Category Archives: SOOC

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.

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.

Orchid Mania 2018

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The 2018 Orchid Mania display of hundreds of species of orchids is spectacular each year at the Missouri Botanical Garden. I always enjoy leisurely browsing and finding new surprises as I visit and take photos of unusual orchids! The display ends March 25 this year, so go soon if you can! The colors and the natural light are good medicine for the soul and body on a dark winter day!

 

The Extended B Family

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It was a gorgeous afternoon in the park when I was privileged to capture the extended B family’s photos! We had fun talking about their holiday traditions and between posings, they laughed and tickled each other and made this session so much fun! Great Grandma, grandparents, siblings, and cousins got to be included in photos — something they had not had for quite a few years. God’s blessings to the B Family for wonderful holidays ahead!

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.

Fall Fun

Who doesn’t like weaving spider webs for plastic spiders?

Or scraping the guts out of a pumpkin and saving the slimy seeds to roast?

Just a couple “lifestyle photos” in my Fall Family season collection! Super Fall Fun!

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!

 

A Heritage

“Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3

Creamy and Dreamy and a Tea Party Too

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Her great aunt wore this organza slip and dress as a flower girl about 70 years ago. She asked that I photograph her grand-niece wearing it, and this is just one of many captures as she played on her bed.

My style is simply to follow a child as he/she plays and capture the memories!

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Sweet P phoned her cousins to ask them to come to her tea party. She was so excited!

Among her guests were Chloe Bunny, Barney Cabbage Patch, Benedict Bunny, and Piglet.

No one minded that this Two served tea and cookies in her pink and white slips.

A good time was had by all!

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 …

Coming or Going?

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The lightest snowfall provides a background for such interesting bird prints!

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!

Fishing vs Catching

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“A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work!”

These two with their O’Pa at a favorite pond are simply happy to be casting and reeling and catching little biters.

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/

These Eyes…These Eyelashes

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“The eyes are the windows to the soul.” ~ English Proverb

Dear little one, I wonder what I look like to your eyes! I love looking into yours!

 

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!

Pretty in Pink

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10 days fresh and new!

Waiting for Baby — Week 40

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Little Details from the Garden

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God’s beautiful creation details!

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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Perfect Place to Be

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For my DH who waits so patiently for a fish’s bite:

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

And from my viewpoint on this beautiful water … ahhhhh!

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Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.  From The Complete Prose Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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Our Garden Blooms

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.
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Luther Burbank

This past year we’ve added a butterfly garden at our home and we enjoy seeing it from our kitchen window. The butterflies, bees, and birds have found this special place! God’s creation is so beautiful and intricate!

Here are some of this summer’s blooms:

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