Come to the Cone! #flowers #photography

Since we lived in Costa Rica I have been addicted to photographing all things small-those magical wonders so easily passed over and subsequently ill appreciated.

It was a simple thrill for me to photograph small gardens where butterflies fed on the nectar of cone flowers as bees gathered golden treasure to spread from bloom to bloom before returning to the hive in a world where the secret life of insects played out while we went about our own doings, all too often oblivious to such miracles.

I simply had to have cone flowers in my space this season; and although they are in pots, I am nurturing them to welcome all small creatures who come to pay homage to The Cone.

Here are a few of the earliest visitors.

FE31FD26-4FA3-4D62-9A87-7E2B86C8637F
The Imposter, with false feelers on its wings to fool predators
218CA9BE-58F4-41DB-9A04-7D6813E653A8
The Alien with its metallic like body
EAC311DB-4138-46F5-9208-6AC7EF186A7D
The Doppleganger beetle, looking like a small chic cockroach
2C4FB088-7184-486B-962C-13485346061B
See the intricate design swirls on its back?

Now, if you are waiting on the edge of your seat for the scientific facts about these small wonders, you should relax, sit back and remember that I am merely the eye of the photographer who draws attention to these tiny treasures. I am not an entomologist. But I would like to learn more about these insects. Maybe when I finish taking photos….

Advertisements

They All Axed For You/#SoCS

No, we weren’t at the Audubon Zoo. As a side note, I have never been to that zoo, though I  have observed it from the park that runs beside it. And I have visited many amazing zoos as well.

Anyway, when I saw Linda Hill’s #SoCS prompt I could think of no better way to get the job done than straight forward and to the point.

With a little help from my new aquarium friends…

 

DE64646B-5B2E-486D-81B5-39204DB5592D.gif

 

Mr Fish was quite abash

at the brazen, frank and brash

exhibition and fruition

of Mr Turtle’s non-contrition

as he dug with great ambition

for delights beneath the rocks!

 

91E01FA3-E625-4DF6-B848-8EC12ADA38C5

While the Butterfly brigade

nibbling grapes and marmalade,

enjoying such a bash

nary batting an eyelash

at what happened in the deep

for their eating led to sleep

and sweet dreams.

 

65DC4462-1085-4B3A-8BD7-8EEF4CA5C2D1

Beware! Dear winged creatures

for the horrifying feature

in the land of swampy things

from Louisiana brings

Mr Gator, with his hypnotizing eyes

and he will grow to such a size

he could crush you in his jaws

as he strokes you with his claws.

In the land of Jambalaya

Mr Gator must beware

lest someone come and bash him

making him the evening’s fare.

Fried, boiled, stewed

over rice.

Contemplating an escape?

perhaps you should

think twice!

 

And if you’re thirsty, toddle on over to the bar for some wings and beer with Dan and his buddy But watch out. I hear the bartender might bite if you don’t leave a tip. 😉

 

Pardon Me Boy…

4FDFF83F-8FAF-4654-9041-ED90FE4934B5

 

Well, we never saw the Chattanooga Choo Choo. In fact we didn’t even get to the train “museum” on our recent visit to the lovely little city of Chattanooga, for online research revealed the museum was not your typical garden variety museum. No, it is only a participatory museum, meaning that if you aren’t prepared to pay for one of the scheduled train journeys, you will be missing the history lesson.

I will admit the various train adventures look fun, but I was disappointed there was no museum, historically, to speak of. But…I digress.

If you want to schedule a rolling tour or just a really fun day of seeing some of the beautiful countryside, see the schedules and details Here

We did, however, find a great hotel room with a terrific view of downtown Chattanooga with easy access to the venues there, including everything from the AT&T stadium to the Tennessee Aquarium and much more.

The first thing we did was to drop off our bags and go out for food. We weren’t disappointed choosing Big River Grille and Brewing Pub. The menu is quite extensive, which can be a caution signal in many cases; but in this instance both of us were very pleased with our choices. Hubby loved his Mango Habanero Chicken, and I finally found a pizza I could sink my teeth into. The craft beers were great and well worth the very reasonable prices. We would definitely recommend this restaurant and hope to return there on our next trip.

 

 

 

 

 

And then there was coffee and dessert. The ‘short walk’ turned out to be a bit farther than we thought, braced against a 30 degree temperature with intermittent drizzle; but Rembrandt’s was the most recommended coffee house in the area,  so we did our part as brave tourists and made the uphill climb to the Bluff Art District to check it out. Except for mediocre service, we loved the place. The coffee and Hubby’s eclair were really good. We were so ready for something hot once we finally made it. On the way up we stopped to walk onto the infamous walking bridge. It has a sad history causing many Chattanooga residents to avoid it altogether, but the view is beautiful.

 

 

Mocha cafe and a walnut brownie were my choices. Above top photo is hubby’s Chocolate Chocolate eclair.

We actually spent the rest of our evening curled up in the room, warm and cozy, enjoying the view and staying dry. My original hope was to get to Lookout Mountain/Ruby Falls or to Rock City on the way home.

Sadly, the sun on Monday arrived late, leaving things damp and cold still, so we settled on a visit to the Aquarium, just across the street from our hotel. First, though, we went in search of breakfast. That led us to a nice venue called Pucket’s, a bar and grill that, when not serving up dinner and music, makes a pretty decent breakfast and nice cup of coffee. We loved the coffee cup so much we had to buy one to bring home!  The restaurant has a train theme and great doors, so look out Thursday, here I come!

Meanwhile….

 

BB9EE08C-2CBA-4ACC-8614-864DE31FD91F

It was defenitely tasty!

And I found a buddy outside the Mellow Mushroom on our walk.

 

622BE589-814A-4F1A-8629-D3501A579FB0

 

Okay, okay, the main event! The Tennessee Aquarium, though not as extensive as one might think, was well put together, with a friendly staff and all the habitats very beautiful and well kept. I particularly liked that the local freshwater wildlife was well represented. My favorites? Oh, besides the turtles, of course! The butterfly garden and the penguins are wonderful! So adorable. Here are a few shots from our visit.

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

BB371942-367E-4273-BF6C-7985766FE603

08BED2E8-B01C-490B-AA13-14DBE91EB348.gif

Why do I feel I’m just getting nowhere?

 

04D226B2-01AC-4195-B6E4-165A6CF185B0

Oh dear, maybe we should have spiffed up for guests..

C999A701-AB5F-4E66-A172-FCE62EA04688

Hellooooo….wanna come in for a little swim?

I also wanted to visit the Hunter museum but it was just a bit late for the three building adventure. Maybe next time.  Meanwhile, we enjoyed the beautiful sculptures that are in front of the museum which is located high above the Tennessee River and houses works from key American artists. I’m already eager to go back! Thanks Chattanooga!

 

 

 

2414774F-FFD4-4DF4-88D2-97A3C19B659C

This? Oh just a gratuitous crane (of sorts) for my friend Dan.  Happy Wednesday!

 

 

Affirmative, Captain #SoCS

We need to get this straight. I will affirm here and now that I have felt less than inspired in the last week. I’m working on the novel-still…maybe forever..but really loving the progress. It is just not something one can easily do at the end of a work day or week, popping from pragmatic, ordered thinking into fanatstical dreaming reality.

Affirmative, Captain.

I mean I usually can, but lately the world has just felt so…heavy. I affirm I am not a fan of old Man Winter. And I love men in general. Just not sadistsic, self indulgent, harsh and cold troublemaking men. Just why Mother Nature has him in her circle is beyond me. But then, taste in friends is always quite subjective isn’t it? It takes all kinds of people to make a world. If we were all alike we would either be hugely bored or constantly fighting ourselves.

 

I affirm that life is wearying at times, and when I was younger I held older people in the highest regard, seeking their wisdom, understanding and encouragement. For the most part I am exposed to situations in which older people are viewed and treated as outdated, stupid or at best uninformed, and gulity of some heinous crime of destruction that most of them are completely unaware. Perhaps the crime is just being older than 30. I thank God each day my children are not this way.

43EC8842-25D4-4A7D-858E-7C212A79C5DC

When I was in the Christian church growing up, we were taught to always put yourself in others’ shoes, to empathize and express compassion. There was a humbleness in being a child of God. I suppose there has always been a double edged sword aspect to religion..any of them, just as there is duality of spirit within each of us. I just know that I would rather stand quietly alone, with my hand in His, than stand with a mob of angry, accusatory, self righteous finger pointers whose main goal is to be the best, the biggest and the chosen. Since when did being a Christian become a popularity contest?

I affirm that God’s greatest gifts exist all around us, that peace can be found in the tiniest miracle of life, that entertainment is free in Mother Nature if you just take a moment to breathe and to feel her presence. Soul healing does not exist in a book or a prayer. It is in your own hands, the ones given to you in this life. Perhaps we should stop shouting, ”God, save us!”

C4A3538D-2089-47CE-BFBB-8AEE9DD45BC0

Maybe it’s time to whisper, “God help us to save ourselves.” We have to stop making our own messes then blaming everyone else for them,  which includes..

No, honey, the devil did not make you do it. We all have a choice and the light and dark exists in every one of us.

62B49FC2-8289-4C0F-87D0-FCCE9318168E

affirm that when I love someone it is forever, even if you choose to cast me aside. Anyone who has ever found a place in my heart will remain there forever, and my family means more to me than anything. If they hurt, I hurt. When they are in pain, it is mine. When they are happy, my world is perfect. I know no other way.

(A light tap on any photo will show the caption)

 

I love the friends I have made here, in this magical realm of blogging, where like minds can meet and feel less alone, share ideas and laughs. We all do such a wonderful job of encouraging, lifting one another up and being there. Thank you to any and all who have done this for me. And if you feel like a beer check out Dan’s frozen corner of the world. Now, he has some Winter tales…

I affirm that I am ready for Spring, budding flowers, buzzing insects and balmy breezes. Meanwhile, we can always dream..in fact I must insist that you dream with me, or we might not see her face again!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What do you see when you step outside?

82A6811D-D5FD-4FC9-A9E2-BCABEF3A0E39

Thanks to Linda Hill and her #SoCS prompt, ‘affirm’.

dcc2f306-3811-47df-bad0-d27ad0a06fd7

Scenes From a Wedding/Day 2 #SoCS

“In this Kingdom there shall be shots!” And more shots. We killed Mr. Jameson in quick time. 😉

This post is brought to you sponsored by Linda Hill’s #SoCS prompt .

Today’s prompt was dom. Visit Linda’s place for more great posts from talented bloggers.

Back to the Wedding Weekend. I know I left you dangling last time. You will be relieved to know there were no arrests, a few more incriminating photos (which are locked in the family vault for blackmailing purposes later) and we had a fun night. The best thing about Lincoln for me is the variety and uniqueness of the venues that always seem to surface. Being a small city, one can easily hike from one venue to another which,  I would think, cuts down their DUI incidents significantly. However, their auto accident rate is likely substantial as we witnessed first hand…but that was another day.

The place we went to that took us a step back into the 80’s and 90’s was the Arcade Bar. A simple idea really-install some vintage popular video games, skee ball, foose ball and pinball. Put up a bar and open the doors. Even the ‘old folks’ like us love it.

 

Of course getting there is tedious, since we often fly into Kansas City and drive the rest of the way. Even driving from Omaha can be nerve wracking. But the scenery is pretty and the highway pretty much a straight shot. This time of year the colors are just beginning to change to Autumn.

I always love that I can say I have been to Iowa. (But it wasn’t heaven-Field of Dreams reference. See the movie)

We actually spent all of this day doing food preps. And having shots. It was a simple wedding but there are still lots of things to do. They had all worked so hard before we even got there, with family helping to get the yard ready and everyone preparing food. I always love being in the kitchen so it was a bit of heaven for me to be able to contribute. Oh, and Ellie also loves being in the kitchen. We kept pointing her to get out. Tell me, though, how you could resist sharing a nibble with this face?

 

Of course I did! Several times. She is such a sweetie. As are her brother and sister from other mothers…

E8E98C0B-9134-4A69-BEE2-125612D51800
Meet Abu and Junebug
5655B2FA-FF46-42FB-8EC2-A92D5D63962F
Abu loves a good closeup.

Junebug loves to hide….

It was during the potato salad prep that I found our food blessing for the event.

4FFA4B82-0CC4-49C2-90F3-715246B760A4

Even the potatoes knew it was meant to be…

Willard made his ‘famous’ deviled eggs. Yeah…it’s a family thing.

All in all, a very good day before the big day! That called for a nice, leisurely stroll around the neighborhood at sunset. I have already shared a post about the beautiful church we saw. Here are a few more shots from our walk.

74420BC8-44D7-44FC-99A8-B7C37775A801
Lincoln has beautiful tree lined streets and old homes
978EC63C-8F29-405D-B756-31C47F503ABA
The moon making her way into the sky
8F25CD2E-766B-4E4D-80C1-54A307E79F31
You had to know there would be a butterfly!
88B939C3-E889-4E8F-A59E-CE274B97C23F
Our ‘hotel’ for the weekend. Love this old home.

With such gracious hosts, how could we not have a marvelous stay? They even left candies on our pillows!

01B7E722-819F-4BF3-A664-344048ECD7EFF35A7A03-30AA-40F5-AB30-C964E8897CFD

5534E20E-C6A3-44B1-BBB7-48DEC69DA3DF

Very exhausted Wedding Planners. Still, we enjoyed some take out Thai food at the end of the day.

9419F5E9-C964-4C3A-81B0-696D5B036139

Thanks, Hayley and Ande for being such wonderful hosts in the midst of your own chaos of preparations. The love is so real with you guys. We enjoyed every. Minute!

87DB9449-98EB-4C17-9C80-962DBE2EBF4A

Oh, these guys? My number three son, Matthew and his son Noah. This visit was all about some Maw Maw time for me too!

Our next day would bring the rest of the troops in!

Oh, I need to mention again that in another city, number two son and his wife were delivering their baby on this day! 😱💕

E47FBCEC-5F47-4118-A6D1-297BF296FC94

Miracles all around.

Love was defintely dominating the show!

9AF4946E-07EE-4BED-B7DA-E4DBEA139642

From Flower to Flour/#SoCS

I love this prompt! God knows I love flowers. And bees on flowers. And butterflies on flowers. And now I am using mostly ancient grain flours for cooking, but I still love a squishy homemade roll or burger bun. So, thanks Linda Hill for making it ‘real’ for me this time around.

Last weekend was full of fun for us, being up in Nebraska for a couple of special events. My oldest son got married and I made the cake, a simple but oh-so-yummy Strawberry Wipped Cream number that is almost always perfect on a 90 degree end of Summer day. The strawberries are soaked in Grand Marnier for hours (of course) before being layered in the cake alternately with freshly whipped cream. I think it was a success.

19743AFE-ECF1-4E1A-8870-C157EE5D7909

CC9BA25D-D0C0-4748-9389-AEE95923593F

4821ED90-9DFC-4F45-A5FD-09A19339D38C
Love this expression.

The bride’s dress? Oh, she was beautiful in it throughout the afternoon. As soon as the ceremony and photos were done in the sweltering heat of early evening, we all shed our finery and donned cooler attire.

3A97D585-8001-4F78-ACBD-76B773827019

The flowers? If you come to my blog often enough, you know I love flowers. Here is a recent encounter with a beautiful fellow who enjoys them even more than me!

F9E82D40-2A39-42C5-9A34-4827199DBF02

For more great #SoCS posts visit Linda’s blog at the link at the top of the page. Happy Saturday my friends!

9AF4946E-07EE-4BED-B7DA-E4DBEA139642

Somthing Pretty This Way Comes/#1Liner Wednesday

16F668BF-2CA8-4902-BAE8-581A796C6076
Determined to touch every bloom
1D7D7817-E331-4390-8C5D-A9B2F4E86135
To savor every sweet thing possible
21AECDBC-0FBD-4677-8F59-0B2F444486C4
She ignored me for her quest

Her fading, tattered wings speak of a life soon to pass. It’s curious the way that all living things seem to have an accelerated appreciation and hunger for the sweetness of life when the road to eternity looms ahead. We seek to absorb what we can, let go of regret and to leave an imprint that we were here.

I think she has left a beautiful one, don’t you?

B20D94B9-4210-484F-83AA-AA7940AEF0D5