Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Grand Marais Photos

For today's blog posting I am including a few photos I took while running errands down town yesterday.

First I drove through Woodland Park, located kitty corner across from the museum.

The camping park is shut down for the year.  As part of the winterizing process, the picnic tables are leaned against trees etc. to help the snow fall off them during the winter.

It was fairly windy yesterday so the waves were curling in.

The inner harbor light house.  Notice the fisherman on the dock.

This shot shows what is left of Lonesome Point, located on the southeast part of the bay.

They have finished painting the new outfitter store located down town Grand Marais.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hike in the Central Section of Grand Sable Dunes

Yesterday it was chilly with temperatures in the low 30s, but the sun came out in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day for a hike. I parked at the pull-out half way to the log slide, and hiked down the trail around ten minutes before walking up one of the old logging roads into the dunes.

There was a dusting of snow in some areas.

In the center area of the dunes, there is more vegetation than there is exposed sand.  There are also many valleys between tall dunal ridges.

These "ghost forest" stumps were quite large.

A close up photo of the red leafed viney vegetation.

Another valley....

And a telegraph pole that is still standing.

Since the wind was from the south, Lake Superior was calm yesterday.

But there were waves on Sable Lake.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Facts about State Capitals

When I implemented the update in yesterday's blog regarding Wisconsin's state capital building, I decided to see if there was compiled information about all of the state capital buildings. I was pleased to find a web page "
Cupolas of Capitalism
State Capitol Building Histories

located at

For today's posting, I will summarize the web page's content.

This web page chronicles the rich and often colorful architectural history of the American State Capitol Buildings. Perhaps no other secular building type is so closely affiliated with dome and cupola designs, or use them as effectively as symbols of unity and power.

Listed below are the states with Capitol Buildings featuring prominent exterior cupolas, along with the years in which the construction of the cupola sections of the buildings started. The completion dates are complicated since most state capital buildings have been renovated many times. I also included the heights of the buildings and a few interesting facts. There are too many to include a picture for each -- I chose a few of my favorite pictures from the website. Please refer to the website listed above for details about the state capitals.

9 states do not have a cupola including:

Alaska (Juneau) 1923
Arizona (Phoenix) 1899
Hawaii (Honolulu) 1879 Originally was a palace for monarchy
New York (Albany) 1867
North Carolina (Raleigh) 1833
North Dakota (Bismark) 1920
Ohio (Columbus) 1838 Does have a 158 foot drum tower with inner dome.
Oregon (Salem) 1935 Does have a 178 foot drum tower with inner dome.
Virginia (Richmond) 1785

42 states (including DC) have capital buildings with an exterior cupola

Oldest state capital building: Massachusetts 1712
Tallest state capital building: Louisiana 450 feet tall

ALABAMA (Montgomery) 1851, 119 feet tall

ARKANSAS (Little Rock) 1899, 213 feet tall

CALIFORNIA (Sacramento) 1856, 220 feet tall with copper dome

COLORADO (Denver) 1886, 276 feet tall with gold gilded dome

CONNECTICUT (Hartford) 1792 old; 1872 new with gold leafed dome

DELAWARE (Dover) 1787 old, 1931 new with 90 foot cupola tower

DC (Washington) 1793, 287 feet tall with statute of freedom

FLORIDA (Tallahassee) 1839, 136 feet tall

GEORGIA (Atlanta) 1823, 259 feet tall with Miss Freedom statute

IDAHO (Boise) 1995, 208 feet tall capped with an eagle

ILLINOIS (Springfield) 1837 old, 1867 new, 361 feet tall

INDIANA (Indianapolis) 1877, 235 feet tall

IOWA (Des Moines) 1870, 275 feet tall with gold gilded cupola

KANSAS (Topeka) 1866, dome added in 1884, 304 feet tall

KENTUCKY (Frankfurt) 1827 old, 1925 new, 210 feet tall

LOUISIANA (Baton Rouge) 1847 old, 1930 new, 450 feet tall tower

MAINE (Augusta) 1828, 185 feet tall capped with statue of wisdom

MARYLAND (Annapolis) 1771, 181 feet tall

MASSACHUSETTS (Boston) 1712 old, 1795 new, 59 foot tall

MICHIGAN (Lansing) 1871, 267 feet tall

MINNESOTA (St. Paul) 1893, 223 feet tall

MISSISSIPPI (Jackson) 1836 old, 1901 new, 180 feet tall

MISSOURI (Jefferson City) 1911, 262 feet tall with statue

MONTANA (Helena) 1896, 165 feet tall

NEBRASKA (Lincoln) 1919, 400 foot tower with dome

NEVADA (Carson City) 1869, 120 feet tall

NEW HAMPSHIRE (Concord) 1815, 150 feet tall capped with an eagle

NEW JERSEY (Trenton), 1790, 145 feet tall

NEW MEXICO (Santa Fe) 1895 old, 1964 new -- but with no cupola

OKLAHOMA (Oklahoma City) 1914, 255 feet tall topped with statue

PENNSYLVANIA (Harrisburg) 1894, 272 feet tall with statue

RHODE ISLAND (Providence) 1759 old, 1895 new, 225 feet tall with statue

SOUTH CAROLINA (Columbia) 1859, 180 feet tall

SOUTH DAKOTA (Pierre) 1905, 161 feet tall

TENNESSEE (Nashville) 1845, 198 feet tall

TEXAS (Austin) 1881, 297 feet tall with liberty statue

UTAH (Sault Lake City) 1881 old, 1911 new, 301 feet tall

VERMONT (Montpelier) 1834, 136 feet tall

WASHINGTON (Olympia) 1892 old, 1919 new, 287 feet tall

WEST VIRGINA (Charleston) 1924, 292 copper capped cupola

WISCONSIN (Madison) 1906, 285 feet tall

WYOMING (Cheyenne) 1886, 146 feet tall

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Amazing Architecture

The other day while in Madison we went to see the state capital building. This is the first time I saw this particular building. During my corporate days I had to speak at hearings in many state capitals around the country to further the cause of point-of-care patient testing, but I don't think any were as incredible as the state capital in Madison.

From the outside the building looks like many other state capitals.  Here is a shot of my son, daughter-in-law, and me standing in front.  It is interesting that the capital sits right next to the campus of the University of Wisconsin.

The first state capital was built in 1838.  It was replaced by one built in 1863, which later was severely damaged by fire. George B. Post & Sons designed the current Capitol, which was built between 1906 and 1917 at a cost of $7.25 million. The Madison Capitol is distinguished as being the only State Capitol ever built on an isthmus situated between the  picturesque waters of Lake Monona and Lake Mendota.

Reaching to a height of over 200 feet, the Capitol dome is topped by Daniel Chester French's elegant gilded bronze statue, on the inside of the routunda, Edwin Blashfield's mural "Resources of Wisconsin" lavishly decorates the ceiling.  The routunda is the only granite dome in the United States. Inside, the floor, columns, and other architectural structures are made from 43 varieties of stone from around the world, hand-carved furniture and exquisite glass mosaics.

As we walked up the steps of the capital, we worked our way past a sing-along protest group that is fighting to recall the current governor, Scott Walker.

Here are a couple of photos looking straight up at the routunda.

Around the four sides of the base of the routunda are incredible mosaics.

Even the elevators are awesome.

Each wing of the capital bulding houses different sections of the state's government.

Everything is ornate, including the floors.  The attention to detail was incredible.

The Wisconson badger is featured on one of the upper levels.

On the second floor there is a replica of the liberty bell.

In Europe there are many more ornate buildings, but few in this country are as interesting as Wisconsin's state capital.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Picking out a Tree

Yesterday I went with my son and his in-laws to pick out a Christmas tree. I must admit that I have never been to a tree farm as organized as the one we went to yesterday. They have Christmas tree farming and sales down to a science.

Jericho's dad, Mike, wanted a ten foot tree.  They had sticks measured off that were ten feet tall.

There were thousands of trees.  Here is Kevin wondering through the maze.

Here is a shot of Kevin, Jericho, Mike, and Mike's girlfriend, Jennifer, next to the tree they selected.

Jericho and her dad cutting it down.

Kevin and Mike dragging it out of the field.

The tree farm had a shaker to shake out all the loose needles.

They then baled it for the ride home on top of the car.

The undecorated tree in place in Mike's house.