Thursday, February 28, 2013

Creepy Crawly

After escaping the Iowa winter and spending a few days in the Florida sunshine, I have a few photos from that locale that I thought would be fun to share, including the two on this post that feature some reptiles.  That shown above is a lizard designed and colorfully painted on part of a water feature in a swimming pool area.  The little creature below is (what I think is) a Brown Anole and now is actually an invasive species in south Florida that originated in Cuba and The Bahamas.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

An Alternate View

What's this?  Well, today I included some simple shots of a sunflower and the moon that I edited in a rather unusual manner.  To add variety and think outside the box, from time to time I like to post images of common subjects that I have slightly altered.  Or, perhaps I am just tired of winter and need something to inspire me and keep my creativity flowing.  Either way, I hope you enjoy something a little out of the ordinary.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Red-bellied Woodpecker

Today's photos are of a Red-bellied Woodpecker who happened to be delivering its rolling shrill call of  churr, churr, churr as I wandered through a nearby park.  After what seemed like a long time, I finally spotted this red-capped creature on a tree trunk high above me.  With its black-and-white barred back and striking red head, this medium-sized woodpecker was a beautiful sight in the winter-white landscape.  And, finally, I just have to mention that this species is often misidentified as, for obvious reasons, folks incorrectly refer to it as a Red-headed Woodpecker.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Watchful Eye

What's this?  A portion of the playground equipment at a nearby park features this dragon -- in 3 parts and in bright orange.  Today's black and white photo shows only one portion of the creature and leaves the rest to your imagination. Honestly, the eyes are quite striking and that what was attracted my attention to the structure as I originally went to this site in order to take pictures of ice fishermen; however, in the frigid cold and stiff breeze I spent more time photographing this character than I spent on the anglers.  Must be the kid in me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Week of Presidents -- JFK

These photos need little explanation.  While viewing the image of the Kennedy graves, be sure to notice the eternal flame as it burns perpetually from the center of a five-foot circular flat-granite stone. According to Arlington National Cemetery sources, the burner was specially designed to have a constantly flashing electric spark near the tip of the nozzle that relights whenever the flame is dampened by the elements or some other cause.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Week of Presidents -- FDR

These photos feature scenes from the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. as it is located in the National Mall along the southwest shore of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park.  According to many sources, this actually is the second memorial to FDR in Washington, D.C. as the first was constructed exactly to his specifications:  a marble block no larger than his desk.  The latter is on the grounds of the National Archives Building, facing the U.S. Navy Memorial.

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Week of Presidents -- Washington

Does your calendar mention that today is "Presidents' Day?"  Do you have the day off due to this federal holiday known as Washington's Birthday?  Or, perhaps you have seen advertising by local retailers announcing special "Presidents' Day" sales.  Regardless, to honor George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other Presidents of the USA, this week I will feature photos associated with these men, their remarkable accomplishments and long-lasting legacies.

The Mansion
Today's photos feature scenes from Washington's estate located just a few miles south of Washington D.C. on the banks of the Potomac River.  This fascinating property, widely known as Mount Vernon, was "home" to the First President of the USA for over 40 years.
The upper garden

The lower, or kitchen, garden

Friday, February 15, 2013


To conclude this week of candy hearts, red roses and x's and o's, this post features a special couple who exemplifies commitment, fidelity, hard work, lots of fun and will soon celebrate another year of wedded life.  To a wonderful pair, happy anniversary!

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, 
always with the same person."
                                                                     --Mignon McLaughlin

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

"Who, being loved, is poor?"
                                                                -- Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine Cards For Kids

Since tomorrow is February 14th, I decided to post a few photos of some of the Valentine cards that I made for my nieces and nephews to exchange with their friends at school and daycare.  Obviously, their Valentine greetings will be unique and not something that they and others bought at a discount store; however, without knowing exactly their tastes in colors and so on, I hope these brightly-decorated creations bring a smile to both those giving and receiving them.  And, more than anything, this is my way to show a few precious little ones that I care about them!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fishing with Dad

Need a break from the winter-white landscape?  If so, you will enjoy today's photo.  Last summer while visiting a nearby state park, I had to snap a few shots of this father-son combo as it warmed my heart to see the two spending time together, laughing as the little guy tried to put a worm on the hook and then patiently waiting for a bite!  Warmer weather is still a few days off but this picture is sure to brighten your day.

Monday, February 11, 2013

February Birthdays

This post is a tribute to all February birthdays, including the folks pictured here.  This month wish someone a happy birthday and maybe even send a handwritten note!

"A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun.
Enjoy the trip."

Friday, February 8, 2013

"Facing" the Week -- All Different

"It is the common wonder of all men, how among so many millions of faces,
there should be none alike."
                                                                       ~Thomas Browne, Religio Medici

Thursday, February 7, 2013

"Facing" the Week -- A Famous Bust

"Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone
who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true."

                                                                      --Charles Dickens

Abraham Lincoln's marble bust, by Gutzon Borglum, is on display in the Crypt of the U.S. Capitol

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"Facing" the Week - Eyes

"An eye can threaten..., it can make the heart dance for joy...
One of the most wonderful things in nature is a glance of the eye;
it transcends speech; it is the bodily symbol of identity."
                                                                   --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Facing" the Week -- Laughter

"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face."
                                                            --Victor Hugo

Monday, February 4, 2013

"Facing" the Week - Altered

This week my posts feature several photos of faces, including some of all ages.  Along with the pictures are corresponding quotes that offer a given perspective regarding those images.  As I reviewed several files from my photo collection, I found so many interesting faces that I thought devoting a week to some of those shots would be fun for all viewers to see.  Enjoy!

"God has given you one face, and you make yourself another."
                                                               --William Shakespeare

Friday, February 1, 2013

Wild Turkey

Just to clarify, this post is not about a particular brand of bourbon but rather features the large, ground-dwelling bird.  In these parts of Iowa this plump game-bird is commonly seen in rural areas and spends a considerable amount of time foraging in forests, pastures, fields and so on.  And, despite being quite large, turkeys can fly!  Finally, for the record, I did not photograph these critters in their natural habitat as they reside in an enclosure at a nearby county park.