Iowa State’s Swans

Back in Indiana, someone sent me a link to photos of  Iowa State’s two swans on a lake…that was the clincher for me…..I had to come here for graduate school!

On this spring day, just to the west of the Memorial Union, red buds adorned the rim of Lake LaVerne.  I looked anxiously for the two white swans, but didn’t see them swimming.

Then as I was trying to photograph more red bud, guess what I saw?!

Two lovers, hidden under the trees, with their own little case of spring fever!

Spring Flowering Trees in Ames

Today was the day!  I feel like spring is about at its peak here in central Iowa, so I took out the Cannon and drove around town to capture the beauty.

Iowa State University has a beautiful campus and every year when the blue squill bloom it still takes my breath away.  This year I finally got onto campus for some close ups of the patch between the Memorial Union and the Knoll.


Blue squill on Iowa State University campus


Women as art

Ok, ok, please don’t accuse me of objectifying women or some such thing……but as I get older, I appreciate what anthropologist and author Mary Catherine Bateson refers to as the way women “compose a life”.

Starting out with dreams of college and saving the world or at least setting it on fire, many of us took a detour through family life, raising children, being full time volunteers, caring for aging parents, cobbling together part time jobs that fit the kids’ needs, sometimes followed by divorce, perhaps more college/collage  and then hopefully some semblance of a career.  Since reading Bateson’s Composing a Life, I have a new appreciation for our gender and often wonder, when observing other women, what ingenuity, acrobatics and struggles each has gone through to reach her particular place in life.  With that in mind, I consider these women at the Ames Art Fair to be works of art themselves.


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Why art?

As I post some of my photos from the Ames Art Fair tonight, I hear the question in my mind: “Why art?  Why does this matter?”

Art has always been important to me, ever since my dad first taught me to draw trees and I heard the story of my sister getting paid a penny a piece for her drawings when she was a girl.  I believe that art takes you places.  When you are creating art, it takes you outside of or inside yourself, away from what may be bugging you or just down right scaring you to death.  When I look at good art, it also transports me for a few minutes, or if it resides in my home, it becomes a little side trip I take every day as I pass by it.  I can travel to the world of mermaids, to a park full of bike riders or off to a day in the countryside, just by using my eyes.

Lisa Victoria Fantasy Art

Here was another popular artist at the Ames Art Fair.  I loved her fantasy and did not get photos that do it justice, but check out her web site here.    Do you want some sweet dragons or fairies for a child’s room?  I may have to indulge in a mermaid piece myself  one of these days!

Karen Cooper at Ames Art Fair


I had a ball at the Ames Art Fair with the new Canon camera my sister gave me!  Part of the fun was just hearing the snap snap snap of the fast shutter speed.

For some reason this year, I was almost more intrigued with the people than the art, but in this shot I got both.  I loved catching the artist just hanging out the way she captures people in her paintings!

If you are bicycle rider or a RAGBRAI fan, you should check out her web site for more interesting glimpses of life.


Flowers around the swimming pool

I LOVE water walking at the Furman Aquatic Center in Ames!


Do other water parks beautify your experience with flowers the way Furman does?




  Whoever supported the landscaping, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you heartily!

Red Granite Farm


I’ve made several trips to the Ames Farmers’ Market at North Grand Mall this summer.  On my first visit I was struck by the lovely perennials from Red Granite Farm.  Maybe some day I’ll get to visit and photograph their flowers  in their  beds!

I’ve been loving these Cyclone colored lilies around town.  I’m not  sure if the darker ones really qualify as the color “cardinal”, but I think they are very powerful and attractive, especially paired with the lemony gold!

Rain Garden 2011

I know I’ve posted before about this rain garden that grows next to the Ames Public Library (update 2018:this area is gone now, part of the new library addition), but this year it seemed even more beautiful to me.

It’s been HOT here, in the 90’s, heat indexes around 110-115, but this garden still looks so cool, deep, rich, diverse.  As I stepped out of my car to get some close ups, I heard something rustling in the foliage.  Could have been a rabbit, maybe a bird or a mouse, but the environment was so deep and lush, it remained well hidden from me, and probably quite cool.  I wish there were more spaces around town that were planted like this!

Ames Iowa Public Library Rain Garden


A Strawberry Rose at Stomping Grounds


Met my best friend for Saturday morning breakfast a while ago.  We luxuriated in the outside setting at Stomping Grounds in Ames, Iowa.  She got this strawberry rose garnish on her brie plate and I had the perfect plate of bacon and eggs.  We both like raspberry mochas, and the Stomping Grounds owner came out and made sure our quirky mocha idiosyncrasies were accommodated perfectly!