Anoka from Above

I recently heard about a good spot to see the city of Anoka from. On the seventh floor of the Anoka County Courthouse, there are several windows that provide an expansive view of the town and the surrounding land. From this height, it looks like Anoka is surrounded by a huge forest, only occasionally broken by other buildings.

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I was able to clean up this wider photo in Lightroom afterwards, but there is still some flare visible on the left. Trying to take photos at too much of an angle got even more distorted…a tricky aspect of taking photos through windows. This shows quite a bit of downtown Anoka though.

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Fiery Moon

Red Moon

Lately, Minnesota has had strange lighting conditions because of smoke from Canadian forest fires filling the atmosphere.

The sun has not been shining as brightly, and most noticeably, the moon has been tinted strange colors. When the full moon rose on July 1st, it was a yellowish tan, and the rest of the sky was hazy. When it set in the morning, my mom came and woke me up to see how red it was. I wonder how intense the color is compared to a lunar eclipse?

Ron Miller, a blogger at io9, made a series of pictures showing how big different planets would look in the night sky if they were the same distance away as our moon. The moon that morning reminded me of how Mars might look:

His other pictures are pretty interesting too, you can check them out at http://io9.com/5929076/what-if-we-had-a-planet-instead-of-a-moon

The Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

In Blaine, Minnesota, bordering the prestigious housing complex known as The Lakes, there is a large plot of land (500 acres) that the City of Blaine has acquired. We have been spending some time there recently, looking for antlers shed by the areas large herd/herds of deer. Almost every time we are out, you can see 7 or more deer bounding gracefully into the distance, seeking shelter either in deeper woods or in the dense wetlands.

Until recently the land was just Site 7 of the various Blaine Open Spaces, but alongside a new plan to restore the wetland and build some facilities, such as a trail and a visitors center, it got the new name: Blaine Wetland Sanctuary. Right now though, it is still undeveloped, and almost all wandering is on deer paths or off road.

After taking some lackluster photos, things came into alignment when we went out there early enough to catch the sunrise. This time the harsh light of late morning to midday I was working with before was replaced with the beautiful light of early morning, and the pictures turned out much better, even though I had some issues getting proper focus occasionally. Here is the collection I shot that day.

Treeline

Treeline

River and Wetlands

River and Wetlands

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Early Spring Frost on a Milkweed Seed

Mossy Sunshine

Mossy Sunshine

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Captured Air

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A Path

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Up Close

Overall scenes may appear brown and decayed, but when you get in close to the moss or leaf litter, you can see the green starting to appear. It may be tinged with frost these days, but the first signs of Summer are poking out and getting ready for the explosion of growth as soon as it gets warmer.