Saturday, October 31, 2015

Autumn Potpourii

I love the spicy, aromatic smell of fall. It always happens when the ground is mushy with leaves and the last saturated leaf is dangling from the tree tops. So Autumn Potpourri is such a perfect title today. We took our first fall walk at Lebanon Hills this year. It's our default wilderness for early spring or fall walking tours. I always say to my husband, "Let me guess, you want to go to Lebanon Hills." Well, it is nice. But no swans today.

We always have to check out the leaves at Robert's Bird Sanctuary behind Lake Harriet. Vibrant yellow majesty awaited.

These turkeys were strutting their stuff at Lakewood Cemetery. Another fall favorite. 

We spotted these deer at Robert's Bird Sanctuary. They were watching another couple walk by as we were watching them. There was a lot of watching going on.

Fall reflections at Wood Lake.

Centennial Lakes in Edina was ablaze with color too.

Fall color poked through the brush at Lake Harriet as well.

A lone fall leaf floated by.

A blaze of Red at Lakewood Cemetery. If only the dead could see their beautiful surroundings. Or maybe they do...

Do you know who can't act, can't sing but can dance a little? Head over to The Chorus of the Crows to find out. Plus I scare up a profile of the master of horror for Halloween...

Red Bouquet

One flower is definitely not a bouquet. But add one additional flower, then, it might be. Irregardless, it's my submission for this week. My two flower, exotic, tropical bouquet.

I love the vibrant red color. And the black background is the perfect contrast. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Happy National Cat Day!

click to enlarge

I'm always late to the party when it comes to National Cat Day. I'll log on to facebook on October 30th and curse the ground I walk on. Damn. I missed National Cat Day! What kind of reluctant cat wrangler am I? That's what I call myself at the end of most of my profiles. I think it's funny. Most people probably just think it's weird. Now I call myself a fiction writer, freelance illustrator, avid photographer, passionate traveler, baker and you guessed it.... a reluctant cat wrangler.

 Well, it's just hard to keep up with all of the modern day observations. And even though I don't agree with this grumpy cat's dog extermination plot, I figure that on National Cat Day, all cats are entitled to their opinion. 

Even a grumpy looking alley cat like this guy. 

Grumpy cat is my bonus post this week!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Yellow Barn

click to enlarge

I spotted this unique yellow barn in the wilds of Wisconsin this Fall. Who does the creatively colorblind farm owner think he is? We all know that barns are supposed to be red by default. Good grief! The innovative gall of some people. I of course had to stop for a sunny yellow photo op.  I'm letting this photo stand alone this week. But that's not to say that the birds in it are standing alone. Do you see them? There are at least 8 ugly critters in it. They're lurking on the silo too!

Please don't click to enlarge. It's blurry and has hideous birds in it. Ha!

Here's a hint. There was road kill near by...

 Please don't forget to stop by my new writing blog The Chorus of the Crows for some Ordinary Inspiration this week. And a big thank you to the folks that dropped by already and made my first week a lot less cyber lonely. 

A Witch in Outer Space


This little witch is on a midnight ride for  Well, she's been on this adventure for many, many moons. Because it is becoming old hat (get it?) for me to post it on Halloween. Well, that's just the way I roll. Or as the Moon turns...

The poor black cat wasn't able to hold on. Gulp. But luckily he landed on this oddly round asteroid. Or extremely small planet. And is relaxing for all eternity while drinking a tasty pumpkin beverage. That's how I roll too. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Red Tailed Hawk

We were leaving the Richfield Farmer's Market this summer when we spotted this hawk. He really found a regal and lofty post to hunt from.

This little bird was sitting on a near by branch. Do you know what he is?

An itch or a scratch.

There's only room for one foot hold at a time.

What an intense and beautiful raptor.

P.S. Be sure to head over to my new writing link. The Chorus of the Crows You can follow my path to publication from the very beginning. And if you are a writer (and many bloggers would consider themselves as such) or know of an aspiring or seasoned writer, please share this new link. I'm hoping to highlight guest writers that might have some good tips to share about their own journey. 

Pumpkin Pup

What do you stuff your pumpkins with? Well, dogs are the obvious choice. I'm not sure what is going to happen with that pumpkin topper balancing oddly on its poor little head. Weird. But who knows what I was thinking when I painted this timely piece. Although, the color still pops! 

These days, I usually find squirrels popping out of my pumpkins. I should paint that. I'm sure that scenario has happened on your doorstep. The pesky squirrels just keep eating until they find themselves eating from the inside out. Whoopsy. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Quarry

We visited The Quarry this Summer. It actually turned out to be a lot cooler than we expected. Except that it was 90 degrees and humid! The discarded granite blocks were piled as high as Mayan temples. (They only used a fraction of what they dug up) Except it was Minnesota. You betcha.

Here's an excerpt from the website for the minority that might want to dig up more information... 

Quarry Park and Nature Preserve, formerly known as "Hundred Acres Quarry," is a great addition to the Stearns County Parks System.
Granite - formed by intense heat within the earth - was the foundation of a major Minnesota industry. The first granite quarry in Central Minnesota was opened in 1863 by two Scotsmen. In the 130 years to follow, Central Minnesota granite became an international commodity gracing buildings as far away as Singapore.
About 100 years ago, a type of stone known as Saint Cloud Red Granite was quarried from land which is now part of the park. The Landmark Center and the James J. Hill House in St. Paul, Minnesota both contain Saint Cloud Red Granite in their structures.
Though private ownership of the land by local quarry companies continued until 1992, quarrying operations in the present park area ceased in the mid-1950's. Companies operating quarries on the site during this period were Holes Bros., Delano Granite, Melrose Granite Co., Empire Quarry Co., and C. L. Atwood.
Over the years, the land gradually reverted back to a more natural state. In 1992, Stearns County purchased this site from Cold Spring Granite Company and added the land to its County Park System. The park opened on January 1, 1998.
See Environmental Education Curriculum, (2.74 mb PDF document) by Jean Hoff, Stephen Saupe and Marcia Handahl. Plant illustrations by Emma L. Thompson.

We spotted a loon.

This actually looks like an un-excavated pyramid in the jungle. I would know. I've been to several in Central America.

Luckily this quarry is 116 feet deep. So there are no worries about bumping your head. But sadly, someone did die here this summer.

Do you see the temple in the background?

You're probably thinking that I sampled a few shrooms myself. Since I'm imagining this area as exotic Mayan ruins. But no.  I just took a few brilliantly colored photographs. Nature is so inspiring.

A jungle cat. A relation of the Jaguar. 

A zipline. Just kidding.

What lies beneath.


I caught a starfish this week for the theme Star. It was either this or go the celestial route. I do actually have a manger scene on Christmas day. And you know what had a staring role!

Here's what I had to say for the fluid theme...

Something is fishy around here.  But it's not my entry for Friday Fish Fry  (click to enlarge) It is perfect for the fluid theme.  Not a loosey goosey interpretation like usual.  My mermaid is obviously floating in water.  And the way she is painted is very fluid or liquid.  Especially her arms.  I guess she doesn't have bones.  All the better when it is time to fillet her.  For shame! And there is another thing that makes this more fluid. I usually use references to aid in my painting.  If I'm drawing a monkey I look at a photo of a monkey. And so on and so on.  But this was completely off the top of my head.  It is very unusual for me to paint like that.    

I painted this one way back in the day.  I've been slowly scanning some of my old, older and oldest images over time.  And I still like this one.  I love the swirly water and vibrant color.  I actually used a fabric paint for the hair.  And I used more textured papers back then.  Nothing fishy about that.  

Just fun.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Super Duper Moon!

Lake Harriet

Were you staring at the skies Sunday night? By now, every dog, dick and harry has probably seen numerous Blood Moon photos and an inch by inch montage of the eclipse. But, you haven't seen mine. So, hopefully you're not burned out yet.

The view in my neck of the woods. I had a little fun in photoshop on these two. It was such a beautiful night to be snuggled under a blanket with a loved one, watching the event unfold... 

click to enlarge

Here are my moon phases. They turned out great. I'm so glad the whole she-bang lined up around 8 o'clock. Because I was actually able to stay up and watch. And take photos. These days, by 9 to10 pm, all bets are off. 

Thanks Universe!