Category Archives: Landscape

Monarch Note Cards

In a short time, our Monarch raising season 2018 will be over and we’ll miss seeing the beauties in the gardens. I’ll miss grabbing my camera to capture them!

Here is a sampling of the Monarch note cards I’ve made by matting my photos and attaching them to 5 x 7 inch note cards. The colors are spectacular!

Inside I stamp a sentiment such as “Happy Birthday!”, “Thinking of you”, “Praying for you”, and “Celebrate Life!”

Each is unique and each honors a special butterfly that we raised this Summer.

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How My Garden Blooms

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Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed. ~ Walt Whitman

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. ~ Cicero

 

 

Danaus Plexippus — The Monarch

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The Monarch may be the most recognized butterfly in North America, and maybe in the world!

Three years ago we began to plant milkweed, the host plant for the adult female Monarch to lay eggs and for the caterpillar to feed on the leaves.

This year our nationally registered Monarch Waystation 17014 was the home to many eggs, caterpillars and nectaring Monarchs.

The slideshow presents a few of the Monarchs we released with a “Godspeed” as we watched them catch a high wind on their migratory journey to Mexico.

We enjoyed involving our gardening friends, a teen neighbor girl, and classrooms of third graders, helping them to learn more about Monarchs and establishing their own habitats to protect them.

Did you know only about 2% of all Monarch caterpillars survive in the “wild” to become a butterfly? The entire process takes only about one month. Predators are wasps, lizards, praying mantises, birds, and more.

Monarchs matter! To learn more, please visit http://www.monarchwatch.org

Lantana Camara

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Lantana Camara is one of the varieties in the Lantana family, a flowering plant that attracts both butterflies and pollinators. 

Here it’s blooming amid the lavender hosta blooms. My favorite time to capture blooms is right after a morning rain shower and before I melt with the high heat and humidity!

 

Hello, Black Swallowtails!

Our butterfly garden has been abuzz lately with the hot temperatures and high humidity this Spring. These Black Swallowtails spent some time nectaring on the Butterfly Weed before they flew to their next snack stop. These are common in the Midwest and the Swallowtail caterpillars are usually found on plants in the parsley family (fennel and parsley are favorite host plants). The butterflies look for nectar-providing flowers.

Soon to be a Family of Five

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“Giving birth and being born brings us into the essence of creation, where the human spirit is courageous and bold and the body, a miracle of wisdom.”

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“You are pregnant and you are powerful. You are bold and you are beautiful. Go forward in your boldness, in your beauty and in your contentedness. Trust your body to birth and know that the collective power of women worldwide will be with you.”

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DSCF3105 (2JLP) “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new…and so in you the child, your mother lives on, and through your family continues to live… so at this time look after yourself and your family as you would your mother for through you all she will truly never die.”

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“To be pregnant is to be vitally alive, thoroughly woman, and distressingly inhabited. Soul and spirit are stretched – along with body – making pregnancy a time of transition, growth, and profound beginnings.”

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“Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were here an hour I would die for you. This is the miracle of Mother’s Love.” – Maureen Hawkins

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“In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves.”  –Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn

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“A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten and the future worth living for.”

I’m grateful to have captured these fun and precious moments in the park for this family who will soon meet their child #3!

 

 

Getting Ready for the Monarchs

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Roxie and I are excited to begin our 2018 butterfly gardens!

Our new book “The Monarch” by Kylee Baumle is just packed with information about the Monarch eggs, caterpillars, chrysalis stage, and the eclosing of the beautiful Monarch! (This book is available on Amazon.com   I’m recommending the book as a personal user and do not receive any compensation for my recommendation.) 

Help save the pollinators and butterflies! Create your own special garden either in containers or in the ground by using a variety of milkweed plants and native host and nectar plants in your growing area!

Find more information at http://www.monarchwatch.org

Visit your nearest botanical garden(s) for information on butterfly and pollinator gardening.

The B Kids in Autumn Colors

Autumn is a favorite time of year to capture children’s photos amid the gorgeous Fall glowing leaf and sky colors!

Being able to document these children and their sweet personalities is pure joy. Each one is so different, so caring and kind, so special! They have great parents and are so blessed in many ways! I feel blessed to know them and see them often!

Golden Wedding Anniversary

Golden sunshine blessed us with great light on the afternoon of this dear couple’s anniversary photo session! These are just a handful of the captures for their anniversary book. I can’t wait to see which one they chose for their canvas wall art! I couldn’t have asked for more natural subjects! They are a great example of love and commitment for all who know them and witness their kindness and service to others.

Fritillaries

Fritillaries visited our butterfly garden en masse this summer, perhaps due to the southerly winds from Hurricane Harvey.

My Butterfly Garden

The bumblebees have found my purple coneflowers! I’m still waiting patiently for the Monarchs to arrive. I’ve spotted one Tiger Swallowtail so far.

The “blanket flowers” and butterfly weed and many more plants that attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and yellow finches are just waiting for visitors! I think our cool, wet Spring has affected the pollinators and butterflies so far. So I’ll keep watching!

 

Sunset at Taneycomo

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The worst day of fishing is better than the best day at work.

Sunset fishing at Lake Taneycomo in southern Missouri. He got his line wet, the fish weren’t biting, but he went to sleep relaxed.

It’s all about the bait. And being patient.

Ornamental Cabbage

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Looking forward to digging in the garden and planting beautiful veggies and blooms — dreaming through these next few months!

Love the colors in a variety of ornamental cabbage plants that range from dark to light shades. It’s fun to browse the seed catalogs and plan …

A Winter Walk

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It’s easier to tolerate winter when the sun shines and when you have a dog to walk!

Lined Up

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Where did Summer go?

The watering cans, well-used, gave drinks to so many flowers and veggies

planted on our deck.

Now we’ve picked our last cherry tomatoes,

watered the impatiens and petunias for the last times,

and prepare to winterize soon.

But not too soon.

Please.

Give us more beautiful Autumn days to sprinkle thirsty flowers,

though spindly and fading,

just to enjoy the task.

Rest in Peace – Auf Weidersehen

Today is All Saints’ Day on the Christian church calendar. It’s a day to celebrate those sinner-saints who have gone before us to their heavenly rest.

During this beautiful Autumn season I’ve spent some time walking and photographing in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St Louis, MO, not far from where we live.

When my parents moved from Ohio to the St Louis area in early 2015, they changed their plans so that this national cemetery would be their final resting place.

Our dad is now at perfect peace and has been committed to JBNC since his recent passing from this earth. It’s a sad/happy time for us. Sad because we miss him so much–almost daily visiting, laughing, eating ice cream together, singing and listening to polka music, hearing his great stories about family and World War II and travel experiences and more.

We’re happy and comforted to know that we’ll see him in heaven someday, because we believe Jesus’ promise that’s written in John 11:25-26: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”

God blessed Dad with almost 95 years of life on this earth, with a beautiful and loving bride of 70 years plus, and with a caring family and many friends. For all this, we’re so thankful.

See you later, Dad.

“In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song.”

“For every sin on Him was laid; here in the death of Christ I live!”

 

Monarchs Have Migrated to Mexico

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This is the last Monarch to visit our butterfly garden in 2016. We enjoyed each and every one that we saw, and thank God for His creation and their beauty! The monarchs enjoyed our butterfly weed, milkweed plants, and butterfly bushes (this one is named “Ruby”) as well as the zinnias and impatiens blooming here.

Read more about Monarchs and their migration here and on other sites that you find when searching Google for “monarchs” and “migration.”

Remember to save your flower seeds and plant in the early spring to help make your environment more butterfly friendly!

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/03/160314-monarchs-mexico-endangered-rare-butterflies-animals/

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Siblings in Summer

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The Chicken Whisperer

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Chickens make wonderful pets.

Chickens help teach responsibility with daily feeding and watering chores.

Chickens provide bonus surprises — eggs! Healthy eating!

Here’s my favorite chicken whisperer with her sweet “Cocoa.” I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t have doll clothes on Cocoa sometime soon. Maybe she’ll even push her in a doll stroller. Cocoa would love that!

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Happy Hostas

Rain has been abundant this spring and summer. The fauna and flora in our area are all very happy. The best watering comes from heavenly watering, a wise gardener once told me. Better than any spigot and garden hose.

Hosta blooms captured with my macro lens right after an early morning rain:

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Family of Three

 

 

 

 

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It was a great day at the park with this family of three, and the bonus was that the rain held off until we were done capturing many special moments.

Seven months old is a magical age! Baby P was fascinated with the ducks and people paddling on the pond. She challenged us to keep her on her special quilt made by her grandma. 

Love the love that was bubbling over during this session!

Little Details from the Garden

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God’s beautiful creation details!

The H Family

A fun family + a beautiful day + a country setting = a GREAT time “shooting” this family!

These parents and their teens were a joy to capture and though we had just met, they were naturals and we had fun together.  I loved how they coordinated their colors to brighten the country landscape and the rustic settings.

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The H Family chose to have their photos taken near a very special, old tree in their neighborhood complete with the wooden wagon and the biggest rope and wooden swing I’ve ever seen. Can you imagine how high that swing might go?

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When they asked if I’d shoot them as they held their guns, I knew I’d be safe with them! 

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This fun-loving couple celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in September …  this would make a great celebration spot with wine, cheese and crackers,  and moonlight!

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Aren’t they the cutest? I love their bright blue eyes and happy smiles!

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The country setting and great light made me grateful for this beautiful afternoon shoot … I’m glad they left this old stump in the yard! 

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We ended their family “shoot” by including their beautiful Labs — these guys are all brothers and couldn’t have been sweeter to pose for this shot. I hope they got some good treats! This would make one great canvas wall art for their home. What a pleasure it was to meet this family and capture some special moments for their memory albums and wall frames. One may even become their Christmas photo for 2014!

Thank you to the H Family for purchasing my photography gift certificate at the Silent Auction, and for supporting our Heart for Honduras mission trip! I was blessed in many ways, especially by going as part of the mission team and by meeting and photographing your dear family.

Not Your Typical Water Dog

She isn’t your typical “water dog” but does she ever have fun jumping off the kayak’s bow into the lake, and then shaking all over one of us!

There must be a tiny Labrador gene in her somewhere!

When we rescued her, little did we know we’d have an avid kayaker joining our family.

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The N Family — Baby Countdown!

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The last trimester — the nesting time — has begun, and both pink and blue and neutral colors were included in some special photos in a favorite park, documenting this couple’s waiting for baby who is due in early November. 

He’s so happy! She’s very radiant! We were all very wet in the rain, but glad we met and captured these special photos.

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And one more, SOOC — they don’t need anything to enhance their cuteness.

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Welcome, Spring! It’s Blissful!

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The flowering Japanese cherry tree has the most delicate, ruffled blooms, and is so pretty against the clear blue sky! I wish the blooms would last all Spring and Summer!

In the Bleak Midwinter

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In the bleak mid-winter  Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter Long ago.

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I enjoy photographing nature and little details of God’s creation even on a cold winter day. On this day we had accumulated 9 inches of new snow, and some of our drifts were higher than two feet tall. My boots weren’t tall enough to keep the cold, icy, snow out, but it was well worth the effort in our garden areas to capture these dried flowers still on their stalks, topped with a dollop of snow. The images, plus a mug of hot chocolate, were sweet rewards.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk, And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel Which adore.

Angels and archangels May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim Thronged the air –
But only His mother In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved With a kiss.

What can I give Him, Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man I would do my part;
Yet what I can, I give Him – Give my heart.

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When I found this heart-shaped leaf lying in the snow next to our sidewalk, it reminded me of the stanza, “What can I give Him — Give my heart.”

“In the Bleak Midwinter” is a Christmas carol based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti written before 1872 in response to a request from the magazine Scribner’s Monthly for a Christmas poem. It was published posthumously in Rossetti’s Poetic Works in 1904.

The poem became a Christmas carol after it appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906 with a setting by Gustav Holst. 

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Love in the Sun

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Gary & Cari’s love for each other and their “boys” shines as brightly as the sun. What a fun play time we all had at the park as I got some great captures for their walls and memory albums! Rufus, Roscoe, and Brian, you deserve some delicious treats!

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Bougainvillea Blooms

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This potted bougainvillea has bloomed its heart out this summer, and is still giving us a great show of color off our patio area. I love the tiny white blossoms inside the coral leaf-petals. They’re so intricate and lace-like!

A Celebration of 50 Years of Marriage

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D and E look at her original wedding band, now too thin to wear, but a perfect addition to her charm bracelet of life’s special memories.

For you see, each day I love you more today…

more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.  ~Rosemonde Gerard

ImageThe bride and groom’s special rings,

her wedding veil,

and her wedding pearls,

chosen by her mother, and given to her as a gift from her groom.

A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

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D and E in their beautiful yard …a special place

that holds wonderful memories of family and friends gathering together.

Every love story is beautiful, but OURS is my favorite.

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Live. Love. Laugh. Dance!

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How happy! How blessed! How thankful!

The roses they hold are from a special rose bush in their yard.

What a wonderful memory it is that D’s mother went along with him and E to select this rose color.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream!

~C.S. Lewis

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Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. 

~Corrie Ten Boom

God’s blessings, dear D and E!

I pray that you always know God’s love and care for you.

I pray that He gives you many more happy years together!

I pray that wherever you make your home, God is the center of it.

You are an inspiration to all who know you and love you dearly.