Here in central Indiana, the trees changed colors slowly and dropped their leaves late. It made autumn seem to last a good long time. I know that autumn lasts the same amount of time every year regardless of the trees! But when the trees are bare, to me that’s when winter begins.
We had some good color this year, with strong reds and oranges abounding. I didn’t make a huge number of photos — some of them are on the roll of Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 sitting here on my desk needing to be sent off for processing — but here are some that show our color this year.
On what was probably one of the last warm afternoons of the year, I rode my bike on my usual Indiana cornfield route.
County Road 700 recently got a fresh layer of asphalt. The farmer along this stretch of road has begun to mow down his cornstalks, which have turned brown with age. Over the road, that one branch has started to turn red and orange.
Folks, this is about as Indiana as it gets this time of year!
I made this photo a couple weeks ago when we still had summer temperatures. It’s cooled off considerably since then; some days, the high has been just 60 degrees.
Riding my bike feels like freedom. At its best, a bike ride requires no prep. In whatever I’m wearing, I just get on and go! The colder it gets, the more cold-weather gear I need to put on to ride. It’s not that big of a deal to put on a coat and gloves, though I do grumble about it. Eventually it gets too cold for my face, though, and I’ve never found a solution that I have been willing to put up with.
On this early September day I was riding through the cornfields that begin less than a mile north of my home. County Road South 700 East makes a quick jog to the left around an old farm boundary, leading to this scene of a barn in the middle of a cornfield.
The week before my company asked us all to work from home, and two weeks before Indiana’s governor issued the stay-at-home order, I took a week off. I needed a little time to rest after a surprisingly stressful December, January, and February in the office.
I took a few long photo walks, one in Carmel, one in Broad Ripple, and one in Zionsville. All three times I stopped in a pub. The very thought of doing that now seems so strange, yet so compelling.
I’m not much of a beer drinker anymore. I prefer whiskey. But beer just seems righter after a photo walk. I stopped in the Broad Ripple Brew Pub, Indiana’s oldest brew pub, for their Porter. I love a good Porter.
I also stopped at The Friendly Tavern in Zionsville for lunch and an Anchor Steam. In the early 90s during that era’s beer renaissance, my favorite pub in Terre Haute had Anchor Steam on tap. My goodness but was it good that way. Fast forward nearly 30 years and Anchor Steam is a little hard to find in Indiana. But The Friendly has it in bottles, and I like to order one with my meal, which this day was their fish and chips.
It looks like I failed to photograph the pint of Guinness I ordered with my lunch at Muldoon’s, an Irish pub in Carmel. Too bad, because my lunch was their Irish pizza, a kind of nachos loaded with crumbled sausage, veggies, and top quality cheese. It’s a massive calorie bomb but it is so good.
Indiana’s stay-at-home order ends tomorrow. Governor Holcomb is sending signals that he intends to allow some businesses to re-open, perhaps in a limited way. He’ll have a press conference tomorrow to announce the changes.
I have conflicting thoughts about it. On the one hand, the shutdown has been a kick in the economy’s teeth and Indiana needs to get back to work. On the other, just because businesses like pubs might reopen doesn’t mean that it will be to full capacity — or that guests won’t be carrying the virus. I’m feeling hinky. I’m unlikely to stop for a beer anytime soon.
My friend and colleague Charlie has worked with me at two different software companies. He’s a skilled engineer who specializes in site performance and test automation. He currently works for Salesforce, the giant software-as-a-service company. They have a large office in Indianapolis in the city’s tallest building, renamed Salesforce Tower when they moved in.
Charlie and I met for lunch not long ago, and he took me to the top floor of Salesforce Tower so I could see the views. Here’s the entire north side of Indianapolis. In the center near the bottom you can see the Indiana World War Memorial, and north across the long plaza from it is Central Library. Behind it, I-65 cuts across the landscape. I can even see the Michigan Road running off at a diagonal at left, a little north of center; can you detect it?
On the south side of the building, this is the view of Monument Circle below. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument, at 284 feet, 6 inches, was the tallest structure in town until the 372-feet-tall City-County Building was completed in 1962, a couple blocks away. When you see photos of Indianapolis from many years gone by, the Monument towers over everything. Today, not so much.
Other skyscrapers went up in the decades that followed, crowned by Salesforce Tower at 811 feet tall. It’s not just the tallest building in Indianapolis, but also the tallest building in all the Midwest outside Chicago and Cleveland and the 58th tallest building in the US.
Salesforce Tower was completed in 1990. It was originally to be the headquarters for American Fletcher National Bank, but before construction even began, Bank One bought American Fletcher. Later, Chase bought Bank One. Salesforce became the building’s biggest tenant in 2017, which gave them rights to put their name on the building.
Here’s a view of the Indianapolis skyline from the highest elevation in Indianapolis, where James Whitcomb Riley is buried inside Crown Hill Cemetery. It’s about five miles away as the crow flies. Salesforce Tower rises above the rest.
I’m still using the iPhone 6S I bought in 2016. That’s ancient mobile-phone history, but it’s been a good phone and I don’t see any reason to upgrade. Its battery is starting to wear out, but the Apple Store will install a new one for $49. That’s a fraction of a new iPhone’s cost.
The new iPhone 11’s camera is supposed to be startlingly good thanks to big advances in computational photography. I’m sure I’ll find out all about it someday, but not as long as my 6S continues to perform well.
The 6S’s camera is pretty good, anyway. Here are some photos I’ve made with it lately that I think turned out all right. What they all have in common is that I found the light to be interesting, and the iPhone was the only camera I had on me.
I made this photo through the windshield of my car as I drove out of my subdivision after a snowy night.
I made this through my car’s windshield too. I’d just left work and was stopped at a light on Washington Street (the Michigan and National Roads) at Meridian Street.
We got some delicious late-afternoon light one weekday afternoon so I went to the nearest window and made this photo of the neighboring City-County Building.
I was reading one evening as the sun set. I looked over and noticed these wonderful colors through the back door window. I wasn’t motivated enough to get up and add a photo to my Sunset Over the Toyota Dealer series so I zoomed in a little with my iPhone and made this.
Margaret and I met her son Zach in the hip Fountain Square neighborhood for a night out. We stopped by Hotel Tango, which distills their own spirits. I stood in line waiting to order us a round of Old Fashioneds.
Finally, where I work everyone who completes five years of service gets a rubber chicken. This service award is far less puzzling than the one given for ten years: a tin can with a plastic spoon sticking out of it. I’m sure that when my time comes for one of these awards, someone will explain them to me.