Monday, April 27, 2015


The Story of Stacked Rocks is hands down my most visited blog post.  It has accumulated 6,779 hits so far.  People just like Cairns I guess.  I call them stacked rocks.  And I always photograph them. They are also oddly controversial.  I received a negative and extremely long winded comment on stacked rocks in Hawaii. Too long to post here. But here's another short and to the point one.  And my reply...

S Wood said...
I REALLY wish people would stop this ridiculousness. National Parks are not ours to deface and destroy. If these 'stackers' can not appreciate natural beauty for what it is, the least they can do is leave it be for those of us that do.
Sharon Wagner said...
This is an old post. But I check it every once in awhile because it still gets so many hits. I've noticed I have another negative comment about stacked rocks. I'm leaving it on my blog because it is a different perspective to the beauty of stacked rocks. I agree that moving rocks around in National parks may be destructive. But then again, maybe there are more important things to worry about. I think the most important thing is that people are out really enjoying nature and our parks!

The above defacement of a beach (Ha!) was stacked in Canal Park, Duluth. It's a rock extravaganza up there.  If I wasn't so busy snapping photos I might stack some rocks myself.  I could manage that easy stack.

A rocks eye view.

A mini stack.

What a balancing act.

And such a beautiful sculpture.

A mighty and breathtaking stack!  I absolutely love this reflective photo.

It's so Duluth.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wood Walks

The requisite shadow photo.

We had so many nice walks at Wood Lake last summer.  Evening and sunset walks are especially nice.  And I'm always happy if I haven't forgotten my camera. I missed a just hatched snapping turtle scuttling  beside a just hatched painted turtle last spring.  Shoot. (I would if I could)  And then there was the time we sat down right beside a baby swallow who was looking to the skies for his mom.  He was right by our feet.  No camera.

There were so many wildflowers, butterflies and bugs.  But speaking of bugs, the breeze and the mosquitoes prevented me from taking more photos. Someday I'd like to get a better camera with a great macro lens for times like these.  But for now I like the ease of a light weight automatic one.

This one turned out great even without a fancy lens.

A song sparrow (or female red winged black bird) has caught some dinner. 

Mallards swimming in the sun.

A big bird headed somewhere...

Sunset.  Another beautiful evening comes to an end. But since it is spring 2015 a new season of walks is just beginning.  Thank goodness!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Magic Whiskers

I picked an illustration from the good old days for this week's theme soft. It's a selection from a story I wrote and illustrated called, The Tale of the Magic Cat Whiskers. I never attempted to get the story published.  It would need some work.  But with a title like that it really does deserve a second look.  The fairy sitting on a soft hydrangea puff is sad because she has lost her tiny fairy wand. And this is a little known fact.  But certain and very specially selected cat whiskers can be used as fairy wands.  At least in my story.  And maybe even in real life...

Hana at 6 months old.  Loaded with "magic"whiskers.

My beloved cat Hana has magic whiskers. I dare you to prove otherwise.  She was named after the beautiful road to Hana on Maui. And that's just what life is like with a cat like her.  It's full of twists and turns.  And great fun!  We knew she was special the first minute we spotted her calico coat at the humane society.  She is the boss of our household.  But a boss with an easy going catitude.  And a love for everyone that comes within a paws length of her.

Hana was diagnosed with cancer last week.  She had what we hope is a successful surgery to remove a small sarcoma on her leg.  And do you know what caused this tumor?  Well, you should.  Her vaccinations.  Be sure that your Vet injects them low on the leg or in the tail.  Because a cancer can form at the injection site.  And trust me.  If you don't catch it early like we did, they might lose life or limb.  And make sure they are necessary in the first place.  

Hana has a big scar on her leg and is spending quite a bit of time in a big tent that has transformed our living room into the wilderness.  She needs to be separated from her inquisitive brother.  And kept from jumping and playing while she heals.  It's been like trying to stop time.  Or a tidal wave. get the picture.

An Update...
 Well, just as I was creating this post I received an email from the U of M Veterinary Services that Hana's sarcoma was completely excised and should be curative! She's been such a trouper.  Sleeping in her tent like a Persian queen, wearing her clown collar with pride and purring through it all.  Yup, magic whiskers for sure.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rear Window

A Night in the Barn

A big bright moon shining through a window is a recurring theme in my children's work. I can't help being fascinated with the orb.  Especially when it is full. I have a whole series of moon photos that I call The Moon of My Life  (from Game of Thrones) over on my photography blog. And I'll keep painting our bright light in the sky for many, many more moons....

Window is the theme for

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Stone Arch Bridge

You never know when you're going to have a good time. (like last Summer) We decided to go for a walk after having a brew and some Cajun 2 Geaux (my favorite food truck) at the popular 612 brew.  We decided to wander around at the Stone Arch Bridge. The balloon guy didn't disappoint! 

I like how the blurry guy is looking up in amazement.

Dean is looking down with unknown thoughts.

I never tire of looking at the skyline.

Drying his wings almost out of my photo range.

Something old.

And bold colors!  I love this capture.

The evening glow is starting to illuminate.

And reflect.

There were interesting sculptures of some historic buildings on our tour.

This might be one of the most interesting art installations I've seen around town.  There were at least a dozen or more historic replicas.  Yup, you never know what you'll run into when you take a walking photo safari.

A classic shot of the bridge taken a few years ago.

5 random things I love about downtown Minneapolis.  But not for Random 5 Friday.  
That ship has sailed yet again.  Geez.

1)  In the winter you can walk in the skyways.  It is a lot more fun than mall walking.  Because you are rewarded with glimpses of the busy streets and downtown architecture every time you cross one.

2)  The Oceanaire has a great happy hour.  It includes Filet Mignon sliders, cajun shrimp with cheesy grits and a James Bond Martini.  Yum!

3)  Or (unrelated to downtown) how about a Vesper?  "I never have more than one drink before dinner.  But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made"  James Bond in Casino Royale, 1967  Bond switches to martinis after his Bond girl du jour Vesper meets her maker.

"The Vesper"
3 ounces gin
1 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce blonde Lillet

Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with cracked ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve with a large, thin slice of lemon peel. Why?  Because that's the way Bond liked it.

4)  The farmer's market on Nicollet.  Since my husband works right by it he can easily pick up fresh vegetables and other local products.  Opening soon!

5)  When I meet my husband for lunch I can get a great cupcake at Cocoa and Fig.  It's right next door!

Friday, April 3, 2015


The light was warm and wonderful as we strolled at Richfield Lake last Spring.

I love this photo.  The  back light made the old fluffy cat tails glow.  Meanwhile, the muted green of last year's new growth peeks through the cracks.

Reflections of an egret looking for an evening bite before bed.

And here are 5 random new reflections and nature observations for Spring 2015...

1) It was a record breaking 84 degrees in Minneapolis on April 1st this Spring. No fooling. We had our first outdoor picnic.  Even though the winds were fast and furious  We brought a margarita and picked up Chipotle and ate it by Minnehaha creek.  Everything tastes better outdoors.

2)  My husband inline skated around Lake Harriet on two occasions before ice out. 

3)  We have a surplus of chipmunks in our back yard this Spring.  Hmmm.  I wonder if it is because we give them so much corn in the Fall.

4)  We finally kept the bunnies out of our raspberries over the Winter.  We'll have a record bounty this year!

5)  I remember that Random 5 Friday ended around Easter last year. I created a Random 5 post about the beautiful resort town of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua for Easter.  San Juan del Sur has the 2nd largest Christ statue in the world.  Christ of the Mercy.  To see the statue with breath taking views click here!

Happy Easter Everyone!