The bison are back

Buffalo
Buffalo

I like buffalo.

Continue reading The bison are back

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Laila Bee illustrates how to press flowers in 6 easy steps

Our wildflower garden is in full bloom. I’ll post pics once I yank a few weeds out this weekend. In the mean time, Laila and I have set out to preserve the beauty of summer. Here’s how our first attempt at pressing flowers went:

Flowers!
Flowers!

Continue reading Laila Bee illustrates how to press flowers in 6 easy steps

I went on a date with a man

I think I’ll keep him around.

Mark.
Mark.

Little family on the prairie: a journey in 20 photos

Last weekend we drove to northeast Oklahoma. Our destination was Osage County, home of the Osage Nation, a bustling little town called Pawhuska, 70 square miles of pristine prairie and Oklahoma’s most famous blogger, The Pioneer Woman.

It was another last-minute hiking trip.

Don’t our pics look perfect?

Lest I mislead you, we got back from our hike and discovered Laila and Mark were crawling with ticks.

Nothing says love like an invasive family tick check. You have to look everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

Scrub any images from your minds, now, and enjoy the pleasant scenes.

Note: The photos were taken with my iPhone 4s and edited with my favorite app, Visual Supply Co’s photo app. More about VSCO.

What’s with the typewriter? Needed art for my journo portfolio and a new photo of Eli for the blog. Also, I love typewriters.

OH YEAH
OH YEAH

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Girl power hiking. Laila notes while hiking: "Even girl power needs a break."
Girl power hiking. Laila notes while hiking: “Even girl power needs a break.”
Pawhuska
Pawhuska

If you like reading about my adventures exploring the state of Oklahoma, hit up the category The Oklahoma Diaries. If you like taking iPhone pics, you might try iPhone photography, ie, iPhoneography.

Like putting makeup on a 4-year-old

How in holy hey hey hey do you make a bun?

This is the question I posed to my sister, Emily.

Three weeks out from my daughter’s first dance recital and I was panicking.

Continue reading Like putting makeup on a 4-year-old

The plains on ice

We had an ice storm overnight that turned my less-than-picturesque backyard of chain link and a dead tree into a stark beauty, an ethereal landscape. Thanks for the brief aesthetic upgrade, however fleeting, Oklahoma prairie weather! I like messing with the app vsco cam, which I used for most of these shots and a photo session at the window for Eli. It makes for pretty skin tones.

Here is my collection of yard-sicles from today, and a few shots of my buddy boy bein’ cozy at the window. Holly-cicle

bird feeder-sicle

Give it a lick, I double dog dare ya
Give it a lick, I double dog dare ya

With just a little coating of ice, your chain link, too, can go from bla to "oo la la!"
With just a little coating of ice, your chain link, too, can go from bla to “oo la la!”

Nosy, like mama. Cozy, like a Sox cap on a icy day. Such is Eli. Shot on an iPhone 4S with regular camera, then edited VSCO cam app.
Nosy, like mama. Cozy, like a Sox cap on a icy day. Such is Eli. Shot on an iPhone 4S with regular camera, then edited VSCO cam app.
VSCO Cam for ios makes baby's cheeks even more glowy and pinchable.
VSCO Cam for ios makes baby’s cheeks even more glowy and pinchable.

Our minivan-sicle:

chain link sicle

pretty chain link, pretty tin shed
pretty chain link, pretty tin shed
Our dead tree is especially pretty and menacing this time of the year. Note to self: threaten slumlord with lawsuit.
Our dead tree is especially pretty and menacing this time of the year. Note to self: threaten slumlord with lawsuit.
Branches are snapping, threatening lives. Just another day in the neighborhood...
Branches are snapping, threatening lives. Just another day in the neighborhood…

The bodies at the lake

I got out to western Oklahoma today.

Thought I’d share photos from an interesting assignment.

Details:

State forensic anthropologist Angela Berg works alongside local authorities to remove remains after
two cars were pulled from Foss Lake in western Oklahoma. It will take up
to a year to identify the remains, an official with the state medical
examiner’s office said. But family members who believed their relatives
had been found arrived at the scene and gave DNA samples via cheek swabs. Mysteries family members hope will be solved include three people last seen in the area in April ’69, cases possibly tied to the ’52 Chevy. Sayre teens missing since ’70 may have been found in the Camaro. Below are a woman who believes her grandfather’s remains were found. And, the trooper who found the bodies while testing new sonar equipment. Trooper George Hoyle was using the instruction manual the day the imaging technology hit on the ’52 Chevy about 50 feet out in 12 feet of water.

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If you like reading about my adventures exploring the state of Oklahoma, hit up the category The Oklahoma Diaries. If you like taking iPhone pics, you might try iPhone photography, ie, iPhoneography.

For the birds…

I guess I should just admit it.

I have a thing for birds.

Nothing weird — I just like them.

This must explain why I keep taking pictures of waterfowl and various feathered friends when I go out running in nature with buddy boy.

And it explains why last year, when running by myself, I rescued a goose that just got whomped by an SUV.

This came up recently. I was chatting with nanny, who has a soft spot for animals.

She rescued a flea-bitten kitty she found flopping around on the street.

I feel ya, I said.

“Last year I put a goose in my minivan.”

“Wait…what?”

“Yes. It shat all over the seats, ruining the upholstery.”

I had been running when I came upon a macabre scene. I watched an SUV blow through two geese ambling across the road. It sped off, leaving one goose middle of the road, it’s brains splattered, an eyeball knocked out of its socket. The animal shivered and shuddered and shook. Death throes.

Nearby, its stunned goose friend just sat, thrown off into the grass near a little pond. At the edge of the pond, cattails and a waterfowl sanctuary sign. Goose No. 2’s wing was bloody, but otherwise it looked OK. It didn’t move or flap when I stood right next to it. Naturally, I ran back to my minivan, drove it to the goose. Goose let me pick it up. What a docile creature!

I named it Gus. Obviously.

Gus the docile goose and I made our way south to the animal shelter in OKC.

‘Cept then the goose Gus kinda started to come to. Gus became aware he was in the back of a minivan. This angered him.

Every time I stopped at a light — HONK HONK HONK FLAP FLAP FLAP Gus went.

There we a lot of lights.

I got lost on the way to the animal shelter.

I had to take the long way.

Gus was going to peck my eyes out! We were going to be on When Animals Attack XXV!

“You’re really surprising sometimes,” nanny said.

She was doing that Southern woman thing – instead of saying something rude — for instance, calling me a total lunatic — she offered a neutral, delicate and lovely thought that left me feeling rather charmed.

Why, yes, I am rather surprising sometimes.

The gals down here are good at that. We could all learn a thing or two from Southern ladies.

The end of that story is, Gus went from the animal shelter to an organization called the WildCare Foundation, where he recovered. I later called to check in — the organization released Gus back into the wild. He was a brand new Goose.

The end of nanny’s story is – her flea-bitten kitten is now flea-free and living a life of kitty luxury in nanny’s duplex with a boxer mix named Banksy.

These days, I run with my son, and I stop to take pictures of birds with my iPhone.

Yes, it is my fate to grow old, wear pro-bird T-shirts and attend community action meetings regarding alarming village lawn mowing practices that disrupt the habitat of local prairie fowl. I will wear Birkenstocks, with socks maybe. I will join the Audubon Society. It is written.

My grandpa was a card-carrying member. He had books of JA’s bird sketches.

Ya know, John Audubon — ever heard of him?

NO? Well look him up, for Pete’s sake.

OK. It started with gramps and the JA coffee table books. But before goose rescue, I teamed up with a college student and rescued another bird, in Ann Arbor. This bird couldn’t walk. It was a federally protected species that had goo stuck on its legs called Tanglefoot. Tanglefoot is used by building owners to keep nuisance birds from perching and pooing, messing up the aesthetic.

The product grounded a poor little house finch.

Why do I know this?

I wrote a column about it.

There, fine, you’ve found my weakness — distressed birds. Now I feel vulnerable.

There’s just something incredibly depressing about a wild bird that can’t fly. I can’t walk away!

Now, I’m off to pick up my daughter from preschool, and, maybe, find a onesie for Eli emblazoned with a bald Eagle in its full glory. An American flag in the background would be a bonus…maybe we’ll luck out and find glorious bald Eagle T-shirts for the whole family…

In the mean time, here are photos of my morning run, brought to you by the fact my daughter is now in preschool!

Behold, the Oklahoma state bird: the scissortail. I wish I could have gotten closer, but this’ll do for today.

The scissortail in flight
The scissortail in flight
The scissortail, Oklahoma's state bird.
The scissortail, Oklahoma’s state bird.
Eli, running partner
Eli, running partner
The dirt is red, the water's muddy and the sky is blue in Oklahoma.
The dirt is red, the water’s muddy and the sky is blue in Oklahoma.

Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

I think Eli is blond. And he has teeth! We are waiting to see the tum doc for a follow up to buddy’s tum troubles. He is no longer throwing up, so I’m not sure what our visit might entail. Here are some pics of wee man and a vid of him waving hi….I think.

Teeth!

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Baby’s first foods to techno

This is Eli eating sweet potatoes. To techno. In slo mo plus our morning’s Vine vids. Just because.

I used Vine, Slopro, iMovie and got the 19-second Arabic short loop track by searching short royalty free in the app store, in case anyone cares! For the photo, I used my regular iPhone camera, then edited it in Afterlight. Saved, added lables in Picframe. I think I mess with my phone too much. Also, you really can get a lot done with a baby attached to you. TMI, TMI….