Sunday, December 30, 2012


Woo hoo! Year four of photo-walking...done. It's been fun, everyone!

People who are seeking justice often start the process by visiting with an attorney. I wouldn't mind making an appointment with this firm, just to see the inside of this adorable office, tucked onto a side street in Key West, FL.

Friday, December 21, 2012


My grandpa was a wonderful man. He was an engineer and had a great curiosity about the world around him. His parents helped many families emigrate from Italy to the town in Connecticut where they chose to settle, open a store, and raise their children. My grandpa loved maps, and words, and it is through him that I developed a love of word games and puzzles.

When he died in 2000, I kept a rose from one of the lovely funeral arrangements. It is a treasured keepsake.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Because I posted on the first day of the 52-week challenge, my 52nd post would happen before the end of the year. To stretch it out until December 31, I'm tossing in an extra shot. While I was fixing some lunch today, a fluttering outside my kitchen window caught my eye. This guy was hopping around in the grass, and he stuck around long enough for me to fetch my camera and take a few shots.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Thursday, November 29, 2012


With age, comes maturity, but to a mom, a son is always a kid. Jon and his mom, clowning around in the family kitchen.

Friday, November 23, 2012


One of the duties of the concession staff at a nearby state park is to pull all the rental boats out of the lake for the winter.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


(Warning...theme stretch ahead...)

The owners of this Wendy's restaurant invested some money in upgrading their soft-drink machine.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Uh addiction....

Thursday, November 1, 2012


When we visited Seattle in August, we took part in many activities, two of which included visiting a farmer's market in Kirkland, and watching my little great niece learn to walk on water.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I liked these tree trunks. I had hoped to bring out a little more rich color in processing, but I haven't quite figured out how to pump the browns. I tried adding a little black, but it just darkened the overall image.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


This has been on display in my local WalMart since SEPTEMBER. Ridiculous.... (but if fits the Xmas theme.) Ho ho ho!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I never thought about describing a dog's character as jovial, but since Merriam-Webster offers a definition of "full of happiness and joy", I've decided that this perfectly fits the personality of my brother's dog Kiley. And speaking of happiness and joy, who wouldn't be happy looking at this adorable face?

Thursday, October 4, 2012


One way to enjoy good health is to use a bicycle for transportation. I added a touch of Topaz Buz Sim for fun.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


We visited a place on the Olympic Peninsula called Second Beach. I shot this group of characters walking away from me, into the fog.

(Sorry...theme stretch...)

Thursday, September 20, 2012


My DBF Jon is a high school technical theater teacher, so he designs and builds several sets each year. This year, he was hired to do a set for a local professional theater company. The picture isn't great (taken on my phone in crummy lighting), but I hope you can see some of the cool details, like the circles in the crown molding that echo the circles in the window transoms. The floor, which looks like hardwood, is actually painted with a wood graining technique. It was fun to sit in the audience and overhear comments about the set, which was bigger and fancier than other sets in this same theater. That's showbiz!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Last weekend, Jon's son organized a craft beer festival. Groups of people congregated in a four-block area to sample groups of craft beers, and a good time was had by all.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I love my boyfriend Jon. I love the mountains! I am at my happiest in the mountains, with Jon. Here are some shots from our recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, showing off two of my loves.

Wildflowers and the shoulder of Mt. Rainier

Jon at Hurricane Ridge, with the Olympic Mtns behind him

Mt. Shuksan reflected in Picture Lake

Thursday, August 30, 2012


My end of town, although largely suburban, still supports a mix of commercial business and agriculture. Although not the major focus of this sunset photo, you can see a cornfield in the picture.Yes, that's corn next to a sidewalk. Behind me is a large parking lot which supports an office building housing a major accounting firm. At the end of this road, a left turn an a half mile drive will take you to the largest indoor shopping mall in a 50-mile radius, with over 100 stores.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


(Warning: theme-stretch ahead...)

Around Narada Falls in Mt. Rainier National Park, there were numerous warning signs about not getting too close to the falls.

I was happy to just lean over the fence and capture this rainbow.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


When we hiked into the forest to make our way to Second Beach on the Olympic Peninsula, I was worried about the quality of my photos, because there was a lot of mist in the air. Turns out, if you use the mist to your advantage, you can take a quality shot.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


We have spent the last 12 days on vacation in the lovely Pacific Northwest. I've taken hundreds of photos. Below is one taken early in the trip, at the Gold Creek Pond in the Snoqualmie National Forest.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I love to travel!! We are in the Pacific Northwest right now, enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Olympic Peninsula. We were lucky to see these beautiful eagles on one of our outings.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


As many of you know, my DBF Jon is an amateur birding enthusiast. Last weekend, he asked if I wanted to accompany him on a search for a yellow-crowned night heron, a bird that is apparently unusual in our part of the world (northern Illinois). After I agreed, he told me we'd have about a two hour drive to a certain park to see this fine fellow. It's possible, he said, that the bird might not even be there any more, although numerous posts from a bird forum he follows reported sightings all summer.

Off we drove, and you can imagine his excitement when, not five minutes after parking the car, we spotted this beautiful bird. The bird seemed rather calm and we were able to cautiously approach and take several photos. The bird doesn't look too excited, but we were, at our success.

After our bird outing, we switched gears and drove to a Fry's Electronics - MY idea of excitement!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


My DBF Jon and I both love live theater, and one summer tradition is to head north into Spring Green Wisconsin to take in 2-3 outdoor productions at American Players Theatre. They began as a Shakespeare company, but over the years have added plays by playwrights such as Shaw and, in the case of this show, Edna Ferber. This is the set for The Royal Family, a comedy that, according to the playbill, was loosely patterned after the life of the Barrymore family. The trees through the set windows are real, and after the sun goes down, we are often treated to bats flying through the scene. :-)

Friday, July 13, 2012


Many of you may recognize, or remember, the name Frank Lloyd Wright. A renowned architect, one of his homes is located in Spring Green, Wisconsin. We took a tour there, and I enjoyed this sweep of steps leading up to a grand patio overlooking the Wisconsin River Valley on which the home is built. On the patio, it's easy to remember simpler times, lazy summer days, and the gifts of a man who left so many lovely architectural structures as his legacy.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Not too far from my home, the world transitions from suburban to rural. Caught this handsome fellow on my way home from a recent hike.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


A place to enjoy Lake Michigan views in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

Turns out, if you are not directly behind the bench, you can't get both the topline of the bench, and the horizon, perfectly horizontal. Lesson learned.

Friday, June 22, 2012


One of my favorite summer activities is hiking. This trail, in Peninsula State Park in Door County, WI, offered a cool place to hike on a hot summer day.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Caught this turtle enjoying a float on some (algae??) in a pond at Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


My DBF is a semi-serious birder; bird photography and bird blogging are two of his favorite passtimes. I occasionally accompany him on his birding outings, and on a recent trip to Morton Arboretum outside Chicago, I was fortunate enough to snap this handsome guy's photo.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


(Feel free to insert your own witty caption)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

X Factor

I recently finished listening to the Steve Jobs autobiography, by Walter Isaacson. In it, he describes Jobs' passion for perfection, for attention to detail, and for beautiful products. He wanted everything associated with Apple to be simple and elegant. The book describes Jobs' vision for glass staircases in his Apple stores, and on a recent trip to Chicago, I had the opportunity to see one. I thought Job's ideals fit this internet definition of "X Factor":

the “undefinable” element of a marketing program that helps it take off 

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Cold Stone German Chocolate Cake. Enough said....

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Earlier in the week, I had the pleasure of tagging along on a high school field trip into Chicago to see Blue Man Group. We had about an hour to wander around Michigan Avenue before being whisked off to the show. I've always enjoyed the Chicago Water Tower, one of few structures to survive the 1871 Chicago Fire.

Friday, May 4, 2012


In San Diego, part of the ocean front was set aside as a dog beach. This little guy was having a whole lot of fun romping in the sand. I had fun stitching together four shots into a single pano scene. I hope YOU have fun looking at this!

Friday, April 27, 2012


After our visit to Famosa Slough in San Diego, we headed down to Ocean Beach. They had a lovely trail that was lined with flowers. I believe these are California Sunflowers.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Although I love a good visit to a zoo, I really prefer the more natural surroundings and the thrill-of-the-hunt feel of a wildlife refuge. While you are not guaranteed to see animals, catching sight of a fine furry beast or showy bird is more rewarding. This image was captured at Famosa Slough in San Diego, CA during a day trip over Easter weekend. I love his wide-legged stance.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Over Easter weekend, Jon and I flew to Arizona and spent a few days hiking and visiting family. About 2 hours from Phoenix is the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. We found isolation and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city on a hike up into Palm Canyon.

Friday, April 6, 2012


I am fortunate to live where we have access to many forest preserves. I consider them to be my playgrounds. Here's a scene from one of my favorite trails. A leisurely 40 minute hike from here and you will reach the bridge from last week's post.

Friday, March 30, 2012


I've seen lots of beautiful spring flowers for the theme of Beginnings, so I decided to capture some beautiful spring woods for a little change of pace.

Long-time bloggers might recognize this scene from my winter, 2010, blog efforts.

Friday, March 23, 2012


I enjoyed the reflection of my cheaters bouncing off the page of a textbook. I do much of my prep work for classes at home. On some days, it feels like I do more work than the students. They probably never feel that way!

I was happy with the focal point of this photo. I was aiming for the curve of the earpiece where it hit the page and I think I nailed it.

Friday, March 16, 2012


This zany pattern of paw prints crossed my driveway this morning. Are they from an opossum or a raccoon?

Saturday, March 10, 2012


In his quest to get a down-low shot of this frozen river, my friend Greg lies on a bridge deck and suspends his camera, dangling from a tripod, toward the water. My job was to fire the wireless remote. Some of the pictures turned out pretty well. All of you blogger friends know to what lengths people will go for the shot.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Starved Rock State Park in central Illinois is a not-so-hidden treasure. Acres of woods, bluffs, limestone cliffs and waterfalls are accessible from a well-marked and well-maintained trail system. I love the rich chocolate tones in this late February scene.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


A lot of thought went into the design of this staircase that allows visitors to Starved Rock State Park in Illinois to move from the edge of the Illinois River, to the Bluff trail high atop the sandstone cliffs that make up the park. Taking a photo is a great excuse to pause on the way up.