How do you like to travel? Do you pick a destination and then spend every spare minute researching what to do and where to go and what to eat? Sometimes that is the best way to make sure nothing important is missed. A lot of people have one opportunity to get to a location in their lifetime and no one wants to get home to find out they missed the Grand Canyon when they were in Arizona or Mount Rushmore when they drove through South Dakota. The internet has made trip researching and planning easier than ever with the advent of such sites as TripAdvisor and Google. Experiences by other travelers are openly shared on the internet helping to point the compass in the right direction.
I decided to approach my last trip more like a wandering nomad with only a general sense of driving west or east today, north or south tomorrow. It went against every grain of Type A personality planning that I have carried around since birth. This was not easy...at all. I find comfort and security in plans. I know what I'm doing. I don't have to worry about what might happen if... I decided to do it because someone I admire a lot used to travel that way. That person was Ernst Haas. He talked about it in his film documentary "To Dream With Eyes Wide Open":
I was always accused of not knowing where I am going and what I'm doing. This is really true because there is an element of surprise which for me is very, very important.
Could this really be true, I wondered? Had I been behaving like a banker my whole life and worse yet, on my photography trips? Taking out every ounce of creativity as I marched through my itineraries, checking off my to-do list one by one?
I decided to put my trust in Ernst Haas. Just once. I took comfort knowing that if it didn't work, I wouldn't do it again. I knew where I was sleeping at night and that was it. I let the car do the driving and if something piqued my curiosity I explored it, letting myself be available to any whim that arose. From the very first photo of my trip, it lead me to off the beaten track places like this:
to the very last photo of my trip:
Was it successful? I don't know, but I felt like this method of travel worked out very good for me and I will definitely try it again. On repeated occasions I remember thinking how lucky I was and being grateful for every moment I had and working like crazy before the clock ran out of time.
I hope you enjoyed this blog and I thank you very much for coming by. As you may have noticed I am test driving a new logo. Comments are open so feel free to let me know your thoughts. Thank you!
It's a long way to the top, but we've finally made it there in the Minnesota State Capitol. The top floor is the third and final interior level the public can travel on. It is also possible to travel to the roof if one takes the tour to the Quadriga. Let's take a look around this space of the building.
Unlike level two, the third level would house the upstairs, if you will, of the important 2nd level spaces occupied by the Minnesota Supreme Court, the House of Representatives, and the Senate. The Supreme Court does not have an upper level and instead one can find offices of state officials in these areas. The Senate has a gallery but it is only open during tours. There are nice bird's-eye views of the second to third level staircases and murals near the ceiling in the center of every corridor.
As previously mentioned, the House of Representatives has a gallery on the 3rd floor. It is reserved for the public and media to oversee proceedings and hearings. As a reference point, here is what a peek through the 2nd level gate looks like.
The perspective from the 3rd floor gallery provides a much more intimate view of the detailed artwork on the upper walls located behind the Speaker of the House's chair.
The sides and opposite ceiling are adorned with an intricate pattern of paintings. Repeated throughout is a series of "M" with faces. I became interested to see whether the faces were the same person or different.
Let's take a closer look at their faces.
Who are these ladies? I am curious and wonder how they got to be so lucky to have a likeness of their face overlooking the state's representatives for all eternity. Perhaps they are divine figures. I wonder if the people at the information desk know? I am sure that someone before me has asked the same question.
Here are a few other close-ups of the ceiling murals. The last two feature corn and can be found outside in the hallways. There's quite a bit of corn throughout the building. Do you know many ears of corn in total can be found in the Capitol?
I hope you have enjoyed continuing to explore the Capitol. There are only two more areas to cover: the Quadriga and the tunnels. Thank you for visiting.
I made a trip up north last week to focus on the fall colors and my landscape work. This is where my passion in photography truly resides and it is ironic how much time I spend doing everything but landscape photography. When I get around to it, it feels like coming home. Once I shake off the city armor that a lot of us urban types don, and it takes a good day or two, life becomes in sharper focus, the questions change and little concerns seem to melt away. Everything feels right.
I have lots of work to process and share, but while I was there, I made a point to make some videos for this blog. It occurred to me that while I can talk about how great a waterfall is, it is different to *HEAR* the waterfall too. I can talk about the roar but you will understand so much better if you hear it yourself. Can you feel the misty spray of water on your face and arms, so fine you can't see it but you feel it's presence?
[note: these are HD videos. Depending on internet speed, it may be best to let them load before pressing play.]
©Lisa M. Bond Photography
Here is a video of the waves coming in and out of Lake Superior one morning. Please enjoy a 43 second power vacation.
©2013 Lisa M. Bond Photography
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will come back again soon.
This will be my final post regarding the Minnesota State Fair and as promised, this one is dedicated to the animals. I do not claim to be an expert on this, but I am pretty sure that fairs originally started because of farming. It is where farmers came to see the newest tractors and other equipment and where they would show their best animals and crops. If you've read Charlotte's Web, you know but we won't talk about what comes after the ribbon ceremony. Times have changed though, and while the animals are still an important part of the fair, they now only hold a subsection of the fairgrounds and the public's attention. Yet there are still people who come to the fair for one reason only and that is to show what they have been working on all year. It could be an ear of corn, a beautiful steer or how fast they can barrel race.
Here we have a barn for the cows, the horses, the pigs, the goats and poultry. Their own separate barns. These are very, very large barns that hold hundreds and maybe thousands of animals. We also have the "Miracle of Birth" center which has only animals that are about to give or have just given birth. This is a popular building with children and adults alike. I even heard from someone who now lives in California that the California State Fair shows videotape footage from the Minnesota Miracle of Birth Center. That might make it a national sensation.
This year I made very brief stops in the cattle building,
the goat area,
That comfy bed you see back there is not for the goats. Yes, people really do sleep next to their animals. Sometimes for days on end.
the sheep building,
Cows command a lot of respect in the animal world. Horses are terrified of them and these sheep look equally concerned. Or maybe they are simply wondering if it is a relative.
the horse barn,
the pig barn,
I'm sorry pig, but the swine barn is not my cup of tea. Kind of cute, in a Wilbur sort of way, but also kind of not cute as in this is not a speckled pig, it is a pig covered in flies.
Also housed in here is the largest boar which is so big and unsightly, I did not want to take a picture of it.
and would have stayed longer except I ran out of fair time. It was beginning to close down by the time I got there since I saved my barn visits for the last day. Earlier in the day though, I lost all track of time in the poultry building. I had no idea there were so many kinds of chickens and how beautiful they all are. I only photographed half of them when I realized I was about to miss my daughter's equestrian performance team in the big coliseum.
Now this is feeling more like my cup of tea. I'm thinking my backyard has room for a couple of these feathered friends to run around. Especially the ones with the fancy hats and furry feet. Those chickens have some serious attitude! I have a feeling my neighbors might feel differently though.
Until next year, this is a conclusion of my Minnesota State Fair report. As always, thank you for stopping by and I do hope you will visit again!
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.