Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Water is Wide....

From a little park in Stanley, WI, here are a number of images I shot over two consecutive days.
It's a nice quiet park, and a great place to eat lunch with a clear view of the lake!

"Across the Sea"

"On the edge of rough waters"

"To the other side"

"Quiet Reflections"

This is probably my favorite one!


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

JW's Top Photos 2001-2008

Unanimously voted my #1 shot for 2008,
this was taken over beautiful Lake Wissota in late July.
"Calm at Eventide"
"Ripening Harvest"
This is a photo of just-ripening grapes.
Taken with the blue sky and sunshine,
this one makes the list as the #2 shot for 2008.
"Bumblebee on Aster, 2008"
This is my #3 shot for 2008
"Columbine" 2007 #3
You will probably not agree with my selection here as
only a #3 shot, but let me tell you, it was hard to decide!
This picture is so reminding of Spring!
There's nothing like a fresh-looking
springtime photo to make you feel warm.
Taken 051207
"Blushing Hearts" 2007 #2
I was trying to capture a unique photo of bleeding hearts
last year. I took many pictures of them, but this one stands out
as my most interesting.
Taken 062407
"Just Gathering Pollen" 2007 #1
This was a one-time shot. I only took one picture, and
it came out surprisingly well. I had been photographing
Monarchs on this aster, and the bees kept harrassing them.
Finally, I focused on one of the bees and snapped a shot!
(The monarch shots didn't turn out half bad either.)
Taken 092807
"Floating Sunbeam" 2006 #3
This is one of my best waterlily shots. Something about the soft
blended colors of green and orange make for a unique shot.
Taken 072106
"Springtime Singer" 2006 #2
This was the best of a set of pictures I took one night by shining
singing treefrogs with a flashlight. They seemed to think it
was the moon, and so didn't stop singing--even when I flashed them!
Taken 052606
"Cedar Waxwing Waits" 2006 #1
This is a picture of a baby cedar waxwing that was perched in
a honeysuckle bush. Since it was a baby, and not
too sure of itself in the air yet, it posed here for me!
This picture was taken from a distance of probably about 5 ft.
Taken 083006
"Budding Love" 2005 #3
Nothing like a red rose bud to signify love!
Taken 061305
"Peaceful" 2005 #2
This is to date one of my most favorite waterlily shots.
There's something serene about seeing a water lily
flower resting on the surface of the water.
Taken 061305
"Cobban Bridge Reflection", #1 2005
This is one of my most-commented-on photos.
This picture of the Cobban Bridge near Cornell, WI,
was taken on a cloudy May day with no wind.
The most common comment I have had about this shot is,
"I've never seen the Chippewa River so calm!"
Taken 052205
I selected this picture as my 2004 #2 shot.
This is a CAT385BL excavator photographed on the
US 53 Bypass project near Eau Claire, WI, in August of '04.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the largest model in
Caterpillar's 300 series of Excavators.
The top of the track is around 6'.

JW#1, 2004
Take white Aisiatic Lilies, place them in the sun, and focus
your camera on them with a rainbow filter installed,
and here is the unique result!
This photo I have titled "Rainbow Lilies".
This photo was taken sometime in the summer of 2003.
When searching back through my 2003 photos, I had a
hard time finding much that was show-worthy. That
seems to have been a year that I didn't take many pictures at all.
However, I have selected this one as my best one for 2003.
This picture, which I appropriately named "Silent Eruption",
was taken in August of 2002. This is one of my best shots ever
of a developing thunderstorm, and I recently selected it
as my #1 picture for 2002.
This picture, I took in the fall of 2001 of the neighbor's maple forest.
I think this is the best fall picture I have of an entire forest.
Of course when the new Hwy 29 was constructed the following
Spring, much of what you see here, was destroyed.
This is my #1 shot for 2001.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


JW Country...
And just why I'm a Country boy!

From rural Wisconsin, welcome to my little space here on the web! I'm a country boy, born and raised on the outskirts of town (Chippewa Falls). I've watched as the farmfields gradually got consumed by the housing developments, and finally even my family ended up having to move into the new subdivision when the Hwy 29 project hit our old house. We managed to retain about half of our old land, and actually pick up a few more acres from our neighbor whose land got sliced in half by the highway. There, my dad began to establish a fledgling nursery and lanscaping business. That was the year 2000. Our nursery is now doing significantly better than at first, and we are generally kept busy all summer with miscellaneous landscaping and pond building thru at least September, when we have to start closing things down for winter. My photography fits in well with the landscaping business, since I have a nearly unlimited supply of subjects here, and we need pictures taken for promotion anyway!
Check us out on the web!

We have also always had a decent size garden on the place. I remember when I was small- 5 or 6 probably- my dad would grow many grocery sacks of shell beans, and it was my job to shell them. My older brother(s) grew snap beans and some years, cucumbers. The beans we cut and froze or canned (my sister got so fast at cutting beans it was amazing to watch; she still is quite fast) I eventually mastered the art of rapid bean cutting too, but not quite as well as my sister!

The year 1995 stands out as the year we grew a HUGE number of cucumbers. We tried to sell them out at the road in a stand--a few people came. Whatever didn't sell, we pickled. The spiny things were washed in batches in the washtub outside, and then prepared for pickling. We made mostly bread&butter pickles, and we made so many of them that we still have some left on the pantry shelf!

I started growing watermelons in 2000; just a halfhearted attempt at first, but I got more serious about it when an unknown stray plant came up in the strawberry patch in 2002. That plant grew extremely fast, and it soon became apparent that it intended to make giant melons!

One of those melons currently holds the record for the largest watermelon I have ever grown, at 39 lbs.! Another is still #2 at 37 lbs., and I forget how many ounces. My #3 melon, I picked last summer, 2007, at 34 lbs 9oz. (pictured) Many of my melons make it to 18 lbs or more. My favorite varieties are the Sweet Favorite, (only available thru Jung Seeds), and the Glory Sugar (an enhanced version of Sugar Baby available thru Pinetree Garden Seeds). Both varieties I have had great luck with; I have played with several other varieties, but have had mixed results.

I could probably type stories and events for the rest of the night here; tell about the chickens, my weather records since '98, and all manner of amusing things, but I want to get down to the other reasons this post is named JWCountry.

I am what you could call a "Christian, Country Music Fan". I like good old Country, Folk, and gospel music (especially when they mix!) Because I am a Christian, I do not care for the drinkin' and cheatin' that typically stereotypes Country Music. I don't feel that those things line up with what God is like.

Above all, I like good Country because it's down-home; about ordinary life, family, love, and God. The next reason is the music itself-- There's something about that steel guitar that I just love! My favorite instruments are the steel guitar, fiddle, dobro, guitar and banjo. Oh, and don't forget the drum! Generally speaking, I like the soft Country, and the 'crooning' Country styles; there's always a few exceptions! *EDIT* Actually rockin' Country ain't too bad either! Call it all personal preference, but I say Country's the heartbeat of real life haha :)

I cut my teeth on folk music about 10 yrs ago. Peter Paul and Mary are still great favorites!
Recently, I discovered a new group from Canada: The Wailin' Jennys- man are they good!! I got to run lights for their show Feb. 21,2008 at the Heyde Center. Very close harmonies; amazing show!
And don't forget our own hometown musician, songwriter, and historian Jerry Way.
*EDIT* Did I mention Anna Johnson??? I met her after this post was originally written haha :) Hometown folk-pop musician now living in Nashville TN! Check her out at

Alan Jackson, Johnny Cash, Don Williams, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Josh Turner, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Emmylou Harris, Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs, and Paul Overstreet are probably my favorite Country artists, but there are countless songs in my collection by miscellaneous artists. I do not recommend every song sung by the artists in this list, but there are a huge number of their songs that are very good. Oh yeah, and who wouldn't like newcomers Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift--modern sound, but man, can they sing; and they're both so cute!!

Hey, check out Alan Jackson's gospel album Precious Memories. I recommend this one entirely!
This album was apparently originally recorded as a gift for Alan's mother.

New Country News (2008): George Strait recently scored his record-breaking 43rd Billboard #1 at the beginning of May 2008-- with I Saw God Today. (it was his 56th #1 on another chart) I can't think of a better song that he could have broken the record with. I think it is the best song of his that I have ever heard! It stood at #1 for 2 weeks; George Strait now has the most Billboard #1's of any recording artist, at least in Country Music.

*EDIT* I suppose that now that it is 2011, I should say something more modern? hahaha my current favorite songs would be Keith Urban's "Long Hot Summer", and Lady Antebellum's "We Owned the Night".

Hey, that's all for now! See y'all later,


Monday, May 5, 2008

HWY 29 Construction Photos

In the spring of 2002, the construction of the new Hwy 29 to Elk Mound, reached Chippewa Falls. Hoffman Construction rolled into town in the middle of April, and by the end of the month, our road was closed-- TOTALLY. This picture sequence was taken May 16th 2002, from our old backyard. The space in front of the camera was, until Fall 2000, our house and garden. The state purchased that piece of our land at that time. When the dozers rumbled in in 2002, they further cemented my love for heavy equipment, CAT, and major road construction. --JW
CAT 631E Scraper

CAT 631E Scraper, pushed w. D8N

Hoffman's "new" 631E Scraper, loaded

CAT D8N Dozer

At work-- 2 scrapers, and wheel dozer

In Fall of 2002, Hoffman had migrated about 2.5 miles further south, and was working on the area now known as the Hallie interchange, between 13oth St and Hwy 124, behind the tank farms. These shots were taken of their lineup on Oct 19, 2002.

CAT D9L Dozer/ 6ft tall blade

Here's a partial lineup-- in the center is the D9L featured above.


This dozer was working on the 53 Bypass project near the Eau Claire River, June 6 2004. This company was from the twin cities, and is the only place I have actually seen the CAT D9R model! This one is a little smaller than the older D9L.
(the D9R was an upgrade from the D8L)


On June 27, 2005, the paving company (Trierweiler Const.) got to the 50th Ave. bridge, paving the West-bound lanes. From the bridge deck, I was able to watch and photograph, as the paver moved under. Pretty interesting sequence to watch- I was waiting for the paver to come this way, and was hoping I wouldn't have to work that day!


Two days before the highway was scheduled to open, we all took a walk down the middle of Hwy 29. This picture was taken by my mom, of my dad, my sister, and myself sitting in the center of the new road. Based on the sign, it should be evident where this is to any common traveller of Hwy 29, Chippewa Falls, WI!

August 16th 2005, at 11am, the first traffic was police-escorted down the east-bound side of the new Hwy 29. I waited over an hour for this picture! Later that same day (mid-afternoon), the west-bound lanes were similarly opened. Taken from the 50th Ave. bridge, Chippewa Falls.


At Hwy 29/ Business 29/ Seymour Cray Sr. Blvd, construction commenced in fall 2005 to make a smooth transition from Seymour Cray Sr. Blvd to Business 29. Pictured here is a CAT D7R dozer that was working on that project.

This photo was taken Aug 27, 2006, at the Seymour Cray Blvd/ Hwy 178 extension project north of Chippewa Falls. This is a D10N dozer: When CAT discontinued the popular D9L in the late 1980's, they made improvements, and upgraded the model to D10N. (The D10N was replaced around 1996 with the D10R)