Category Archives: Minnesota

One last look…


  • Hike Caminho Portuguese ~ check
  • Stay at Casa Fernanda ~ check
  • Douro Valley ~ check
  • Porto, Portugal ~ check
  • Port wine tasting ~ check
  • Eat sardines and bacalao ~ check
  • Experience albergue life ~ check
  • Meet wonderful people ~ check
  • Eat a Francesinha sandwich ~ check
  • Not get fined on the metro line ~ check
  • Arrive home safely ~ check

Another notch in our belts.

Santaland 2018, Madison, MN

Fun holiday tradition located in Madison, Minnesota!
  • Christmas, my child, is love in action. ~ Dale Evans

Camino Portuguese Day 11: Camino Angel in the Night

Thursday, August 16, 2018 | Cesantes to Pontevedra |

19.6 kilometers

Albergue included breakfast for a fee so arrangements had been made for an early start  to try and beat the afternoon heat. The number of pilgrims has increased substantially since Tui, so the odds of scoring  beds, especially bottom bunks, appear to be slim to none in Pontevedra. Thus, we have a reservation at a hostal across the street from the public albergue. No worries today.

A large grocery store is within walking distance so the evening meal consists of lettuce salads and pizza washed down with wine, all consumed in our cozy little room.

Absolutely no available beds to be found in the next destination of Caldas de Reis so it’s early to bed ~ tomorrow will be an epic bed race for the 50 municipal albergue beds listed in the Brierley book.  Can we do it?

Farm Boys Go to War

Marietta Legion Post #156 in Marietta, Minnesota has chosen to honor these fallen soldiers with commemorative metal displays. While working on the images and designs I couldn’t help but wonder about the anecdotes and stories behind these young farm boys called to duty during WW II.

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Did soldiers from the farm really make better soldiers? I’d like to think so. Farming in our agricultural region along the Minnesota-South Dakota border couldn’t have been easy during the Great Depression that preceded the war. They would become competent carpenters, plumbers, electricians, engine mechanics and general tinkerers. If they didn’t have a part they made their own and jury-rigged items together just to get by. Transfer these skills to military life and the powers that be would have considered them invaluable assets.

28-3171aThese were not the only soldiers from our area to die as a result war. The list above includes all Lac Qui Parle County casualties during WW II. I recognize familiar surnames from the area and wonder about their stories, as well.

Casita Bonita Adventure ~ North Shore of Lake Superior

Short video of our hiking adventures along the north shore of Lake Superior.

Yep…Randy experienced yoga along the beautiful shores of Lake Superior, kind of sort of.

 

Winter… really?

Hard to believe the base for this composite image was captured May 1, 2017. No wonder we never get bored with our weather along the Minnesota/South Dakota border.

Composite image by Joyce Meyer

Click on image for a larger viewing window.

Photographing children and holiday lighting

‘Tis the season… to photograph children and holiday lights.

I had the opportunity to photograph this little tyke at a festive location:  Santaland in Madison, Minnesota.

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Available light gives such a “magical” look when photographing children with holiday lighting with the goal being a pleasantly lit face with glowing lights. So… shut off your flash.

Tips for photographing lights:

Basic camera settings:
1) Set a wide aperture (low f-stop number) like f2.8, or as wide as your lens will go.
2) Bump up your ISO to around 800-1250 (not an exact science) I topped out my ISO on some of these since it was such a dark area with no outside lighting.
3) Make sure your shutter speed is at least 1/100th to freeze the subject. I had an active 1 1/2 year old subject so I cranked the shutter up to around 200.

Now those numbers above aren’t a magic formula, but they give you a good starting point. If the Christmas lights aren’t bright enough, bump up the ISO or slow down your shutter speed (just not too slow unless you are going for a blurred motion look!!). It may help to have a little available light coming in through a window to light the subject, but not too much and no direct light since that would overpower the glowing holiday lights. Even lighting on the face is important.

Image color look pretty weird? Either set the white balance in your camera while taking photos or adjust it in the post process in Lightroom or Photoshop. I shoot in Raw so I worry about it during the post-process steps.  More information can be found on white balance here:  What about White Balance?

I’d highly recommend a trip to Santaland located upstairs above Heather Floral right on Main Street, Madison, Minnesota.

… and don’t forget your camera!!