Friday, November 26, 2010

Happiness on a gentle prairie breeze

I went out for a hike, it was a balmy 25 degrees, and my treat to have been thankful for was the sighting of this Pileated Woodpecker(you may have to enlarge the picture) pictured in this first picture. It was a first time to see this gorgeous bird, but very hard to get close. I sat for a long time, having it flit and tease me to no end. While waiting a good friend,White-breasted Nuthatch stopped by to offer some of its beauty and cheer.Happiness can be right in front of us and all we have to do is open our eyes a little more and realize what we have.Of course I was bursting at the seams to share mine, and never saw a soul while enjoying one of my favorite state parks to bird in.I lose track of time too easy when enjoying myself in nature, and it is hard to go home, although I am home in my environment. With the holidays upon us, we need to look at what we have to help us enjoy the season bestowed upon us. It takes so little to make one happy, and doesn't really have to be much. Share a little love with all around you, as I do with my writing and pictures with you and many others.

This old town made me think of a Clint Eastwood film where he had the residents paint the town red. It is very complete, and a charm to be found out on the prairie while traveling.

This mighty oak has the round shape making it look like one massive tree, but was actually three. The beauty of the prairie changes so drastically with every season.

A greeter at a farm I stopped at to shoot a few pictures.

The original wooden farmhouse behind the newer one. Many homes were made of sod until they built a newer home, often ordered from a catalog. Often you see a few homes together suggesting life made good, and perhaps families growing and sharing their happiness still as a larger family unit.

A prairie rose.

Some fall colors to still be found.

Three weeks later, even after some rain , happiness holds strong.

I'm getting pretty good at queuing the flying dog shots. Happiness is freedom enjoyed out on the prairie.
Oh deer!


  1. I love this set of photos! I would love to walk about that old 'red' town. And the dog running with ears flying made me smile. Thanks!

  2. These pictures are absolutely gorgeous...I love them! I aspire to be as good of a photographer as you!

  3. Your photos are always fascinating. I just love looking at them and wonder where I can find such a wonderful place or thing.

  4. gorgeous selection of pictures. I think I could totally lose myself walking around and taking in all that beauty. As for happiness, it's all a state of mind. A favorite quote of mine (and I can't remember by who) goes something like "most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be" We just need to wake up in the morning and make up our minds to be happy

  5. First, I wanted comment on how similar I felt making excursions into nature and how I liked the photos but when I saw the flying dog, I had to laugh out loud, what a sweetie

  6. These are some beautiful photos. We see the Pileated Woodpecker occasionally on our visits to the Smoky Mountains. But, as you say, they are difficult to photograph because of the way they flit from tree to tree or just hide behind the tree they're on. Great capture of the flying dog.

  7. Hi Steve, I have a couple of young Pileated Woodpeckers who love to come to our deck and eat at the suet feeder. One of them couldn't figure out a way to get up to the feeder.. He would stand and look at it for the longest time --and then try it (and miss).... I took a bunch of pictures --so I'll post them sometime next week...

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

  8. I could absorb your work all've managed to capture the spirit of these places in your photos, which is never an easy feat.

    You've inspired me to spend more time following my muse. Got to get out more. And you're so right: small things matter most.

  9. What a great selection of photos. I love the old barn and your greeter pup and lovely birds. But you sure can't beat that flying pooch.

  10. Wonderful siroe of beautiful photos.
    I have opened my both bird restaurants and I can see so pretty little birds coming to eat near my kitchen window.
    I like very the both photos of dogs (the flying is really funny).

  11. The little nuthatch is my favorite. We have a pair that have been with us at the farm for a few years now -- so spritely and busy all of the time. A joy to watch and photo -- if you are luck enough to catch them. :)

  12. Ok...that flying dog is hilarious. I am growing to LOVE that doggie!!

    What interests me here is the prairie rose. I'm a Little House fan, and Laura often wrote about prairie roses, naming her daughter Rose after them. But I've never actually seen one before. Do they bloom?

    And did you say the farmers ordered their houses from a catalogue?

  13. Some very nice pics! Pileated woodpeckers are notably shy, the best way of observing them is to wait for them to come to you. Chasing them almost never works. Nice post.

  14. A wonderful post with very inspiring words, so true. Very easy to lose track of time when out in surroundings such as these and how great to have it all to yourself. All your photos were a delight. I was particularly impressed with that very cute flying dog shot :) And such a beautiful deer.

  15. Oh, 25 degrees is my kind of weather! Lovely photos. Hope that you are keeping well,


  16. thanks for taking us with you on your walk....

  17. Morning Steve, good post and thank you for sharing your views on nature both through your photos and text. Who needs holiday shopping crowds when there is so much natural beauty that is free for the enjoyment.

  18. Hahahahaaa....the "flying dog" shot!! How FUN!
    Love All your photos Steve...and yes, it IS so easy to share the love....Thanks for being my friend!

  19. Well, thank you!
    Wonderful trip...and very good post!
    I like all your images.... the stone heart, the dogs...oh deer! ha ha
    Please have a great week!

  20. I agree that happiness can be right in front of us! And You do share lots of love and happiness in your writing and pictures, Steve!!

    I loved the old western 'red' town you found! Very cool!!

    Hope you had a Wonderful long weekend!!!
    Blessings & Hugs,

  21. Hahhha..OH I LOVE the FLYING DOG!
    All of these are do a great job of finding these wonderful captures. I love old buildings and woodpeckers with red hats:))

  22. I like the essay to go with the pics. Exactly the kind of day I spent yesterday. Just dog and me hiking alone in a beautiful Lake Louise State Park. I'm often amazed at the number of people around here in Bluff Country that don't have a clue that they live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. To busy. To stressed. To whatever.....

  23. great post - i love Pileateds, such neat birds. I also really love nuthatches. they always make me smile.

  24. Luck was with you to see the pilated woodpecker, I have always wanted to spot one but never have. Lovely photos.


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