Friday, February 12, 2016

Chicago to Austin

Another overnight train ride took us from wintery Chicago to warm Austin, Texas.

A brief stop in Dallas yielded some reflection photos of a shiny office tower across from the station.





Another stop in Fort Worth was long enough to find a nearby Starbucks and grab a decent coffee. And later, a glass of wine on the train kept us going until we got to Austin.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Chicago Too

Our last morning in Chicago we headed to the Field Museum. I prefer live animals, but I'd read about it in City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness and thought it was worth checking out.

I’m not sure if it was colder or if it was just the wind direction blowing into shore but there was more ice on the lake. There was a flock of Canada Geese on the way to the aquarium and museum (they’re near each other). You could see their footprints in the fresh snow and see the oval depressions where they’d been lying.

I take some photos of a pair of ducks, the icicles along the shore, and the patterns of the ice in the half frozen lake.




The Field Museum is interesting, but as expected it contains a lot of stuffed animals, something I’m not really excited about. But they have a huge collection and I was struck by the sheer diversity of animal life on our planet. But also struck by how many are marked as endangered. The stuffed tiger (endangered) not far from the stuffed passenger pigeons (extinct). I fear stuffed animals are the future of much of our wildlife.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016


It's cold and snowy in Chicago and living up to its nickname of the windy city. The train trip from Minot was uneventful and we were ahead of schedule most of the way. There doesn't seem to be a big selection of nice restaurants with vegetarian options but we enjoyed going back to Trattoria No. 10 (despite getting lost on the way!).

This morning we walked over to the Shedd Aquarium. It's quite a nice walk along the lake in warmer weather. We got to the aquarium early to beat the crowds. I was a little disappointed with the dolphin show when they brought out a dog for part of it. I know everyone loves dogs these days, but what do they have to do with an aquarium!




After the aquarium we had lunch at Terzo Piano in the Art Institute. And we couldn't miss a visit to the nearby Cloud Gate (aka the bean) where I had fun with finding abstract reflections.

Cloud Gate

Cloud Gate

Cloud Gate

Next stop was the Museum of Contemporary Photography for their 40th anniversary exhibit. Unfortunately, their taste in photography is quite different from mine. Still, it was interesting.

By then it was time for coffee and we stopped at Intelligentsia. Last time we were here they didn't have much in the way of tea, but this time they had a steamed chai that Shelley said was quite good. The coffee, of course, was excellent.

For more photos, see all 19 as a slideshow or overview

Sunday, February 07, 2016

On Our Way

Three moose beside the highway. One looks up as we pass. What funny faces they have

A snowy owl in the half dark, on the ground, watching us go by.

Yikes, a car driving towards us on the wrong side of the divided highway.

A bald eagle on the ground, pulling morsels off some carcass. A raven looking tiny beside it, scrounging for leftovers.

Clouds screaming by overhead, their shadows racing our car at 100 km/hr.

Traveling again.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Photo of the Day

The weather outside might be crazy with freezing rain in January, but the sun is getting a little higher, and we do have some wonderful greenery inside Innovation Place. I'm sure the people in their offices were wondering what I was taking photos of, but I couldn't resist the backlit leaves.

backlit leaves

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Print of the Week

The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.
- Dorothea Lange
I have my Flickr photos as the screen saver on my Apple TV and this photo happened to come up. As it slid onto the screen I couldn't figure out what it was at first. I like photos like that, where it's something real and natural, but still somewhat abstract, where it puzzles you for a moment. In this case it's also a matter of camouflage. I wonder what slow reptilian thoughts pass through its brain as it waits motionless but alert.

american alligator

The large print (15" x 20") shows off the texture and detail well, a good example of why I like to print my photos. I cringe when I think that a lot of people see photos mostly on tiny phone screens or as a small image in their Facebook feed.

This was one from the Santa Barabara zoo in the fall

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Land of the Living Skies

Beautiful sunset on the walk home from work yesterday. I'm not sure what made it so colorful.

land of the living skies

land of the living skies

I also did panorama versions - click on them to view larger.

land of the living skies

land of the living skies

Now that Lightroom has a panorama merge built-in I find I'm doing more than when I had to switch to Photoshop for it. (The panorama feature built into cameras isn't usually available if you're shooting Raw.)