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Oct 17, 2018
I made a weekend drive through Wisconsin over a recent October weekend, and this neighboring state of mine totally wrecked my plans. I had packed up my camera gear and made my way towards a city I call Mahna Mahna. The State of Wisconsin calls it Menomonie, but every time that I drive through it I get that Muppets song in my head. Anyway, I was on a quest to get a photo of a church that I have only seen while it was off in the distance while I drove past on Interstate-94. With nothing but images of this church and fall colors surrounding it bouncing through my head, I made the 90+minute drive while listening to my current mixtape, er, playlist.
The drive along I-94 was actually spectacular. The fall and autumn colors were amazing, especially in the early morning sunlight. I was also able to see a handful of Bald Eagles soaring up above at different spots along the trek. Those fall colors that lined the freeway made me even more excited for the photos I was about to take.
Then after 90-minutes or so of driving, I arrived at this church and found it was the least colorful spot that I had seen on that morning. First Mother Nature made sure that every summer sunset that I went out to photograph was colorless, and now she teases me along the way to bring me to a colorless scene. Now, the church was still magnificent looking, and the crisp fall air was optimal for photography, and there was at least a little bit of fall color. So I still took several photos of the Lutheran Church and even without the fall colors, I am very glad that I did. I think it's a wonderful photograph.
After making sure I had captured the scene from all the best angles, I jumped back into my car and set my GPS to take me to the Dells Mill and Museum in Augusta, WI. I have been to the Museum a few times taking photos of it during different seasons of the year. I do absolutely love the fall photographs I had taken there two years earlier. I wanted to go check it out again as you never know what might be awaiting you. Maybe the fall colors would be better than last time, maybe the crisp fall air would be more vibrant. And from two years ago, I am a much better photographer now. So let's go get some more photos of the museum! The drive from the church to the museum was just as beautiful and colorful as the drive towards Menomonie. I arrived at the back side of the mill and immediately saw it wasn't going to happen on this trip. The normally reflective pond was not calm and smooth like I have always seen it, and was in fact pretty choppy. And for some reason, the area right around the mill had already gone past the fall color stage and almost all of the trees were already bare of leaves. With no reflections and no colorful leaves, any photos wouldn't capture the colorful scene that I love from this area.
I then set the GPS to take me home but to avoid the freeway. And that move paid off. I was in a small farming town called Luddington and as I was rounding a corner I saw a scene that I thought was spectacular. There was a nice red barn in the foreground and some vibrant fall colors in the background. I had to wait for a half-mile, but I was able to make a u-turn and head back to the corner where I saw that scene. I am glad I did as what I saw was an image where time stops. It was a classic country scene with that barn and fall colors. I loved it and enjoyed taking photographs of it. It was actually surprising hearing how loud all of the cows in the area could be while I was taking the photos.
After taking those photos, I drove back towards I-94 and started heading west towards the Twin Cities and home. I did make one more detour though and I went over to the Willow River State Park so that I could check out the waterfall there. By the time I arrived, the shadows had taken over so I wasn't able to photograph this remarkable waterfall, but I'll post a photo that I took last year of this area in the fall. The Willow River Waterfall is just 45-minutes from my house, and with how beautiful it is, I am kind of mad that I had never made the trip there until the past year. Even though I did not get any photograph of it on this trip, it was still very powerful to see this waterfall in action.
I then made my way home. And to clarify, I don't really hate Wisconsin. But I am a Minnesota Vikings fan, so those Packers though...
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