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Category Archives: Nature

Serenity

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Today was one of those days.  You know the one.  It’s the one that at the end of it every thing just feels right.

It wasn’t a day of vacation.  It was a normal work day for me doing the normal bookkeeping stuff, visiting with customers, answering phone calls and cleaning up cars.  It wasn’t extraordinary in any particular way but it felt right.

After work I took the top off the Corvette and drove a half hour through beautiful countryside to meet friends for dinner.  Wires must have been crossed because when I got there no one was there that I was supposed to meet but it was okay because it was a beautiful evening for a ride.

When I got home I stood outside taking clothes in off the clothesline and just listened.  In the distance I could hear the kids singing from the local bible camp across the road, loons calling in the distance, and an occasional fish jumping in the water.

I watched the changing colors across the lake as the sun was setting and a bat swooping down to the surface collecting bugs for its dinner.

It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to appreciate all that surrounds me.  It’s beautiful and serene.

 
 

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Wildflowers with some Fiddle heads thrown in for fun.

Each spring I delight in looking for wildflowers in our area of Central Minnesota.  This year it has been difficult because of the late spring.  I have a few favorite places where I know I will find wildflowers each year.  I visit those places each week in search of the flowers I think should be blooming at this time of year.

This morning I visited one of my favorite spots along the Mississippi River in Little Falls, Minnesota.  I was searching for Bloodroot which is usually one of the first wildflowers to bloom in our area.  I found White Trout Lillies first.  Here is what they look like growing near the Mississippi River in a wooded area.

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Next I found the Bloodroot.  They were not as plentiful as the White Trout Lily but they are some of my favorites.  Before their flowers open they remind me of miniature tulips.  I wish they bloomed longer.

 

 

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After I found the Bloodroot I got a couple of shots of the ferns starting to shoot up. and that’s where the Fiddleheads thrown in for fun comes in.

 
Fiddleheads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I headed over to another favorite wildflower place in Little Falls, Minnesota, Pine Grove Park.  It was there that I found the Trillium just starting to bloom.  Next week they should be in full bloom which is always fun.

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Last but not least were the Hepatica.  I love how these wildflowers come in various hues from white to blue with a little bit of purple on occasion.

Round-lobed Hepatica

Have a great weekend.  I am hoping to enjoy the rain we desperately need this weekend while reading a good book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
11 Comments

Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Nature, Photography, Wildflowers

 

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Ice Out on Pine Lake

Ice Out on Pine Lake

Spring has been a long time coming in Minnesota this year.  Finally on Mother’s Day the last of the ice landed on our shore and then melted as the day progressed.  We have lived here since 1992 and it is the latest ice out I remember.

It’s hard to keep a positive outlook when you don’t like winter to begin with and it stretches out into May.  Last evening I went for a walk near our home and it was great to hear the birds singing.  As I left the yard two loons flew overhead with their familiar calls.  I love sleeping with the windows open and listening to them as I go to sleep.

The frog chorus has begun in the nearby swamp and the pussy willows have come and gone already.  One of the hard parts about a late spring is the things that usually last for at least a few days are hurried by a quick warm-up in temperatures.  It seemed like the pussy willows lasted only for a day and then they were gone.

Tomorrow morning I will begin my annual search for the wild flowers in bloom.  ‘A friend said last evening that she saw cow slips and bloodroot blooming, two of my favorites.

Have a blessed day!  I know I will as we will experience our first over 80 degree day today. 🙂

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Nature, Uncategorized

 

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Shoveling Buddy

Shoveling Buddy

Life is good.

I admit that I am more than ready for spring but this past week has afforded me a few opportunities to spend some time with my grandson outdoors doing some of his favorite activities.

We have trudged up and down our hill several times after trips down on the sled.  I have to admit that I am out of shape and am constantly bargaining with a 3 1/2 year old about the number of times we will go down the hill again.

Yesterday we spent time shoveling.  He is delighted to help and has his own shovel.  Today we are getting hit with another snow storm mixed with rain.  It is still beautiful to look outside and see the snow falling but I’d like to see a little more green and blue than wihite.

After warming up from being outdoors we spent time doing puzzles on my kitchen floor and playing football with a green balloon in my living room.   We have a regular football but he has a foot on him that will break windows if he is allowed to kick with shoes on.

This is the view out my living room window this afternoon.

Snowy Day

Time to head out on another tow call.  Seems nobody wants to stay home on a snowy day.  Stay warm and dry 🙂

 

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Good Morning Sunshine

 

 

 

When I went to bed Friday evening I was excited to wake up Saturday morning for the sunrise.  I woke up several times during the night because I was sleeping away from home from unusual sounds like a train whistle in the middle of the night and sirens.

I woke up well before sunrise.  I got showered, dressed and camera in hand to sit by the lake waiting for the sunrise.  I was excited because where I live I don’t see sunrises over the lake because of the terrain around the lake and our home.

While I was sitting on the shore I watched as the ducks on the lake were swimming past and diving below the surface to feed.  They were busy for over half an hour in front of me.  I loved watching them disappear below and trying to predict where they would surface.  In the distance I could hear gun shots.  The ducks by me seemed oblivious to the fact that there were duck hunters at the other end of the lake.

It was a beautiful unseasonably warm sunny weekend.  Perfect for walking, sitting and just being outdoors. Hope your weekend was as delightful as mine.

 
 

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Selah, A Time to Breathe

In the Psalms of the Old Testament you will find the word Selah within the individual Psalms.  I had to do some checking into what that really means.  There are different interpretations depending on where you read for a definition.

One definition of Selah that I found was this, “The Selah is there to signal the believer to ‘measure’ carefully the meaning of what has been said. i.e., here is some deeper wisdom, reflect on it and understand its true meaning.”

Another definition of Selah is to pause…consider…take time.  This is the one that I think of when I look at this picture of Bond Falls that I took last fall.

 

Life has been busy this past year.  This weekend I’m looking forward to a time to pause.  Selah!  A change in scenery, location and schedule.  Nothing as grand as a vacation but a time to enjoy my surroundings and people in my life outside of work and home.  The weather is supposed to be great so I am looking forward to taking some pictures along the way and some time to rest, read and revive to finish the year well.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Inspiration, Nature, Photography

 

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Stickwork

This afternoon I was picking up by sister at St John’s University when I saw this incredible display called Art on the Prairie.  It is called Stickwork and it is the work of artist Patrick Dougherty.  For more of his creative work see http://www.stickwork.net

The structures are made entirely of sticks and branches.  They are large enough to go inside and look out.  It is also possible to walk in between the structures.  The structures remind me of artwork from Dr, Seuss’s books, whimsical and a little off-kilter.

I wish that I had one of these structures in my yard.  It would be a kid’s play land dream come true.  They said that the structure will most likely last two years of being exposed to the elements. It is well worth the brief detour south off I-94 to see Art on the Prairie.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Architecture, Fall, Nature, Photography, Uncategorized

 

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Ice Bubble Snowman

This afternoon I ventured out on the newly formed ice. While I was out walking I noticed ice bubbles had formed in the ice. This is the picture of some of the bubbles with the floor of the lake below. The  three bubbles are different layers.

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The second photo shows the bubbles at the different levels but still looks like a snowman to me.

The last photo shows the bubbles stacked above each other. As I look at all three photos they each are unique but all make me think of some far off galaxy. The first photo makes me want to get out a marker and draw the missing face and stick arms on the snowman in a folk art style.

So far no snow on the ground here which makes it seem like Christmas couldn’t possible be only two weeks away.  Snow is only forecast one day in the next week. Still hoping for a White Christmas. If I have to have the cold at least there should be some snow to decorate the brown earth for Christmas.

 
15 Comments

Posted by on December 12, 2011 in Holidays, Nature, Photography

 

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Ballet Shoes

As a child I remember wanting to take dance lessons. My best friend had dance lessons every Saturday morning. Some Saturdays I would go with and watch while she and the other girls danced. I attended their recitals and watched as the danced in their pretty costumes to the music.

My parents bought a piano and I learned how to play it, not well but I can pick up a not too complicated piece of music and it will sound recognizable to the untrained ear. I find playing the piano relaxing at times when I need a break from bookkeeping or other mundane tasks. I think that my parents made the wiser choice given the fact that I have an overall dislike of physical exercise. Playing the piano is more of a life skill for me. One that I can put down and pick up over time.

This morning I took my camera down to the lake to capture a pink sunrise. The sky had a pink glow to it and I thought it might lend itself well to some interesting pictures.

Saturday evening the winds blew so strong out of the north that the windows were making noises and we could hear the tree branches all night long. When we woke up Sunday morning the ice that had starting forming around the edges of the lake were gone because of the strong winds.

This morning I found branches along the shore of the lake with icicles hanging from them but my favorite find was the above picture that looks like ballet shoes. I love how the icicles formed evenly to look like a pair of shoes hanging from ribbons.

Sometimes when you are searching for one thing, like a beautiful sunrise, you find something better.

It pays to look a little closer.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Nature, Photography, Reflections

 

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Garden Party Hat on Black Friday

This morning before work I took a walk through my garden not expecting to find any color but surprised to find some blue. Even in the summer when I have a lot of flowers blooming I rarely have blue in the garden.

This photo is what is left of my Echinacea plants. The seeds have blown off the plant leaving only the stem and a few seeds. I love the beautiful blue color around the edges and the few seeds on top giving the look of a birthday party hat.

I love the texture where the seeds attached to the plant. It looks like a basket weave to me.

This morning I went out to take some pictures of an eagle perched in a tree down on our shore.Before I got to the lake the crows chased the eagle out of the tree. The eagle headed east back to the nest area from earlier this summer. It was fun to see the eagle still around the lake.

It was overcast but springlike weather this morning. I was hoping to maybe get a little flying time but the weather didn’t clear enough for safe VFR flying. I wasn’t tired this morning like so many others because I didn’t partake in the Black Friday madness. We came home yesterday after spending time with family on both sides of the family. Three out of four of our kids came back home last evening and spent the evening just visiting.

Much better than shopping any day of the week in my book.

 
19 Comments

Posted by on November 25, 2011 in gardening, Nature, Photography

 

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