Monday, March 7, 2011

Changes In The Wind

After a hard day out chasing wild animals and looking for new smells a tired Lily rests with her blanket in the van. With a new haircut one can even see those gentle eyes.

A first Eastern bluebird sighting, I followed a flock for quite some time.

On the Mississippi River at Burlington, Iowa.

Using the sun as backlight I made some almost black and white images looking at the shapes of trees around me.

She couldn’t stop looking at all the exciting articles at the dig. Being happy there weren’t any human remains it was fun to see all that came to the tables. This started an interest that developed into a career and school became a lengthy experience. Soon she stood in front of a class and produced future leaders for our world. It became fun to see where her interests lead her in the summer, working over hot and dusty conditions. The desire to find her heritage had been placed on a shelf, with so many other items in front of it. With so many levels of archeology her hobby became playing in her newly bought garden. When her friend’s neighbor put their home up for sale she moved next door and enjoyed the lovely remnant prairie.

She met an artist living not too far away, when he came to campus to work in a classroom. He showed her a new world, in this old world of her family. He was getting ready to take a number of paintings to a show out east and let her have use of his cabin while he was away. Helping him pack he showed her some letters he was going to deliver to the writer who had lived in his home before him. He was always interested to hear tales she had about her family, but many of the stories were getting lost. She looked around the area and wondered what it had been like when the first man walked through. The hills were ocean reefs, turned into oceans of grass, and now mostly fields.

A farmer from nearby was coming to haul the crates of paintings to the train depot for him. He said he was waiting for a thaw to get some fencing done and enjoyed seeing the artwork getting placed in crates. It amazed him that someone could do such beautiful work with a simple pen and paints. His father just shook his head and laughed at the frivolity in such a life. It was real hard to leave the cabin when they had the last load in the wagon. He liked the spirit he found living so remote and in such a beautiful land. He would miss the bloom in his pasture and wished to be back before the summer was over. His paintings carried the story of the land and it’s people, so possibly would keep him company.Grabbing some cedar bark he set it on fire waving the smoldering bark under his chin. He thanked the sun, moon, stars and life, in each direction of the compass for the heartfelt happiness offered to him. He finished with a prayer for health and happiness for all those he knew and had met before leaving. This prayer drifted across the prairie for all to hear, on a gentle prairie breeze.
Solitude can have magnitude
When I go out to play
It offers time to really think
And reflect what I see each day.


  1. Awww...Lily is such a sweet dog! Don't we just love them???

  2. Lily is just too cute! So many wonderful shots! The colorful shelf fungus on the trees are beautiful.

  3. Love that bit of blue in your capture of the bird amongst the neutral colors.
    That old barn that a flag on top?
    Puppy eyes...the sweetest.

  4. Steve, I love the pace at which you live, watching the land for cues and clues. . . and the pace at which you are telling this story; so much gentleness in such a harsh landscape.
    And all the signs are there she's waking up! It's wonderful to see evidence of this everywhere, from the geese (their stunning flying formations!), the leaves popping up out of the stony ground, the river ice melting, the fattening leaf fists on the tips of branches.
    Your lines about solitude resonate with me. . . Have you read Sarah Maitland's 'Book of Silence'? I think you would love it.
    Warm greetings to you from our small island -Claire

  5. PS. Lily is something else, isn't she? She must be the sweetest dog ever. Big courage in a small package.

  6. Love the barn photo. You should link up with Barn Charm Monday! (see my post today.)

  7. Ahhhhhh....I Love Lily! Such a little sweetie!
    What kind of nest is that?
    Cool shots Steve!

  8. Little Lily is such a cutie, all snuggled down there under her blanket. The yellowish-orange fungus on the tree was very pretty. I was looking for an owl or a raccoon in the holes in that one tree. Ah, and bluebirds...they are such a treat. Good post.

  9. Lily is one cute little Prairie Dog! It still looks winter bleak out there in Iowa, but in Music City things are greening up. Too early, I fear.

  10. I love the way you convey the feel of the prairie people. It truly does feel like I'm standing there looking at the paintings arrive at the train station.

    And as for little Lily-dog...she is even sweeter with her eyes out! Oh... she melts me heart!

  11. Lily just looks so sweet and what a perfect opening for your post. Reminds me that Duke may be due for a clipping soon.
    Love those tree pictures where you used the sun for backlight very cool

  12. a pat and woof for Lily :D
    i love the fungi pics in particular..

  13. Once again loved you writing & Lily dog is oh so adorable!!!! Sweet sweet eyes too!!

    Have a great week, Steve! ~ Coreen

  14. Beautifully written story. Pensive. Had a very nice pace.

    I really liked the fungi photos. So detailed. Just wonderful.


  15. Lily is so cute!! She definitely has gentle eyes. I've tons of catching up to do, so my morning is planned out for me. You've got lots of new stuff here. Loved the photos of the Purple Finches (we just get house finches at our feeders. I have to head out to the forests near the outskirts to find any Purple Finches). Rick, Matty and I spent some time with two bluebirds this weekend too. What a gorgeous sight...that blue is so intense!! Loved all your photos from today too...the tree silhouettes are gorgeous.

  16. Lily is adorable! And I LOVE your tree shots!! True beauty lies within a tree!!

  17. Lucy looks like she has a wonderful soul! You saw a blue bird?? I have yet to see even a robin. I did see some robins a few weeks ago around Cedar Rapids but none this far north yet.

  18. So that's what Lilly looks like under all the fluff! The fungus reminds me of wavy tator chips.


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