Monday, February 29, 2016

The U.S. Flag at Sunset

As I was putting gas in my car after work, I looked at the Belle Tire across the street and saw the flag flying.  I liked the way the sun was hitting it, so I took a picture.
Enjoy the rest of your Leap Day.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Watching the Trains Go By

It was a pretty nice day, so I decided to head to Ohio to do some trainwatching.
 First  I headed down to Bellevue.  When I arrived there was a train rounding one of the curves and a train was leaving the area.    It wasn't too long before this group of engines appeared.  The one is front is a high hood style.
 It was actually pretty busy as it wasn't too long for this train to appear.
 As it heads towards the eat.
 I saw this train on the way into town. 
 A nice headshot.
 And the train winds it way through the track.
 Then I decided to head over to Fostoria.  This train was waiting there.  I guess there was a problem with the switch and it took them a while to figure it out.
 That gave me the opportunity to get different angles of the train.
 I kind of like the lines in this one.
 I kind of wanted to give the overall view.
 another angle.
 The light was hitting it just right.
 A shot of the cab.
 And then it started to move.  At this point the sun was starting to set and as much as I wanted to stay in Fostoria, I wanted to try and find a place near Toledo.
 As I was leaving Fostoria, I was tempted to turn around because I saw three trains stacked up.  I kind of liked the looks of this one, so I stopped.
This was about as close as I was going to get to a headshot.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A General Store

We passed through and area known as Huron City.  I think I've been there before but I don't think I stopped for pictures.
 The town was known as Huron City and was built in the 1850's as a result of a sawmill that was built on the Willow Creek by Langdon Hubbard, his brother and cousin.  The store shown here was built in the 1880's.
 I liked the way the sun was hitting the windows. In 1881, a fire claimed much of the lumbering operation and it was converted to agriculture.  The city was well equipped to serve farming but many of the people there left.  Langdon Hubbard's daughter was married William Phelps after this but the couple summered in this area.  Her husband was a professor at Yale.  In 1932, the town was turned over to his niece.
 In 1946, the William Phelps foundation was set up to preserve Huron City.  A brick museum was built in 1952 and the buildings preserved shortly after that.
In 1995, Huron City was designated as a National Historic Site.  Almost reminds me of an Edward Hopper painting.

Willow Creek

We took sort of a different road out of the lighthouse.  It passed by some interesting things.
 I'm not sure what Bridge this is, but it is over the Willow Creek.
A shot of the creek itself.

Point Aux Barques Lighthouse

I passed the Harbor Beach Lighthouse because I wanted to make sure I got to this one before I lost the light.  It's a pretty nice lighthouse.
 This is at the tip of the thumb and would serve as a navigational aid for ships heading into or out of the Saginaw Bay.
 The first tower was built in 1847 but was pretty poorly constructed and replaced by the tower that stands here now.  In many ways, this reminds me of the tower at Sturgeon Point.
 In 1932, the light was electrified.   The light still acts as an aid to navigation but is maintained by volunteers.  I'm kind of glad that there is this going on because I would imagine many of these lights would fall into disrepair otherwise.
 Probably my favorite angle.
And one more as we were leaving the park area.

Port Sanilac Lighthouse

If you head north out of Port Huron, you can catch M-25.  M-25 will take you on a tour around the thumb along the lakeshore.  There are a few lighthouses that you can stop at.
 With the snow on the ground, I couldn't quite get the angle of this lighthouse that I wanted.  This one isn't particularly photograph friendly.
 The lighthouse was built in 1886 and automated in 1928.  Currently it is in private hands although it still serves as an aid to navigation.
Based on the fact that I saw a dumper outside, I'm going to guess they are doing some work on it.

Fort Gratiot Lighthouse

After catching the tug/barge, I decided to go on a lighthouse tour of the thumb.
 My first stop was the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse in Port Huron.
 She's appeared on this page in the past, but as a reminder, she is one of the oldest lights on the Lakes.  I think she is Michigan's oldest.
 A shot of the keeper's house.
 Another angle of the lighthouse.

I wanted to have the contrast with the tree, but I'm not so sure this shot worked well.

Ships at Rest

I don't normally like to catch ships in layup.  I prefer to capture shots of ships in action but since I was up there, I figured that I might as well catch them.
 Soon these ships will be coming back to life.  For some reason, I can't wait to take pictures of the Manitoulin.  She's not a pretty ship but she's got character.
 The Algorail in the back and the Algonova in the front.  The Algonova was the last ship I saw until today.
 One of the reasons that I don't like to get pictures of ships in layup is that they are sometimes hard to get decent shots.  This shot of the CSL Laurentian wasn't too bad.
 Some of the fish tugs.  I suspect these will be moving sooner.
 I think this was a pretty nice shot of the Algoma Transport.
 One of the tugs.
 Another angle of the CSL Laurentian.
 Another angle of the fish tug.
 One of the other fish tugs.
 These guys look raring to go.
And a bow shot of the Algorail.

Shipping season can't start soon enough for me.

The Bradshaw McKee/St. Marys Conquest Makes an Appearance

I was going to head over to the western side of the state today but for grins, I decided to check Marine Traffic.  I was checking to see if there were any icebreakers stirring about.  Surprisingly, there were but they were all breaking ice around Algonac.  As I looked, I saw that there was actually a ship stirring.  Well not a ship but a tug/barge but was floating and sort of qualifies as a ship.  Since I haven't seen anything in about a month, I decided to head up to the St. Clair River to catch her.
 After lunch at a place called Murphy Inn in St. Clair, I headed down to my usual spot in St. Clair to catch ships.  It was actually a bit icy getting down to the river but there were spots where I could walk.
 The barge portion is known as the St. Marys Conquest and started life as the Red Crown in 1937 and was built in Manitowoc, WI.  She was a tanker.
 In 1962, she was renamed the Amoco Indiana.
 In 1987, she was converted to the barge Medusa Conquest by Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, WI.
 She would get her current name in 2004 after a stint as the Southdown Conquest.
 Her tug is known as the Bradshaw McKee and started life in 1977 as the Lady Elda.  She was built by Toche Enterprises in Mississippi.  She would many names between then until she got her current name in 2011.
 Both vessels look like they could have been nice looking in their respective days.
 She continues up past St. Clair.
 I caught up to her again in Marysville.  Since this was the first time seeing her, I wanted to follow her up as far as possible.
 She spends most of her time on Lake Michigan and rarely makes her way over here.  Apparently, she needed to deliver cement to Cleveland and was returning to Charlevoix.
 Detail of her pilothouse and cement unloader.
 Another shot of the tug.
 Sometimes you can see the old names ships.
 I caught up to her again at my favorite place in Port Huron.
 Framed by the Blue Water Bridge.  As you can see, there were a few other people here.  I guess there were others going through ship withdrawl.
 Probably one of my favorite angles here.
 A shot of the tug's pilothouse.
 From 1986 to 2011, she was known as the Susan W. Hannah.
And she continues on to Lake Huron.