Welcome to my photo journal.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Powell Gardens

Ken learned from Linda Williams that Powell Gardens was having a grand opening for their new butterfly garden today and she was going to be there with her moths. So we thought it would be a good day to go. We also were able to take a pic of this swallowtail, always a fun photo. This one seemed to really enjoy this awful smelling bush and lighted long enough for photos.
Powell Garden is hosting the Chapungu sculpture exhibit. There are 54 beautiful stone sculptures thru out the gardens, they are done by Shona people of Zimbabwe. We happened to see some of these 6 years ago at Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, AZ and we enjoyed them then.

It's a beautiful setting to enjoy the art. My favorite part of Powell is their Island Garden with living rock walls. We also enjoyed lunch at the cafe, which is always good, I love their sweet potatoe fries. (I took 115 photos today, some of which may become watercolor paintings.)
Our ancestors knew and respected all of nature. From the smallest insect to the mighty Nzou (elephant). From the grasses to the massive Mukuyu (baobab). They lived in harmony.

Friday, May 30, 2008


We went to Strouds for lunch today and drove around the area parks looking for a nest Ken heard about. All we found were lots of goslings and this interesting sign. I wanted to check it out but Ken didn't, it was getting close to rush hour. I wonder what the curiosities are? Wisdom at times is found in folly. Horace

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


We went out and found the owls,the mom was there briefly I tried to get a photo but she was to far away for my point and shoot and Ken didn't have his ready yet.
Ken got a few shots but he's not happy with them, it was overcast and dark so they weren't as sharp as he'd like. He'll go back and try again. Linda has beautiful photos of them at http://www.lindawilliamsphotography.com/.

We also went to Martha Lafite while we were in the area. I always enjoy the butterfly garden there, I believe Linda has a hand in that too. We spotted about 6 monarch caterpillers on the butterfly weed. Which, reminds me I need to get out and weed out the creeping grass from our butterfly garden.
Always remember life is for enjoying!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hawk update

We went out to see how the little hawks were doing today and Linda Williams was there taking photos of it too. Here is Ken's shot of them getting fed. There are 4 little hawks and Linda said they are Red-Shouldered Hawks, you can see the patch of red in this photo. Linda told us where we could get photos of baby owls, we may try it tomorrow. I have come down with a nasty cold, I thought it was just sinus but today it became a keep the tissue box close cold.
We went downtown EX Sps to pay our water bill and the garden back of the gift shop was really pretty and I had to get a couple of photos. I need to visit the garden shops back garden, but didn't feel like it today.

Nothing is worth more than this Day.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hanging around

Another day of rain, so it is a good day to be creative. June is a busy month for birthdays and anniversaries so I decided to get busy and make up a few cards. The hardest for me is finding the right and fun thing to say inside the cards. It looks like I'll have a few more days to be creative as rain is in the forecast for the next 4 days. We did go see the movie Indiana Jones .... it was entertaining. There hasn't been many movies out there recently that I feel I must see, none really, but Ken wanted to see this one.
Live every day with enjoyment we don't know what tomorrow will give us.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


We are back from our visit to Estherville, IA where we attended my nephew's H S Graduation. This is the happy graduate with his parents, my brother Jim and his wife Elaine. Chad was awarded with several scholarships. He plans on going to Community College in Emmetsburg and study small engine and motorcycle repair. He loves his dirt bikes and races. He is an Eagle Scout and works at the local Sinclair usually fixing tires and mows several lawns. He is a busy lad especially now that he has a girlfriend who is a race car driver and he is on her pit crew.
We got together with my mother's brother Darrell and his wife Grace also in attendance is my niece, Kristi, my aunt Anna Mae and my sister-in-law Beth (she is married to my little brother Dennis).

We stopped at Pella, IA and spent the night as we left on Fri. late morning. The tulips were still blooming everywhere from their Tulip Festival the 1st of May. They were to be dug up this Monday and given away to the locals who wanted them.

Can you spot the Monarch here?

On the way back we stopped at Union Slough National Wildlife Refuge between Bandcroft and Burt, IA. We saw these Egrets and a couple of Swans in the distance and I saw my first Bobolink. The lady at the headquarters was very nice and informative. We wish we weren't in a hurry to get back home as we found a wonderful spot to watch birds and Ken got a few photos of some new birds, an American Redstart and a warbler or two.
The poor cats were out of food and water when we got home, I thought I had put out enough, but they are fine and happy now they can look out the back door and get some fresh air.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


We haven't been doing much, Ken's been photographing our backyard birds, I did some sorting of my collage junk. Today we went out to Watkins to check on the Red-tailed Hawk mom and she had two chicks that we could see.
I took the photo of Ken's photo off his computer so you could see the chick. I didn't know if it would turn out, but it did.
I caught the female Oriole with a worm this afternoon. I stand outside letting the birds get used to me so I can photograph them. Now to get the hummingbirds, we have two at the feeder right now.
Our motorhome is now waiting for parts, it is sitting at dealers waiting. We are watching the price of diesel go up and up.
The way to know life is to Love many things. Van Gogh

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Open House

I hope you are all having a nice Mother's Day! It is windy and cool here but the sun is shining. Another bad weekend for tornadoes for MO, 12 people have died in a small SE town Senica, Mo. It's been a strange year weather wise.

Sat. we went to Lawrence, KS to the Monarch Open House and Plant Sale on the KU campus. We have been interested in this organization for several years now. We have reared Monarchs and Swallowtails in our garden as some of you have seen our photos.

The organization studies and promotes the conservation of monarchs and other butterflies and moths.

As part of their conservation, they tag monarchs to study their migration paths. This lady, Janis, was on video cam and I visited with her, it was strange to visited over the computer. She lives in Brownsville, TX and goes to Mexico in the winter to count the tagged Monarchs that have made it to their migratory home there.

I registered to be a Monarch Waystation a couple of years ago. If you are interested to learn more about this Monarch organization go to http://www.monarchwatch.org/.

We bought several different kinds of milkweed to try this year in our butterfly garden. Our list of new plants include: rue (not a milkweed but a favorite food of swallowtails), Tropical milkweed, Balloonplant milkweed, Purple milkweed, Whorled milkweed and Vervain (a nectar plant). We have also bought Asclepia tuberosa (milkweed), another Butterfly bush, fennel for the swallowtails, and Lantana. The local garden club had a plant sale and we bought a flat of Zinnias for a dollar, butterflies like them for their nectar. So our butterfly garden is set, just need some good weather to set it all out. Our common milkweed is returning on it's own quite well, our neighbors probably think we are crazy for growing a weed, but their blossoms smell so sweet as well as being a favorite food of the Monarchs.
Let us savor the fleeting delights of our most beautiful days! Alphonse de Lamartine

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mother's Day

Wonderful Mother
God made a wonderful mother,
A mother who never grows old;
He made her smile of the the sunshine
And He moulded her heart of pure gold;
In her eyes He placed bright shining stars,
In her cheeks fair roses you see;
God made a wonderful mother,
And He gave that dear Mother to me.
Pat O'Reilly

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Weston Bend

We headed out to Weston Bend State Park around 6 am to go birding with the group from Backyard Bird Center.

We were out for 5 hours, walked 3 miles. saw all kinds of birds of which 18 are new to us. Of course, it really helps to have those in the know around to point them out. There were several species of Warblers, Sparrows, Thrush and Eastern Towhee.

We also saw May flowers, Paw Paw blossoms and several Jack in the Pulpits. As the morning warmed up the butterflies started to show up saw several zebra swallowtails, tiger swallowtails and this cresent, sorry not a very good photo.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Yesterday, I met Cheryl at Smithville for lunch at the Main Cup Cafe. I first stopped at the Smithville Lake dam and then explored a little of the trail across from it. I was there less then 10 mins and saw a yellow warbler. Ken and I need to go back and walk the trail, it looks promising.

Here are a few photos I took downtown Smithville.

We discovered another little cafe to try sometime soon. It is located in an antique shop called Clearfield Farm. The sink and bathtub is a fountain in the garden located in the back of the shop. We had a nice visit with the owner, she is an interesting person, loves riding Harleys. She has a fun website, http://www.clearfieldfarmantiques.com/ it includes menu too.
Our lastest visitor to our hummingbird feeder, both male and female have been spotted at it.

With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things. Willaim Wordsworth

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Day in Pics

Here's our day in photos.

Artist:Mindy Rhoads

I found all four books, Happy Mother's Day!!!!

Found some Butterfly Weed plants for our garden.

Got slabs of ribs at McGonigle's Meat Market, 5th Annual Ribs for Kids.

Saw our first hummingbird at our feeder this evening. A busy day.

Friday, May 2, 2008


The tornadoes missed us, but Gladstone and Independence and North Kansas City had some damage as you may have seen on the news. We had some wind and rain that is all, thank goodness.

We met Ken's brother for lunch today at Strouds. We had a nice visit. It has been around for 30 years and is famous for it's fried chicken. I think the place is much older then that as part of it has the original log walls.

Earlier in the day, we went to Watkins (which is a state park) Ken wanted to see if we would see any birds today. There was a group of kids with their leader checking out nature too. We saw a Tanager and an Indigo Bunting and the Yellow-rumped Warblers and this follow who let me photograph his catch of the day, morel mushrooms. I was playing around with my Collage Creater so you will have to click on the pic if you want to see the morels.

Each moment is a place you've never been.

Mark Strand

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day

We haven't been doing much, just going out and looking for birds, books and butterflies. Today I suggested we go to Watkins Mill for a walk, a walk turned into an all day bird watching affair. Tonight we have tornado watches and warnings. (So far all the bad stuff missed us, hope that continues.)

Watkins is a county park, a great place. There is a nice campground, fishing lake, bike trail, an old woolen mill and church and school. This is the old church at Watkins where we learned from the park workers, that there is a red tailed hawk nesting over at the Mill. The park workers were cleaning up the church and school and they let us take a look at the interiors. We then went over to the Mill, Ken has some good photos of the hawk, they were too far away for my camera. (Ken should set up a website for his photos!!)

We meet Linda again with her bird watcher friends. We saw a few new birds to add to our list and a couple we have no idea what they are. (Where are the experts when we need them? ) We were excited to see our first Tanager, Ken didn't have his camera at that time. He needs to always have a camera at hand. I visited Linda's site tonight and she mentioned us in her blog, how fun is that. Linda's site is www. lindawilliamsphotography.com. We have so much to learn about bird watching!!!

I guess, the salamander and butterflies aren't birds, but I can capture them with my camera, except the tiger swallowtail and admiral butterflies they wouldn't pose for me.

Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth and youth, and warm desire! John Milton