Monday, January 31

cow camo Cat

Lucifer is a man who looks after his comfort. If a snowy day doesn't provide a sunny spot to snooze, then he finds the next best thing. I don't think he was trying to hide, but it is pretty effective camouflage nonetheless on Rachel's cow blanket.

Sunday, January 30

jacket sleeve Jewel

Guess is snowing, and for once it is just floating down and not driving horizontally!

Saturday, January 29

once upon a Time...

             ...... she could have worn these tiny moccasins.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

Friday, January 28

boys Toys

We had a fascinating assembly at school yesterday, Jay Red Hawk talked to our kids about Lakota culture, goal setting and integrity. He and his family, several generations together, raise and train horses and follow traditional ways. Among the unique skills Jay has is that he is one of the only Lakota men today who hunts buffalo from horseback with a bow. This is the style of hunting that George Cattlin depicted in sketches and paintings from the 19th century (see below). Can you imagine the courage and training necessary to have a successful hunt? Jay hunts with a handmade bow of Osage orange, hand-fletched arrows with stone arrowheads!


Among the things that he brought to show the kids were toys that helped teach the children their adult roles in society. The boys' toys on the table are horses. The kids played with them like modern children play with Transformers or action figures. These toys, however, are not plastic, they are toe bones from the foot of the buffalo. They are painted to resemble the roan, sorrel and palomino horses from the family herds.

Thursday, January 27

i love vanity Plates!

These two  cars were literally  face to face in the grocery store parking lot this afternoon! Who is your money on in a duel?

a favorite Neighbor

Pica hudsonia
The black-billed magpies love this lone pine lookout tower. I see them most days either on my way to school or on the way home. If I am lucky, I catch them both times. 
This one was soaking up the final rays of the late afternoon sun and hollering about something or other. I didn't see anything to be stirred up about, maybe he was just yelling for the fun of it. Wish I'd had the bigger lens, not the point and shoot, they are so photogenic and very camera shy.

Wednesday, January 26

flying between the Clouds

Where are you going, high flying jet?
Heading west into the setting sun,
Is your destination California or Hawaii or Fiji or Tibet?

Tuesday, January 25

in the Doghouse

 Rapid City public schools participated in a fundraiser for our local Humane Society earlier this month. The Learn and Serve program students built doghouses and distributed one to each elementary, middle and high school. The kids were to decorate one as they wanted, the houses to be auctioned off to benefit the animal shelter.

Any of our kiddos could enter the design contest and there were many entries. The staff chose the winner and 4th hour Civics class began work. We chose this design, hands down! We live 20 minutes from Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, we are Lincoln Academy, so the kids decided on a patriotic theme.

The delightful sense of humor won us over, and Zach, Matt, Quinton and Alfredo put hours in copying their design and hand painting. Neat, neat project for an Active Citizenship requirement in 9th grade Social Science.

Monday, January 24

another view, Mr. Sandburg


THE fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
Carl Sandburg

Little cat feet on the front porch.
He sits looking over the front lawn on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Sunday, January 23

a Puzzle

Do you know what you are looking at? I bet somebody does.

Saturday, January 22

the Wolf

The Full Wolf Moon sets over the Black Hills
44N 103W
7:15 AM  

Friday, January 21

the Utilities

They have everything all flagged out. This is the north corner of our yard, absolutely no idea what they are up to. Or even who they are.

Thursday, January 20

dear Turkeys,

Can you tell me exactly where you are going? You seem confused, do you need a map or a compass?

Wednesday, January 19

...and here they Come

Sometimes they are the "bully boys",  sometimes up to mischief, but not today, just lookin' for lunch.

Tuesday, January 18

aw, Nuts!

Waiting for the blue jays.....

Monday, January 17

winter Scallops

Curious as to why the ice formed along the edge of the creek this way.

Sunday, January 16

winter Sheep

Sometimes you have to give up and take them off, you can't take the picture with furry mittens in the way. I don't part company with them for just anything!

Saturday, January 15

winter Roses

they were lovely in June, but on a snowy and cold January day they may be even more so....

Friday, January 14

bathers, Beware

You might just freeze your little feathered fannies if you take a bath this morning!

Wednesday, January 12

pacific Panic

Odontocidium "Pacific Panic"

A present from my friend, Mary.
Welcome, small orchid.
You are brave.
It was -4 this morning when you chose to open.

Tuesday, January 11

snug as a bug in a Rug

...on a January night when it is -0, I hope so.

Not all ladybugs are “ladies.” There are both male and female ladybugs. So how did they get their name? In the Middle Ages, European farmers were grateful to the little beetles for saving their crops from plant eating insects. They believed the way the ladybugs ate those insects (probably aphids) was a miracle that came from God in answer to their prayers. The Catholic farmers of the time named the insect for Mary, the mother of Jesus, who is known as “Our Lady.”

Monday, January 10

treasures in the Mailbox

I love it when January comes with cold and snow, only because with it come the GARDEN CATALOGS!

Sunday, January 9

a personal challenge and a Project

This is my youngest daughter, she is a college student and photographer. She has set herself a challenge to do a 365 day post on her blog Sans Parallax. She has selected 365 adjective/noun pairs and is photographing something daily to illustrate each one. I am fascinated with her vision and view, take a look, you might be too.


Cold days at the feeders bring all kinds and varieties of diners. These fellows are both male house finches, the typical cranberry/raspberry color and a less commonly seen orange variant. It is only 15F at noon today, so there are lots of visitors in for lunch.

Wednesday, January 5

umm...flying Fish?

Canyon Lake is a popular fishery for trout whenever the water is open. Somebody had a big OOPS, and caught a honey locust branch about 15' in the air, rather than a tasty treat for dinner.


Tuesday, January 4

january Gold

People often mistakenly think they have a "new" bird in their yard or at their feeder. When it is in truth, it is the familiar American goldfinch who has been there all along.
The catch is that the male "wild canary" changes his brilliant dandelion and ebony breeding plumage to a softer hue.
He more closely resembles his Mrs. than his glorious June self.

Monday, January 3

the lacemaker's Art
from Claeys Antiques website
Sample antique Belgian bobbin lace (circa 1920)
Sample Bedroom window lace (circa 2011)

Sunday, January 2

first of the Year

The South Dakota birding community does a fun tally on our Yahoo! listserv. People post their FOY (first bird for the year), the first bird seen in the New Year to begin this year's list. All of us hope it is something cool, not a pigeon or a starling. My first visitors were a band of 6 chickadees after sunflower seeds the morning after the blizzard and 2010 ended. They are always most welcome.

Saturday, January 1

Happy New Year 1/1/11

With wishes for a bright, healthy, happy and prosperous New Year to all.