I hadn’t been to northeast South Dakota for about 14 years and had forgotten how much water there is, which makes it a great place for fishing. My cousin Abby caught so many fish today that I lost count. My count was easy to remember, but not memorable. Zero. Hey, at least I tried. Nevertheless, it was a relaxing weekend with two aunts & uncles, cousin, mom and grandparents.


I was excited to see several pods of pelicans, and even moreso, that they didn’t “gift” anything to me.

Sidewalk Talk

Purple flowers

Wielding a professional looking camera yields conversations that normally wouldn’t come your way. As I was eyeing the flowers to frame up my next shot, a stranger walking by interrupted me and asked if I was doing a school project. (I live next to a community college.) We chatted for about two minutes, and as the person was about to leave, they said, “You know, your eyes are something else.”  “Oh really?,” I countered.

They continued, “Have you ever been…You should be a…uh, what’s the word….” I waited patiently for them to complete their thought. “…an eye model?” they asked. Hmm, now that’s a career option I’ve never set sight on.




This winter has been unlike any other winter I can remember. I was braced for a bone chilling bout this year after living at a lower latitude the past six years. Instead, it’s been a pleasant surprise. Today’s image is from a photowalk last spring at McDonald’s (HQ campus not your local restaurant). It felt like spring this morning, and hostas were on my mind. I was tempted to shout out “Hosta” la Vista, winter. But I know better.


Papaya 2

Stepping under the canopy of palm fronds, I quickly traded the crisp cold for humid air and growing things. The $2 suggested donation was a fair exchange for a 20 minute escape within the Como Park Conservatory in St. Paul. (If you’re in Chicago, another one worth visiting is the Garfield Park Conservatory.)

I noted the textures and colors of mid-morning light, as leaves swept past my arms and palm branches brushed my hair. I weaved around the source of things found in my spice rack like black pepper vines, cinnamon bark and allspice, as well as banana plants and barren fig trees. Then, I caught the spidery-looking stems and nine-lobed leaves of a papaya tree, and that’s how today’s photos came to be.