Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Sun Seeker

The Sunseeker Statue at Allerton Park near Monticello, IL.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A God Of The Garden

Garden of the Gods, Southern Illinois.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sand Ridge State Forest

Took a trip to Sand Ridge State Forest.  The bugs were terrible, but, the views weren't bad.  Would have been nice to be able to really settle down and enjoy them without being swarmed by gnats.  This shot will have to do, and without the bugs, I'll take it!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Holy Page Out Of A Comic Book!

I recently went on an outing to Trinity Lutheran church and was playing
with some HDR in the sanctuary. I've seen so many beautiful HDR images
done in churches, I wanted to give it a shot.

This one didn't have the rich reds and golds I was envisioning, but, I
kept pushing forward. This image is more or less, double processed. I
did the initial edit, then HDR processing, THEN back to push things in
Lightroom for a second time. I thought the end result looked like a
page out of a comic book.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Three Trees In Fog

Headed out for a morning photowalk a couple weeks ago. There wasn't
much fog looking out my kitchen window, but, by the time I got to
Prospect Ave, the fog and mist was really thick!

It really cleans up the background letting these guys stand out in their

Gazebo In Fog

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Smoked Meat - mmmMMM

One week later......

Last weekend, I invited a handful of people over for the first official cookout using the smoker Connie got me for Christmas. After trial runs and horrible (tasty) failures (heh), I had finally felt like I had the process figured out, and none-too-soon; Summer was almost over!! Checked the calendar, found a weekend that seemed to have no conflicts, and it was set!

Several days prior, I picked up a couple of Pork Butts totaling between 14lbs and 16lbs, got them soaking, rubbed down and all that, then, about 5:00am (Yikes!!) Saturday, crawled out of bed to get the smoker started. By about 5:30am, the roasts were on, and the smoker was up to temp by 5:40 or so, and I crawled back to bed. When it is first started, I can get the temperature stable and pretty much leave it for about 4 hours.

Most of the day was spent making final preparations for company, picking up last minute things at the store, icing down beer, sampling the beer to ensure proper coolness, etc.... Early in the afternoon, Connie asked if I was going to make baked beans again, and at that time, I was undecided. It kind of depended on timing, but, I had everything on hand in case I decided to (those boy scout years really paid off).

Backstory: During one of my "failed attempts", I decided to make baked beans, but, didn't want to heat up the house (it was in the heat of Summer) with the oven. So, I thought I'd try putting them on the smoker for a while. They turned out a bit runny, but, delicious!! There was some smoke flavor, and the pork was dripping into the pan of beans. It was over the top!! I had invited a couple of people over - last minute and Jeff U. was the only one that could make it.

Anyway, about 4:00 or so, I decided to go ahead and make the beans. The first thing Jeff asked when he arrived "did you make baked beans again?". Whew!! Good thing I did! haha! My target for having everything finished was 6:00pm, so, most people started showing up around that time. Well, you can't rush these things. The pork wasn't quite ready yet. So, I got out some chips and salsa to snack on. About 6:45, I pulled the pork off the smoker and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes, then, we started pulling it. At that time, it was still amazingly hot! With the help of Jeff and Connie, we got it all pulled in about half an hour, and by 7:30ish we were ready to eat!!

There was a huge mound of pork, the beans, slaw, several potato salads, herbed/roasted potatoes, spinach, chips, desert, and plenty of beer. Based on the amount of left-overs, I have to declare it a success! Everything was delicious!!

At one point, while re-filling my plate, Gordo was in the kitchen scooping the last bit of drippings from the beans on his pork. He declared that he was reuniting the drippings with the roast; it was like a party in his mouth!

After eating, we continued on drinking, telling stories, and just generally relaxing for the next several hours. Basically, we ate, drank, and fun was had by all!

So, I want to thank everyone who came, and to those that didn't....you missed out!!