Saturday, January 19, 2019

Catching the Wolverine in the Snow

I was actually hoping that I would catch the Sykes as she made her way to Nanticoke but unfortunately, she passed Detroit yesterday.  Although that is good in a way because we ended up getting dumped on today.  And that pretty much meant I didn't want to go anywhere.  However, I did want to get some pictures, so I ended up getting pictures of the Wolverine.
 The Wolverine was running about five minutes late but that wasn't too bad since you can track Amtrak trains using their website.  As I was taking this picture, the crossing lights started to flash which meant the train was near.
 About thirty seconds later, the Wolverine appeared.  As you can see, it was still snowing pretty hard.  It wasn't too bad getting to Depot Town but I wouldn't have wanted to travel much further than that.
 I love catching the Wolverine right after a fresh snow because it is usually kicking it up.  Makes for a cool effect, I think.
 And I wasn't disappointed as she was kicking up quite a bit of snow.
 It was still snowing but I think it makes for a cool effect.  Almost like grain.
 And some of the reflections on the engine.
One more shot before moving on.

So then I went to the store and went home.  Not a terribly exciting day.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Jerk Store Called - Part Too Many

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to go to the Joshua Tree National Park in southern California.  It was a pretty cool experience as I am from Michigan and I don't get to see desert that much.  I was kind of amazed at the amount of plant diversity I saw there.

Unfortunately, I was still learning quite a bit about the DSLR at the time, so many of the pictures I took aren't quite at the standard I'm at now.  I think I might go through them and post more of them at some later date since I didn't post them on here originally.
That wasn't the reason I'm writing this post.  As you know, the government is currently in a partial shutdown.  I'm not going to get into the politics behind it because I think the politics stink.  When the government is shut down, anyone that is considered as "non-essential" is furloughed.  Anyone that is considered as "essential" is forced to work without pay until they figure out how to open the government again.

National Park rangers are considered as "non-essential" and basically the national parks are closed.  However, closing a national park usually just means the gates are closed.  There aren't typically gates around the parks.  Because of that people can still get in the parks.

Which leads us up to the reason for this park.  Because people can get into the parks, there are some that are trashing them.  I'm reading stories about trash getting piled up in places and the bathrooms getting full of the stuff that are usually in bathrooms.  While those stories are disturbing, they aren't as disturbing as the one I read.

I read story about how some people either cut or pushed some joshua trees down.  Then those people proceeded to four wheel around the park.  When I went to the park, I remember reading that you shouldn't stray too far from the paths because it can damage the ecosystem for decades.  I also remember reading that some of these trees are hundreds of years old.  So why would someone trash something that has been around before their ancestors came to this country?

Especially when you consider that there are so many places that are designated specifically for four wheeling.  I mean why ruin something that other people enjoy for your pleasure?  When I go into natural areas I take the advice of the signs that are sometimes posted, "Take only pictures and leave only footprints".  I'm not a huge environmentalist but I do like to keep my footprint at a minimum.  I certainly wouldn't want to harm something that is older than my great-great-great grandparents.

So really, the only explanation that I have is that some people are assholes.  I seriously hope they catch these people and fine the bejesus out of them.  I also hope they make them clean the park sometime in July or August.

Watching the Philip R. Clarke

Even though it was pretty cold today, I decided to head down to Detroit to catch a ship.
 The ship in question was the Philip R. Clarke.
 I was kind of waffling that I wanted to go down to catch her but I knew that if I didn't I would kick myself for the rest of the day.
 She is one of the three AAA freighters that are left on the lakes.  She is a sister to the Arthur M. Anderson and Cason J. Callaway.  I hope that these ships will be around for a while longer but you never know.
 She was on her way to Conneaut, Ohio and I presume she would have been carrying taconite.
 She was coming down from Duluth.  And that journey would have been about 2 and a half days.
 As you can see, she's pretty loaded.
 The beam shot.
 Then I decided to head down to Riverside Park to get some more pictures of her.  Unfortunately, I couldn't make it sooner than this one.
And she continues on her way.  From this point, it would be another 11 hours to her destination.

A Handful of Planes

After catching the two ships, I decided to stop at the airport yesterday.  I didn't stay long though because it was still pretty cold.
 First up was an A320 belonging to Spirit Airlines.
 This particular one was arriving from Fort Myers, so I was kind of surprised to see it landing on the runway I saw it landing on.
 This is the plane that I was interested in catching but unfortunately, it went to one of the other runways.  Fortunately, I have the lens to get it.  This is a 757-300 arriving from Seattle.
 And I can't pass up on the DC-9 family.  This 717 was coming in from Boston.
 With the retiring of the MD-80's and 90's, this will be the remaining legacy of the DC-9.
 An A320 arriving from Las Vegas.  I was happy to get a beacon shot with it.
And a 737 arriving from Salt Lake City.

Catching the Griffon

The next ship was following fairly closely to the Frontenac.
 I also saw that the Griffon was heading down.  Normally I don't see her unless she is breaking ice.
 So I was kind of nice to not see her in the ice.
 She was heading down from Sarnia to Amherstburg.  Amherstburg is better known as Boblo Island.  It is at the mouth of the Detroit River.
 I think she was doing buoy tending and is close to being done.
 I also think they are positioning her in case there is some ice.  It seems like western Lake Erie is one of the places where there is quite a bit of ice.
 A beam shot.
And one more shot as she continues down to Amherstburg.  I think her journey would have been about three hours longer.

The Frontenac Passes Milliken State Park

So I decided to go boatwatching yesterday, even though I was only going to catch two of them.  They were both pretty cool boats to catch though.
 First up was the Frontenac.  I don't remember where she was heading from but I think she was heading to Windsor.
 She is one of three Canadian classic lakers.  The other two being the CSL Tadoussac and John D. Leitch.  The John D. Leitch is only a classic in the sense that it has a forward mounted pilothouse.
 Classic lakers had the pilothouse forward in order to help the pilots navigate the rivers and ports that lakers tend to enter.
 At any rate, I love the classic laker style.
 The almost beam shot.
 And the beam shot.
And after she passes by, although she didn't have much further to go.

Friday, January 11, 2019

A Partial Moon

I kind of liked the look of the moon tonight.  Although when I was looking at it with my eyes, it looked more hazy.
I still like how the picture turned out, just wish I still had the haze in it.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Catching Up With the Mississagi

It wasn't too long before the ship I was trying to catch appeared.  It was a little bit colder on Sunday than it was on Saturday but it was still sunny.
 Well, mostly sunny anyway.  There was a bit of weather over Lake Huron.  As you can see from the clouds but it made for nice pictures.
 There was sun on the other side and that made for a nice effect.
 The Mississagi making her turn for the channel.
 The bow shot that I love about Port Huron.
 And she makes her turn to enter the St. Clair River.
 A shot with the bridge in the background.
 An almost beam shot.
I think she was on her way to Toledo but I don't remember.  At any rate, I think her season is winding down.

Catching a Helicopter in Port Huron

On Sunday I decided to head up to Port Huron to catch a ship.  As I was waiting for that ship, I saw this guy.
 This was helicopter coming from either from or to the hospital.
It circled around a couple of times before landing.

Catching a Train

As I was heading home, I saw a train passing in front of the airport.  I figured I might be able to catch it somewhere.
 I got off at Haggerty Road but I didn't have much time to get in place.  It was a train belonging to Canadian Pacific.  I'm not sure where it was heading.
One more shot.