Outside the Door

After looking out the door at the same maple tree for many years, I have come to appreciate the various seasonal changes, lighting, and moods associated with the scene.

I enjoy watching the squirrels as they chase each other among the branches and the birds as they flit about. I’ve grown to appreciate the way, especially in autumn, that the afternoon sun lights up the leaves from different angles as it slowly sinks in the western sky.

What a joy to watch a swarm of midges gather in a sunny spot under the branches.  Looking like little fairies, with their dainty wings and little legs, they seem to dance magically in the afternoon sunlight.

We can receive joy from taking note of and appreciating simple, familiar things that are a part of our daily lives.

“Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.” ~Brene Brown

Crossing the Road

What is a turtle who has taken up photography called? Snapping turtle. 🙂

This past summer, on two different occasions, we came upon snapping turtles as they cautiously emerged from the cover of green grass and made the trek from one side of the country road to the other.

The first turtle stopped to bask in the sun for a while before continuing its journey across. Then it strolled through the grass, took a dive into a water-filled ditch, and disappeared.

The second turtle strolled down the road for a short time and then headed for a ditch and into a wooded area.

Later in the summer, while out walking, we found a baby snapping turtle that was sitting in the middle of the road.  Afraid that it might not make it to its destination safely, we carefully helped it across the road in the direction that it was headed.

Snapping turtles are fascinating and always fun to watch from a distance.

Once you’ve committed yourself to something, pace yourself to the finish line. ~Meb Keflezighi

Fleeting Light

The final moments of golden light before the shore faded into the shadows of night.

“You know that great pause that comes upon things before the dusk, even the breeze stops in the trees. To me there is always an air of expectation about that evening stillness.” ― H. G. Wells

Eagles on the Levee

What a joy to watch the eagles as they busily go about life along the Mississippi River.

“I have not yet lost a feeling of wonder, and of delight, that the delicate motion should reside in all the things around us, revealing itself only to him who looks for it.” ~Edmund Burke


The colors of the sunset on this evening reminded me of our flag.  Remembering on this Veterans Day all those who have served our country. Veterans Day is observed on the 11th month, 11th day and 11th hour – when the Armistice went into effect in World War I.

“All we have of freedom; all we use or know – This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.”  ~Unknown

Contrails (or lack thereof)

It can be interesting keeping an eye on the sky above our little country road.

Situated in the path of several large airports, we are used to seeing vapor trails of airplanes as they travel from one destination to another, sometimes adding to the beauty of the sunset.  Most generally these trails are in straight lines.

But one day, as I stood looking up, I saw some circular contrails, possibly made by more than one plane.  Similar photos found on the internet indicate that they may have been made by military jets.

This airplane drew my attention because of its contrail, or lack thereof.  It was putting out a short vapor trail and then, for a while, there would be no vapor trail at all.  It was a Qatar plane, and the appearing and disappearing contrail may have been due to atmospheric conditions on that day.

Occasionally, the unexpected will happen.  Last week we were out walking and I noticed the moon shining brightly in the pale blue sky.  I stopped to take a photo.  As I was attempting to focus the shot, I noticed something moving across the image.  Thinking it might be a bird, I quickly took a photo.  It turned out to be an airplane.  We were unable to spot a contrail or even to see the plane with the naked eye.  What a view those passengers must have had!

“For one minute, walk outside, stand there, in silence, look up at the sky, and contemplate how amazing life is.” ~Unknown

Construction Work

There’s something mesmerizing about sunlight shining on a spider web.  The light accentuates its intricate structure and dimension.  You can’t help but admire the hours of work and beautiful details.

“For a construction job done right, get a spider to do it.” ~James MacDonald

Monarch Butterfly and a Potter Wasp

This Monarch butterfly seemed content sharing the same flower clusters on this climbing vine with a Potter Wasp.

“It’s up to us to choose contentment and thankfulness now—and to stop imagining that we have to have everything perfect before we’ll be happy.” ~Joanna Gaines