Friday, August 31, 2012

At The Lake

Today's photos represent recreational activities suitable for the upcoming 3-day weekend.  Although these pictures are of West Lake Okoboji taken near Arnold's Park they remind me of the many summer days I spent at my grandparents' cabin.  As a young person staying at the cabin was the ultimate highlight of any weekend, and I still associate the Labor Day holiday with being anywhere near a lake and enjoying a few more warm days on the water. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

At The Ball Park

Have you spent an afternoon at the ball park?  Since all ages participate in baseball and softball, chances are this summer you attended a game to watch a family member.  Recently we were at a nearby minor league game and enjoyed the atmosphere and opportunity to take a few pictures.  Today's photos are only of the stadium, field and players but in a future post I will include some great shots of kids enjoying themselves at the ball park.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


While spending time on the Iowa Great Lakes one sees dozens of gulls, including this group that seems to enjoy a sunny spot on West Lake Okoboji.  This particular dock sits directly in front of a restaurant and outdoor eating space; therefore, my guess is these birds feed on any crumbs that guests leave behind.  Have a look at the feathered friends and be happy you don't have to clean up after them! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Paragliding In The Tetons

Although I have no desire to participate in and know very little about paragliding, I definitely was intrigued by these men who were enjoying an afternoon of flying among the rugged peaks of Grand Teton National Park located just minutes outside of Jackson, Wyoming.  Take a look at the guy who is waiting to take off as you will get an up-close view of his gear, including what resembles a huge backpack, several ropes and some type of parachute.  From the man in flight, you can see that he is flying feet first and seated in a harness.  This particular day the winds were light which I understand is important for paragliding as high winds can create dangerous situations for pilots.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Little Fur Balls

With warm weather come various waves of farm kittens, including this group of three.  Unlike last year, this summer their mother is caring for her young, and she appears in the photos looking as if she is worn out!  In one picture she seems to be 'catnapping' -- forgive me but I just couldn't resist!  Another interesting detail to notice is that the black and white little feline has one blue eye and one green eye.  Quite a playful crew.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Iowa State Fair: Food Finale

Hope you have enjoyed the sites of the fair as much as I enjoyed taking the pictures and featuring a few each day.  Today finishes this year's tour with a focus on more culinary delights, including fried cheese curds, red velvet funnel cakes, a 'Raging Bull' smoothie and more.  Just thinking of that smoothie makes me laugh, and I wish I would have seen someone order it as I would have inquired about the taste and any lingering effects.  See you next year at the fair!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Iowa State Fair: Midway & Mac N Cheese

In this post I felt obligated to include images of some basic components of any fair -- the midway and a vendor selling all sorts of 'TREASURES.'  In addition, the food feature includes a unique macaroni-and-cheese option along with an ice cream dessert...on a stick, of course!   Hmmmm...wonder if the "mac-n-cheese bites" originate in a box?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Iowa State Fair: BIG Pumpkins & More

As you may already know, several "biggest" competitions occur at the Iowa State Fair, including the biggest rabbit, ram, bull and boar; however, pumpkins also get in on the act with the largest weighing over a thousand pounds.  Be sure to notice that even the eighth-place winner tipped the scale at over six hundred pounds!  Today's photos also include a shot of the many dahlias on exhibit in the horticulture building (yes, the butter cow is also here) plus another that shows various entries of soybeans, oats and corn.  Finally, my favorite photo is of the yellow pig that holds a chalkboard announcing the day's special.  If you look carefully, you will notice that this little porker is anchored to the trailer with a gray bungee cord that actually looks as if she is wearing a necklace to complement her outfit!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Iowa State Fair: Sky Tram & Food

One of the many options for fair goers is viewing a portion of the grounds from above while seated in what resembles a ski lift.  And, of course, maintenance is required to keep the tram operational and safe; hence, one of today's photos shows what we saw upon our early morning arrival as two workers wore safety harnesses and floated above us servicing the overhead ride.  In another photo of the crowd one can easily view the tram as well as the glistening golden dome of the capitol -- be sure to spot it.  Finally, today's food photos feature signs for pork chops on a stick, fried candy bars and salt water taffy.  Which would you select?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Iowa State Fair: Part I

Just yesterday the annual edition of the Iowa State Fair concluded; therefore, this week's posts will feature scenes from that wonderful event and provide viewers with some rather unusual shots as well as the more predictable sites.  Since fair food is such a popular topic, each day I will include some vendors' signs that boldly state the food or beverage offering, starting with the highly anticipated corn dog.  In addition, if you don't already know, I must note that this fair is widely known for its many delectable offerings 'on a stick,' such as pork chops on a stick, rice crispy squares on a stick, cheesecake on a stick, and various deep fried novelties on a stick!  Finally, after mentioning all of these calorie-laden treats and spending a couple days at this event, one thing that made me laugh was a t-shirt that some fairgoers were wearing as it announced, "I went to the Iowa State Fair and all I got was Type 2 Diabetes."  Enjoy this week at the fair.

Despite making his way through the crowd with a calf, this handler still managed to remain connected via his smart phone.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tomato Season

This time of the year tables, sacks, sinks, gardens, buckets and stomachs all start to get full of tomatoes!   Each summer we eagerly await the ripe, juicy fruit and then seem to quickly get inundated with an abundant supply!  Nevertheless, this wonderful produce makes for great sauce, juice, salsa and more that tastes great during the long, cold winter. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sunflower: Extreme Makeover

In and around my parents' garden are several sunflowers, including this one that is starting to open.  Now, since we all have seen the traditional golden version I decided to provide a unique perspective and do something a bit bizarre.  And, because I am also trying to become more familiar with Photoshop, this was the perfect opportunity to practice a few new skills.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Okoboji Sunset

One of the most peaceful times while at Lake Okoboji is watching the sunset and relaxing on a dock, in a boat or somewhere on shore.  These photos give a glimpse of that gorgeous time of day when the sun sets the sky on fire and then quickly vanishes.  How about taking a moment at dusk to pause and take in all the colors of the evening sky.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Scenes From The West

Today's photos are from a recent trip to Utah, Idaho and Wyoming with stops in Idaho Falls and, of course, Yellowstone National Park.  The picture featuring the falls is of the Snake River as it passes through Idaho Falls while the other two shots were taken in the park.  As you may know, fly fishing is extremely popular in that locale and anglers were out in full force.  One evening in Yellowstone, while driving from one waterfall to another, we encountered this group of elk and wanted to photograph them...along with 300 other tourists!  Their antlers were beautiful as the velvety coating shimmered in the evening sun.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Little Visitors: Summer Fun

Recently my nieces and nephews spent a few days visiting their grandparents and playing outdoors.  In a couple photos, the flowers provide a gorgeous background despite the absence of lush green grass.  Be sure to notice the photo of my youngest nephew (orange shirt) as his favorite stuffed monkey often accompanies him inside and out, including in this shot of him doing one of his favorite things, i.e., using the garage door opener as much as possible!  In another photo a large container of bubbles is present as they continue to entertain kids of all ages.  And, finally, one can't miss the older nephew as he only wanted me to photograph him while he was tangled in the swings -- hope he likes this picture!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Antler Drool

In honor of this, my 100th post, I decided to feature a photo that would have one hundred (or more) items; hence, more antlers!  This photo is different than previous antler photos as the effect gives this picture a unique perspective and clarifies the title of this post.  And, by the way, I don't have any idea about how many antlers are in the original photo ...nor do I plan to count them all! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Early this summer I went to a local park where some animals are housed outdoors, including this entertaining female deer. When I got close to where she was resting, I expected her to ignore the camera or move to another location; however, that was not the case as she seemed to pose with her mouth and cheeks in peculiar glances. And, although I still don't understand her actions, I continue to laugh at the photos of this goofy deer winking and posing as a chipmunk!