Unexpected Wildlife Photography

While we were in Manning Park for their Dark Sky Festival last weekend, we decided to talk a walk around Lightning Lake to explore the area a little bit.  I had never been, so when we pulled into the day-use parking lot, I knew I had to grab my camera for the adventure. 

It actually ended up to be a great opportunity to not only take some breathtaking landscape photos, but some animals actually stopped to pose for me along the way.

Manning Park, Lightning Lake
Spruce Grouse
Manning Park, Lightning Lake
Baby Squirrel

The shade was very cool, and the sunlight was gloriously warm that day.

Manning Park, Lightning Lake
Manning Park, Lightning Lake
Manning Park, Lightning Lake
Manning Park, Lightning Lake
Manning Park, Lightning Lake

Live – White, Discussion

I have been trying to get back to listening to whole albums, start to finish, and picked this one as a bit of throw back while I did some work on my laptop a few weeks back. 

While this was a band that I immersed myself into during my teenage fandom years, it really struck me how this song is so fitting for the divisive, political climate we exist in today.

I talk of freedom
You talk of the flag
I talk of revolution
You’d much rather brag
And as the decibels of this disenchanting discourse
Continue to dampen the day
The coin flips again and again, and again, and again
As our sanity walks away
All this discussion though politically correct
Is dead beyond destruction
Though it leaves me quite erect
And as the final sunset rolls behind the earth
And the clock is finally dead
I’ll look at you, you’ll look at me
And we’ll cry a lot
But this will be what we said
This will be what we said
Look where all this talking got us, baby

Songwriters: Chad Alan Gracey / Chad David Taylor / Edward Joel Kowalczyk / Patrick Dahlheimer
White, Discussion

Below Zero on the Pentacrest

Bitter, Cold Day on the Pentacrest
A yearly visit back to Iowa City isn’t complete without a shot of this gorgeous, gold dome

When you go to the University of Iowa, this is a central point of many undergrads. If it’s not on your tour route, you have classes on the Pentacrest at some point.

I crossed this area many, many times. Some good memories, some not so much.

The one mantra that always comes back to me is my 20th Century Crisis professor that would often say, “Sometimes it pays to be a nerd.”

It took a number of years, but once you grasp that ideal, you block out the naysayers and carve your own path. Be a nerd about what you love to do and everything else will follow.

An Iowa IPA

Millstream Iowa Pale Ale
Enjoying a Midwest “I”PA

Every visit back to Iowa, the numbers of craft beers and spirits being made in the state never fails to impress.

Millstream still makes my favorite IPA, a wonderful play on the name but not on my affinity for hoppy beer. A visit to their brewery in Amana introduced me to their pilsner and stout, but it’s the Iowa Pale Ale that keeps me coming back. A wonderful play on the name for my favorite style of beer from my home state.

Winter Time on the Ped Mall

Iowa City Pedestrian Mall
Cold, breezy day in winter on the Ped Mall

I used to spend a lot of time around these parts. 8 years in Iowa City, and this is the place that everyone always wanted to hang out. I took this picture yesterday, looking down there at a lot of fond memories.

One 4th of July during Jazz Fest, I was here helping with a full KSUI broadcast from the center of the Ped Mall when the clouds rolled in. I tend to remember saying to someone that “this doesn’t look good,” and suddenly the skies started pouring down. As the winds roared in, someone jumped on the microphone to say a hasty signoff and that we were ending the multi-hour broadcast rather early and quite abruptly.

We moved fast. Everything was piled into a four-door sedan, we crammed in, and were gone within 15 minutes. Not a piece of equipment was left behind or damaged.

Good times.

The Coldest New Year’s Day

The Coldest New Year’s Day
-13F (-33F Windchill) in Iowa

Without a doubt, this has been the coldest morning of the New Year that I can remember. I do recall days of going to elementary school and being held inside for recess because the weather was unsafe due to the subzero windchills outside, mainly because there was always some kid who would lose his stocking hat on the bus ride in from the country or not bring gloves that day, but you never really grasp how frigid, cold weather can cause damaging effects that can last a lifetime.

Last night, as 2018 struck in the central time zone, windchills dipped to -34F, which is nearly at the point where subzero temperatures between Celsius and Fahrenheit are the same. Once -40 is reached, reference or calculation is no longer needed.

Today will certainly be quiet.