Friday, December 26, 2014

Overheard #303

"I just have to stop procrastinating, so I can get things done."

Saturday, December 20, 2014


I learned this morning that hoarfrost can be one word or two. Here's some I found a few weeks ago. 

I haven't seen crystals like this before.
This reminds me of a crab.
mushroom reprise

Friday, December 19, 2014

Overheard #302

"It was a nice thought, except it was treason."

Sunday, December 14, 2014


my duck friends hanging out with a couple mallards 
(the best my lens could do)
backlit begonia leaf

Hoarfrost pictures will go up soon. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Flights of Fancy

The first ice blobs of winter.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Turkeys Past

Today’s turkey is roasting, the pie is baked, and the cranberry sauce is chilling in the fridge. My mind wanders back to holidays past. One year, I was cooking a turkey at my mom’s house in California. It’s entirely possible that this was a Christmas turkey, but no matter. As always, I simmered the neck and giblets to make broth for the gravy. My brother came in the kitchen to help with the last-minute dinner preparations.

He thought that out of the goodness of my heart I’d cooked the giblets for his dog, Lady, who had also joined the festivities. My heart isn’t actually that good. At least it didn’t occur to me to prepare a treat for the dog. My brother dumped the broth down the sink and cut up the giblets for Lady. Boy, was I irritated!

In retrospect, the gravy was fine without giblet stock, my brother suspects I’m kinder than I actually am, and the dog was delighted. Maybe that’s what holidays are all about. 

Monday, November 24, 2014


I took these before the thaw. Here are the first ice pictures of the season.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

White Ducks

I don't have the right lens for these shots.

I believe these are feral domestic ducks. Please correct me if I'm wrong. 

We also saw the Loch Ness Wood Duck, but of course I didn't get a picture. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Overheard #301

“Sometimes you suck it up and break out the Euclidian algorithm.”

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Somewhat Bleak

We've had our first dusting of snow.

I put up a picture of similar berries last time. They're shriveling now. 
I still think of you - a tree with a broken heart

Friday, November 14, 2014

Overheard #300

"He expected to lose, which is never good for your chances to win."

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Q: What color is taupe?
A: Michigan in the winter.

view off a bridge: looking down, not up
It's hard to resist taking pics of red berries.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fall Leaves

I took these a couple weeks ago, then forgot I needed to resize and post them. In Michigan, the leaves are all gone, so this is what it used to look like by the Red Cedar River. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Overheard #299

"You got the camel’s hump through the eye of the needle, then you discovered the camel was a Bactrian."

Friday, October 17, 2014

Overheard #298

"If you don't feel insecure at a conference, you're probably not doing it right."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Chaotic Cleome

This is the first year I've tried to grow cleome, and they have been an absolute delight. The close ups seem chaotic to me, but well, it's something different. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Being Character Smart

At the SCBWI-MI fall conference, I listened to a talk by the brilliant Kristin Remenar on Common Core Standards. One of her slides was about Multiple Intelligences and playing to students’ strengths by appreciating how they learn. Multiple Intelligences include:
Follow this link for detailed descriptions. (Of course, most people have more than one kind of smarts.)

Kris’ talk got me thinking about how I could use character smarts to improve my writing. In every story, the main character must develop new skills, acquire new knowledge, or overcome personal challenges to achieve his or her goals.

Characters do this by learning.

Determining how characters learn allows a writer to enhance character development and strengthen the plot. Suppose a character is a picture-smart artist. If she achieves her goals through an increase in self-confidence that accompanies the refinement of her artistic skills, the novel will ring true. On the other hand, if a self-smart individual, who prefers to work alone, is forced to collaborate with a group of people-smart characters, the story will resound with tension.

What kind of smarts does your protagonist have? How does he or she learn in your story?

Sunday, October 5, 2014


We went for a hike by the Red Cedar River. There isn't much fall color in Mid-Michigan yet, but there were lots of fungi. 
They start looking like this and grow into the bell shapes shown in the top picture.  
This is one of the largest fairy rings I've ever seen. It may be difficult to make out in the picture, but those white shapes that ring that group of trees are all mushrooms. 
a closeup of the mushrooms in the fairy ring