Butterflies Make Me Smile

Butterflies (of “flutterbys” when I speak with the grandkids) make me smile for many reasons. I enjoy their colorful beauty, their fluttering flight, and their strength despite their frail appearance. All these things make me smile.

I stopped at the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory near Niagara Falls, Ontario on the way home from a very nice visit with my mom for her 86th birthday. The conservatory houses and cares for 2000 butterflies (45 species) in a tropical setting that includes a waterfall, a gentle stream, and a high, skylit dome.

I also enjoy the incredible story of transition from caterpillar to butterfly. Transgender people, like me, have an attachment to butterfly imagery. Maybe that’s why butterflies make me smile.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures.

pastelonleavegreenandorangeblackaqusblckhold onwwfrontbigblue


I find myself in a reflection time of life in two ways. First, I am drawn to memories of days gone by. Second, images of life and nature that are more abstract seem to now draw my eye.

Pat and I traveled gravel roads for more than 3 hours on Thursday. We saw lots of turkeys (including a tom having his way with a member of his harem) and 10-12 deer. One of our photo stops was on a bridge over a gently meandering stream. This splash rope had a Norman Rockwell type of reflection.


These other photos are more abstract reflections of the shoreline and trees. I hope you can sense the quiet beauty in these shifting waters.




Maple Leaves



Fine Feathered Friends

I have hundreds of pictures of feathered wildlife, taken from around the country. These are some of my favorites. I enjoy taking wildlife photos.  There is skill and thrill without the kill. There is also the luck of being in the right place at the right time. I was going to rank these, but struggled. I need your help. Which image is your favorite? Tell me why, if you have a reason.






Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, Michigan






Jackson, Michigan


John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids, Michigan


Naples, Florida


Jackson County, Michigan


Knoxville Botanical Gardens, Tennessee


Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, Michigan


Jackson County, Michigan


Jackson, Michigan

eagle toledo

Toledo Zoo, Toledo, Ohio


Big Red

These four photos are of Big Red, an iconic lighthouse in Holland, Michigan. The current structure is over 100 years old and is now more of a monument than a functioning lighthouse. You can read more of the history by Googling “Big Red”. The last two pictures use a special camera setting to get the watercolor effect (pun intended).


Knoxville Knews

Joanne and I visited friends in Knoxville, Tennessee over the Memorial Day weekend. Part of our visit included a visit to the Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum.  The gardens have a very lovely setting, but need a sugar daddy or corporate sponsor and a bunch of Master Gardeners. There were some lovely spots and moments. Here are some shots from the gardens. Thanks Nancy for the photo of Joanne and I in the big chair.



Lavender Ready to Bloom



Flowers, Fowl & a Bird

Friend Pat and I meandered over some gravel roads on a very beautiful day today in Jackson County Michigan. The sights, sounds, smells, and company all made for a delightful morning. Here is a bit of what we encountered:

poppypurple duoredwinglilactrilliumalumfamily outing

Wildflowers – Aqua

The coming of Spring has brought life to the water as well as the land. Here are some of the awakening underwater (mostly) wildflowers.





Wildflowers III (and wildlife)

The transformation to Hidden Lake Gardens in less than one week was astounding and, at times, a bit of sensory overload. The heavy rain followed by sunny days brought out new wildflowers, hosta, tulips, and bees. Thought for the day: All flowers trace their roots (pun alert) to wildflowers. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the day.


Wildflowers II

Friend Pat and I have decided to try and visit Michigan State University’s 755-acre Hidden Lake Gardens once a week for the next few weeks to show the progression of Spring through wildflowers and other changes. These photos are from Tuesday’s visit where we saw some flowers beginning to fade (like many daffodils), some peeking out, and others in full bloom.



My friend Pat returned from her Winter hideaway so we headed to Hidden Lake Gardens to see what wildflowers were out. The day started out cloudy, but the sun came out to make the lingering raindrops sparkle. It made for a fun outing.

blue dewdew

moss berries

Moss with Berries


Grass with Berries

blue dew 3

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