Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Winter decorations by nature, WI

Winter Decorations by Nature - Wisconsin winters
Look at these alluring decorations nature has created on the stairs and the fence. These beautiful pictures definitely please my eyes anytime and why not, I always adore the snowfall scenes in winter.
I have clicked the above picture in Madison, on a beautiful white morning in 2011. It was my first snowy winter in Wisconsin. That winter, it had snowed before but this morning and this snowfall was something else, I had never seen something like this. It had snowed the whole night before, and the snowfall was very smooth because of calm weather. When at night I looked out of my window, it appeared as if the sky is showering light and soft feathers on the entire land. The morning scene was like a dream. I went out for a walk around the neighborhood, of course with my camera. On a turn around a street, I saw this view on a staircase of an apartment building. Being an Indian, I relate this creation to the skillful 'rangoli' designs people in India create in front of their homes. See the picture of a similar decoration I had created back home in India.

The following attractive site is from my university campus in Milwaukee. That photograph is taken in February 2012, when I was going for my classes. It was a soft and snowy morning, similar to the one I had seen in Madison. That day every inch of the trees and the land was covered in white goodness. And adorned with snow the fence surely looks like as if it's ready for some festival.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Visit to the USS Constitution, Boston, MA

Visit to the USS Constitution (April 2012)
Boston, Massachusetts
In our Boston tour, we visited this important monument in the history of US Navy - the USS Constitution.
It was a nice bright and sunny day out with perfect blue sky. Ohh, how I love such blue skies, especially when we are traveling !!
We reached at the location by car, completed the required formalities and as we entered the area, we saw this enormous structure at the dock.
We stepped on to it and then we got the idea of how big it actually was.
The US Navy sailors are the crew members of the USS and they protect & maintain it. We communicated with them, they were very enthusiastic to provide us the details.
George Washington named this heavy watercraft after the United States Constitution.
USS Constitution is a spectacular wooden armed vessel equipped with artillery. It is a worrier ship having three masts (a vertical structure on a ship) to which huge sails were attached to catch wind when this ship was on voyage. It was constructed in 1794, launched in 1797 and was used for various wars by the United States Navy. It's primary purpose was to provide protection to the American merchant navy. This ship was retired in 1880s and was used as a receiving ship. Later in 1907, the Federal Government nominated it as a 'museum ship'.
We explored the ship by visiting all its levels. On the upper levels we saw various sailing equipments and artillery material. On the lower levels we got to see how the sailors and warriors lived on voyage and how their food was preserved. Theirs was a difficult job indeed.
On the war ship with USS crew

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Palette of colors - Red

Northern Cardinal - Male, Madison, WI (April 2011)
Maple leaves, Milwaukee, WI (Oct 2012)
The color of power and zest, red is one of the three basic colors in Color Wheel and it is the first highest color in a rainbow.
Red symbolizes heat, confidence, passion and courage. This color also means danger, anger, evil and devil.
It is a very strong color and depicts a vast range of apparently contrasting and diverse emotions. Red is the color of risk and sin however, at the same time red shows love and lust.
Red is associated with sacrifice and energy, because our important life force - blood - is red.
Being zealous red hue increases strength and vigor. Red also stimulates gastrointestinal senses, hence shades of red are used in many restaurants for interiors of furniture accessories.
Red has various different shades like cardinal, scarlet, crimson and maroon. Ruby, vermillion as well as pink are it's different varieties.
Red is purity. Red is beauty. Red is vitality.
Wild red berries, Green Bay, WI (May 2015)

Ice Fishing, Lake Mendota, WI

Ice fishing
Lake Mendota, WI
While taking a walk on frozen Lake Mendota, it was a unique experience for me to see many people sitting quietly on chairs, holding various fishing gear. Actually for me, 'walking' on a frozen lake was a unique experience in itself. Haha!!
I also got a chance to interact with a couple of those ice fishermen. Out of my curiosity, I asked them different questions. They gave me some information and even showed me their equipments and the fish they had caught.
Firstly, a perfect hard, safe and good spot is located on the frozen lake. Then, a circular hole is drilled in to it, till the water is seen and then the fishing begins. Those fishermen have a great amount of patience, they sit there for hours and hours. They bring food for the day, chairs to sit and even put up tents to take rest inside.
It was a real fun to try sitting there like them, holding their fishing rod. Ohh, but sitting till I hook and catch a fish, of course wasn't my cup of tea.  ;-)
It was certainly amazing, getting to know and experience all this process.
~~ Seema's Photo Palette ~~

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Frozen Lake, Broomball - Madison, WI

Frozen lake, Broomball
Madison, WI
When I was a child, I had heard about lakes being frozen in severe winter weather. And lakes freeze up to such an extent that, people can walk, play and ride bikes on such "hardened" waters.
I actually got to witness this phenomenon, when I came to Madison. The start of year 2011, was my first winter in Wisconsin.
[Before that, I had already experienced my first snowfall in Chicago, but that's a different story]   :-)
Here I was awestruck to see completely frozen, magnificent lakes like Monona and Mendota. I stepped on to the lake, which was covered by hard ice and snow layer. Initially, I was a bit skeptical but far away on the frozen surface, I was watching many people walking freely, so my inhibition went off quickly. Also because I am an adventurous person at heart, meaning if I sense that there's not much of a threat and others are trying and enjoying the process, I think of giving it a try. So, I started 'walking' on the lake.
Later, the height of my excitement reached when I got to see people playing Broomball on the lake. Broomball is a hockey type game originated in Canada and is played on ice.
See the game shot I captured.
~~ Seema's Photo Palette ~~

Friday, January 22, 2016

Golden Mallard - Lake Monona, WI

Golden Mallard
Lake Monona, WI
On a warm summer evening, me and hubby, were at the lake to see the beautiful sunset. We were walking on piers, watching picturesque scenes of the lake, water, sky colors, boats.
And that's when, I caught this shining moment. 
Adorned with sunset colors, this cute water bird surely looks like it's made of pure gold.
This is a female Mallard duck. 
Early spring is their breeding season, they breed, raise their offsprings and around the end of Fall, their little ones become big enough to fly long distances. 
In the other click, a mommy duck is busy with her cute ducklings.
~~ Seema's Photo Palette ~~

Apple Tree, Madison, WI

Apple Tree -- Madison, Wisconsin
I was visiting Madison for some work, and right in front of my hotel, I saw an Apple tree loaded with fresh fruits of the season. 
Although, this was not the first time I was seeing an Apple tree at its peak time, I was excited to see it and of course I took some photos. ;-)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Aerial Photograph - Farmlands in Poland

Flying over Poland - May 2015
This is a beautiful scene of farmlands in Poland. 
And, how did I come to know that I was flying over Poland that time?
I was referring to the detailed live map on the touch screen display, which is provided to every passenger.
On a long flight from Chicago to Dubai, one thing was surely the best relief, that I was sitting in a window seat. 
It's like a new surprise every time, to see the grand picture of our beautiful earth from the sky. That's why, I always try to get a window seat in a flight, whenever possible.
~~ Seema's Photo Palette ~~

Winter Getaway, Green Bay, WI

Winter Getaway
It was a chilling cold sunny afternoon. I enjoyed the experience of having a long alone walk in the woods. 
I captured this cool picture on the way, while walking. That time the actual temperature was around -15°C and "feels like" temperature was around -20°C. 
The "feels like" temperature in winter is always lower than the actual temperature, because the wind adds up to the chilling effect.