Monday, January 30, 2012

Museum of Natural History

Okay, so recently I posted about a museum in the anthropology building where I take one of my classes. I remembered to bring my camera today, and even got to the building about 30 minutes early . . . only to find out that the museum is closed on Mondays (the only day I have class in that building)!

They do, however, have a few displays in the hallways, so I was able to take a couple pictures of some museum-like displays.
A leopard of some sort.

A porcupine fish.

Miscellaneous creatures.

I will have to go back to that building on a day the museum is open so I can see what's in there. 

Oh, and just because Mother Nature feels like it, she gives us a sunny day with temperatures near 60°F . . . in Iowa on January 30th!! Some winter weather, eh?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Art Appreciation

We enjoy art in my household. What's awesome is that in Kindergarten, Livie gets to learn about famous artists during art class!! She recently learned about Vincent Van Gogh and his artwork.

She and her class even got to replicate a couple of his famous paintings - The Starry Night, and Vase with Twelve Sunflowers.

On Thursday night, we got to attend her Kindergarten class' open house, which included an art show, so we got to see Livie's replicas. She was excited to show us, and we were excited to see her art!

This first photo is her construction paper mosaic replica of The Starry Night:

And here's her painted replica of Vase with Twelve Sunflowers:

Andrew and I were pretty impressed!

Oh, and she wanted me to add this photo of Daddy's recent evening of snow blowing:
She thought the blowing snow looked rather ghost-like, which is why she wanted me to include this photo.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Where's Indiana Jones?

This semester, I'm taking a class called "Native Peoples of North America." It's actually an anthropology class, but also within the "American Indian and Native Studies" (AINS) program. They offer both undergraduate and graduate certificates in "Native American Studies" which are earned concurrently with your degree (so I'll earn the graduate certificate along with an English Master's degree).

This class is divided into a "lecture class" (Tuesdays and Thursdays), which meets in an auditorium-like room in the English-Philosophy Building (my home away from home, while I get my English degree), and a "discussion" class meeting on Mondays.

The lecture class is just that - the instructor lectures us on important info based on the readings she's assigned.

And the discussion class? It's lead by the T.A. (teaching assistant), where she leads us in discussion on what we've learned/will learn in our lecture classes.

The discussion class is in the anthropology building, MacBride Hall.
MacBride Hall
Doesn't it totally look like an anthropology building?

Well, let me tell you - inside, it is very much like an anthropology building. You walk in and there are marble columns, tile floors, ornate metal railings, and an immediately noticeable old, dusty, musty, "old building" smell to it. There are even those old, steamy radiators, sizzling as they overheat the classrooms. Plus, there's a museum of natural sciences in there - my first thought was, "Whoa, taxidermy central!" There are some stuffed animals in there (for instance, I saw some sort of leopard . . . and by stuffed, I obviously don't mean kids' toy stuffed animals) and replicas of horseshoe crabs and other things. I didn't get a chance to look around because I'd gotten there just about 5-10 minutes before class started. One day, I'll have to get there early enough to look around in the museum and, if possible, take some photos.

The T.A., I found out, actually has a Master's degree in archaeology, but has an interest in anthropology, and experience with (if I remember correctly) the study of Native Americans from the Plains group (think nomadic/semi-nomadic peoples who ride horses, hunting buffalo, like the Cheyenne or Lakota, as opposed to, say, the Southwestern tribes like Navajos, Hopis, Mescalero Apaches, or Northeastern Woodland cultures like the Mohawk, Narraganset, and such).

So, knowing she's got a degree in archaeology, plus being in this old educational building . . . well, I couldn't help but think about Indiana Jones and all the exciting adventures everyone's favorite fictional archaeologist finds himself in. 

Anyway, I decided to use Picnik to make my photo of MacBride Hall look worthy of a post mentioning good, ol' archaeologist-adventurer Indiana Jones' era - in other words, old-timey. So here it is:
The same photo of MacBride Hall, made to look like it's old.

(I actually took this photo today before I headed to my other class, because I'd forgotten to bring my camera with me on both Monday and Tuesday! Yes, I'm surprised, too, because I almost always have it with me!!)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Break From Reading . . .

A postcard-like view of the Old Capitol at the University of Iowa.

A "dotty" view of camps, near Schaeffer Hall (just click on it to better see the dots).
Since Picnik is "shutting down" in April, we now have access to its "Premium" effects without having to pay for a "Premium" membership (meaning: paid subscriptions). And while I've been waiting for the caffeine from my multiple cups of coffee to kick in (and for Andrew to run some errands), I've been playing with Picnik, with Livie's help.

(When Andrew gets home, he can do some fun projects with Livie while I do my homework.)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow Day!

Okay, today, we had a major snow day! It'd started snowing before dawn, and snowed pretty much the whole day! As a matter of fact, if I hadn't check Livie's school's website (due to a sneaking suspicion about weather-related closings), I wouldn't have known her school was going to dismiss two hours early due to the storm!

So, while that was two hours of much needed study-time that disappeared, I at least got to spend most of the afternoon with Livie.

After doing a few little projects with her, I snapped this photo of the snow. This was about half an hour after I used the snow blower on the driveway. It started getting covered again rather quickly.
Okay, so I used a few of Picnik's funky editing effects to make this photo a little bit interesting, so I guess it's hard to see exactly how much the driveway got covered in that half hour. Andrew had to snow blow the driveway again when he got home because there'd been so much snow, his car got stuck!

(As a side note, I just found out that Picnik is "closing" as of April 19th, which is too bad because I've really enjoyed using it).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lots of Work

Last night, I sure was feeling that beginning-of-the-semester overwhelming tiredness! I had my 2.5 hour, once-a-week class yesterday afternoon (Native American Women and Religious Change), and I already have 80+ pages to read AND a paper due for this particular class. I was momentarily overwhelmed when she told us about the paper, especially since she wants it no more than two pages (I tend to get wordy, and sometimes it's hard to keep within such a limited number of pages). But then I realized that it should be fun to write, considering what she told us she wanted out of our papers. And to top it all off, our professor told us that this is her favorite class to teach. I love having a professor who is so enthusiastic about the subject!

This 2.5 hour class that I had yesterday had a reading assignment due for our first meeting (yesterday afternoon) - this was the one where I'd checked the online course management system on Monday, but the reading hadn't been posted yet. She actually got it posted sometime on Monday afternoon (or early evening); I'd checked after dinner and there it was! So I actually had plenty of time to read it before today's class; I had nothing to stress about after all. (I guess somebody was a little too impatient eager to jump in on the readings!)

Anyway, I've got my other class this afternoon (the anthropology one about Native American peoples of North America). 50 minutes and then I'm heading home. I've got to start reading in preparation for this class. Good thing it's in the afternoon - that leaves me time to get the reading finished (and take notes).

So this will probably be the last of the "daily" posts . . . for the rest of the semester, I'll be back to my usual "a few a week."

Liv's posing at the building where my Wednesday afternoon class is held.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Winter Shot 2012

Okay, so yesterday was the first day of the Spring 2012 semester, and it was a crazy weather day! Strong winds, blowing snow, ice on the roads . . . there were so many accidents along I-380 (and I'm thankful I wasn't one of them)! I'm glad I left really early, because there was a semi-trailer truck that had gone off I-380, thus blocking the right lane of traffic, and turning the interstate into a parking lot for miles (I'd say almost 3 miles!). What is normally a 45 minute commute for me during "normal" road conditions turned into a 1¾ hour drive due to weather and accidents. Ugh.

Anyway, I took it slow and easy, making it to campus safely. And since I'd left with plenty of time, I wasn't rushed . . . I had time to return some library books and get to my building about 40 minutes early!

So with my extra time, I decided to go out and take the Winter 2012 shot (for a "4 Seasons 2012" photo series). I'd started this idea last year (click here to see the "4 Seasons 2011" series), and thought it would be fun to do it again at a different location on campus.

The idea (which is what I'm doing again this year at this new spot), is to take a photo at one particular location at approximately the same time of day - in each of the four seasons - to document Mother Nature's yearly changes.

I've been looking forward to starting a new "4-Seasons Series" since last October!

After taking a few photos last Saturday from one location, and taking a couple more today from another location, I've decided which photo (and location) I'm going with this year.

Here it is . . .
The Winter Shot 2012, taken outside the University of Iowa's Main Library (the north entrance) on 17 Jan 2012, somewhere between 2:30 PM - 3:00 PM.

As you can see, the sky is starting to clear. It had been nearly white-out conditions when I'd left home earlier in the day. I'm glad it cleared up; it made the drive home much easier.

I almost chose one of the other photos, because I'd taken them on a sunny day, with super blue skies. But I ended up choosing this one instead, because the others were in the same vicinity (and facing the same direction) as the 2011 4-seasons series. (I may share those photos another day, though.)

"The Spring Shot 2012," obviously won't be available for a few months . . . I'm sure I'll have plenty to post before then.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Back to School!

Actually, I was thinking of the movie Finding Nemo, when Nemo was excitedly saying, "First day of school! First day of school!"

I took this at the University of Iowa last Saturday when Livie, Andrew, and I headed to campus to buy this semester's text books. It's the Old Capitol building (where Iowa made its first Capitol). Now the Capitol is Des Moines.

Today, I head back to the University of Iowa for my third semester. I'm getting a graduate degree in English, and hopefully a graduate certificate in Native American Studies.

This semester, I'm focusing solely on Native American classes: "Native Peoples of North America," which has a "lecture" class on Tuesdays and Thursdays (and where I'm headed this afternoon), and a "discussion" class on Mondays (but since yesterday was Martin Luther King day, we're starting the semester today). These classes meet Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays for 50 minutes each. My other class is "Native American Women and Religious Change," which meets on Wednesdays for 2.5 hours.

I tried my best to get morning classes like my previous two semesters, so I could be in school when Liv is in school. But that didn't work out. All of my classes this semester are in the afternoon after Liv gets out of school. Since it's a bit of a commute to Iowa City (45 minutes one way, not including time to park and walk across campus to my classes' buildings), I will have to leave before she gets out. That means Andrew will have to adjust his work schedule so he's getting in early, allowing him to leave early for Liv.

I'm looking forward to the subjects I'm studying this semester. But since they're not English classes, I'm not sure exactly what to expect, and therefore, I'm kinda nervous. I'm good at the "read a lot of literature, then write a lot papers" aspect of English/Literature classes. So to take an anthropology class and a religion/women's studies class . . . well, we'll see. Since they're both Native American Studies classes, I'm very interested, so I'm sure I'll do well, nonetheless.

Anyway, for those of you "regulars," you may have noticed that I've been posting more regularly . . . okay, daily, since January 1st. I hadn't originally planned on a daily thing, since the "a post or two, every few days" route seemed to work for me. But by January 4th, when I realized I'd already accomplished a post a day, I figured I'd see how long I could keep it up. That is . . . until the start of the semester. It was a fun goal while it lasted.

So this first week, I may be able to do a few more "daily" posts back to back. But since I'm not taking English classes this semester, I'm not sure how the work load will be, so we'll see. I will definitely go back to a few posts a week, so I'll still be publishing posts. Just not daily

Now I'll sign off with a couple more photos from on (and around) campus. 
The view from the steps of Schaeffer Hall - snowy and sunny. The bookstore where Andrew got some of his books is across the street (hidden from view by those trees). There are a number of other book stores on and around campus, though.

This is near the Bluebird Diner, where we ate lunch on Saturday. I snapped this photo because I liked the look of this old tree against the blue sky.

Monday, January 16, 2012

It's Already Started!

Okay, so my semester begins tomorrow, but the desk mess has already started!

 I checked my University e-mail this morning and saw that I had an e-mail from my "Native American Women and Religious Change" professor. She wrote to let us know the syllabus was posted on "ICON" (Iowa Courses Online), the University's online course management system (where grades, tests, assignments, brief reading selections, etc. can be accessed by students and instructors).

Apparently, we already have a short reading assignment for Wednesday (the first day this particular course meets). However, upon looking on ICON, I only see the syllabus, and not Wednesday's brief reading assignment. Hmmm.

I guess this means that tomorrow, I'd better head to campus a little early, so I can get Wednesday's assignment (tomorrow's class has nothing posted for us to do ahead of time).

More Snow Photos

On Saturday, after Livie, Andrew, and I got home from the University, Liv and I had some time to play outside in the snow. (Andrew isn't a big fan of winter weather, so I gladly went outside with Liv.)

The snowdrift gets a thumbs-up!

She wanted me to get a photo of her belly flop in the snow.

Time for snow angels!

Sunlight on snow. Liv and I love the snow's "glittery" effect.

And then the clouds moved in from the west.

Although the clouds moved in Saturday afternoon, we were all glad they held off for most of the day. We had a lot of good outdoor time.

Sunday brought more clear skies; I for one, was glad the clouds had moved OUT (temporarily, at least). However, it was pretty windy, and a little too "warm" for snow. It ended up being around 38°F and sunny, so other than the snow drifts, most of the thin layers of snow had melted, leaving that wet, fertile scent of hibernating farmland. Livie and I still went out and enjoyed what snow was left. 

We were out for about 30-45 minutes before the wind really started picking up. The NOAA website said our area was having winds around 18 MPH, with gusts up to about 30 MPH, so the windchill ended up being about 25°F. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunshine and Snow!!

Okay, so yesterday was supposed to be all dreary, overcast, and snowy. I don't have a single problem with snow - Liv and I love it! But the cloud cover? I find it depressing.

However, mid-morning, the clouds dissipated and the sun came out! It was so incredibly nice!

And to top it all off, since Andrew had to head to the University of Iowa to get his books for this semester, I decided we'd all go; I needed books for one more class - and since it was such a nice day out, it would be a good Saturday adventure.

I was pleasantly surprised that I actually only had two books for this particular class ("Native American Women and Religious Change") and the total cost for both was just under $40. (My very first semester of grad school left me with $300 worth of books for only two classes!)

Anyway, it took Andrew a long time to get his books. In the time that we were waiting for him, Livie and I had a lot of fun outside in the snow on campus.

Here are quite a few photos . . . 

Glad to be on campus on a nice day!

Little girl, BIG building! Liv's at Schaeffer Hall.

Whoa! Looking up!

Tracking animal prints in the snow!

I just liked the blue-gray shadows on the snow, here.

Playing in the snow in front of the Old Capitol.

It warmed up to a comfortable winter temperature.

We even had a chance to stop at the Bluebird Diner for a late lunch. (Liv and I were famished by the time Andrew finally got his books - it was about 1:30 PM by the time we ate!)

We were sitting by the window with the sun blasting in, so I was dealing with bright light AND shadow at the same time with my little point and shoot camera.
Waiting for lunch at the Bluebird Diner!

Livie and Daddy!

Liv's mac 'n' cheese finally arrived! Yummo!

I liked how the light was shining in this window. I didn't capture it very well.

We had an awesome day!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gloomy Skies and Moods

Okay, I love four seasons. I love snow. I can't stand heat and humidity (I can, however, deal with dry heat when the humidity's low - like in Tucson, El Paso, or Las Cruces).

When we had unusually sunny, warm weather here in east central Iowa, I missed the snow, but certainly enjoyed the sunshine. It reminded me of how winters are in the Southwest - sunny! In Alamogordo, it's not uncommon to have somewhere around 300 sunny days per year. That's like 10 months' worth of sunshine per year!

So in moving back to the Midwest in 2008 (having lived for a number of years in the Chicagoland area, as well as having gone to school for 4 years in NW Indiana), I quickly remembered how gloomy it gets (and stays!) when it's overcast. And how long it seems to be completely overcast - days and days (weeks on end, seemingly) without a break in the clouds - without the smallest hint of the sun. 

Now the Midwest has it's good points. I'm not bashing the Midwest.

It's just that this time of year, I start getting homesick for "home" - for the Southwest. My grandparents were from the Southwest. My mom and uncles were born and raised in the Southwest. I've lived in the Southwest for part of my life. And while I loved many things about living in the Chicago area (and have grown fond of a number of things about Iowa), I think there must be a little part of me that belongs in the Southwest (or belongs to the Southwest).

And the overcast days without promise of sunshine . . . well, they just makes me miss the Southwest - the sunshine, the "perfume" the dry desert air gives off after a rainstorm (by the way, it never stays cloudy for long), as well as the familiar, distinct scents of creosote and piñon trees, the ease of finding good, local food (the kinds I always crave - Mexican, Tex-Mex, Southwestern). Well, the overcast gloom and its resulting saudade for the Southwest make me wonder if I should invest in one of those S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) lights

In the meantime, I'll just look through old photos for a temporary New Mexico fix!
31 December 2006 - the view from our backyard in Alamogordo, NM.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thanks, Mother Nature!

Looks like winter finally decided to show up here in Iowa! Here's the view out the front door on Thursday morning:
Okay, so it's not a lot of snow. But what you can't really tell from the photo is that the winds are blustery, around 25 MPH, with gusts up to around 35 MPH. The temp was around 11°F, with a wind chill around -10°F.

I don't mind the snow. In fact, I love snow. Nor do I mind cold temps. I can handle them (which I can't quite say about hot, humid, sticky weather.) However, I dislike the wind (driving in wind makes me a little nervous, since I have a high profile vehicle) and I can't stand ice. AT ALL. (Unless it's in a hockey rink, of course. Or in a margarita.) 

At least I didn't have to drive to school (the University of Iowa, about 35 miles from home) in this weather yesterday! And I'm glad Liv's school is literally right across the street, being 0.15 miles one way, door-to-door, less than half a mile, round trip.

Here's how we feel about snow in my house:
"Mama, there's nothing like a good layer of snow!"

"I'm glad it finally snowed!"

We LOVE snow!

The windchill was around -9°F at the time, so we made sure to stay safe.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Day Off

Well, yesterday ended up being a kind of day off of sorts.

First, the coffee maker has finally broken! Waa! When I woke up realizing I didn't smell freshly brewed coffee (since I program it to brew at the same time my alarm clock goes off), I immediately headed to the kitchen, bleary-eyed, only to find a malfunctioning machine (meaning, it basically went kaput! and failed to turn on). Needless to say, it was a day off from caffeine. It was hard!

I ended up having to go out for coffee. I need caffeine more than I care to admit. I just couldn't face the whole day without it! See, I sometimes go for a time not needing coffee, but then something prompts me to start drinking it regularly, and in larger than normal amounts (going from 8-9 hour shifts to 12- to 14-hour shifts at work . . . or starting graduate school . . . you get the picture).

Since I hadn't weaned myself off coffee after my last semester ended mid-December . . . well, it was kinda hard simply going without it this morning.

So I decided to go to the bookstore, where I could sit in the café with one of my current reads (Death Come for the Archbishop by Willa Cather) and a mocha. (And a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cookie.) Partly because I had some time while Livie was at school, and partly because I won't get much of a any chance to just sit and read for pleasure (with a coffee and a treat) once my semester starts. Okay, so maybe I'll have some time before I go to bed, because I usually try to allow 30 minutes of pre-bed time to chill out and read before turning out the lights. But that's not exactly the same as treating myself to 30-45 minutes of leisurely reading in the middle of the day, just because I feel like it. 

And let me tell you, as soon as that mocha hit my tongue - it was like liquid gold! Such a welcome relief, partly because it tasted good, but also because it seemed (after a few minutes) that it took the edge off a headache I'd developed earlier in the morning. I wasn't sure if it was solely due to sinus pressure or the lack of caffeine. Who knows? The headache never completely went away, so maybe it was a combination of both?

Anyway, the second reason why yesterday was a day off was because I'd accidentally whacked the top of my foot (just below the middle toes) on the edge of my dresser Tuesday afternoon. I'd been running around doing something (barefoot) and boom! It hurt like a you-know-what. I immediately wondered if I'd broken something! (After a bit of icing, I realized I hadn't.) I woke up yesterday with a massive bruise on my foot along with some soreness . . . so I figured I'd just skip the run/walk today. Tomorrow will have to be on the elliptical at the gym, because we're supposed to get snow (finally?) and blowing winds tomorrow.

And third, it dawned on me that my semester starts NEXT WEEK!! I start school on Tuesday afternoon! I knew it was coming up, but the realization that it's in less than a week really surprised me, if you can believe it.

So starting next week, I'll be back to sitting at a desk looking something like this:

 And glad I study at a campus like this:

. . . but will most likely look something like this (that is, until Mother Nature changes her fickle mind once again):

Oh, and that reminds me, I am going to do another "4 Seasons Series" (like this one). I've been thinking (since around October) about good locations, and have narrowed my choices down to two spots; I'll make my final decision on my first day of class next Tuesday. I definitely had fun last year taking photos in each season from one particular spot on campus and have been looking forward to doing it again.

So be on the lookout for that photo . . . I should have "The Winter Shot, 2012" posted within the month, I'm assuming.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More Photographic Art with Livie

Okay, so Livie likes helping me play around with Picnik.

When I say she helps me, I mean, she (sometimes) chooses the photo (but sometimes she has me pick one for her). Then I upload it into Picnik, click on "Edit," and then on "Effects."

And then Livie sees the examples of different effects on the left hand side of the screen, asking me to try one or another (and another), until we find an effect that she likes (after considering what it's done to our chosen photo).

Here's what we've done.

The original photo - an old tree at the park I was at the other day:

 And the final product - we chose the "Heat Map" effect, specifically, its "thermal" mode, at 50%:

Looks cool!

She liked the fact that the sky was partially purple, and that toward the bottom, there were some fuchsia-like branches; she loves pinks and purples. Oh, and she likes that this effect made the tree look like a spooky Halloween tree.

I like the highlights and shadows the effect enhanced, as well as the colors.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Few Views From an Iowa Trail

Yesterday after taking Livie to Kindergarten, I decided I'd get my exercise outside, instead of in the gym. I made this decision for a couple reasons.

1.) It was a clear, sunny day, not too windy, not bitterly cold - a good day to get outside and enjoy some natural vitamin D, fresh air, and the unusual lack of ice (!!) in January in eastern Iowa.

2.) My gym is being renovated. Sure, it's still in use, but the number of machines that are currently "in service" has been greatly reduced, and they're kinda in unusual spots, clumped together, and as of last Thursday, I couldn't see the TVs from any of the cardio machines I'd normally use . . . plus, the work is kinda loud - so what's the point of being stuck inside on a treadmill, right? Sure, it'll be worth it once the renovations are complete, but now it's just kind of a hassle.

So off to the park I went. I think it was about 27°F (with a windchill of 15°F) by the time I headed out. (It ended up being close to a "balmy" 50°F, cloudless, and really breezy by later in the day!) There are a number of trails/paths throughout the numerous parks in the Cedar Rapids area. Some trails are like sidewalks, made of asphalt or concrete. But others are more gravel-like, made of crushed limestone. This is what the paths are made of at the park near my house.

I headed out for about 30 minutes of (mostly) walking and running, so as to not cause my plantar fasciitis to flair up. It was kind of hard, keeping it an "easy" workout, because it felt good being outside running. Especially in new running shoes. But every time I started pushing myself too hard, too soon, my left heel would remind me, "You're being the hare, not the tortoise!" and I'd back off.

I think I may have gone a little too fast, a little too long, because after today's workout, my left heel is nagging me a bit. I've been doing the stretches the physical therapist recommended, and they're helping (especially with the right foot), but the little bit of pain in the left that's not completely going away is a good reminder to take it easy, like the PT recommended.

Anyway, I took my camera with me (it fits perfectly in the back pocket of my running jacket), so I'd have an "excuse" to take it easy on my heels . . . and to have it in case I wanted to take photos. And of course, I took photos. Nothing great, but you get the idea of what it looks like here in east central Iowa during an unusually warm, dry January.

Here are some of the photos I took: 
Farm land - this field was corn in 2011, but has been soybeans before. Now, a lot of this land is being developed for homes. Those mounds of dirt in the background are located approximately where they're starting to build.

Livie likes these kinds of holes in trees because she likes to imagine what (if any) creatures call these holes "home." I took this photo for her. When I showed it to her after Kindergarten, she started telling me how it's "Jumpy Squirrel's" home.

This is the crushed limestone the paths are made of. Usually these paths are nice to run on. As you can see, there are bike tracks, human track, and dog tracks - it looks "smushy," like there's a bit of "give," right? Well, during the unusually warm part of the days, it is, but then we get freezing temps at night. So this path was hard as a rock during my morning jaunt, the tracks having frozen like that overnight.

Some Pac Man-like grafitti under an overpass.

Blue skies!! No clouds!! Woo hoo! Unusual in Iowa this time of year! Usually it's more overcast (and gloomy).

Just about to go around the bend and into the wooded area just behind the farmland. It's nice to take this path in the spring and summer with the green foliage. My allergies, however, don't appreciate it too much.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Back to Chicago

Okay, it's time for more Bean ("Cloud Gate" sculpture) photos from Chicago's Millennium Park. These were from Labor Day weekend 2009.

I love getting the city's reflection in this sculpture, especially the blue of the sky and the wisps of clouds.

Same photo, but I used the "inverted" effect here. Looks otherworldly and cool, right? It makes me think of some Martian city.

I'm adding this because I just like the view - the rounded sculpture and the city, blue sky, bits of clouds. And I've always liked the look of the "Smurfit-Stone" Building (the diamond shaped one).

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