Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Raptor Report

The teaching birds. Who will get released this year?

We saw these amazing Raptors during the Release at Carpenter Nature Center last Fall. It was exactly a year ago today. Because they are having another one later this afternoon! My favorite photo is the Kestrel.  He looks so curious with his head cocked.  Just like he is thinking, "Me so pretty!"  He'd be right. 

But my favorite bird is the owl.  Just look at those eyes. Here's a newspaper clipping with some raptor facts.  I thought it might be of interest to my birding friends.

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The Stone Barn

So where were we really going to when we stopped at the Rapture Release last Fall? Why, the Nelson Stone Barn for some rustic pizza of course. It's closing time again for 2015. See you later this afternoon beloved pizza in a corn field... 


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This little girl has her eye on the prize. The cat, on the other hand, just looks annoyed.  But, I'm not sure if I painted it that way on purpose. Ha! It's an old piece. But the recipe is still terrific.

Prize is the theme for this week.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sudgren Sunset

When ever we're in Florida we always make a tasty beverage, grab some 5 Guys burgers and head to Sudgren for sunset. We eat outdoors at much as possible.  And it is so nice to leave the reservations behind and eat like a local. A local osprey that is.  All the other local people are sitting inside their air conditioned condos or restaurants.

I love the movement and composition of this photo

But why would you eat inside when you can dine by the lake. This egret agrees.

This photo has dazzling color in the ripples. A favorite silhouette.

And take a sunset swim.

They perform water ski shows at Sudgren.  I prefer the dazzling performance of the setting sun.

I asked a girlfriend to dine with us on this night.  She preferred to dine alone.  Danielle, you missed a great sunset!  And my dazzling conversation.  Ha!

Layers of color at sunset

But there's always next year. Sunset at Sudgren happens for free everyday. But bring your own burger!

Mermaid Me

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I went fishing in my vast cyber ocean and hooked Mermaid Me. It is my choice fillet for the mermaid theme. Self portraits are so much fun to do. I think we all have so many sides (or fins) to ourselves.  I don't exactly swim like a mermaid.  But my love of the ocean goes back to when I was 5 years old and saw it for the first time.  I grew up far from any ocean on a boring farm in Wisconsin.  Well, now I think of it as a scenic area of rolling hills and bountiful crops.  But back then it was one dull day after another.  Until our first trip to Florida.  Magic!  It has been a love affair ever since. 

 I've done some serious shelling on Sanibel Island.  Put my tanned paws in the silky sands of Siesta Key.  Sat with Sea turtles on the black sand of the Big Island.  Snorkeled with the fishes in Belize.  And most importantly boogie boarded in Dominical, Costa Rica.  I definitely have a little bit of mermaid in me.  Even though I often sport a life jacket.  A little girl pointed at me after bike riding along the lake this Summer.  I was still wearing my helmet.   She pointed and said to her Mom, "Safety Girl"  Yep.  That's me.

Safety mermaid artist girl to the rescue.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Smoky Summer Skies

I love this smoky sunset photo taken on the Foundation trail in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. One of our favorite summer walks. It snakes through clear sandy creeks and towering pines. Then it veers through a quaint small town and finally meanders by the rolling Black River. But this year, the best part of this path was the drama in the skies.

Did you capture the fiery veil of our smoky summer skies?  A couple weeks ago I missed a great local shot of the surreal sunset here in Minneapolis. But over July 4th in B.R.F. I had my camera ready.  This one captures the sun radiating through the pine needles. 

Downtown B.R.F. all decked out with petunias and flags for the 4th. I love small town fireworks. No traffic!

A town flower sculpture that is right up my alley.

I had to laugh at this row of gnomes. Since I love to travel, I guess you could say these guys are up my alley too.

We spotted this fawn (literally) at the side of the road. 

These sand hill cranes were running to catch a big snake. 

A pointy weed caught my eye.

But it was the pre-firework show that had me awe inspired. 

By the time it hit the tree line it looked completely surreal. 

Photoshop? Nope. The real thing. Or the surreal thing!


Guess who's the villain? Well, if you own a cat, you know the answer is always (D).  For all of the above. 

Here's the villain at my house.

Hana. It almost looks like a drunk mug shot. She was caught in the act on a trail cam. But we let her off easy because she was actually doing something cute. Leaving us sock kittens by the front door.

Two shakes of a cat's tail ago I posted this piece for the invisible theme over at  Here's what I wrote...

No one's forcing you to look at my Pawshanks Prison piece. But if you do, you'll notice the orange cat is hiding his stash of illegal catnip behind a poster.  Hmmm.  I wonder where I got that idea?  If I wouldn't have painted a toilet in the background, I could imagine that the gravel chunks collected from the wall were hidden in the litter box.  But I did.

  The Shawshank Redemption is one of my all time favorite movies. A classic.   Pawshanks Prison is also a clawsic.  At least in my mind.  The acatamey nominated it for a Morris.  But it lost to a documentary on Li'l Bub and Grumpy Cat.  The catics ripped it to shreds in the press.  But I don't care.  I know it would get 4 paws if the voters knew how to vote!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Sunrise in Osa

Morning in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica

I missed an amazing sunset photo the other night. That's what happens when you don't bring your camera folks! And I didn't have to travel to Costa Rica to see/miss it. It was in my own backyard. Or close to it. At lake Harriet. Lately, when the sun grazes the tree line, it is a glowing pink fireball. Due to the smoky skies over our heads. 

I took this smoky sunset photo earlier this summer. Surreal!

You can call me a lot of things. But don't call me late for sunrise. Because I never am. Not when the fireworks are right outside my room. And it doesn't hurt that at Iguana Lodge, great coffee and  tasty food await the early riser. Plus, if you saw last week's post, that's when you see and hear the most bird action. Who could sleep through that? Well, a lot of people. But not me. 

Morning is the best time of day!

Happy Labor day blogging friends!

The Good Old Days

Excerpt from The Yearling. By Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Old is the theme for

P.S. It looks like there aren't enough biscuits!