Tracks

Tracks

On This Date: Photo taken 4/2/2012.

There’s something about this photograph….

This is the CSX mid-Michigan mainline, shot from Dow Road between Sunfield and Mulliken.

The camera–a Fujifilm Finepix F200–had a damaged sensor, which you needed to make allowances for while composing images. And the pic’s overexposed because I hadn’t yet dialed in the settings on an unfamiliar camera. But I really like this into-the-sun photograph.


My 2012 photo-a-day project, 366 Snaps, had basically three rules–shoot monochrome, change cameras every month, and no captions or commentaries with the pix (those showed up the next year as 366 Snaps Outtakes). In early April of 2012 I was learning that you need to practice with the device before it becomes your primary camera. Up to that point I was apparently expecting things would just come back to me when I dug out an old machine. Didn’t work well.

Still: I like this one. Despite the day’s problems.

Number of pix taken on various April 2nds: 860
Year of oldest photo: 2007

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 7
  • 2 Stars: 27
  • 3 Stars: 750
  • 4 Stars: 71
  • 5 Stars: 5

Revision History:

Cloverdale Lake Reflection

Cloverdale Lake Reflection

On This Date: Photo taken 4/1/2015.

Hope Township Park’s in “downtown” Cloverdale on M-43. The park’s more than a boat launch–there’s a pavilion, and a tiny playground–but it’s not much more than a boat launch. It does have this great view.

Cloverdale looks like a village, but there’s no government–it’s just a place bordering some lakes where a bunch of people settled. A post office and a pair of stores give the place some substance. It’s a pretty location, and in a different life I might have settled there myself.


I’ve passed through Cloverdale hundreds of times while traveling between my mid-Michigan home and my family in Kalamazoo. Usually I just drive by, but every now and then I stop at the park to stretch my legs, to admire the view, to snap a picture or five.

I’ve lived near M-43 (that’s Michigan Highway 43) my entire life–in Kalamazoo, Delton, Lansing’s suburbs, and Mulliken. Since 43’s a block from our house it’s our natural route to and from Kalamazoo.

Number of pix taken on various April 1sts: 87
Year of oldest photo: 2012

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 4
  • 2 Stars: 22
  • 3 Stars: 37
  • 4 Stars: 22
  • 5 Stars: 2

Revision History:

Barn, Boards, Shed, Fence, Ladder

Barn, Boards, Shed, Fence, Ladder

On This Date: Photo taken 3/31/2015.

Even today much of Mulliken is obviously an abandoned farm. This was that farm’s barn. The current owners use it for a garage and a workshop.


When I moved to town our home was alone on the edge of a field. There were houses across the road, and the Hansons soon built their place next door. A few years later someone constructed a neighborhood around our yard, and ours became a corner lot.

I’ve nothing against our neighbors, but I miss the field. Some days I miss it a lot.

Number of pix taken on various March 31sts: 216
Year of oldest photo: 2010

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 8
  • 2 Stars: 38
  • 3 Stars: 139
  • 4 Stars: 27
  • 5 Stars: 4

Revision History:

Coach Allen Likes to Signal

Coach Allen Likes to Signal

On This Date: Photo taken 3/30/2015.

Spencer Allen was assistant coach at Illinois when I took this photo. These days he’s head coach at Northwestern.


All third base coaches signal. They use combinations of gestures and key words to pass instructions to the batter and to baserunners.

Most coaches pass fairly subtle signals. If you pay attention, you can see (or hear) that they’re signaling, but most are just doing a necessary task even as they tug their hats, scratch their chins, pat their chests, and holler. Occasionally, though, you find someone who turns this chore into art. Coach Allen’s one of those.

Number of pix taken on various March 30ths: 322
Year of oldest photo: 2005

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 7
  • 2 Stars: 54
  • 3 Stars: 231
  • 4 Stars: 29
  • 5 Stars: 1

Revision History:

Demonstration Hall

Demonstration Hall

On This Date: Photo taken 3/28/2012.

Demonstration Hall’s really just a big gym, and has served as Michigan State’s basketball field house and as its hockey arena. But always it’s housed MSU’s Military Affairs Department and the school’s ROTC detachment as its primary function, with a secondary role as a practice facility for the Spartan Marching Band. Demonstration Field, where (among other things) the band rehearses its football programs, is adjacent to the building.

It’s an attractive building. I took this photo five years ago today after watching MSU’s baseball home opener–against Central Michigan, as usual. The Spartans won.


For this project I usually sort through my photographs the evening before each post. I normally pull out two or three images during that sort, then decide which to post in the morning, after I’ve given some thought to the writeup.

Today’s didn’t go like that. I was dissatisfied with the pix I pulled yesterday, so I looked again this morning and selected a different photo.

Number of pix taken on various March 28ths: 420
Year of oldest photo: 2007

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 4
  • 2 Stars: 53
  • 3 Stars: 300
  • 4 Stars: 56
  • 5 Stars: 7

Revision History:

Life Before Retirement

Life Before Retirement

On This Date: Photo taken 3/26/2010.

A few days back Facebook’s “Memories” dredged up this comment I’d posted in 2010:

‘”What do you do for a living, Joel?” Go to meetings. 13 scheduled this week (so far), plus a doctor’s appointment….’

This was one of those meetings. Judging by the folks in attendance we were working on integrating our soon-to-be-installed IRP system with Finance’s accounting programs. Also judging by those attending I was there primarily as the management rep.

IRP stands for International Registration Program–license plates for trucks.


I took this pic with my phone, and the timestamps tell me that I promptly posted it to Facebook. I called it “Your Tax Dollars at Work.”

FB’s “Memories” gets the final comment, having found this for me today:

‘My work week in retrospect: One meeting added to the thirteen originally scheduled, one cancelled, one rescheduled to April, and two missed because I can’t be in two places simultaneously. Had a stretch like this ten years ago; never expected it to happen again.’

A few months later I retired.

Number of pix taken on various March 26ths: 203 [two of those are Joan’s]
Year of oldest photo: 2003

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 2
  • 2 Stars: 26
  • 3 Stars: 145
  • 4 Stars: 29
  • 5 Stars: 1

Revision History:

Oreo in the Window

Oreo in the Window

On This Date: Photo taken 3/25/2007.

A decade ago today I was photographing crocuses. Oreo watched.

Or perhaps she was just enjoying the fresh air.


Could I do a cat-a-day project from my photo archives? No, but I’d come closer than you might think. A quick survey shows that I’ve photographed cats on over 300 dates. On March 25, for instance, I’ve photographed Oreo in 2007 and 2012, and I caught two of the neighbors’ cats “on film” in 2012 as well.

Besides some randomly “lost” days, the project would break down on days we’re rarely home–our birthdays, for instance. And there’s a week in June that usually starts in Saint Ignace and ends with a bluegrass fest. Those are not insurmountable obstacles, of course, but it would likely take some effort to fill the gaps.

I’d get bored, though. So would you. Ain’t gonna happen.

Number of pix taken on various March 25ths: 77 [one of those is Joan’s]
Year of oldest photo: 2007

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 0
  • 2 Stars: 19
  • 3 Stars: 35
  • 4 Stars: 21
  • 5 Stars: 2

Revision History: