Dog Walk Discoveries (September to November, 2017)
Calming down now with some September flowers...
Saint Francis of Assisi and some funny bunnies.
I'm guessing the horn-blowing dude is Pan, Greek god of shepherds and flocks
and all things wild. Note the nervous sidelong glance of the smaller bunny.
This statue must have been quite beautiful at one time. As was the tree.
Ha! That's all I'll say about this one.
A red hydrant casting a blue shadow.
More interesting colors here. I walk by this door frequently
and I always feel as though I've passed through a painting.
Really? I mean, really?
I think I've discovered all the sidewalk poems in my neighborhood, but I found this one while walking with a friend in her neighborhood. I so love St. Paul's sidewalk poems project!
A picture that says: November.
The old greenhouse in Mountain Lake.
Early morning silhouette of Milk Specialties, Mountain Lake.
Dog Walk Discoveries (April to June, 2017)
In early spring, glimpses of blue...
The statue and the stump have the same attitude.
Some pictures make it very tempting to play with all those filters
that are so readily available on our computers and phones.
Lucky for me it's an easy walk to get to this path in the woods.
Sidewalk acrostic poems! Danae, I totally believe that you are delightful, awesome, nice, and elegant. Destiny, I'm sure you are delightful as well and I'm hoping you will finish your poem!
That is one big pink flamingo.
Finally got a shot of this monkey! (Or whatever it is!)
For almost a year, every time I've walked by there's been a tall van parked in front of it.
I know this is hard to make out, but there's a black spiky light fixture next to blackened flower pots and dead flowers. Makes me think of a Tim Burton movie.
This has got to be an optical illusion, right? Or else:
There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.
A birthday tree! I had never seen one of these fun tree wraps before,
but my son told me he's seen them in Cedar Rapids (Iowa).
Tie some netting onto a wheel and you've got yourself a bird feeder.
A river of mulberries, flowing down to the street. One of my earliest memories is helping my mom spread a sheet beneath a mulberry tree and gently shaking the branches so the ripe mulberries would drop down.
Dog Walk Discoveries (January to March, 2017)
A January thaw made for lovely walk.
That little nubbin of a Christmas tree is well placed.
The sidewalk is willing itself to bloom!
Kind of makes one think of a dystopian novel, doesn't it?
Trash or story starter?
These charming ducks live at the Rau-Strong house, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. But since the Riverview Library is right across the street (and I can remember "Riverview" much better than "Rau-Strong"), I always think of them as the Riverview ducks.
Dog Walk Discoveries (November & December, 2016)
Someday I would like to sit under trees like these and spend hours simply looking up.
I've always liked cannas. My mom used to grow them around the light pole in our yard.
Even the fall litter on the sidewalk looks alluring when the light hits just right.
I'm liking this rendition of red, white, and blue.
Finding beauty in what is broken...
The tiger is still on guard! (See last month's post.)
I took this picture from some distance away, so it's blurry,
but look how this little fairy house glows!
A giant glowing turkey on a hill. The holiday season has arrived.
Here are some pics from my walks in Mountain Lake.
The arch in the above picture, reflected in just one window of the old bank building.
If this isn't the perfect symbol of starting a new year...
and for me at this time, a new life...
In front of the antique store: white flowers in the snow.
Tigers, Faces, Leaves & Lines
Dog Walk Discoveries (September and October, 2016)
This funny statue reminded me very much of my late beagle, Dorie. In the winter, Dorie would suddenly plunge her head and shoulders into the snow, tail wagging all the while.
I always wondered what she was after. A frozen bit of sandwich? Burrowing mice? Whatever the prize, to her it was well worth a faceful of snow.
If my water bottle had a top like that, I'd leave it on the sidewalk, too.
I love the idea of fish lawn ornaments!
The best way to play with an extra-large tiger plush toy:
put it in your yard and watch the double takes.
These sculpted faces reminded me of a trip I took to New York City with my daughter
and her friend in 2013. We stayed at an apartment on the Lower East Side that we rented through HomeAway. The apartment was very cluttered and had a weird vibe (I'll save that story for another day).
I don't think I'm done with these sculptures quite yet. They still haunt me
from time to time, so perhaps they are looking for a home in a story.
Sometimes it's just the pattern of lines that catches my eye. Like this green tangle...
...and these brown leaves hanging down like tiny wizened bats.
A weeping willow and thick vines. On one side a downward cascade;
on the other, a staunch climb up.
These next pics were taken on a walk early in the morning on October 1.
More interesting lines...
Hurray! More sidewalk poetry!
Saint Paul Sidewalk Poetry
A few inspirational messages...
We knew this day would come.
Dog Walk Discoveries (August 2016)
Whenever I see signs like these, I think of Susan Patron's
The Higher Power of Lucky (2007 Newbery winner).
Clearly, the children who made this l-o-o-o-n-g path were NOT slow.
They had a mission!
This photo and the one above it were taken 20 days apart, and I can't recall if it was the same street. All I know is that I very much wanted to go up that red carpet!
Maybe kids who make l-o-n-g paths and red carpets
grow up to draw dragonflies that dance in the streets.
A particularly majestic cat...
Holy infant, mother and child...
And now for some general floral loveliness. How I adore summer.
For the longest time, I remembered this gleaming
carousel horse as a unicorn. Understandable, right?
Bee cheerful. :)
This little dinosaur practically looked alive.
The one in the bottom right corner—not so much.
(Did the bunny have anything to do with it?)
A flip-flop planter and a pipe-smoking sea captain. Fun!
I noticed this tree because it was
wrapped in white lights.
Sometimes it's merely the angle of the sun that gives us
new images to ponder. Like this ordinary stucco wall...
...this lacy leaf shadow...
...and this busy bit of sand. How many stories are contained in these tracks?
Finally, a Little Free Library with some wise words from Dr. Seuss's Lorax:
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It's not.
Dog Walk Discoveries (July 2016)
In July I continued my habit of taking very long walks early in the morning, and I was amply rewarded! More flowers, more sidewalk poetry, more amusing lawn ornaments, and more stories.
Doesn't this flower look like it's lit from within?
Some mushrooms are really flowers at heart.
Through the trees, a glimpse of a pond I didn't know was there.
Here's an albino squirrel I see frequently on my walks. (Or maybe it's not the same one?!)
I would like to believe this little guy brings me good luck.
On a beautiful Sunday morning, this squirrel was enjoying his breakfast—an entire bagel. Maybe he's got the New York Times stashed away somewhere too.
A birthday balloon determined to celebrate until the last possible moment.
Not much to look at here...but wait, isn't that a word on the garage?
No joy here...
No joy here, either...
But here the joy has been given permanent status.
Now for some lawn ornaments...
This yard is a story in itself!
Do you get the feeling the shrub is reaching
with all its might toward the broken branch?
A food or water dish for a stray cat. Acts of kindness are all around.
A shattered TV on the sidewalk...
...but how lovely, the shattered bits of sky!
Old box springs ready to be picked up.
More sidewalk poetry!
Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk
What hurt you today
was taken out of your heart
by the meadowlark
who slipped the silver needle
of her song
in and out of the grey day
and mended what was torn.
In closing, here's another flower. Always reach for the light.
New Stomping Grounds in St. Paul
Dog Walk Discoveries (April and May, 2016)
In April 2016 I moved to St. Paul. Moving can make a person feel disoriented, but I felt a little more grounded after discovering these butterflies on the sidewalk outside Riverside Library. And there's a reason for that.
This blog by my friend Karen Henry Clark explains it all.
Years ago, someone decided that a little sapling in the lawn would be allowed to live.
It would NOT be pulled up or mowed down. That is one lucky, plucky tree.
I love the colors and textures here...seeds and stones.
Not sure if this is funny or creepy.
Real church for real "people." Hmmm...Those quotation marks make me a little nervous. What kind of people are we talking about here?
The best for last...I was walking along Winslow Avenue and was absolutely delighted to discover a short poem stamped in the sidewalk. And then I found some more! Turns out the poems are part of an ongoing public art project by the city of St. Paul. Here's a link to the Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk page.
A little less war
A little more peace
A little less poor
A little more eats.
I'm kind of glad I didn't know about this project beforehand. Coming across these poems totally out of the blue—what a surprise and a joy!
is a children's book author, editor, tutor, mom of two adult children and one feisty cat, and collector of weird things.
My Reading Corps Service
Letters for Kids
A Blue Ribbon Day
A Kind Neighbor, a Beaded Tree