Friday, April 30, 2010

120/365 - Sarah Swinging

Sue standing next to felt rocks.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

The Lovely Sarah visited this weekend to watch her brother graduate from Michigan Tech (congrats, Chris!). On Friday, we headed out to McLain to enjoy a day off. We had a great time doing silly things like swinging on the old playground equipment there -- boy did my arms hurt!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

119/365 - Perceptions

Sue standing next to felt rocks.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Today I had the pleasure of running into my old friend Sue. Sue founded and directed The Troupe, Michigan Tech's improv group. I was a member of the troupe for many years, and in that role, she was an amazing mentor and friend.

Now that she's retired, Sue (among other things) creates beautiful felted works of art -- including this one, "Perceptions", which recently won the jury's first place award at the Great Lake Showcase. Everything you see is felted wool -- yes, even the rocks!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

117/365 - Exit Light

Light shining in through an old rock doorway.
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Exit toward the light.

At an old Quincy boiler house.

Monday, April 26, 2010

116/365 - Exit Dark

Double doors with a dark light above them.
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Exit only, please.

At the Rozsa Center, on the Michigan Tech campus.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

115/365 - Boot

The heel of an old boot, left on the ground.
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A boot once used by a miner, at the Isle Royal mine. This boot was just outside a "dry house" -- a building where miners could change to and from their work clothes. This boot has likely been here since the mine closed in the 1930's.

114/365 - Hoist Wheel

Close-up of the axle of a large wheel.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

The Osceola #13 is an abandoned mine right in the middle of Calumet, Michigan. Its surface plant still stands, since it was one of the last few of Calumet and Hecla's mines which were still open when everything closed in 1969.

More than a year ago, someone bought the old steam hoist which was still left at the Osceola #13 mine. The owners (the township) disassembled this massive old piece of machinery and set it outside... where it's been ever since. It may not have been in perfect condition originally, but now it's beyond repair. Apparently the buyer didn't come through.

Friday, April 23, 2010

113/365 - Roundhouse Window

A boarded up window in a stone wall.
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The inside of a window in the Quincy Mine's old roundhouse. The walls are made of poor rock (rock without copper) straight from the mine, and the shadows are from the skeletal roof beams.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

112/365 - Chair Overlook

A chair at the edge of a small bluff.
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Someone once sat here, enjoying a beautiful view near Central Mine. The view has become a bit overgrown, and the chair's owner apparently hasn't been here in a long time.

Interestingly, this is not the only abandoned "overlook chair" I've found -- in fact, I've found quite a few. Apparently it's quite a pleasant way to spend time!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

111/365 - Faucet

A hose faucet from below.
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It's spring! Let's get ready to water flowers...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

110/365 - Sculpture

An abstract sculpture.
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A sculpture -- actually, the sculpture -- on the Michigan Tech campus. It's in front of our Humanities and Fine Arts building, the Walker Center. I have no clue who the artist is, or even the name of the piece. It is not even written on a plaque.

Monday, April 19, 2010

109/365 - Secret Sharing

A clipped pile of papers with numbers on them.
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A pile of points, for use in the Cryptography class which I'm teaching tomorrow. We're discussing Shamir's Secret Sharing Scheme -- a semi-magical method of sharing a secret among several people, so that a certain number have to get together to figure out what the secret is.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

108/365 - Wire and Shaft

Barbed wire spiraling into the frame.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

I have an unusual ability -- a strange knack for finding abandoned mines. Sometimes I'll literally walk into the woods at random, and come across ruins or a shaft. Of course, up here, that's not so hard -- if rock poked its head above the dirt, someone probably sunk a shaft on it!

This bit of barbed wire has fallen around one such shaft. The lines in the background are old rails welded together across the cement mouth of this vertical shaft. I'm not sure exactly what this was, except that it's almost certainly associated with the Adventure Consolidated mine. It was on top of a beautiful rocky bluff which I thought I'd check out, on my way home from Madison.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

107/365 - On the edge!

Me, enjoying the view while sitting on a steep cliff edge.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

This weekend, I visited the lovely Sarah down in Madison. We took a day trip to Devil's Lake State Park, which is a beautiful park build around a lake surrounded by steep, rocky cliffs.

We stopped many times to enjoy the views of the lake. While I didn't officially TAKE this photo (since I'm in it and all), I did help Sarah compose it with my camera, and I posed. So, I'm using it!

Also, I wasn't nearly as close to the edge as it looks. Sarah composed VERY cleverly.

Friday, April 16, 2010

106/365 - Recycle

Blue and yellow stone recycling bins.
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Remember everyone -- recycle! If you didn't, we wouldn't have lovely blue and yellow bins like these.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

105/365 - Boiler Alley

A brick doorway looking down a long corridor.
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Here's the last photo in this mini-series from the Quincy #5 Boiler House. This doorway enters the main boiler house, allowing access behind the large brick boiler supports. The boilers would have vented into pipes along this corridor, which collected together and exited into the old smokestack outside.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

104/365 - Boiler Foundations

Curved cement foundations in a decaying building.
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Here's the next photo in my series documenting this lovely old boiler house: this photo comes to you from next door to yesterday's photo -- an addition to the old Quincy #5 Boiler House. These were foundations for a horizontal boiler, which provided steam for the nearby steam hoist.

You can also see the end of a railroad spur with allowed the Quincy & Torch Lake Railroad to drop off coal, showing through the window. On the left is an old cart which has been left to rot in these ruins.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

103/365 - Boiler Door

An old wooden door leaning against another door, in a brick building.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

A doorway in the old Quincy #5 Boiler house -- a large brick ruin which once served up steam for the massive #2 Hoist, the world's largest steam hoist.

I swear, this spot was set up by the God of Photographers. The door leans against its companion in a perfect way, surrounded by wonderful abandoned textures and shapes. Every time I'm up at Quincy (which, as you may have guessed, is frequent), I feel compelled to try to capture this shot.

Monday, April 12, 2010

102/365 - Red

A red gas cap.
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Red. Yes, I started halfway through the spectrum, and I have now wrapped all the way around! Look forward to some less-organized color photos later, though -- as I find them.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

101/365 - Purple

Purple flowers reaching towards the sun.
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Purple flowers, reaching towards the sun. Also notice the less-than-stellar bokeh of my Nikon 18-200 at 200mm.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

100/365 - Blue

A keep out sign on a fence, with barbed wire, against a deep blue sky.
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Blue, at one of the shafts of the old Indiana Mine. I followed the instructions.

Friday, April 9, 2010

99/365 - Green

Green plant leaves backlit by the sun.
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Green. I'm not sure whether these are crocus or iris leaves popping up -- either way, I like them.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

98/365 - Yellow

A bright yellow crosswalk sign, on a pole.
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Yellow it is, with a tinge of green. (The weird color inconsistency is, I think, because of the reflective properties of the sign.) There are a lot of signs like this around the Michigan Tech campus -- having most of your housing on one side of a major highway, and all of the academic buildings on the other, tends to cause problems!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

97/365 - Ribbons

Bright orange ribbons flickering in the wind.
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Bright orange ribbons, fluttering in the wind -- they caught my eye as I drove past. Sadly, these beautiful ribbons mark out where the line forms at the local food bank.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

96/365 - Plaster

A large crack in plaster, showing lath behind it.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

One thing about Copper Country ruins is that, as a rule, only the foundations remain. If the upper walls exist at all, it's only the outside bits -- brick or cement, at most. It's rare to see a glimpse of something so commonplace as plaster, or lath. They've all been torn down, rotted away, or been destroyed over the years. Here's an exception to that rule, up at the old wood-frame entryway to the Quincy Mine's blacksmith shop.

95/365 - Planting Season

A rusty hand tiller in a garden.
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Amazingly, I'm already tilling out in the garden, and some of the perennial herbs are popping up already. This rusty old cultivator is coming in handy!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

94/365 - Buds

Water droplets on a bud.
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We had rain today -- the first real rain of spring (everything else was just fog and snow). I wandered up to Quincy, looking for a photo. In the middle of the Roundhouse, these buds were hanging out, covered in droplets. I don't know what they are -- pussy willows? Seems unlikely, but I don't know otherwise.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

93/365 - Upper Jacobs Falls

A slide-like waterfall.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Today, I paid an unexpected visit to Jacob's Creek, a lovely creek up in the Keweenaw. I was trying to find the old Arnold Mine's #2 shaft. The #1 Shaft is located on the banks of Jacob's Creek, and the creek even flows underneath its rockpile. The creek has one well-known waterfall pretty far downstream, but basically the entire stream is a series of waterfalls, all set in a deep and rocky gorge. This photo was taken far upstream, near the rock pile.

Friday, April 2, 2010

92/365 - Crocus

A macro of a white crocus.
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You know it's spring when the crocuses start to pop up! I've been watching for a while, but these are the first that I've seen pushing up through the old grass. There were only a few white ones, and even fewer purple ones (which weren't surviving nearly as well as this lovely one).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hoists and Reflections

Two sandstone buildings, reflected in an icy pool.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Two old hoists at the Quincy Mine, both of which once served the Quincy #2 shaft-rockhouse. These are, from left to right, the newest (and largest), and the middle hoist. The original is behind my back.

91/365 - Hungarian Falls

A small seasonal waterfall with a bright red streambed.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr.

Hungarian Falls is a beautiful series of waterfalls (and a deep gorge) just down the road from my house. I've photographed it during the spring melt a few times before.

This is just a small seasonal waterfall on a side stream (which doesn't even flow during the summer!), but with beautiful red sandstone in the streambed. The waterfalls like at the Keweenaw Fault, which separates the beautiful red Jacobsville Sandstone from the darker (and greyer) Portage Lake volcanic flows.