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Storm Lake Sunset

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A full day in trial and a four-hour drive home in freezing temps at the end of a Friday. Part way through the journey, I cut through Storm Lake. I had never been there but wanted to take a look, even though it was iced over and barren.

Just as I turned onto the lakeside road, the sun began to slip behind the horizon, the skyline erupting in colored brilliance. I turned around in the parking lot of the Sail Inn Motel, pulled over on the road and wrestled my work camera from its bag.

After stepping into the wind, I fired off a frame and realized the camera was still set for the interior of a dark courtroom. The image was washed out. I quickly re-metered and resumed shooting. One frame, and the sun was a sliver peeking out from trees on the distant shore. Another frame, the sun was a thinner sliver and gone on the third frame.
A lot of things in life involve just the right timing.

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Photo: Winter hike

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Photo: Snow flood hike

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Our seasons in the Midwest are starting to butt up against one another, sometimes creating an overlap. It has been said that our area is graced with five seasons, but the grim reality is three of them are winter. There is also spring and fall, but each of those are only half seasons. They don’t last too long, maybe a few weeks apiece. That gets us to four so far, and the remaining season is what we like to call flood-nado, which brings us all the excitement of damaging winds and the predictability of river flooding.

snow flood selfie


Such was the case last weekend when I ventured outdoors for my annual autumn walk to Bullfrog Bayou. Catch some fresh air, admire the turning of the leaves, maybe spot some wildlife stocking up for the winter. Before I arrived at the parking lot, I had to switch on my windshield wipers to brush aside the light, fluffy snowflakes. Once I took to foot, I had to wade across a low point in the path leading up to the proper trail, a raised ridge that had once been train tracks and still boasted the occasional railway infrastructure rusting away.

Either side of the trail was a now a submerged forest, snowflakes hitting the flood waters, churning with orange and golden fallen leaves. A green-headed mallard and his female companion floated past, trying to figure out the weather, probably thinking “what the duck.”

Winter is coming early this autumn, and flood-nado doesn’t want to let go yet.

Photo: Lilly pad kayaking

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Sharing a thunderstorm 

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Photo: Frozen lake

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Frozen Lake. (c) 2018 J.S. Reinitz

Photo: Sunrise through trees

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Photo: More fall colors

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Photo: Fall colors

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Fall colors in the neighborhood..

Trip shot: Tonto National Monument

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 Leftover shot of cactus in the hills of Tonto National Monument in Arizona.

DashCam: Wildlife in Town

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My family surprised me with a dashcam for Father’s Day so I can record the scenery when we drive through mountains or other interesting locations. So far, I have only had the occasion to use this in town, and the attached footage is as exciting as it gets.

Photo: Walking Stick

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  Another photo from our “get out of the house and enjoy these final nice days” picnic.

I rarely see walking stick insects (members of the Phasmatodea order) in the wild, but I don’t know if it’s because they are uncommon or because they are so well camouflaged. My son found this one within minutes of stepping out of the Jeep.

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