Six years ago, I had the privilege of taking photographs of a beautiful Great Pyrenees named Nellie. She was an animal very dear to the heart of her owner, and she was also a dog who worked as a therapy dog. She helped young children struggling to learn how to read. Sadly, she passed away a few months ago.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of taking photographs of her successor, Grace Adeline. Grace is also going to train to become a therapy dog. I’m going to share more photographs with you soon, but I wanted to share this one first. It’s one of my favorites. This is Grace and her owner, Elaine.

Thank you, Elaine. It’s a high compliment for me to have a repeat customer!

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Earlier this week, I took a walk on a trail while my kids were at their homeschool class at the botanical garden. It’s been about twenty years since I’ve walked alone on this trail — my favorite trail. I used to walk here alone quite frequently. How I’ve missed it.

But I don’t think I’ve ever walked on it during the middle of winter when it was 30 degrees Fahrenheit outside!

Part of the stream was ice.

All around me were different shades of brown. Brown is beautiful, I think.

Despite the cold, I passed quite a few joggers and other people walking. I think this time of year more than ever, people need nature. Don’t you agree?

This did not hinder this mother’s magical moment of being alone. The trails at the botanical garden are always peaceful.

There’s always that happy thrill when I reach the river and listen to its soft current rippling and sliding by.

The birds were not deterred by the cold either. I saw a phoebe, some kind of sparrow with two black stripes on its head, a Carolina wren, cardinal, and others that were too far away and fast for me to identify.

Luckily, in the last minute dash to get out the door on time that morning, I thought about bringing my camera. I’m so glad I did.


We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it.
Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away. ~ Zhuangzi

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Sarracenia leucophylla or white-topped pitcher plant. A carnivorous plant native to the southeastern United States. And grown by my son.


Nature does not always conform to our predispositions and preferences, to what we deem comfortable and easy to understand. — Carl Sagan


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It is not in life, but in art that self-fulfillment is to be found. — Wilson Mizner


I have seen mallard ducks before. Many people have.

But when you have a little boy who is crazy about birds, especially ducks…

And you are with him when he sees them in the wild for the first time…

Suddenly a duck takes on a new meaning.

It’s thrilling to see…

A family of ducks.

I don’t know why I didn’t realize it before.

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We’ve had too much rain here lately, which has made it hard to hit the trails at our favorite parks lately. But yesterday I finally got out into the yard for a “walk about.” Sometimes it feels good to just explore this small piece of woods we own. There are always delightful things to be found, and I’m going to share what I found with you. I got to capture the beautiful autumn foliage we’re having this year, and a few blooms that I usually see in the spring surprised me too.

You never know what you might spy in your own backyard.

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We’ve been seeing a few monarchs who are passing through this area on their way to Mexico where they stay for the winter. If you’d like to learn more about these amazing creatures, you can read my column about Fall Migration.

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On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it. – Jules Renard

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