Saturday, January 30

it must be an Owl Moon has to be an Owl Moon tonight, the full moon of January. Jane Yolen's marvelous book could be happening right outside in our backyard. The full moon is beginning to rise, there is snow on the ground and a courting pair of Great Horned Owls are "singing" to each other. The serenade has been going on since sunset.

the bison are Watching

Lakota artist Don Montileaux has his fine art and ledger art work hanging in galleries, businesses and homes all over the world. He also shares his "storytelling in paint" as public art. These bison live high on a south wall in Art Alley, surveying the passersby who come to visit.

Thursday, January 28


just under the surface, the koi wintering inside at my favorite greenhouse while away the hours until they can go outside again under the summer sun.

Wednesday, January 27

today, it's Geology

The Deadwood formation, overlies Precambrian schists with conglomerates, sandstone, mudstone and other goodies deposited in a marine environment. There is a fault zone here, you can see the tilt of the layers as they were pushed up.

This particular cliff face borders part of the Deadwood gulch area that the miners were trying to reach. If they approached from the north, the only way in was down the side of the cliff. There are accounts of having to lower supplies, including wagons and horses over the cliffside using heavy block and tackle! How is that for determination during a gold rush?

Tuesday, January 26

fuzzy and very Curious

If you stop your car by the side of the road, their intense curiosity draws them over to investigate, just like iron filings to a magnet! They were just moseying along in the late afternoon sun, I remember when they arrived in the world on a cold winter day just about a year ago. A new batch should appear in the field across the road about the time the mountain bluebirds arrive back in the same pasture.

Monday, January 25

a curious Question

Why do they always say "like water off a duck's back" ? It looks like "water off a duck's belly" would work just as well to me.

Sunday, January 24

a horse of a different Color

The Iron Horse came in to the passenger station directly across the street from the Inn... the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad served the citizens of Deadwood, South Dakota, the Depot is where they disembarked from the train. The entire town of Deadwood is a now National Historic Landmark, much of the historic preservation work is done with money from the legalized gambling in the old gold town. The restoration of the Depot is a project that my husband did research and design work for several years ago.

This creature is carved out of the block of stone that forms the lintel over the front door, it is not an add-on. You just don't see this kind of masonry work now days . My husband, the architect, loves a design challenge, so far no clients have asked for carved stone horses or gargoyles as a building details.

Saturday, January 23

catching the last Rays

This cottonwood tree catches the very last rays of the sun every afternoon before it sets behind the Hills. And just like clockwork, every afternoon this band of starlings perches here to enjoy the last of the sunlight before they head to bed for their long winter night's snooze.They preen and chat quietly for about ten minutes, bidding each other good night and then off they go, returning again the next afternoon. I know they can be a nuisance in the wrong place, but is kind of friendly like to see them there when I get home from school every day.

Friday, January 22

drinking Problems

There are drinking problems, and then there are drinking problems! 
When you are 16' tall, an 18" tongue can be a real help if you are thirsty! Must have an interesting blueprint. :o) 

Thursday, January 21

me and my Shadow

the shadows are lengthening, today has 2 minutes and 3 seconds more of daylight than yesterday, spring is creeping up.

Wednesday, January 20

a long, cold drink of Water

from Rapid Creek at 44N 103W

Tuesday, January 19

a fire in the Forest

Just as I arrived home tonight Ma Nature threw this fiery sunset up on the western horizon, back-lighting the big Ponderosa pine across the street. It lasted only a few moments, nice punctuation mark at the end of the day.

Monday, January 18

thank you, grocery Stores...

 for selling daffodils in January! 

Sunday, January 17

a role model for the Planet ?

 Art Alley, Rapid City, SD

We should probably all find our inner Elmo, the world would be a more light-hearted place, don't you think?

Saturday, January 16

midsummer Coverlet

Ma Nature is a weaver, a spinner, a quilter, an artist. She created this quilt to lay over the hills on July evenings. Her color palette tends to the purples and lavenders of bee balm, crown vetch, leadplant and coneflower. She selected the greens of prairie grasses and the silver of artemesia and sage for contrast, with a punctuation of black-eyed susans here and there. Currently, she has chosen tan, brown and white, with the detail of two horses, to blanket the same place. 

Friday, January 15

bird's eye View

Such a neat study in brown is the lady mallard's back.

Thursday, January 14

did anybody else have one of those Days...

that made the thought of sitting on a park bench feeding the pigeons a very appealing prospect for the afternoon?

Wednesday, January 13

mystery Machine

Question: What is this Thing?

Tuesday, January 12

tropical Fruit

A comment I ran across somewhere, regarding current trends in winter gear ...

"Color serves a practical purpose, you know, you can spot someone up on the slopes...If you are stuck on a glacier, it helps to be dressed like a mango."  

Love it!

Monday, January 11

where are you d'Artagnan?

Athos, Porthos and Aramis

Sunday, January 10

Burt imitates Beatrix Potter
Back to summer for a few absolute favorite picture of my brother's dog Burton ...check the totally accidental similarity to an illustration from Peter Rabbit, by the inimitable Beatrix Potter! I only saw it when I got the photo on the computer screen and it looked familiar, somehow. Her stories were bedtime reading for my daughters time after time after time.

Saturday, January 9


Does camoDuck think she is hiding in the snow? I think she'd better ditch the Sunkist orange accessories if she is going to pull off the ruse.

Friday, January 8

peeping Tom

or more correctly, peeping Thomasina looking in the window as we looked out. This cheeky creature is up on my deck railing, right along with the juncos, the blue jays and the goldfinches.

Thursday, January 7

#9 the Odd Couple

This lovely couple seems to be "in a relationship" according to their Facebook page!

Wednesday, January 6

Tuesday, January 5

Lucifer the Lazy and Kermit the Frog

What creature does "sleep" better than a cat?

Main Entry: sleep
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: suspension of consciousness


bedtime, catnap, coma, dormancy, doze, dream, dullness, few z's, forty winks, hibernation, lethargy, nap, nod, repose, rest, sack time, sandman, shuteye, siesta, slumber, slumberland, snooze, torpidity, torpor, trance 


don't you wish you Had....

cool orange tootsies like that ??? 

Monday, January 4

where's Waldo

Back to warm summer days for a moment. Can you find him, little spotted sandpiper, along the shoreline, who is probably foraging along the beaches on his wintering grounds in the Caribbean.

Sunday, January 3

goosey goosey Gander

Goosey, goosey gander,
Whither dost thou wander?
Upstairs and downstairs, 
And in my lady's chamber.

(From an old English nursery rhyme)

Check out fun site that lists the "secret history" of a number of favorite nursery rhymes.


Saturday, January 2

out to Lunch

Lord and Lady Mallard lunching at the Savoy, or is it the Ritz?

Friday, January 1

birding through the window, New Year's Day 2010

downstream and Upstream

On a New Year's Day, looking forward and backward, downstream and upstream.

"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself." quoting from my daughter Becka's blog, quoting Neil Gaiman.