Another incredible sunrise at Lake Manawa State Park, Council Bluffs, Iowa. I simply cannot get enough of this place.
Lake Manawa State Park, Council Bluffs, Iowa. Lately, I’ve begun dreaming of the day when the first spot that comes to mind on a cold, foggy, windless morning isn’t the shore west of Boy Scout Island, where I’ve greeted countless sunrises since 2011. I can’t decide if my obsession with this place represents some type of photographic rut or if the near-daily visit to this spot serves as a ritual renewal of sorts, a desire to begin the day immersed in some semblance of nature. Either way, it’s one of my favorite places on earth, and even more so on a still, crisp morning, when the water is glass, making the lake and Boy Scout Island exactly twice as beautiful.
Lake Manawa, Boy Scout Island, Council Bluffs, Iowa. This was taken a few mornings ago, when the air was crisp and the water was incredibly still. Just a reminder that Art at the Rock is two weeks away. I’ll have many big prints and new work. Bring your friends. Here's the official Facebook invite.
Later this month, I’ll be participating in a special art exhibit in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which will hopefully become a recurring event for art lovers and artists alike. And it’s particularly exciting for me because it will allow me the opportunity to show some of my larger prints, which don’t ordinarily get to see the light of day because they’re too big for most of my local shows. The show will be hosted by Rock, PaPer, Scissors salon, which is located in the Smith-Davis Building (north side of Bayliss Park, Council Bluffs; 532 1st Ave, Suite 204). March 26, 2016 (the day before Easter), from 4-7 pm.
This is the official invite on Facebook with further details.
Ice on the Missouri River at sunrise. This was taken on a recent cloudless subzero morning as the sun rose behind the opposite shore, instantly illuminating every whorl and puff of steam issuing from the river. It was one of those serene moments when the spinning ice discs make enough chatter to drown out the distant sounds of Monday-morning traffic.
A windmill along Woodland Trail in Council Bluffs. Know anything about those old farm implements on the right, along the fence? To me, they look like they might be old tractor seats, but what would a city boy know?
Winter is my favorite time of the year for photography. I was starting to worry that we’d never get any snow this winter, so the snowfall over the past week has been an awesome surprise. This is one of my favorite corn cribs along the backroads east of Council Bluffs. Thanks for all the support in 2015. Have a very Happy New Year!
Lake Manawa, Council Bluffs, Iowa. Four geese glide past the north end of Boy Scout Island. Barely visible in the shadows is a blue heron, poised like a silent assassin. Of all the mornings I’ve spent here, this is among my favorites. If you sit quietly enough for long enough, the lake forgets you’re there and resumes its normal goings-on. For the procrastinators out there, our dining room has become a temporary gallery for last-minute Christmas gifts. Email me if you’re interested in stopping by to browse through the big selection of prints I have on hand. An added bonus is that you’ll see a 30X60 print of my favorite local photo, which I’ve never shared (nor will ever share) online.
To me, one of the coolest things about social media (Facebook/Instagram in particular) is the collaborative sharing of pictures, particularly within a locality, showing various viewpoints of weather and celestial events. Supermoon? Check. Beautiful sunset? Check. Stormclouds, flooding, foot-high snow accumulation? Check, check, check. Spectacular sunrise on an otherwise mundane Tuesday in November? Thirty, maybe forty, photos in our newsfeeds from all over eastern Nebraska and western Iowa oohing and aahing over the sunrise this morning. What a fascinating time to be alive! Here's mine, tardy as usual.
Lake Manawa, Boy Scout Island. These crisp fall mornings are fantastic, aren’t they? Yesterday morning was overcast but nearly windless here in Council Bluffs, so I was hoping for at least a few minutes of sunrise color behind the mirrored surface of Lake Manawa. Around the time I was starting to give up hope, a deep red glow suddenly spilled from the horizon, scraping across the underside of the steely blue clouds. What an amazing sight! And within a minute, it was all gone. I felt lucky to have seen it, let alone capture it. Here’s to fall in the Midwest! This is another in a Boy Scout Island series I've been working on for years now.
Lake Manawa. Whenever I hear people talk about Lake Manawa like it’s some filthy fetid swamp, I want to invite them to join me to watch the sun rise behind Boy Scout Island. I’ll never get tired of this view. With that said, what do you think about Lake Manawa?
Let's play a game. Where in Council Bluffs is this? At noon tomorrow, I'll pick a winner randomly from all the correct guesses (comment below or on my Facebook page) and send them a print of this image. Specific guesses only. Okay, go. Here's the clue: It's a pocket of wilderness in one of the most developed (and busiest) parts of Council Bluffs. If you drove by here this morning, you might have noticed me taking this picture.
My apologies for the absence. My computer has been ill, but hopefully it's fully recovered. This was taken on a farm here in Council Bluffs during sunrise. River valley fog meets first light. For me, it really doesn't get much better than this.
On the backroads just outside Council Bluffs. A farmer in a pickup truck drove by and waved right before I took this, kicking up a temporary storm of gravel dust, which wafted through the background. Nice guy. Not a bad way to start the day.
Wabash Trace, just outside Mineola, Iowa. I can’t imagine how many Taco Riders have crossed this bridge, which marks both the end and the beginning of the Thursday Taco Ride. This was taken on a foggy March morning, amid the eerie stillness of the freezing mist. Cheers!
Of all the old barns in and around Council Bluffs, this is my favorite. I was lucky enough to drive by just as the predawn glow burst into flames overhead. Speaking of, do you have any suggestions of photogenic barns around here, particularly those that aren't necessarily visible from the road? I'm working on a series of local barns/abandoned homes/farm structures, and I could use some help.
Lake Manawa. Boy Scout Island (this is another in the BSI series I’ve been working on for a few years now). This photo is from a few mornings ago, before the lake ice began to melt in earnest. I love winter, but I’m glad to see signs of spring.
Along a gravel backroad on the eastern edge of Council Bluffs. This is one of my favorite roadside barns, and I visit it often during my sunrise roadtrips of local discovery, just to see how first light is treating it. This particular photo was taken a few weeks ago, on a cold clear morning a couple of days after our most recent heavy snowfall, as the rising sun and morning fog quietly battled amid the otherwise amazing peacefulness of cropland in winter.
Lake Manawa, yesterday morning. The road around the lake has some great trees, and I've spent countless hours photographing them, especially on cold, still mornings when the mist is rising. Happy Autumn, everybody!
This photo was taken a few mornings ago at the Vorthmann farm, near Treynor. They have been kind enough to let me wander around on their farm for sunrise photographs. This scene embodies so much of the western Iowa I’ve come to love. Enormous sky meets enormous farmland, hinged gracefully by a Loess hill on the horizon, the top of which would undoubtedly offer another grand vista to the east, and so on and so on.
I’ve encountered some very generous people lately who have let me sneak on to their land here and there for a few photos. If you’re one of them, thanks so much.