You are cordially invited to this opening reception. Barb's glass creations inspired by her childhood on the banks of the Mississippi River along with my photos of outdoor-Iowa scenes will be a feast for the eyes and something you will certainly want to see. Make plans now for an evening in downtown Dubuque at the Carnegie-Stout Library (360 West 11th Street) on Friday, April 4, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Today marks two years for this blog, and I decided to celebrate by featuring photos that include two of my favorite things. Hmmm...what are they? Have a look and take a guess.
Notice the varieties of Coleus in green and maroon.
My first favorite thing is beautiful, overflowing potted-plants that contain multiple varieties of Coleus. If you have seen my summer-time creations, you know that I have several arrangements that adorn our outdoor space and include Coleus -- such rich colors and intricate patterns that can tolerate heat and sun.
The Windy City's Hancock is the centerpiece.
Another of my favorites is cityscapes/architecture. Honestly, I could get lost in the middle of a concrete jungle with camera in hand and fill all my memory cards with shots of high rises and their captivating designs, reflections and unique characteristics.
Finally, a special thanks to all of you who visit daily to see new images on this blog, and I look forward to posting more in year three.
How are you doing with your picks for the NCAA men's basketball tournament? After the first three rounds, my bracket is not necessarily busted but it doesn't look like I will have the 'perfect bracket' and earn the billion-dollar prize promised by Warren Buffet. So, with another couple rounds scheduled to start tomorrow, I thought this image was appropriate for all of us who follow the "Big Dance" and enjoy game after game of college hoops.
A very happy birthday to my niece who turns three today. During her party she received a bicycle and was thrilled to hear her Grandma answer affirmatively when she asked, "Can I take it home with me?" This little woman is incredibly engaging and full of energy -- whenever I spend time with her and her big brother I always feel refreshed because I have been laughing a lot at the things they say and thoroughly enjoying playing with them, reading their books, singing their songs, and listening to them interact. May she have a wonderful birthday.
Look carefully atop the rocky structure. See it? One of the Ospreys is on the nest.
In these parts of Iowa, we frequently see Bald Eagle nests in our woodlands but not that of Ospreys; however, in Yellowstone National Park, we were fortunate to see the latter. Specifically, the above photo is of an area of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone where these raptors have carefully constructed this home to care for their young.
The reflection is what drew me to this site; however, after downloading and reviewing the image, I was appalled to see all the trash at the water's edge. In the original, unedited photograph there are a lot of styrofoam cups but I took out some of them (that were in the water) as they were creating a lot of glare and disrupting the reflection. Anyway, as I so often find while shooting scenes around waterways, there is a lot of litter that creeps into these areas and lodges between rocks, in tall grass and gets stuck in the mud or in the shallow murky water. But, unlike in Iowa, where this photo was taken, alligators reside and therefore folks probably keep their distance when removing trash.
This is one of three African Violets that I have as house plants -- ok, no big deal. However, for me the big deal is that finally, after more than two years of just growing gorgeous green leaves and stems, it has blooms! As you may have guessed, I am elated and just had to share the little bit of excitement. Ahhhhh....simple pleasures!
While I am unsure of the correct pronunciation of this small tree's name, I am certain of its impressive blooms! These images definitely speak to that as you can see the multitude of stunning golden-yellow petals that capture everyone's attention. In addition to the color seen here, other varieties produce flowers in pink and lavender-pink. What a way to announce the arrival of springtime -- at least in Florida as we in Iowa are still living with the remains of winter.
Are you surprised to see this photo? To be honest, I am surprised that I could tolerate the lingering smell and how it settles in my nasal passages and the back of my throat. However, because I am preparing a collection of photographs of items often overlooked in our mainstream world, I paused long enough to take five shots and then got as far away from the receptacle as possible. And, I assumed that none of those five photos taken in a hurried fashion would be worthy of consideration for the upcoming exhibit, but this image is in the running.
Recently this image, Enveloped, was awarded Special Merit in the Cityscapes art exhibition for the Light Space & Time Online Gallery. The overall winners as well as other pieces selected for recognition are incredible and worth your time to view them at www.lightspacetime.com/cityscapes-art-exhibition-march-2014/ At the bottom of that page are links to the categories that will allow you to see some delightful, award-winning artwork. Enjoy your visit.
These backyard beauties seem camera shy or, more realistically, they are keenly aware of someone in the area with something large (that beeps and clicks) and aiming it in their direction. Usually by the time I hear their call, locate them in the treetops and get the lens pointed in that vicinity, they are long gone. Anyway, recently, while taking shots of the turkeys, I heard cardinals and quickly spotted these two. Since I didn't have to move in order to photograph them, I successfully captured these images and then they were off! So, I was pleased to get something to share on the blog as I love seeing their bold red plumes against the blue sky and winter-white (mostly gray) landscape.
Shown above and below are all the images selected for the upcoming Visual Narrative exhibit that opens this Friday, March 14 at the MPLS Photo Center in Minneapolis. The opening reception is from 6:30-9:30, free to the public and will have music as well as some awesome food -- a neat way to spend a Friday evening. The street address is 2400 N 2nd St and the center is in a warehouse just north of the downtown.
Anyway, even if you don't reside in that vicinity, this collection of photographs is interesting, to say the least. Just these very small thumbnails give you an idea of the emotions and messages the images convey. I am honored to have had Fog on the Bend selected and it is in the above grouping on the far left, fourth down.
This exhibit is open through April 27 -- stop in if you are in that area and want to see some great photos.
As promised, here is the latest awe-inspiring and highly interactive exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center -- Space Shuttle Atlantis. Above is the outside entrance with the rocket boosters and external tank towering over guests as they make their way inside. Next, folks are treated to a short, introductory movie that depicts the history of the shuttle program from its inception in 1968 through the last launch in 2011. At the conclusion of the video, the giant screen (on which visitors were watching) opens and reveals the orbiter suspended as if in flight.
Atlantis remains as it did (nothing was altered or changed) after it arrived from its final mission and guests can get up-close views of the vessel.
Recently I had the good fortune of visiting the Kennedy Space Center located on Merritt Island on Florida's Space Coast. First, I must admit that even for someone who is only somewhat informed on matters regarding space exploration, NASA and so on, I truly enjoyed this amazing place. Below are a few images captured as we toured the facilities beyond the visitor complex.
Specifically, the first image is of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and Launch Control Center.
Next is a shot of the 'crawler' that is used to transport the vessel from the VAB to one of the launch sites. (These two photos were taken from inside the tour bus and, therefore, the image quality was compromised...but, that's ok.)
Below is a shot of Launch Pad 39A located on the Atlantic Ocean and three miles east of the VAB. This launch complex was used in the six manned Apollo moon landing missions using the Saturn V as well as for all Space Shuttle launches.
Be sure to see tomorrow's post as it will feature a stunning new exhibit at the KSC that leaves visitors speechless.
I am honored to have the above image, Gaudy Gobbler, as well as ICU! (another turkey) selected for the Wings & Water exhibition that opens next week in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin -- not too far from NE Iowa. To read more about this upcoming event and view other amazing pieces of art included in this unique collection, go to the following website: http://www.riverartsinc.org/wingswater-artists/
And, if the River Arts Center Gallery is in your area, feel free to attend the opening reception or simply stop by another time to view the work as the exhibit runs through May 6.
Below is an image I captured last summer while waiting for the main event to begin. As you can see, several cowboys are all decked out in their necessary garb as they sit atop a carefully selected 4-legged ride. Lots of equipment as well as practice and animals all contribute to success in a rodeo.