Friday, September 30, 2022

Harriet Alexander continued

After my first handful of pictures presented here of the Harriet Alexander Nature Area, I was feeling it was all kind of garish, what with its heightened colors, smearing, and bizarre textural effects. Honestly, several of the pictures I took looked lovely and clear without being bombarded with painterly filters and tweaks! I thought: maybe it's time to show some simple restraint and present a more simple palette of photographs that just doesn't try so hard. 

I resolved then that this is exactly what I'd do!

At which point I wildly over edited my pictures for hours, and here we are again:

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Harriet Alexander, the first pictures


I took my pictures and I dropped off my first roll of film at the drugstore to get developed. Now I have just gotten back the first set of photos from The Harriet Alexander Nature Center, which is a small parkland near here, where very nice wood paths wind through the marshes.

Actually, I didn't have any film. And I didn't drop it at the drugstore for developing. 

It was all digital.

But do you remember taking film in? And waiting to pick up the prints? 

I do.

I feel zero nostalgia about it. I kind of hated it. My first reaction to seeing my (costly!) prints was always, always disappointment! 

Then I would adjust.

Now I just start out adjusted.

I have a lot more pictures from these lovely black swamps, but here is the first sample:

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Library beeping


There are actually several stories I could tell you about the two loud high pitched beeping alarms that have been going off all day at the library I work at. The backroom beeping has since been fixed. Alas though, the beeping in the library entry continues on and is so maddening that most of the stories I could tell would be far too dark for such a sunny, heartwarming blog as is


herald of the angels and bestower of sunlight.

But I can probably manage to tell one story that does not descend into absolute madness and long diatribes about the County, about all management everywhere, and about the terrifying, threadbare fabric of America itself.

Plus the story I can tell you is super flattering to me. 

So those are always really fun. 

For me.

After a reasonably pleasant couple of hours walking around the Harriet Alexander Nature Area (pictures surely forthcoming), I arrived for work at the library a bit before 11:30. An insanely loud beeping was emanating from the fire suppression unit where our book return is. It was intoxicating in its loudness. I was quickly appraised of the situation. The alarm had been going on for three hours, both filling the back work room and, in the front lobby, filling the whole entry area of the library. That latter of these is where I am now, at the front desk, listening to some kind of modernized Edgar Allen Poe story, being driven slowly mad.

But we're not talking about that.

Everyone else in the back room was already fully insane when I arrived. Some were wearing earplugs. Property Management had been notified and immediately began napping. And so I knew it was up to me if I had any hope.

The alarm cabinet was open. I tried all the things everyone else surely tried. But I won't go into those details because


 I found that if one hit the "Silence Alarm" button, it silenced it for one second, and then started again, but if one held that button down, it just kept clicking, and the alarm failed to engage. Without a lot of boring details, because it was a fussy and difficult to do, I managed to get this button taped down, silencing the alarm.

In a state of what I might best describe as smoldering righteousness, I went to take care of some bit of business on a computer. My longtime colleague Dan came up to me, earplugs stuffed in his ears, and teasingly said "You wanted the bookdrop turned on yesterday!" (It was closed due to some minor cement work on a curb). "And now look what you caused!" He gestured all around him.

I said "What do you mean? What did I cause?"

He gestured around madly. "The beeping!" He exclaimed.

"What beeping?" I asked mildly.

He took out one of his earplugs. He held up a finger for me to wait for the incoming beep.

It didn't come.

I looked at him quizzically.

He said, mystified "It was just beeping. It's been beeping all morning!"

"Oh, I fixed that." I said nonchalantly.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Upside articulated

Yesterday we determined that even though we worked frantically, over many hours, for a week on our blog posts, we didn't get out ahead of schedule and still have to write more blog posts immediately in order to keep up. 

We decided there had to be an upside to this.

Because there just had to be.

Because the Universe is

Well, there just had to be.

So we went into a little room and thought about it.

This is what I came up with:

We have raised this week's average time worked, per person reading each individual blog post, to 3.2 hours!

Though it should be noted that this blog post should lower that average time considerably.

Monday, September 26, 2022



I'm not complaining but...


Scratch that.

After working for many, many hours each day on my blog posts, mostly in the photography department, I looked up at my detailed blog schedule expecting to be weeks ahead on my daily missives to the world. But no! There is already a blog post due tomorrow! 

How will I rest and recuperate? 

How will I recharge my creative juices?


There are no answers to these questions, however, there is an upside.

A huge upside.

I mean, how could there not be an upside?

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Falls? What falls?


Yesterday's series of pictures of the bridges of Minnehaha Creek gave it a pastoral look, but, at its most ideal, and its best, it is a far more engaging creek than that. However, one has to seek that aspect out. 

Here is the more wild, uncut look at the Falls of Minnehaha and of the spread out creek canyon below it. But don't expect any torrents of water in these pictures. Everything here, in a large creek built for far more water, was running at an absolute trickle.

We start with the falls, head downstream, and then return...

Saturday, September 24, 2022

The bridges of Minnehaha Creek

 I have been waxing poetic, and photographic, about the half wild areas along the major Saint Minneapolis rivers. And fairly speaking, today's subject fits in that profile, since the final portion of Minnehaha Creek, from its famous falls down to the Mississippi, is very much part of that network of wildlands. 

Nevertheless Minnehaha Creek is also its own thing, a lovely winding stream of just over 20 miles that I have explored every inch of. As much as I love some varied areas of the Saint Minneapolis wildernesses, if I could somehow take a magical trip 200 or 2,000 years into the past, I think that I would head to Minnehaha Creek first. Lovely, peaceful, magical, and dramatic, Minnehaha Creek is my favorite expression of the local landscape. But though it has remained narrowly in tact while a major metropolitan area grew up around it, very little of it can really be called wild. Most of its length is more like parkland. Some of it runs through peoples' backyards. Multiple paths line it, roads are all around it, and dozens upon dozens of bridges cross it.

Which brings us to today's specific feature: The bridges.

Once we travel down Minnehaha Creek to the falls, and enter the canyon of the lower creek, we find ourselves in the city's most popular park. The creek here has its wild aspects, and while there are no roads in this lower section, the sheer volume of visitors leave an unmistakable mark. The supporting infrastructure of the park is varied, with some lovely old stonework possibly from the CCC, or of that era, ugly, misguided attempts at controlling the hordes like crushed fencing and barricades, and overall a bit too much human trampling and garbage. Nevertheless there are still many places left alone and wild enough, and five bridges, especially the three old stone ones, show that it is possible for humans to interact with wild places and not ruin them.

This series of pictures turns its focus on these five bridges of the last run of Minnehaha Creek, below the falls.