Thursday, June 30, 2011

Some Flowers

These are from earlier in the day. As I was heading out to lunch, I passed by these flowers. I really liked the look of them, so I had to take pictures.I really like the different colors cotained in this flower. I think it is a lily of some sort.
I like this angle and how the sun was hitting it.

The Kaye E. Barker

When I went down to Belle Isle, I wasn't intending on seeing any ships as there were no ships on the boatnerd list for tonight. But sometimes, a ship will slip through and I get to take pictures of it. There was a barge that I've taken pictures of before, but I don't really like the look of it, so I didn't take any pictures tonight.

As I was crossing the MacArthur Bridge to leave Belle Isle, I looked towards the Ambassador Bridge and I saw this ship sailing up the river. Fortunately, there is a spot where I can turn around so that I could head back to the Island for pictures.So making her debut on this blog is the Kaye E. Barker. She is the wife of James Barker (whose namesake has been on this blog before).
The Kaye Barker started life as the Edward B. Greene. She was constructed for the Cleveland Cliffs Steamship Company. She was also the first ship in the history of the Great Lakes to be built completely in drydock. She was one of eight AAA-Korea Class ships which were built for the iron ore and coal trades.
She was christened in 1952. She orginally had a length of 647 feet and could carry a little over 20,000 tons of cargo.
In 1975, she was lengthened to 767 feet and her carrying capacity was increased to a little under 27,000 tons. In 1980, she was converted to a self unloader which decreased her capacity a bit.
She was sold to the Rouge Steel Corporation and named the Benson Ford.
In 1989, the Ford Fleet was disolved and sold to the Interlake Steamship Company where she got her current name.
She is actually and pretty nice looking ship. At first, I thought she was the Lee Tregurtha.
Here she is heading out to Lake St. Clair.
This is just a shot just to give an idea of just how vast the Lakes are.
She heads off towards her destination. It's amazing that after close to 60 years, she is still afloat.

The Belle Isle Aquarium Again

Another place I visited tonight was the Belle Isle Aquarium. As I stated before, the aquarium was built in 1904 and designed by Albert Kahn. When it was closed in 2005, it was the oldest aquarium in the country. I still hope it may open again.I really love the look of the entrance.
The sculpture is pretty cool too. As I said before, they are keeping it in good shape. So maybe...
Another shot of the sculpture above the entrance.
I really like the look of this.
Maybe this may see life again. Who knows.

The Anna Scripps Conservatory Again...

Last time I visited here, the lighting wasn't that great and I wasn't too happy with the pictures I took. Since I was just wandering around the Island aimlessly, I decided to stop here and take some more pictures of the Conservatory Building. One of these days, I will have to visit when it is open so that I can get some pictures of the inside.It was built in 1904 and designed by Albert Kahn. His inspiration was Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. In the 1950's, the wooden frame was replaced by iron and aluminum. It was named after Anna Scripps after she donated her large orchid collection.
When I visited last, I didn't realize this was actually a koi pond. Unfortunately, it was a little to murky to see them.
I really like the lily pads.
And this oriental looking thing.

The James Scott Fountain Revisited

There are some things that I will photograph over and over because I like the subject. The Mackinac Bridge comes to mind in that regard. There are some things I will photograph again because I didn't like the way the pictures turned out the first time. Then there are those rare instances where someone has done some work on something I've photographed before.

Frequent visitors to this blog know that I like to visit Belle Isle because it is a perfect spot for shipwatching. They also know that I like it because there are many photogenic things on it. I've done a couple trips where I've just photographed the various sculptures and buildings on the island but I have only scratched the surface. Sadly, there are quite a few of these sculptures that are in a sad state of disrepair.

Last time I visited this fountain was in March. The water wasn't running and there were traces of rust where the water would normally be running. Many places didn't look as immaculate as white marble can look. So I was glad when I stopped by Belle Isle tonight to see that the water was running and they had cleaned the fountain.

As a refresher the James Scott Fountain was built in 1925 and it as named after a real estate tycoon. After his death, he left a nice sum of money to have this fountain named after him but there were many people who did not like him. Eventaully, he won out and here is the fountain.
As you can see, considerable work has been done on the fountain and the white marble stands out nicely against the blue sky of summer. Many of the traces of rust are gone.It is nice to know that some of the details are little fountains in their own right. The water itself seems to match the color of the Detroit River.
I really love some of the details on this fountain though. The sculptures are very interesting.
This is a statue of the person the fountain is named after.
One of four lion sculptures.
The stem of the fountain. I like the parts that look like Greek actors.
An overall shot of the fountain. This may end up becoming something I will photograph more because I do like the looks of it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Huron Camera

This one is not so much for the pictures but more for the thanks. As I said in my first post, I would say more later about why I had to go to Dexter. Actual camera stores are getting fewer and further between. So last night as my lens cap took a dive in the Huron River, I looked around at the various stores in Ann Arbor and I couldn't find a replacement. Best Buy had ones but not for the lens on my camera. Meijer didn't have any lens cap. Wal-Mart had some but again not for my lens. Target didn't have any. K-mart didn't have any. So I thought I would have to resort to the net for a lens cap but I remembered the camera shop in Dexter, so there I went and they were able to help me.The camera shop is on Main Street in Dexter and they've been in business in 1969. They have a pretty decent selection of photography related things and the prices seemed reasonable. I believe they also carry proper film if you so desire.
I kind of liked the sign. And 1 Hour Photo seems to be from a bygone era. If you're in Dexter, check them out.

A Civil War Statue in the Park

Like many of the older cities in Michigan, Dexter made a contribution to the Civil War and as such has a statue to memorialize those soldiers (and sailors). This particular one was erected in the 1890's.I'm pretty sure the top of the statue was based on a mold somewhere as I've seen that statue elsewhere. The star is a representation of the Medal of Honor.
As I said, I believe I have seen this statue before.
A side view.
And a rear view.

Dexter, Michigan

So I had to go to Dexter for during lunch today (more on that later). Fortunately it is not too far from work (about 15 miles and a 20 minute drive roughly), so it wasn't too much of a problem. It is a nice little town to the west of Ann Arbor and as a bonus I got to eat lunch at Metzgers (a German Restaurant).The area was first settled in 1824 when Samuel Dexter purchased the land and started the village. It was known as Mill Creek Settlement until it was officially recognized as a village in 1830 and named after its founder.
It originally had a bunch of mills centered around Mill Creek and the Huron River.
This is pretty much just the downtown section. It reminds me of just about any other southern Michigan town.
I kind of liked the effect on this picture. It is looking in the hardware store.
Looking down Main Street.
I'm gonna have to go back because I barely just touched the surface.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Rower

Just a random guy rowing down the mighty Huron River.

Some Wildlife Around (and on) the Dam

I will admit that one of the reasons why I picked the Barton Dam was that I was hoping that I would get some pictures of some wildlife. Unfortunately, the river has been flowing too much for that and I haven't really ventured too far into the park itself. So I was happy to get some animal pictures.A painted turtle climbing the dam. In 1995, the painted turtle was designated as the state's reptile as it is the only turtle still common in the state. There are other turtles native to Michigan but they are rare. These turtles are snapping turtles, Blanding's turtle, musk turtle, spotted turtle, wood turtle and the eastern box turtle. When I was a kid, I would catch painted turtles and keep them as pets for the summer and let them go before the winter. I also had a couple baby snapping turtles.
A pair of ducks.

Some Grafitti

There's another blog that I visit where the person will occasionally take pictures of grafitti. Sometimes I like the looks of grafitti and tonight was one of those times.
Kill the Devil? Shout at the Devil until he dies? Or the Devil is Dead?
A mountain man stopped here.
Part of me wants to say this was going to be something obscene and then someone turned it into a cute little puppy head.
The Puffer Fish that ate Ann Arbor.
It's a Bunny Rabbit.

The Barton Dam in June

So I noticed that the month of June was starting to slip away from me and I didn't take my June picture of the Barton Dam yet. So headed over to the dam after work tonight. The fact that it was a nice night helped my decision quite a bit.I'm not sure what kind of plants these are but they looked nice against the Huron River.
And of course the dam itself.
My favorite thing when taking water pictures is to turn the shutter speed down to capture the illusion of movement. The moss on the dam itself helped this picture, I think.
A closeup of the above shot.
The above shot with a faster shutter speed.
Another angle of the dam. I kind of like the colors in this picture.
I think I like this one a little bit better though because of the sky.
Another angle on the dam.
This is the bridge that crosses the Huron River. It's actually a pretty nice park.
In the process of taking this shot, my lens cap decided it wanted to go for a swim. I guess of all the things that could do that, the lens cap is probably the best although it is a pain to find a replacement (as of this writing, I do not have one yet).