Category Archives: Nature Stuff

Northern Lights

I used 9 frames, (10 second exposure each) to create this animated file.I used 9 frames, (10 second exposure each) to create this animated file.
Taken around 8pm October 8 2013. A friend of mine told me about a meteor shower happening that night so I planned on finding somewhere dark & had my camera ready just in case I could catch some meteors.. Instead I was very surprised when I saw a faint glow that was moving over the lake. Being a northern lights fanatic I immediately knew what was happening & could barely believe it. The northern lights visible in the Chicago area. That doesn’t happen very often. And I just happened to be at the lake that night.. Awesome!

The 10 second exposure really picks up the lights well.


Northern Lights Road Trip

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I might have a small obsession with the Northern Lights.  I realized this last week when I heard about the powerful solar storm that happened on the night of March 6th & 7th.  The solar storm produced a coronal mass ejection (CME) which was headed for earth & expected to reach on March 8th.  As soon as I heard about the solar storm, I wanted to drive up as far north as I could get. Continue reading

The Hawks Stare

Last November I went out walking around Catigny Gardens and came across a hawk that was perched up on a tree branch, probably no more than 10 feet up from the ground.  I don’t think I’ve ever been that close to a hawk before and I was surprised by how LARGE those birds really are!  The wingspan of Red Tailed Hawks is usually around 4ft in length and let me just say, I got chills when the hawk flew off the branch it was perched on because it flew right over my head & I felt the wind from it’s flapping wings go right down the back of my neck!!!!  It was Awesome!


My hawk is a little bit fat in comparison, but oh well

12×18 pastel on Wallis paper

Matted & Framed Continue reading

Red Rock Crossing, Sedona AZ

I think Sedona, AZ is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to.  Everything about it is just gorgeous.  The energy, the scenery, the people, the weather..  Even the McDonalds is pretty (and no, I didn’t eat there).

The painting I did below is of Cathedral Rock, from a picture I took at Red Rock Crossing.  (I changed the sky a bit though – giving it a stormy look in the distance).  At the time I was there, I had no idea that I was near one of the 4 energy vortexes in Sedona.  I knew something was special about that place.  You can just feel it in your soul.

I’m lucky I was able to get a few pictures because right when I got there, I slipped on a rock & dropped my film camera into the water and some of my photos were destroyed.  Bummer!

Continue reading

Hiking Hocking Hills

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you plan on going to Hocking Hills & have an iphone or probably any other smart phone, you should download the app before you arrive since there is no phone/web service through the area.  But if you’re like me and are still using a dumb dinosaur phone, I advise going to the Visitor Center at the State Park Campground & spending $2 on trail map.  There is camping throughout the area but some of the private campgrounds look abandoned & have real bumpy roads.  Some campgrounds even have mud ruts so deep you might even get your car stuck.  (speaking from experience) Continue reading

Great Scenic Drives & Hiking Near Las Vegas

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Las Vegas is a place that pretty much everyone I know has been to at least once in their lives.  Last year was my turn.  I finally made it to Vegas!  Time to party?  Not exactly.  Well ok, the first night was a party on Freemont St. but the rest of my time there I had more fun off the strip, getting out into nature, rather than losing my money in the casinos & spending $10 for a sandwich.  We kept it cheap & still had fun. Continue reading

Indian Summer ~ A walk around Lake Katherine

We’ve had quite a few unseasonably warm weekends here in the Midwest that lasted well into November.  This was my last chance to get outside & catch some vibrant fall foliage on this 70 degree day.  So, we packed up our gear & of course we brought Marley with for the walk at Lake Katherine in Palos Heights, IL.

Now that winter is here though, I probably won’t be getting outside as much.  (That is unless Santa brings me my winter boots & snow pants.)  So I’m probably going to take this opportunity to do some more artwork.

Here are a few photos I took

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bunnies are occupying my block….my dog hates it but I love it.

When I came out with my camera, the bunnies got spooked & ran away from me. Except this one.. this one ran toward me to the corner in my yard. (I call this one Charlie because of his unique marking on his face ~ see photo below and you'll understand)

Over the summer someone dumped about 20 domestic bunnies in a field down the street from my house.  I’m guessing the owner of the bunnies may have just started with 2 or 3 and didn’t realize how much bunnies like to uh, Continue reading

Stuff that Glows but probably shouldn’t…

I’m very intrigued by things that glow that probably shouldn’t.   I wonder if anyone else has ever been out hiking at night, or even camping and noticed something on the ground glowing.  Anyone??  This has happened to me twice!  Luckily, I have had witnesses both times so I know for a fact that I’m not crazy.  Well maybe I’m a little crazy but I know I wasn’t hallucinating.  It really happened.  The first time I seen nature glow, I was camping at Illini State Park, in Marseilles, IL. Continue reading

Fun with Photography

Today I got off work a little early & spent the rest of what was left of daylight outside with my camera.   I didn’t even realize how much time had passed by.  I spent hours in my yard by my flowers and it felt like minutes.   I felt like a kid again, just crawling around in the dirt, playing with the bugs & stuff..

Although grasshoppers kind’ve creep me out when they jump & land on me, I had fun with this guy.  He was good & stayed on the flower.    Having objects like bugs make the pictures a little more fun in my opinion.

Continue reading