Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mississippi Islandview

Springtime along the Mississippi River where the island splits the river below the Coon Rapids Dam.

I've been tied up lately enjoying our wonderful weather and long walks along the trails of the Mississippi River. Also, a group of us have been monitoring a nesting pair of Ospreys. Images to be posted shortly as I have much post processing to accomplish.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Clean Up On Aisle 1

Where do we start?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lost in Paris

Remembering a trip last April.
Perhaps someone knows these locations.


Twin Cities Photoblog has created a new and experimental site called Travel Tuesday to showcase our travel photos. Check it out.
Travel Tuesday

Monday, April 27, 2009

Old Bus

Rusty and crusty, wonder if it still runs.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Two Things Challenge - Open / Road

Open Road on the bike path through Elm Creek Park Reserve.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Vanishing Points

Parallel, a linear study

Friday, April 24, 2009

Boardwalk Reflection

The Boardwalk at Elm Creek Park Reserve.

Finally; we finally have better weather. The sky is blue again rather than that dull gray cloud cover we’ve grown to dislike. What glorious weather we are having, perfect for a bicycle ride.

I spent Monday morning wandering around Elm Creek Park Reserve on the hiking trails in search of a good photo opportunity. I witnessed a number of palliated woodpeckers, but they are more shy than a 10 point buck on opening day. Despite the wary wildlife, I had the hiking trails to myself, which was nice.

But back at the nature Center’s Office; holy cow! It was loaded with moms and all sizes of children under 6. They have all sorts of programs for these little naturalists in training. And the staff had a workout from their hundreds of questions. Questions like, “what’s that? Can’t we go outside? Can’t we go inside? Why are the birds outside? I have to go potty.” What a hoot.

I have been taking my bicycle out daily for a morning spin. So far this week, I have logged on 48 miles. Not a lot of miles I know, but this is the first few rides of the year. And I am now suffering from “Bike Butt”. You would think they could build a better more comfortable bicycle seat. That’s all I have to say about that.

This morning, I rode a sixteen mile loop that took over 3 hours to complete. Why 3 hours you ask? Caribou coffee, of course! The perfect pit stop to sit back, relax and enjoy a large cold press coffee while the rest of the world works.

These mornings, I share the bike trail between Coon Rapids Dam and Elm Creek Park with the geriatrics, (they can ride circles around me). They’re all over the trails on their bikes. Some ride in groups, some by themselves. Some wear helmets, some with headphone radios circa 1982. I’m beginning to think there is a bikers club for this lycra wearing older group; Hells Geriatrics – Bikers Gang.

Me, I just wear my dark blue Twins cap that pleasantly accentuates my graying hair. (Don’t hate me ‘cause I’m beautiful).

I get the nod from this elderly crowd as we pass in opposite direction. I’m sensing I may be initiated into this elderly bicyclists club, willing or not. While at Caribou Coffee, a gray haired biker momma riding a fancy Giant Crossover bike smiled and exclaimed to me, “Oh, nice bike you have! What a great day to ride, a bit windy though. But still a pleasant day for a ride.” I let them get a long, long head start before leaving the safety of Caribou Coffee.

Since baseball has begun, ESPN has been fun to watch. Just the other afternoon, I was clicking between the Twins game and the Manchester United / FC Porto European Football match. Manchester United won 1-0 and faced Arsenel next. I am wondering when I will get the chance to view “my” team, Italia Calcio Internazionale. The only thing to improve on that was to watch the games with a beer.

Unfortunately, that was on a Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday nights, I’m taking a night class at Dunwoody Technical College. The class; PLC Programming. Interesting and fun. A bit of relearning binary and hexadecimal number systems. There is talk of moving up the second session for the summer rather than waiting for fall quarter. So, I may be tied up all summer with more studies.

I noticed on one ride to Coon Rapids Dam that the area is crowded with guys fishing the Mississippi, or the backwaters. Their ages vary from twenty-something to seventy-something. One group of a dozen seemed to know each other quite well and have fished that area regularly. There was more visiting and harassing each other and joking around than actual fishing. I may have to join them one of these days. Yet another thing to keep me busy.

Still no word about employment. However, I have plenty keeping me busy. PLC programming studies, cooking, hiking, laundry, photography, house cleaning, reading, baking bread, and being chased down by elderly women on bicycles.

One of the placement agencies, the rep I was working with left and relocated to North Carolina. Another agency laid –off a few of their reps. Seems the economy keeps getting worse each week.

Now to go grill up some burgers for tonight’s dinner. Some studying, then off early to bed. I have a full morning planned tomorrow. Think I’ll ride over to the dam around sunup and see about photo-shooting some ospreys and bald eagles. Maybe get in some fishing.

But I need to remember to get back earlier this time. There is a brutal rush hour on the bike trails. And some of them bikers can become quite cantankerous.

Oh, and I still have no clue what day it is.

The Rob Report

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Man In The Iron Mask

An old steam locomotive under restoration at the Jackson Street Roundhouse in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Matthew Mallard Takes a Nap

On the banks of the Mississippi River. He seemed content even as I crept up on him.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Golden Hues

An early morning stroll through the prairie fields in Elm Creek Park Reserve. The colors are muted in a sea of beige. Virtually colorless until the spring rains.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Moving Box

Wooden rail box as seen at the Jackson Street Roundhouse.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Iron Fist

Red wins in the Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots match

Friday, April 17, 2009

Little Big Switch

Large duty for a little switch

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's Electrifying!

Stand back, there are a lot of volts here!
High voltage electrical substation.
Almost as electrifying as yesterday's Manchester United / FC Porto match.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hooded Merganser

A quick walk through Elm Creek Park Reserve revealed this shy Hooded Merganser pair. I tried sneaking up closer of a better photo. They would have none of that and slipped into the creek swimming upstream away from me. I am thinking I now need a 600mm lens to sneak up on them.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Stained Glass Review

Rose Windows at Saint Paul's Cathedral in St. Paul, Minnesota

The Resurrection Window is located in the choir loft the work of Charles J. Connick

The North Rose Window is the work of Charles J. Connick. Here are eight North American Martyrs surrounding Mary "Queen of Martyrs". John de Brebeuf, gabriel Lalemant, Rene goupil, Noel Chabanel, Charles Garnier, Anthony Daniel, Isaac Jogues, and Jean Lalande. They were French Jesuit Missionaries to Native Americans in Canada and New York State martyred in the 1640's.

The South Rose Window is located south in line with Selby Avenue, the work of Charles J. Connick. The theme is from the Beatitudes spoken by jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Christ in the center is surrounded by eight saints of the new world. Clockwise from upper right; Rose of Lima (suffering), Toribio of Mogrovejo (peacemaking), Kateri Tekawitha (purity of heart), Francis Solano (mercy), Francis Xavier Cabrini (hunger and thirst for justice), Peter Claver (mourning), Rose Philippine Duchesne (meekness), and Martin de Porres (poverty of spirit)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Inside a Caboose

It is sad that we no longer use nor see the caboose on our railroads. The freights seem unfinished without them.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Cathedral of Saint Paul - St. Paul, Minnesota

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Two Things Challenge - Orange / Bug

Little Orange Bug

All winter Miss Ladybug has been staying warm in our home office. Soon the temperatures will be warm enough for her return to the outdoors. Today I found her on my camera lens - she must be partial to Canon cameras!

Two Things Challenge

Friday, April 10, 2009

River Banks

Up on the bank of the Mississippi River. The path isn't what it once was.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Heavy Metal

Train truck springs

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Colorform Crane

Jackson Street Roundhouse - St. Paul, MN

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Thaw

Springtime greets the park's trails

Oak Leaves thaw out in the springtime sun

Monday, April 6, 2009

Slippery Slope

Use caution when using this trail. Just beyond the Stone Arch Bridge.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Abandoned Caboose

Friday, April 3, 2009

Low Rider

Low Rider - War

All my friends know the low rider
The low rider is a little higher
Low rider drives a little slower
Low rider is a real goer
Low rider knows every street yeah!
Low rider is the one to meet yeah!
Low rider don't use no gas now
Low rider don't drive to fast
Take a little trip
Take a little trip
Take a little trip and see
Take a little trip
Take a little trip
Take a little trip with me

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Train Set

A train set for grown ups.
At Jackson Street Roundhouse - St. Paul, MN

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April's Fool

Spring is here, time to fly a kite!
Have we learned nothing from Charlie Brown?! This kite eating tree captured a dandy of a kite. The kite's cute tail is a streamer of ladybugs. I sure feel bad for the poor kid who lost their kite. But a valuable lesson was learned. Never fly a kite when trees or power lines are close by.