Thursday
Aug082013

Western Wisconsin Agricultural Museum

My Brother is an emeritus president of a local Antique Gas & Steam Engine Club here in Westby, Wisconsin.  As an active member, he has his hands in many facets of their activities now.  He is even set to be featured on the front page of the local paper from his activites during their event this past weekend!  I spent several afternoons and one evening on their new grounds ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the many engines popping and banging and smoking all about reminding me of childhood days emerging covered with soot and oil and wearing a smile a mile wide!  Their new buildings house several industrial steam engines from days of old and they even boast a working saw mill! There are several buildings filled with various antitque collections one may wile away many hours exploring.  

Several members of the group donated land which sits atop a ridge surrounded by fields and distant farmsteads. It is a truly lovely piece of land!  We watched the sun set from our cushy lawn chairs as the antique tractors put putted their way down the track!  A more spectacular sunset you simply could not ask for!  I will play around with my bracketed photos and see if I can do the scene any sort of justice.  Stay tuned for that!  For now, I give you this colorful photo I processed with Photomatix tone mapping and tweaked in Lightroom.  Enjoy!  

PS Remember to check out my SmugMug galleries for other photos, prints and whatnot.  Click on any photo in my blog and/or the 'gallery' tab on the menu bar.  Look around, buy a print, leave a comment, say hello!  We love to hear from you! :) 

Sunday
Jul142013

Grazing In The Pasture

Farm land of the driftless region of Wisconsin (where the glaciers did not go ages ago...leaving a land filled with rolling hills).  Some Holstein cattle graze beneath a shade tree amidst the mid-day sun with a bubbling creek nearby...


Saturday
Jul132013

The Lion Pride

The Wild Animal Sanctuary, Keenesburg, Colorado.

 

As a blustery hot day began to wane the lion pride came out of their 'cave' to lounge before dinner.  I believe my jaw dropped on several ocassions whilst wandering above these magnificent creatures.  I spent hours watching them and could have quite happily enjoyed days and days reveling in their company! 

Wednesday
Jul102013

Sunset On The Sancturary

It was blazing HOT!  I made a visit to 'The Wild Animal Sanctuary' in Keenesbury, Colorado a few days ago (Note: This white fence is not the fence for the wildlife btw:).  Just like 'The Wizard Of Oz' there were lions and tigers and bears! Oh my! :)  And camels and horses and wolves and panthers (which are actually leopards go figure!) and Lynxes and African porcupines and foxes and other creatures I am certain I've missed...OH and we must not forget the bunnies who seemed to dart in and out of the large animal enclosures seemingly just to taunt them...I suspect they were really after scraps of food?  Not sure...It was rather comical to spot the bunnies at random moments throughout!  I hope to return with a) a tripod and b) a zoom lens (I kept my kit simple this maiden voyage to allow for the 'unexpected' in a new venture).  

More photos to come on that note...I've never been to a sanctuary in the United States. Once upon a time I trained and was certified to lead safaris in S. Africa.  This place (although so much more controlled and much, much smaller in scale) reminded me (as I work inside a concrete building beneath these hideous florescent lights) of how much I love trekking about the wild, spotting animals and taking photos!  I was quite impressed as you walk above the animals along a concrete walkway high above which stretches nearly a mile in length!  

I typically become a tad depressed at zoos with their cages and barriers...the sadness their animals wear like a mantle yearning for their true homeland to wander free...Well, I suppose this is a fair second to an untouched wilderness...These animals at least have some room to wander...It would be nice if they could be re-introduced into their natural habitats but they may lack many necessary survival skills (one of the recscued bears was fed from cub-hood entirely a diet of McDonald's hamburgers, apparently!)  I imagine a cool bath during a scorcher of a day is just as welcome whether it's in a large tub or a mountain stream? More details on their setup here... 

(http://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/aboutus/facility.html)

Photography becomes much more alive and interesting without the wires and cages in the way!  I felt perfectly safe but did place my camera strap around my neck (something I rarely do) to avoid losing my camera to a tiger or Grizzly bear! (you drop it some 35 feet or so, sadly, it's gone;).  

Bob Barker (yes, 'The Price Is Right' indeed) had his hand in creating this and rescuing some of these large animals.  

What a FUN and delightful day! WHOO HOOO! :)  This sunset, the proper ending to one amazing adventure arrived as a feast for the senses just a I was departing the sanctuary!  I sat and lingered quite awhile at the gate (I think I was one of the last to depart) watching the sun sink and the colors shift and shimmer... sigh!

Say hallo in the the comments (I love comments!) and visit again soon for photos of the animals! :)



Saturday
Jul062013

Blossoms On The Old Farmstead

It had been raining for days and days during my visit to Wisconsin...Subsequently, the lower areas began to flood...On a particularly sunny day with some of those poofy clouds (which Colorado sports all summer long, they are more of a rarity in Wisconsin, however)...Inhale deeply of the aroma of these delicate summer blooms...

So, I set off to further explore some of the higher ground where I had spotted some really amazing farms and scenic vistas a few days earlier whilst touring about with my parents to investigate the extent of the flooding and get outta the house! :)  (I attempted to get them to stop for photo ops but didn't want to over impose on their hospitality by making them stop over and over again...So, I tucked away the idea of seeing more of this area later...SUCH is the plague of landscape photography (or any photography in general, I would suppose)...that of incessant stopping and giving your passengers whiplash!)

Do any of you ever have this disease of wanting to stop to take photos while traveling along the road?  Hmmm?   Well, I do.  This one of hundreds and hundreds taken over the span of a week or so...A favorite of mine...I hope it relays some of the romance of the old and beautiful ways of the country...

  

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