Saturday, December 31

looking forward, looking Back

Heading East on I-90, looking back West in the mirror. Seems apropos for the last day of 2011, looking back to the Old Year passed, and into the New Year to come.

Friday, December 30

sunrise Cows

Curiosity is supposed to "kill the cat", but there isn't anything much more curious than a herd of cows. They were wondering why I stuck the camera out the window as I drove by on my way to school. Their backs were still snowy, so well insulated are the bovines that it hadn't even melted off even after several hours.

Thursday, December 29

tigers and monkeys and Parrots

This has to be one of the coolest mailbox posts on the Planet! It is on a gravel road, among corn and soybean fields in a lovely corner of Cottonwood County, MN. 

I kid you not, the folks who live here also raise cattle and own a real, live GIRAFFE!

Your neighbors may have wandering cats and barking dogs, but our grandkids have a giraffe for a neighbor.

Wednesday, December 28

here be Dragons

Christmas dragons from the creative brain of Daughter #1
Back after spending Christmas with Daughters #1, #2, #3, Son-in-law #1, Son-in-law #2, grandchildren #1 and #2 in Minnesota. A good time had by all! Hope yours was warm and friendly and memory filled, too.
 We are hard on the heels of 2012, hard to believe New Year's has come so fast.

Thursday, December 22

the Easter Bunny

Greeting the Sun at the Winter Solstice, wearing his best Winter fur coat.

"Solstice Sun, Shining Bright!
Shortest Day & Longest Night.
Solstice Wish of Hope & Cheer:
Peace on Earth, throughout the Year!"
by Selena Fox

Wednesday, December 21

a grandfather Tree

Ma Nature sure knows how to build a cottonwood tree!

Tuesday, December 20

prairie sunrise December

Sunrise on the short grass prairie, Audubon Christmas Bird Count, looking for the sharp-tailed grouse. They, of course, chose to be in the cottonwood trees eating the buds, instead of being picturesque in the grass. Then again, the grass and alfalfa was picturesque on its own.

Monday, December 19

tiny little Pots

Little bitty baubles for tiny poinsettias in mini 2"pots.

Wouldn't a bright red poinsettia baby be a screamer in a flashy purple pot or an acid green one!

Sunday, December 18

Audubon CBC/Rapid City, SD

The Early Bird

 Morning Watchman
We weren't the only ones walking along the Creek

 Tangerine Toes!

Thursday, December 15

dear Santa,

These were NOT on my Christmas list!
klutzy move + hopping off stage = spend Christmas vacation from school gimping around.

Tuesday, December 13

Monday, December 12

late afternoon, December

St. Joseph Street,  Rapid City, South Dakota

Sunday, December 11

moonset at Sunrise

12/11/11       7:15 am     44N  103W
The Full Cold Moon; or the Full Long Nights Moon – December During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.

Saturday, December 10

a fishy looking Christmas

Uncooperative Guppies
While they were decorating our classroom (which is now quite gaudy and spectacular with lights), the guys decided Jose and the Guppies needed to be decorated up as well. Window clings not only cling to windows, but they also cling to aquariums. Love those 9th graders.

Tuesday, December 6

we have Company

This little critter is currently residing among the leaves and flowers of the Christmas cactus on the mantel in the living room. She has been seen on an orchid in the dining room and on the light in Rachel's bedroom ceiling. We don't know how long she has been visiting or how she is traveling (unless she has a Doppelganger). She is most welcome to stay.

Sunday, December 4

the journey of Odysseus

Do you remember any cats in the Odyssey?

9th grade English curriculum requires reading and analysis of Homer's The Odyssey, which we have been doing these past two weeks. The students were asked to write about their thinking as they read the story of Odysseus. Here are some of the lessons learned along the way which Odysseus's men should have learned.
I love they way the kids think.

Saturday, December 3

hello, Amaryllis

As soon as the morning sun came in the south window, Amaryllis showed her face for the first time this season.

Thursday, December 1

why would you do This?

at the stop sign Thursday morning
Of all the vanity plate cleverness you could choose, why would you want to advertise that you are annoying and probably obnoxious, to boot????

Tuesday, November 29

two fer Tuesday

The way this pair had composed themselves to soak up the last warming rays of the afternoon sun caught my eye. Mallards are common winter residents here, accidental fine art sculptures some days, noisy panhandlers on others.

Monday, November 28

a fine Fisherman

He blends in well with the blue sky and the winter gray branches. Kingfishers are notoriously hard to get a good photo of, they are very alert to potential predators (read that photographers) and skitter away in a heartbeat. A crowd of mallards was no protection for the fishy tidbit he had his eye on, he dove right into the middle of the mob, and came up with 
If you want a really good kingfisher, go to Dina's blog ( on Nov. 19. Now, there is a kingfisher like I wish I could capture!

Saturday, November 26

Friday, November 25

sleek Sleepers

Could you take a snooze in an icy cold creek with the water up to your belly feathers?

Thursday, November 24

the day of the happy Turkey

Good wishes, Everyone!
The voters here chose roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for Thanksgiving dinner, so this is the only turkey I have been "stuffing" this morning.

Wednesday, November 23

morning sun #4

in the morning, by the Creek, under the bridge

Tuesday, November 22

morning sun #3

One cyclamen blossom in the morning sun. This brave little plant has survived my care for a whole year and is starting to bloom again. As a rule, I manage to kill them off, they do like water on a very regular basis, I am sometimes better with things that are labeled "can't kill with a club".

Monday, November 21

morning sun #2

Very Kool Kiwi

Sunday, November 20

morning sun #1

Ficus elastica ginormous
The Rubber Plant that Ate Cincinnati, is slowly taking over the living room, currently headed for the fireplace mantel. This is one of those hand-me-downs that come from your kids when they leave home/college for the real world. The RPTAC started out as a  college Botany class project in air layering by Daughter #2. I inherited it when she moved to an apartment, now it has grown so big that no vehicle we own can haul it to Minnesota. It isn't massive as far as square footage, it has no branches. It started its life as a branch and so it has remained. However, it is now 12 feet long and has new leaves burgeoning! It loves the morning sun from the south window.

Saturday, November 19

birthday Cake

November 19, 8 am
After 10" of snow overnight, the table on the deck looks like something in a bakery ready for decorating!

Friday, November 18

after the Big Bang

The Geodome Planetarium came to visit.

Wednesday, November 16

self Portrait

howd'ja do that?
No trickery, no Photoshop, just Pentax

Tuesday, November 15

even a Dog...

loves a Parade 
and so do small boys!

Monday, November 14

ok, what is the Answer?

"Ostrich's eggs are bigger than ..."
You can't just pose questions like this and then go ... 
and not finish the statement!

Sunday, November 13

D is for Diagonals

 Daddy's D
What's not to love about shadows?

Saturday, November 12

Friday, November 11

Happy Veteran's Day, with Thanks

Lincoln Academy celebrated our Veterans and active duty Service Members with a program, luncheon and gifts of thanks and flowers on Thursday, November 10. We were honored to have speakers from all branches of the armed forces, from World War II up through the current war on terrorism, share their stories with the students and staff. Many of our local businesses helped provide our guests with a wonderful luncheon by donating food and flowers. Awesome Day!

Simply said, Thank you for your service to our Country.

Thursday, November 10

the Speleothem

dogtooth spar

This piece was a present from my geologically minded children, it guards my  heirloom irises

and for your edification...
" The calcite crystals, unlike most of the other mineral decorations, were presumably formed under water; that is, at a time when the cave was filled with solutions. Similar crystals have been "grown" in laboratories, where it was found that by adding certain impurities in varying amounts, the form of the crystal could be changed. In fact over 300 different crystal forms of calcite are known."
Typical occurrence of calcite crystals (mostly Dogtooth Spar). The best specimens are found in vugs or cavities and on the underside of protruding ledges. Typical Calcite Crystal Forms, normally only the upper half of the crystal will be seen. (bottom, center).
information from Jewel Cave NP