While on a hike the other day, I stumbled into the “Flowing Well” along a town road south of Whitewater. Maybe I didn’t know anything about it but apparently every one else does. It was busy with people filling jugs to take home. The ladies filling jugs that day were regulars. One told me she goes to the well every Wednesday. She used to go on Sundays. Then I heard the rest of her life story. By and by she told me, “My doctor says getting this well water is the best thing I can do for myself.” Another lady was there with her grandson and said her house water, “… had too much chlorine and stuff in it.”
Flowing Well is a busy place
The Flowing Well is an artesian water source dug first in 1895 to a depth of 55 feet by an Adam Channing. As the sign also says, “It has been flowing steadily to this day.” There’s a small paved pull out for parking, a shelter, benches and a picnic table. The water gushes out and splashes onto a concrete pad before running down the hill and into a stream. Maintenance is done by the township and civic organizations.
You can look this all up if you want. As I mentioned, I was the only one who didn’t know about it. The well is a tourist attraction in its own way and a really welcome spot along the Ice Age Trail.
Over on the photo sharing site Flickr, my photo of Tiffany Bridge is having a viral moment. Woke up this morning to what Flickr calls “Explore.” The Tiffany Bridge picture will have 4,500+ views and perhaps more before it’s over. Tiffany started the morning at 129 but has slipped as of now to about 145 on the ranking site, Fluidr.
The picture isn’t all that great, really. It would never muster much of a score if judged in competition. Flickr Explore, however, isn’t like that. Explore is a machine; an algorithm. Based on what is known about Explore, the algorithm is set up to uncover what they call “interestingness.” It needn’t be a great picture, it just has to tickle the algorithm in a way that causes it to pull a picture out of the upload stream and stick it in the daily Explore feature page. The machine picks out 500 pictures every day.
In defense of Explore photo quality, my thinking is many of the top images would do just fine in a competition judged by humans. But, it’s a machine in search of something interesting not strictly its technical or artistic merits.
The first time Explore happened to me it was startling. I kept thinking, “what on earth is going on?” Explore has happened a few times since then and the experience still has a little jolt. What this means to me is that it’s fun when it happens, the recognition is still cool, but you can’t plan for it or take it too seriously.
Once in awhile you get a result you can feel good about:
Found in the Nordic Trail section of the Southern Unit Kettle Moraine State Forest, Wisconsin. A few minutes later I was in a downpour.
1.6 mile, Nordic Trail, purple loop, Southern Unit Kettle Moraine State Forest, Wisconsin.
It was still, humid, and about to rain. Quiet, too. Only little things to look at.
There wasn’t much to the winter this season. Snows in December and 70 degree temps in February. Nice little snow in March but that’s gone now too. Did manage one wintery farm scene.