Sunday, January 31, 2010

Week 24

week 24 blogsize

#162: Holding hands: I wanted to get a picture depicting 'love' to use as my February blog banner. I used a texture to give it a little more 'umft.

#163: Neti Pot: I had to try out this whole Neti Pot I had been hearing about. My nose had been stuffy/running the past few days and I was in need of a cure! I tried this technique out for the first time, rather interesting let me tell you. Not sure if it really cured me, but it did give me temporary relief.

#164: Snow tracks: I came home from work this evening and was getting ready to start to shovel the sidewalk. We didn't really have a lot of snow, but enough that we were packing it tighter with every step. My plan was to shovel the thin layer of snow and put 'ice melt' down to get the sidewalks clear from our week of warmth that caused everything to ice over. I looked out over our front yard and saw these cute little animal tracks. Most likely from bunnies, but they were just light enough to glide across the top, the ground is actually about a foot and a half below the top layer of the snow.

#165: Veggie box: We're always in a rush on Wednesdays having to go from work straight to church for a mentor program we participate in, and we try to squeeze in a time to eat. This night we ate at Fuddruckers, and I so happen to snap this with my camera phone... yeah boring, but it's a picture for the day.

#166: Goodbye Sun: On a chilly 2°F evening I went for a photo walk. I really need to find some good photo walk places because this walk put me on the other side of a hill and I couldn't even see the sunsetting. I guess that is what practice is for.

#167: Timberwolves Game: We attended a Timberwolves game this night against the Clippers. This was the first sporting event I was allowed to take my SLR!!

#168: XCSkis: Another day for cross country skiing. We went to Hyland Lake again to do some of their 'more challenging' trails. It was a beautiful day and we got a great workout in!

Thanks for reading!

XC Skiing: Take Three

168 skis XC3

We've been unable to ski the past few weekends because such warm weather up here (the warm weather causes the snow to be slushy), but it got back down to where it's suppose to be so we were took that opportunity to get our ski on. Our bodies could tell that we'd taken a little break.

kyle XC3
We went back to the park we had went to the first time for our lessons and did a little harder trail. It was a beautiful day.
bright sun XC3

Something about being outside in the winter and soaking up the fresh clean air, clears the mind.
wooded trail sepia

I'm starting to like the little downhills, it's liberating to just let go, flow with the hill and let my hair fly in the wind :-)
windy trail XC3

It was nice to be able to stop every once in a while and soak in the scenery.
lake XC3

It's like relaxing and working out all at the same time :-)
field XC3

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wolf pack

167 target center
Last night we attended the Timberwolves game (that's basketball incase you have never heard of them). They aren't the greatest team in the NBA, but we always have a fun time going to the games. We have actually been to a game every season. The first year we lived in Minneapolis, we got multiple tickets through Kyle's employment at the time 'United Way'. Last year we got a few tickets from his current employment, and this year we finally broke down and bought two tickets. Our first purchased tickets, ah we're so proud :-P  hee hee. There was actually a sale on Groupon this past week, so we decided to scoop up the deal. If you haven't heard of groupon I suggest taking a look to see if they offer discounts in your area (and better yet if they do, let me know cuz I get rewards for referring friends!). When you sign up you get an email every morning (weekdays) with the current deal of the day. They are able to offer group discounts to various places when a certain number of people purchase the deal. So if not enough people agree to buy it, then the deal is off. But by the time I check it around noon, the deal is always on. You only have THAT day to buy it so you better think fast, well make up your mind before midnight. This was actually the first purchase I made through groupon.  Okay enough of a plug for groupon.

The moon was big and bright on our 8 minute ride to downtown. Sorry it's a little blurry, I was in a moving car :-)
downtown moon

There was also a full moon INDOORS. This is something new since previous years.

And later in the game they changed it to a howling wolf.
howl moon

So the game began!  Here is Ryan Gomes taking a shot
ryan gomes shot

Here are the cheerleaders at the beginning of the game

And here they are mid game. ::pulling out soap box::  I am not very impressed with what cheerleaders have become these days, well okay dancers... they call these girls the 'Timberwolves Dancers". I, myself, was a cheerleader back when and got to experience first hand how fun and challenging cheerleading can be. I'm not talking about the sidelines ra-ra-ree. But REAL basket tossing - back handspring - going for a straight five minute - difficult dance move - routine type cheerleading. It's a workout and not something everyone can do. But these cheerleaders appeared as if they were scooped up from the local strip joint down the street. I mean seriously! Look at these moves..... all they are missing are the POLES!
strip um er dancers
::putting soap box away::

One of my favorite parts about the Timberwolves games is CHOMPER!
chomper hello
Chomper is the 'mini' mascot. Crunch is the main mascot who is in the typical mascot outfit, but Chomper comes out as a surprise and does a little 'dance'. He's filled with air, so whoever is inside has a hay day with different moves, bouncing on his head, running really fast in Chompers tiny legs. It's hiliarous!
chomper headstand

Timberwolves were ahead the whole game, and toward the end the Clippers were beginning to make a come back. Here Al Jefferson (aka: Big Al) is shooting a free throw... which he made btw.
big al freethrow

The end was getting close, but the wolves pulled through for a win!
final score

One of the most exciting times of the evening, was walking back to our car. Everyone stared in excitment ready for April to get here so the Twins could be seen playing in a REAL stadium.
cant wait

Kyle and I went to ONE twins game, the third day we lived in Minneapolis. It was at the dome, and we were very disappointed - baseball should NOT be played indoors :-( Since then we haven't been back to a Twins game... but now that they have a stadium we will once again become baseball fans! WOO HOO!

Oh and in case you were wondering, or didn't know, Minneapolis is FILLED with skyways, so you don't have to go outside in negative degree weather. The above picture was taken from the skyway right across from the stadium that actually is above a highway leading to a big parking ramp. Catch all that?

Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Photo Walk: French Park

I was determined to go on a photo walk yesterday. I had my camera in tow and before I left work I looked up two possible parks located between work and home. As I left work the moon was beautiful, and the sun was quickly falling. I drove and drove and tried to find these parks I had looked up. One ended up being a little playground and the parking lot wasn't plowed so there was no stopping there. The other park I was unable to locate. I started to become very discouraged that I was going to drive around and waste the evening without even getting a decent photo. French Park was near by, remember Kyle and I went cross country skiing with some friends there a few weekends ago. I knew they had a walking trail, so instead of wasting the last few moments of daylight driving around I just decided to head toward this park and take a quick walk. 
goodbye sun

I wasn't really happy with the shots I got, I was on the other side of a hill so I couldn't see the sun...
daylight moon
...and I only had one lens with me so I couldn't zoom in close to the gorgeous moon....
berry moon
but I tried to make the most of my walk, I mean that's what a photo walk is for.....
icy trail get better at taking photos and seeing what is out there to capture.
open trail
This last photo was inspired by Yoshiffles of and a shot she took a while ago.

Location: French Regional Park, Plymouth, MN
Date/Time: Jan 28, 2010 5:15-5:30pm

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Week 23

Week 23 blogsize

#155: Frozen Minnehaha Falls: I had heard about Minnehaha Falls being froze over so I took the beautiful Sunday afternoon to go capture some shots. It ended up being a gorgeous afternoon and the falls were amazing!

#156: It's what's for dinner: This shot was Kyle's idea. We had Sam's steaks for dinner and he was so impressed with how thick they were he said "you should so take a picture of these and use it as your picture of the day" I love when he helps out like that because sometimes my brain just doesn't want to work and if it wasn't for him you'd have another Harpo picture to look at :-)

#157: Sewing project: I recently bought a new custom camera bag off esty and being the clueless person I can sometimes be I didn't realize I could add extras (like pockets). Once I got the bag I thought "man this would be even more kick ass if it had some pockets" later I find out it could have if I would have stated that before I ordered it. Okay enough about that, so I made my OWN pocket and added it to my bag, thus leading me to use my sewing machine this day and leading me to capture this shot for my picture of the day.

#158: Cattail: I went on a mini photo walk this day at a park near where I work. The day before there was some great frost on my way to work... and of course I didn't have my camera the day before. So the day I DID stick my camera in, no frost. but I made the most of the moment and shot some other things instead.

#159: Snow Viking: Everybody is getting pretty pumped that the Vikings are playing in the NFC Championship game this weekend!!

#160: Face: I had an idea for a shot. Kyle grabbed the 3D glasses we recently got from going to see Avatar, then I converted it to black and white.

#161: Winter Sunrise: A friend of mine and I had planned to get up and go get some sunrise pictures Saturday morning. Well the day before it was a cloudy sunrise, and the morning of it was pretty slippery and crummy from the freezing rain the night before. My friend ended up not wanting to come, but I ventured out anyway because I was up and had my contacts in already. I really didn't get many good shots, but I wasn't going to let the whole morning be wasted so I got out and got a few. This was the only time there was a hint of color in the sky, shortly after this moment the sky returned to it's white haze.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Photo Walk: Cloudy Sunrise

willow tree
I got up early this morning.

Besides camping, this is only the second time I have gotten about of bed to shoot the sunrise.

sunrise bench

After seeing yesterday's sunrise on the way to work, I wasn't very hopeful that this mornings would be any better.

But since I was up I figured I might as well take a stab at it, I mean I wasn't going to get ANY shots from my bedroom.

So I ventured out, the temp wasn't bad at all, but the sky was so cloudy I never really saw the sun. I was lucky enough to get one minute of a pink glow, but it went away fast.

bench and tree B&W

Location: Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis, MN
Date/Time: Jan. 23, 2010 7:24am-7:30am (then I drove around for 30 minutes hoping the sun would come out)
Temperature: 27°F

Friday, January 22, 2010

Playing around

Just playing around to get my picture of the day in.
160 face

Isn't my hubby such a trooper :-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Photo Walk: Morning Park

158 cattail
I went on a 'mini' photo walk this morning. I haven't been sticking my camera in lately because it's super cold out and I don't want it getting cold in my car, and I don't always want to lug it into work with me (although some days I do, just not everyday).  Yesterday I saw some beautiful frost on the way to work and was kicking myself that it wasn't a day I had my camera with me. So I stuck it in today, hoping to see that frost again... but of course that wouldn't happen, that'd be too easy. So instead I stopped by a little park a few blocks from work and walked around for about, um, 5 minutes. I stepped in some snow right off the bat and after about 5 minutes my feet were numb.  Great walk, lol, but I did get some okay pictures.
flakey tree crop1

I just loved the texture on the trees. I couldn't get enough, so of course I had to play around with the colors and see what they would look like in black and white.
flakey bark cropB&W

I think I like the color better, just because well, there are so many on the trunk, each shed of bark tells a different story.
flakey bark crop

Thanks for reading!

Location: Lakeview Park, Maple Grove, MN
Date/Time: Jan. 20, 2010 8:25am-8:30am
Temperature: 22°F

Monday, January 18, 2010

Frozen River

After leaving Minnehaha Falls yesterday I drove over by the Mississippi River. I first went to the #1 Lock and Dam that I had went to with my mom while she was visiting this past fall. I knew I could get down close to the water (ice) here to get a good view of the frozen over river.
frozen mississippi
Doesn't it just look so peaceful.
frozen mississippi 2
Not many people are around this area in the winter time, I could tell by the untouched snow around the park benches. This is a rare sign, because it seems like no matter where I go, there is never un-wrestled snow.
winter bench
After leaving the first dam area, I continued north along the river searching for another area to get out and get some pictures. There really isn't any other spot until I got closer to downtown Minneapolis, and then I was able to get down close to the water (ice) again :-)
frozen river
Peace be with you:
frozen river sky

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Frozen Falls

frozen falls wideview
I decided to get out while it was warm and get some shots of the frozen world I live in!!  I had heard that Minnehaha Falls was frozen over and knew it would be a good place to start!  You might remember these falls from the first entry of my 365 project:
001 waterfall 1/365frozen falls

They looked much different today.

As I got out of my car and started walking to the falls, I noticed a wild turkey. I stopped to get a few shots, hoping that I didn't scare him away.  You can see people in the back ground were also snapping away.
wild turkey 1
I got a few shots because I wasn't sure when he was going to leave. 
wild turkey 2
Then I walked closer and he didn't budge so I got another picture.  He ended up just minding his own business as people walked right past him. He must have been hungry!
wild turkey 3
Then I got to the falls, there were a few people out, I mean it was a gorgeous day, it was 37 degrees I was in my light jacket, no gloves... it was almost like spring time!
minnehaha bridge
But unlike springtime, the falls were definitely frozen.
I wanted to go down to the base to get some better pictures, but the stairs were closed for the season. I could see that this wasn't stopping people so I lugged my camera bag over my shoulder and my tripod strap over the other and thought I would venture down.  There was a guy couple in front of me, who I got to watch fall on their butts on the way down. They ended up just sliding down on their butts like it was a slide. I started to, but did not want to go as fast so I would slow myself by holding on to the railing. After two flights (and 4 more to go) I knew this wasn't going to work long because my butt was frozen through my jeans and my hands were getting cold from holding the metal rail. 
slippery steps
So I hoped over the little edge and found that walking down the hill in the snow (where there were other tracks) was much easier than sliding down the stairs. Although everyone behind me ended up sliding because of course that was more fun (but they also weren't carrying boo-koo dollars in camera gear! But I finally made it to the bottom and it was well worth it!
frozen minnehaha falls
There was even a little bird drinking out of the open spots in the creek.
snow bird
Going up was a little easier the other side wasn't complete ice and there was a little pathway of snow to the far left of the stairs that I could climb up. It almost felt like I was rock climbing because there were little grooves in the snow that I had to get my footing in before I stepped up to the next step. 
frozen falls close
It was amazing how the frozen falls gave off this blue cast.
frozen blue falls
After the falls I headed over to get some shots of the frozen Mississippi river.. I'll get those up in my next post! 

Thanks for reading!
All images are copyright of Daisy Simpson. It is unlawful and illegal to copy, scan, alter or edit the images in any way. This depreciates the photos value as well as my reputation, I take great care in capturing and editing each image and they are each important to me. Thank you for respecting my passion and my copyright.