Monthly Archives: July 2009

Goodbye Little Muskrat Island

              Boaters on the Mississippi River in St.Cloud and visitors to Wilson Park are probably familiar with the little Island that had sprouted upstream over the years.  I don’t know if it had an official name, but I called it Little Muskrat Island (the diminutive cousin of the Beaver Islands to the South). The little Island had a solid base of shrubs, and even it’s own tree.  How that tree and vegetation sprouted in such a soggy clump of sand and clay was truly a feat of perseverance.                    For as long as I had been paying attention to it during 8 years of kayaking, it had flourished during drought and flood and the continual ups and downs of the Mississippi. I hadn’t visited the island this year but from where I walked along the riverbank I could see that the little Island seemed to be struggling.  There had been flooding and a strong ice flow this spring so I was concerned that the scraggly little island had been affected. Maybe the island had been all but scraped away by the ice and left the tree barely clinging.                        Last evening I took a brief outing by kayak from the Sauk River to the Mississippi and downstream back to home. As I approached the Little Muskrat, I feared the worst as I just couldn’t see that little tree standing in defiance over the water.  Arriving closer, the truth became apparent, that the little island was gone. All that remains of it now is a submerged sandbar and some weather-bare sticks that mark where the island had been.                                     Exactly what happened to the island I don’t know, but I’m sad to see it gone. I suppose it’s history goes back much further than the years I paddled up to and around it.  I wonder just how long it had been there.  Maybe in the years ahead, somehow, another tree will take root and the Little Muskrat Island will return again one day. Time will tell.

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Quick Response Saves Sauk Rapids Home

I’ll tell you that it isn’t easy to photograph the scene of a bad event. It was good to capture the heroics of this fire crew that gained control of a fire that could have destroyed an entire home. The scene captured here is the action of a home being saved, when it might have been a home being lost. Good work team! Read about it at WJON.Com http://www.wjon.com/LocalNews/tabid/4262/newsid9787/28452/Default.aspx

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Highway 23 Improvements Downtown

A helo photo to continue the documentation of another improvement project in St. Cloud from an uncommon perspective.  A simple, low-level flight was conducted over open and unpopulated ground to get the shot.  

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Always an interesting vantage point….

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Late Night Lightning

Some thunderclouds rolled in late for a nice show of vivid lightning.  This shot was grabbed from an upper story window as the bolts were striking nearest.                   Shots from the storm that hit St. Cloud on July 14, 2009: http://www.wjon.com/LocalNews/NewsPhotoGalleries/StormJul142009/tabid/11150/Default.aspx

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Anniversary of Apollo 11 landing

I love that I was here for this as a newborn. Here’s to the people that, as their job, achieved one of the most visionary achievements in history. Flight, and the idea of spaceflight has been part of my imagination for as long as I can remember.

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Ready For Liftoff…Granite City Crossing Bridge

I did a good share of flying today, and had some good results. First I flew in Sartell, and later after doing some work on the Helo, I got some current shots of the new bridge construction.

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