Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Across The Dam

I thought it would be fun to show you what it's like to travel across the top of Gavins Point Dam. This is a view that many people never think about. All the stuff I showed last time is what we usually think about when we go to a place like this.

But have you ever really thought about the view you get when you go across the top of a huge dam? It's an experience that you'll never forget, even though it's not the view you really intended. I know I never thought about this part of the event when I thought about coming here.

I really didn't know what to expect. I didn't know I'd be able to drive across the dam. I assumed I'd get the views I showed you last time. Being up here was a different experience. You feel so high up. It's like being on a bridge.

I wish I could have looked around a little bit more, but you can't really stop and get out and look while you're up there. I did at least get to take a few pictures, the ones you see here and a few more.

I always liked bridges, and riding across the top of the dam is very similar to going across a bridge. I always get a good feeling going across a bridge, and this place was no different. Part of the dam is only one lane, so you have to wait your turn to go across. No problem. It gave me time to get a couple pictures.

I'll show something a little more scenic next time, but roday's view is great to me, so I wanted to share it too. I have so many pictures now that I'm sure I won't be able to share everything. I'm still going to other places and I still have so much from this dam. I don't know what to do. Talk to you later.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Gavins Point Dam

I went to Gavins Point Dam the other day. The dam is huge. There is a road going across the top of it that I made sure I took. I wanted to get pictures from both sides of the Missouri River. There is a huge park and campgrounds around the dam. The whole place is beautiful.

Actually the whole area around there is pretty beautiful. There are hills and trees everywhere, and the  Missouri River is huge at the dam. I always thought of South Dakota as flat, but this area is anything but flat.

If you click on the picture above, you can see the cars driving across the dam. I took the picture from a hill overlooking the dam. There is a welcome center up there that I walked through. This area is another place that Lewis and Clark went through. I don't think the welcome center was there yet though.

Here's a little better picture of a car going across the top of the dam. It's a pretty good view from up there. The only problem is that you have to watch the road. Just think of the amount of water that the huge dam is holding back.

Here's a good picture of the whole dam. The part on the left is the hydroelectric powerplant. The part I've been focusing on in most of the post is called the spillway. The grassy part on the far right is the actual dam. I don't really show that becauase it's not really very exciting.

I'm still trying to learn what to say in my new kinds of posts. Always before my subject was nature. But now I'll be mixing in stuff like this dam and museums, and other things like that. I can describe nature a little bit, but this is all new to me.

I'm going to do a few more posts about the area around the dam. I have so many pictures that it would be a shame if nobody but me ever got to see them.With my new camera I only got one dud in over 300 pictures. I've never had that much success before. Anyway, I'll talk to you later.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Little White Flowers

I took these pictures before I got my new camera, but I didn't want them to go forgotten. After taking a lot of pictures of flowers, I began liking that kind of subject. So that's why they're here today. I just wanted to share these before time ran out.

Most likely as you are reading this I'll be on my way to visit a big dam in South Dakota. I'll be sure to get plenty of pictures, with my new camera. I don't know how big exactly this dam is, but I've been told that it is huge. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

But I look at these flower pictures and wonder. They are slightly out of focus. I did my best. I really did. Will my new camera improve this situation for me? I'm not sure anymore if the problem is the camera or it's just me. It seems like I used to be able to get better pictures with it.

The thing is, I know the camera has become flawed, and so have my eyes. But now I have a new camera, that seems to be a better one than the old camera. And I also have a fresh new pair of eye glasses. Now I can actually see the view screen of the camera for both of those reasons.

I haven't had a chance to take any flower pictures with my new camera yet, but I sure will change that as soon as possible. I'm looking forward to getting great pictures now. The only thing I can do is assume that they will be better. I hope so.

That's the good thing that I finally have after almost a year of sitting mostly around at home. Hope. I'm now finally able to do the things that I always wanted to do. That's going out and exploring more than I ever have before. There are so many things for me to do now. Talk to you later.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Scenes From The Sergeant Floyd Museum

I have no idea what this creature might be. I think it might be a groundhog, or something. It's just outside the riverboat museum that I recently visited. I liked it, so I took a picture. This post is about strange little things like this statue.

This museum isn't the only place I've been recently, but it's the only place I had the opportunity to bring my camera. There are a few places I'll be going back to so I can get a lot of pictures. One place is going to be great.

I took a drive around the countryside so I could get some3 pictures, but the direction I took only revealed standard random cornfields. A cornfield can be a good thing, but these particular fields all felt rather unremarkable to me at the time, so I didn't end up taking any pictures.

The place I really liked is a religious place I visited. I can't remember the name right now, but I remember where it is. And I'll definitely be back with my camera.

It is a huge outdoor garden with religious scenes of Christianity and huge statues of Jesus and Mary. Inside one of the buildings is a full sized wood carving of the last supper. It has trails outside to explore and relax. There is a peaceful stream and many wonderful nature sights to see.

My favorite part is something I've never ever seen before until now. There is a waterfall in the back! It is a man made waterfall, but it is still the very first waterfall I've ever seen. The waterfall feeds a peaceful little stream that runs along the side of the garden.The whole place is just beautiful and relaxing.

I also found where they moved the Sioux City museum since I was back here on vacation. They said back then that they were planning on moving it, and I've finally found out where it went. So I'll be visiting it as soon as I can.

Oh! This last picture is where you can buy t-shirts in the riverboat museum. I made sure to stop by and get mine. I'm wearing it right now as I write this. I'm a sucker for a good t-shirt. Too bad some of these nature parks I visit don't sell t-shirts. Oh wait, one of them does!

I hope this post gets me back on my regular schedule now. It seems like events keep holding me back. That's okay. I'll take things as they come. Anyway, I'll talk to you later.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Inside The Museum

I'm a little late with this post because my internet was so slow that it was unusable on the night I usually write my first post of the week. Now I'm finally back with the Sergeant Floyd Museum pictures I promised in my last post. Like I said last time, I was concentrating so much on taking my pictures that I forgot to actually read much information about what I was seeing.

I'll describe a little bit what you are seeing in each picture though, if I can. The top picture is of Sergeant Floyd, who was a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition. He's pretty famous around here because this is where he died during the expedition. There is a Floyd Monument at his final resting place.

The picture above shows a trapper. My lack of reading during this visit has limited my knowledge of this guy. I'll have to tell you more about him on another trip to the museum. I wonder if that guy can breath in that glass room. He must have been in there for quite some time.

The third picture is a scene of old Sioux City at the river. It obviously looks a lot different there now.

Here is an old riverboat. It looks quite a bit like a slightly older version of the boat that this museum is on.

And the last picture shows some of the controls of the boat. They're not used anymore because the boat isn't actually in the water anymore. It's still fun to see what the controls of an old boat like this look like.

Even though I couldn't share much information about the scenes in the museum, I was able to at least share more pictures than I usually give you. I have plenty more, but we'll see if I post them or if I have something from another outing next. I'm not used to doing anything other than nature, so we'll see.

I hope to be back a little sooner next time. Hopefully my internet service decides to cooperate this time. Talk to you later.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sergeant Floyd River Museum

I finally got my new camera! As I said in a previous post, it is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200. I used it on one trip so far, and I already love it. The continuous shooting is lightning fast, which is what I was hoping for. I'll have a future post giving a few more detailed thoughts on it.

My first trip with my new camera was to a museum on a riverboat. This place is called the Sergeant Floyd River Museum. It is dedicated mostly to Sergeant Floyd, who was on the Lewis and Clark expedition. The boat is the M.V. Sergeant Floyd.

Unfortunately I was concentrating so much on my new camera and taking pictures that I blew through this place without slowing down to get much information. I'll have to read everything a little more next time I go to this place. I got some good pictures though.

I'm writing this post late at night, and I'm still excited about my little trip and my new camera. I don't like to make my posts too long, so I won't take you inside the museum until my next post. But I have these pictures from outside.

I'll have to take another trip here pretty soon because the Missouri River and another few buildings to explore are right there. I didn't want to do too much in one trip so I only went to the one place. I'm not used to doing much yet, so I thought I'd take it a bit easy.

I have to say I was tired when I was all through with everything. I'm not used to this kind of stuff yet. Rush hour traffic in Sioux City seemed extra busy to me because I live in such a rural area now. I'm not used to the city any more. Sioux City is actually a peaceful city compared to most though.

The museum is a fun place, and the whole area surrounding it is built for recreation. There's a nice walking trail that goes along the river, and a few other places that are similar to this museum. I'll be back there again soon to explore all of these places. And in my next post I'll take you inside the museum.

In the end I came, I saw, I bought a t-shirt. I think a museum on a riverboat is a fun idea, and I'm glad I got to visit it. I hope to go again and again. Maybe next time I'll slow down enough to be able to share some of the actual information that is available there. Talk to you later.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The First Stop On My New Journey

I've started getting out again now. The first place I went to is a little nature park called Dunham Prairie Preserve. I still haven't received my new camera yet so I used my current camera for this trip. I thought it would be easier than it was to use it, but I discovered that I really do need that new camera.

The good thing is that it is going to get here later today, so I should be able to get going with the new camera just as soon as I get a small amount of practice with it. Now I should really be able to get going on my new journeys the way I've been intending.

It was because of my current camera that I went to this smaller park first. I knew there would be a little bit of difficulty. I still had a lot of fun walking the trails though. I discovered that they really haven't been keeping up the trails like the usually do.

Thew trails here are actually mowed into the tall grass, but it looked like they hadn't been through here with the mower in quite some time. Maybe they'll be coming through here soon to fix everything up. In some places though, the grass had grown so tall that the trails were erased.

There is a trail that goes to the Big Sioux River that is completely gone. I went there anyway because I already knew the way. It's possible that they couldn't make that trail this year because of flooding. I'm not sure. There's no flooding right now.

One thing I noticed with all the tall grass was the amount of flying bugs. For some reason they reeally enjoyed attacking me. I've really been letting the bugs bother me this year. I think maybe I've just grown soft or something, because I never let them bother me this much before.

The thing I wish I would have taken a picture of was the mulberry tree I came across. I've always loved mulberries, and I made sure I stopped long enough to eat my fill of them. It was worth even battling the bugs for this. They were kind of thick around the tree.

My dog Isabella was especially excited when we got here, and I had to pull her back a few times from trying to pounce on some hidden little creatures. I like to keep her focused on the trails so she doesn't get into any trouble. She's usually happy with that.

My next post probably will be done using my new camera, unless I have time to share more pictures from this trip. I knew I'd begin to get too many pictures to share them all. Oh well, that's the breaks. I guess we'll find out what happens next when it happens. I'm just beginning to have a lot of fun. Talk to you later.

Monday, July 15, 2013

I'm Getting Ready

It's good to be back after my week off. I had to take that week off because I was thinking too much toward this week, and I just couldn't keep my mind on what I was doing at the time. It's finally time for me to get started on my new adventures that I've been talking about for so long!

I have so many things happening right now that I can't think of what to talk about first. I just ordered my new camera, and it will be here in a few days. The camera that I finally decided on is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200. I chose it because instead of focusing on a bigger zoom lens, this camera focused on improving overall quality of the pictures.

The main thing I like about it is that continuous shooting is supposed to be much faster than all of the other super zoom cameras, which are all painfully slow. I have wanted faster continuous shooting ever since I was disappointed in this feature with my last camera. My new camera is especially made3 for nature photography, which is obviously very important to me. You can click the link above for a full review of the camera, and comparisons to other cameras like it.

I already have a lot of pictures from a few places I've already been to, even though I'm still using my old camera. As soon as I get my new camera I'll tell you what I think of it. It's going to be a big change for me. The interface is much different than a Canon camera like I have now.

I won't be searching for things to write about anymore, like I've been doing. Now I'll probably have to leave a lot of things out because I have so many things to share. I'm not going to know what to do with myself. I already have a few things ready to post, and I'm not sure how I'll fit everything in. I had to give you this update first though.

I think I'm going to be going to a museum on a riverboat in one of the next few days, and I'll be taking a look around a huge nature center soon. I've already traveled to a couple of nice nature parks, and I'll try to fit some of those pictures in if I can. Whatever I have next should be fun. Talk to you later.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Taking The Week Off

I've decided to take the week off from blogging. I'll be back Monday. In the meantime I've decided to share this picture with you. I hope you like it. Talk to you later.

Friday, July 5, 2013

What's With This Plant?

I've been posting pictures of these flowers for my last few posts, but it's not the flower that I'm actually focused on today. It's the stems that sit behind the flower on the plant. Stems, is that the right word for these? I'm not sure, but that's the best I can come up with, with my lack of knowledge of plants.

These stems are long and green with light colored tips. You may need to click on the picture to see them better. I don't know why, but I find them extremely interesting. There's just something about the way they look. It almost looks as if they were cut off, and that there should have been something more there, but I don't think that's the case here.

I've just never seen anything quite like this. Maybe my brain is just weird or something, but I really do find this feature of the plant interesting. I can't quite put it into words why I do, but I thought I'd share the picture with you to see what you think about it. Okay, talk to you later.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ladybug Ladybug

I thought it would be fun to share these pictures of a ladybug with you this time. I love ladybugs. Doesn't everybody? These are my favorite kind of little bug, except for those kind that like to bite. Yes, some do bite, but it doesn't really hurt much.

These pictures look like some halfway decent macros, don't they? The only thing is that my macros always go wrong. The real answer is that these pictures aren't really macros. I just stood over these flowers and took the pictures while hoping for the best. I always get my best pictures that way.

These are actually the same pictures I posted last time, but I cropped them in close to the ladybug. That's what's so good about taking such high resolution pictures. If you get them right, you can look in at many tiny details.

I was just told in the last few days that I'll be able to go on my little journeys in a couple of weeks. So I'll be spending the next two weeks planning and preparing for my exciting new adventures. I hope I am able to do some of these things as fast as I want.

I want to do everything all at once, but I know I'll only be able to visit each place as soon as I get near them. One problem is that I already forgot where the nearest waterfalls are. I looked again, and I can only find the ones that are clear across the state. I need to keep looking. I should have saved those websites.

Yet my mind right now keeps going back to this little ladybug. I have to remember to keep looking at the small things. Often in my rush to do things, I forget about the small things. I want to see the little details whenever I'm out. I hope I can remember that. Talk to you later.

Monday, July 1, 2013

I Got It Right

I finally got a few pictures of flowers in focus. The best thing is that I even discovered a little lady bug along for the ride. I never saw this little creature while I was taking the pictures because I can't see much in the LCD screen.

I keep trying to tell myself that the problem with that screen is the screen, but I remember that I used to be able to see through it okay. I used to rely on that screen for all my macro shots, and they came out just fine back then. It's only in the last year or so that I've had problems.

I know I keep complaining about all of that, but I'll soon get it fixed. I just hate to have to make too many trips into town until it's time for me to go on my exploration trips. Then it won't matter so much. Until then, I'm going to remain a hermit.

These flowers are probably related to all of the other little flowers I've been taking pictures of lately, but I can't say for sure. These sit much lower to the ground than the others. The other flowers were all at least chest high to me, but these were little more than ankle high.

I have no idea how I got these in focus while all other pictures ended up bad. It just must have been the law of averages. It also must have been that I thought a little better to take my time when I got these. That always helps at least a little bit.

I even lined these up a little so the pictures would be as attractive as I could make them. I wish I had a little better eye for that sort of thing though. My usual technique is to take the pictures before my subject runs away, and then hope for the best. One way or another, taking all of these flower pictures might teach me how to take my pictures a little better. At least I hope.