Saturday, July 17, 2010

River Falls Days, Friday - Food tent

This part of the food tent at River Falls Days, this one called Island Noodles. There were only really a couple vendors in the food tent, mostly overpriced and prepackaged, like soda for $2 and premade things, but this was decent. I liked the fire coming up from the wok, along with the smell of freshly cooking vegetables and noodles. Definitely beat the smell of beer from the beer garden, but then i don't really care for beer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

River Falls Days, Friday - Parade

This is one of the floats in the parade, one i had an issue with, as they (and many others) were shooting water into the crowd and i had to be very aware as some seemed to be aiming right at my camera. Some years it seemed like a good idea to spray water on the crowd, as the temps can be high, but it was only in the low to mid 80s, and with a nice breeze. Anyway, the theme of River Falls Days was Kinnistock, a play on Woodstock, with most things having a 60s feel to it, with a lot of tie dye. I felt the parade was pretty lackluster, but it could just have been my state of mind. About an hour before it was over i decided to go get some food as i was tired and hungry.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Storms, many of them

Short break from the River Falls Days to talk about the storms that rolled through here on Wednesday. This picture was taken after the storms left if you can believe that. The sun came out right after, but there were tornado sightings, lots of rain, and wind gusts up to 80mph. Thankfully the immediate area was okay, but south in Elsworth there was a lot of damage, and over in Baldwin or close to, a semi got over turned by the wind. This was made worse by the fact that it wasn't just one front, it was two or three. One in the morning, with just mostly rain, then the major one with the tornados and then later one with another storm front. They say thursday will be more of the same, as it's been very hot (high 80s or into the 90s) with a high dew point (high 70s) and feels like 106F with the humidity. I know as soon as i stepped out it sure felt like it.

I found out later that my home town of Pittsville got hit too, and my parents house may be damaged, but also that a lot of my friends from there told me many trees are down. I'm glad everyone is safe and while the storms were fierce, it sounds like no one was hurt.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

River Falls Days, Thursday - Rubber Soul

Thursday a Beetles tribute band called Rubber Soul played in the beer garden. They were very good, the music and performances were amazing. They had three costume sets, this is the middle one, the Sgt. Pepper's era. It was also my first try at concert photography, and without a flash at that. It seemed to take a while for the audience to move forward, not sure why, but i've heard that is just how people in River Falls are. Takes some getting used to after going to The Warehouse in LaCrosse for so many years, and it being such an intimate concert venue where you are generally within touching distance of the bands.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

River Falls Days, Friday - Hot Air Balloon

Friday nearing the end of the parade, a hot air balloon surprised people. Partly because there was a hot air balloon, but also with how low it was. In this shot it was actually higher than it had been when i heard people yelling outside the food tent. It seemed to brush the trees closer to where i was here, and slowly got higher. I'm linking to a video someone grabbed and put up on the chamber of commerce youtube site. It's not the best video, but is kind of interesting.

Monday, July 12, 2010

River Falls Days, Sunday - Fireworks

This is one of the shots of the fireworks sunday night that finished up River Falls Days. Not the most impressive display, reminded me of about the same as the town i grew up in of 800 people, expected "something" better. They were also behind the trees a lot more than i expected. Maybe i got spoiled by the ones LaCrosse had, from the bluff and over the river. Used to go out on the roof over my garage and watch the ones from the bluff as it was only a half a mile away, but elevated and a nice view from there. I also didn't have to deal with everything that tested my patience tonight, from the people in the car that kept thinking it was funny to flash their headlights on bright right at  most people several times during the display, to the cop who was waving me through traffic then decided to yell at me for doing what he said (hint to him, learn that when you point at a car and are waving in the direction to go, that means that car should go, not stop.), to the tailgaters who seemed drunk and almost hit me, to the humidity that started to condense on my lens as it got darker (which is why the shots of the fireworks look 'fuzzy'), to the HUGE bat that decided to get the bugs around me (not even kidding, at least a four foot wingspan, at least. Flew around me, hit me with it's wings, scared the living daylights out of me). Sigh...

So anyway, this was my first try at shooting fireworks, and with all those complications, and the strange decision to try it with fisheye, some turned out decent i think. This is one of my favorites.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

River Falls Days - Thursday - Burrito eating contest

Thursday there was a burrito eating contest, sponsored by Mariachi Loco (awesome restaurant by the way, i don't eat there enough), and there were many burritos consumed. There was a tie breaker, ended up running out of them, and the winner (the guy in the white shirt and red pants) had around 20 if i remember. He also kept them down, unlike one guy who didn't, and was the biggest bragger of the bunch (the puker, not the guy who won). Glad that was out of view though, and smell, don't particularly like that much.

(edit: Oops, i originally put it as friday, but it was thursday, not sure where my brain was at the time)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

River Falls Days, Friday - Accident

Not the best way to start the weekend i'm betting. After i got a bite to eat at Bo's and Mine, sad to see they had a shorter menu for the weekend with only a couple of selections, i noticed a fire truck and lots of lights going off. At first i thought it might be part of the parade starting, so i went up to it. This is as close as i wanted to get, i didn't want to be a gawker (i'd probably make a horrible paparazzi or freelance news person, i hate interrupting people in stress) but i thought i should get a photo at least. Didn't look too serious, but there was an ambulance, a fire truck, and two police cars. The grey car had significant damage to the back, and it's hood was up for some reason. I have no idea how any can go fast on main, even on a light day cars go slower than 20mph or so, which is probably good as people tend to dart out in traffic without looking. The traffic was even slower today, as there were so many people and cars, i'd say lucky if it went over 15mph, but i guess if someone isn't paying attention, they can do major damage. I hope no one was hurt, but it probably did ruin the day or weekend at the least for the people involved. 

Side note, i was surprised i didn't get yelled at when i approached with my camera, i've heard lots of stories lately about photographers being stopped for taking pictures of various things. I haven't been stopped yet, but i have noticed police cars driving slowly by me and looking when i'm out and about taking photos.

Friday, July 9, 2010

River Falls Days, Thursday - Street Sale

This is a quick post as i only got back a little while ago from a long, long day of walking around town and shooting (with my camera, not a gun) what was happening. For those not in the loop, River Falls is about a week behind with Fourth of July celebrations, most common reason given is that since it's such a college town, no one is here for the actual holiday. I can see that, as the town get's pretty empty in summer. Not as bad as the resort towns around, where they are deserted in every time except summer. Thankfully not too hot today, although it was in the 80s, and sunny, but has been much worse.

This is part of the street sale that is going on around town during the weekend. This store was Mr. Movies, which recently moved to a smaller store. Since Netflix became better, and now streams movies online on demand to either computer, tv that is made to receive it, or Playstation 3 (what i use mostly or computer when i'm just looking to be on it while i watch), i haven't really even thought of going into a rental store. Where i lived previously, i could walk half a block to a video store, and it was before Netflix, but here it's not as convenient for me. I feel bad for the video store owners, but it's hard to fight the convenience.

Just a note, i took a LOT of pictures just today (Thursday) and there are three more days, so while i'm not sure what i am getting to actually, i will have things posting that are from days before, and of course my flickr will be having much more than i will post here.

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's not the heat... yeah, it's the heat.

It's very hot today, or maybe i just feel it is more since my air conditioning isn't quite working. I did notice this very young grackle (at least i believe it is one, harder to tell when they are wet) taking a bath in a basin i have out. When he saw me, he would jump out, and get ready to fly away if i made a move toward him, but then would jump right back in and splash around a bit. I have a proper bird bath, but at some point it tipped over and now has a larger crack in it that lets water run out. It's not broken apart, but the crack is enough that it leaks. So i leave this basin out, and see birds and squirrels occasionally drinking from it, but this is one of the rare times i've seen bathing.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Music in the Park part 2

Just a close up of the band playing in the Music in the Park thing. Also want to point out that here in town, there isn't a parade or anything really for the 3rd and 4th. From what i've heard it's because it's such a college town, and everyone goes back home for these days, so we have what most other towns do a week later, during River Falls Days. So these pictures don't really seem like what most people post on the fourth.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Music in the Park

I was getting groceries yesterday (friday) and on the way back i noticed this, Music in the Park, so i stopped and got a couple shots. Not sure who was playing, or for how long, but the people seemed to be enjoying it. There was a couple even dancing up near the stage. This is the park with the odd sculpture, which i'm actually standing next to, it's on my right, and buildings on each side. There is a bridge on the far side that leads to the White Pathway, and a bigger more park-like park. If that makes sense. I'm not sure if both sides are part of the same park, but it feels different as the river runs right there.