2015 Kansas Ice Storm Produces Some Beauty

  What is the most traveled holiday?  When does Kansas get a big ice storm?   Of course on Black Friday of Thanksgiving is when the streets are glazed with ice in Hutchinson. Tree branches of all sizes came crashing down on cars, power lines, fences, roads and houses. Power outages were a problem for hundreds of people, and some are still without power. 

 So where is the beauty in all of this? Dim dismal shots flooded social media. I was not without tree damage with many limbs down. But I was determined to find some positive scenery.

  My philosophy is to find beauty no matter the situation. I grabbed my camera and walked carefully through my yard. 

  This bench shows green grass and colorful Fall leaves. Beauty can be anywhere – everywhere if you look hard enough…check out these ice shots. I hope you enjoy them. 


A little web is frozen with ice balls.

Dogwood Tree’s big buds are incapsulated in rounded shapes in ice.


This bird house looks like it has been decorated for the holidays. 


Sunflowers – Like a field of Gold


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sunflowers off the roadLast Friday I was in search of sunflowers. .. the type of sunflowers that farmers plant for a cash crop.  I drove over 103 before finding a field of these yellow flowers.  Oh the field I found was glorious!  The owners drove down the road to check on my vehicle and why it kept stopping so close to their ditch.  They were very kind and gave me permission to carefully go into their field IF I did not trample on the plants and break them. I gave them one of my business cards sf butterfly_2556and said I would send them a print of their sunflower field if they so desired.

This was not an ordinary field of sunflowers. This field was so bright and beautiful it showed up about two miles away.  Thsunflower with butterflye brightest yellow I have ever seen. And the flowers seemed to go on for ever.

It was hard to stop taking photos, the flowers  were just so pretty.   And then the butterflies appeared. Oh My! It was windy so catching a butterfly on a flower was a challenge, and getting him to sit there very long or open his wings was a whole different problem.  I had to watch carefully and shoot fast.

What a wonderful sight. Some flowers were tall and some were short but all were beautiful.

I hope you enjoy these. tall sunflowers

In search of Sunflowers …

windmill and wild sunflowers

Kansas Windmill and sunflowers

 art from sunflower field

Kansas Sunflower Field

Because I live in Kansas, there is a certain time in August that beckons me to travel the back country roads in search of fields of sunflowers. There are two main styles of sunflowers. The sunflowers that grow in uniform rows in fields. With hopes of being a cash crop, these sunflowers are planted and harvested by the local farmers.   The other type of sunflower is maybe considered a weed by some, and a beautiful flower by others. This type of sunflower grows in ditches and pastures on long spindly stems and is not a cash crop. These spindly flowers are still  considered a sunflower.   After Kansas sunflowerall, Kansas is considered the sunflower state.  So certainly there must be sunflowers, Right???  There are an abundance of wild sunflowers.  They are not hard to find.  So why am I on a search for sunflowers?    I LOVE LOVE the uniform look  (almost smiling) sunflower faces in rows and rows in the farmers’ fields.  These stately plants can grow 6 to 8 feet tall.  Late at night, in the quiet fields, almost cartoon like, they look as if they could magically jump up and start to dance. To me these are the happiest flowers and I want to enjoy their beauty and magnificence. I want to see the lovely rows of smiling sunflower faces and I want to capture their beauty with my camera.  Sunsets over a field of sunflowers has a glow that is hard to explain other than just pure Beauty.
With cameras loaded in the jeep,  I will head off in search of sunflowers …

Weddings are always fun

What a great weekend this wedding turned out to be.

A girlfriend, Debbie Wiens,  – partner shooter – and myself –  loaded her vehicle on Fri. Sept 27th and headed east to a tiny town in the Kansas Flinthills, called Cottonwood Falls.

doorWe stayed in a small mom and pop lodge with our balcony looking over the river.  Now two ladies can talk a lot when they get together, as I am sure many of you have witnessed … but you get two girls together who love photography … and you got to not stop talkers … who might stop the vehicle in the middle of an intersection if a butterfly or woodchuck might be within lens length … just to get the right angle for the shot. This lodge had great decor, and here is a pic of the front door, and look closely, no metal latch, just pull on the leather.



This is a wonderful quiet quaint place to stay … and on Sunday morning, we awoke to beautiful picturesque fog on the river.

We went down to the local restaurant (cafe) to order breakfast … no breakfast menu … just tell them what you want to eat and they will cook it for you … now how about that for service.

550dh 12 x 18

And for the reason we went, the wedding, taking pictures is what we do; the rehearsal, the pre-wedding, the ceremony, the family groups, the reception, the cake, the dance, and anything else the couple might want photos of.

This is the famous Court House in Cottonwood Falls, which makes a lovely backdrop for the bridal party.

The bride was so lovely and elegant.  136dhI LOVE my job. . . and my friends working side by side with me, just doesn’t get any better.63B&W dh

Cally and Byron on a Tractor-1

Time just flies by – and life happens – good and bad and great

james and matthew2Time just flies by for me and the family.  Almost 3 months ago, I signed a lease and received keys for my very first photography studio.  On that very SAME day, our newest grandson was born. He is just a bundle of love.   Those were HUGE events.

Since that time, my mother had an emergency trip to the hospital and is now in skilled nursing at a near by wonderful rest home.   Just last week we were able to put my father in the same wonderful rest home, in the memory unit, due to his advancing Alzheimer’s disease. momanddadJPG

School has started, and so has the busy schedule of our nine year old grandson. He is very active in scout and football.  What a blessing to have him live with us and be such a big part of his life.

We took our first family trip out of state, to Colorado,  with the nine year old grandson and the newest grandson (2.5 months old) and his parents. Oh what Amazing Memories were made. Visiting more family and attending the annual Colorado Rockies baseball game, in style, in a suite. This has been a tradition for the last 10 years.digger 2013  Every year the cousins get their photo taken with the Rockies mascot, Digger.  Oh course, the newest addition needed to be part of that tradition … the memories continue, start anew, grow …

First the Spirit / Then the Miracle

I am not sure about some things in life, and sometimes when things happen, I just can not explain them; I believe some things are just acts of God, some are events that are of the moment, and some are more of the spiritual type. This story is true and is of the more spiritual type of event.

My Grandma was part Blackfoot Indian, and sometimes that 1/4 part seems to manifest itself in me more than I ever thought to be possible.

In the Indian Lore spirit world, the turtle is a strong symbol of earthly energy AND of Motherhood. Every morning, I go into the back yard to feed the Koi with my two little puppy dogs, The Bichon weighs about 14 lbs and the Havanese weights about 7 pounds.

Last Friday morning, like every morning, we walked out with the idea that the Koi  were to be fed. We were met, instead with the huge snapping turtle. Now remember, we live in town and the back yard is enclosed with a fairly new wood privacy fence.

snapping turtle

My first concern was one of the dogs could easily loose a foot or ear. Usually when critters like this make their way into the yard, their retreat is into my garbage can. But I was compelled to save both the little puppy dogs, AND this turtle. I found the huge grain shovel and after some confrontation with the jaws of this turtle I managed to not harm him and place him in the front yard where he could continue his journey away from my dogs and my bare feet and outside the confines of our fence. The turtle has a little damage to his shell, but that happend prior to his visit with me.

After the rescue of the turtle was complete, I went back into the house, where I found our daughter (9 months pregnant) in full blown labor pains. I summoned her father that the time had come to take her to the hospital immediately. Two and 1/2 hours later, we had a beautiful new grandson.  Labor was a little rough although short, and both baby and mom are doing fine.
james and matthew

I took our 9 year old grandson to the hospital so he and I could see the beautiful new arrival … cousins meet for the first time. James sure is proud to be the older cousin, he has plans of teaching little Matthew skills that boys need to know. You know, like facts about snakes, and the best way to scare Grandma. And how to give your veggies to the dog.

The dogs are very careful with little baby Matthew, but they sure are curious.

Matthew and comet

Sunday we will go to my NEWLY acquired photography studio with Matthew and he will be the first New-Born photo session at the studio ..VERY EXCITING!!!

We are thrilled and proud to have Matthew Ronald in our lives… his parents are excellent, and I am sure they will do a excellent job raising this fine little boy.