Paper Mallards

For five years, my daughter and I lived in an apartment complex next to a pond that was home to dozens of mallard ducks. Looking back at that time, I so wish I’d taken more pictures of the ducks. I think I was paranoid that my neighbors would complain I was drifting too close to their patio doors with my camera. Our time there was so peaceful, and I didn’t want to disrupt it with conflicts, especially ones that were very avoidable.

There is no other place in town where the ducks visit so reliably. At the apartment pond, a few would stay all winter, keeping a quarter-acre circle of water fluid even in the dead of winter with their dabbling. It was there I learned that water in motion takes much longer to freeze.

In this post, I share one photo of the ducks from that era. The photo was originally in color, but the edit to black and white startled me in the best way. To my eyes, the loss of color makes the duck look as if they are made of paper and are floating on fluid glass.


This evening I discovered, where you can upload your photos and digitized artwork and create all sorts of items imprinted with your images. I think I may order a print of this one.


Spotted: Red Admiral Butterfly

Red Admiral Butterfly d

On Sunday, a butterfly lingered on a white echinacea bloom I was photographing. This flower must have been particularly delightful to the insect kind, for it is the same flower that attracted the green sweat bee I posted over the weekend.

I’m not well versed at all in insect identification, so I had to look this one up online. It is a Red Admiral butterfly. Its scientific or binomial name is Vanessa atalanta, which also sounds like a dynamite stage name.

Red Admiral Butterfly cRed Admiral Butterfly bRed Admiral Butterfly a

A Wider View: Allen County Children’s Garden


I’ve taken many photo walks through the Allen County Children’s Garden in Lima, Ohio, but I seldom take wide shots that reveal the density and whismy of this place. The photos in this post show only about a third of this place. Half of the rest was shrouded in morning shadow, and I lingered too long on the bright subjects I did capture that I walked away from the rest, full enough for now with its delights.

It’s one of those places I return to year after year because of the peace I feel when I’m there. If you find a place that fills you with serenity 90% of the time you go there, keep going back. The rest of the world can wait.

Here’s a video clip I made this morning of the ornamental grass area at this garden:

Summer Photo Walk, June 25: Town Square, Lima, Ohio


This morning I took pictures of a local public garden and my city’s downtown. I hadn’t photographed Town Square in several years, and I had mixed feelings about revisiting it. Early in my photography habit, I frequented this area, hoping to capture why I feel so attached to a locale that is in decline. I took lots of pictures showing rust and various brands of misfortune, but I did not succeed in showing why I love this place. To reveal one’s attachment to a place is just as hard as taking a portrait of someone you love. To lay bare that core of feeling in a single, two-dimensional moment is very hard to do.

My city is one of many Rust Belt towns finding its way in a post-industrial economy. Earlier this year, a portion of Town Square was demolished to make way for the construction of a nursing school downtown (more specifically, this will be a relocation of some of the health programs at Rhodes State University). Where once was a row of Gilded Age buildings is now a field:


I hope that this partnership between Rhodes and my city is fruitful.

Today I took basic, well-saturated landscape photos of the downtown area. In the light of a summer morning, the downtown looks free of the lost fortunes that seem to haunt it at times.

Green and White


Today was another day rich with photo opportunities. My husband helped me identify the visitor on this echinacea bloom. It is a green sweat bee, and today was the first time I saw one.

The Center Can Hold: Celebrating One Year of Intensity Without Mastery


It’s been a year since I first posted on this blog. I’d like to thank all of my readers for your support. You’ve helped sustain me through the highs and lows of the past year, and I look forward to sharing so much more with you.

To my fellow bloggers, thank you for uplifting me with your stories. I’m so glad that the venue I found for relating the details of my life led me to discovering yours.

For those of you who read my posts but do not have a website of your own, please, please consider starting a blog. When I started a year ago, I thought this site would just be a mental junk drawer where I exorcised demons and collected details I might forget about the various things I do as a woman, wife, and mother. The process has proved to be so much more fulfilling than I expected. So many of us post on social media, but those forums are so geared to the present tense that much of the material from the past sinks to the bottom. It’s hard to find a narrative or sense of pride in the ordinary business of living when your pictures and tales get bumped by dozens of other posts in your newsfeed. By having your own site, the shape of your story and the significance of all that you do becomes much clearer.

By having your own site, there is also the opportunity to see your reach in the world. This is not possible with a personal social media account. Start writing for the world, and I’m sure you’ll be surprised at how far your words will travel.

Below is a map of my visitors from the past year. The numbers are small compared to many blogs, especially the ones with longevity.

Screenshot 2017-06-24 at 10.14.17 PM

Something Lupine


Today I am lingering on some of the sights I captured on this morning’s photo walk at Kendrick Woods instead of doing a single post combining them all. I’d guess that this photo shows a wildflower close to a lupine, which reminds me of the experience that inspired me to photograph wildflowers.

Way back when hair was bigger and waists were higher (a phrase that brings to mind the best band name I ever heard, When People Were Shorter and Lived Near the Water), I won a scholarship to participate in an Earthwatch wildflowers census at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory located high in the Colorado Rockies. I spent two weeks counting lupine, fireweed, linum, and other wildflowers. That fortnight was as rough on my body as it was uplifting to my spirit. Dancing weasels popped out of the holes in the floor of my unheated cabin every morning.

I left there with a permanent faith in the beauty of the natural world. I only had a cheap Vivitar camera packed with me, and I vowed that I would work on taking better pictures ever since.