07 April 2011

Website up

My website is up: http://www.ryan-rodgers.com. I will modify it in days to come, but it's up and running. Full Post»

22 March 2011

Open River, Birdy Backwater

Here's a dreary photo on a dreary day--thirty five degrees, wind and rain. I shot this through my home office window while cozy and dry, or, rather, I misspoke, I mean I shot it in some lonely woods, huddled and shivering under the cold dripping sky. Yes, that sounds better.

The ice cleared from the main channel on this stretch of the Saint Croix on Sunday. I went paddling Monday, keeping an eye out for icebergs. Attracted by the brassy calls of numerous trumpeter swans, I kayaked into a backwater lake network north of Osceola and spotted up to thirty of the massive white birds. There were also fifty or so dapper black and white ducks, trim little fellows of a variety unknown to me, a few bald eagles and, of course, bellicose Canada geese.

I'm a big fan of that backwaters. In it is a lake filled with summer water lilies, accessible only through a narrow channel. There's another lake that, as far as I can tell from winter explorations, is linked to the river only through a swamp, impenetrable by boat. Another thing that sets this backwaters apart is that it's rimmed by small rocky hills, opposed to muck and mire. I don't have photos to do justice, but will try and remedy that in the summer. Full Post»

20 March 2011


The full moon that rose yesterday was said to be the largest appearing in nearly twenty years. The rain that's falling today, however, was already setting in, so any sky view was clogged by clouds. I didn't mind so much. I was tired from my first rock climbing day this year and had been out the night before for the one day shy of full moonrise.

This little stream is a tributary of the Apple River and has a pleasing sinuous shape. I would liked to have tried shooting from higher to better see the creek turns. The state highway on which I was standing offers some topographical advantage that could be further added to by doing an Ansel Adams and standing on the roof of my vehicle, but the highway here is actually a short causeway over the swamp with scant inches of shoulder and regular traffic flow. Full Post»

16 March 2011

Breaking Up

Excitement. The scene outdoors has started changing in a hurry. This morning sandhill cranes flew by and a robin visited the feeder. And the river is thawing--pools forming and channels widening. The stretch behind my house is still mostly frozen, but several miles upriver in the state park open water is taking over quickly. I would like do a time lapse photo animation of ice giving away, which would require picking an apropos spot, planting the camera there and letting it click every x minutes for a good long while. Full Post»

15 March 2011

Wake Up Begins

I looked out the window a couple days ago at the first chipmunk I'd seen for months. He was sitting on a snow pile, looking around. Then he disappeared into a hole in the snow pile and tunneled back to the fern bed where he's been hibernating. Near where I took this photo, a pool of open water held several trumpeter swans, which along with Canada geese, have been flying over more frequently with every passing day. Raccoons are climbing trees and getting mushed on the roads. Yesterday in Interstate Park, I disturbed three great blue herons. Full Post»

07 March 2011

A Rallying for Ice

I am shamed to admit a creeping fatigue with winter. I went camping in the snow a full week ago, but have not ventured outside since then. My snow pants are giving neglected stares. I wake at night to the sobbing of mukluks.

There is still time left to seek out one of more exotic features of this mild landscape, still time to find water in its hibernatory state, whether it be very temporarily attached to branches on a cold morning or consumed fully for five months along the side of a cliff, as are these bulges and spikes in a canyon of the Willow River. Full Post»

01 March 2011

Macro Perspective

Here's another macro shot. There's something, frankly, a little weak about super closeup photos. Lots of marginally interesting things look pretty cool if you stick your nose in there, so to misrepresent the size, or at least prevalence in the wider tableau, is a tad disingenuous. Then again, this weird ice crystal and bubble scene does exist as it appears. There're no contrivances involved in showing the Fortress-of-Solitude-esque crystals and slightly cosmic bubbles, they really look that way. With that lengthy caveat out of the way, macro photos do offer a different perspective of the natural world, and as a photographer, another thing to look for in the wearying hunt for compositions. Full Post»