Volume One Contributors

writers, photographers, artists

Justin Patchin


Content By This Contributor:

Finding the Unexpected When the Fireplace Fails

brick by brick, a homeowner learns rebuilding is more than a ton of work – eight tons in fact

Justin Patchin

I wasn’t there when the deluge of water began gushing through the haphazardly-patched hole in the roof, but the expletive in the text message I received from my wife during a thunderstorm suggested trouble at home ...

Fathers, Sons, and Storms

defying rain, lightning, and familial fear to get the perfect photograph

Justin Patchin, photos by Justin Patchin

‘I think it would be a good idea if you got out of the water,” Dad implored as lightning brightened the dark sky above me. “Just a few more minutes,” I responded, as if this conversation had occurred 30 years earlier and

Feeling Write at Home

the Chippewa Valley’s strong, supportive literary community draws one young writer back

Katy Hackworthy, photos by Justin Patchin

On a Sunday afternoon in July 2017, I drove down a spindly driveway away from one of the most special weekends of my life and toward what I believed then to be a new phase of my young adulthood. I had spent the previous four days at Cirenaica, a writing residency in the woods of Fall Creek put on by the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild.

Surviving Another Tick Season

walking in the woods while (mostly) avoiding the creepiest of creepy-crawlies

Rob Reid, photos by Justin Patchin

A few weeks ago, I got out of the shower and jumped a mile in the air when I felt a tick crawling on my ankle. Turned out, the tick was a just drop of water ...

Campfire Stories: A Night of Fact, Fiction, and Fire

photos by Nick Meyer, Justin Patchin

"Campfire Stories: A Night of Fact, Fiction, and Fire" is a new literary reading series held on the patio at The Oxbow Hotel in downtown Eau Claire – between the fire pits, beneath the autumn stars.

War and Peace With Animal Neighbors

living in the countryside is relaxing, except when it comes to critters’ destructive tendencies

Justin Patchin, photos by Justin Patchin

I live on a dead-end township road adjacent to the Eau Claire River. As such, animal sightings are to be expected, and are, for the most part at least, welcomed. But lately, it feels as if the animals are conspiring and coordinating their efforts to push us out ...

Opening Weekend

the first morning of fishing season is usually cold, but the memories formed couldn’t be warmer

Justin Patchin, photos by Justin Patchin

The opening weekend of walleye fishing season is practically a state holiday where I grew up in northern Minnesota. And I suspect the same is true for many folks here in western Wisconsin. I rarely miss an opportunity to get together with my dad to fish “the opener” ...

Turn Your Eyes to the Skies

I don’t waste an opportunity to experience the Northern Lights

Justin Patchin, photos by Justin Patchin

A little over a year ago in this space, I wrote about my transformative experience viewing and photographing the northern lights in our area. Since then, I’ve observed the aurora borealis quite a few times, both from here and points further north ...

Photo Feature: Summer at Cirenaica

artsy endeavors in the woods of Wisconsin

Mike Paulus, design by Eric Christenson, photos by Justin Patchin

Nestled within a patch of hilly woods amid the farm fields just outside of Fall Creek, you’ll find a small lodge called “Cirenaica.”

Northern Lights Over Lake Eau Claire

Justin Patchin

Footage was taken on the night of August 3, 2016. From photographer Justin Patchin: "Northern Lights and lightning cloud over Lake Eau Claire (western Wisconsin). Time Lapse of about 400 images."

Morning Glory

in a Wisconsin spring, the early bird gets the best show

Justin Patchin, photos by Justin Patchin

I looked up from my breakfast bowl, which was filled to the brim with milk-soaked Frosted Mini-Wheats, and noticed through the sliding glass door which faces east from our house ...

Understanding Anonymous Apps

they’ve been popping up in local news, and it’s important for parents to know the benefits – and risks – of these online tools

Justin Patchin

Despite the recent flurry of media attention, anonymous online environments and mobile applications have been around for many years. The social media site Formspring.me arguably ...

Inspiring Art

living in the Valley’s art-friendly environment can spur anyone’s creativity – even mine

Justin Patchin, photos by Justin Patchin

I never thought I’d find myself sitting alone on the southern shore of Lake Wissota at 2 in the morning with a camera – affixed atop a tripod – pointed skyward. But there I was, a few weeks ago, trying to make a permanent portrayal of the famously ephemeral aurora borealis ...

Roaming the Icy Rivers

learning and re-learning about the attractive dangers of river ice

Justin Patchin, photos by Justin Patchin

At dusk, I take my two German shorthaired pointers for their usual after-work walk. They need this daily discharge of pent-up energy. Especially the puppy, whom my father has nicknamed “Zip-code” because of her penchant for pursuing far-off ...