I was racing the dark Monday to shoot the remains of the Silver Dollar Tavern on Apple Creek when I popped over a hill on Highway 61 south of Old Appleton and saw this farm in the sunset. I did one of my patented U-turns to capture the golden glow. That’s the reason photographers call the hour after sunrise and before sunset the Golden Hours.
I had some tighter shots, and I debated cropping up from the bottom, but I like the way the manmade yellow highway divider lines echo the color of the backlit grasses.
Keeping track of where I am
One of the challenges in shooting lot of pictures is that you sometimes forget where you were or there aren’t clearly identifiable clues to help you orient yourself.
You can buy GPS attachments to plug into your camera, but they are bulky and expensive. Kid Matt came up with a cheaper solution. Since I already have an Android phone on my belt all the time and an iPad in the car, he suggested I get a program called Geotag Photos Pro that would capture the GPS track of where I’ve been. Matching up the track time with the filestamp time associated with a photo, can tell you where it was taken.
It sounds complicated, but I was happy to find out that it is harder to explain than to use. The map above shows where the photos were taken. The yellow marker that has the 16 means that 16 frames were exposed near there. The orange 4 represents four frames taken with a second camera body. They were both taken from the same location, but the camera times were off by a few seconds, which caused them to appear to have been taken at different locations. I’ll synchronize the devices better before I do this again.
It’s going to help out a lot now that I’m spending a lot of time roaming around in rural areas I’m not really familiar with.
It’s gone in a blink of an eye, that’s even if you manage to see it down in the hollow. This old barn is on the north side of Highway 61 just west of I-55. Every time I head over to Jackson, I take a glance over there to see how the old building is coping with gravity. (Click on it to make it larger.)
Even though I know where it is, I’m always past it before I think about pulling over for a quick photo. I paused for a fraction of a second this afternoon to say hello to it.
There was a mailbox just up the road, but the shoulder isn’t all that wide and traffic was heavy, so I didn’t try to read it.
Almost every time I head out of Jackson from Wib’s BBQ headed toward Fruitland, I notice some big stumps on the south side of Hwy 61 near the Welcome to Jackson sign. And, every time I’ve muttered to myself, “One of these days I’m going to have to stop and shoot those things.”
The odds are pretty good you won’t see them on the way INTO Jackson like in this photo because they’re down the embankment.
I finally got around to stopping.
To give you an idea how big these trees were, I put a dollar bill in the photo for scale. A bill is six inches wide, so the top of the stump is three feet or more across. It has to be at least 10 feet around. (Click on the photo to make it larger.)
What have these trees seen?
Wikipedia reports that the first post office in Jackson was established in 1814 when the area was called Birdstown. Old McKendree Chapel, the log cabin that is the oldest Protestant church standing west of the Mississippi River, was built in 1819.
I didn’t even try to count the rings to see how old the trees are (that’s a math thing), but I wonder if they were standing that long ago? Anyone want to guess what kind of tree they were and how old they might be?
Brothers David and Mark and I were talking about families who have lived on Kingsway Drive over the years. The Hales had a farm on the right side of the road as you were heading toward Jackson. Their pasture was right behind our house.
They were good about giving me permission to camp out in the hill behind us. It was far enough away that my buddies and I thought it was a big deal, but it was close enough that Mother and Dad could look out the window to see if we had set our tent on fire.
Where did the Heisler cows graze?
The Hale barn was on the same side as their pasture, so I knew where their cows grazed, but where did the Heisler cows, with a barn on the left side of the road, munch grass?
Mark said they grazed across the highway, where the Osage Center is today. When Highway 61 was widened, the state put in a culvert that both drained the area and let the cows go from the barn to the pasture.
Based on the vintage aerial, I would say that the cow culvert would be approximately where it looks like Cape Splash is expanding. I was tight on time and there was some orange plastic fencing blocking off the area, so I can’t swear the culvert is gone, but I didn’t see it.
Of course, Mark COULD have been pulling our collective legs. He has been known to do that.