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PIC OF THE WEEK

01/07/08 to 03/31/08

1/7/08
clown fish

About 4 years ago we were in the Chicago land area visiting our granddaughter. We took her and our daughter to Shedd Aquarium for the day. If you´ve never been there it´s worth a day of your time. You also have the Planetarium, Field Museum and Solider Field close by.

At the time the movie "Finding Nemo" was a big hit with the kids so I took this picture of a clown fish for my granddaughter. It was one of her favorites for awhile.

1/14/08
giraffe

I really like this picture, I didn´t know their tongues were so long. We were in the Chicago land area visiting our granddaughter again this past summer. My daughter and granddaughter love going Brookfield Zoo. It is a great zoo to visit, you can spend the day there and not see it all.

As we were passing the giraffe enclosure this one decided he wanted to try again and get some fresh leaves from the canopy for a snack. I´m sad to say he did not get his snack, it was just millimeters from the end of his tongue.

1/21/08
Beaver

A few years ago we took a side trip to Ha-Ha-Tonka State Park in Central Missouri after visiting family. This is a beautiful park with a fair size spring at the bottom of a gorge. I was walking through the gorge when I noticed this beaver swimming up the spring. It stopped at the end of an island where it started feeding right across from me. You seldom get this close to a beaver in the day time, so I was pretty surprised. I regret not having a better camera at the time but I was just starting to get into the digital photo world and only had a 4 mega pixel camera. Back then it was a top of the line point and shoot camera, how quick things change.

The park is located on the South side of The Lake of the Ozarks, on the Niangua river arm and has several walking trails if you´re ever in the area you should stop by and visit, it´s worth the trip.

1/28/08
zebra butterflies

We were out for a drive over in Northwest Arkansas a couple of summers ago and happened upon one of those clear Ozark streams that the area is famous for. I usually pull over if I can because the clarity of the water can make for some good pictures with lots of reflections if the light is right. The stream pictures didn´t turn out too good but I did find a group of Zebra Butterflies stream side on a gravel bar. It was the first time I had seen them in the wild. I have since happened upon them several times in Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas.

2/4/08
Claremore Lake Sunset

This week I´m highlighting some new pictures I posted recently, sunrises and sunsets. There is nothing quite like a beautiful sunrise to start your morning and a beautiful sunset to end your day. The picture here is of Claremore City Lake in December 2005. It looked like it was going to be a beautiful sunset one evening so the wife and I jumped into the car and drove to the upper end of the lake. We didn´t have much rain that year, so the lake was well below normal pool for that time of year. This allowed me to get out away from the tree lined shore and take this picture. The low water level also exposed some logs which I think just added to the picture.

2/11/08
Osage Warrior

A couple of years ago the wife and I were out driving around and wound up in Hominy, OK. It´s a small community about an hour NW of Tulsa, OK at the junction of Rt. 20 and Rt. 99. To be honest this once prosperous community has seen better days but we did find one thing about the place that we thought was pretty nice. The walls of the town buildings are filled with paintings, most of them with an American Indian theme. Some have seen better days but you can tell that a lot of work went into them and some are true works of art. I choose this one as an example of one of the nicer paintings. I believe it is an Osage warrior going into battle with his war club.

I have found a lot of this art work in Oklahoma and to a lesser extent Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas. Most of it usually depicts town history, pride and local culture. If you´re interested in this sort of thing Hominy would be worth the trip. Downtown isn´t very big but they´ve packed a lot of art into it or should I say on it.

2/18/08
Dogs

Over Christmas break we added these three critters to our family. We went from no dogs to three house dogs on Christmas Day, it´s been an adjustment. We had lost our dog of 14 years in August and these three pups came up to my wife giving her some comfort while she was grieving over our loss. We did a lot of talking before we finally decided to take them in. At the time we thought they were wild dogs, half beagle and half lab. As it turns out they belonged to a neighbor and they were just letting them run wild. He was going to get rid of them anyway so it worked out. The last two months have been a challenge but we´re starting to adapt to each other. And considering their breeding, they are beautiful dogs.

2/25/08
hummingbird moth

If´m fascinated by many things in the wild. Actually I´m fascinated by just about everything in the outdoors. I find the intricate design of the outdoors both beautiful and calming. God has made a wondrous world for us to enjoy.

One of the more fascinating creatures looks like a bumble bee at first glance but upon closer inspection it turns out to be a Hummingbird Moth. These are very delicate, beautiful moths that are active during the daytime. They are more common than I realized, I´ve seen them as far north as Chicago and I´ve even seen them on my property here in Oklahoma. They are not the easiest moth to get a picture of unless there are a lot of flowers in a small are to keep them busy. I have more pictures of them under insects.

3/3/08
Spring Beauty

It´s almost spring. I was out walking the dogs this morning and I found this Carolina Spring Beauty blooming in my yard. After walking around a little I found several singles and two patches of dozens. It is one of the first wildflowers to start blooming in the spring. I don´t know if they will survive the weather we are going to have this week but they were sure beautiful while they lasted and gave me some hope that winter is almost over. I´m getting spring fever pretty bad.

3/10/08
winter

This past week we had some snow in the area. It usually snows on the north side of Tulsa and drops off south of Tulsa. This time the snow missed Tulsa and went south. They had about 4 to 6 inches from Bixby, Ok south, but a little east of there they didn´t get any snow. Tulsa just got a dusting. It was a beautiful day and I happened to be driving through the area on my way to Tulsa. This picture was taken on OK Route 64 south east of Bixby. I thought it was a peaceful scene.

3/17/08
daffodil's

Finally, spring is here. I was traveling up OK RT. 69 this past week and noticed these Daffodil´s. They were sprouting up along the road in front of an old homestead just north of the Arkansas River. The daffodil´s started blooming earlier this week. My wife and I were out and about for a Sunday drive and noticed the Bradford Pears and Redbuds had started blooming also. My peach tree is probably going to bloom late this coming week and we´re probably only about 2 to 3 weeks away from the Azalea bloom. I think spring has arrived.

3/24/08
Daffodils

I had the opportunity to spend some time in Honor Heights Park this past week. The park is starting to come alive with blooms. The Daffodils, ornamental pear trees and Magnolia´s are in full bloom. In another week the Dogwoods and Redbuds will be blooming as well. The ice missed Muskogee this year and the park looks in pretty good shape, can´t wait for the Azalea´s to start blooming.

3/31/08
Red Barn

We took a road trip to see our granddaughter up in the Chicago land area recently. It wasn´t the best conditions for taking pictures but I did find a few subjects, this barn is just one of many in the Chicago land area. Many of them are disappearing because of the rapid growth in the suburbs; this one is surrounded by new homes and development on all sides. It is located on the west side of Rt. 59, just south of Plainfield, IL.

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