Minnesota has been abuzz for a year or two now with a lot of hype surrounding the building and funding of the Minnesota Vikings new football stadium. It replaced the old Metrodome, a white oval with a puffy top that I like to refer to as a dirty marshmallow. Replacing it seemed like a good idea on many a level, and especially after that one where the roof collapsed during a winter of particularly heavy snowfall. We can all be thankful it wasn't during a game or concert.
To make a long story short, the new stadium hosted its open house event a couple of weeks ago. I got in line with other locals (a virtual line) to sign up for free tickets because I wanted to see what it looked like inside and I also decided to use it as free entertainment for my kids for something to say they did this summer. I figured we'd be in a group of 20 or so other people during our appointed time slot. I have to admit being a little surprised when the paper reported that around 140,000 people would be going to the open house. The warm fuzzy welcoming committee I was expecting was more like large crowd control with beefy security guards at every entrance after passing through metal detector checkpoints.
The stadium itself is complete, but the grounds were still in progress, shall we say. A few of the items were in place but one of the bigger attractions, the Vikings Legacy Ship, is still under construction as I speak.
A couple times a week I like to speed walk down there on my lunch hour (not really since it is only 30 minutes, hence the speed walking part of it) to check on the progress. My understanding of it, is that it will be a smoke breathing (or snorting) dragon/viking dragon with a video display for the sail (already in place and working), anchored by the many (14,000) legacy bricks purchased by loyal and adoring Vikings fans. Some of you may recall a previous post or two on my site about the bricks.
I've been going for several weeks now. I think they are trying to have it completed by August 28 which is the Vikings first preseason home game. From today, that leaves about 15 more days. Have a look at some of the images I have captured during my visits.
Thanks for stopping by and come back again for another update when it is complete. Hope you are all enjoying the final but fabulous days of summer!
GIFs are a lot of fun to make out of a series of images that you may have taken on your camera depicting some sort of action. If you do it regularly, it's old hat but if not, you may need a refresher course. It is relatively easy to find instructional videos these days on the internet. You will be rolling in no time if you decide to make one and know your way around Photoshop.
Here is a GIF I made of a neon hat trick signage that is at a local hockey rink that we frequent.
It's true, I could have videotaped that and avoided the whole project, but I wanted to do it, so there you have it. *My website will not let me post a GIF here, so I uploaded these images into a slideshow. If you want to see the GIF, please visit my blog on WordPress. Here is a quick link to it:
On another and equally important note, it's close to that time of the year to wish my favorite football player a happy birthday. I'm a little early but since I generally post on the weekends, I wanted to make sure it was up before the big day.
It will be awhile before the legacy ship is built, so in the meantime, I hope this virtual brick will be an acceptable "substitute". Hint: It may be different from the sample bricks you see here. Happy Birthday #71!
Until next time, keep warm and enjoy this peaceful time of year.
If someone had shown me a photograph of some guys ice fishing on Lake Superior,
I would have wondered whether they were catching anything or if the walleye fishing was any good.
I’ve only ventured to northern Minnesota in the summertime, and having no other reason to think about this, I was clueless that Lake Superior rarely ever freezes over entirely in the winter. It’s a big lake, as big as the state of Maine and holds 10% of the world’s fresh unfrozen water.
This provides some ingredients for a very interesting recipe. Mobile water, wind, and freezing temperatures are something we don’t see in the southern part of our state. The lakes down here are frozen solid, so if a winter storm moves in the only thing blowing around in the air is snow or perhaps occasionally, sleet or rain.
Up near Superior it is different. When a storm comes in, the unfrozen lake starts getting rougher and the waves develop white caps. The lake is 350 miles across, its deepest point is 1,332 feet, and it holds 3 quadrillion gallons of water. Storm waves can reach heights of up to 30 feet. No longer protected by the warmth of the deep lake (it stays an average of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, or 4 degrees Celsius), the waves become temporarily airborne and then brought down by the force of gravity where they promptly change into a frozen state of ice. This water starts freezing the shoreline and anything else that is situated along the point where water meets land.
A few years back, I drove my daughter up to Duluth for a day during her Spring Break. Let’s say she was a little ho-hum about this trip. Many of her friends were in sunny destinations like Florida and Arizona. Going anywhere in Minnesota did not count as a Spring Break getaway in her book. As it was, someone reminded us that a storm had just been through the area and that we should head down to the port to check out the ice formations.
Here are some images of what we saw.
On a side note, I’d like to wish Minnesota Vikings’ Tackle Phil Loadholt a very Happy Birthday. #71 is celebrating his birthday Monday, January 21.
Happy Birthday #71
I hope you liked these images and that you are enjoying the calmness of January.
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.