Archive for the ‘Madison’ Category

I live in the state of Wisconsin in the U.S. The capitol building of the state, in Madison,Wisconsin, is one of the most beautiful in the country. It features the only granite dome in the U.S. – a dome that soars to a height of over 200 feet (just slight lower than the dome of the U.S. Capitol). At the top of the dome is the mural “Resources of Wisconsin” a work by Edwin Blashfield that spans over 27 feet. He completed the work in 1917 and the work is the splash of color in the Monochrome Madness photo of the dome interior shown below.

Monochrome Madness - Spalsh of Color (Blashfield Mural)

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As the cold weather began to settle into the Madison area, the temperature of Lake Mendota, the largest of the Chain of Lakes in Madison, was significantly warmer than the surrounding air resulting in some foggy mornings. Here are some photos from those foggy mornings.

Here is a photo of Maple Bluff (about 3/4 mile [1.2 km] across the lake from where I took this photo and about 120 feet [36.5 meters] above the lake at this point) shrouded in the fog.

Foggy Morning - 0109

Here is a photo of part of the City of Madison shore (foreground) with fog on the lake.

Foggy Morning1

Here are two views of the Tenney Park breakwater in the early morning with the fog in the background.

Foggy Morning3  Foggy Morning4

 

 

 

Madison’s Warner Park is less than 2 miles (3 km) from my home. It is a multi-use urban park that features a small baseball stadium, soccer fields, picnic areas, large parking lots, as well as a pond, semi-natural fields and wooded areas.

The pond attracts quite a bit of wildlife. While I typically have photographed birds in and around the pond, I recently decided to spend some time watching the turtles that live in the pond. All of the turtles that I saw were painted turtles. Painted turtles are the most widespread species of turtle in North American For good or ill because the pond at Warner Park is an urban multi-use park, it is subject to an oversupply of nutrients resulting in substantial algae blooms. The pictures that follow show the turtles in the pond. Since I am not a wildlife biologist, While the pond looked pretty bad, the turtles seemed to be in pretty good shape. I imagine they were trying to peacefully sun themselves, but they spent a fair amount of their time jockeying for position on the two major logs in the area of the pond I was watching.

Three Turtles

 

Turtles - September 26, 2014 - 136_7_8pmatrix-Edit-Edit

Turtles - September 26, 2014 - 709 Turtles - September 26, 2014 - 680 Turtles - September 26, 2014 - 670 Turtles - September 26, 2014 - 637 Turtles - September 26, 2014 - 604

 

Ducklings - May 31, 2014 - 137

I was out with my camera recently having no intention of photographing ducks when I ran into a duck and her ducklings. It was a beautiful day. I had a fully charged battery in my camera as well as a large memory card and, most important, a willingness to wait and watch for several hours to see what might be seen. In summary, I saw both more and less than I expected and hope for.  There was no troop of duckling waddling down to the water and launching themselves off from shore as a small flotilla, which would have been fun but is also visible enough so that it has been photographed a lot. What I captured instead were images like this one – a duckling exercising its wings. I’m sure this is a common enough event in the life of a duckling but it isn’t so in your face cool (like a duckling flotilla) that it gets a great deal of photographic attention. I don’t recall having seen a photo of this necessary little piece of a duckling’s life before, so in that sense I captured more than I expected. I hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I did.

Great Blue Heron Takes Off - October 02, 2013 - 192-(Black and White)

The moment when a bird, any bird, just takes off is here and gone in a millisecond. When a Great Blue Heron has just taken off from a branch overlooking the pond at Warner Park in Madison, Wisconsin is just as fleeting if a bit more noticeable. This photo is my contribution to Black & White Sunday: A Fleeting Moment.

 

My second contributions to this week’ s Weekly Photo Challenge: Split-Second Story  comes in two, you might call them flavors. Both concern the same baby ducklings and the same momma duck. I think the photos tells the tale with some immediacy — don’t get too close I’ve got my eye on you — but it is up to the viewer to judge.Ducklings - May 31, 2014 - 392

Ducklings - May 31, 2014 - 409

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Smooth objects presented the usual think outside the box challenge for me. How to combine a smooth object with the smooth of the Santana song the subject of which could reasonably characterized as an intoxicating relationship. So what object would be smooth yet intoxicating. Hmm. I could think of quite a few, but I needed a photo to “better suit [the] mood.” All of this thinking got my head spinning and lead naturally enough to some photos of Absinthe being served at Drackenberg’s, the cigar bar near my home. Assuming that Absinthe can be an object (how not? is my thought) and smooth need not refer to a physical surface I was on my way.

Absinthe is not, contrary to common thought, a liqueur since it is not bottled with sugar. It is a licorice-flavored greenish liquid that is typically very high-proof (90 – 148 proof). As a result it is almost always served with water and is often the subject of a ritual involving setting fire to the drink (which serves to reduce the alcohol content).  The photo here is of one of the many ways of mixing Absinthe which involve setting the drink aflame. While there are special Absinthe glasses to be had, any kind of glass will do. For much of the last century Absinthe was banned in countries throughout the world because it was thought to be a hallucinogen. The claims were false and Absinthe bans have largely been repealed. Absinthe is no more or less dangerous than any other alcoholic beverage of a similar proof, which of course means that undiluted high-proof absinthe can be very dangerous indeed.

The photo below shows a brandy snifter containing a flaming dollop of absinthe (absinthe burns with a blue flame).  The flaming liquid and its container are mirrored in the highly polished bar counter giving the flame and its container an eerily smooth look.

Reflection on Absinthe