It’s Spring!

Welcome to Spring!

Pretty soon, everything will be blooming and nature will put on a vast and varied treat for the eyes.

In fact, my lilac bushes and the trees in my neighborhood are already budding.

The Daffodils and Lilies and Mint are pushing through the recently frozen ground…


and giving way to the promise to perfume the air and color the landscape. (that was rather poetic, was it not?!)


Wow! Those photos make it look like they’re really growing, doesn’t it?

Actually, I laid on the ground (the neighbors didn’t look at me like I was crazy at all) and put the camera down in a low spot.

The plants are 1 – 1.5 inches tall at most.

But after the dreary and colorless (that may be a bit dramatic) end of Winter, they seem like mighty giants!

Yay for Spring!

Thanks for stopping by – come back any time. Cheers!


Photowalk 30

We had a blizzard here last night.

Not the ice cream treat.

But it was still pretty awesome!

Steady 35+ mph winds with gusts between 55 and 58 mph made it so I could barely see across the street!

So what did I do? (do I have to ask? really?)

one view: 2 different cameras = 2 very different photos

one view: 2 different cameras = 2 very different photos

around the side, wind was to my back. doesn't look very daunting or signifigant at all

around the side, wind was to my back. doesn’t look very daunting or significant at all

lens pointed directly into the wind. if you look closely, there's a spruce tree on the right side of the photo only about 15 feet away from where I stood

lens pointed directly into the wind. if you look closely, there’s a spruce tree on the right side of the photo only about 15 feet away from where I stood

This was really a cool weather event (pardon the pun!) and it was fun to experience it while it was going on.

Even from inside, watching the snow whip around and listening to the wind howl… so fascinating!

No, I’m not crazy…

my Mother had me tested! (shout out to Sheldon on Big Bang! hehe!)

As fun as this was, however, I do admit that once is enough.

Cheers to the 2nd half of winter being mild and not as eventful!

If you don’t like the weather…

If you don’t like changes in weather, this would not be a good place for you to live.

On Monday, you remember, the windchill had our temps way below zero in the -30’s and -40’s.

Just 4 short days later (right now) it’s +36 degrees (yes, that’s above zero! woo hoo!)

That’s a 70ish degree fluctuation.

Crazy right?!

The good news is that some of the snow is melting and the creeks are flowing:

can see a frozen patch just above the small waterfall

you can still see a frozen patch just above the small waterfall created by the man-made dam

the water is flowing pretty freely

the water is flowing pretty freely

another view from almost right above the dam

another view from almost right above the dam

Oh, did I mention it’s also raining at the moment?

And it is supposed to turn to snow later when the temperature drops again (snow-covered icy streets makes for interesting driving and it’s something that’s not fun!)

See? If you don’t like the weather, just wait for a few minutes… it’ll probably be something different!

Enjoy your weekend!


The wind is blowing.

The sun is shining.

Let’s go sailing!

(or not-so-much!)

Since there’s snow on the ground.

And the temperature is heading below zero.


Parked for the winter. It’s probably best…


Twin boats, side by side… in the snow!


That yellow sure jumps out of the photograph on this hazy, winter day.

Maybe it’s just me, but the sight of all these boats on a day like today (yes, even snow-covered!) gives me a hopeful, happy, warm feeling.

Or maybe that’s just the heat kicking on…

Enjoy the first Friday of the year!!

Fine Feathered Friend

Every morning I go outside (mostly at the loud urging of my assistant) and one of the first things I do is put down seed for the birds.

And every morning, Mr. Cardinal chirps his greeting to me (how nice!)

…either that or he’s asking me what the heck took me so long to get his food to him.

…or he’s telling me that he sees Louden lurking around and he’s not a fan.

When I replied to him (what? I don’t talk to birds!)

What I meant to say was:
When I listened to his song, it occurred to me that Mr. Cardinal and I have spent some quality time together and, after searching through my photographs, I found that I have in fact chronicled our year together:

4 season cardinal1

Know what else?

It also means that I have completed a Photowalk idea off my list, and I didnt’ even realize it until today!

“follow one subject (ex: tree) throughout the year and photograph it in each season”

Thanks Mr. Cardinal!

Because of this realization and in the spirit of the new year, I’m making a serious effort to be more aware of my artistic goals and ideas; take them more seriously; and improve upon them when I can.

Goals are good!

Saturday Signboard #27

It’s the Winter Solstice

(wow, doesn’t today seem like a really, really short day?! haha!!)


Welcome the returning sun with joy!

Have a great weekend!

Photowalk 29

Yesterday, I left you with a tease of a second gem to be found in Madison County, Iowa ~ I can tell you’re all waiting on the edge of your seat for today’s blog with bated breath!

Your wait is over! yayyyy!

Well, long before Robert James Waller penned his novel, “The Bridges of Madison County”, the small town of Winterset, Iowa, was already somewhat well-known.

It is the birth place of one Marion Robert Morrison.

Better known to the world as John Wayne.

I grew up a big fan of “The Duke” because of my Dad — who, when he was active military, actually was an on-screen extra in 2 of John Wayne’s films! cool, right?! Having shared that, my 2 favorite Duke films are “Rio Bravo” and “Quiet Man” (although not the ones Dad was in…) ~ if you haven’t seen them, check them out! (wow, Carol’s talking movies… shocker! hehe!)

As I was reading some background info for this blog post, I found this little factoid about John Wayne & Clint Eastwood (director and lead in the movie “The Bridges of Madison County”) ~ it turns out Winterset is not the only commonality between the two of them: “In 1973 Eastwood wrote to Wayne, suggesting they star in a western together. Wayne wrote back criticizing the violence of “High Plains Drifter”, Eastwood never responded so no film was made.” (I’ve tried not to say it but I can’t help myself — in my humble opinion, Eastwood was a terrible choice for the lead the Bridges of Madison County movie! Whew, I feel so much better!)

There is a bronze statue of Duke on the main street, close to his childhood home.

bronze statue

bronze statue on the town’s main street

His father developed a lung condition that required him to move his family from Iowa to the warmer climate of southern California ~ tragically both Duke and his brother Robert were also diagnosed with lung cancer in the 1960’s. After multiple health problems and recurring cancer, Duke passed away in 1979.

closer look at the statue

closer look at the statue

bottom (notice that at the bottom of the bronze part, it says "John Wayne, American" ~ which is exactly what his Congressional Gold Medal says, too.

at the bottom of the bronze part, it says “John Wayne, American” ~ which is exactly what his Congressional Gold Medal says, too.

His parents changed his middle name after his brother Robert was born ~ oddly there is some story as to what it was changed to. In “Duke: The Life and Times of John Wayne” (1985),  the biographers write that when Duke’s younger brother was born, “the Duke’s middle name was changed from Robert to Mitchell… After he gained celebrity, Duke deliberately confused biographers and others by claiming Michael as his middle name, a claim that had no basis in fact.” (um, ok ~ what a strange thing to arouse controversy!)

Childhood home, sits just around the corner from the statue.

childhood home, now a museum, sits just around the corner from the statue.

His childhood home has been restored to reflect its appearance in 1907, the year of Duke’s birth, and houses an impressive collection of John Wayne memorabilia including; the eyepatch worn in the movie “True Grit”, a hat worn in “Rio Lobo”, and a prop suitcase used in the film “Stagecoach” ~ along with hundreds of rare photographs and letters.

In addition to the Congressional Gold Medal, John Wayne was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, by President Jimmy Carter in 1980.

So there you go ~ two gems for the price of one in Madison County!

I keep telling all of you, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Iowa…