John L's
Black River Falls Photos

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I pass through Black River Falls twice weekly on my regular "commutes" through most of the longer axis of Wisconsin. From spectacular sunsets to the unique views of, on and from the mounds, I always wish I had an extra day each week to take more of it in. Above left is a view from the edge of town about 1:30 A.M. on December 13, 2002 when the fog settled in, and above right is a view from the top of Bell Mound on the evening of September 13, 2001 (see also Photo 2 below).

A few facts about Bell Mound from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation: The general outline of this feature resembles that of a bell tilted 90 degrees. This shape was especially apparent after the great forest fire of 1997 which burned over 17,000 acres. Rising about 180 feet above the parking area, the summit is 1154 feet above sea level.




Photos 1-10C:  Sunsets and Bell Mound.

1 – Bell Mound emerges into view as I approach from the southeast on the Interstate.

2 – While speeding toward the northwest from Tomah on Sept. 13, 2001 and observing the darkening clouds moving in on different levels from various directions, my no. 1 goal was to be at a suitable spot to get a good sunset photo, and I arrived at the Bell Mound rest area just in time to catch the show. While I was sprinting to the summit, a girl came speeding down the trail excitedly yelling, "You're going to miss it! You're going to miss it!" But over the better part of an hour it kept getting better. Photo 2 was taken with telefoto lens; the earlier one above (top right) was taken with the regular 50mm lens.

While watching this sunset, a thought kept repeating itself like a musical refrain in the back of my mind, reminding me of my infinitesimal presence in the universe – barely a nanopixel in the big picture. It was a fairly agreeable sentiment as I watched the turmoil in the atmosphere and considered the history-changing events of two days earlier. When I got back to the car and the CD player fired up again, I found that I had been taking in Ellen Reid's song "Bullet" from her "Cinderellen" CD while focusing more intently on the upcoming sunset. Having just received the CD a day or two earlier, I had yet to really find any time to listen to it, but it quickly became one of my all-time favorites with that song (actually about addiction) becoming even more seared into my memory.

3 through 6 – More sunsets observed from various elevations of Bell Mound. The outline of Castle Mound can be seen (left of center) in Photos 4 and 5.

7 through 10 – Three views of another sunset observed from the summit of Bell Mound in the Spring of 2003, plus a view of the rest stop to wrap it up for the night.

10A through 10C – From the summit, another developing sunset from early September, 2004.











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