After a week or more with below freezing temperatures, we reveled in a day of 40 degrees and sunshine.  I took advantage of our “heat wave” and went for a long walk that took me through Como Park.  As I went past the lake it was wonderful to see the snow and ice patterns.  The dark areas in the photograph are clear ice, interrupted by the white snow that had been blown across the lake.  There were lots of big cracks going through the surface too.  Once we get back to our cold temperatures, the ice will continue to form….all a part of winter in Minnesota.

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My dad – Stan Staats – who served in the Korean war.

Thanks to all our country’s veterans.  It’s a small word, but it is heartfelt.

With the turning of the calendar page to November, we are getting closer to the holidays and the new year.  For the past 15 years I have been offering my original line of holiday cards and desk calendars with my photographic images.

These images are some of the samples for this year.  More information, along with the complete line of cards and calendars can be found by clicking on the corresponding tabs at the top of my blog page.

Thanks for following along on my blog journey.  I’ll take this time now to wish you joy during the upcoming holiday seasons, and a new year that’s filled with beauty and amazement.

The bright colors of fall have come to an end.  The oaks have turned to their deeper rust color and the ground is now littered with faded colors.  As I was out raking leaves, a light rain started.  On the still lake it provided its punctuation in the water surface.  The reflection was beautiful and a reminder to me that even though the bright colors of fall are gone and many of the trees are without their vibrant leaves, there is still an amazing beauty in the world around us.

Our fall is changing rapidly.  What is lovely and colorful on one day is completely different two days later after heavy winds have caused the leaves to fall.  I was fortunate to find this lovely golden road one late afternoon.  The autumn colors were plentiful, and the road was littered with beautiful yellow leaves.  The next day was followed with heavy winds, and when I returned the trees had lost all their color and many of the leaves on the road had been scattered into the forest.  I was reminded of how important it is to stop and make the image when you see it because it is never the same the next time.

The brilliance of a fall morning!  There is a deepening of yellows and oranges now, and the reds are sprinkled throughout the landscape.  This particular morning dawned cool but the sun still had warmth to provide.  The lake was calm, the geese were calling overhead, and fall was celebrating all its glory.

Last week I celebrated what now seems to have been a colorful flourish to the end of summer.  I sent some time at the McNeely Conservatory in Como Park.  The sunken garden was filled with its summer flowers, scents, and  colors.  Since that day our weather has been gray, cloudy, rainy, and much cooler — anything but summer-like.  How lucky I was to have soaked up the last bright colors of summer!