By Ruth A. Ringelstetter
Welcome back to the review of our 2016 photography year. Part 1 took us through winter, and our spring trip to Ohio, as well as several more Wisconsin outings through June.
On July 1st, we decided to head to the east, but we also decided to begin the day in Madison, photographing our way out of town. By 6 A.M. we were at the Yahara River. Along the trails there were bicyclists, dog walkers, and other people strolling about.
When we finished in Madison, we headed out of town. Early July is a great time to catch the winter wheat fields in their golden color. By mid-July, the harvest of wheat begins.
In August, we decided to start the day at dawn in Sun Prairie. Over the years, we’ve photographed a few things in town, but it seems we never get everything there is to see.
From Sun Prairie, we made our way to an old concrete silo with a very faded Miller High-Life sign on it. Years ago we had taken a couple of photographs, but it was nice to check it out again.
In Marshall, we found a small park on the Maunesha River with a cute Little Free Library shaped like the front of a canoe. We’re lucky that the Little Free Libraries originated in Wisconsin, so we find many as we travel around.
Our next stop was Waterloo. We’ve also been here many times before, but again we found many things that we haven’t found before. If you’re wondering, we must both be distracted at the same time as we drive through some of these towns! Joann is generally watching the road, and half the time, I’m looking down at the map. But at least that means we’ll never run out of things to photograph.
The historical museum in a former church is off the beaten path, and we finally looked it up! The clock in the tower was recently restored.
In September, Joann went to a car show in Cross Plains. One of the things they do at the show is a drive called the Hill and Valley Tour where they drive a set route of rural roads. Joann found out the roads they would take and then went out and set up to wait for the old cars to come along. Too bad she didn’t have a video camera!
In late September, we decided to take our trip to the Michigan U.P. that we had postponed last year. We left home on September 28th, and by evening we were at the Annala Round Barn in Iron County. The barn is made of fieldstone and has a matching round fieldstone milk house. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Once in Michigan, we were looking for an old store. When we found the store, it wasn’t that interesting, but there was an old Occident Flour ad on the side of it. The store itself had been updated and restored, but it appears that when they found the ad, they framed around it rather than cover it up. We love that!
We went up the Peninsula to the shore of Lake Superior. It was windy and chilly, so it wasn’t exactly beach weather. But Lake Superior is beautiful.
We were a little early for full fall color, but we did manage to find some spots of good color. One of these spots was an old homestead with this old barn.
In early October, we picked a day to drive the Farm Art DTour, which takes place every year as part of Sauk County’s Fermentation Fest. Partway through the route was a large beehive, with sculpted bees flying above it. While I read what was next on the route, Joann got out to photograph the hive.
When I looked up, I didn’t see Joann, but the bees were moving as if flying above the hive. Joann had gone inside the hive, and from there, she could “fly” the bees.
The following week, we decided to make a trip to Waupaca County. We hadn’t been to that area of the state for quite a few years, and we decided it was time. Unfortunately, the weather report was wrong, and shortly after we arrived, it began to rain. It continued to rain, sometimes a downpour and sometimes just a soft rain, throughout the morning. We decided to slowly head toward home, and whenever the rain allowed, to stop and photograph. The town hall below was one stop when the rain had let up for a few minutes.
As is often the case in November, the trees were bare and the main color was brown, so we didn’t go out to photograph. Joann did find something to photograph though, just outside her windows. Her family of turkeys continued to visit, and one morning in November, they were all around the feeders, with one even standing on top of the fly-through feeder, looking as though he was wondering “now what?”
In December, due to schedules, illness, and commitments, we only managed to go out once. It was on Christmas Eve and we decided to just drive a short ways south to see if we could find anything decorated for Christmas.
Every time we’re out in the winter, we look for snowmen. We were lucky enough to find one all decked out for the cold.
At the end of each year, I try to plot our travels on a map. The turquoise represents the counties where we took at least 1 photograph in 2016. You’ll notice that we didn’t make it to Iowa in 2016, which is unusual for us. I told Joann I’m having Iowa withdrawals, so we’ll try to make at least one of our normal trips there in the coming year.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip through our year of photographing. As I write this recap, we are already making plans for a spring trip back to Ohio. This time our plan is to make a path through the northern half of the state. Nothing is set yet, but there is much to see. So many roads, so little time!