Archive for the 'Water' Category

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.


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.


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”



The Drive North of Duluth, Minnesota

One of the ways I enjoy spending time on vacation is getting in the truck and driving.  I may not know what I am looking for, but I am always looking.  It is invaluable to have paper maps and GPS in hand.

After spending some time scouting for hawks at the Hawk Ridge area and not being successful, the pavement gave it familiar call.  Wanting to take it kind of easy, I stayed on the hard road.  Driving north along Lake Superior there were many sites to be seen.  Houses, beaches, places to eat and islands peaking through the tree lined shoreline.

It was starting to be get dark out and I had not found the image I was looking to capture with camera.  As mentioned, the hawks did not come in as I had hoped.  Driving, I saw a lot of pretty sites, but none that really moved me.

Using the topo maps on the GPS, I saw an island coming up ahead.  Islands are always worth investigating further.  I could see there was a road leading down to a place where the island was view able.  So many times, that does not happen.   There are trees in the way, or other obstructions making picture not possible.  Driving down a narrow steep road, the days plans came together.


The sun had all but gone down, and there was a glow on the opposite horizon.  The island was picking up some of the last light.  I had  a foreground on top of that.  I love wide angle photography.  That is my first love in photography.  Getting out tripod, I did say tripod, I brought camera close to ground.  Using a remote shutter release, I started capturing time as it moved on in front of me.  Light was changing and time was working for and against me.  Against me, as I did not have much time.  For me, as it was painting the scene in front of me.


Knowing there is always more that one image in a picture, I rotated camera and recomposed.

When, scene, light, and time come together, magic happens.  This was one of those moments.

The Little Chickadee

Spring is closing in.  It was nice late this afternoon.  Maybe a little chilly, but great to be outdoors.  I went down to the river to do a little photography.  There were plenty of birds around.  In the 40 minutes or so that I was down there, I saw chickadees, hairy woodpeckers, titmice, red-bellied woodpeckers, cardinals, turkey vultures, and canadian geese.  As you can tell it is slowly starting to green up out there.

150403_041_n1_p_wpSoon the little ones will start showing up.  Time to start looking for nests.

Waterlogged Chimney

We humans think chimneys and water don’t mix.  Nature tells us a different story.  This evening after work I spent some time at Rock Springs around the “Rodney Miller Wetlands”.    There was a lot of wind blowing, so I had to be selective.Crawfish Chimney in Wetlands at Rock Springs

Crawfish Chimney in Wetlands at Rock Springs

Walking along I almost stepped on it.  A chimney here in the middle of a wet field.  Crawfish dig in the mud to make their home.  Moving the dirt from underground they make balls of mud, stacking them around their exit to create a chimney.    Crawfish need to keep their lungs moist to survive.  Their home underground is flooded with water.  During a drought they will pull the chimney back into their doorway to seal it off and to help maintain water in the underground halls they make.

No smoke from this chimney, just an entryway to a flooded underground castle.

Lake Decatur Needs Water

What a summer it has been.  Extreme heat and little rain.  Lake Decatur has slowly dwindled away.  The water keeps dropping at .5 inches to 1 inch a day.  We are in the second stage of water restrictions.  That means the car washes are closed.  We can’t water plants, wash cars at home, use water to wash your drive without incurring a hefty fine.  Even restaurants are not allowed to serve water unless you ask for it.  The water police have been out, tickets have been issued, and the amount of water used has decreased.

This weekend rain has come our way due to the remnants of hurricane Isaac.  But we need more.  City officials have said that within a couple of weeks if things don’t change, they will go to stage three restrictions.  This means industry will be asked to cut back.  That would not be good for the city of Decatur.  More than likely there would be layoffs.  It is a domino effect.  Water dries up and other things dry up.  I am starting to see (though not fully understanding) why most wars are over water.  It is the most basic substance for survival.

Low Water on Sangamon River Below Lake Decatur Dam

After work Friday I took a drive around the lake.  I have slowly watched to go down this summer, and taken very few pictures.  With the rain coming in, I wanted to capture a few images.  Since it was raining, I stayed in my truck while taking the photographs.

The above image is the Sangamon River right below the dam on Lake Decatur.  Normally water will cover most of the vegetation you see.  Water would go to the tree line on the other bank.  The grasses have grown to what looks like about 5 feet in height.  Water has not poured over the dam for some time.

Laying Pipe For Moving Water From Alternate Source For City Of Decatur

Below the dam they are starting to lay pipe to move water from some gravel pits downstream.  This was done last time we had a severe drought.  This will add water, but not near what is needed.  The water transported by the pipe will be used at the south water treatment plant.  More water is being added to the lake via the Sangamon River from the north.  Water is being pumped from the Mahomet Aquifer and dumped into the river.  This water will end up at the north water treatment plant.  Unfortunately only half of the water will make it, due to evaporation and water soaking into the ground.

Cracked Silt In Basin One On Lake Decatur At Lost Bridge Road Boat Ramp

Moving around to the boat ramp on Lost Bridge Road, the lack of water is more apparent.  The water has subsided and covers less than half of this part of  basin one.  The silt is cracked, and before the rain it looked hard enough to walk on.  Walking on it is not advisable.  If you break through the crust, there can be five feet or more of gooey, pudding like mud to sink into.  That is not a good idea.  People wonder why they don’t take bulldozers in and deepen the lake.  The city officials say part of the reason is that the ground would not support the heavy equipment.

Before leaving this site, I talked with a fellow in another vehicle.  He had a spotting scope to watch birds across the lake.  He mentioned there were some very rare birds for the area here.

Almost Dry Basin On Lake Decatur At Lost Bridge Boat Ramp

You look at the picture and say birds across the lake?  Yes, I know the image is small, but if you look real close there are small white specs close to the other shore line.  Those are great egrets.  The birder used his spotting scope to view those birds and shore birds.  Yes there is a benefit to having the low water, as shore birds and wading birds find it to be an attractive environment.  Even thought I enjoy seeing them myself, I would rather have a full, and healthy lake.

People Viewing Low Lake Levels At The Sportsman’s Club Gazebos On Lake Decatur

Even though the lakes low water level is not good for the community, people come out to see it.  A family spent time in the rain at the gazebos at the Sportsman’s Club Park.  It has been years since the lake has been this low and many people will take a drive to view it.  Most if not all those people wish things would change very quickly.  It is interesting though to see such contrast, and know there is nothing we can do to control it.  We can’t control the weather.  Only God and the laws of nature He created can control this.  We might be able to pump water from another source, or dredge the lake, but there is not a thing we can do to make it rain.  It shows how powerless we really are, even though our technology has allowed us to advance so much.  A simple thing like rain is totally out of our reach to control.

Dried Up Sand Creek Basin On Lake Decatur

The last stop on my trip around the lake was Sand Creek Basin.  Normally this area has water standing in it.  Even though it is dried up, the lily pads get water from the water-soaked silt, below the cracked surface.  Earlier in the day, this was totally dry.  Now the silt is darkened due to the rain saturating the dark color of the silt.  There is a little shine to the parched ground, and hopefully soon it will be covered with the wonderful fluid substance of water.  Soon we hope that once again the people driving by won’t be looking in wonder at the lack of water, but of people tryng to catch the fish swimming among the lily pads as they have done in the past.

The rivers and lakes have dried up.  The crops are not going to produce a strong crop due to the lack of moisture.  Jobs may be lost if the rains don’t come soon.

Again, there is nothing we can do to make the rains come.  Hopefully the One who controls the powerful laws of nature will bring the rains once again.

Longing For Cooler Weather


Cool Spot To Sit In The Fall At Great Smokey Mountains National Park

  It is hot and it is Summer.  Oh, how I long for cooler weather.  The last few days  I have wanted to get out and take some pictures, but the heat would take away the fun of it all.  So tonight in my cool, air-conditioned office, I sit and play around with Photoshop.  Of course I look for something to help me cool off.  The Smoky Mountains in the fall are always a great place to do that.  For now an air-conditioned room and a picture to remind me of a cool and tranquil place is what I enjoy.  I hope you do also.

Another from Smoky Mountains


Printed this one up for someone today and thought I would share it.  It is from my trip last fall.  I love the running water in the mountains.  So peaceful.