Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wisconsin / Shabonna

With a weekend essentially free of plans, I decided to escape northward for what is probably the last trip to the family lake house in 2011. Scott Weberpal had the day free on Saturday so we made plans to meet at my family's place during the afternoon. I was treated to a nice comeback victory by the Univ. of Illinois football team which actually ended the moment that I pulled in the drive. I arrived a very tired soul, so I power napped upright on the couch until I heard a car pull in the drive and went out to greet Mr. Weberpal. After relaxing for a bit, we headed to a local bar/grill on an adjacent lake and watched his Badgers take on Nebraska, ending in an easy victory for his guys.

Afterward, we headed back to the house and grabbed the cameras for some night photography. Conditions were about as perfect as they get... the stars were popping and the wind was dead calm. There was a bite in the air, but it wasn't too cold. We walked down to an old boat launch where there was a large beach area where we could walk around and play with different angles. I used this location to shoot a couple of my favorite star trail images last August. After an hour so, Scott was on his way home and I went back inside to relax. I'd had minimal sleep the last few nights so I was ready to take a coma. I was about two seconds from bringing the tent up there that weekend, but I probably wouldn't have even bothered at that point because I was just ready for a nice warm bed.

Temperatures dipped into the lower 30s overnight causing a neat layer of steam as we played with star photography around midnight, so I can imagine things were still cooking around sunrise. I set an alarm for sunrise, but was way too tired to even bother. I'm sure the steam devils were going crazy, but at that point sleep won out. Last year's adventure will have to do.

Sunday was spent relaxing outside with some quality Andrew time. I really couldn't have cared less if the water temperature was in the middle 50s... after breakfast I ran down and jumped in. The water was pins and needles cold, but felt incredibly refreshing once the air returned to my lungs! I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening just traipsing around outside, before watching the sun go down over the lake during the evening and then eventually making my way back home.

Beautiful fall weather with warm temperatures finally returned this week, after five solid days under a cut off low that just spun away bringing periodic rounds of heavy rain and clouds mixed in with cold temperatures. With yesterday's temperatures sitting in the middle 70s without a cloud in the sky, my home girl Ellen and I decided something needed to be done outdoors. I hadn't returned to Lake Shabonna since returning to northern Illinois this fall so I vetoed her idea to visit a local nature trail and drove us out that way. There wasn't much time before the sun hit the horizon so not much trotting around was done, but we did find a nice place to sit and enjoy the quiet (excluding the geese sharing their dumb stories). I did a double take at a picnic table behind us thinking it was a deer, only to then have a couple of young deer run out into the open a moment later.

Well, of course these images are horribly out of order. I think it was Dann Cianca suggested a way that I can fix this issue but I've completely forgotten where that was at this point. Anyway, during my last hour up north I decided to take a couple wide angle shots of the actual dock / beach area at my family's slab of land on the lake. The water was like glass... perfectly relaxing. Who wouldn't want to just jump in... temperature is nothing but a number!

The stars were just popping.

Sunset along Highway 82 as I made my way back home on Sunday evening. This is about 10 miles west of the lake.
Now we're on to Monday evening back at Lake Shabonna outside of DeKalb.
Ellen admiring some spiders that had made webs on the plants.
And I guess to throw in a little bit of weather related material, here's a water vapor view of the cut off low that spiraled overhead for the better part of the week. There are some incredible loops hiding out in the open on the internet that I should probably track down and post, but...

1 comment:

Dann Cianca said...

On the dashboard, make sure you're using the new, updated Blogger interface. There should be a link on the upper right if you have the old dashboard. The photo-uploader on the new interface is a lot easier to use (though not without bugs.)