Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Bluebill Appears

My last boat of the night has never appeared on this blog before.
 She is the Bluebill and is sailing for Navarone SA Marine Enterprises and is registered in Cyprus.  However, she is chartered to the Canadian Forest Navigation Ltd.
 She is one of many salties that travel on the Great Lakes.  As is the case with many of them, she is heading up to Duluth.  I'm not sure what she is going to pick up there.
 She is passed by the Westcott.
 She was built in 2008 and can carry almost 31,000 tons of cargo.  She is 637 feet long and 77 feet wide.  This allows her to pass through the Welland Canal.
One more shot of her before moving on.  I'll have to admit that the sky looked pretty cool.

The Westcott Makes an Appearance

As I was taking pictures of the American Spirit, I looked over to the side and noticed the appearance of the Westcott.  I was happy to see that.
 With Riverside technically closed and me not wanting to press my luck there, I don't get to see the Westcott in action as often as I would like.  Because of this, I'm always happy when I catch her by surprise.
 She was heading over to the American Spirit to deliver something.  I'm not sure why she didn't wait though because it wasn't too long before the American Spirit started to head out.
She heads back to her dock.  The Stars and Stripes waving proudly in the breeze.

The American Spirit at Zug Island

Next I headed over to Del Ray in order to catch another ship that was working her way upbound.
 As I got there, I couldn't help notice the 1000 footer docked at Zug Island.  The 1000 footer in question was the American Spirit and she was in the process of completing her delivery of taconite to Zug Island.
 A closer shot of her.
 She was being visited by the Westcott.
 As I was waiting for the other ship, I noticed the plume of steam coming out from one of the stacks.  I kind of liked the way it looked, so I took a picture.
One more shot pulled out a little more.  I kind of like the industrial look.

Some Shots of Detroit

Just a collection of shots of Detroit.
 A shot of the Detroit skyline from the Cherry Blossoms.  I kind of liked the way the reflection looked in the water.  I just wish it were a little calmer.
 And then there is a shot of the Renaissance Center from Milliken State Park.
 The Ambassador Bridge.  I read an article today that Matty Maroun may get a sliver of land so that he can build another span.  In exchange, he will give money to help renovate Riverside Park.  I also heard that it was contingent upon Canada approving the other span and from what I've heard, they aren't going to do that.
 the Ren Cen and Bridge.
 I think they have these around town but this is the only one I've seen.
 Next to the Detroit Princess is the Appledore IV from Bay City.
A shot of the Detroit Skyline from Del Ray.

The Bristol Bay Passes Milliken

I saw that the Bristol Bay would be passing by.  I didn't really want to wait the additional time that it would take her to pass Belle Isle.  Plus I wasn't sure if she would be going to her normal docking spot, so I decided to head over to Milliken.
 It wasn't too long before she appeared.  I didn't realize that she would be pushing her barge but that's okay.  When she's not out breaking ice, she starts to work on aids to navigation.
 This involves replacing or moving buoys around.  It is important that shipping channels are well marked, as one of the ships found out not too long ago.
 While I don't mind the barge, I think I like shots of her when she's unencumbered better.
 She moves along.
And then moves away.

Belle Isle's Cherry Blossoms

I was kind of pleasantly surprised when I found out that I could get to the cherry blossoms.   It seemed like they were inaccessible last year when I tried.  This year, I noticed that there were signs pointing in the right direction.  I realize that the race brings is a good deal of money to the city of Detroit but I don't think that it should come at the expense of the island.  Especially when there are nice things on that part of the island.
 The cherry trees were donated by the Japanese Business Society of Detroit and the citizens of Detroit's sister city in Japan...Toyota.  They were donated in 1994 but sadly the years have taken a toll on them.  It was to the point that a bunch of them were replaced with new ones in November of 2014.  At any rate, they make a pretty nice gift to the city because they are beautiful.
 If you look to the left of the picture, you can see some of the barriers for the race track.  That is part of the reason why I thought this part of the island was blocked off.  I'm pretty sure there are going to be more barriers but hopefully those will come after the blossoms have left.  As you can see, the blossoms haven't really come out yet.  I'm not sure but I think I will check them out again on Sunday.
 However, there were enough flowers out that I could get some good shots.  Actually, I kind of like the mixture between the buds and the blossoms.  It gives a nice contrast.
 It's amazing how much variety there is between the different blossoms.  Almost like people I guess.
 A shot of the Ren Cen through some of the blossoms.  I think I will like this shot a little better when there are more blossoms on the tree.
 A cluster of them against the sky.
 I kind of like this shot.  Makes a nice contrast against the green background.
 Another cluster of them.
 I will have to admit, they are a very relaxing flower.
 I wish the water were a little calmer so that I could get a better reflection shot.  Like I said, I'm going to be back.
 The magic triangle.
Another group of them.
 Again, I wish I couldn't see the fence in the background.  It kind of ruins the effect of the trees. 
 I really like the pink ones.
 Another magic triangle.
 A group of flowers that is close to a full blossom.
 A better shot against the sky, I think.
 I kind of like this shot.
 A mixture of full blossoms, partial blossoms and almost blossoms.
And I leave you with one more.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wildflowers Again

I decided to stop by the wildflower spot again.
 I might have misidentified this as a bluet.  I think this is actually a birdsfoot violet but I'm not sure.
 I think this flower may actually be the bluet.
One more of the first type of flower.

The Grange

It's funny what you remember sometimes.  When I was growing up, I used to watch Little House on the Prairie.  I actually used to enjoy that show sometimes.  Anyway, I remember one episode when they were talking about the Grange.
 Officially, the Grange is referred to as the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry.  Grange comes from an old British word for farm.  The Grange itself was an organization formed in 1867 as an advocacy group for farmers.  Nominally, it had it's start in the South after the Civil War when Oliver Kelley was commissioned by President Johnson to evaluate the conditions of farmers in the south.  The first meeting was held in Fredonia, New York, the founders were seven men and one woman.
The Grange was active in regulating the railroads and grain warehouses in getting fair prices for farmers.    It was also active in getting rural mail service.  They also were responsible for the direct election of Senators and the woman's vote.
The Pittsfield Grange was formed in 1901 and continues to exist today.  It allows more than farmers though.  The Grange is still an active group nationwide but not as powerful as it used to be.