Town Sign Project: Benton County

I recently took a Friday off from the Computer Mine and Jesse and I spent the day tooling around Benton County and another county harvesting their town signs. It was a very enjoyable road trip.

Here are some facts about Benton County:

+ Population is 26,076.
+ The county seat and largest city is Vinton.
+ Named for Thomas Hart Benton, a Senator from Missouri.
+ Was formed on December 21, 1837 from sections of Dubuque County.
+ Major highways are I-380, US-30, US-151, US-218, IA-8, IA-21, IA-27, and IA-150.
+ Adjacent counties are Black Hawk, Buchanan, Linn, Iowa, and Tama.
+ Currently at peak population.

Benton County has a beautiful courthouse:


Benton County Courthouse
Benton County Courthouse in Vinton, Iowa

The Benton County Freedom Rock is located in Shellsburg:


Benton County Freedom Rock

Benton County Freedom Rock

Benton County Freedom Rock

Benton County Freedom Rock

With Benton County conquered, here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project -23 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

23 counties completed. 23.2% of the Cyclone State conquered.


Vinton, Iowa
Vinton, Iowa
Welcome to… Vinton – the City of Lights
Population: 5,257

Belle Plaine, Iowa
Belle Plaine, Iowa
Welcome to Belle Plaine – Historic Downtown District
Population: 2,534

Atkins, Iowa
Atkins, Iowa
Atkins
Population: 1,670

Walford, Iowa
Walford, Iowa (Also Linn County)
Walford
Population: 1,463

Urbana, Iowa
Urbana, Iowa
Welcome to Urbana
Population: 1,458

Shellsburg, Iowa
Shellsburg, Iowa
Welcome to Shellsburg – Founded 1854
Population: 983

Newhall, Iowa
Newhall, Iowa
Welcome to the City of Newhall
Population: 875

Blairstown, Iowa
Blairstown, Iowa
Welcome to Blairstown
Population: 692

Van Horne, Iowa
Van Horne, Iowa
Welcome to Van Horne – Population 682

Keystone, Iowa
Keystone, Iowa
Welcome to Keystone
Population: 622

Norway, Iowa
Norway, Iowa
Welcome to Norway – “A Great Place to Come Home To”
Population: 545

Garrison, Iowa
Garrison, Iowa
Garrison
Population: 371

Mount Auburn, Iowa
Mount Auburn, Iowa
Welcome to Mt. Auburn – Population 150
Population: 150

Luzerne, Iowa
Luzerne, Iowa
Luzerne Welcomes You – Established 1868
Population: 96

Watkins, Iowa
Watkins, Iowa
Watkins Mudhens Baseball State Champions
Unincorporated

Benton County has a very solid collection of town signs. I don’t know that there is a showstopper in the bunch, but at least every single town has a sign. Even the unincorporated town, sorta. It is really just a sign for their baseball team, but it is so great that I’m calling it a town sign. I guess if I have to pick which one is the worst, it is Blairstown. Their town sign got blown over and Jesse had to hold it up just I could get a picture of it. Now, while that might actually be my favorite picture in the set, it doesn’t say much for the town sign.

I think Best in Show for Benton County is pretty obvious too. It has a snazzy design and has a pithy motto. Plus, it calls back to high school sports glory that no longer call this town home.


Norway, Iowa
Norway – Best in Show – Benton County

Norway baseball used to be something of a dynasty in Iowa High School sports. They won something like 20 State Championships but eventually their school district was consolidated into the Benton Community School District with the towns of Van Horne, Atkins, Blairstown, Keystone, and Newhall. It is headquartered in Van Horne. The last year of Norway High’s existence they won a final State Championship. The story was turned into one of the poorest made movies ever called THE FINAL SEASON. It stars the guy who played Rudy in the Notre Dame propaganda film RUDY and the nerdy girl that got hot when she took off her glasses and let her hair down in SHE’S ALL THAT. The movie takes many unnecessary licenses with the actual events, but more than anything it is just horribly written. It is currently on Amazon Prime if you want to make your own estimations though.

A few towns in Benton County also had alternate signs:


Van Horne, Iowa
Van Horne Alternate

Norway, Iowa
Norway Alternate

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Norway, Iowa
Best in Show – Benton County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Popejoy, Iowa
Best in Show – Franklin County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Menlo, Iowa
Best in Show – Guthrie County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

East Peru, Iowa
Best in Show – Madison County

Pleasantville, Iowa
Best in Show – Marion County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Tama, Iowa
Best in Show – Tama County

Creston, Iowa
Best in Show – Union County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

Next time we check in with THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT it will involve Poweshiek County.

WPC – WEEK 300 – RED

The theme of RED did fire the passions of a few people as there were a healthy amount of submissions for RED this week.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came to see the submissions:


WEEK 300 - RED - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 300 - RED - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 300 - RED - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett
WEEK 300 - RED - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 300 - RED - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff

WEEK 300 - RED - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 300 - RED - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 300 - RED - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 300 - RED - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 300 - RED - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 300 - RED - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 300 - RED - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 300 - RED - SARA LOCKNER
Sara Lockner

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 301 - WHITE
WHITE

WHITE! What a great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is a WHITE image? A WHITE image is simply and image where the color WHITE plays an import part of the composition of the image.

Think about the following quote when you think about composing your image:

Working in white makes people look into it. White is ethereal. There’s a purity to it, it makes things look elevated in a way. There’s a whole palette of white…
-Johnatan Milne

Meditate on these words and I have no doubt you will create a magnificent WHITE image.

RULES

The picture has to be taken between 12:01 PM today and 11 AM next Monday. This isn’t a curate your photos project. This is a get your butt off the couch (unless you are taking your picture from the couch) and take pictures challenge.

You can send your images to either bennett@photography139.com OR you may text them to my Pixel 5.

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing our idea of WHITE in this place that contains much WHITE next Monday.

2010-09-06, 2010-09-11, and 2010-09-13

The folders 2010-09-06, 2010-09-11, and 2010-09-13 were all fairly small, so I decided to combine them into one post. Two of the folders include images that were taken for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE, which back then was known as the RANDOM WEEKLY PHOTO EXPERIMENT. The other pictures are of Dawn’s turtle that briefly lived in my backyard.


Fun with Light

Fun with Light

Fun with Light

Fun with Light

Fun with Light

Fun with Light

WEEK 35 - VIEWPOINT - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

Personal Photo Project #45 - Alternate

Personal Photo Project #45 - Alternate

Personal Photo Project #45 - Alternate

Personal Photo Project #45 - Alternate

Personal Photo Project #45 - Alternate

Personal Photo Project #45 - Alternate

Personal Photo Project #45 - Alternate

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

RWPE #35 – VIEWPOINT

RWPE #36 – LIGHT PLACEMENT

FUN WITH LIGHT

PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT OF THE WEEK #45

I’m not even sure what the next walk down memory lane will involve. I’d bet that will involve a block party and Iowa State football though.

I Set My Mind to Wandering

Back in February, it was freezing cold. I got together with Logan to take a picture for THE WEEKLY PHOTOCHALLENGE theme of WIND. Basically we boiled some water. Put some food coloring in it. Went outside and he threw it up over his head. Here are some of the outtakes:


I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

I Set My Mind to Wandering

It is an experiment that we will have duplicate again this winter.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is RED:


WEEK 300 - RED
RED

RED! What a great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is a RED image? A RED image is simply any image where the color RED plays an important part of the composition of the image. For example, the main subject of the picture is RED.

Happy photo harvesting!

Years in the Making

I’ve always been a fan of peonies. They have very bold and striking colors, but the real reason why I love them is that the way peonies bloom is that ants eat the outside leaves. Releasing the flower contained inside.

About 4 years ago, but maybe 5 and possibly 3, my Mom brought over 2 peony bushes to plant. I believe she got them from my Uncle Gary, but I don’t associate him as a “flower person”, but it might have been that he was getting rid of flowers to put down cement somewhere. In fact, I’m pretty sure that is what happened.

I didn’t pick the best place to plant the peonies and one of the bushes didn’t make it a year. The other bush has been on the struggle bus for years and I have meant to move it to a better location for a couple years now, but it hasn’t happened. This peony bush has never produced a flower, until this year.

Last year, for the first time it produced a couple of small buds, but none of them bloomed. This year though, I got one beautiful peony. Of course I photographed it:


Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

Whispering Beauty - 2021

I’m glad to finally know what color blooms this bush produces. Now I’m torn on moving it.

I’ll also took a few other flower pictures on the same day:


A Proud Assertion - 2021

Flower

Unceasing Effort - 2021

Unceasing Effort - 2021

Unceasing Effort - 2021

Unceasing Effort - 2021

I like marigolds, even though they aren’t super photogenic, because they are so easy to maintain. A person needs a few flower that they don’t have to worry too much about to keep their flower gardening confidence up. Of course, alliums are truly one of the best and most fascinating flowers. One of my favorite perennials.

Audubon and Guthrie County Auxiliary Images: Vol 3

This is the final collection of images of the trip I took to Audubon and Guthrie Counties with my Mom to harvest their town signs. All of these pictures are taken in either Audubon or Gray.


Audubon County - Audubon
Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Audubon

Audubon County - Gray
Gray

Audubon County - Gray

Audubon County - Gray

Audubon County - Gray

I know that this is the second straight day with a mention or a picture of testicles. I don’t think there will be 3 days in a row tomorrow.

Town Sign Project: Tama County

I recently drove around the massive Tama County to harvest their town signs. It was a solo trip and I was surprised to discover that there are apparently many cities in Tama with Czech roots. I mostly think of the Meskwaki when I think of Tama County. That and the King Tower Cafe.

Here are some facts about Tama County:

+ Population is 17,767.
+ The largest town is Tama.
+ The county seat is Toledo.
+ Formed on February 17, 1843.
+ Named after Taimah, a leader of the Meskwaki tribe.
+ Home of the Meskwaki Settlement.
+ Major highways are: US 30, US 63, IA 8, IA 21, IA 96, and IA 146.
+ Adjacent counties are Grundy, Black Hawk, Benton, Poweshiek, Marshall, Iowa, and Jasper.
+ Home of The Bohemie Alps
+ Home of the Vining Iowa Testicle Festival – All You Can Eat for $12 (2014 Price)
+ Mollie B. will be in concert here in July 10th.
+ Home of Matchstick Marvels.
+ Population peaked in 1900 at 24,585.

Tama County has a pretty, but small courthouse:


Tama County Courthouse
Tama County Courthouse in Toledo, Iowa

The Tama County Courthouse is located in Gladbrook:


Tama County Freedom Rock

Tama County Freedom Rock

With Tama County conquered, here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 22 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

22 counties completed. 22.2% of the Cyclone State conquered.

Here are the Tama County town signs:


Tama, Iowa
Tama, Iowa
Tama – Welcomes You
Population: 2,877

Toledo, Iowa
Toledo, Iowa
Welcome to Toledo-Tama
Population: 2,341

Traer, Iowa
Traer, Iowa
Wind Up in Traer
Population: 1,703

Dysart, Iowa
Dysart, Iowa
Dysart
Population: 1,379

Gladbrook, Iowa
Gladbrook, Iowa
Gladbrook – Alive & Growing
Population: 945

Garwin, Iowa
Garwin, Iowa
Welcome to Garwin – Home of the Wolverines
Population: 527

Chelsea, Iowa
Chelsea, Iowa
Vitame Vas do Chelsea – Lincoln Highway
Population: 267

Montour, Iowa
Montour, Iowa
Montour Welcomes You!
Population: 249

Clutier, Iowa
Clutier, Iowa
Welcom to Clutier – Founded 1900 – Pop 213
Population: 213

Elberon, Iowa
Elberon, Iowa
Elberon
Population: 196

Lincoln, Iowa
Lincoln, Iowa
Lincoln – Next 5 Exits
Population: 162

Vining, Iowa
Vining, Iowa
Vining – Heart of the Bohemie Alps
Population: 50

I don’t know there is a terrible sign in Tama County. Maybe the sign in Lincoln is pretty weak. But the weathering gives it character. The Dysart sign is pretty uninspired. I was confused by the Traer sign, until I saw the winding staircase for myself. It is magnificent! I have no clue why there is a motorcycle suspended over the Elberon sign, but it keeps it from being the worst sign. I love Vining’s sign, but how do you not mention the towns annual Testicle Festival? I’ll give the award for worst to Lincoln.

Best in Show for Tama County. Really a no-brainer. It is Tama, Iowa.


Tama, Iowa
Tama – Best in Show – Tama County

There are quite a few alternate signs in Tama County:


Tama-Toledo, Iowa
Tama-Toledo Alternate

Gladbrook, Iowa
Gladbrook Alternate

Gladbrook, Iowa
Gladbrook Alternate

Garwin, Iowa
Garwin Alternate

Dysart, Iowa
Dysart Alternate

Dysart, Iowa
Dysart Alternate

Chelsea, Iowa
Backside of Chelsea Sign

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Fontanelle, Iowa
Best in Show – Adair County

Audubon, Iowa
Best in Show – Audubon County

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Murray, Iowa
Best in Show – Clarke County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Popejoy, Iowa
Best in Show – Franklin County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Menlo, Iowa
Best in Show – Guthrie County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

East Peru, Iowa
Best in Show – Madison County

Pleasantville, Iowa
Best in Show – Marion County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Tama, Iowa
Best in Show – Tama County

Creston, Iowa
Best in Show – Union County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County

Next time we check in with THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT it will involve Benton County.

WPC – WEEK 299 – WORDS

Despite last Monday being a holiday and a shorter week for some people, there were still a fair amount of submissions for WORDS.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came to see the submissions:


WEEK 299 - WORDS - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 299 - WORDS - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett

WEEK 299 - WORDS - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 299 - WORDS - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 299 - WORDS - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 299 - WORDS - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff

WEEK 299 - WORDS - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 299 - WORDS - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 299 - WORDS - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 299 - WORDS - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 299 - WORDS - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 299 - WORDS - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 299 - WORDS - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 299 - WORDS - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 299 - WORDS - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 300 - RED
RED

RED! What a great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is a RED image? A RED image is simply any image where the color RED plays an important part of the composition of the image. For example, the main subject of the picture is RED.

Meditate on these words as you consider your RED image:

Red is the ultimate cure for sadness.
-Bill Blass
If you consider those words, you will no doubt create a fascinating RED image.

RULES

The picture has to be taken between 12:01 PM today and 11 AM next Monday. This isn’t a curate your photos project. This is a get your butt off the couch (unless you are taking your picture from the couch) and take pictures challenge.

You can send your images to either bennett@photography139.com OR you may text them to my Pixel 5.

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing our idea of RED in this place that contains much RED next Monday.