Friday, March 29, 2013

Emoti - Eggs for Easter

Many of us are familiar with emoticons -- those little faces that we insert into text in order to convey a particular emotion...So, I found these Easter eggs that embodied that same notion and now refer to them as "emotieggs!"  And, I laugh often at these goofy faces as they are humorous subjects to photograph.

Since I wanted to give this post an Easter theme, I included a picture of a bunny who appears exhausted as he rests against an Easter basket and amid several emotieggs strewn about the photo.  From the looks of things, one can infer that I took this image just as the bunny finished his annual Easter deliveries, an adventure in which he evaded several hungry dogs, dodged numerous vehicles and will need the next year to fully recover! 
Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tractors On Parade

This photo is from the 2012 Edgewood Rodeo Days parade and has received some recognition from Silos & Smokestacks as well as from the Our Iowa magazine.  Currently it is photo #1 on page 60 of the April/May issue of Our Iowa as part of the publication's "Focus On Iowa Photo Contest."  More specifically, it is a finalist in the "Iowa People" category, and now the subscribers will vote for their favorite.  According to contest rules, only subscribers may vote and can do so by simply writing the number of their favorite photo on a piece of paper and sending it to Focus on Iowa Photo Contest, Iowa People Category, Our Iowa, 1606 Golden Aspen Drive, Suite 109, Ames IA 50010. 
If you are eligible, please vote!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Anniversary # 1

Why fireworks?  Because today marks one year since I started this photo blog!  Have to admit that, before embarking on this endeavor, I had a lot of reservations as I imagined turning out photos and commentary for all the world to see; however, I have thoroughly enjoyed it...except when I experience glitches with Internet connections!  I think you all understand that, right?!
Anyway, below is a photo from my first post -- some ferns emerging from their winter slumber.  Honestly, this shot of the ferns in a hairy shroud intrigued me so much that I finally decided to share this unusual image with others and launch Funke Photos blog.  Since then I have faithfully generated five posts per week that contain sometimes strange, predictable, timely, unexpected and/or eye-catching photos.  To all of my faithful viewers and those that take time to compose comments, thanks!  Here's to year two!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sunset Silhouette

Last summer after a warm, busy day photographing outdoor events I was driving home (and looking forward to a shower and rest) when I noticed in the rearview mirror the fading sunset and this amazing silhouette.  So, I quickly slowed the vehicle, turned onto a nearby gravel road, grabbed the tripod and starting taking shots as the sun dropped below the horizon and the brilliant orange blaze illuminated the late-evening sky.  What a wonderful surprise!

Monday, March 25, 2013


Yesterday was the day Christians refer to as Palm Sunday; hence, the photos on today's post and a short childhood recollection.  As a youngster living in Iowa, I did not often see palm trees nor think about them unless it was Palm Sunday when we were handed the blade-like leaves upon our arrival at church.  We used them during that service and then kept them in our home throughout much of the next year...Fast forward a few years as I began to travel to areas were palms trees dotted the landscape.  Essentially, I was amazed with all of their varieties, textures and patterns.  And, even now as an adult, I enjoy photographing these tropical plants and through the camera lens try to capture their many unique forms.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I C U!

Recently this shot received "Special Recognition" in an on-line gallery competition.  Pay close attention to the eye as there is a reflection of me, the photographer, as well as the surrounding landscape -- pretty cool!  The following is a link to the page that contains this image as well as several other great pictures:

Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March Birthdays

A sincere happy birthday wish for all celebrating in March, including these two 'cuties' seen in today's photos.  If you know either of them, be sure to let them hear from you.  Enjoy your day and any treats that come your way...and laugh a bit after reading the following statement about cake.

"Why is a birthday cake the only food you can blow on and spit on and everybody rushes to get a piece?"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Repeating Patterns

Although these images create interesting patterns, they are nothing more than various angles of multiple chaise lounges.  Lines and repetition often make wonderful subjects to photograph and that is exactly what I found on the deck of the cruise ship.  In addition, I should mention that while wandering around the ship I also took a lot of shots of all the crazy-looking feet and shoes that were resting on that same patio furniture...quite a contrast to the delightful geometric patterns seen here!  Stay tuned for those unique images in upcoming posts.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Flying Fish Fountain

While visiting Atlantis, we saw amazing marine life, grandiose architectural features and so much more; however, one of my favorite things was this particular fountain.  Relative to all the other structures on this property, it is simplistic but still unusual.  Notice how the fish greet visitors at all levels and their shiny, golden eyes find onlookers wherever they are.  The only aspect not visible in these photos are the gulls who enjoyed wading, floating and drinking among the fake fish! 

Monday, March 18, 2013


Aren't these gorgeous?   Wherever they are abloom, the enormous trumpet-like flowers, in stunning shades of orange, red, yellow, pink and white, garner much attention.  And, yes, I took these shots while in Florida and will have to wait a few more months before these beauties can be seen adorning outdoor spaces here in Iowa.  However, I ought mention that warmer weather must be on the way as many large retailers now have their garden centers starting to fill with inventory... perhaps that indicator will be more promising than the ground hog's prediction! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

An Irish Blessing

May the leprechauns be near you,
To spread luck along your way.
And may all the Irish angels
Smile on you St. Patrick's Day.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

In A Trout Stream

Brrrrr!  With snow still blanketing the ground the image of a man standing in a stream makes me shiver!  However, for hardy anglers who look for every opportunity to get outdoors, this particular day was just about "perfect" with sunny skies and the temperature in the mid thirties.  So, as this guy continued catching and releasing species of trout, I explored other areas of the trout hatchery and hoped to catch a glimpse of a Bald Eagle who spends quite a bit of time in the area.  After about an hour traipsing through the melting snow, I had a few good shots of the fisherman and a Brook Trout as well as very wet pant legs ...but nothing of the raptor.  That is for another day.

Brook Trout

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Throughout the past few weeks eastern Iowa has received a lot of snow and these photos confirm that as the white stuff is clearly visible.  And, although I am ready for warmer temperatures and new colors of the landscape -- white & gray get a little old in March -- these snow people brought a smile to my face and made me think of times as a child when I built something similar and then searched for discarded items to give the white figure the perfect face, arms and other accessories.  Have a look and be sure to read the poem that follows.

The Snowman
Once there was a snowman
Stood outside the door
Thought he'd like to come inside
And run around the floor;
Thought he'd like to warm himself
By the firelight red;
Thought he'd like to climb up
On that big white bed.
So he called the North Wind,
"Help me now I pray.
I'm completely frozen,
Standing here all day."
So the North Wind came along
And blew him in the door,
And now there's nothing left of him
But a puddle on the floor!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ducks In A Row

If you aren't one for cliches, please forgive me; however, I just couldn't resist sharing this picture.  As I have mentioned before regarding other images, on this outing I had not planned to photograph ducks but as they moved across the lawn all in a row, I quickly followed.  Sometimes nature presents us with opportunities too good to pass up.  Enjoy.

Monday, March 11, 2013


This picture I took just to test the lighting as I prepared to take photos of the landscape and planned to delete the "test" shots after making any adjustments to the settings.  However, this image caught my attention, and I decided it was a keeper as it reminded me of just how pervasive soda pop is in the USA and how this fixture is present in most eateries.  Whether it is Coke or Pepsi, diet or regular, we sure are fond of carbonated beverages.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Crumb Snatchers

We all have been in open-air venues where food is present and birds hang out waiting to capture any crumbs!  Even though the sign requests that guests do not feed the birds, today's post shows persistent grackles and pigeons that were determined to snatch available tidbits of french fries, bread, hot dogs and so on as they fell to the ground or were left on abandoned tables.  Be sure to notice the two shots of the black bird who found a sack of chips left on a lounge chair while the owner played in the swimming pool.  This bird wasted no time getting into the bag and pulling out numerous Cheeto-like snacks.  Needless to say, for those of us sitting in that area, the birds entertained us for over an hour and left us wondering if there was anything they would not eat!?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Empty Nest

As a remnant of summer still standing in the tall grass along the riverbank, this abandoned avian abode seemed to invite me to take its photo.  So simple yet also representative of the "empty-nest" reality I frequently hear folks describe.  Therefore, I found the black and white version of this image best suited to relay the feeling of a cold, gray winter as well as some of the conflicting emotions parents may experience as their children leave home.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

All Ages At Atlantis

Obviously, Atlantis has a lot to offer visitors, including incredible aquariums, beaches, numerous water features, marina and so on.  In addition, during my brief time there, I noticed folks of all ages enjoying this property and that is what today's photos highlight.  The last photo is of one of the many water slides...complete with a digital device that displays the time that elapsed during your descent to the pool below.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Although debatable, some sources refer to azaleas as "the royalty of the garden."  However, one can't deny the beauty of their many colorful blooms.  In some parts of the USA, including southern Florida where these photos were taken, some of the azalea blossoms have already emerged--such an inspiring sight for those of us in the Heartland preparing for another 8-10 inches of snow to fall throughout the night!  In the meantime, enjoy these gorgeous lavender blooms and consider adding some type of azalea to your garden as they can be used as borders and hedges. 

Oh, just in case you wondered, I think this variety is the Formosa Azalea.  And, since it is for growing zones 8 - 10, my fellow Iowans will have to explore other options.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Glimpse of Atlantis

This post provides viewers with a look at some of the sites at this sprawling resort and water park located on Paradise Island, The Bahamas.  And, just in case you forgot about this place, do you remember when Michael Jackson held a baby over a balcony...?  Well, he was on this property in The Bridge Suite that joins the Royal Towers (seen above & below) and is said to cost $25,000 per night. So, no, we didn't stay in that suite nor on the property but rather just visited while our cruise ship was in the port.

One of my favorite parts is what is referred to as "The Dig."  Essentially, it is a series of aquariums and open-air marine habitat found under the lobby of the Royal Towers.  Designed to resemble the legendary city of Atlantis, this attraction provides guests with an up-close look at dozens of different species, including sharks, manta rays, eels, piranhas, seahorses, sea turtles and more.  In the photo below, be sure to notice some of the guests looking at a portion of the aquariums found in The Dig.

Enjoy these views and check in again soon as I plan to post a few additional shots from this amazing venue.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Abloom in Florida

If you are like me and reside in an area with snow still on the ground, these photos should brighten your day.  As noted in yesterday's post, recently I was fortunate to spend some time in Florida where these gorgeous bloomers are a true delight to visitors from the Snowbelt.  Although I am not certain of their exact names, I would guess that they are types of beardless irises; however, feel free to leave a comment if you can help me correctly identify these beauties.  Enjoy these reminders that warmer days are just ahead!