Back Where I Started

January 1, 2015 § 8 Comments

Today I begin year four of taking at least one photo every day. In 2012, I took my first picture in the series, a dried flower in my parents’ flower box. As I ponder whether I want to continue with this blog and the pressure of a photo every day, I leave you with a photo reminiscent of the first one I took three years ago.

In my opinion, the first photo (taken with my iPhone) is better than today’s (taken with my “real” camera).

Blue pansy

Alleys

December 30, 2014 § 10 Comments

Alleyways are interesting in any weather. Today it was -30 windchill, and it felt like it.

Post Office

December 29, 2014 § 1 Comment

Seventy-two holiday cards down, 20-30 to go. Mailed a batch today at my hometown post office.

Kind of sad to send them down the chute. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Plus I fear they’ll fall apart en route.

Post office

Cold Tree

November 27, 2014 § 2 Comments

It’s one of the coldest Thanksgivings in decades, so I spent little time outside taking photos. This tree has nothing to do with the holiday, but it’s in my parents’ yard and has been around probably as long as I have. It reminds me of home — always a good thing.

May your Thanksgiving include good food, a warm home, and love.

Cold tree

Dewey Lake

October 17, 2014 § 10 Comments

I spent the afternoon with a family friend. His home, surrounded by birches, sits on a peninsula on pristine Dewey Lake, and as a child, I filled many fantastic days here playing, fishing, and snowmobiling, among other adventures.

Dock Birch Peninsula Birches and evergreens

Boys of Brooklyn

October 16, 2014 § 4 Comments

Two elementary-aged boys, enjoying a day off school, approached me as I took photographs this afternoon in Brooklyn. It’s an old part of my hometown, a section I never really explored until I started taking photos regularly a few years ago.

The boys were inquisitive and charmed me with their constant chatter, moving effortlessly from one topic to the next. If I’d stayed all afternoon, they would have entertained me with their imaginations as well as tales of their lives, neighborhood, and ambitions.

I’ve interspersed pieces of our conversation with some of the photos I took.

Candy office

Candy office

Boy 1: I got this bike for free.

Boy 2: No, you didn’t. Just the tire.

Boy 1: Uh-uh. The whole thing was free.

Boy 2: No, just the tire.

East Hibbing Garage

East Hibbing Garage

Brooklyn Fire Hall

Brooklyn Fire Hall

Boy 1: I saw you taking photographs over there.

Camille: Do you like taking pictures?

Boy 1: Nah. I like bikes.

Camille: Are you enjoying having a day off from school?

Boy 1: Yeah. It’s okay, but Christmas vacation is better, because you get 15 days off.

Camille: And summer. Summer you get a big break.

Boy 1: Well, yeah, summer. That’s a given. That’s like 94 days off.

Fraboni

Fraboni

Boy 1: I’ve climbed every tree in this neighborhood. My grandparents live in Alaska.

Camille: Wow.

Boy 2: My brother lives in Alaska too.

Camille: Have either of you been to Alaska?

Boy 1: No. I’ve been to Wisconsin, but that doesn’t count because it’s attached to Minnesota.

Boy 2: I haven’t been to any other state.

Camille: Do you like living in this neighborhood?

Boys 1 and 2: Yes!

Boy 1: But people steal your stuff. That’s why my dad joined the army, so people wouldn’t try stealing from us.

Hibbing Bowling Center

Hibbing Bowling Center

Bowling

Bowling

[As I’m taking a photo of an old shed]

Boy 1: That burned.

Camille: When?

Boy 1: Oh, about five years ago. You can go in there if you want. You don’t need to be scared.

Camille: I’ll pass.

Boy 1: Someone told me there were big snakes living in there, but I went in and stayed for two hours and didn’t see any snakes.

Boy 2: We could make it into a house! We could live in there.

Lupines in the Old Town

June 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

Fields of lupines have sprouted at the entrance to North Hibbing, a town that no longer exists.

Most of the houses, businesses, schools, and municipalities moved nearly 100 years ago to where Hibbing (my hometown) now sits, making way for the expanding iron ore mines. Some buildings stayed put for a few more decades but were eventually bought and demolished by the mining company as late as the 1950s.

All that remain are street signs, lamp posts, foundations, and sidewalks overgrown with grass, trees, and lupines. It’s a curious and beautiful place to visit. Especially when you’re lucky enough to bump into an original resident of the old town — as I did today — who can reminisce about the lovely neighborhoods that happily haunt memories and a few faded photographs.

If you’d like to learn more, the Minnesota Historical Society recounts the town’s move on its MNopedia site.

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