My husband and I extricated our bikes from a tangle of cobwebs and dusted them off over the weekend to enjoy some beautiful spring weather. The bike trail we traversed provided pastoral views and lots of cows and chickens. This barn along the path was a cheery display of patriotism that brought a smile to my face.

Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #14


It’s all about the students and student/athletes: young people with their enthusiasm, their exuberance, their creativity, their willingness to defy convention. There is nothing to compare with the atmosphere in a highly charged, highly anticipated matchup of college basketball rivals. And one of the best venues in the nation is that of my alma mater, Hilton Coliseum – Hilton MAGIC, BABY! -at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

This group of fans? They just want to get a little crazy, have a little fun, and support their Iowa State Cyclones!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Blur


Bathed in the glow of a brilliant sunset, with our minds calm and serene after a brisk hike through the park, serenaded along the way by the low-pitch croaks of what sounded like a thousand bullfrogs, this was a perfect way to end the day.

Nature is like that. She soothes and delights, amazes and inspires. And precisely why we should embrace more of her every chance we get.


Boys and girls: Beware!

Deep in the woods there lies a snake-like creature with deep-set, steely eyes and a long, pointed snout. It has a rapacious appetite and will devour anything in its path. While this vile predator prefers rodents such as mice, rats, beavers and even prairie dogs, it especially craves small children who don’t clean their rooms and disrespect their parents. When this type of game is out of season or otherwise unavailable, this loathsome monster is content to gobble up the leaves and brush it finds along the forest floor as it patiently seeks out more succulent fare.

Enter the woods at your own peril. I’d turn back if I were you…

Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #13


Ephemeral: Lasting for a very short time. Synonyms include transitory, fleeting, short-lived, transient, passing, momentary, brief.

Photographers everywhere appreciate the golden hours of elusive light, eagerly awaited during early mornings and late afternoons. This photog is no exception and I was pleased to have captured the warm glow of autumn sunlight deep in the day one glorious fall afternoon a few years ago.


We’re almost seven days into spring and while last week delivered some gorgeous temperatures and the promise of warmer weather, Mother Nature has decided to pull back a bit, apparently hesitant to fully commit herself to sunny days and blue skies just yet. We Iowans aren’t so easily fooled, in any case. Practical and no-nonsense to a fault, there are those of us waiting for the other shoe to drop in the form of one more wintry blast of measurable, white, snowy precipitation. Bring it on, Mom, if you are so inclined. We know it won’t last.

And then, before long, we’ll have this. Skies overhead in alternate shades of blue: indigo, turquoise and aquamarine, dotted and streaked with wispy little clouds. Gentle breezes and the scent of new in the air. Bees and butterflies, finches, cardinals, robins and meadowlarks in flight. Squirrels and rabbits exploring backyard nooks and crannies. That beautiful, fresh color of green – hostas! – popping up along walkways and foundations everywhere, yellow daffs, tulips in red, pink, orange and kaleidoscope. A virtual symphony of delight for all of our senses.

Most lovely of all? The warmth and comfort of sunshine. Bestowing light and life to earth’s inhabitants far below. To bask in the sunlight is one of life’s simple pleasures.

So, yes, Mother Nature. Please do. Bring it on.