Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 in Review

By Joann M. Ringelstetter

As 2013 draws to a close, Ruth suggested that we do a monthly review of our photographing adventures. Here are just a few of the many subjects we photographed throughout the year.

In January, after intending for several years to photograph a barn that always had a wreath displayed at Christmas, I finally found the time to visit it at dusk and was delighted to discover a second wreath on the gate near the barn.

February treated us to good snow cover and a narrow road plowed well enough for us to visit the Old Rock Church and Cemetery in Iowa County, Wisconsin.

In March, on a sunny winter day, we drove the backroads of Sauk County. Although we’ve driven almost every road in that county, we still manage to find things we hadn’t seen before. On that day, we discovered an interesting sketch on the side of a milkhouse, on a farm we assume was at one time a pig farm. We also assume the sketch is a reference to a 1977 film entitled, “Looking for Mr. Goodbar.”

In April, on our way to Ohio, we drove in the early morning darkness towards an old roller mill in Wabash County, Indiana. However, our plans to be at the mill at first light were foiled by flooding in the area. After trying several roads that were under water, we finally found a route that allowed us to reach the mill. By that time, however, the sun was above the horizon. Only by crossing the river and finding a different angle did we capture a nice photo of this mill.

On the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, we had a marathon day in Ozaukee and Washington Counties. We left home in the dark and were still near Milwaukee at nightfall. I worked my tail off that day and came back with 600 great photos, including this one of the foot bridge by the last remaining original covered bridge in Wisconsin.

Early June always finds us on the backroads of Green County completing the annual breeding bird survey. We leave home around 2:30 am and attempt to finish the survey by 10:00 am. This year, after finishing the survey, we spent some time photographing flowers before returning home.

The heat of the summer often makes us reluctant to go out photographing, but we found acceptable temperatures toward the end of July. So we took a trip to Walworth County – our first trip there since getting my first digital camera in 2006.

For years, I’ve been meaning to get over to Pope Farm Conservancy to photograph the field of sunflowers that is always planted there. Finally, this August, I left for work very early one day and stopped at the conservancy to photograph the sunflowers before starting my work day.

In September, we traveled to Iowa to photograph on the backroads, along with taking in a couple of barns on the Iowa Barn Foundation Tour. Often on these tours, the barn owners greet the visitors and talk about their barns. In this case, we didn’t see the owners, but we were greeted by a friendly (and tired) old dog.

Autumn is our favorite time of year and Vernon County is one of our favorite counties, especially in the fall. Much of this county is inhabited by Amish families and this year we found some great fall color and some very friendly Amish folks.

After all the leaves fall in October, we have our annual calendars to design and get printed. And it’s a good time to catch up on our backlog of back office duties before the first snowfall. Then December arrives and we head out again. This year, we visited downtown Madison and captured the beautiful Capitol building, with a Christmas tree on every corner of the Capitol Square.

We hope you and your family are having the best holiday season ever. And we wish you a Happy New Year’s and a wonderful 2014.

Happy Shunpiking!

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