Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hungry Squirrel

A squirrel eating a french fry.
It's so CUTE!

This is an older photo -- one I use in many places as my avatar. This is a cute little red squirrel which lives at the Seney, Michigan rest stop. This rest stop is at the start of a very long, very flat, very boring stretch of highway. Lots of travelers stop there, throwing away their fast food bags. This is one of a family of squirrels which lives very large off of those leavings.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Red red leaf

Fall is leaving us!

... and that's all I have to say about that. I'm visiting the lovely Sarah in Madison, then enjoying a Thanksgiving with my parents. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rock Chute

A rusted rock chute, pointing down at an angle, with chains hanging around it and a rusted yellow background.
A rock chute at the Centennial #3 rockhouse

The Centennial is a very old mine -- originally opened in 1876, it closed very quickly. Calumet and Hecla eventually bought the mine and reopened it, and then it closed again. It was reopened once more by Homestake, but that operation barely got beyond pumping out the water.

This photo comes from the Centennial #3, the "peanut mine". As Mike over at Copper Country Explorer puts it, the Centennial #3 rockhouse looks like "it's going to fall over with the next stiff breeze." The old wooden rockhouse is in very poor condition, and the whole building is leaning severely to one side. The shafthouse isn't doing much better -- it's falling right into the mine itself! The old hoist building was torn down last year, the hoist rope supports have fallen to the ground... everything is disappearing quickly.

This photo is from the rockhouse -- a metal rock chute which used to unload mine rock into waiting rail cars (or, later, trucks). The chains, I think, helped to keep the rock from moving too fast or bouncing around. The background is the side of a rusted rock bin, which stored even more mine rock.

With a little luck, I'll be able to get some more photos of this fascinating location before it finally disappears.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Handprints made in paint on a decaying wall.
This photo is a bit of a mystery for me. It comes to you from a small, squat, and very solid cement building near the old Centennial Mill. The building almost looked like a bunker, with its thick, solid walls. But on the inside was this lovely touch of interior decoration! I have no clue what the building was, but it made for a fun photo.

The mill itself previously appeared here in the form of a bracket. I don't even know if this building was part of the mill, or what its purpose was. If anyone out there has an idea, let me know!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Keep Out!

The words KEEP OUT stenciled in white on a bright red door
But what do you REALLY mean?

There aren't many places you can't go around the Quincy Mine, but the old #2 Hoist House is one of them. This bright red door -- very different from the other red doors around Quincy -- clearly means business.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Quincy Smelter: Mineral House Door

A red wooden door leading from a dark room into a lit courtyard.
A doorway out of the Mineral House at the Quincy Smelter.

Continuing my Quincy Smelter series: this photo comes to you from the Mineral House, which was the first building which "raw" copper would arrive in, at the smelter. Quincy is filled with red doors like this, with angled details. You can find out more about the Mineral House at Copper Country Explorer.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


A metallic bracket mounted on a concrete floor, with more brackets in a line receding into the distance.
A machine mount of some sort.

This photo comes to you from the Arcadian, er, Centennial, no wait I mean Calumet and Hecla mill. The mill started life processing copper-bearing rock from the short-lived Arcadian mine, and was quickly bought up by the Centennial Mine -- which eventually fell into the hands of the great Calumet and Hecla, and that was that. This mill is hidden in the woods on the shores of Portage Lake, slowly succumbing to nature.

I have no idea what this bracket is, except that the mill floor is covered with them. The mill was extremely modern when it was first built -- the Arcadian mine was funded by John Rockefeller himself, and spared no expense. The ruins look much more modern than 1913 (the year they were actually built), but regardless -- they're still ruins.

Monday, November 2, 2009


A yellow leaf on a dark green metal background.
Fallen leaf on a garbage can

Late fall -- the time of year I sometimes like to call "the blahs". The leaves have fallen, but there's no real snow on the ground yet. The air is filled with chilly wind and the smell of wet, decaying leaves. On a wet, windy day, this leaf happened to fall onto the back of a bearproof garbage can in Lac La Belle, where it caught my eye.