I've made dozens of pictures of this place. The earth is very slowly pulling the structure back into the ground and as the seasons pass, I notice it is finally giving in. An old timer around here told me that the "stone house, was actually a cheese "factory" many many years ago. A natural spring, located just through the swamp from our house, had a clay cistern placed inside and that was the water supply for the cheese makers. The building was log, and then later covered with some stone and mortor. It has a sunken lower level toward the road, which seems to go deeper into the ground each year. I think I am atracted to the fading colors, the bold shapes of the cracks and the angles of windows and doorways.
I know there will be more images to be made here as I walk by history past.
Back to photography.
So since I started writing blog posts for Wisconsin Outdoor Fun, some of the On-TheEdge posts have been the same and less about making pictures and more about the outdoors, which is okay, but I wanted to keep this one more personal and more on photos. The background reason why this has happened is because here I use "Blogger" as a client, and on WOF, we use Wordpress, which doesn't allow larger size photos (at least the way WOF is set up) within the posts. My workaround is to write those topics in Blogger, copy it, photos and all, and paste it into Wordpress. It works. Sometimes I'll then delete the post on this page, sometimes not and just leave it.
Okay, so onward. I've been hitting the road nearly everyday with Molly lately and hiking "around the block" with her. A country "block" of course is four miles square. So it's always a good hour walk and I try to have a camera along because it seems we usually see something unusual of the wildlife nature each time. Some of those images have appeared here from time to time. There are no dramatic landscapes on our route, just country roads surrounded by woods and farm fields, but it's home and it changes. One morning as we made our way around, I stopped and took one photo on each of the four legs of our trip. I'm not sure what my intent for the shots would be, but maybe just as a recording of those four roads.
After downloading them, I thought maybe viewing them in black and white would be the best way to "capture" ....something. I have some film-effect-like presets in Aperture and played around with a few and liked this one best. IS it real? Is it what I saw? Is it what I felt? Well, yeah and I'm reminded that I am "making a picture" and as photographers, none of it is real so it's all well and good in what we present to the viewer or in this case myself. I liked the image and that matters.
One of the distractions riders seem to gravitate to every once and a while, or for some-every chance they get, is to see just how great ones' bike handling skills really are. That urge swings dramatically upward when other riding friends are together. Such is the case frequently when riding at the Levis Mound trail, so a couple years ago we decided to create a skills course, a place where riders could just go and play. It has been an ongoing project with new elements placed on the short loop every year. Named after one of the builders' "trail dogs"- Lucy, a Jack Russell Terrier, it contains teeters, skinnys a rock garden and various ramps to test just about every rider.
Materials were salvaged from the forestry dept. burn pile, old highway guard posts, an old field stone rock pile and fallen timber. It became a trail builders "tinker trail" in a way, a nice distraction from digging dirt on the mound all the time. Some of the teeters are a bit scary high, others just visually intimidating for some.
A bit too skinny?
I've often wondered when is the best time to take a quick lap around Lucy's Loop-run it as a pre-ride before heading out on the Levis Mound Trails, or as a post-ride cool down, when my skills are all warmed up but fatigue setting in. The challenge is to "clean" all of the elements and not "dab" and I can honestly say I've done that a few times, but not always. I think that not-quite-so-easy-as-it-looks element is what keeps me coming back, and on this day, my riding partners as well.
Lucy's Loop is located just north-west of the Levis Mound trailhead off the Lower Glen trail. It is about a 1/4 mile long serpentine one way loop that allows multiple laps. Levis Mound is 12 miles south-west of Neillsville off of State Hiway 95 in the Clark County Forest.