Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lots to See

Yep.  Back on one of my favorite perches -- the bluffs overlooking downtown Dubuque, Iowa, the Mississippi River and beyond.  In the background, one can also easily spot the Highway 151 bridge that joins Iowa and Wisconsin.  Recognize any other sites?  Now that fall is here this area will soon be bustling with leaf-lookers and those enjoying the gorgeous vistas along this waterway.

Monday, September 29, 2014

They Are Everywhere

Pumpkins!  Have you purchased any yet or dug out those used in your indoor fall decor?  They are available everywhere in just about any shade of orange, plus a milky white and a few green varieties. And, I will admit it now, I enjoy photographing all the wonderfully colored and shaped gourds that are abundant in these parts.  Hence, throughout the next couple months, expect to see several of those images featured on this blog.

"I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion."
                                         --Henry David Thoreau

Friday, September 26, 2014

It's That Time

Throughout America's Heartland combines are rolling through the fields as farmers begin to harvest their grain.  As many experts predict, this year's soybean and corn yields are expected to be high... which means....well, it means several things including the fact that, for the next couple months, my husband is going to be spotted at home only to shower and sleep.  To all those folks involved in this lengthy and tedious process, play it safe and, regardless of the hour, always kiss your loved ones (who are asleep at home) goodnight.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tidal Wave

"The world is full of poetry.
The air is living with its spirit;
and the waves dance to the music of its melodies,
and sparkle in its brightness."
                                                     --James Gates Percival

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Out of This World Herky

Located at 30 North Dubuque Street, in the Van Allen Hall Auditorium Courtyard, this Out of This World Herky honors some of the University of Iowa's world-reknown scientists, including James Van Allen and Donald Gurnett.  This sculpture also pays tribute to the Voyager, one of man's great achievements as the first man-made spacecraft to leave the solar system.  Artist Jane Esch-Woodhouse designed this unique creation for the Herky on Parade exhibit.

In a week be sure to check out the next Herky images featured on my blog.

Go Hawks!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sun Sets on Summer

"But then fall comes...
as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September,
it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed.
It settles in the way an old friend will settle into
your favorite chair and take out his pipe
and light it and then fill the afternoon
with stories of places he has been and things
he has done since last he saw you."
                                                                                 --Stephen King, Salem's Lot

Friday, September 19, 2014

Making Music

Music is a moral law.
It gives soul to the universe,
wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination, 
and charm and gaiety to life 
and to everything.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Boat House in Autumn

This photo is of the boat house at Backbone State Park.  Captured at dusk, this image is serene as well as indicative of the gorgeous fall colors that adorn these parts of Iowa during the coming months.  And, in case you want to see this area for yourself, start by locating the towns of Lamont, Iowa and Strawberry Point, Iowa and nearby is this delightful state park.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Big Foot Herky

Artist Jeff Roetman, of Iowa City, created Big Foot Herky that stands just outside of Macbride Hall / The University of Iowa's Natural History Museum.  The setting seems perfect as the hairy Herky is positioned inconspicuously among trees and shrubs.  And, I must note that for youngsters this sculpture might be a little scary as the boy in the third photo refused to stand alone alongside the beast-like invention.  The little guy started to cry when his mom insisted he be brave and stand on his own with Big Foot -- that is when his dad stepped in and made it all better.

Upclose and personal rearview of Big Foot Herky by Jeff Roetman

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Missing Pieces

The missing pieces are obvious as they occupy a spot on top of the puzzle; however, did you notice the winged creature in the upper right corner?  Anyway, I just have to mention that this image made me think of my family members who love jigsaw puzzles and how 'puzzled' they can be when they finally get it all assembled and discover that one piece is missing -- that is usually because another family member intentionally took that one piece while it was being put together!  Know anyone in your family who would do that?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Taking Flight

Although I don't claim to be an expert birdwatcher, I am easily intrigued by most feathered friends, including this Great Blue Heron as it stalks its prey along the shore of the Mississippi River.  The photo below gives a glimpse of this stately creature as it takes flight.  In the air these large wading birds are easily recognizable by the way in which they curl their necks into a tight "S" shape, their broad and rounded wings and trailing legs.

Friday, September 12, 2014

You're a Star

A special happy birthday to my adorable nephew featured in the photo below.  In my opinion, he is a superstar and so fun to be around.  Have a great day, buddy.

"You have BRAINS in your HEAD.
You have FEET in your SHOES.
You can STEER yourself any
                      --Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#Herky on Hump Day

#Herky by de Novo Marketing Team

Covered in hundreds of popular hashtags, #Herky is located near the University of Iowa's Biology Building at 201 Iowa Avenue in downtown Iowa City.  This sculpture is the result of the combined efforts of 8 employees of the de Novo Alternative Marketing team who used all sorts of popular statements along with several U of I themed phrases to cover this Herky head to toe in hashtags.

Again, this sculpture is just one of several in the Herky on Parade exhibition throughout the Iowa City & Coralville areas.  Look for a new featured next hump day.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Blue Ridge Mountain Photographers Exhibit


Currently at The Art Center in Blue Ridge, Georgia, my two images featured below are on exhibit in the Blue Ridge Mountain Photographers 2014 National Juried Photography Show.  If you reside in that area or are going to be traveling through those parts, feel free to stop in and see the collection.  With all the wonderful photos included in this grouping, I am sure you will be delighted to see it.

A Way of Life (Nature Category) by Stephanie Funke

BEAN There Blonde Selfie (People Category) by Stephanie Funke

Monday, September 8, 2014


Yes, I enjoy taking photos but sitting with a writing utensil and a blank sheet of paper is very relaxing for me.  Every so often, my doodling produces something I am rather fond of, including the piece below.  Nothing to it -- no formal training, no classes to attend or expensive equipment to buy.  Just take a pen and get started.  If you have a tablet and want an app for drawing, consider Adobe Sketch -- I used it to create this.  Let your imagination run wild and simply enjoy.

Doodle On by Stephanie Funke
"Even if you can't draw, 
do a little doodle or rip an illustration from a magazine-- 
these visuals 
will help bring your idea to life."
                                                                              -- John Emmerling

Friday, September 5, 2014

More Jellies

If you regularly follow my blog, you know that a few months ago I posted some pictures of jelly fish that were in an exhibit at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.  (In case you want to revisit those images, see the June 2014 archives and select the title "Jellies.")  And, here are a few more.  Since I find these creatures quite intriguing, I really enjoyed photographing them (even though they were behind glass) and then editing the shots to illuminate their extraordinary forms.  Have a look.

"The world's finest wilderness lies beneath the waves..."
                                                       --Wyland, Marine Life Artist

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Holy Tomatoes!

Right now in many gardens throughout the Midwest, there is a healthy crop of tomatoes...just waiting for anyone to eat them fresh, make salsa or spaghetti sauce or use them for just about anything you can think of.  Since my parents have a favorite salsa recipe and are generous in letting us share in their canned goods, my husband and I have a little supply of the tangy, corn and black bean sauce that will be enjoyed well into the winter.  Gotta love all these tomatoes.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Herky on Hump Day

Journey of a Warrior Herky by Jonathan Northrup & Tate HS students

Made by Jonathan Northrup and Tate High School Art Studio students, this Journey of a Warrior Herky now is home at 16 North Clinton Street in Iowa City.  With the Tate High School colors and pieces of Iowa maps collaged onto its arms and legs, this statue represents how each student has traveled a unique path to Tate where they learn to be as strong as a warrior to reach the common goal of graduation and success beyond.

In case you didn't see my post on last Wednesday, August 27, take a look as it explains the Herky on Parade exhibition located throughout the Iowa City metro area.  For the next few weeks look for a new Herky on hump day.

A unique perspective from this avid Hawkeye fan.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Love Shoes?

"You can't buy happiness but you can buy SHOES...
and that's kinda the same the thing!"
                                              --the Coveteur

"So many shoes and only two feet."

Monday, September 1, 2014

Make a Splash

Are you enjoying the unofficial end of summer on this 3-day weekend?  The folks in these photos sure know how to make a splash and love every minute of it.  Follow their lead and have fun today.

"Don't wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it."