Anastasia at the Arbo…

Anastasia in color and black and white.  A seniors pictures shoot took Stasia and me to the University of Minnesota Arboretum and specifically to the Japanese Gardens.  The location reminded me of the area surrounding the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. I used a single flash for fill and converted some of the images to black and white for their nifty graphic quality. These days, Stasia is training to be a registered nurse like her mom.



Who Isn’t Irish On St. Paddy’s Day?


And they’re off!  More than 900 runners, led by the Pied Piper, Mark Schnorr, dash out on a 5k race in Excelsior, Minnesota. Its an annual foot race and fundraiser, sponsored by the Excelsior Chamber of Commerce.



In the meantime, 124 runners registered for the 1 mile race, a quickie in town that was dominated by fleet-footed shorties.



A ” doodle” and her mistress were pleased to show the green on Water Street during the 5k run.


Brian Duggan and his earnest running mate Colin Fitzpatrick closed on the finish line, completing the 5k run in under 2 hours!  Colin was no help at all, requiring a brief pit stop on the race course. That’s Colin holding up Brian.


Mike Poehler played tuba in high school and is a member of an area church orchestra, but on Saint Paddy’s Day, he’s returned for the fourth running to serenade anyone within ear shot. He prefers jazz riffs, he says.


The kilted ladies of Waconia.  Jay Pomeroy and Fred Weppner decided to run several 5k’s a year and what better than in Scottish kilts?  Neither has a drop of Scottish blood, by the way. No matter, they had great fun.


The proof’s in the pudding.  A selfie will prove to the disbelieving at work that this greened-out trio did indeed run the Excelsior 5k and finished in under 5 hours.

Minnesota; capitol of jumping into cold water !

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey monitors the air with extended tongue a moment before he plunges into 32 degree water during a fundraiser for Special Olympics.

O-M-G !!!!

What are his chances of surviving a pancake entry?  Hennepin County paramedics were standing by in the event he required patching up.

Minnesotans love spectacle and what could be more thrilling than to witness mass pain? Hundreds, in the name of Special Olympics, filled a standing room only space on the shoreline of Lake Bde Maka Ska, formerly Lake Calhoun.

Coppers too came out in force for the big chill beneath the hill in Minneapolis .

Led by meteorologist Ian Leonard, a flock of duck-people with flipper-feet were poised to join hundreds who dived, fell into, somersaulted and pancaked into nearly frozen lake water.

…………and until this time next year, keep your powder dry and dry socks on your feet.

Crushing Cold at Minnesota Ice Dive

” I’m gonna die right her”. That was Maureen Berende’s fear moments after she emerged from Lake Minnetonka on New Year’s Day. With temps a -14 and the windchill at 27 degree below zero, ice divers in Excelsior faced the second coldest fundraising event since its beginning in 1990.

Eight years ago, in 2010, 980 brave souls jumped and dived into Lake Minnetonka, but brutally cold weather pared the turnout to 352 in 2018 and some of them stepped to the platform, only to turn away, fearful of the 32 degree water. Those who braved the ice dive were lent a helping hand by volunteers, including Excelsior firefighters.

Sloppy Slide for Sclerosis

Its called Muck Ruckus, an all day slog though slime thats reminiscent of Marine Corps boot camp at Paris Island or Camp Pendelton. Its got to be the nastiest fund raiser I’ve shot over the course of 40 years as a news photojournalist.  On the western reaches of  Wisconsin hill country, hundreds of runners took on the course with all its exhausting challenges.

Muscular sclerosis, a degenerative neurological disease, brought competitors from Wisconsin and Minnesota to the Muck Ruckus challenge to raise money for research toward a cure for the disease.


Keeping Track

Over the years, Kari and I have found time to document the changes she’s seen in her daughters. This time she asked that we include a water setting as autumn began to encroach on a Minnesota summer. They look so Minne-soada, don’t they…..straight outta Oslo, Norway!

Prepping for Christmas

Matt and Tina told a friend, ” We got this guy ” when asked about family portraits. So, I recently joined them, the kids and a Frenchie named Presley for a Christmas card shoot. The setting was marvelous; an 1800’s barn on their property that was camera ready for a fun family fotoshoot. The barn is flair. I’ve done several portrait shoots in what, many decades ago, was the hay mow.

A Birthday Blast for Arthur

Do you remember the day two candles were embedded in a cake and you were told to BLOW?  Probably not.  I can’t.  But some day, when he can appreciate his past and the important milestones of his young self, Arthur will have these to remind him how innocent childhood can be.

Four year old Collette and his mom, Anne ( unspecified age) guided wee Arthur through a two year old’s first big time celebration. Off camera during these moments, his Dad Nick low-keyed his way through the birthday bash. I’m pretty sure he washed little Arthur’s face and hands before lunch was served to an extended family of party-goers.

Rural Americana

The last time Allen Hoida drove tractor on his father’s farm, he was about to graduate high school and he was to soon to take wing from the proverbial nest. That was nearly six decades ago. The author Thomas Wolfe proclaimed ” You Cant Go Home Again”. Al Hoida did. After a long career in telephone communications, he and his wife Judy returned to a then abandoned farm on the edge of Montana Lake, about 40 miles north of Green Bay, Wisconsin. In retirement, Al says he’s a collector. In various outbuildings, there are aging but functioning tractors, including his father George’s 1941 Farmall. There are lawn mowers too. Three of them and they don’t look all that new either.

Where he and his siblings helped milk about a dozen cows, Al has created a wooodshop. I recently returned to the farm for a visit.. We had a history, having wrestled on the same team until he graduated and I later became acquainted with one of his sisters.  I think Thomas Wolfe had someone else in mind when he wrote his novel, ” Y0u Cant Go Home Again”.