Spider Flower

Cleome I found this beauty among the hundreds of colored plants in my wife's flower garden(s). The unusual structure of the flower head caught my eye: beautiful shades of lavender petals standing on spider legs surrounding the deep purple stamen at the top of a 5' tall stem. And a funny name to boot: Cleome … Continue reading Spider Flower

Northern Minnesota

Driftwood Lodge Last week I was about as far north as you can get and still be in the United States. International Falls was 23 miles WNW. My family had a week together on Lake Kabetogama (that's a mouthful!), and it took us most of the week to learn how to pronounce it. Great times! … Continue reading Northern Minnesota

Tunnel Vision

Box Culvert A small stream flows through the neighborhood park. Usually just a trickle, the stream leaves the park through a 36" culvert underneath a busy street. The well-traveled street has been blocked off for over a month so I took a stroll down thru the park to see what was taking so long. Whoa! … Continue reading Tunnel Vision

Butterfly Garden

Butterfly Rest Stop First of July and the butterfly garden looks to be in good shape. In full bloom are Gaillardia (yellow), miniature Cone Flower (pink) and Soapwort (white), commonly called "Bouncing Betty". Behind these colorful perennials are Common Milkweed, where Monarch Butterfly lay their eggs. Also, Goldenrod, Nebraska's state flower, and giant Sunflower. I'm … Continue reading Butterfly Garden

Tradition

Fruit Pizza A fruit pizza representing the American Flag for July Fourth celebrations has been a family tradition for many years. Two beautiful granddaughters have started to carry on the tradition. Thought for the Day: A love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril.Winston Churchill

Shadows

Shadows Shadows was the theme for the Iowa State Fair's 2020 Photography Salon, which was also cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has impacted the entire world; it has reached every nook and cranny of each person's "normal routine". Nothing is as it should be. Not that I would have entered this photo … Continue reading Shadows

Striped Sentries

On Watch Zebras have keen eyesight. You often see them in pairs looking in opposite directions on the "Endless Plain" of the Serengeti, keeping an eye out for predators as the rest of the herd grazes. By comparison, wildebeest have poor eyesight so they travel along with the zebra for protection. Wildebeest have a knack … Continue reading Striped Sentries

Alone

Alone The lone chair sits on top of a hill overlooking the playground of a Tanzanian elementary school. The usual occupier of the chair is the manager of the school's lunch program, where she takes her break from the kitchen's heat. There is no other "furniture" in the area; no picnic tables, no benches, no … Continue reading Alone

COVID Graduation

High School Graduation A month later than planned, this 2020 class of high school seniors attended commencement ceremonies in their football stadium. Social distancing for the 300 students required the entire field. Each student was allowed only four guests (tickets checked at the gate) and they were assigned to certain areas of the bleachers to … Continue reading COVID Graduation

Drive Carefully

We were exploring Hadrian's Wall in northern England, the most northern border of the Roman Empire. The small town of Brampton was our destination for the night. At the outskirts of town, where the speed limit dropped from 45 to 30 km/hr, I found this sign. It had obviously been altered ... neatly, not vandalized. … Continue reading Drive Carefully

Social Distancing

US Senior Open - 2013 This past weekend, June 11 - 14th, was the first PGA (Pro Golfers's Association) tournament held since the COVID-19 pandemic halted play three months ago. It was played without fans. The next three scheduled tournaments will also be without fans. In a typical year The Masters, US Open and PGA … Continue reading Social Distancing

Smores Galore!

30' pine tree A large pine tree on my north property line fell victim to beetles and died after a quarter century of service. By the looks of the bark, the woodpeckers must have feasted on the beetles for many years. A family work day, eight lumberjack wannabees spread over three generations, made short work … Continue reading Smores Galore!