Today I will let the photo speak for it's self so to speak.....
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I notice a few days ago that the grapes were starting to turn. I also noticed the birds were already snacking! Last year by the time I got out there they had picked the entire crop clean! I was determined this year to not let that happen. I had a very good crop this year, beautiful, big and sweet! This is bowl number on of 5 and the birds pecked holes in at least one bowlful of grapes. I don't mind picking, I don't like cleaning. They smell so good when you cook them, they are easy to smush thru the colander and take for ever to strain thru the jelly bag. The juice leaves stains on my tupperware, my counter and my finger nails but the end result is the best tasting grape jelly you have ever tasted!
My grandma had grapes, that's why I wanted them. Glad she did, glad I do. Thanks Grandma Ida, love you...miss you!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
In a few days school starts again. I am a school cook so I enjoy the summers off and dread the start of school every fall. I would love to stay home but am very thankful God provided a job I can walk to and be home when my kids are home. This year it is especially hard to see the school year begin, my baby,Isaac, the handsome young man above is a senior this year. It is exciting to see our children grow into adults, to become all that they can be. But some of the steps towards that are bittersweet. I am finding that with my third son every step is more intense, his learners permit, his drivers test, his first solo car drive, his first prom, his class ring, his first job, his senior year. So many firsts for him, so many lasts for me. I pray that I will slow down and catch the memories as we make them this year. Far too soon our sweet baby boys have become young men. But I am oh so very proud of each of them. I love you Zach, Ethan and Isaac!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
One of my stops in Itasca State Park was the Tallest/Oldest White Pine in MN. Nearby there is a fallen hero, a tree that was probably at least as old and big and beautiful if not more so. Now it lays in pieces near by. The base of the tree is still standing, rotting out. The process of returning to the earth happens in small stages and each time I visit I love to study the exposed grain, the growth rings, the textures, colors and shapes. This is just a tiny glimpse of the beauty of one huge old tree, no two spots on it are the same, just as no two trees are the same, just as no two human beings are exactly the same. I think our lives sometimes break us down, weather and wear us. The storms of life cans remove our protective "bark". Time and life lessons smooth our rough exterior and the sunshine of good times brings contrast and beauty.
One of the things I love about summer and hiking in the woods is the wild variety of floral and fauna one can see. These pretty blue asters (I think) http://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/smooth-blue-aster were a sweet surprise! So dainty and delicate yet they survive and even thrive in the wilderness of the forest in northern MN. A reminder to bloom where you're planted....you never know who may come along and be delighted to find you just where you are!
It is only mid- August and yet as I look around, the signs of fall are about. There is a crispness in the air in the early morning, apples hanging heavy on the tree, deep purple grapes on my vines and just a bit of color as my eyes peruse my back yard. There are yellow leaves on the trees and on a few on the ground. I see a bright red leaf in my strawberry patch and big orange thorn apples on my rose bush. When I hiked in Itasca there was lots of fall color there too. These pretty leaves in yellow and purple. The poison ivy was red, yellow, orange, purple, rust and browns. I saw a few leaves on the ground and some golden on the trees. I love summer, hate saying goodbye to it......So I soak up every bit of beauty and color, scent and sun's ray I can to remember during the long cold, white and sometime bleak winter. Tuck away at least one warm, bright, colorful memory today!
Monday, August 16, 2010
I have spent a lot of time outdoors in my lifetime. Grew up a country kid.....cow pasture, hayfield, berry woods, the outdoors was my playroom. Yet every time I take a walk, go hiking or spend time in nature I see things I have never seen before! Often in places I have spent time in before. The wonder of creation and the amazing ingenuity of the creator sometimes takes my breath away! There is most likely something you've walked past before but never seen, slow down and really look around you. I hope you find something wonderful that leaves you delighted, intrigued....breathless......
There are so many unique and interesting things in nature. I saw this fern and thought how the parts of it look a little like a line of pine trees. Could be because I had been walking around looking at the pine tree trunks in the woods, along my path and like in the previous post, above me. What do you see? Soldiers standing at attention, people in line at the coffee place, a choir singing praise music on Sunday morning? It is good to exercise our imagination on a regular basis. Like our bodies, it works better when we do!
First I apologize for getting a whole week behind! I will post multiple posts in the next couple days to get caught up.
After the festival on Sunday I spent a little more time in the Itasca State Park...a fave place of mine in Minnesota. It was at least 90 and high humidity but when I'm hiking I hardly notice!
There are lots of these tall straight pines in Itasca, the previous post showed them along my hiking path. This pic shows what you see most of the time when you look straight up! When there's a wind you can hear the needles whispering, the creaking of two trees pushing against each other and you can see them sway when you look straight up. I hope you take the time to notice the details in the "forest" what ever that might be for you. I hope you recognize the beauty and extraordinary int the commonplace!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I grew up in Northern MN and most summers we would find our way to Itasca State Park. We would meet cousins there for a family reunion. It was always so much fun! I've always loved the tall straight white and red pines that are so much a part of the this beautiful park. This past weekend I enjoyed several small hikes thru the beautiful forests. Some of my paths were like this, wide, groomed so to speak while others were just a narrow trail thru grass or brush. Doesn't this make you want to follow to see where it leads, to find what's just around the bend? I know what's there, more beauty. And I will follow the path again and again to see and experience the ever changing beauty of nature!
I spent a couple hours in Itasca State Park on Friday before going over to the Itasca Family Bluegrass Festival. I love to hike in the woods so I found a couple short hikes to take. On my first one this lovely little dragonfly posed for me on the ends of a fern leaf. I came to the realization that I may be happiest just traipsing thru the woods with my camera!
Monday, August 9, 2010
It's that time of year again! The wild berries and fruits are starting to mature. Time to pick some of them and make them into delicious treats for the long winter! Chokecherries are great for jelly and syrup. I spent many happy hours in the berry woods picking chokecherries, blueberries, wild raspberries, wild cranberries, wild plums, and June berries. I would also help clean them and mom would make jellies, jams, sauce or juice. My favorite is still the wild cranberries. We don't have berry woods here in ND but mom still picks every year. I'm so glad she is willing to share some of her cranberry sauce with me!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
This is another pic I pulled up from our little trip in June. There were beautiful rose bushes outside the Sertoma Butterfly House in Sioux Falls SD. We spent a very enjoyable afternoon there and my son and his wife were so patient with us. This one is for Zach and Whitney..... Love you guys!
Monday, August 2, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
One of the bugs we saw on our hike in Buffalo River State Park in Minnesota was this interesting little guy. We thought at first perhaps it was a bee but I'm not so sure! If you have any idea what this little guy is called I would love your input!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
A path in the woods, we don't know for sure where it leads. We can see just a little bit ahead but that's all. Our lives are like that, we are on our life path and we can see a little bit down the path but we don't know what lies around the bend. This path was mapped out for us and as we hiked we would check our map. At times we would have to choose right or left and with our map, we knew that eventually we would come back to where we began. We stayed on our path and had an enjoyable afternoon. In life we can stay on the path but for some of us it is much more satisfying to make our own path. I would have loved to cut thru the woods and explored a little more the things others had not seen. I'm like that in life a little bit too! Which ever way you walk your path, enjoy!
I'm thinking this would make a great spot to do some of my sons senior portraits. The trick will be to get him there! This is in Buffalo River State Park in Minnesota.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Most of the small grain I see in the fields in this area is wheat. When I saw the 2 fields of oats I had to stop and get some photos. This looks to be nearly ready for the harvest. As a farmer daughter, a field of beautiful grain ready for harvest is a thrilling sight!
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Found these pretty seeds on a tree when we visited the zoo. They look nice when they are on the tree but when they fall off and into your flower bed and little trees start growing they are really a pain!
On our hike in Buffalo River State Park in MN we came upon the Science Center. While reading the signs the barn swallows began swooping at us, I didn't think too much about it til we went to the other side of the sign. There was quite a mess at the bottom and on the ground. When we looked up we found this wonderful surprise! There were at least 4 little ones in the nest! We quickly left after I took this photo to give the parent birds a little peace of mind!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Took a little road trip to Minnesota. We headed toward Rollag with some rugs for a customer then took a few gravel roads to see what we could see. There were some beautiful country scenes. Growing up a Minnesota farm girl it was like driving the back roads of my childhood!
Later we checked out Buffalo River State Park and did a little hiking. Will post a pic or two in the days to come!
In addition to all the wonderful animals at the zoo there is some gorgeous vegetation as well. Several flower beds full of coneflowers, lilies, daisies and more. This is an example of some of that beauty!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
, originally uploaded by pictureapromise.
Spent the evening at the Chahinkapa Zoo in Wahpeton, ND. Crazy day special- free admission! We were there 3 hours, saw everything and had a blast! I loved the free ranging birds, ducks, geese, a black swan and these crazy Guinea Hens. Boy can they make a ruckus! Love their polka dot dress and red accessories! If you have not visited a zoo lately you should, you're never to old to talk to the animals!
Took a road trip to meet my son in Watertown SD. Took the backroads home and found this beautiful old house and pickup truck. Would have loved to stomp around, get a little closer, still a bit shy about potentially invading someones privacy or trespassing. A grand home in it's day, so sad to see it looking quite lonesome!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
There were several Canada Geese near Cataract Lake in Maplewood State Park, MN. They didn't seem to concerned about us. This one stood like this for several minutes. I didn't move and neither did he. I just kept snapping pics! Great fun!
Monday, July 19, 2010
Spent our Sunday in Maplewood State Park in Minnesota. Beautiful place. We hiked thru the woods, thru the meadow and even along the road. So many beautiful things to see, green leaves on the trees, mushrooms along the wooded path, beautiful lakes and lovely water lilies. There were also bugs, biting bugs like skeeters and sand flies, bees and horseflies. We also saw lots of Monarch butterflies, Red Admirals and smaller yellow and white ones. There were lots of Dragonflies too. I don't usually have the patience or the quick finger to capture them but today I did, I was very pleased with my self! :D
My volunteer Sunflowers in the front flower bed are beginning to open. I love how the green sepals or calyx look to be protecting the more delicate petals. (If I am using the wrong terms for the flower parts, please correct me!) Reminds me that my Heavenly Father has his gentle yet strong arms around me, protecting me, guideing me, helping me be the best I can be, all that I he created me to be!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
If you choose to stand out as a creative, anticipate hardship, misunderstanding, doubt & the rewards reserved only for those who stay true. Dane Sanders
Sometimes you can feel like you are the odd man out, the one who is out of the loop, the "weird" or "crazy" one. I feel like that a lot. I have to remind myself that the qualities or characteristics, gifts or talents that may make me seem a little different are really the difference between being ordinary or being unique. I choose unique! There is no one else just like me, I am one of a kind. So are you, embrace what makes you you, develop it let it make you stand out in a crowd, let it make you shine!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I decided to play a little with the black and white. I did this and a lily. They turn out so soft, calming I think. What do you think. I like black and white but need to play with it more... Fun!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
This is a pic from a couple years ago. My Irises after an early morning rain. I used a little nikon 3 megapixel point and shoot and then cropped it. Still one of my favorite pics.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
In moms flower bed I found these pretty yellow daisies. There was a bit of a breeze and so the daisies seemed to dance about. The movement of the leaves and and flowers created the dreamy background.
I got to spend a little time with my mom and dad when I traveled "up north" for the family reunion. Mom has this wonderful yard that is really woods they have cleaned up. There are wonderful wildflowers (mom calls them weeds) that grow mixed in with the things she has planted. When they bought the little farm these lillies were growing everywhere! They dug up some but there are still lilies along the house and another shed and in the center of the yard. This spring she sent a box full home with me so next summer I'll have them in several spots too.
As always you can find more photos on my flickr and Facebook fan pages
Monday, July 12, 2010
On Sunday July 10, 2010 the descendants of Ed and Ida Hanson met together in the Old Mill State Park in northern Minnesota. They were my grand parents, my mom's parents. We missed you the two cousins who were unable to attend but so enjoyed seeing faces we had not seen in many years. It was fun to catch up a little. I had not been to the park in many years and even tho some things had changed, they were yet familiar. Just like the sweet precious faces...changed yet so very dear and familiar.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
From my little flower bed, two little pincushions smiling at the sun!
Find something to smile about today!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
A couple days ago I posted a pic of a bowl of gooseberries I had picked. Today I made some yummy jam. Just threw them in my Healthmaster Juicer and then cooked them up. It is very sweet but oh so yummy! Really good with the salty club cracker. Hope your day is full of sweet things!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Another one of my day lilies, This one grows on the shady side of the house and has a pretty mauve hue. Photo taken in the shade.
Monday, July 5, 2010
I have three little gooseberry bushes in my back yard and I love to spend a sunny afternoon picking and cleaning the berries in my backyard. This small bowl is just the beginning and perhaps this year my birds will enjoy more of them then I will, we'll have to see! I remember my grandma Mabel had gooseberries and I believe she made pies, I've only made jam. Tastes pretty good on toast come winter! They are good raw and just tonight I put some in my fruit smoothie, yum!
Friday, July 2, 2010
This little beauty is in a hanging basket in my front flower bed. Love Moss Roses and the bright pinks are my favorites. A summer pic! Tried it in the Black and White just to see what it would look like. I still like the pink! What do you think?
Blessings as you enjoy your summer!