September trip to Cray, Mendota Heights (Minnesota)

Another kind of late post about a past trip. Hopefully It'll be the last one and the rest would appear much sooner after the trip or perhaps even in almost real time?

So in September 2009 right after our Hawaiian vacation I was asked to come help Cray with some matters and spend two weeks at their facility in Mendota Heights which is a small town near Minneapolis in Minnesota. This entry won't touch any of the Cray bussines, though. It'll concentrate on various things we saw in the area.

First thing we noticed was significantly higher amount of wandering Canadian geese often crossing street at random.

п⌠я┐я│п╦ п©п╣я─п╣я┘п╬п╢я▐я┌ п╢п╬я─п╬пЁя┐ п╡ п╫п╣п©п╬п╩п╬п╤п╣п╫п╫п╬п╪ п╪п╣я│я┌п╣

Of course we do have these geese in Tennessee too, but in much smaller numbers.

Even the immediate area surrounding Minneapolis is known for its wildlife.

п≤п╫п╢п╣п╧п╨п╦ п©п╣я─п╣п╠п╣пЁп╟я▌я┌ п╬я─п╬пЁя┐
Wild turkeys crossing a rural road.

п▒п╣п╩п╟я▐ я├п╟п©п╩я▐ (Egret)

п▒п╣п╩п╟я▐ я├п╟п©п╩я▐ (Egret)
Egret perched on a fence near water.

п║я┌п╟я▐ п©п╣п╩п╦п╨п╟п╫п╬п╡
Big swarm of what turned out to be pelicans.

п║я┌п╟я▐ п©п╣п╩п╦п╨п╟п╫п╬п╡ п©я─п╦п╥п╣п╪п╩я▐п╣я┌я│я▐
The swarm is landing.

п°п╬п╩п╬п╢п╬п╧ п©п╣п╩п╦п╨п╟п╫
Young pelican that was not afraid to come somewhat close to us.

While we were in Minnesota I heard that this is a great state to see wild Bald Eagles this is a pretty interesting topic for me as I wanted to make some pictures of them for quite some time.
Having done some research we decided to go to the Sherburne Wildlife Refugee as a place where a lot of these eagles lived.

It was Sunday and we arrived in the afternoon so we have not seen anyone aside from a couple of other spectators. Even the visitor center was closed.

п▒п╣я─п╣п╥п╨п╦ п╡ п╥п╟п©п╬п╡п╣п╢п╫п╦п╨п╣
Birch trees near the wildlife observation road loop.

п⌡я▀я│я▀п╧ п╬я─п╣п╩ (п╠п╣п╩п╬пЁп╬п╩п╬п╡я▀п╧ п╬я─п╩п╟п╫) п╫п╟ п╢п╣я─п╣п╡п╣
The mission was a partial success, we did see the Bald Eagles. The downside was they were very far away. Here is an example of a shot we got (this is with 560mm lens, overall view and zoom into the eagle).

пёя┌п╨п╦ п╫п╟ п╢п╣я─п╣п╡п╣
Aside from bald eagles the refugee also has a lot of other wildlife. Most of it hid well, though. These are ducks perched on a tree, something we have not seen before.

п⌠я┐я│п╦ п╩п╣я┌я▐я┌

п⌠я┐я│п╦ п╩п╣я┌я▐я┌

пёя┌п╨п╦ п╩п╣я┌я▐я┌
Probably a sign of the Fall, a lot of migratory birds flying around.

п⌠п╫п╣п╥п╢п╬ п╩я▀я│п╬пЁп╬ п╬я─п╩п╟
The sign said this is a Bald Eagle Nest. Empty due to the time of the year. This one was much closer than the tree with eagles, so it's a pity eagles don't use the nest in the Fall.

Overall the refugee trip was pretty disappointing.

п≈п╟я▐я├ я┐ п╬я┌п╣п╩я▐
After we returned from the refugee, we saw a rabbit on a lawn in front of our hotel. We still did not get used to such a close appearances of wildlife. As we approached the rabbit it just jumped under nearby tree and remained there. We even used our headlights to create some light for picturing it.

п≈п╟я▐я├ я┐ п╬я┌п╣п╩я▐
The rabbit looked like it planned to sleep under that tree even when we tried to come up close it was not very distrbed and certainly car headlights shining on it did not bother it the slightest.

п≈п╟я▐я├ я┐ п╬я┌п╣п╩я▐
After some time of walking around we finally managed to annoy the rabbit and it decided to move under another nearby tree where we lost sight of it.

These pictures taken in pretty dark condition highlight excellent high-ISO capabilities of Canon 1D Mark III camera. Taken at ISO6400 and then added almost two stops in post processing approaching effective ISO 25600. Very remarkable.

Shopping for food we found another excellent American Portions demonstration, a super-big sandwich:

п▒я┐я┌п╣я─п╠я─п╬п╢п╦п╨

One of local coworkers recommended Wabasha Street Bridge in St. Paul as a nice photo spot and so we went there on one evening. The location turned out to be pretty nice indeed.

п≈п╟п╨п╟я┌ п╡ п║п╣п╫я┌-п÷п╬п╩п╣ я│ п╪п╟п╩п╦п╫п╬п╡п╬пЁп╬ п╬я│я┌я─п╬п╡п╟
Walking across a smaller bridge to Raspberry Island we caught this nice view of St.Paul right after sunset.

п÷п╬п╢ Wabasha Street Bridge
Under Wabasha Street Bridge.

Wabasha Street Bridge п©п╬я│п╩п╣ п╥п╟п╨п╟я┌п╟
Wabasha street bridge from Raspberry Island in the evening.

п║п╣п╫я┌п÷п╬п╩, п╡п╦п╢ я│ п╪п╟п╩п╦п╫п╬п╡п╬пЁп╬ п╬я│я┌я─п╬п╡п╟
Shot in the other direction.

Wabasha Street Bridge п╫п╬я┤я▄я▌
Wabasha bridge from a bit farther away.

п║п╣п╫я┌п÷п╬п╩, п╡п╣я─я┌п╦п╨п╟п╩я▄п╫я▀п╧ п©п╬п╢я┼п╣п╪п╫я▀п╧ п╤п╣п╩п╣п╥п╫п╬п╢п╬я─п╬п╤п╫я▀п╧ п╪п╬я│я┌ Union Pacific
Part of Union Pacific vertical lift rail bridge.

Wabasha Street Bridge п╫п╬я┤я▄я▌
Wabasha bridge from even more farther away, almost at the edge of the Raspberry Island.

п▓п╦п╢ я│ п╪п╟п╩п╦п╫п╬п╡п╬пЁп╬ п╬я┌я│я─п╬п╡п╟ п╫п╟ п°п╦я│я│п╦я│п╦п©п╦ п╦ п║п╣п╫я┌п÷п╬п╩
St. Paul view at night.

Wabasha Street Bridge п╫п╬я┤я▄я▌
From under the Wabasha bridge.

Have not given up on Bald Eagles idea, we decided to go to National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN on next Saturday before our trip back. The hope was to might be see wild eagles around there as was reported, but in reality we saw none. The best time to see wild Bald Eagles in that area is at Winter when eagles come to catch fish in rare patches of open water in the river ice.

пёп╩п╦я┤п╫я▀п╣ я┐п╨я─п╟я┬п╣п╫п╦я▐

пёп╩п╦я├п╟ Wabasha

п║п╨я┐п╩я▄п©я┌я┐я─я▀ п╦п╥ я┌я▀п╨п╡ п╫п╟ я┐п╩п╦я├п╟я┘ Wabsaha
On the way to Wabasha we saw surprisingly big number of bikers coming in the same direction. Turned out September 19 is a Septoberfest day with a lot of street decorations and tons of beer-related activity. I guess October is too cold in Minnesota already so they must push their beer festival to September.

The National Eagle Center is a home to some eagles that don't qualify to be called wild anymore. All of them were found with injuries of various degrees that even after healing they won't be able to survive in the wild. The Center also has a lot of expositions explaining various things about eagles, classes, etc. Not the least is the observation deck from which you can see the Mississippi river and (in the winter, I guess) eagles circling over the water.

п≈п╬п╩п╬я┌п╬п╧ п╬я─п╣п╩ п■п╬п╫п╟п╩я▄п╢
Golden Eagle Donald. Transferred here in 2008 from California where it was hit by a car. Donald's wing was broken in two places and it is unable to fly.

п⌡я▀я│я▀п╧ п╬я─п╣п╩ п п╬п╩п╟п╪п╠п╦я▐

п⌡я▀я│я▀п╧ п╬я─п╣п╩ п п╬п╩п╟п╪п╠п╦я▐

п⌡я▀я│я▀п╧ п╬я─п╣п╩ п п╬п╩п╟п╪п╠п╦я▐
Bald Eagle Columbia. Hit by a van on Dec 31, 2001 in Wisconsin while feeding on a dead deer. The impact broke her wing near the shoulder and even after surgery and therapeutic procedures she did not regain ability to fly. Transferred to the Center in January 2003.

п·я─п╩п╦п╫п╟я▐ п╨п╬я│я┌я▄ п п╬я│я┌я▄ п╣п╫п╬я┌п╟
Part of the exposition about bird physiology comparing bones of a racoon (right) and an eagle. We can see that the eagle bone is empty inside and much more lighter as a result, but still pretty rigid.

п°п╬я│я┌ Wabasha, я┬п╬я│я│п╣ 25, п╡п╦п╢ я│ п╠п╟п╩п╨п╬п╫п╟ п╫п╟я├п╦п╬п╫п╟п╩я▄п╫п╬пЁп╬ п╬я─п╩п╦п╫п╬пЁп╬ я├п╣п╫я┌я─п╟
Wabasha bridge.

п╔п╬п╩п╪п╦п╨ п╡ п▓п╦я│п╨п╬п╫я│п╦п╫п╣

п⌡п╬п╢п╨п╟
View from the observation deck to the Mississippi river and the other side of the river (which is already in Wisconsin).

п▒п╣я─п╣пЁ п°п╦я│я│п╦я│п╦п©п╦
Mississippi river.

п▓п╦п╢ п╫п╟ п╫п╟я├п╦п╬п╫п╟п╩я▄п╫я▀п╧ п╬я─п╩п╦п╫я▀п╧ я├п╣п╫я┌я─ я│п╬ я│я┌п╬я─п╬п╫я▀ я─п╣п╨п╦

п▓п╦п╢ п╫п╟ п╫п╟я├п╦п╬п╫п╟п╩я▄п╫я▀п╧ п╬я─п╩п╦п╫я▀п╧ я├п╣п╫я┌я─ я│п╬ я│я┌п╬я─п╬п╫я▀ пЁп╬я─п╬п╢п╟
This is how the center looks like from outside.

п╓п╬п╫я┌п╟п╫я▀ п╦ п╡п╦п╢ п╫п╟ п╪п╬я│я┌

п╓п╬п╫я┌п╟п╫я┤п╦п╨ я┐ п╫п╟я├п╦п╬п╫п╟п╩я▄п╫п╬пЁп╬ п╬я─п╩п╦п╫п╬пЁп╬ я├п╣п╫я┌я─п╟ п╓п╬п╫я┌п╟п╫я┤п╦п╨ я┐ п╫п╟я├п╦п╬п╫п╟п╩я▄п╫п╬пЁп╬ п╬я─п╩п╦п╫п╬пЁп╬ я├п╣п╫я┌я─п╟
Fountain near the Center.

пёп╨я─п╟я┬п╣п╫п╦я▐ п©п╬ я│п╩я┐я┤п╟я▌ Septoberfest 2009

пёп╨я─п╟я┬п╣п╫п╦я▐ п©п╬ я│п╩я┐я┤п╟я▌ Septoberfest 2009

п║п╨я┐п╩я▄п©я┌я┐я─я▀ п╬я─п╩п╬п╡ п╦п╥ п╬п╡п╬я┴п╣п╧

я┐п╩п╦я┤п╫я▀п╣ я┐п╨я─п╟я┬п╣п╫п╦я▐
Some more decorations around the town.

п≈я┐п╠п╫п╬п╧ п╨п╟п╠п╦п╫п╣я┌
A dentist office. Anyone willing to visit? ;)

п п╟я┌п╬п╩п╦я┤п╣я│п╨п╟я▐ я├п╣я─п╨п╬п╡я▄ я│п╡. п╓п╣п╩п╦п╨я│п╟

п п╟я┌п╬п╩п╦я┤п╣я│п╨п╟я▐ я├п╣я─п╨п╬п╡я▄ я│п╡. п╓п╣п╩п╦п╨я│п╟
St. Felix Church.

п п╬п╩п╬п╫п╫п╟ п╠п╟п╧п╨п╣я─п╬п╡ п╫п╟ п©п╣я─п╣п╨я─п╣я│я┌п╨п╣

п▒п╟п╧п╨п╣я─я▀ п╫п╟ п╥п╟п©я─п╟п╡п╨п╣
A lot of bikers everywhere around the town.

п п╬п╩п╬п╫п╫п╟ п╠п╟п╧п╨п╣я─п╬п╡ п╫п╟ я┘п╟п╧п╡п╣п╣
On the way back we were accompanied by a lot of bikers as well.

пёп╨п╟п╥п╟я┌п╣п╩я▄ п╫п╟ я┐п╩п╦я├я┐ я│п╣п╡п╟я│я┌п╬п©п╬п╩я▄я│п╨я┐я▌
Familiar street name.

п╔п╟я│п╦п╫пЁя│п╨п╦п╧ п╡я▀я│п╬п╨п╦п╧ п╪п╬я│я┌
Another bridge (Hastings High Bridge) on the way back. Recent inspecion conducted after recent twin-cities bridge collapse on I-35W turned out that it was unsafe and so it was scheduled to be demolished or renovated in 2010. Originally the bridge was planned to be demolished in 2019.

The two weeks passed by quite quickly and it was time to go home again.

п≈п╟п╨п╟я┌ я│п╨п╡п╬п╥я▄ п╦п╩п╩я▌п╪п╦п╫п╟я┌п╬я─

Comments

WOW!

so beatifull i love it post

Nice work:)