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Partridge Falls -Two Worlds Meet

A place not visited often.  A divisor of nations where they come together.  A place of peace for those who appreciate it and will seek it out.  A road not traveled often.  And, on a river that divides USA and Canada.  I find myself immersed, consumed and overwhelmed.

Tranquility is what this place means to me.  Time alone was one of the things I was seeking.  Silence that was louder that I could talk, is what I found.  The peacefulness in the power of water and rock that senses soak up.

Two worlds apart, but still together.  That is one of the things I thought of while sitting here and when looking back to the time spent there.

Sitting in the USA, on the bank of a river that pounds the senses and still calms the soul with Canada on the other side.

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Times like these are treasures to enjoy.  Life is full of these things.  Looking into this picture, there is no one thing that made up the experience that brought me to this moment captured with the camera.  Everything seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted made up this experience.

For an hour my experiences changed.  Amazement, wonder, fear, filled my mind and emotions.  Who has been here before?  Who has hunted here before?  Were treaties, weddings, friendships, heartaches, acted on, or pondered here?

Everyone who sat here has experienced something similar, yet something different from other guests.

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One person observes experiences in one way, while someone else may see things slightly different.

Seeing with your life experiences is a lot like seeing with a camera.  Where you are standing is part of your vision.  Moving to the left or right, or up and down changes things.

Time will change things too.  The more time you spend somewhere, the more you may be able to see.  Looking, walking and sitting someplace takes time.  Time that allows you to experience.

This is a place of power and peace.  A place of comfort and refuge from the daily life.  God made places like this, where we can view His mighty creation, and be in awe of of His power, intelligence, and the peace He can bring.

A song comes to mind “Our God is an Awesome God” .  “He Is”

 

 

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Mysterious Bridge

After work last Friday I headed to the South side of town.  Going over the bridge on Lake Decatur, fog made it very difficult to see.  As soon as I crossed the bridge, I was back out of the fog.

The thought came to me.  I know of an old bridge that would look great in the fog.  Off I drove.  So for the next 25 minutes, I cut through the city, and then I hit the country roads.  Driving down to the river via an old road,there they were.  Fog, river, bridge and a boat, all welcoming me .  Alright.  Time to break out the camera.  Out came the tripod, I needed that to compose the image and for the slower shutter speed.

150324_024I love it when bad weather makes for a great image.  Foggy dreary days are some of the best for photographers.  Don’t let bad weather run your day, let it open the treasure of creativity.  After all was done with the camera, it was time to sit back and enjoy the moment.  Geese, ducks, woodpeckers, nuthatches and other birds all made music for my ears.  My, what God has created…

Recent Time With Camera

I have not posted in a while.  I thought I would post a few images taken since the last post.

Today, I was waiting for the snow to start.  It looks like it will tomorrow, now.  So, I did some bird photography.

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

I spent time using my truck as a hide while photographing down by the Sangamon River for the above image.

Two weekends ago, I went to LeClaire, IA to photograph eagles.  The eagle counts are low because of the warm weather and lack of ice.  I made the trip with a friend and ran into two other friends from Mount Zion.  It was a good time talking and getting some great pictures of the eagles.

Eagle catching fish on Mississippi River at Lock and Dam 14

Eagle catching fish on Mississippi River at Lock and Dam 14

Eagles are always fun to photograph.  It is great to see them soar while looking for fish, then skim the surface of the river and come up with a catch.

I took an evening to watch and photograph a high school basketball game between Decatur’s Lutheran School Association and A & M.

Slam dunk by Lutheran School basketball player

Slam dunk by Lutheran School basketball player

About all I can say about this picture is OUCH!!!

One evening I was driving around.  It was foggy out.  Driving past Central Park, the fountain took on a new glow.

Foggy Night at Central Park, Decatur, IL.

Foggy Night at Central Park, Decatur, IL.

Stop the truck, roll down the window, and shoot.

A cousin got married in December.  I took some candid photographs of the behind the scenes during the formal pictures.

Rose and Adam's Wedding

Rose and Adam’s Wedding

Rose and her mom having a laugh.  Something must have been funny.

Rose and Adam's Wedding - Riding Away on the Firetruck

Rose and Adam’s Wedding – Riding Away on the Firetruck

Both were having fun at the time as they drove off leaving us all behind.

This fall, Rock Springs had a candle light tour of the old homestead.

Volunteer During Candle Light Tour at Rock Springs Homestead.

Volunteer During Candle Light Tour at Rock Springs Homestead.

It was a cool November night, but everyone had fun.  The volunteers told stories about the days gone by.

Mark Schultz was in concert at Grace United Methodist Church.

Mark Schultz In Concert at Grace United Methodist Church in Decatur, IL.

Mark Schultz In Concert at Grace United Methodist Church in Decatur, IL.

It was the second time I photographed him in concert in the last year.

Another Concert was Remedy Drive.  The concert was brought in by “Fan the Flame Christian Concerts”.  http://fantheflamechristianconcerts.org/

Remedy Drive Concert

Remedy Drive Concert

The fog made for some great photography.  The music was great, also.  And so was the message.

Rock Springs Conservation Area always has something going on.  Here is another one of their programs.

Old Time Tools In Use At Rock Springs In Decatur

Old Time Tools In Use At Rock Springs In Decatur

Now there is some talent.  He shared a lot of information about tools from that time period.

More time spent with camera and birds on the Sangamon River.

Hairy Woodpecker Down by the Sangamon River

Hairy Woodpecker Down by the Sangamon River

I love the fall color in the background.

Sunset in Rural Macon County, IL.

Sunset in Rural Macon County, IL.

After photographing birds all day, a great sunset completed the day.

And to finish of some of my photography the last three months of 2014 I will share some images from Rocky Mountain National Park.  I had a great time photographing by myself and with another photographer by the name of Weldon Lee.  i look forward to going back again.  This was my first trip there.

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Bull Elk and Cows at Rocky Mountain National Park

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Storm Mount Lookout, Colorado

Storm Mountain Lookout, Colorado

Well, you can see what I did this last year for October, November and December of 2014 along with January of 2015.  It was a great time and hope to have more fun in the next year.  It is always joy to get out and enjoy the outdoors and to spend time with family and friends.  All of those are gifts from God.  I hope you have enjoyed some of the blessing I have seen and experienced this last year.  Hopefully more will follow.

Short Time at Spitler Woods State Park

I took a short jaunt at Spitler Woods tonight.  The flowers are really popping out of the ground now.

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I am not sure what the above plant is, but they were all over.  Soon, I will probably know when they start blooming.  As of now the only thing blooming is the Dutchman’s Breeches.  There are not many, and the cold had an effect on them, but they has started Spring at the park.

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The weekend looks to be nice.  I am hoping to spend more time outside.  Going to spend time with family celebrating Christ this Easter.  I hope everyone’s weekend is full of Christ’s Blessings, family and friends along with some time to relax.

Big Brothers Big Sisters – Festival of Church Choirs

Sunday January 29, I had the opportunity to photograph an event to raise monies for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois (BBBS)  http://bbbscil.org/index.htm .  BBBS is an organization that pairs kids that can use some encouragement with an adult as a mentor.  This can be classroom time helping with school work or one on one time weekly doing things the kids enjoy doing.  The adults (Bigs) commit to an 45 minutes to an hour weekly at school with the kids (Littles) .  Not only do they help with school work but spend time as friends playing games, talking and doing things that friends do.  The Bigs that spend community time with the Littles play ball, video games, ride bikes, go to the zoo or concerts together.  They usually spend a few hours 2-3 times a month together for at least a year.

Richard Dechert has been a big part of BBBS.  Richard is the president of BBBS for this area.  He and his wife Marilyn have also set up a fund for BBBS.  The concert Sunday was a dream that Richard brought together.  He brough church choirs from the community to raise monies for the organization.  It has been a great success not only for BBBS, but has provided great entertainment for those attending.

Richard Dechert introduced by Zack Shields of BBBS

Some of the choirs teamed up to sing together.  The songs they sang sounded great in the Kirkland Fine Arts Center at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.  This was an enjoyable event that will happen hopefully for many years to come.

First Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian Church and First United Methodist Church Choirs

 

Julie McClarey (Three time winner of Old Time Piano Playing Competition) and Bruce Gibbons (also a bassoonist with Decatur Municipal Band) - Both are adjunct professors at Millikin University and Christian Artists.

These Littles like all of us need some encouragement at times.  Most have come from single parent families, and are struggling with school and other things.  Many of the kids have improved at school and to on to college which very well may not have happened without the involvement of the Bigs in their lives.  The Bigs say they get much from participating also.

 

One of the many kids and her mentor that have benefited from BBBS
One of the Bigs and Littles having fun on stage with Mom standing by.
 

New Salem Baptist Church Choir

 
Not only did the adult choirs have a voice, but so did the Childrens Mass Choir.  These kids had fun singing “In The Love Of God”, Ancient Word”, and “This Little Light Of Mine”.  Children singing has a sound that is a joyful noise to everyone listening.  I imagine God had a smile on His face, also.

Childrens Choir At Big Brothers Big Sister Benefit Childrens Choir Singing"This Little Light Of MIne"

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters Children's Mass Choir Singing "This Little Light Of Mine"

 
 Growing up can be difficult for anyone of us.  The kids in this program receive extra attention and encouragement to help them on that journey.  Many have gone on to be doctors, ministers, teachers, musicians, engineers, carpenters, and business owners.
 

Tabernacle Baptist Church Choir

 

Band for Main Street Church Of The Living God Choir

 

Main Street Church Of The Living God Choir

 

Central Christian Church and First Baptist Church Choirs

  
 I know, you might say lots of kids become some of the people listed above.  Sometimes kids need some extra attention to develop into responsible people.  It can be difficult for them and their parents reach out for some help.  That is where BBBS comes into play.  There are others waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister.  It can be rewarding to make a difference in someone’s life.
 
 

First Christian Church Choir

 
 

Applause for the First Christian Church Choir

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters Adult Mass Choir

 

Adult Mass Choir Big Brothers Big Sisters

A great concert for a great cause.  Making the difference in a child’s life is priceless.  Some of these people may or may not be working one on one with one the children.  But they all did come together to raise money and awareness for a very worthy cause.
 

Big Brothers Big Sisters Adult Mass Choir

 

Adult Mass Choir With Choir Directors Standing In Front

Next year hopes to be better and bigger.  If you have time, enjoy the concert and help benefit a child’s life by joining in letting these kids know they are special.
For more pictures of the event, visit  http://www.flickr.com/photos/75125931@N02/