Rest in Peace Jordan the Golden Retriever

Posted on February 12th, 2013 by by Pete

Golden Sleeper, originally uploaded by pmarkham.

It has been a couple of weeks now since we made the decision to euthanize Jordan the Golden Retriever. I miss him every single day. Jordan was a retired Helping Paws Service Dog. He came to my house after working for eight years as a service dog for a woman with Cerebral Palsy. He lived to be 15 years old. His last year was difficult as arthritis in his back robbed him of strength in his back legs and caused him pain. We finally said goodbye to him as it became clear that the pain medicines were no longer keeping up and simple tasks like climbing the stairs became impossibly hard for him.

Jordan was one of an extraordinary group of dogs that I’ve had the privilege of sharing my life with over the years. My thanks to the entire Helping Paws family for sharing him with my family.

I now embark on a new stage of my life. For the first time in 14 years, I don’t have a dog in my life. It is a very weird feeling. We had a family meeting and all decided that we will get another dog, but we will be choosy about which dog. We don’t have the time right now for a puppy. We will be looking for a medium to large dog that will be good with young kids and a pair of very active cats. We love both Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers, but will consider any dog — including mixed breeds. It is more about their personality than their looks. I’ve already been scouring the various local rescue groups and humane societies. Do you know of anyone looking for a new home for a good dog? Let me know!


Photo of the Week – Sleepy Kitty

Posted on December 28th, 2012 by by Pete

Sleepy Kitty, originally uploaded by pmarkham.

Domino the Kitten has been an enjoyable source of photography amusement. Here I captured her snoozing after spending all morning climbing up and down the Christmas Tree. Naughty kitty.

Photo of the Week: A Dark and Stormy NIght

Posted on November 17th, 2012 by by Pete

For the first time, I visited Split Rock Lighthouse on the anniversary of the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald. On November 10, 1975 the Fitzgerald sank in a terrible storm on Lake Superior with the loss of all hands. The Fitzgerald was a bulk iron ore freighter.

The weather was absolutely awful at Split Rock during my visit. It was raining. It was windy. It was cold. There were 5 foot waves crashing into the shore. I only stayed long enough to snap a few photos before retreating to the AmericInn in Silver Bay, MN for an evening of fun with my kids in the pool and on the waterslide.

Photo of the Week: Domino the Kitten – Week 2

Posted on October 30th, 2012 by by Pete

Domino the Kitten – Week 2, originally uploaded by pmarkham.

Domino is into her second week with us and things are going well. I’ve taken a zillion photos of her and had a great time doing it.

Photo of the Week: Domino – Our New Kitten

Posted on October 21st, 2012 by by Pete

Meet Domino – Our New Kitten, originally uploaded by pmarkham.

We adopted a new kitten from the Animal Humane Society in Buffalo, MN last week. She was just short of two months old and is absolutely adorable. She had been brought to the Humane Society a few days previously along with her momma and her siblings. Someone had found them and brought them in. We spent an hour trying out various cats, but this little tyke stole our hearts.

My daughter came up with the name. If you didn’t notice she is black and white — like a domino, so it seemed like a good fit.

Our job now is to slowly introduce her to our current kitty, Flurry. The two have seen each other, and Flurry is NOT thrilled about the idea of another cat being her yet. So far all she has done is growled and hissed at Domino. I think if we give her some time, they’ll work it out. In the meantime, when Domino can’t be supervised, she is living in one of the bathrooms in the house where we know she’ll be safe. I’m sure you’ll see LOTS more photos of her over the coming years.

Photo Set of the Week: Fall Leaves

Posted on October 8th, 2012 by by Pete

It has been an incredible fall for fall colors. I love taking time to capture the splendor of nature and each year I seem to travel up the North Shore of Lake Superior to capture what I can of the beautiful colors of the leaves. This gallery has some of the photos I’ve taken over the years. Enjoy!

[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157631726475256″]

Photo of the Week – Former USCGC Sundew WLB 404

Posted on October 2nd, 2012 by by Pete

Those that know me well know that one of my frequent subjects for photos is ships and boats. I’m fascinated by them. This particular ship is a favorite of mine. It is the former USCGC Sundew, a light ice breaker and buoy tender that served the USCG for almost 60 years before it was retired and replaced by the USCGC Alder.

Sundew was built in Duluth and had its final home port be Duluth as well. After being retired, it was given to the city of Duluth to be used as a museum ship, which lasted only five years. After that, the city sold the vessel to a local man named Jeff Foster, who now uses it as his personal pleasure boat. Some pleasure boat, huh?

Photo of the Week – Split Rock Lighthouse – Again!

Posted on September 26th, 2012 by by Pete

Split Rock Lighthouse – Again!, originally uploaded by pmarkham.

Split Rock Lighthouse is one of my favorite places in the whole world. I took this photo nearly a year ago from Pebble Beach on the state park side of the Split Rock property. This is at sunset, just as the last rays of golden hour sunlight are washing the top of the lighthouse while leaving the cliff and the lack in deep shadow. I also got a nice pink glow in the sky to finish off the scene. I never get tired of this place.

Photo of the Week – Loons!

Posted on September 16th, 2012 by by Pete

When we traveled to Beacon Shores Resort on Whitefish Lake this summer, one of the things we saw a lot of was loons — the Common Loon to be exact. Loons are normally relatively solitary birds and very territorial. They will pair off and then aggressively defend their territory free of other loons during their mating season. I was surprised that for this visit to Whitefish Lake, we saw HUNDREDS of loons. They were doing something I’ve never seen loons do — flocking. As we inched closer to the flock and I snapped photo after photo, I realized something. Most of the birds we were looking at were juvenile loons. You can tell from their markings. The juveniles have flecks of grey on their heads instead of the solid deep green that an adult loon would have. After doing some research on the subject, loons will apparently flock when they are preparing to migrate. It was a beautiful site. This photo is one of the many loons we saw during that week. It was taken during the “Golden Hour” of late evening sun.

Photo of the Week – Paul Bunyan and Babe

Posted on September 8th, 2012 by by Pete

Paul Bunyan and Babe, originally uploaded by pmarkham.

I visited Bemidji, MN for work this past spring and took a few moments to stop and photograph the giant statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.

Photo of the Week – Buddy the Lab Launches

Posted on August 26th, 2012 by by Pete

The last couple of years I’ve had the opportunity to photograph the dogs of the owners of Beacon Shores Resort during the “Golden Hour” right before sunset. Buddy, the younger of the two labs, loves to chase balls and sticks and will jump off the dock at full speed in an effort to retrieve a ball. This was shot with my F2.8 70-800 Nikon lens and my D7000 camera body. I shot the whole sequence of him jumping off the dock and landing in the water.

Photo of the Week – Buddy the Labrador

Posted on August 20th, 2012 by by Pete

Buddy is a yellow Labrador Retriever that belongs to the owners of the Beacon Shores Resort in Crosslake, MN. He loves to retrieve stuff from the lake and will jump right off the dock to get a ball or a stick. He’s also a super nice dog.

To get this picture, I invited Buddy to play on the dock during the “Golden Hour” — the hour just before sunset. I grabbed a stick and started throwing. I used my Nikon F2.8 70-200 to capture the action.

Photo of the Week – P-51D Mustang Barbara Jean

Posted on August 5th, 2012 by by Pete

AirExpo 2012 – P-51D Mustang, originally uploaded by pmarkham.

I attended the Wings of the North AirExpo 2012 a few weeks back and one of the aircraft performing was a P-51D Mustang named Barbara Jean. I snapped a few decent pictures of it and this one is my favorite. I managed to catch the landing gear just as it was beginning to retract. If you look closely, the guy in the rear seat is doing a video of the takeoff.

It was a difficult day for photography. It was HOT and HAZY all day.

Photo of the Week: Duluth North Pier Breakwater Light

Posted on July 30th, 2012 by by Pete

Duluth North Pier Breakwater Light, originally uploaded by pmarkham.

As I mentioned last week, Duluth is a favorite spot for me. This photo of the North Pier Breakwater Light was taken on the same trip as last week’s ship photo.

The lighthouse on the North Pier was completed in 1910. It currently displays a flashing red light. The red color comes from red panels that surround the original 5th order fresnel lens.

What I like about this photo is the perspective. I purposely had the horizon not level and the camera almost resting on the top of the breakwater wall.

Photo of the Week: M/V Algosoo enters Duluth Ship Canal

Posted on July 23rd, 2012 by by Pete

I love visiting Duluth, MN and go there any time I can. I was in Duluth a couple of weeks ago for work and took a couple of evenings to wander around the waterfront to photograph stuff, despite the warm weather. One evening I captured this photo of the M/V Algosoo entering the Duluth Ship Canal.

She was carrying a partial load of salt, which she will unloaded overnight and then moved to the ore docks to load taconite.

Algosoo is a 730 foot vessel that is designed to carry bulk cargo on the Great Lakes.

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