Thursday, July 31, 2014


"If one does not know to which port one is sailing,
no wind is favorable."

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

See them?

The FLIES!  Not until photographing this herd did I realize how flies swarmed to cows' faces, gathering in and around the nostrils and lining the eyes.  Without a tail capable of reaching them, these flies could easily create a 'mad cow.'  And then I thought about to what degree animals can feel all the creepy, pesky insects and other pests that find them to be the perfect host.  But then I decided to not think about this topic and simply post this picture.  Would love to hear any of your initial reactions?  

Geeez...I thought the gnats were bad.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Green Beans

Is your garden currently producing all sorts of fresh veggies?  Or, perhaps you prefer to meander through a farmers' market and purchase some great stuff from a local producer.  Or, maybe you have a friend /neighbor/ family member who shares his abundance.  Whatever the case, hope you get to enjoy some of your favorite garden-fresh items as they come right off the stalk, into the sink and onto your plate.  Get it while the getting is good.

Monday, July 28, 2014


They are everywhere.  Rich, decadent, beautifully decorated and packaged cupcakes available in more flavors than Baskin-Robbins' ice cream offerings...well, maybe not but you get the picture.  In these parts of Iowa there are several cupcake makers who do a fine job with their creations; however, my favorite is Molly's Cupcakes of Iowa City.  And, in case you wondered, the flavors shown above include some coconut concoction (forgot the exact name), Peach Cobbler, Rainbow Sherbet and Lemon Meringue.  Which is my favorite?  I would have to go with Lemon Meringue --YUM!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Say Cheese!

This little doll was hamming it up for the camera as she smiled incessantly (unless her older brother tried to sit next to her) and continuously called out, "Cheeeeeeeeese."  How precious is this little face.  But, I do have to mention that while snapping this photo and a few others for her family, the mosquitoes gave us more souvenir bites than we could count as they literally swarmed everywhere we moved.  However, those bites have since faded but her beautiful smile remains to greet us all.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Smiles in a Leaf Pile

These two cousins were enjoying themselves as they played outdoors during a crisp autumn afternoon.  Because they were willing to let me take their picture, I let them decide where they wanted to smile for the camera and one of the places they picked was in the leaves -- how fitting for kids having fun outside in the fall.  Their beautiful smiles and bright eyes quickly melted my heart.

"In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play."
                                                         --Friedrich Nietzsche

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Smiling at the Park

What do little ones love to do during the summer?  Swim, eat ice cream, ride bikes, stay up late, play outside all mention just a few of their favorites.  This photo captures the happy face of a little man who was loving every minute of time spent at the park, especially going down the slides and then climbing back up them rather than taking the stairs.  From his rosy cheeks, we can tell he was on the move.

"A smile from a child is packaged sunshine and rainbows."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Always a Smile with Ice Cream

"You can't buy happiness,
But you CAN buy ice cream.
And that's kind of the same thing."

This image is proof that ice cream makes everything better, including when your wrist is broken during the summer and all you want to do is play outside.  This little woman didn't let the cast get in the way of her fun as she enjoyed a day at the amusement park and a yummy treat for the way home.  Gotta love this smile. More tomorrow.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Smiles in Red, White & Blue

This week I plan to feature some lovely faces that are sure to elicit a smile.  In today's photo, even though I don't know these individuals, I loved their look for celebrating the 4th of July and asked to photograph them.  They were happy to pose for the camera.  Aren't they adorable?  

Anyway, throughout the remainder of the week, look for more smiles to brighten the day.


"You'll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile."
                                              --Charlie Chaplin

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lovely Lilies

For the past couple weeks in Iowa all varieties of lilies have been blooming -- another highlight of summer that we often overlook.  So, this post brings one of those brilliant blooms to you.  And yes, I admit that, due to their brilliant colors and enormous petals, my eyes are drawn to them and the camera soon follows.  Enjoy this beauty.

"Love is like dew that falls on both nettles and lilies."
                                                               --Swedish Proverb

Thursday, July 17, 2014


"Children in a family are like flowers in a bouquet:
there's always one determined to face in an
opposite direction from the way
the arranger desires."
                                  --Marcelene Cox

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Brown Pelican

                                             --by Dixon Lanier Merritt

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week.
But I'm damned if I see how the helican.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Enter Here

In the past few months inflatable bouncers, like the one featured above, have received a lot of negative attention due to incidents of them literally flying away with children inside.  Nevertheless, kids still seem to enjoy all the fun inside these inflatable, trampoline-like contraptions.  Jump on, little ones, but let's hope trusted adults keep a close eye on the weather conditions that might jeopardize anyone's safety.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Order Up!

Recently while at a restaurant I spotted this Italian pie on its way to a nearby table.  For all of us hungry onlookers waiting for food, it looked and smelled great.  Now, because I don't eat a lot of meat, I would not have cared for this combo of toppings; however, my meat-loving husband would have snatched it in a heartbeat.  Anyway, soon after this passed by, our pizza arrived (1/2 with meat and 1/2 without) and we devoured it.  Yum.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Animals Galore: Horses

"The horses paw and prance and neigh,
Fillies and colts like kittens play,
And dance and toss their rippled manes
Shining and soft as silken skeins;..."
                                             --Oliver Wendell Holmes

"It's a lot like nuts and bolts --
if the riders's nuts,
the horse bolts!"
                 --Nicholas Evans

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Animals Galore: A Rare Sighting

Since this week features photos from the animal world, I definitely wanted to include the glimpse I got of this wet one as it crawled out of the stream and onto the nearby rocks.  Like most other wild creatures, minks prefer to avoid contact with humans; however, this particular image I captured on an early spring morning in a somewhat secluded county park.  Not sure whether the mink or I was more surprised to see the other but, regardless, I was thrilled to get the shot.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Lovely Things with Wings

"Happiness is a butterfly, 
which when pursued,
is always just beyond your grasp, 
but which, if you will sit down quietly,
may alight upon you."
                                --Nathaniel Hawthorne

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Shower

Ever felt sooo hot that you wanted someone to turn the hose on you?  That is what happened in the above photo as this pup needed some relief from the midday sun.  How cute is this little guy, Otto, as he welcomes the cool mist on a warm summer day.  Makes you say, "Ahhhhhhh."

More animals in store for the rest of the week.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Animals Galore: Belugas

Beluga or white whales are one of the smallest whale species (ranging from 13 to 20 feet) but nonetheless are amazing aquatic creatures.  With their peculiar color and forehead shape, belugas are easily distinguishable.  At birth beluga calves are gray or even brown but around the age of five begin to fade to white.  These images were taken during a visit to Chicago's Shedd Aquarium; however, normally belugas reside in the coastal areas of the Artic Ocean and as the sea freezes they migrate southward in large herds.

If you enjoyed this post, stay tuned for more as this week will feature only animals!  

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July

"I like to see a man proud of the place
in which he lives.  
I like to see a man live so that his place
will be proud of him."
                         --Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Budweiser Clydesdales: Here They Come

As these giants pulled the Anheuser-Busch beer cart up and down the streets of Edgewood, Iowa, they definitely were the stars of the show and received a few standing ovations from parade goers.  With grace and power they moved along the route and captured the attention of all as their giant hooves clippity-clopped on the concrete.  These crowd pleasers delighted folks of all ages.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Budweiser Clydesdales: On the Road

As promised, here are a few shots of the beloved Budweiser Clydesdales who were in a nearby town for much of last week participating in the annual Edgewood Rodeo Days festivities.  What a treat!  Today's images feature the draft horses in their pens while tomorrow's photos show these amazing giants hitched and pulling the well-known red, white and gold beer wagon.  Enjoy.




Tuesday, July 1, 2014

$ the HARD Way

Of course, participating in a rodeo is not an easy feat and not for the faint of heart.  However, I sure enjoy photographing these events and their many facets, including the contestants, livestock, clowns and more.  Recently the community of Edgewood, Iowa, hosted its annual 3-day event that each night culminates in a rodeo.  Stay tuned for more images from these festivities, including a look at the world-renowned Budweiser Clydesdales who were present for this summertime fun in a small Iowa town.