Thursday, September 30, 2010

Autumn Colors, Continued

Thursday, September 30, 2010. Here are some of those photos:

Lake Wobegon Trail, east of Sauk Centre. September 24, 2010.

Pretty much the same scene, just more of it. September 24, 2010.

And in the distance: turkey barns. September 24, 2010.

Light, shade, grass a fence, and an SUV. September 24, 2010.

There's more where those came from. Whether that's a promise or a warning depends on what you think of autumn scenes. I like this time of year - as you've probably already guessed.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I.O.U. Photos

Wednesday, September 29, 2010. Trust me: I've got some nice photos to show. But not quite yet. Tomorrow, by mid-afternoon. I hope. Thanks for your patience.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall Colors, St. Michael's Hospital, and Maybe O'Reilly Auto Parts

Sunday, September 26, 2010. If you read the Sauk Centre Herald, you've learned that St. Michael's has signed a letter of intent, getting the ball rolling on a possible partnership. I gather the arrangements are intended to keep a medical facility here in Sauk Centre. With, I trust, some degree of local control.

It's definitely fall now. I'll be taking my hummingbird feeder in soon: it's been out there, on the off chance that a straggler might need refueling. Besides, I've been a little distracted this last week: water on two floors of the house. (More in
Through One Dad's Eye.)

Some trees have - let's call it "subtle" colors. September 24, 2010.

Some seem in a rush to get leaf-shedding over with, others have barely begun. September 24, 2010.

On railroad Avenue, looking southeast: Lake Wobegon Trail's a half-block over, on the left. September 24, 2010.

There's a peak to the autumn colors here: and my guess is that we're not at it yet. September 24, 2010.

Then there are fiery displays like this. September 24, 2010.

It's not all bright colors in the fall. September 24, 2010.

This is one of my favorite views in Sauk Centre: down Grove Lake Street, looking toward St. Paul's church. September 24, 2010.

I learned that the construction by South 12th and Fairlane Drive is probably going to be an O'Reilly Auto Parts store. A tip of the hat to sabrinabeans, who left a comment on a post in the Sauk Centre Journal Blog.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Last Day of Summer/First Day of Autumn (Almost)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010. Hummingbirds, if they had any sense, will have evacuated central Minnesota by now. I haven't seen any at my feeder this week: and the ones I saw before that seemed to be pulling their heads down between their shoulders. Or where their shoulders would be. I'm keeping my 'eye on the street' webcam going, though: There's still a bit to see at Ash and South 9th.

Whatever's being built at Fairlane Drive and South 12th is taking shape. There are a few posts above ground level now. September 22, 2010.

Same place, different angle. September 22, 2010.

Today - tonight, actually - is the autumn equinox, so summer is more-or-less officially over and autumn begun. Some of the trees around town jumped the gun and started turning early.

Let's not call that "overcast." It's a day with indirect lighting. September 22, 2010.

South Ash Street: This tree puts on a pretty good show, most years. I caught it just past peak, I think. September 22, 2010.

Closer to downtown: An early adapter, I suppose you could call that yellow tree. September 22, 2010.

There are a few autumnal trees near the end of Sinclair Lewis Avenue: but mostly I was getting a picture of the clouds. September 22, 2010.

Back on South Ash. September 22, 2010.

I went out this afternoon to get a few photos - and get a look at the sky. We'd been promised heavy rain: which seems to be going well to our south. Can't say that I'm disappointed.

Fairlane Drive, looking toward the Central Minnesota Federal Credit Union building. Around mid-afternoon, it looked like we really would get rain. Turned out to be a no-show, though. September 22, 2010.

I've been a big distracted this week - since really early Friday morning, actually, when a pipe burst in the laundry room. Things could have been a lot worse. I've been writing about what's been happening in my personal blog.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Burst Pipe in the Laundry Room: Amazingly Distracting

Sunday, September 19, 2010. As I realize that I won't have time or energy to finish today's entry, I am reminded of a none-too-amusing story.

It's not as well known as, say, the Great Chicago Fire, but quite a bit of Fargo North Dakota burned to the ground in The Fire of 1893. There was a brisk wind that day, which didn't help.

The start of the fire was a sort of good news - bad news situation. Good news: there was a fire department building close to where the fire started. Bad news: the truck was out, sprinkling the streets. That was just as well, in a way, since the building the truck was housed in caught fire rather promptly.

All of which may not seem to have much to do with Sauk Centre, Minnesota, here at the beginning of the 21st century.

Actually, it doesn't.

The pipe that burst in my laundry room in the wee hours of Friday morning didn't start a fire. I stayed up all night to make sure of that: a sensible action, I think, since water was drizzling into the basement in the vicinity of our main circuit breaker pane. I trust that piece of technology - but only so far.

I posted an update on my personal situation this morning in my personal blog, and will update that sooner or later.

I've got photos and observations to share: but between Friday's all-nighter and dealing with the aftermath, I haven't got them ready.

Sorry about that. Unless there's some more unexpected excitement, I expect to be caught up at least by my regular Wednesday entry.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Clear Skies, Pouring Concrete, Dreary Rain, Blowing Insulation

Thursday, September 16, 2010. Our part of central Minnesota has been enjoying - or experiencing - 'typical' autumn weather this week. Starting with Monday: the sky, almost cloudless; the temperatures, nearly perfect; the wind, just enough to discourage mosquitoes.

Construction site on South 12th and Fairlane Drive. September 13, 2010.

Whatever's being built on the south side, on 12th Street South and Fairlane drive, has a floor now. The construction crew was pouring it on Monday. That extension arm with a hose in it, sending concrete out to where it's wanted, is a big improvement over the fill-a-wheel-barrow-and-trundle-it 'good old days.'.

Several blocks north, on Ash Street, Our Lady of the Angels Church was getting some maintenance work done: the sort of thing that isn't all that exciting, and won't get noticed. Unless it isn't done.

Bell tower maintenance at Our Lady of the Angels church. September 13, 2010.

Great view: but he's got a job to do. September 13, 2010.

Back at Coborn's, still Monday afternoon: a beautiful, wonderful, delightful autumn day. The sort of day that chambers of commerce write about, and that you see on postcards.

Monday afternoon, outside Coborn's, about 3:30: 'typical' autumn weather. September 13, 2010.

Those are 'fall mums,' if my memory serves. And, like I said, Monday was one of those wonderful, delightful autumn days. Yesterday, not so much.

Construction site around 4:00: too wet to work. September 15, 2010.

The restoration project at our neighbor's place, across the street north, is proceeding. They had insulation blown in on Wednesday. It was sort-of-raining at the time.

Insulation going in, around noon. September 15, 2010.

Later in the day, there wasn't any question about it. We had rain. Not hard enough to be interesting, or get us in the news: just enough to get a person wet, walking from a parking spot into a building.

The parking lot for Coborn's and Ace Hardware, about 4:00 in the afternoon. September 15, 2010.

So far, today, the streets are dry and street lighting is off. But this is Minnesota, so the weather will probably change.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Faces of Autumn; Candy Downtown

Sunday, September 12, 2010. It felt like early autumn today: perfect temperature, just enough wind to discourage mosquitoes, not a cloud in the sky.

Friday's weather was like early autumn, too: another aspect of the season.

Gray sky, gray lake, someone out in a boat on Sauk Lake. September 10, 2010.

That's one thing I like about Minnesota: Our weather isn't boring.

There's something new on the west side of Main ("The Original Main Street" on the signs). I'm not sure if "Sweet Stop Candy Shop" is a separate business: That's something to find out this week.

Something new on Main: a candy shop. September 10, 2010.

Main Street Theatre's new secondary entrance: Now with digital sign. And yes, the car has its headlights on: about an hour after noon. September 10, 2010.

And school has started, so there's a torrent of teens and elementary students going past my house, weekday afternoons around 3:00. My 'eye on the street' webcam's live feed of that, and the less exciting hours of the day, are at Small Town America: Minnesota. Technical issues and the innate perversity of inanimate objects permitting, of course.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What a Beautiful Day!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010. It's been a nearly-perfect day: nearly-clear skies, a bit of a breeze, and a high around 67.

My neighbors across the street, north, have a crew at work repairing and restoring what was damaged in Friday's fire.

The restoration crew was blowing something out of the neighbor's house this morning. Maybe insulation. September 8, 2010.

Restoration work at Ash and South 9th: Even with one of the men spraying the dumpster, some of the dust got away from them. September 8, 2010.

I've turned my 'Small Town America: Minnesota' webcam to face the restoration work, and plan to keep it that way until the neighbors get caught up to where they were before the fire.

Meanwhile, down by South 12th, whatever's being built is moving toward completion. This afternoon they were digging at the west end of the site.

Excavating for - something - at the west end of the construction site on South 12th. September 8, 2010.

I'm trying to decide whether to ask around and find out what's being planned for that Fairlane Drive & South 12th construction: or have the fun of being surprised when its finished.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Labor Day Traffic, New Construction and a Fire Next Door

Sunday, September 5, 2010. Labor Day weekend is about half over now. I experienced a little of the early Labor Day traffic on Friday: more about that later.

The old joke about Minnesota's four seasons - fall, winter, spring, and road work - applies to streets, too. Given a choice, the only time you'd want to try digging up a street around here is when water isn't frozen, about to be frozen, or melting. I don't know what was going on, a block east of Marc'ette Place flower shop, on South Pine last Thursday: aside from the obvious. A crew was digging out the top few yards of pavement and soil.

Street work. September 2, 2010.

Foundations for whatever's being built on South 12th, south of Ace Hardware, are taking shape. I doubt they'll be done with construction before winter: but I've been wrong before.

New construction on the south side: 12th and Fairland Drive. September 3, 2010.

I spent Friday morning and the first part of the afternoon in St. Cloud. My guess is that on the way back I was sharing the Interstate with folks getting an early start on Labor Day weekend. They were sensible drivers for the most part: but I'll gladly stay off the roads this weekend.

The few who want to drive above the speed limit, don't realize that slower traffic goes in the right lane, or otherwise depart from the path of wisdom, make driving in moderately heavy traffic a trifle more exciting than I like.

On my way home, turning north on Ash, I saw flashing lights ahead. As I got to the Fairground's main entrance, I could see at least one fire truck near South 9th and Ash. Getting closer, it looked like most of the Sauk Centre Police and Fire departments were parked outside my place.

That isn't the most calming sight.

Fire trucks, police cars: It could have been worse. September 3, 2010.

Still closer, and I could see that whatever was going on was - apparently - on the north side of my house. Turns out, that yard was being used as a sort of utility area by the fire crew.

Our neighbors across the street north did not have a good day on Friday. I haven't learned just what happened, aside from a fire somewhere inside. Nobody was hurt, as far as I know: but whatever it was had at least two trucks from the fire department out here.

The fire crew was wrapping things up by the time I got home. September 3, 2010.

He's not trying to strangle the fire hose. They're getting water out before going back to the station. September 3, 2010.

Putting out a fire: there's a lot of people and equipment involved. September 3, 2010.

Aside from that, it's been a fairly quiet weekend here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Andy's Wok License Revoked, Buildings in Transition

Wednesday, September 1, 2010. I read in yesterday's Sauk Centre Herald that the Stearns County Board of Adjustment revoked the license for Andy's Wok, downtown. That's not good news: but after all the warnings, it would have been prudent to clean the place up. I'm going to miss that place. (August 1, 2010, June 30, 2010)

Movers took a house right past my place Thursday morning: and I missed it! I've heard that they took the place that had been built on school property, on the back parking lot, around 7:00 a.m. or so - and even then had to ask some folks to move their cars.

The place is on south 2nd now, with a fine view of the lake: and a lot of work going on inside.

Delivered: one house, some assembly required. August 30, 2010.

Here's the same place, from the back/north side, looking across Lake Wobegon Trail. August 30, 2010.

A building on south Main is going through a transition again. Years back, it was the Independent Community Bankers Association (IBAA) building.

Since then it's been the West Central Education District building, used for Early Childhood/Family Education classes and later the BEACON program. (I didn't remember all that: I got the names from this week's Sauk Herald.) The program(s) aren't necessarily ending - The folks are moving to "the district building on State Road." The move is a way to economize, I gather.

The building will be left empty and then sold, or maybe something else. Whatever decision is made, I'm glad I don't have to be the one making it.