Milwaukee Brewers Military Appreciation Day

Milwaukee Brewers Military Appreciation Day

Milwaukee Brewers Military Appreciation Day

On America’s Independence Day, I worked the Milwaukee Brewers game as a volunteer photographer for the USO of Wisconsin. The Brewers hosted Military Appreciation Day and invited hundreds of service members and veterans on the 4th of July. Plenty of red, white, and blue adorned these American patriots and their families!

View Milwaukee Brewers Military Appreciation Day Gallery

Port Washington Pirate Festival 2017

Arrrrgh! Pirates Invade Port Washington!

Arrrrgh! Pirates Invade Port Washington!

After a several-year absence, the Pirate Festival returned to Port Washington, Wisconsin. This popular festival brings throngs of would-be pirates to town for a fun weekend. The festival includes vendor booths, bands, exhibits, sword fights, an 8k run, food, and even a tall ship!

View Pirate Fest ’17 Photo Gallery

The Floating Museum

A native Michigander, I’ve lived in Wisconsin for over thirty years now. My roots and family are still in Michigan. I’ve had the occasion several times to save myself the hassle of driving around the bottom of Lake Michigan while traveling by taking the S.S. Badger car ferry across the lake.

The S.S. Badger is truly a floating museum. The ship is a National Historic Landmark, and during my trips on her, I’ve taken many pictures to document my experiences. The galleries below share those photos.

2012 Voyages

In 2012, I completed two round trips on the Badger, one in May and another in October. My first trip was delayed a day due to the breakdown of one of the Badger’s two engines. Strong south winds in the Manitowoc vicinity pushed the ship hard up against the shore on the north side of the harbor. With only half-power available, the ship was unable to get back to its dock on the south side of the harbor under its own power. A tug was needed to push the Badger back to the dock. The passengers who boarded in Michigan, were delayed five hours before they could disembark in Wisconsin. After the passengers and vehicles were offloaded, the vehicle deck was pulled up in order for the repair crew to get down to the engine beneath that deck. Certain parts had to be fabricated in a machine shop locally and installed before the engine was operable again. This cancelled the return trip to Ludington that day, and I was unable to sail until the next day.

2013 Voyages

In 2013, I sailed on the S.S. Badger, returning to Michigan to attend a family reunion.

2017 Voyages

In 2017, I lost a cousin in Michigan and again sailed on the Badger to attend his funeral. 

 

 

Spring Beauty

Nature Celebrates Spring

Nature Celebrates Spring

Today brought a brief photo outing with a couple of my friends. Nothing major, just a visit to a local park to photograph spring wildflowers, followed by lunch. This kind of thing is good for the soul. You may now go back to your phone.

View full size images in gallery:

Lake Superior Sunsets

Serenity at Dusk

Serenity at Dusk

I’ve enjoyed traveling to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for over fifty years now. For almost five of those years, I lived there while I attended college at Michigan Tech.

The U.P. is dominated by Lake Superior. The big lake creates its own weather, provides both natives and tourists with myriad recreational opportunities, and also serves as a major avenue of commerce for shipping both upbound and downbound cargoes.

As the sun goes down over the lake, spectacular sunsets occur almost every night. On a recent trip to the U.P., I had the opportunity to photograph three sunsets from the same spot on the shoreline in Ontonagon. The pictures in this series were all taken from a small footbridge over a creek that empties into Lake Superior. I hope you enjoy looking at these pictures as much as I did taking them!

Watch a Lake Superior Sunset video

View full size images in a gallery:

Spring Ephemerals

Spring ephemeral, refers to perennial plants that emerge quickly in the spring and die back to their underground parts after a short growth and reproduction phase.
Wikipedia

Spring is slowly returning to the northern Midwest. Yesterday we had a sunny, windless day with temps reaching into the mid-50s. While those who live in warmer climes scoff at our weather, days like the precious one we had yesterday are cherished. We go through months of dark, cold days, enduring snow and ice, eagerly awaiting the first signs of spring.

Here in my part of Wisconsin, we still have another month of cold weather to endure. April is no prize to those of us who live near Lake Michigan, whose water temperatures remain in the high 30s this time of year. We won’t get real warmth until June around here. In my adopted home town of Port Washington, we assert that we don’t get spring at all. It’s a cruel joke. Go just a few miles inland, and the tulips bloom and the lawns green up while ours stubbornly wear their winter brown.

Taking advantage of yesterday’s opportunity to get outdoors, I headed for a local natural area to go for a walk in the woods. I’ve enjoyed hiking for decades, but this walk took on special meaning for me. It was my first hike since I severely injured my left leg in a fall on February 27, 2016. When I hit the ground, I tore the quadriceps tendon completely off my left kneecap. That tendon is what holds your leg together. Shortly thereafter, my leg was surgically repaired and remained in a full-length metal leg brace for seven weeks. Nineteen rehab sessions later, I was able to take my tentative first steps without the brace. And yet, a year later, my leg has strengthened to the point that yesterday I found myself hiking in the woods again.

I took a camera, kneeling pad, and walking stick with me into the woods. I had to get down on my knees to photograph the flowers, and needed the hiking stick to push myself back up. Yet I was able to do it! This was no small triumph for me. I thankfully celebrate my recovery and ability to again enjoy one of my lifelong passions.

I’ve loved photographing spring wildflowers for many years. In fact, I share my work online in a Facebook album and the Wonderful Wildflowers gallery on my photo web site. Besides their inherent beauty, these unique creations are harbingers of the coming warmer months. We have short summers in Wisconsin, and we treasure them. The bookends of spring and fall herald their coming and going. A sure sign of the approaching summer is the abundant crop of native wildflowers, and I often head to local woodlots, and sometimes more distant destinations, to photograph them.

Besides the healing of my leg, which enabled me to hike in the woods again, this is also the season of Lent for Christians. Easter, when we celebrate the Resurrection of the crucified Christ, is not far off. These little wildflowers also signify resurrection to me. New life arising from death. The promise of vitality amidst the evidence of morbidity.

Just a simple cluster of flowers? Nope. I see them as evidence of the love and faithfulness of God, coming through yet again. Providing us evidence that there is hope in the midst of the detritus of the passing seasons of loss.

China Lights

china-lights-filmstrip

China Lights is an incredible visual spectacle. Milwaukee was one of the ten cities to host this fantastic display of artistry and craftsmanship on the 2016 USA tour.

To experience this one-of-a-kind display of creativity, visit the China Lights gallery.

2016 Saukville, WI Car Show

2016 Saukville, WI Car Show

2016 Saukville, WI Car Show

Every year the small southeast Wisconsin town of Saukville holds a great car show. This year Mother Nature cooperated and provided a beautiful, sunny day for this nostalgic event.

This year’s images have been added to the 2007 and 2013 images in the Saukville Car Show Gallery.

Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin

AHC_WI_Filmstrip

Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin Attractions

Like aviation history? The Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin is a great resource! You’ll enjoy viewing aviation art, models, a free flight simulator, research library, and much more. All housed within the modern terminal of an operating regional airport!

View the Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin Photo Gallery

Strolling Elkhart Lake

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin Attractions

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin Attractions

Elkhart Lake is a historic village in the northern Kettle Moraine region of Wisconsin. Situated on on the scenic shores of its namesake lake, this historic village has been a popular resort destination for generations. To view more photos, visit my Strolling Elkhart Lake gallery.