Pete's Stuff
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February is the BEST Month!

The last couple weeks have just been great for winter sports. We've had relatively warm temperatures - upper 20s in the day (sometimes higher) and teens at night, along with a high proportion of clear skies. With the sun moving up higher and higher, and the days getting longer, this has been a fabulous month to get out skiing.

Last weekend I drove up to Wild River and went for the longest ski I've ever done - a three-plus hour continuous tour of the Sunrise Trail to the Deer Creek loop. It was so warm, I overestimated my clothing requirement and had to change after 20 minutes - but toward the end, as the sun dipped below the hills west of Deer Creek, I had to change my mind again. That was right after I scared up a bunch of wild turkeys, about a dozen and a half of them strutting from the marshy Deer Creek flats into the hills to the west.

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Up the River... Again

Ahhh... A trip "up the river" on the long weekend. Wild River State Park, that is. The Trillium Trail certainly lived up to its name; this is a hillside in back of the B lane.


Along the Trillium Trail

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Random Shots

Here's a few more random photos I took in the past couple of weeks.

Playing around with exposure adjustments. Saturating the output leads to the "divine light" effect.


Desk

More photos below the fold.

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Have Camera, Will Travel

Got a late start today, but decided to leave things behind and drive up the St. Croix valley as I'm wont to do from time to time. Here's some of the pictures I managed to catch.


Leaf thaw in ice at Wild River State Park, MN

More photos after the jump.

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Our Annual Moon Viewing

Last night some friends and I had our annual moon viewing and cookout at Afton State Park. For five years running (I wasn't at the first one, though), we've picked a moonlit night in late winter, picked a state park with walk-in fire rings or campsites, and gathered to enjoy the weather, the scenery, and each other's company. Two years ago we even got it to coincide with a lunar eclipse.

This year Mike, Julia, Ian and I were all there at 6 PM, and Mike had set up a little orienteering challenge for the early arrivals. We each got three controls and a pre-marked map, and had to set up the controls on the way into the campsite. I ended up with the most difficult three. Partway into the route, something happened to the switch on my headlamp - it would reliably turn off about a half second after I'd turn it on. So I had to make do with half second glimpses of the map (with a red LED, no less.) But I managed to place them in the right locations, even though I was last to arrive at the campsite.

Right as we were lugging lumber from the cut wood pile over to the fire ring, Dan and Rebecca showed up. At the same time, the sky started to clear from northwest to southeast and revealed a bright full moon high in the sky. The wind died down as well, so got a good fire going and all sat around for about five hours, with plenty of food and beverages to go around. Julia got a bunch of teasing about the new job she's applying for. Dan and Rebecca left a little early, and the rest of us stayed until after midnight. When the fire finally died down, we swapped maps and picked up the controls we had put out earlier.

So far the weather's cooperated every time - here's hoping for five more successful years.