Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

I wouldn’t blame the casual reader of this blog for concluding that Minnesotans talk about nothing but the weather. But when you consider that our temperature range here is a whopping 174 degrees (and that it once dropped 71 degrees in a single day), perhaps you can understand all the fuss. And boy, was last […]


When we last left Minnesota’s North Shore, it was snowing. On October 5! I guess that’s what you get when you drive almost to the Canadian border. The blue star marks the Twin Cities, and the red star is where we ended up. But remember what I said about the changeable weather along Lake Superior? […]


My friend Uta has invited me countless times to the cabin she and her husband bought three years ago in northern Minnesota, near Lake Superior. Her persistence finally paid off last weekend when we sandwiched a visit between winter storms and work obligations. Yes, you read that right: winter storms. The North Shore is famous […]


It now looks and feels like autumn in Minnesota, with highs only in the mid-40s (4.5 Centigrade). But before we embrace the fall colors, here’s one last look at the summer of 2018. AUGUST Thanks to haze from the blazes in California, the sunrises take on an eerie red glow. So do the roads, which […]


It’s officially fall in Minnesota — as I will show you soon. But first, here are a few more memories from my unintentional summer vacation. JUNE June brings us the summer solstice — which in Minnesota means days that stretch from before 5 a.m. to well after 9 p.m. Although my photos don’t do it […]


I was planning a return to Como Lake last weekend to see how our young eagle was coming along. But then I got distracted by the sunrise. As I passed the Gibbs Farm Museum I couldn’t help wondering how many spectacular sunrises Jane DeBow Gibbs had watched from this same spot some 170 years ago. […]


I had a wild weekend. Not in the “Dad, can you please post my bail?” kind — more in the John Muir sense: Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods. Here grow the wallflower and the violet … On Friday evening I strolled […]


It’s been only two weeks since the record-setting late-season hyphenated-expletive snowstorm, but it already feels like a lifetime ago. Our plow guy’s son pretty much summed it up. Last weekend brought temperatures in the 60s (15.5 Celsius) and a thaw so rapid you could literally hear the ground sucking in the snowmelt. I was giddy […]


“What makes Paris so special?” I get this question a lot. There’s food, art, centuries of history … and I love the Parisians’ flair for sophisticated simplicity. But what draws me back again and again is that there’s always something new to discover — if you have an attentive eye. To me, Paris is a […]


Esteban and I have done so much and seen so many friends over the past week that we’ve started comparing notes to make sure we’re keeping our days straight. There are so many stories to tell — beginning perhaps with today’s superb lunch in Paris’ oldest house. But if I stop now to look for […]


I’ve always wanted to see Paris under a blanket of snow, but have always missed it — sometimes by a matter of hours. So imagine my delight when the blue skies that greeted me and Esteban a few days ago turned a heavy lead gray. At first the flakes were big and deceptively fluffy (because […]


I realized today I’ve been posting lots of rambling narratives about Minnesota, so here’s a change of pace: Just photos, selected at random from my travels over the past five years. Stay tuned for more news from the road, coming soon …


The past week has brought a palpable shift toward spring to Minnesota. Yes, it’s still snowing. But instead of plunging below zero after each snowstorm — as is typical between late December and February — now we’re inching above freezing during the day. This has enticed me to spend a lot more time outside. Last […]


Rather than make grand resolutions for 2017, instead I chose a single small word to guide me through the new year: focus. I’d been trying to do too much, I decided. I would be happier and more fulfilled if I did less, and with greater attention. Then a bunch of unexpected things happened — my […]


I’ve always believed it’s my duty as a citizen to be engaged and informed. But lately I find myself reacting to the news in ways I never used to. It’s a reflexive and visceral response — even when events don’t directly affect me. My instinct is to discuss these events, because they’re important. But then […]


As an amateur photographer I have lots of bad habits, but by far the worst is not looking at my photos after I take them. Over time, the weight of all those photos becomes oppressive, as it can take hours to sort through my mostly crappy snapshots to pick out a handful of favorites. Eventually […]


The sky at home is (yet again) drippy and dark, so I’m turning to my archives for some sunshine. Esteban and I spent a few days in Arles last year. Because we’re both history buffs, we were keen to see the Roman ruins and the well-preserved medieval city. But mostly we came for the Provençal […]


From its doorknobs to its house numbers, Paris is rich in architectural details. But it was the city’s iconic pavers that led me on my most recent historical adventure. In some streets the pavers are still arranged in beautiful fan-like patterns. The rue de l’Abreuvoir offers a nice view of the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre, […]


The Cour du Commerce Saint-André in Paris’ sixth arrondissement is little more than a cobbled alley. Open only to pedestrians, it connects the tony and traffic-choked Boulevard Saint-Germain with the bustling little rue de Buci. But when you step onto its uneven paving stones, you’re stepping onto a spot where centuries of history converge. (Full […]


This is my fourth post in series about the unexpected historical connections that abound in Paris. See the past three days’ posts for other clues — or tune in on Sunday for the full story. The Place de la Concorde is not only Paris’ largest public square, but arguably its most historic. Its name changes […]