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Tuesday, 04 November 2008


Just beautiful, Mike.

Thanks for not deleting the EXIF info. Its interesting info to have when looking at the images.

BTW, very nice images.

"they're not really meant to be seen small."

I wish you'd use a photo hosting service (pbase.com for example) for some photos, so we could see them in big size. At least three megapixels. (It's shameful that a paid service like TypePad does not even go as high as Blogger does for image size.)

Funny by the way, my native Denmark is famously flat, but also excepting a small corner (south west), which the glaciers missed, that area is very hilly.

I love the top picture. I clicked to see the larger version, and I actually still prefer the smaller one. There's more of a mystery and a "big picture" to it.

If it were on a wall I'd probably be the guy standing at a comfortable distance.

Beautiful colors. Every second day here in Denmark is pretty nice as well :)
Concrats on the ellection!

Do feel like burning up a bit of bandwidth, even temporarily, and putting up one of those shots bigger? Probably number 2 or 3?

All the best,

At first I couldn't find Lulu in the last pic. I like the way the 50/50 composition flattens the depth cues (the diameter of the trees) and turns them into a textural feature of the image.

Your comment about WI reminds me of the stories about Minor White's despair when he moved to my home town of Rochester, NY (in some respects the late lamented Rochester, NY, as Kodak downsizes) from Cali to teach at RIT. He just couldn't find the dramatic views he wanted to photograph. Not that I'm putting myself on his level (I hope I didn't really have to say that) but I have always enjoyed photographing the rolling wooded and agricultural landscapes of Western NY.

I miss fall in the Midwest. Here in New York the foliage can be amazing, but peak color seems to coincide with peak rainy season every year...

Prints for sale?


You rightly say that Wisconsin isn't dramatic in terms of topography, but as a Wisconsin native, I'd say that's exactly why the state is so beautiful. An extended family member owns a house in Boulder with a picture-window view of the front range of the Rockies. Dramatic? Yeah, the first time you see it. After that it's just wallpaper. But the view of the Baraboo Range driving west on Highway 12 out of Sauk City and the Wisconsin River valley is a view I'll never tire of. From where I live now, I'm not far from the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean on the white sands of the Jersey shore. Big deal. Show me the green farm fields and forests gently sloping down into the calm blue waters of Lake Michigan on I-43 toward Green Bay. The Dells of the Wisconsin River (no, not the amusement parks!) or the bluffs of Wyalusing State Park where the Wisconsin meets the Mississippi have the Hudson River Palisades beat all hollow. And I'll gladly take Door County over Cape Cod; Washington Island over Martha's Vineyard.

Bottom line - Wisconsinites do not need to apologize for their state's natural splendor.

Nice pictures - keep on shooting my beautiful home state.

A homesick eastern exile,
Carl Blesch

Hi Mike,

Speaking of "on the wall" any chance you might sell some prints? I'd be interested. I know you used to do that from time to time.


Carl Blesch,

Be quiet, just back away from the microphone.

There is nothing but genetically altered, over fertilized corn in the Midwest. It's all flat and trash-littered; there is no scenic beauty; nothing but thugs in the cities, and bumpkins in the country side.

Shhh. Say no more. Kettle Moraine is a figment, as is Turkey Run, Parke County, or Painted Rocks. Shhh, the Jersey Shore is the paradise on earth. Sand County is just weeds and...sand. Quiet. There's nothing here.

Bron, born Chicagoan, but raised to one room school eddication in Wisconsin, the arm pit of the nation, shhh, pay no attention to people like Carl.

When I taught photography at a high school on the East Coast, one of my students once looked at one of my Michigan landscapes in obvious confusion.

She said, "Wait--WHERE did you say you took this?"

Me: "In Michigan."

Her: "Isn't Michigan in the Midwest?"

Me: "Yup."

Her: "But this picture has TREES. You mean there are TREES in the Midwest?!?"

Her vision of the Midwest was flat cornfields and nothing else. She was amazed there were trees here!

Not counting California and New Mexico, we later determined that Washington, D.C. was the furthest WEST she had ever been in the U.S.

I think you're right, we should encourage things like this!

Mike J.

Thanks for setting me straight. Too often I forget how good I have it here in the east. All I have to do is ask the natives, and they'll straighten me out too. If it's not in NYC or environs, it doesn't exist. How silly of me to think otherwise.

Corny, but I've for the most part, been able to see beauty and interest in wherever I am.

Well, parts of west Texas, or California's central valley are challenging.

Here in the mundane Midwest, we are having a splendid Autumn, though. (Even the term "Midwest" is strange, from back when there was just the Eastern states)

Love the one you're with.


I love talking to New Yorkers about the Midwest, and especially about real estate, which is one of their favorite topics, of course. They've got great stuff in Manhattan, museums and theaters, and I love to visit and do so at least once a year -- but I live on three acres on the St. Croix River (the boundary between Minnesota and Wisconsin) and I have a beach and a dock and it's absolutely gorgeous; and though I live in a quiet, semi-rural area, I'm twelve minutes from downtown St. Paul and 25 from downtown Minneapolis. How much does it cost? Well, uh, about as much as a large one-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side...

People from the Coasts generally have no idea of how well we live here. Refugees from the Midwest, living in New York and LA, tend to be people who live in their heads: people who live in an intellectual construct of ambition and opportunity, which is fine. But to simply *live* as well as the *average* Minnesotan or Wisconsiwegian, or whatever they call themselves, a Manhattanite would have to be a deca-millionaire...


Amen to that. There's a lot of vitality and variety in Manhattan that can't be duplicated elsewhere, granted--it's so large and so varied that people can carve out their own "communities" in parallel. But in many ways, Wisconsin is a paradise. Only with winter to keep the riffraff out.

The park where these pictures were taken is 580 acres, or about 2/3rds the size of Central Park. But it probably gets .2% of Central Park's 25 million annual visitors.

I did know a guy who hated Wisconsin--called it "godforsaken" and couldn't wait to leave. I just don't see that.

Where I live, the property values are pretty low. But consider a friend of mine who took a job at the University of Illinois at Champaigne-Urbana. He bought a place about 45 minutes away from the University. It had a three bedroom, two-story farmhouse, a finished and heated 25x40' outbuilding, and 10 acres of land...and it cost $79k in 1994, and the taxes are $500 a year. He paid for the place in cash.

Of course, from a place like that, you can't hop on the subway and get to the Museum of Modern Art in half an hour, and there probably is no Thai or Indian food locally. But there are always tradeoffs....

Mike J.

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