybe not historic, but someone recently cared enough to leave their mark on the sandstone cliffs that make up the banks that USED to be part of the Mississippi river millions of years ago. These modern hieroglyphics can be found at the base of the Green Stairs that I've recently posted about a few days ago. They are there, just as you step off the last step, look and you will find them.

Top 3 Daily Photo Sites of the Day:
Stavanger, Norway | Port Vila, Vanuatu | New York, New York

May 4, 2007

The Land Down Under

This perspective is from the underside of the Wabasha Street Bridge in St Paul, heading into downtown. This bridge was rebuilt about 10 years ago, give or take a couple years, and was then renamed the Freedom Bridge. I'm not sure why the bridge was renamed nor the purpose for the name. The bridge is very patriotic as it is lined with many United States flags on the top side of the bridge. Makes for a fitting name.

Top 3 Daily Photo Sites of the Day:
Guelph, Ontario | Selma, North Carolina | Mazatlan, Mexico

May 3, 2007

Lid Transplant

The recently transplanted dome from the State Capital building was finally put in place at it's new home over the weekend. This successful transplant was performed by a local constructions company....

Okay wait a second, that might be stretching the truth a bit. Honestly, I wasn't expecting to see the top of the State Capital building in St Paul from where I was standing for this shot. There it was and I'll take it.

Now that spring has arrived, I've been trying to get more color into the photos I'm posting. When I've had to get my color photo fix over the winter I often visited Isabella's Daily Photo site down in Naples, Florida. The colors in nearly all of her photos can only be found in the Twin Cities for about three weeks out of the year before the cold, snow and winter return.

May 2, 2007

Historic Cottage Grove Town Hall

Currently being restored, the Town Hall of Cottage Grove served the cities government for 80 years. When it was built in 1881, it was located in the unincorporated village of Langdon. I'm looking for history on the Village of Langdon currently as I was unaware of this village name and how it became part of Cottage Grove.

Photo of the Town Hall before the restoration. Very small photo but it was the only photo I could find. Oddly enough, it's nearly the exact angle I choose for my photo.

May 1, 2007

Rita Hayworth Gave Good Face

Rita Hayworth - Please Don't Kiss Me

Chris over at the Minneapolis Daily Photo has posted not one photo with a face, but two photos with a face. I felt compelled to keep up with the Jones, so to speak. I had taken this photo about three weeks ago in Hastings while on a walk with my family. We happened to pass by this somewhat abandon train cars with lots of graffiti. After being challenged to a face off, I figured that this graffiti face was my answer to the surprise attack.