Category Archives: Nature

This Ain’t Sea World, This is as Real as it Gets

Before Carla and I went to the Clay County Fair, we took a quick spin around Lake Okoboji with Jason before he put away the boat for the winter. It is always a good time when you are on a boat.

Here are some pictures:


Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

Cruise Around the Iowa Great Lakes

It was a truly great and always a great time cruising around the lake. Hope I get to do it again at some point this year too!

Jeffersonian Visit II

Here is another collection of street photography images I took while wondering the streets of Jefferson. A town with similar or lesser economic strengths of Boone, but somehow has a way better public art situation. Which isn’t saying much. There is a reason why I have the BOONE ART CENTER photo project. However, even if Boone had a good public art situation, Jefferson’s still would be pretty impressive.


Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Jefferson, Iowa

Sad thing is, Boone has no shortage of talented artists. The guy who lives two houses down from me has more sculptures in his yard (that he makes and are sweet) than Boone has public art. Period.

Still more Jefferson pictures left to share from a second trip I took there, the next day. What can I say? I love me some A&W!

God Only Knows

I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
I’ll make you so sure about it

God only knows what I’d be without you
If you should ever leave me
Though life would still go on believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me

God only knows what I’d be without you
God only knows what I’d be without you
If you should ever leave me
Well life would still go on believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me

God only knows what I’d be without you
God only knows what I’d be without you
God only knows
God only knows what I’d be without you
God only knows what I’d be without you
God only knows
God only knows what I’d be without you
God only knows what I’d be without you
God only knows
God only knows what I’d be without you
God only knows what I’d be without you
God only knows
God only knows what I’d be without you
God only knows what I’d be without you
God only knows
God only knows what I’d be without you
God only knows what I’d be without you
God only knows
God only knows what I’d be without you
-Written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher
-Performed by The Beach Boys

If aliens came down to our planet. And they cornered me while I was out on the High Trestle Trail doing my Saturday morning walk. And they told me they were going to destroy the human species if I didn’t give them one accomplishment by humans that was worthy to allow us to survive, I would first fight my base instinct to say, “Well, we are a failed species. Probably for the best.” I would pause think for a second and maybe play them “Amazing Grace”, but that song was written by a reformed slave trader and while a redemption arc is a great story, bringing up the human penchant to enslave other human beings would not save humanity from the calcinator death ray used by the aliens on Planet X. So my second thought would be to play them this song. A complete masterpiece and one of the most beautiful songs ever crafted by mankind.

Like Kenny Rogers and Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys were one of my Mom’s favorites. Like Kenny Rogers, I did get to take my Mom to a Beach Boys concert. It wasn’t as great as the Kenny Rogers question. Most of the real talent in The Beach Boys has since moved on. Either from the band. Or from life. Or in the case of the real genius (Brian Wilson) from reality.

Unfortunately Brian Wilson had a break from reality that was exacerbated and exploited by a talent agent. They made a movie about it called LOVE & MERCY. It isn’t great, but it is worth watching.

There were really only 2 original Beach Boys left when we saw them play and like many men of their generation it appeared that their brains had been melted by watching FoxNews and probably the Facebook algorithm. It was sad to see.

But Thursdays are for flowers! This flowertography collection was taken in my yard:


Through Dirt - 2023

Through Dirt - 2023

Last Penny - 2023

Last Penny - 2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Painted without Instruction -2023

Soul Expansion - 2023

Soul Expansion - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2023

God Only Knows

God Only Knows

God Only Knows

God Only Knows

God Only Knows

God Only Knows

God Only Knows

The next flowertography session will see a return to the Iowa State Fair.

Eclipse Road Trip – Day 2

On Day 2 of the Eclipse Road Trip I woke up in the comfort of the bed. Did my business in a toilet with running water. Brushed my teeth. Still opted for a whore’s bath and then decided to do a little bit of exploring while the rest were sleeping I decided to sneak off and do a little exploring. I had done a little research on the Gosport area and found out that there was a beautiful waterfall nearby. There was also an interesting sculpture park, but that didn’t open until 9 AM and by the time I explored it, I wouldn’t have had time to get back to Linda’s to leave for the eclipse party.

Through my research I also learned about a cool bakery in Gosport that had an open kitchen that allowed you to watch them bake all of the tasty goodness.

Here are some pictures from the day:


Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This cool drive-in theater reminds me that one of my goals this year is to go watch a movie at a drive-in movie theater. Who is in?

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
It was a beautiful sunrise on a foggy morning. Almost magical.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
It cost an outsider like me 9 smackers to visit Cataract Falls State Park. If I was from Indiana, it would have been $7. I thought about how lucky I am to be able to visit Ledges or Mines of Spain or Backbone anytime I want for free, but then I’m also reminded that we don’t even have park rangers any more and are parks are poorly maintained. So maybe it is a wash.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Going over the Eel River was this sweet covered bridge.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Even though I wasn’t there to see the eclipse I got a 5 minute lecture about it from 2 different park rangers. Even though I told both of them that I was just there to see the Niagara Falls of Indiana.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
It is really the largest waterfall in Indiana. You might scoff, but it is way bigger than any waterfall in Iowa.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
After leaving Cataract Falls I visited the town of Cataract to check out the famous Cataract General Store and the Cataract School. This sign should hang everywhere.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Is that good? That seems good.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I stopped at the cool bakery. I bought a piece of red velvet cake and a piece of carrot cake. I also bought this chocolate milk. I have a longstanding belief that it is impossible to get great chocolate milk outside of Iowa (or outside of the AE Dairy footprint). Kind of like how you can’t get a good tenderloin outside of Iowa. The clerk at the Bakery ranted and raved about this chocolate milk. It was an okay chocolate milk, but if I somehow ever get back to Gosport I’m taking a gallon of AE into the bakery and I’m blowing some minds. Anyways, this chocolate milk comes from a local dairy.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This truck is parked just outside of Paragon. Nobody I talked to seemed to know the story. Rest in peace Jack Brown.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Jen came back from Indiana with one more fur coat. A beaver fur coat this time.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I witnessed quite the wrestling match. I’m not sure who won. But it was quite the match.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I ate so much food at the Eclipse Party. Linda’s ribs were delicious. So was Pete’s chili. I tried something called “fluffy” that Evie was certain was going to change my life. I don’t know it did, but I ate plenty of it. Also a ton of peanut butter bars.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
It’s starting!

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Styling and profiling!

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Totality!

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
During the eclipse there are these crazy crescent shadows.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
My camera filter.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This is the road outside of Linda and Pete’s house. I swear every road that isn’t a highway looks like this road.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
After the eclipse we packed up and headed back. We had a hotel booked in Normal, Illinois.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
We ended up getting gas in Danville, Illinois. Apparently the no buying gas in Illinois thing was just an elaborate ruse.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I’ve been to shadier gas stations. One in San Antonio comes to mind, but this one was pretty shady.

The drive from Indiana to the hotel was crazy busy. There were a ton of people fleeing Indiana after the eclipse. The last 5 miles or so on the interstate took me over 30 minutes. It was great to get to the hotel. I watched part of UCONN’s dismantling of Purdue. Then watched the kids swim in the pool before calling it a night.

One more sleep before finishing the trip home the next day.

Oh… here is one more bonus image. Evie took this picture of Derrick. We were trying to teach him about Snapchat.


Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

I think we failed and honestly I’m not that great at Snapchat. Evie knows way more than me. So maybe she can keep working on him.

WPC – WEEK 449 – TIME

For no real apparent reason, I thought I would start adding a little photography lesson into these things every month or so. And I mean a very little photography lesson.

This month’s lesson is going to be on bokeh.

What is bokeh?

Bokeh (the Japanese word for blur) is the blur produced in out-of-focus parts of an image, caused by circles of confusion. Bokeh has also been defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light”. Differences in lens aberrations and the shape of aperture blades and the amount of aperture blades cause very different bokeh effects. There are strong opinions on what is good bokeh and bad bokeh. My use of Lensbaby lenses is frequently because of they produce bokeh effects that I personally enjoy. A photography technique is to use a shallow focus technique to create images with prominent out-of-focus regions, accentuating their lens’s bokeh. It can add a sense of depth and dimensionality to an image and can make the subject stand out more effectively.

Bokeh is often most visible around small background highlights, such as specular reflections and light sources, which is why it is often associated with such areas. Bokeh is not limited to highlights; blur occurs in all regions of an image which are outside the depth of field.

How is bokeh pronounced? You will hear people pronounce it in all sorts of different ways. The proper way is like “bow” in a bow and arrow and then the “ke” sound in the word kettle. Although a majority of people may pronounce it like boh – kay.

I hope we all learned something today.

+++++++

TIME! A great theme! But did enough people make TIME in their schedule to submit a photo to make TIME a popular theme? You will have to keep scrolling to find out!

As of 12:01 PM on Monday, April 15, this was the current list of ACTIVE streaks (ignore everything in parentheses):

1-Sabas Hernandez – 1 week (IA)
2-Suzie Brannen – 3 weeks (IA)
3-Jen Ensley-Gorshe – 3 weeks (IA, CO, MO, TX, TN, VA, IL, FL)
4-Mary Green – 3 weeks (2) (MI, IA, IN)
5-Willy McAlpine – 4 weeks (IA)
6-Deanna McClain – 5 weeks (IA)
7-Johnathan Stensland – 5 weeks (IA)
8-Adam Gordon – 7 weeks (IA, MS, MO)
9-Becky Parmelee – 8 weeks (AR, IA, OK)
10-Sara Lockner – 13 weeks (IA)
11-Lowell Davis – 15 weeks (IA)
12-Michelle Haupt – 15 weeks (IA, MO, KS)
13-Alexis Stensland – 15 weeks (IA)
14-Brandon Kahler – 16 weeks (IA, MN)
15-Scott Degeneffe – 34 weeks (2) (IA, FL, UT, CO)
16-Mike Vest – 39 weeks (IA, MO)
17-Sheri Fakhouri – 44 weeks (2) (IA, NE)
18-Logan Kahler – 45 weeks (IA, MN)
19-Nathanial Brown – 46 weeks (IA, SD, GA, TN)
20-Jesse Howard – 46 weeks (IA, MO, NE, FL, ABW, CUW)
21-Tamara Peterson – 58 weeks (IA, MN)
22-Mindi Terrell – 61 weeks (IA)
23-Linda Bennett – 90 weeks (2) (KS)
24-Sarah Toot – 91 weeks (PA, NY, VT, NV)
25-Angie DeWaard – 95 weeks (IA)
26-Dawn Krause – 99 weeks (IA)
27-Kim Barker – 105 weeks (2) (IA, CO)
28-Joe Duff – 106 weeks (2) (TX)
29-Teresa Kahler – 117 weeks (IA, NE)
30-Carla Stensland – 117 weeks (2) (IA, MO)
31-Micky Augustin – 119 weeks (IA, IL)
32-Andy Sharp – 120 weeks (IA, NE, AR, MS, MO, TN, LA)
33-Bill Wentworth – 121 weeks (NE)
34-Cathie Morton – 124 weeks (IA, FL, BHS, MO)
35-Elizabeth Nordeen – 126 weeks (IA)
36-Shannon Bardole-Foley – 128 weeks (2) (IA, CA, NV)
37-Kio Dettman – 130 weeks (2) (IA)

Here is the list of rules for Year 11 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE:

1. The picture must be taken between 12:01 PM today and 11 AM next Monday. This isn’t a curate your photos project. This is a get your butt off the couch and take pictures challenge!
2. There is a limit of 2 submissions per person per theme. If you send me more than 2, I will use the first 2 that you submit.
3. Deadline to submit your submission is 11 AM (CENTRAL) next Monday.
4. To be considered the photographer of an image, you have to be the one that clicks the shutter. If you hand your camera over to somebody else to take a picture of you, you are NOT the photographer of that image.
5. No screen captures. This is a photography challenge. Not a “look at what I found on the internet” challenge.

There are still 2 ways to submit:
1. Email your submission to bennett@photography139.com.
2. Text your submission to my Google Pixel 8 Pro.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates or streaks or the rules of the challenge or how to submit. You came to see the submissions and what streaks continued and what streaks flamed out:


WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee (McGarrah Farms – Pea Ridge, Arkansas) – 9 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Ankeny, Iowa) – 45 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - SCOTT DEGENEFFE
Scott Degeneffe (Ankeny, Iowa) – 35 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt (Ankeny, Iowa) – 16 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker (Ames, Iowa) – 106 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard (Ames, Iowa) – 96 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen (Ames, Iowa) 127 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Goodwill Store – Ames, Iowa) – 118 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - BRANDON KAHLER
Brandon Kahler (Ames, Iowa) – 17 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard (Ames, Iowa) – 47 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - ADAM GORDON
Adam Gordon (Ames, Iowa) – 8 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett (Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Boone, Iowa) – 131 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - JOHNATHAN STENSLAND
Johnathan Stensland (Boone, Iowa) – 6 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - LOWELL DAVIS
Lowell Davis (Boone, Iowa) – 16 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - LOWELL DAVIS
Lowell Davis (Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Boone, Iowa) – 46 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Boone, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Boone, Iowa) – 100 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp (Boone, Iowa) – 121 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - MONICA JENNINGS
Monica Jennings (Boone, Iowa) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - WILLY MCALPINE
Willy McAlpine (Ledges State Park – Boone County, Iowa) – 5 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - SUZIE BRANNEN
Suzie Brannen (Clive, Iowa) – 4 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - SARA LOCKNER
Sara Lockner (The skies over Des Moines, Iowa) – 14 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME -CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Palisades Dows Observatory – Ely, Iowa) – 118 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Johnston, Iowa) – 62 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Johnston, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin (Jasper County, Iowa) – 120 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest (Madrid, Iowa) – 40 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME -CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Palisades-Kepler State Park – Overlook Trail – Cedar River Dam – Mount Vernon, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - CATHIE MORTON
Cathie Morton (Norwalk, Iowa) – 125 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Ogden, Iowa)

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - SABAS HERNANDEZ
Sabas Hernandez (Pella, Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson (Perry, Iowa) – 59 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - DEANNA MCCLAIN
Deanna McClain (Perry, Iowa) – 6 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe (Perry, Iowa) – 4 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - NATHANIAL BROWN
Nathanial Brown (State Center, Iowa) – 47 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley (Summerset, Iowa) – 129 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett (Easton, Kansas) – 91 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth (Omaha, Nebraska) – 122 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 -TIME - SARAH TOOT
Sarah Toot (E. Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania) – 92 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (League City, Texas) – 107 weeks

WPC - WEEK 449 - TIME - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (League City, Texas)

37 participants! That is a drop-off from the previous week! Is this the beginning of the end for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE?

There were submissions this week taken in the following places:

+ Arkansas (1)
+ Iowa (37)
+ Kansas (1)
+ Nebraska (1)
+ Pennsylvania (1)
+ Texas (2)

Here is the Year 11 list of places where submissions have been taken (submissions taken in each places):

+ Arkansas (9.5)
+ Aruba (1)
+ Bahamas (1)
+ California (3)
+ Curacao (1)
+ Colorado (5)
+ Florida (85)
+ Georgia (1)
+ Hawaii (2)
+ Illinois (3)
+ Indiana (3)
+ Iowa (587)
+ Kansas (24)
+ Louisiana (2)
+ Michigan (5)
+ Minnesota (6)
+ Mississippi (1.5)
+ Missouri (10.5)
+ Nebraska (25)
+ Nevada (2)
+ New York (11)
+ Oklahoma (1)
+ Pennsylvania (13)
+ South Dakota (3)
+ Tennessee (2.5)
+ Texas (26)
+ Utah (1)
+ Vermont (1)
+ Virginia (1)

26 states so far! 3 foreign countries! Not bad! So far, the following people have submitted from multiple places:

+ Jen Ensley-Gorshe (IA, CO, MO, TX, TN, VA, IL, FL) – 8
+ Andy Sharp (IA, NE, MO, AR, TN, MS, LA) – 7
+ Jesse Howard (IA, MO, NE, FL, ABW, CUW) – 6
+ Christopher D. Bennett (IA, MO, NE, IL, IN) – 5
+ Scott Degeneffe (IA, FL, UT, CO) – 4
+ Nathanial Brown (IA, SD, TN, GA) – 4
+ Sarah Toot (PA, NY, VT, NV) – 4
+ Cathie Morton (IA, FL, BHS, MO) – 4
+ Shannon Bardole-Foley (IA, CA, NV) – 3
+ Adam Gordon (IA, MS, MO) – 3
+ Mary Green (MI, IA, IN) – 3
+ Michelle Haupt (IA, MO, KS) – 3
+ Becky Parmelee (AR, IA, OK) – 3
+ Micky Augustin (IA, IL) – 2
+ Susanna Funk (IA, CO) – 2
+ Brandon Kahler (IA, MN) – 2
+ Logan Kahler (IA, MN) – 2
+ Sara Lockner (IA, MN) – 2
+ Tamara Peterson (IA, MN) – 2
+ Carla Stensland (IA, MO) -2
+ Mike Vest (IA, MO) – 2
+ Teresa Kahler (IA, NE) – 2
+ Sheri Fakhouri (IA, NE) – 2

Jen is now in the lead to be crowned “The Most Travelled THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE Photographer!” Jesse and Andy are in striking distance though!

The big, huge milestone this week was Dawn joining the TRIPLE DIGIT STREAK CLUB!! WOOHOO!!! But it wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows. Mary’s streak is no more at 3 weeks. Alexis’ streak is gone after 15 weeks! The humanity!

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 450 - EMOTION
EMOTION – Suggested by Sarah Toot AND Andy Sharp

EMOTION! What a great theme for Year 11 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

I look forward to seeing your interpretation!

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will see your idea of EMOTION in this place that gets me in the feels next Monday.

She Believes In Me

While she lays sleeping
I stay out late at night and play my songs
And sometimes all the nights can be so long
And it’s good when I finally make it home, all alone
While she lays dreaming

I try to get undressed without the light
And quietly she says, “How was your night?”
And I come to her and say
“It was all right, ” and I hold her tight

And she believes in me
I’ll never know just what she sees in me
I told her someday if she was my girl
I could change the world
With my little songs, I was wrong

But she has faith in me
And so I go on trying faithfully
And who knows maybe on some special night
If my song is right
I will find a way
Find a way

While she lays waiting
I stumble to the kitchen for a bite
Then I see my old guitar in the night
Just waiting for me like a secret friend
And there’s no end while she lays crying

I fumble with a melody or two
And I’m torn between the things that I should do
And she says to wake her up when I am through
God, her love is true

And she believes in me
I’ll never know just what she sees in me
I told her someday if she was my girl
I could change the world
With my little songs, I was wrong
But she has faith in me

And so I go on trying faithfully
And who knows maybe on some special night
If my song is right
I will find a way
While she waits
While she waits
For me
-Written by Steve Gibb
-Performed by Kenny Rogers

Just another great love song from Kenny Rogers. The line “I could change the world, with my little songs… I was wrong” always kills me. Especially when it goes on to “But she has faith in me”.

But Thursdays are for flowers. This flowertography collection took place at the Iowa Arboretum.


Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Arboretum

I actually joined the Iowa Arboretum last year. So, go ahead and feel jealous. I would go on about how my membership there gets me free admission into all sorts of gardens and arboretums all across Iowa and the United States, but I can feel that you are already turning green with envy!

Next week’s flowertography session will return to the confines of my yard.

Fisher of Men: Rural Story County Field Work

A few weeks back FNSC made another stop on the Catholic Fish Fry Circuit. This time we went north of Ames on County Line Road and hit up the culinary offerings of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church. A church that I have often wondered what it looked like on the inside. This particular Friday Night Supper Club was attended by your Humble Narrator, Jesse, Jay, and Nader.

Here are some pictures:



First things first. This was by far the best value of any of the Catholic fish fries we hit. Mainly because the dessert was included in the price of admission. All of the other ones had an at-will donation for the desserts. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem throwing in a few bucks for a brownie or a piece of pie or cake. But they didn’t want my few extra bucks.

Here is the other thing to note. The real show stopper here wasn’t the fish, which was very good. It wasn’t the baked potato. Or the cole slaw. Or the green beans. It was the corn. This corn clearly didn’t come out of a can or a frozen steamer bag. This corn came from somebody’s farm. AND… IT… WAS… AMAZING!!!! I immediately was longing for a day in the not too distant future where I would be able to stop and buy some Grimes Sweet Corn from the back of a pickup truck in some random gas station. Despite its flaws that are growing by the day, there are parts that are great about living in Iowa. And buying sweet corn out of the back of a pickup truck is one of those great things. Then eating that sweet corn is even better. When I was eating the corn at this fish fry, dang it, if I wasn’t proud of this state again.

I would definitely add Saints Peter and Paul’s Fish Fry to my list of fish fries that I will hit again next year. There are still more fish fries left to share. Wish it was 3. Stupid Friday wasted at On the Waterfront in Ankeny. You don’t understand. We coulda had class. We coulda been contenders. We coulda been somebody, instead of bums. Which is what we are. Next year, there will be no wasted night in Ankeny. This I swear on the graves of many a fried fish. That I have eaten.

The next food adventure I will share will be another stop on the Central Iowa Catholic Fish Fry Tour. Next year we need to get shirts!

But…

How is my efforting to live a healthy lifestyle going?

This week my weight went down -3.0 pounds. I am now down 29.5 pounds since starting Noom. I am .1 pounds away from reaching my May 1 goal weight. 25.1 pounds away from my ultimate goal weight*. It is nice to officially be on the side where I’ve lost more weight than I need to lose. That is an accomplishment of some kind.

I’m actually surprised that my weight went down this week. On my eclipse road trip I didn’t eat well and spent a ton of times just sitting in cars. Shoutout to whomever brought the peanut butter bars to the Eclipse Party. I crushed an unhealthy amount of those. Pete’s chili was also delicious! I also ate fast food. Had fried food 3 times. Crushed a carrot cake from an Indiana bakery. A raspberry something or other from “the bakery” in Pella. Ate some candy from a candy store in Chariton. Skipped a day at the gym because it closed due to a bomb threat. But I still kept moving as much as I could.

Seems like I should hit my May 1 goal this week. It is ONLY .1 pounds away! But I won’t be surprised if I don’t. Might be a rebound week or a plateau week. Only 1 thing to do, just keep moving.

But weight isn’t the only measure (or even the most important measure) of positive results. I think one of those is I think I’m officially down 1 shirt size. Depending on what company makes the shirt. That is something that is hard for me to judge, cause I don’t really like my clothes touching me too much. But some of my shirts are starting to be too big, even based on my very loose standards for very big. See what I did there?

In the 56 days since I started using FitBit I’ve:

+ Taken 380,541 steps
+ Averaged 12.158 steps a day
+ Walked 316.95 miles
+ Averaged walking 5.66 miles a day

Sometimes I think about going into the Computer Mine an extra day a week, cause it easier for me to get my steps in there, but the if you follow you me on SnapChat you know the main stumbling back against this is Canadian. CANADIANS! But maybe that part of the job is coming to an end. One never knows.

That is all to report for now.

*Ultimate goal weight subject to change.

WPC – WEEK 446 – #INSTAGOOD

#INSTAGOOD! A great theme! A theme so easy that you could participate if you took one picture this week. But did many people take at least one picture to be able to send us the best picture that they took this week to make #INSTAGOOD a popular theme? You’ll have to keep scrolling to find out!

As of 12:01 PM on Monday, March 25, this was the current list of ACTIVE streaks (ignore the numbers in parentheses):

1-Evie Gorshe – 1 week (IA)
2-Willy McAlpine – 1 week (IA)
3-Tim Panages – 1 week (IA)
4-Elainie Hernandez – 2 weeks (IA)
5-Deanna McClain – 2 weeks (IA)
6-Johnathan Stensland – 2 weeks (IA)
7-Adam Gordon – 4 weeks (2) (IA, MS, MO)
8-Stehanie Kim – 6 weeks (NY)
9-Becky Parmelee – 6 weeks (AR, IA)
10-Sara Lockner – 10 weeks (IA)
11-Lowell Davis – 12 weeks (IA)
12-Michelle Haupt – 12 weeks (IA, MO)
13-Alexis Stensland – 12 weeks (IA)
14-Brandon Kahler – 13 weeks (IA, MN)
15-Scott Degeneffe – 31 weeks (IA, FL)
16-Sabas Hernandez – 32 weeks (2) (IA)
17-Mike Vest – 36 weeks (IA, MO)
18-Sheri Fakhouri – 41 weeks (2) (IA)
19-Logan Kahler – 42 weeks (IA, MN)
20-Nathanial Brown – 43 weeks(IA, SD, GA, TN)
21-Jesse Howard – 43 weeks (IA, MO, NE)
22-Tamara Peterson – 55 weeks (IA, MN)
23-Mindi Terrell – 58 weeks (2) (IA)
24-Linda Bennett – 87 weeks (KS)
25-Sarah Toot – 88 weeks (2) (PA, NY, VT, NV)
26-Angie DeWaard – 92 weeks (IA)
27-Dawn Krause – 96 weeks (2) (IA)
28-Kim Barker – 102 weeks (2) (IA, CO)
29-Joe Duff – 103 weeks (TX)
30-Teresa Kahler – 114 weeks (2) (IA)
31-Carla Stensland – 114 weeks (IA, MO)
32-Micky Augustin – 116 weeks (IA, IL)
33-Andy Sharp – 117 weeks (IA, NE, AR, MS, MO, TN, LA)
34-Bill Wentworth – 118 weeks (NE)
35-Cathie Morton – 121 weeks (IA, FL, BHS)
36-Elizabeth Nordeen – 123 weeks (IA)
37-Shannon Bardole-Foley – 125 weeks (IA)
38-Kio Dettman – 127 weeks (2) (IA)

An observant observer might be wondering why Carla’s streak is intact. She did get a submission in at the horn, but not soon enough for it to be included in the email blast. But is up on the website. You can go look at last Monday’s post and verify.

Here is the list of rules for Year 11 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE:


1. The picture must be taken between 12:01 PM today and 11 AM next Monday. This isn’t a curate your photos project. This is a get your butt off the couch and take pictures challenge!
2. There is a limit of 2 submissions per person per theme. If you send me more than 2, I will use the first 2 that you submit.
3. Deadline to submit your submission is 11 AM next Monday.
4. To be considered the photographer of an image, you have to be the one that clicks the shutter. If you hand your camera over to somebody else to take a picture of you, you are NOT the photographer of that image.
5. No screen captures. This is a photography challenge. Not a “look at what I found on the internet” challenge.

There are still 2 ways to submit:
1. Email your submission to bennett@photography139.com.
2. Text your submission to my Google Pixel 8 Pro.
3. Sometimes, for special people, for special circumstances, we can negotiate something.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates or streaks or the rules of the challenge or how to submit. You came to see the submissions and what streaks continued and what streaks flamed out:


WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - SUZIE BRANNEN
Suzie Brannen (Iowa) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe (Hampton, Virginia) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - LAYLA GORSHE
Layla Gorshe (Iowa) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - MARY GREEN
Mary Green (Michigan) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - MONICA JENNINGS
Monica Jennings (Ankeny, Iowa) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - AMY PETERSON
Amy Peterson (Ledges State Park – Boone County, Iowa) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - WILLIAM MCALPINE
Willy McAlpine (Boone, Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - TIM PANAGES
Tim Panages (Ankeny, Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - DEANNA MCCLAIN
Deanna McClain (Perry, Iowa) – 3 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - JOHNATHAN STENSLAND
Johnathan Stensland (Ogden, Iowa) – 3 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - ADAM GORDON
Adam Gordon (Iowa) – 5 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee (Tulsa, Oklahoma) – 7 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - SARA LOCKNER
Sara Lockner (Ogden, Iowa) – 11 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - LOWELL DAVIS
Lowell Davis (Boone, Iowa) – 13 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt (Overland Park, Kansas) – 13 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Ogden, Iowa) – 13 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - BRANDON KAHLER
Brandon Kahler (Story City, Iowa) – 14 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - SCOTT DEGENEFFE
Scott Degeneffe (Boone County, Iowa) – 32 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - SABAS HERNANDEZ
Sabas Hernandez (Ogden, Iowa) – 33 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest (Madrid, Iowa) – 37 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Ankeny, Iowa) – 42 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Boone, Iowa) – 43 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - NATHANIAL BROWN
Nathanial Brown (Des Moines, Iowa) – 44 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard (Iowa) – 44 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson (Perry, Iowa) – 56 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Johnston, Iowa) – 59 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett (Kansas) – 88 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - SARAH TOOT
Sarah Toot (E. Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania) – 89 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard (Iowa) – 93 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Boone, Iowa) – 97 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker (Nevada, Iowa) – 103 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (League City, Texas) – 104 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Boone, Iowa) – 115 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Ogden, Iowa) – 115 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin (Iowa) – 117 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp (Red Oak, Iowa) – 118 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth (Omaha, Nebraska) – 119 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - CATHIE MORTON
Cathie Morton (Norwalk, Iowa) – 122 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen (Iowa) – 124 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley (West Des Moines, Iowa) – 126 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Boone, Iowa) – 128 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett (Mines of Spain State Recreation Area – Dubuque County, Iowa) – 550 weeks

42 participants! That is a great week! Breaking the previous high for this year held by DECORATION at 40. I believe 42 ties the all-time high. Held by the #INSTAGOOD theme from last year. But I’d have to check my records to confirm that.

Thanks to Becky’s trip we added Oklahoma to the Photography 139 Submissions Map!

Thanks to Jen’s trip we added Virginia to the Photography 139 Submissions Map! Virginia was one of the states we didn’t get a submission from in 2023! So that makes it extra exciting!

There were submissions this week taken in the following places:

+ Iowa (34)
+ Kansas (2)
+ Michigan (1)
+ Nebraska (1)
+ Oklahoma (1)
+ Pennsylvania (1)
+ Texas (1)
+ Virginia (1)

Here is the Year 11 list of places where submissions have been taken (submissions taken in each places):

+ Arkansas (6.5)
+ Bahamas (1)
+ California (1)
+ Colorado (4)
+ Florida (3)
+ Georgia (1)
+ Hawaii (2)
+ Illinois (1)
+ Indiana (2)
+ Iowa (444)
+ Kansas (19)
+ Louisiana (2)
+ Michigan (5)
+ Minnesota (6)
+ Mississippi (1.5)
+ Missouri (8.5)
+ Nebraska (18)
+ Nevada (1)
+ New York (9)
+ Oklahoma (1)
+ Pennsylvania (12)
+ South Dakota (3)
+ Tennessee (2.5)
+ Texas (20)
+ Vermont (1)
+ Virginia (1)

25 states so far! 1 foreign country! Not bad! So far, the following people have submitted from multiple places:

+ Andy Sharp (IA, NE, MO, AR, TN, MS, LA) – 7
+ Jen Ensley-Gorshe (IA, CO, MO, TX, TN, VA) – 6
+ Nathanial Brown (IA, SD, TN, GA) – 4
+ Sarah Toot (PA, NY, VT, NV) – 4
+ Christopher D. Bennett (IA, MO, NE) – 3
+ Adam Gordon (IA, MS, MO) – 3
+ Mary Green (MI, IA, IN) – 3
+ Michelle Haupt (IA, MO, KS) – 3
+ Jesse Howard (IA, MO, NE) – 3
+ Cathie Morton (IA, FL, BS) – 3
+ Becky Parmelee (AR, IA, OK) – 3
+ Micky Augustin (IA, IL) – 2
+ Scott Degeneffe (IA, FL) – 2
+ Susanna Funk (IA, CO) – 2
+ Brandon Kahler (IA, MN) – 2
+ Logan Kahler (IA, MN) – 2
+ Sara Lockner (IA, MN) – 2
+ Tamara Peterson (IA, MN) – 2
+ Carla Stensland (IA, MO) -2
+ Mike Vest (IA, MO) – 2

Andy holds a 1 state lead over Jen to be crowned “The Most Travelled THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE Photographer!”

There were no big milestones reached this week. However, Layla submitted for the first time this year! WooHoo! There was some sadness. Evie couldn’t build on her submission from last week and her streak is over before it began. Elainie’s streak is over after 2 weeks. But worst of all, Steph’s streak goes down after 6 weeks!

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 447 - PASSION
PASSION – SUGGESTED BY SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY

PASSION! What a great theme for Year 11 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

I’m not describing the themes this year unless I think they need a little explanation. One thing to remember that PASSION is not just something you like bunches and bunches. PASSION is something you are willing to suffer for. When you take your pictures, would you be willing to take a punch to the face for this thing? Would you be willing to take something worse for this thing? If the answer is “yes”, then you have a PASSION subject.

I look forward to your interpretation!

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will see your idea of PASSION in this place that is a bit of passion project next Monday.