Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Dandelion

On my early morning walks I constantly marvel at all created things. There is so much beauty to behold and appreciate, sometimes it overwhelms me. So, I was surprised this morning when I wondered, "Why am I paying more attention to the weeds?" No sooner had I wondered than the answer came to me.

Weeds have a "beauty" all their own. They are strong and hearty, created in the same manner as those we intentionally plant in our yard and recognize as beautiful. In the wild, they can really accentuate the natural landscape with color. They thrive in spite of the fierce battle they wage for survival. And we humans can be at a complete loss to conquer them!

I have a new, heightened awareness of weeds in the same way I have learned to appreciate the winter. All things, indeed, serve purpose. Man tries hard to squelch the weed, keep it from his garden, his lawn. I observed a landscape maintenance person the other day on the greenbelt spraying weeds. This is done on a regular basis in every yard. We can control them, but we can never prevent the weed from coming back, spreading. They are so very determined and strong, they even crop up in the cracks of the sidewalk.

The dandelion is especially challenging in one's lawn. As a child, I remember the fun of making a wish and blowing off the top of the white little globe. This carries the seeds in the wind and spreads the weed like wildfire! Who knew? It was a treasure to find!

I was interested enough to look it up; after all, what we call "weeds" are still God's creation and grow in the wild with absolutely no care other than what nature gives it. And here is what I found: 
  • Dandelions were introduced into the Midwest from Europe to provide food for the imported honeybees in early spring.
  • Dandelion greens are wonderful in salads, sauteed or steamed. They taste like chicory and endive, with an intense heartiness overlying a bitter tinge. 
  • Some people eat the greens from spring to fall, when they're very bitter. Others boil out the summer bitterness (and water-soluble vitamins) in two changes of water. It is all a matter of preference.Collect dandelion leaves in early spring, when they're the tastiest, before the flowers appear. Harvest again in late fall. After a frost, their protective bitterness disappears. Dandelions growing in rich, moist soil, with the broadest leaves and largest roots, are the best. Select the youngest individuals, and avoid all plants with flowers.  
  • People today shun bitter flavors as they are conditioned by overly sweet or salty processed food. But in earlier times, we distinguished between good and bad bitterness. Mixed with other flavors, as in a salad, dandelions improve the flavor. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Little Boy Jack

Patricia had an idea...she needed a portrait of her loving hubby to hang in their office next to the portrait of her as a young girl. 

So she came to me with the only portrait she had of him about the same age as her portrait. But, alas, it was a family portrait. She wanted Jack singled out of the portrait and brought into an 11x14 to compliment the one of her. 

Don't they make a lovely couple? Over and over again, as I worked on his portrait, I was struck by the fact that their son, Sean, looks just like his dad! And of course, their daughter Aimee really has his eyes!

Thanks for the privilege of allowing me to remake these portraits for you!

Here are the "before" shots with which we were dealing. Patricia's portrait had been badly damaged in need of repair; I repaired it last year:


Friday, April 20, 2012


Five months old and nothing but smiles...with the occasional tongue! Happy, happy baby. I am always grateful for the opportunity to photograph these precious little bundles. I cannot help but fall in love all over again...the innocence, the fat rolls, the cooing and other little baby noises! All too precious, and all too fleeting. They grow up before you know it!

Couldn't resist sharing...

When Grandpa & Grandma sat down, Maddy was totally captivated with her Grandpa, couldn't take her eyes off him...just melts your heart!
I am most appreciative of the opportunity to share in this joy for just a brief moment in time and capture a frame to preserve the time, the benchmark of growth during the first year of life!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Junior year is nearly over...the prom is such a significant part of high school years. Tyler and Jessica looked fabulous together. Friends since grammar school, now all grown up, such a very sweet couple. 

I've known Tyler for awhile, watching him grow into a handsome young man. But I just met Jessica the night of the prom. Sweet, gentle, quiet...she was the picture of grace in her lovely red gown.

The rain began...again...just before the evening set in. But that didn't dampen the spirits any. Such a memorable evening...memories for a lifetime. Thank you for allowing me to share just a bit of it!