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Photo: City snowfall

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Snowfall in the city. (c)2016 J.S.Reinitz

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Centennial bridge

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(c) 2016 J.S. Reinitz

(c) 2016 J.S. Reinitz

(c)2016 J.S. Reinitz

(c)2016 J.S. Reinitz

I noticed this during one of our snow hikes in February. Not far from the trailhead where we parked was an old bridge, and carved into its capstone was “1916.” The bridge was built as part of a rail line that used to cut through the forest (parts of this are still around). Today, the 100-year-old bridge serves a recreational trail.

Urban kayaking

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Editor’s note: This entry is a little out of season. I finally got around to writing about a fall kayaking trip. Currently, it is 19 degrees Fahrenheit outside with 10 inches of freshly fallen snow.

I couldn’t help exploring the narrow tributary that flowed into the stream I was paddling. It was a shallow arm, and the banks were covered with thick vegetation. Holding the double-bladed kayak paddle horizontal, I could almost touch both sides.
This was definitely something I wanted to investigate.

As I made my way up the gentle, claustrophobic flow, I spooked a raft of ducks, which took flight. Further up, I had to duck under low, overhanging branches while rowing. Sometimes, reaching to the silty bottom and poling was required to move forward.

Eventually, the surrounding brush cleared, and I reached the source — a large concrete storm drain set in a flood control dike. 

Such is the fare of ubran kayaking.

The short trip had started on the Cedar River by the boathouse. I darted upstream, keenly aware of the dam downriver, and cut across the to the creek, which bisected the grounds of mile-long tractor plant. It meandered under a major road and then a busy highway with the roar of traffic spilling over from the bridges above. The cement bridge supports and undercarriage were decorated with the latest spray paint had to offer. Occasionally, I’d pass a partially submerged cement monolith of unknown origin or shredded lawn furniture on the banks next to a collection of drained beer cans, signs of someone’s secluded fishing spot in the middle of the city.

With my free time running out, I landed under another bridge and found what that I thought was hard-packed dirt was actually soft mud that started to envelop my sandals. Freeing myself from the muck, I turned back and started heading back to the boathouse.

Sunset on the river trail (pre-flood)

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Fisherman on the Cedar River during sunset. (c) 2014 J.S. Reinitz

Fisherman on the Cedar River during sunset. (c) 2014 J.S. Reinitz

I took these photos last week during a bike ride as the sun began to set. With the thunderstorms, heavy rains and flooding since then, the bike path is now under water.

Sunset on the Cedar River. (c) 2014  J.S. Reinitz

Sunset on the Cedar River. (c) 2014 J.S. Reinitz

Photos: Winter paths

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Photos from a winter morning following a fresh snowfall. Shots include a road under a railroad bridge and the gate to an abandoned riverside lot. (C) J.S. Reinitz

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Photo: Panoramic Bridge

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Sky Bridge in Davenport, taken with panoramic setting.

I cross the Sky Bridge a few times a year when I’m in town, but it took my brother from the West Coast to show me this photographic trick. The shot is taken with the panorama setting that’s found on most new smart phones and digital cameras. That part is nothing special. Here’s the secret: The bridge’s lights cycle through different colors one at a time. As the photographer pans from left to right, the lights change from green to blue to violet to red to yellow and so on, creating the rainbow effect.

Bonus bridge: The lighted Centennial Bridge can be seen outside in the blue band on the right.

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Blue Bridge Selfie

Photo: Bridges and ice

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bridge ice2

At least once a winter, I try to get down to river level on a brutally cold day to take a few shots and get frostbite. This week, I headed to an area just below a short dam on the Cedar River as the sun rose on a single- digit morning.

Photo: Bridge Sunset

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The other day, I took a bike ride to the store and on the way back I snapped this shot of the sun setting on the Cedar River. I tweeked the photo with Instagram. Look for our other Instagram photos under the Skulldiggers handle. (5.21.12) 

Photo: Rain on the bridge

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We spent the morning looking for things to do around our old stomping grounds but ended up driving around in the rain. Too cold to try out the splash park, too rainy to take the kids for a walk on the banks of the Mississippi River. Our favorite coffee place didn’t open until noon. During the drive, I held the camera out the window as we crossed the Centennial Bridge at got this shot. (6.26.12)

(Note: Originally posted June 26, 2012)