CD and I left the cabin Sunday afternoon and drove back to Omaha, and I’d like to share a few more highlights from my last (almost) two weeks up there. After I’d finished cleaning up from my three guests’ visit, I started reflecting on the new experimentation with panoramas that had started during our walk around Buck Lake. I was rather disappointed with the results that I got from the little Pentax (it merges three photos in the camera, but not seamlessly, and only the merged result is saved, not the 3 photos that it used to make it). An example of which appeared in my last post, the wide shot of the Mississippi headwaters at Lake Itasca. I remembered that my Photoshop Elements (8) program has a panorama function, and decided to work with that. My first attempt was the first of the six photos of Buck Lake that I included in the same post. I was very pleased with that, and I now determined to pursue this new direction with more dedication, as you will see. I started to explore it further with some shots around the cabin and then took to the woods with another hike with Limo across the road.
Limo and I had the place to ourselves for nearly a week, accomplishing many a maintenance chore that had needed attending to for varying amounts of time. Our best accomplishment was scraping and applying new paint to four windows and their frames, but others included re-wiring lighting facilities in the dining room and basement, designing and constructing a new off-the-ground rack and closure system for the outdoor trash barrel, and washing not only all the windows inside and out, but also the recycling containers. Everything was looking the best it has in years when CD drove up to join me for another week. By now most of the leaves had fallen and the days and nights were quite cool, so we took full advantage of all the work I’d done in the summer and early fall, re-organizing and re-stocking the wood shed, with almost daily fires in the fireplace, which resulted in that lovely wood-smoky aroma, both inside and outdoors. In addition to going through the list of chores necessary to prepare the cabin for closing it down for the winter, we enjoyed more walks along the road (now much more driveable than it had been a week ago) and back in the woods on my trail, though we took care to wear bright red and/or orange at all times so that we’d be readily visible to any hunters who might be afoot.
The day before our final departure was one of those Indian summer days that we dream about all winter long: Mild, calm, clear, and altogether heartbreakingly beautiful. There was a blanket of wispy mist on the lake that shrouded all of the details of the far shore, and as soon as I’d had my cup of coffee, Limo and I went down with the camera and my
favorite tripod to enjoy it (CD had gone to visit Schwes for the day). It was nothing short of magical; the only thing one might have wished for to complete the perfection was the cry of a loon, but this late in the season, they’ve all migrated south before the serious winter sets in.
In the afternoon we went back across the road on my trail one last time, taking in a few of the natural details that never fail to fascinate me, when I can take the time to appreciate them.
Then we worked until CD reappeared, a little before midnight.The last day was, as I had hoped it would be, overcast, dark gray, chilly, and drizzly. I applied myself to packing the van—quite a chore this time, with four guitars, my Yamaha keyboard, mic stands, two chairs, the dolly, and all our usual stuff as well, but there was room for everything. The actual rain held off until I was nearly finished, and we were ready to go a little after noon,
bidding the cabin a most fond farewell for the winter, and already looking forward greatly to our return next April. Auf Wiedersehen!