Saturday, January 31, 2009

We're On Our Way!!

Leaving the Frozen Tundra and St. Paul Winter Carnival at 1:30pm CST for sun, sand, and surf with caressing and gentle breezes. Going to a Carnaval of a slightly different kind in Mazatlan, Mexico. Give us a day or two to get settled and then switch over to my Kate-MazatlanMexico photo blog to see our next adventures!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Ice Sculpture

Another of the many wonderful ice sculptures in Rice Park as part of the 2009 Winter Carnival. For a full explanation of the event, check yesterday's post.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Recognize Him?!

St Paul Winter Carnival: Billed as the "oldest and coldest celebration in the nation," this winter event promises ice fishing competitions, a half-marathon, hockey, curling, ice-skating, and a nighttime torch parade. However, the Midwest's largest ice-carving event is the focal point, and the outdoor gallery features an amazing array of frozen sculptures carefully crafted by regional and national artists. Events take place at various locations around the city. Last night a light snow fell in St. Paul that made photography of the ice sculptures less than ideal. The sculptures were roped off so I could not walk up to any of them to brush off the snow. I do think, though, that this one is recognizable. Love the ears!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

School Test

While attending one of my grandson's basketball games hosted by another local high school I noticed this banner. I thought that it was an interesting logo, strong in image and clean uncluttered lines. I'm not sure what the connection is to the school, yet I thought that it is interesting. A postcard goes to the first one who identifies the "mascot" name for the school. Rule Number One: Ineligible entries are from Minnesota bloggers familiar with the school or anyone who has attended the school or anyone with prior information. Rule Number Two: Keep it cheating!! Go get 'em! Send in your names!

ADDED LATER: Some of you have asked offline for a definition of "minutemen": here is what I found on --

"The terms "minutemen" and "militia" are often thought of as one and the same. However, in early America — especially in the 18th century — there was a distinct difference.

Minute-men represented a small hand-picked force selected from the ranks of local militia companies and regiments. Approximately one-third of the men in each militia unit were chosen "to be ready to march or fight at a minute's notice."

The true minute-men — always the first to appear at or await a battle — stood at Lexington Green on the morning of April 19, 1775, and led the attack on Concord Bridge. Their numbers were reinforced by the regular militia that turned out in that day's historic battles.

Actually, the concept of minute-men existed in America as early as the 17th century, while the term itself came into use in 1759 during the French and Indian War.

The title "minute-men" was formally adopted the year before the American Revolution started. At that time, in October of 1774, the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts voted to enroll 12,000 men under the title of Minute-Men — volunteers who would be ready at a minute's warning to take to the field with arms.

After Congress authorized a Continental Army under the command of George Washington, minutemen units eventually ceased to exist. But their contribution as a trained and battle-hardened corps of veterans was an important and significant force as patriots took up arms to oppose the British army in the Revolutionary War."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Colt

Guest Photogapher: Contributed by the stable owner.

This is the new colt at the stable where my husband and granddaughter ride. Aaw! Cute!!

"A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!" William Shakespeare, King Richard III

Friday, January 23, 2009

Inaugural Ceremony-Arethra Franklin

Arethra Franklin singing at the Inaugural Ceremony.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration-January 20, 2009

Since I couldn't be in DC, I relied upon CNN again. Now more than ever we all need to say: "Yes, we can!"

"I know there’s something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see."

Praise Song for the Day by Elizabeth Alexander, Inaugural Poet, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday Night Before the Inauguration

I got all these photos from CNN on Monday night while watching television. If it had been possible, I would have liked to have been in DC with the rest of the well-wishers; instead I'll be watching the Inauguration from the warmth and security of my own home. What an exciting time, though!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Birthday-Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Camera Critters-Sofie

While sitting in Starbucks and looking out the window, I noticed that a young couple secured a lovely looking dog outside on the bicycle rack before they entered the cafe. With their permission I went outside and had a friendly chat with Sofie, a sweet and gentle animal. She patiently allowed me to snap several photos so I could show y'all this 4-year-old beauty. Thanks Sofie!! If you want to see some more interesting "camera critters" click here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

100 Strangers-#4: Melissa and Brian

Sitting on the floor between the bookstacks at Barnes and Noble, Melissa and Brian were engrossed in a story. Brian, age four, who attends a neighborhood preschool, told me that he was going to learn how to read when "I'm a grown up." Until then he seems content to let Melissa read to him.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dog Park: Where are the dogs?

This is a photo of the dog park along the banks of the Mississippi River where we take our dog, Maggi, for a run. There aren't any dogs in the photo because it's difficult to capture them; all they want to do is sniff and run. On Monday when I took these pictures it was snowing with tiny flakes drifting and dancing as they floated to earth. It almost makes me appreciate winter, but despite this lovely (but cold and icy) winter wonderland I'll be happy to be going to Mazatlan, Mexico in just 19 days. Maggie remains behind with our son who is our favorite caretaker.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Recently I was a bit startled to see this open-air car. No-one seemed to know the story behind the broken rear window, and the next day it was gone from the parking lot. Must have been a breezy exit.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

100 Strangers #3-Kathleen

As I was leaving my table at a Barnes and Noble bookstore, Kathleen asked to sit there so she could use her laptop. Originally from the Twin Cities she now lives in northern Wisconsin. She was visiting a friend who works in a near-by guitar shop, teaching music. It's a small world: I was born and reared in northeastern Wisconsin, live in the Cities and have a friend who gives lessons in the same guitar shop.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Caught in Flight

Altho this photo is pretty grainy, I wanted to post it anyway because of the basketball in flight, which I caught quite accidentally while trying to get action shots of my grandson.

"All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them.” -- Magic Johnson

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

100 Strangers Project-My #1

My interest was recently piqued by Virginia's (Birmingham, Al) informal 100 Strangers Project, which she has modified from the original that is sponsored by Flickr. With her help and my own scouting around, I found some guidelines publicized at the formal 100 Strangers site. For some representative portraits and the guidelines, click here. Now I'm looking forward to meeting and photographing Stranger #2.

My first "portrait" is of Alex (Alexandra) with whom I spoke at the Minneapolis Minnehaha Dog Park that DH and I visited for the first time on Friday. Alex has been going there for about 4 years, or longer, and gave me some tips about the location of wildlife in the enormous park: chickadees and other birds,including an owl who is a regular visitor. The large woods is a perfect spot for walking, playing with dogs, and photographing the scenery: nature, people, and pooches. The dogs our Maggi met were of all sizes and breeds; Maggi ran with many of her kind for about 50 minutes...almost non-stop! What a treat and good exercise for us as we walked this spot that borders the Mississippi River. Hope to visit often to make new canine friends and to meet more strangers!

"On this shrunken globe, men can no longer live as strangers."
- Adlai E. Stevenson

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hmong Women

Yesterday's post has information about the Hmong in Minnesota. The woman in the small photo told me, in answer to my question, that they weren't celebrating anything special in their lives, except perhaps joy regarding New Year's and they were "just having fun!" Their positive spirit filled the place and they delighted in posing for all the photographers who clustered about them. I was invited to pose with them and declined because I wanted to preserve the ethnic quality of the group, but now I wish that I had!!

"Honor women! they entwine and weave heavenly roses in our earthly life."
- Friedrich von Schiller

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Hmong in Minnesota

People go to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory to see and to be seen. While I was there recently, a large party of Hmong people arrived in tribal dress and had a wonderful time being photographed. If you are not familiar with this ethnic group, here is some information.

Why the Hmong Came to Minnesota

The Hmong are an ethnic group living throughout mountainous regions of southeast Asia, in China, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. The Hmong have a distinct language and traditional customs. Most Hmong who have immigrated to Minnesota originally came from northern Laos.

The first Hmong families emigrated as refugees. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. recruited Hmong villagers and farmers to help fight its “secret war” against communists in Laos. At the war’s end, the communists sought revenge on the Hmong for aiding the United States. Tens of thousands of Hmong fled their homes on a perilous journey—many suffering injuries and losing family members along the way—and settled in refugee camps. Beginning in the late 1970s, the U.S. and other nations began resettling the Hmong; Minnesota was among the U.S. destinations. In 2004, the resettlement of several thousand additional Hmong refugees began in Minnesota.


More than 60,000 Hmong individuals live in Minnesota. At least half of those individuals live in St. Paul, making it home to the largest urban population of Hmong in the world.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Object of Attention

Yesterday I posted a snapshot of a photographer intend upon his subject. These two women, especially the one with very long hair, attracted much attention. The photographer spent a great deal of time capturing their image.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Say "Cheese!"

On Thursday, January 1, I went to Como Zoo to try out my new tripod in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. The holiday allowed many people to enjoy the zoo and gardens, and photographers were out in full force. Come back tomorrow and I'll show you what captured this man's attention.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Favorite 2008 Photo-January Theme for 2009

I published this photo on April 4, 2008, which is a statue in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Today is the first theme day of 2009! Travel around the globe to see many of the "best photos of 2008" for 151 photo bloggers, but don't forget the time differences. Visit as many as you can! Click here to view thumbnails for all participants