I had a few earns to run this morning and so I grabbed camera for the ride along. Being I was near a back water bay on Lake Menomin and was looking for any water fowl. I happened to find some Canada Geese enjoying their stop in our fair town.
Over the past couple of years I have been with a group on Facebook called “Photo Challenge.” The first time I was introduced to the group was when I was looking at my brother-in law’s blog and saw he had posted a photo on their page. I joined the group and started taking up the challenge each week. Some of the weeks- its a snap! Other weeks- I have to wave the white flag. But each week I try to keep a open mind and look for a the opportunity to photograph a subject to represent the challenge of the week.
There are weeks when I outburst with a comment like “Do they know where I live?” Try looking for a leaf in the dead of winter or a bud on a tree with snow still covering the ground. Why not ask for “colored foliage” in the spring? Seems to be the perfect challenge for us in North America. So I clean off my glasses and start observing the world around me and to my amazement, the photo opportunity are right there in front of me.
This past week, the challenge was “Numbers- Prime Number”. Each week they give us a mini syllabus with photos on the challenge of the week. They asked us to incorporate a prime number into a photo. Not a photo of a number, but the number would be in the photo. They also gave us a web link to the first 1000 prime numbers. I opened the link and printed the list. The list was a page and a half long. It started with the number 2 and ended with 7919. Now it was time to start looking over the list and find something meaningful.
I took the sheets and a pen and started circling numbers on the sheets of paper. That same week I was entering my son-in-law’s ancestors into my Family Tree program. I started looking at the prime numbers as birth years, marriage years, and death years. I focused on the numbers from 1600- 2000. That’s where most of my genealogy information is dated. There are 54 prime numbers between 1601 and 2011. I started asking myself if a person was born in a prime number year and died in in a prime number year, what would be the greatest age a person could be and still have a prime age. Without manipulating the numbers, it looks like 3 years of age. A case could be made if a person was born late in a prime year and died early in a prime year they could have a prime number age. But that is working too hard to make the figures work.
The next thing I started thinking about was home address. I looked my own address and quickly realized it wouldn’t be a prime number because it ends in a 4. As I dove up and down the country roads of Dunn County I spotted many prime numbered addresses. With careful observation, I noticed all the even numbered homes were on the South or East of the road. Being they were even numbered they would be devisable by 2 and thus not a prime number. Now my eyes could stay focused on the North and West sides of the roads.
The road numbering system used in Dunn County makes most of our roads ending in a zero. Again not a prime number. But I did spot 2 Wisconsin State Highways in our county at are prime numbers. Highway 79 is a short drive consisting of 17 miles. It starts at the intersection of US Highway 12 on the south and ending in the small town if Connersville on the North. Then there is another State highway crossing Dunn County, Highway 29. Highway 29 is a much longer road crossing the entire state of Wisconsin. Starting in Prescott on the west side of the state, on banks of the confluence of the Mississippi and the St Croix rivers, the road travels eastward for almost 300 miles ending in Kewaunee on the shores of Lake Michigan. Highway 29 is flanked by the dairy industry along its pathway across the Dairy State. There are two other towns that highlight another industry here in Wisconsin, Paper, and they are Wausau and Green Bay.
Wisconsin is filled with Rustic Roads. There are 117 roads spanning more than 669 miles. These are the back roads of the state. These roads are to be traveled at a slower pace and to enjoy the beauty of Wisconsin. There is a Rustic Road right here in Menomonie. Rustic Road 89. The road parallels the Red Cedar river for 5 miles. Showing off dairy farming, the small town of Irvington and overlooks of the Red Cedar River.
What about downtown Menomonie. The grand gem of Menomonie is the Mabel Tainter Theater. This is one of the top 15 most beautiful theaters in the world. The theater was built as a memorial to Mabel who died at the age of 18. The date on the front doorway is 1889. Again another prime number. The theater hosts many performances by artists both locally and regionally.
Then I expanded my thoughts. What about the postal zip code of Menomonie. Back to the internet for a little more help. Sure enough! 54751 is a prime number.
This is a brief look at the Prime Numbers here in Menomonie. I was fascinated by all the prime numbers around me every day. Take a look in your world and see how many prime numbers are around you each day.
This past Christmas my wife gave me a new camera. Well it isn’t band new, but an upgrade from the camera I have used over the past couple of years. I wanted to see how much better the photos would be with the new camera. I put my 75-300mm lens on the camera and snapped a few shots of birds feeding at the feeders in our yard.
These photos are from a month ago. The day was cloudy and the ground was covered in snow. The one feeder is about six feet from the front window of the house and the other feeder is about forty feet from the back of the house. I think the camera did a nice job of capturing the details of the birds. I did a little enhancing and cropping of the photos. I am very pleased with the results of the new camera.
Enjoy the portraits of the feathered visitors to Prickly Ash Farm.
Two weeks ago Laurel and I went out for a drive to view the fall leave. I made the decision to head south from our home. I wanted to get into the Coulee region in Wisconsin near the Mississippi River. This area has very tall bluffs. I thought the leaves would be brightening the hills and all we saw was individual trees colored on the hillsides. We were disappointed, but we did find the Stone Barn and stopped for a pizza on their last day of the season. It was wonderful afternoon spent with each other.
This past Sunday morning we awoke and I said it would be a fantastic day to look at the fall colors again. I was hoping to go to the Coulee region again but Laurel thought we could see all the colors close to home. We drove down the driveway and made a left turn on our adventure. We were less than a mile from home when I stopped the car and grabbed my camera for a photo of the hillside filled with color. The soybeans field in the foreground were ripe and a mid shade of tan. I framed the view finder and snapped a few photos. I returned to the car a continued down the road. Again in less than a mile of travel Laurel asked me to stop the car and took some photos looking up the trees. The leaves were backlit by the sun and were shining in full color. Again back in the car for a another 1000 feet of travel. If you are following the time and distance, I could have walked farther in the same amount of time. But we did reach my first subject I wanted to photograph.
We stopped by the Willing Workers 4-H Clubhouse. It is an old schoolhouse built back in 1893 with two large maple trees in the front yard. I took several photos of the clubhouse showing fall in its full glory. This past week 4-H was celebrating 100 years as an organization. The photos are a perfect tribute to the final days of 4-H week.
Again back to the car. This time we made a plan to put a more miles before our next stop. Laurel and I have been listing to audiobooks so we started playing a book as we traveled and allowing our eyes to take in in all of the beauty around us as we listened to the story. I didn’t have a plan for which roads we would travel. When I wanted to turn right, I turned right. When I wanted to turn left, I turned left. All the back roads of Dunn County were not off limits. I have a strong sense of direction and a map of the area in my mind. I know where the main roads and towns are in relationship to where we were. When we saw a hillside worthy of a stop and photo, we stopped the story and took a few photos.
We traveled to the towns of Elmwood, Spring Valley and back to Menomonie to our home. We were on the road for two and a half hours and maybe 50 miles. We even managed to travel a few of our miles on a dirt road. True country and life at a slower pace. This is one of the greatest time of the year in Wisconsin. Over the past few years we might have gotten one day of full color then a hard rain and/or wind would strip the trees of their leaves. This year was spectacular! Couldn’t have spent a nicer day with Laurel. Take a moment out of your busy day and enjoy fall in Wisconsin.
One of the greatest signs of spring in Wisconsin is the Trillium. The woodland floors will be blanketed in a sea of white.
Take a moment and enjoy spring time in Wisconsin!