Monday, January 3, 2011

More from 2010

Ice buildup is tough
Camping year round

Rugged Cross

Tree Frog

The Clarence Cooper Memorial Birdhouse(3rd picture) was one of the most heartwarming stories I wrote this last year. I was coming through a terrible blizzard after an ice storm that froze my tent to the ground and stopped in a tiny park with cabins in NW Iowa. The followup was fun trying to piece a story together and finding living relatives to interview. Clarence delivered oil around three counties and when he retired a daughter had a house made for his yard. He loved it so well, the family placed two more in a park he went hiking in each day. This tale was just near the end when I found a daughter whose son was so impressed with his grandfathers outdoor interests that he completed his degree in conservation and worked as a intern in this park He met an untimely death just miles away a few months earlier in a car accident.
The lives I interact in are remarkable and sometimes it becomes awkward to meet people especially under these circumstances. I talk every month to one of his relatives, she said she enjoyed my time so well and is a bundle of joy to have met and shared some of her 87 years.We have never met face to face, but share a lot on the phone and with cards. I became a part of her life as many of you become a part of mine, sharing and caring about each other. Through many of my interviews I make a story and always give the families involved the hard copy. This is how the prairie tales I share come around. Clarence and his grandson enjoy their time together again , walking around the lake at this tiny state park.Their thoughts and happiness mingle with those of others, on a gentle prairie breeze.


  1. I did a double take looking at the front end of a car/truck in the garden~I love it. Garden blogging is so much more then sharing our gardens. It's about making real connections with others around this wonderful blogasphere. It sounds like you are making connections as you travel about our wonderful world! Have a adventurous 2011. gail

  2. Steve, laughing at your labels. (Yes, I did notice them.)

    The butterfly photos are my favorite this time -- since I'm a relative newbie to your blog, I'm glad to be able to see some of your past work.

    And thanks for sharing a bit about what you do -- I find it very interesting.

    Hugs to Lily!

  3. such heartwarming story and you're lucky to meet such inspiring people. The photos are really good!The tree frog was a surprise :) if you didn't put in a caption, i would've not known.

    Happy new year!

  4. Ahhhh... What a year Steve.... Photos are gorgeous! And I love your stories. How wonderful you stay in touch with her.
    Thank you for your sweet comment about my Grandson, Tylar...I appreciate you!

  5. Steve, what a heart-wrenching story. I am so glad you keep in touch with the family and gosh, so true about how many of us are friends in the very truest of sense but have never met face to face...that is pretty remarkable!
    The photos are so stunning, and goodness makes me yearn for'll be here soon enough, right?
    thanks for brightening my day!

  6. Such beautiful images. My favorite was going to be the butterfly among the yellow flowers, until I came to the moths among the purple flowers. Both lovely photos, but I don't see many moths like those; so they win my "favorite" award. Good job on all of them. Thanks for reposting some of your earlier photos for those of us that are new to your blog.

  7. That's a great story. It must be wonderful to hear the stories that everyone has to tell.
    Poor Lily must have a heck of a time getting when she gets all that ice build up :)

  8. And here's to a fantastic 2011. Your pictures are amazing. I love the butterflies - my favorite!

  9. Beautiful photos! And what a way to honor Clarence, with birdhouses!

  10. i really love the leaf in the snow and the treefrog, and the pup of course. and the butterflies..okay, they're all great! happy 2011!

  11. Steve, Since I am fairly new to your blog, I am enjoying reading about your highlights. That tent in the ice storm is unbelievable.... Wow....

    Have though thought about writing a book about all of your experiences meeting people all over the country? You should!!!

    Love the butterfly pictures...

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Like the titles you gave your photos:)))
    Brave for camping outdoors in all seasons...I have always said I wanted to do that!!!

    Great story.
    Love your year review...butterflies are breathtaking!

  13. I've been gone a few days and have missed you Steve. How I love your stories..
    Poor little Lily with all that snow on her feet!

  14. No time this morning, Steve ; I come back tomorrow.

  15. These photos made me smile. I love the way you gather stories and friends.

  16. Loved this picture series! You do such a beautiful work!

  17. Great serie of photos !
    I come back tomorrow again to read your story. Sorry but no time today.

  18. Life is so beautiful and your pictures are showing exactly this!

  19. I love the grill of the car/truck. My kind of garden art.

  20. What fantastic pictures and I love the labels. :)

  21. what a great story and what your doing is so awesome. I'm amazed at how refreshing the summer photos were after seeing all that snow and ice

  22. Well, your little stories send me somewhere in Salinger's world!
    Photos are great, too!


Keep it positive and informative,I enjoy hearing from you!