Sunday, September 21, 2014

Into The Woods: Retzer Nature Center

Last Sunday, I joined a group of friends for a walk through Retzer Nature Center, a state trail located in Waukesha.  I have been there a few times in the past to take photos, but it was great to see the park through the eyes of some friends who hadn't been there yet. 

One of our favorite places in the park was the path into the woods shown below.

This part of the park had a great old tree with different angled branches that looked like something from a stage set.

Another first for me was seeing the vistas you can only get to by climbing hills in the trail that I had always avoided.  But the scenery was beautiful.

My main goal was to get different compositions than I had shot before.  Using this approach made me see things on the trails I had never seen before.

I kind of liked walking Retzer's trails in late summer since the last time I was there was mid-fall and most of the leaves had turned.  This has given me a great set of photos from this region from throughout the year.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Up and Away: Milwaukee International Kite Festival

Last Sunday, I attended day 2 of the Milwaukee International Kite Festival on Lake Michigan.  It was a gorgeous sunny day as you can see from the photos I took.  The only problem was there wasn't a lot of wind, so getting photos of groups of kites was sort of hard.  But the free festivaal was a great family- (and dog) friendly event. 

Although the event started officially at noon, they did have stunt kite flyers practicing their synchronized moves (as above).  And families started flying their own kites later in the morning.  There were some very fun-looking kites that they brought, such as the red squid below.

Prior to the "big launch" at noon, they had a special patriotic kite while playing "The National Anthem".

My favorite kite of the day was a dragon, which, when viewed from the side looked really cool.

Along with the kites they had bands, great food, sports celebrities and even a rock wall.  This festival was in its 34th year, and it looks like it was fun for all involved.

Monday, September 1, 2014

My Summer in Photos

I, for one, can't believe it's Labor Day Weekend and summer is quickly coming to a close.  What's worse, I haven't posted anything new since March!  It's not that I didn't do anything this summer, although not as much as usual due to money issues, but I did get out with my camera to a few fun places and events, and got to meet some new photographers in my area as well.

One of my most favorite places in my area is the Milwaukee Public Museum.  I've been going there ever since grade school, but hadn't gone in about 8 years.  I primarily went this year due to the "Body Worlds" exhibit, but also got to see some familiar subjects such as the dinosaurs (above), the Native Americans,

"The Streets of Old Milwaukee", one of the most popular exhibits,

All of the various ethnic exhibits,

and the Museum's "Butterfly Garden" where you get to interact with real butterflies.

I also met up with a new group in our area for a photowalk of Milwaukee's Walker's Point (or 5th Ward), which I knew about but never visited before.  Walker's Point is the home of Allen Bradley, and a very diverse cross-section of the city as a whole.  That weekend, they had rainbow flags on the light posts in celebration of the "Gay Pride" festival at Meier festival park.

On my walk, I came across a very nice alley garden.  Very jealous I don't have a green thumb.

While on the photowalk, my friend, her husband and I went on the brewery tour for Milwaukee Brewing Company.  I have to say, MBC's beer has become my favorite microbrew in the city.  Many different flavors and not too heavy for a hot day.

 And, they definitely have fun on the job.

And no summer of mine would be complete without an annual trip to the Boerner Botanical Garden for my flower fix.  Unfortunately, the long cold winter and spring kept a lot of my favorite flowers (especially roses) from blooming, but I managed to get a couple of good shots of them.

As well as other hearty little flowers.

And, I found out that I really like Dahlias, and they come in many different varieties.  My favorites were the Peony variety.

Hopefully with fall coming, I will get out more with my camera and check out some local festivals and areas I haven't been to before.  I hope everyone had a fun and safe summer!