Friday, November 30, 2007

Day or Night?

Which looks like it was more fun...

Colorado Belle Paddlewheel, Day

Or night?
Colorado Belle, Night

Pioneer Cowboy, Day

Or night?
Pioneer Cowboy, Night

For me, I thought the Pioneer and the Cowboy was more appealing in the day because their theme of old-timey West was so thoroughly done and really kind of cute. The Colorado Belle looked older and creakier in the daytime, but at night the lights gave it a grander aura.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Koi and Ducks

Koi and Ducks

The moat around the Colorado Belle was overrun with koi. The laziest and most well-trained koi I'd ever seen; all you needed to do was hold your empty hand over the rail and hundreds of fish would rush toward you, poking their faces above the water with open mouths, waiting to be fed. The number of coins on the bottom made me wonder how many of them had dimes and pennies in their bellies by mistake! The ducks fought for our attention too, as you can see.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Postcard from Laughlin

Postcard from Laughlin

The Colorado River in Laughlin Nevada, which I somehow managed to make look prettier than it actually was. :)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Graceland Cemetery

Some final shots from my visit to Graceland Cemetery. The rest are available in a set at Flickr.

God *is* in the details

God really is in the details.

Reflecting Bench

Reflecting Bench

Ornate Door

Ornate Door

Cross in the Trees

Cross against the trees


I will be out of town until Wednesday with no ability to upload new photos. But I will be taking plenty of them, so check back next week for scenes from Laughlin, Nevada!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Too soon!

Too soon!

This guy has had his lights up since NOVEMBER 1st! The day after Halloween! And even though it's the day after Thanksgiving now, I still think it's too soon. Crazy!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I made my very first Thanksgiving dinner today. It came out wonderfully, very VERY delicious.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Good food, good friends, a good husband, a good job, good health, and a good family. I have much to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

In Memory of Christopher

During my visit to Graceland Cemetery this weekend -- as a reminder, is located right smack in the middle of northside Chicago -- I was wandering through when I spotted this sight ahead, tucked away among the changing small trees and grasses.

Christopher from behind

Naturally, I went closer to investigate.

In memory of our beloved son Christopher

The stone reads, "In Memory of our Beautiful and Beloved Son Christopher." It's a family plot; there are two footstones below, with room for one more. The middle one is for Dr. Christopher Manuel, who died at the age of 39 in 2005. The second one must be his mother (I'm guessing from the birthdates listed) who died this August 2007.

Christopher face-on

Christopher's memorial

From what I've been able to discern on the web, this memorial was erected in late 2006. It's one of most unusual I've ever seen, and definitely sad and haunting. I couldn't stop taking pictures of it, and thinking about how loving this family must have been, and how devastated they clearly were by his death. All graves are sad in their own ways, but this one's grief seemed especially piercing to me. Maybe it's the personal and yet theatrical style of headstone, or the way it's hidden away in the cemetery but when you're close enough you can see there's nothing hidden at all.

Christopher from the side

Christopher and the Song Verse

The verse is from an old song, "For All We Know", which has been recorded by dozens of artists over the years.

I then left Christopher.

Christopher among the grasses

And so he sits, facing the small still pond, playing his silent flute for anyone who comes close enough to find him again.

Christopher faces the water

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

For Mrs. O'Donnell's Photography Class

By request, here are some shots of the window in the English Walled Garden in different seasons.

The original Winter version:

Winter through a Window

The Spring version:

Spring through a Window

The Summer version:

Summer through a Window

Unfortunately I do not have one for the fall. Maybe next year!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Guarding the Mausoleum

Spent Sunday morning wandering through Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, where many of the wealthiest and famous families are buried. It was quite beautiful, although I made a rookie photographer mistake and had my camera on the wrong setting for the entire shoot. Most of the photos didn't come out at all, but I managed to salvage a few. Lesson learned!

These were three imposing figures that guarded a large pyramid-style mausoleum. The face they used as the model on the last one is especially creepy to me.

Sad Woman, more depressing than imposing

Guarding the Mausoleum, Sad Woman version

Snake Handle, which is the kind of thing which gives me the heebie-jeebies

Guarding the Mausoleum, Snake Handle version

Man/Dog. Yikes!

Guarding the Mausoleum, Man/Dog version

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Have you sown yours?

Wild Oats

Wild Oats, taken at the Chicago Botanic Garden, November 2006.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Northern Illinois Farm

Farmhouse in northern Illinois

Taken in November 2006. I think it's best viewed in large.

I'm looking through these older shots this week as I start to put together my annual photography calendar. All of my family and many of my friends will already be recieving one as their traditional Christmas gift (hope I didn't ruin the surprise, haha), but if anyone else is interested in purchasing one, send me an email at and I'll add you to the order list!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Autumn 2006


Taken at the Chicago Botanic Garden, fall 2006. Still one of my favorites.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Autumn by the lake

Autumn Trees by the lake

Fall came very late to Chicago, but I did manage to get a few shots along the lake last weekend.

Lakefront bench in autumn

Not quite the same bench as this one from last winter, but I think just a few feet away!

Floating Iceberg

Friday, November 09, 2007

Happy Birthday Joe!

Today is my nephew Joe's birthday. I wanted to take some photos of some fire trucks around here, but I couldn't get a good one. Also, I live in a city area, so getting a good shot of a tractor or farm equipment was kind of tough. So I looked and looked all over Chicago, and I think I found some vehicles put together in a way he's probably never seen. Check this out!

Car Spindle in Empty Lot

Yes, that's a pile of real cars all stuck together on a pole! Up in the air! See?

Car Spindle 1

I know, it's crazy. But it's real! It's even been shown in movies!

Car Spindle 2

That's Uncle Richard's favorite kind of car on the top: a Volkswagen Beetle. We play Slugbug all the time.

Car Spindle in Setting Sun

I like that one because it's kind of arty. :)

Car Spindle 3

Chicago has some weird stuff, don't you think? I'll find some other cool things to show you when you come to visit, promise.

Happy Birthday, Joe!