Friday, April 18, 2008

Green Architecture

Building "green" is a goal for many new commercial and residential construction projects. Utilizing sustainable, renewable and recycled materials in the process leads to a smaller environmental impact both now and into the future.

The Ryerson Welcome Center constructed in 2006 by the Lake County Forest Preserve District is one such building. The roofing materials and design blends well with the existing barns and farm buildings, and the facility utilizes geothermal cooling and heating to reduce energy usage and cost.

An underground cistern collects rainwater, wider eaves shield windows from the summer sun, and the parking lot utilizes a water permeable surface to reduce runoff. When visiting Ryerson Preserve for a hike or cross country skiing, include a stop at the Welcome Center. Even the bathroom wall tile is from recycled materials.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Skeleton's Out of the Closet

For our family Christmas card photograph, we borrowed Skelly pictured here from a physician friend. (Don't ask...)

One day I noticed him (?) standing around the house and realized he would be an uncomplaining model. I had been wanting to experiment with with some Canon 580EX II strobes and gels and knew Skelly wouldn't protest much.

He was quite patient and uttered nary a word as I positioned him, fiddled with the the flashes, changed the lighting ratios and the gels. Skelly, you were great!