Thursday, April 30, 2015

All About the Nest

"Being born in a duck yard does not matter,
if only you are hatched from a swan's egg."
                            --Hans Christian Andersen

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze."
                      --William Wordsworth, "The Daffodils"

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Spring Planting

Here in Iowa farmers are moving full-speed ahead with planting.  This pair of operators happens to be my husband and his brother as they work together to prepare the soil and get the seed in the ground.  With the weekly weather forecast calling for mostly dry conditions, all sorts of equipment will be in the fields plus moving slowly on the roads -- keep an eye out for them.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Either Fish or Fowl

Gaudy Gobbler by Stephanie Funke

Currently at the Annapolis Maritime Museum, in Annapolis, MD, the Either Fish or Fowl art exhibition is underway.  As you may have guessed, the two images featured in today's post were selected for this exhibit.  To view or purchase work from this show click here 

ICU! by Stephanie Funke

Either Fish or Fowl

An MFA Juried Exhibition at the 
Annapolis Maritime Museum

723 Second Street, Annapolis MD 
April 15 - May 31
Gallery Hours: Thursday - Sunday, noon - 4pm 

Juror: Christopher Sloan is Executive Director of the Allegany Arts Council and president of Science Visualization.

Featuring Artwork by: 
Maggy Aston, Beth Bathe, Ron Beckham, Joseph Bellofatto, William Boyd, Tao Chen, Howard Clark, Ron Colbroth, Matthew Derezinski, David Diaz, Betsy Frahm, Janet Frankovic, Stephanie Funke, Michael Gaudreau, Sheila Guevin, Michelle Guillermin, John Hanou, Liz Howshall, Sarah Kaiser-Amaral, Kenneth Kaplowitz, Linda Kirvan, Barbara Marshall, Cam Miller, Phyllis Muller, Dean Peterson, Bobbi Pratte, Lisa Rath, Isaiah Ratterman, Edward Shmunes, Kate Stillwell, Willliam Thayer, Nan Thompson, Andrew Verhoeckx, Oda vonBerg

Friday, April 24, 2015

Little Ones in the Fields

With warmer weather come all sorts of signs of new life, including several things on the farm.  As Iowans, we know spring is near as calves start appearing in the fields.  And, as tiny tots, they really are cute.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mountain Splendor

This photo was taken between Yellowstone National Park and Jackson, Wyoming.  Boating with the Tetons as a backdrop in the cool mountain air is a delightful setting that most Iowans regard as awesome.  Moose, bears, wolves, bald eagles, osprey and pelicans are just some of the species that reside in this area, and boaters are likely to see a lot of wildlife while spending time on the water.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Look Up

"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


"If it weren't for the rocks in its bed, the stream would have no song."
                                                              --Carl Perkins

Monday, April 20, 2015


"In quiet places, reason abounds."
                                                                --Adlai E. Stevenson

Friday, April 17, 2015

Stars of the Show

"We have more to learn from animals than animals have to learn from us."

"A world without dolphins and whales isn't much of a world at all."
                                                --Ric O'Barry

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Scenes at SeaWorld

A gorgeous day at SeaWorld Orlando

If you've enjoyed the images of flamingos and dolphins as well as these scenes, be sure to see tomorrow's post.  A clue:  they are black and white and wet all over.  From roller coasters to amazing marine life, this place has it all.  And, yes, since we were in Florida, I had to include a shot of some gators.  The third image shows folks enjoying (with their hands up) the thrill ride known as the Manta.  Lots of fun for all ages.

Florida gators

Twisting and turning on the Manta

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Los Delfines

Advice from a Dolphin
--Have a playful spirit.
--Be curious.
--Find someone you really click with.
--Sound out new ideas.
--Glide through the day with ease.
--Find your life's porpoise.
--Consider the flip side!
                               --Ilan Shamir

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


On a recent trip to Orlando, my husband and I spent a day at Sea World.  Although flamingos aren't one of the main attractions, their bold color and peculiar build made them quite popular for passersby.  And, for the remainder of the week, look for more shots of some pretty cool creatures.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Nature's Web

"Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns,
so that each small piece of her fabric reveals 
the organization of the entire tapestry.
                                                              --Richard Feynman

Friday, April 10, 2015

Carnival Food

"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting
for the steak to cook."
                                             --Julia Child

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Birthday Greetings

Today's post is in honor of my mother's birthday.  She loves to work with the youth of our community, is an avid supporter of the girls' and boys' high school athletic teams, and each spring she plants hundreds of blooming things to adorn her outdoor space.  If you see her, be sure to extend a hearty happy birthday wish.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Path

"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought 
will not make a pathway in the mind.  To make a deep physical path,
 we walk again and again.  To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives."
                                                         --Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Need Your Vote!

For the "Iowa People" category, this photo is a finalist in the annual Our Iowa photo competition.  As the caption states, this shot was taken during the 2014 Edgewood Rodeo Days parade and includes a glimpse of Miss Rodeo Iowa 2014 along with members of a local riding club.  

Of course, if you are a subscriber, I would appreciate your vote.  To do so via email, type in the subject line "Vote Iowa People" and in the message type "I vote for # 1."  Send to

Or, mail your ballot to Focus on Iowa Photo Contest, Iowa People Category, Our Iowa, 1606 Golden Aspen Drive, Suite 109, Ames, IA 50010.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Searching for Eggs

A sure sign of Easter is when little ones scurry around the yard in pursuit of hidden eggs.  Recently I spent an afternoon with my nephew and niece and thoroughly enjoyed watching them dart from place to place all the while shrieking and shouting out clues regarding eggs that they had just spotted. 
Following the hunt, they hurried to the kitchen table anxious to open the plastic eggs.  Candy, little toys and a few coins were some of the surprises that delighted this adorable duo.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Wishes

"Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song."
                                          -Pope John Paul II

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Cityscapes Exhibit

Yes, I live in small-town Iowa but definitely enjoy spending time in a city, including Chicago.  And with so many architectural masterpieces in that locale, I always allow time to photograph the sites.  This particular image features the John Hancock Center along with a neighboring high rise.  Recently this shot earned Special Recognition in an online art exhibition showcasing Cityscapes.  To view the many wonderful entries, visit the following site:

Hank by Stephanie Funke

Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

3rd Anniversary

If you are a loyal follower, this image is familiar as it's been featured a few times on this blog.  Because it shows the delicate intricacies of ferns emerging from their winter slumber and remains one of my favorite photos of the plant world, I decided to post it again as I note the third-year anniversary of this endeavor.  Yes, this photo is on the very first post I created...and then nervously clicked on 'publish' to share it with the world.  Stay tuned for more interesting shots, including some from a visit to Florida.