Friday, November 30, 2012

Drop it!

Amid all the activities at a pumpkin patch, I spotted this game of toss and retrieve the tennis ball taking place between a youngster and the farm dog.  While most kids were engrossed in selecting the perfect pumpkin, this boy seemed most content having the athletic pooch run after, sometimes catch and then return the bright green ball.  And, I suppose at the end of a busy day at the pumpkin patch, this furry four-legger was exhausted yet eager for the next person to grab the tennis ball and hurl it into the air...remind you of any dogs you have known?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Shorebird

During a recent trip to the Gulf of Mexico, I spotted this shorebird as it was feeding on the sandy beach.  Just as the surf moved toward the feathered creature, it would dart out of the water's reach but then quickly follow the retreating waves as they exposed various crustaceans and so forth.  Regarding the exact species, I am unsure but my best guess is a juvenille Sanderling.  However, if you know otherwise, please let me know!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Already Arriving

In the short time since Thanksgiving, we have already received some holiday greeting cards, including traditional handwritten messages and other computer-generated creations.  So, I guess that serves as my 'wake-up call' that Christmas is just a few weeks away and I need a plan for completing our annual holiday card...even though, to this point, I haven't given that idea any consideration.  In that spirit, I decided to post a few photos of last year's undertaking as I made a lot of cards!  Whew!  That was a job but worth it nonetheless as each card was a labor of love designed by hand.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hand In Hand

Although Thanksgiving and pumpkin season are over for this year, I just had to post this adorable photo of these two little tots at the pumpkin patch.  Big brother has a grip on little sister's wrist and they are off...but actually not to look for just the right pumpkin but rather to climb on an old tractor (that isn't visible in the picture).  Since this little guy is intrigued by most machines and motorized equipment, he immediately made his way to the tractor and into the driver's seat.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Classy Car

Since my only interest in this classic automobile was to get some unique, up-close shots of the shiny beauty, I have no other details regarding the year and so on; however, since Studebaker is written just above the left rear bumper, that provides one piece of information!  And, in case you wondered, I found several of these restored relics on display at the Iowa State Fair along with their proud owners seated just yards away.  But, I continued snapping pictures and did not pause long enough to inquire about the particulars of the classy cars...maybe next year.

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Week of Gratitude: Napping

Perhaps today is a great time to take a break from all the holiday shopping, cooking and cleaning as you may feel exhausted after yesterday's preparations and staying up through much of the night to capture the best Black Friday retail deals.  How about a nap?

"No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap."
                                                                                                                                 --Carrie Snow

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Week of Gratitude: Laughter

"Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can."
                                                                                                                      --Elsa Maxwell

"We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh."
                                                                                                                     --Agnes Repplier
"Always laugh when you can.  It is cheap medicine."
                                                                                           --Lord Byron


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Week of Gratitude: Smiles

"Most smiles are started by another smile."
                                                                                                         --Frank A. Clark

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
                                                                                                        --Marcel Proust

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Week of Gratitude: Nature's Color Palette

In honor of Thanksgiving, this week's posts will highlight things for which I am grateful, including a few predictable, humorous and timely topics.  So, let's get started with some gorgeous colors created by Mother Nature, including lots of orange pumpkins, an aqua blue geothermal feature in Yellowstone, branches full of berries and a variegated ornamental grass.  Next time you step outside, take a moment to notice the many naturally occurring colors that contribute to the unique landscape wherever you reside. 


Friday, November 16, 2012

Yellow Leaves

That time of year thou may'st in me behold,
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, --
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
                                                                                           --William Shakespeare, Sonnet LXXIII

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lock & Dam 11

Today's photo features Lock and Dam 11 on the Mississippi River between Dubuque, Iowa and rural Grant County, Wisconsin.  This particular photo was taken from Eagle Point Park in Dubuque which is located on the bluffs far above the waterway and offers great vistas of the neighboring state, the nearby landscape and the operation of the lock and dam.  And, since some details regarding the dam interest me, I decided to share a few tidbits.  According to information posted on the web by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the average lift is 9.4 feet with the maximum of 11 feet; filling or emptying the lock chamber takes about 7 minutes; and water coming from Lock and Dam 10, in Guttenberg, Iowa, takes 9 hours to reach Lock and Dam 11. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thoughts on a Sunrise

"There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope."
                                                                                                                  --Bern Williams

''Trying to sneak a fastball past Hank Aaron is like trying to sneak the sunrise past a rooster."
                                                                                                 --Joe Adcock

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

These photos contain views of one of Yellowstone's most breathtaking sights, the powerful Yellowstone River as it roars through the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  Be sure to read the details on the sign as they explain the colorful sections of the canyon and more.  There are two major waterfalls, Upper and Lower Falls, and the latter is part of the spectacular vista in the third photo.  And, in case you were curious, the river starts in Younts Peak (in the Absaroka Mountains,) south of the park, and flows over 600 miles to North Dakota where it eventually empties into the Missouri River.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Tribute to Veterans

Korean War Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C.
US Marine Corps War Memorial, Arlington, VA

At the National World War II Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Korean War Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C.



Friday, November 9, 2012

Opening Reception

Today's post features photos from last night's event that kicked off my photo exhibit at the Coffee Den in Manchester.  Truly, we had a great time as so many relatives and friends shared in the festivities and took time out to listen to other local musicians, drama students and community members who shared poems, excerpts from a favorite book and so on.  And, to those of you who also contributed something for the local food pantry, we appreciate your generosity.  Remember, if you couldn't attend last night, plenty of time remains to view the ten images on display as they will be up through the first week of January!  Finally, to the folks in the following photos as well as to all other guests, thanks for assisting me in so many ways and sharing in the excitement!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Little Visitors: Ice Cream & Straws

Recently my mom, husband and I treated a niece and nephew to lunch at a local Dairy Queen.  Of course, we, the "big" ones, probably enjoyed this outing as much or more than the little ones; however, the main highlights were the ice cream cones for dessert and using straws to enjoy their beverage of choice...hmmmm, do you really think a 3-year-old would pick milk over pop?  Anyway, these photos show just how well this little man handles an ice cream cone and how much fun his younger sister can have slurping milk through her pint-sized straw while Grandma holds the cup to make sure it doesn't end up on her lap!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Join Us!

From November 8 - January 5 some of my photography will be displayed at the Coffee Den in Manchester.  To kick off this exhibit, tomorrow night (Thursday, November 8) from 6-8 will be an opening reception where guests can view the images, visit with me and also participate in a fundraiser for the Delaware County Food Pantry that will include musical and theatrical performances by local artists.  Bring a friend and enjoy a relaxing evening with a lot of great entertainment.  Hope to see you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Featured in today's post are some signs from outside polling places.  And, as you can see in the photos, today in these parts we are getting some much needed rain.  The polls are open for several more hours, so you still have plenty of time to exercise your right to vote.
"People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people.  Of course, that is not true.  Decisions are made by the majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote -- a very different thing."
                                                                                                                --Walter H. Judd

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Blue Poodle??

Yes, your eyes are NOT playing tricks on you as one of the dogs in today's photos IS blue!  No, this is NOT a new poodle hybrid but rather a color job gone bad.  As the owner kindly explained, originally she planned to dye blue only the dog's ears but that abruptly changed as during the process the dog suddenly moved and dye landed on all parts of the four-legger.  Therefore, she decided the best option was to make him entirely blue.  And, when asked why she wanted to color the dog's hair, the owner reported that she simply wanted to be spirited when she attended a local political rally....Tomorrow is election day.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Harvest: Compare & Contrast

During the past few weeks, I photographed several images associated with various aspects of the grain harvest in Iowa, including several shots I posted during October.  And, while today's pictures are similar, they differ in that the viewer gets an up-close look at contrasting styles as one field contains sheaves of grain while the others feature extremely large and expensive pieces of equipment..  Remnants of yesteryear are still being used by nearby Amish communities while other operators employ the latest technology coupled with diesel-powered engines and enormous machines to cut and haul the crop.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Views From The Bluffs

Today's photos were taken from the bluffs that overlook downtown Dubuque, Iowa, the Mississippi River and neighboring states of Wisconsin and Illinois. In the background one can also see the bridge that connects Iowa and Wisconsin. Enjoy the view!