Day 22: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly in SE Wisconsin

Let’s start with the good.  Sparkle and Dee didn’t give me any trouble today.  But the end of the day was marred by another Duck incident.

This time in the wild rather than at a historic theme park.  It was supposed to have been a last-call quickie in the river.  Unbeknownst to me, there were a couple of ducks there.  At first, I was not concerned when I saw Nik heading towards them.  But then they didn’t fly away — only sort of scampering on the water.  Now I’m beginning to wonder how well ducks fly — apparently not well.  Instead, the one Nik had locked eyes on was diving under and resurfacing just a few feet away.   Apparently, this duck was not used to predators.  It was looking bad — Nik had tailfeathers in his mouth and lifted the duck out of the water.  Then the duck just stayed above water right next to Nik — stunned I guess.  Nik eyed the duck’s neck and I was screaming at him in my most threatening and demanding voice.  He looked at me, looked at duck, considered options — then the other duck came by and Nik decided that one looked a lot more animated and swam after him/her.  The previous duck swam away.  Then the second duck flew a bit and got away.  I got Nik and got him in the van.  I saw the duck that had been attacked was swimming at least — thank god — maybe injured but I couldn’t tell.  Dammit!  I’m really going to have to scan water sources a lot more closely for any signs of ducks, geese, etc.

Weather — great fluctuations today.  Decent enough most of the time — but two big thunderstorms that cost a bit of shooting time.  The torrential, gotta-pull-over and wait type.  Grey skies, of course, before and after the rain and more “reshoot in sun” notes on my list.  So I’m just banging along at the list, in order, taking what the gods give me.

That grey in the background was coming towards us…  This is Daddy Maxwell’s Arctic Circle Diner in Williams Bay.  Their sign said since 1987.  Their website shows an igloo which I assume refers to this dome structure on the right.  I’m betting there was another restaurant here — maybe just “THE” Arctic Circle? — maybe a drive-in — and the rest of the building added later.



From Beloit.  Nothing says “tavern” like a lantern — but this is the biggest lantern I’ve ever seen:



Also Beloit.  Had to be a gas station originally.  Maybe a standard icebox style station that was later dressed up like this?  I can’t imagine the work that went into this:


A pretty little former icebox station (if you don’t know what I meant by that) — in Machesney Park, IL.  The entire mini trip to Illinois was miserable weather:



A few shots from Rockford, IL — taken before, during & after major rain:

The former Auburn Theatre — converted to retail use — now vacant:

The “Rockmen Guardians” — built 1987:
Bad enough shooting in rain — but even less light under trees:

A couple of signs that would look 120% better with blue backgrounds:

Ah — back to Wisconsin where the sun was out — from Janesville:

In Milton.  Meyer’s Farm Market has had a lot of bad luck with their giant pumpkin lately.  Just last month, the second pumpkin was knocked off their silo.
Here’s Sparkle’s butt with the silo for scale:

The pumpkin’s stem:

I believe these are the remains from both pumpkins:



On to Columbus — the store is gone, the sign remains.  An antiques store in the space below now:

Across the street — and losing the light — just another Louis Sullivan gem:
I try to see these buildings when I can even though I don’t have a spot at my website for them.  Not really my era — but his stuff is simply fantastic:



Plans for tomorrow — we should get through Madison, The Dells, and lots more central Wisconsin.  And then a lot more Northeast WI probably Monday.



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