The 4.0 Challenge: Take Two

So fellow travelers,  when last we checked in on the 4.0 challenge, we were standing at a 3.8 mile point listening to a flock of redwing blackbirds herald the impending return of spring.

Knowing the other direction off this first route would bring me to a busy commercial district during peak after work “busy-ness” hours I opted to back track home.  I reset my odometer as I passed my driveway and headed the other way down the road. At the first intersection I had to choose whether to turn left or right.  Right would take me on a long road lined with farms and fields. Easy fodder for photographic opportunities, maybe even too easy. I turned left.

Left placed me on a route which passed an elementary school. several zombie like semi-melted snowpersons and many houses, one of them the residence of my son-in-laws parents. Note to self : my “fellow-in-laws” live exactly 3.2 miles from us and it has been too long since we got together for good food and drinks; call them asap.  A few minutes later I was pleased to see a small triangle park which hosts free music events and an art fair every summer come into view just as the numbers rolled over to 3.9

Slowing down to be sure to note the exact location of the 4.0 point I realized most of the park was still buried under heavy snow cover, however the sidewalks around the park were clear.  Unfortunately, because the park is in the center of a small village, across from several popular eateries, not a single parking spot was open along the park or for several blocks in the immediate area.  I would have to come back at a better time.

That time would prove to be very early in the morning a few days later.  I was heading out of town on a road trip to Bucks County PA to hear author Jon Katz speak at a fund raiser event for Nor’Western Readers Canine Assisted Learning Program.  Several CGBF friends would be attending and the trip gave me an opportunity to visit my parents who live nearby.  Traveling solo afforded me the opportunity to stop at will for any photo ops which might catch my eye.  So I pulled into a parking spot alongside the park right at the 4.0 mile mark.


I am still garnering experience in working with my digital camera settings but I sense I am getting better at figuring out which shutter speeds and f/stops to use in given conditions.  I practice by shooting the same shot using different settings.

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Glenn’s challenge directs us to look around at the 4.0 mark and see whats there in unique ways.


Hmmm….. ok…. a lighthouse in the center of town is somewhat unique.

And I liked the lines these park benches made against the snow



I know there’s a bit of Haiku hiding in this image.

Oh and look here in the snow, something for the group thread on what melting snow reveals


Never mind why  someone chucked an empty oil container and of course I just picked it up and put it in my car to dispose of properly later.   Hello, what’s that sound?

No it’s not  redwing blackbirds, this time it is the thrum thrum of a blackhawk


Yes I know it’s probably not really a blackhawk, but I was thrilled to find the right shutter speed to capture a freeze frame of it’s roters before it whirred out of range.

As I watched it zip away that’s when I saw it.


A clock? Wait,since when did this park have an old style clock?


Oh ok, it is a relatively new addition and  I give myself some leeway since the clock sits at the apex of the triangle shaped park ( go back and look closely at the wide shot of the park) where busy traffic zooms by on either side and I am always focused on being in the correct lane for getting through the intersection.

Deep snowbanks on one side and the busy intersection on the other meant I would have to shoot from a side angle or looking straight up. It took several tries which resulted in two shots I consider post worthy.  One I edited in black and white so the tree arms “holding” the clock face stand out more….



and then this image  which I got by happy accident, hitting the button while adjusting focus




There’s a poem in there somewhere.


Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready. 




Deborah H Rahalski

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