Friday, December 31, 2010

Eve Of The New Year - 2011

Resolutions anyone ? I have one I know I can keep ... to continue looking up. May your New Year take you to new places. And may it also bring awareness of the beauty surrounding you right where you are. Blessings to you, yours, and all people. Love to our creatures, great and small. Love from The Prairie. And love from the world at

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dream Weaver ...

Last summer I began nesting out on the property around our buildings. I have collected many fine things over the years and have never ditched anything I've treasured that I was certain would be timeless according to me.

As a result, here on The Prairie it's a mixture of many things from my many adventures. At the Hen House it's a Moroccan window grill from Surroundings on Sunset Boulevard/Houston. It became a curtain backdrop to an old beautiful door that I drug off of the junk pile at the Apple Inn B&B here on Kemp Avenue during the Fall Clean Up Weekend.

I never dreamed that it would look so pretty this winter. I just knew.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sky Watch Christmas Eve ...

The sun setting behind Lake Kampeska on a very cold evening ... Merry Christmas. Check out Christmas skies around the world at

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ice Candles 2010 ...

I am an artist. I have time on my hands. I am dangerous.

My photographs are in the Birch Tree Gallery here on Main Street. And I create night lights with my photographs, using a process called DyeNamic Infusion ... those are in Houston at the gallery of Joan Son. I was not planning this. 2010 has been a great year for Laurie On The Prairie.

These days I am a winter artist of ice, ice candles, icicles and snow. This is a harnessed creativity that will carry me to warmer temperatures. It's free style loosie goosie and it's taking place on my deck.

You can bet your sweet bottom, southern or otherwise, it's cold out there. And art has no temperature gauge. It doesn't get cold. Art happens around the conditions. It's like pulling off a gravel road, laying down in a ditch, and crawling around to capture a cloud. It's art. It's me. I'm giving it my full attention.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Watch The Sky ...

I took a road trip to Brookings early this morning. I had my nails done, first things first, then took a walk through McCrory Gardens. This is a formal garden honoring Professor S.A. McCrory, founder of the SDSU Horticulture, Forestry, Landscape and Parks Department in 1947. McCrory Gardens is unique and harmonious ... ohmmmmmmmmmmm. Check out and see where another's Sky Watch Friday photo efforts lead you.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Shelter Belts 101 ...

Here on The Prairie we have Shelter Belts. Long, straight and beautiful rows of trees planted around the edges of fields and farms ... They break the wind and prevent snow from drifting onto roadways and into Farm yards.

Here on my piece of The Prairie, I have two Shelterbelts of my very own. Both strategically planned for the north and west sides. They provide an incredible habitat for my Deer, Pheasants, Ducks, Geese, Rabbits, Fox, Wood Chucks and Birds galore. I love Shelter Belts ... and I am continually drawn to mine and all of my prairie neighbor's as I roam along with my camera.

And after I pull my photographs up in Photo Shop I am drawn in once again. It was very pretty just as it was last night ... but this is what I want you to see this morning. Have yourself a merry little weekend.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hey Houston, Problem Solved ...

... If it's about your Christmas list. The blue night light in the shot is one of many that I made for JOAN SON's Christmas show and sale this weekend. Joan is an Artist of Origami and her Gallery is behind Anderson Fair at 904 Welch. You can visit and/or shop on Friday 12 - 8, Saturday 10 - 6, and Sunday 12 - 6. Eight Artists are participating in this annual event ... Merry Christmas from all of us.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Mary on Sky Watch Friday ...

From Her perch along the Interstate, somewhere between there and here, Mary watches the World ... and She has Peeps at who are watching too.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Loving Me Some Ice ...

This is my icy Silver Maple Tree from the nippin' weather two weeks ago. Tonight it will be 5 degrees so I'm making my first Ice Pillars to support my Ice Candles. Here on The Prairie, Winter Art is high on the agenda. Last year I barely scratched the surface of creative possibilities ... particularly after discovering that my House Mate has a PHD in Snow Sculpture.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thank Goodness ...

If we give thanks to Goodness we should have it pretty well covered.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Color White ...

While Fall turns to Winter here on The Prairie, I wait for the color White. One might think there isn't much to look at around here, as miles and miles of healthy green fields go to sleep for the Winter, but that's not the case ... and if it's pretty, I will find it. But the color White, I'm talking Snow here, is just so fresh, and so calming.

I returned from my vacation with 1,623 photos after two cuts, and this morning I went looking for the color White. I found plenty and picked my favorite ... this is my Family on the Beach at Marco Island near Naples, Florida. We attended Ron's sister Susan's wedding to Charlie and some of us headed to the Ocean ... it was sunny, it was hot, it was humid, it was everything the Ocean and Beach are supposed to be. And it was White ... I'm a fan.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Day at President Jefferson's ...

It was raining lightly the day Ron and I spent at Thomas Jefferson's Virginia estate. The colors were saturated, just as I like them, and we took a very pretty walk through his beautiful vegetable gardens, along the vast willow lined meadow to the family cemetery, and then disappeared into his forest for the one mile stroll down from Monticello. Vacations are wonderful ... but home is too.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's All Up From Here ...

I love this photograph. I'm putting it in a show I'm in this weekend called Deck The Walls. I took it this summer at Lake Marsh in Hamlin County while in the area to photograph Garfield Church. I have anxiety about selling it ... even though I could print tons of them and paper the walls of my house, barn, and grainery. What's that about ???

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sky Watching At Longwood Gardens ...

I was involved in the pond at my feet as well as the view above me ... and appreciating being married to a Man who lets me take as many photos as my heart desires. See what's happening in our world up above at

Friday, November 5, 2010

Skywatch Friday ...

I am still on the road and the skies are beautiful everywhere I have been. I took this photo at Gettysburg on Wednesday ... it's the monument to the great state of Louisiana. Isn't she gorgeous ? Sculptor, Donald Delue, calls her The “Spirit of the Confederacy” but she is also said to be Saint Barbara, the patron-saint of artillerymen because of the flaming cannonball she is holding in her right hand. See skies around the world, and history as well at

Sunday, October 31, 2010

One Leaf ...

I have been on a road trip ... one that has taken us a bit over 4,ooo miles so far ... and it isn't over yet. We have 32 states in the license plate game and can't go home until we get them all. That's retirement. And if it weren't for the Sugar Wolf, Ruby Thursday, that would be true.

I took this photo on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This One Leaf, that floated gently towards me and brushed the tip of my ear ever so lightly, was a deal maker for my first post in two weeks. This One Leaf represents all there is to say about this trip and about me. It takes a lot of leaves to tell the story of Fall on The Parkway, but this One Leaf is telling you the story of me.

Happy Halloween from Kriss and Dave's in New Jersey. And even though I forgot to pack my Skeleton Ear Rings, this One Leaf has my back.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sky Watch Friday ...

Sunset at Lake Marsh in Hamlin County ... the color of early Fall. Rest up this weekend and look around. The skies are being watched for you at

Monday, October 11, 2010

Seed Is All I Need ...

My life on The Prairie includes frivolous purchases made as a West University/Houston Homemaker and Wife. Frivolous because I bought many things in those days simply because I wanted them.

I'm gathering flower seeds for a Wild Garden this week and blending them on this beautiful platter I bought at Berings, an upscale hardware/gift store that fit right into my fancy life back then. I'm sure I paid way too much for the piece so I'm redeeming myself and doing something with this platter that has nothing to do with dinner in my dark red West U dining room.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Winter Wheat ...

This is what I saw early this morning as I was heading in to town and took the curve in our driveway. The Winter Wheat came up while we were away this weekend. Winter Wheat sprouts before it freezes then goes dormant. It's combined with softer wheat to make the flour that came from here, The Prairie, and ended up right there in your pantry ... I know you'd do the same for me.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom ...

Today is my Mom's 83rd Birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom. You always smile like you mean it. I love that about you. Have an awesome weekend taking care of Kellers On The Prairie while we go to Minnesota camping and to Meander Art Crawl. Sorry I'm taking the cake with me. xoxo.

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Life Story Sky Watch ...

While crouching then lying down in a ditch just west of town to take this photograph, I heard a carload of Ladies slowing down then turning on the road behind me. Seconds later my childhood friend, Shellie, was running towards me and calling my name. I hadn't seen her in a while ... she was my very first Girlfriend ... the one I threatened I would cut all her hair off for one reason or another. You know how it is when you are 6 years old ... hair is everything. She didn't come down into the ditch because she was dressed up for her Niece's wedding shower. But she patiently conversed with me while I tried to capture just the right shot. Thanks, Shellie ... I got it. Skies and stories around the world at

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Oh What A Tangled Web ...

Here on the Prairie we are known for our Spiders ... the reason being I have to clean both them and their webs off of my house several times a year.

Yesterday the heavy morning dew clung to this beautiful web in my Garden. The power and genius behind this architectural masterpiece is a Black and Yellow Garden Spider. Most Spiders have four pair of eyes with one on the top of their heads. Those eyes can all swivel and have telephoto lenses. Spiders can scan then integrate images. They gather at dusk each evening and put on Powerpoint presentations. They are judged on technical and artistic levels, the best in each category being awarded an extra fly at dinner.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hamlin County Sky Watch ...

It can be about what's on this side of the road. It can be about what's on the other side of the road. It can even be about what's on the hill in between. But today it's about the Sky around the World and the People who are watching it for all of us. Sky Watch Friday.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hi Honey, I'm Home ...

I am totally amused by Farm Animals here on The Prairie. When I locate a herd of something I like, I buddy up. These Sheep belong to Van Well Farms just a few miles from here. They know me. They like me.

Columbus brought Sheep to the Colonies on his first return visit. Aside from providing wool, meat and cheese, they have made many outstanding contributions to Science. Remember Dolly, the cloned Ewe? Sheep have horizontal slit shaped pupils that provide peripheral vision up to 320 degrees. They don't have to turn their heads to know you are behind them. I like that.

Their mental process of facial recognition is identical to ours. So go out and hug a Sheep today ... and then to test this theory, hug it again tomorrow.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Goodnight Garden ...

It isn't blooming, but my Garden on The Prairie is still full of life and color. Fallen curly Maple leaves, tiny bright green Sedum, red bark mulch and my favorite stepping stone make a pretty picture prelude to a long Winter's nap. Goodnight, Mittens. Goodnight, Kittens. Goodnight, Moon. And Goodnight, Garden.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Beauty, The Beholders, And The Droid, In Color ...

I've been making Road Trips over to Hamlin County to photograph a beautiful Country Church. Yesterday morning the Boyfriend, Ruby Thursday, and I, took a new route. Boyfriend, a Geologist and Map Man in every sense of the word, is now a high tech hot shot with my Droid's "live" Google mapping system. These are the things we see when we go the back way ... People being themselves, in color, with no need to conform. I love that.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Stepping Away, Stepping Up, and Stepping In ...

This photograph makes my heart hurt. But it makes it beat too.

Wendy, my Sister who passed away unexpectedly four years ago ...Wendy's only child, Catherine, a loving and strong woman who stepped in for her Mother ... Me, before I moved back to The Prairie after 37 years in Houston to step in for Wendy ... And my Mother, Shirley, a very hip Senior who has very likely just stepped into a boat with my brother, Randy, out at The River in Pierre.

These are the Ladies of our Club.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thirty Days Has September ...

We are having an early Fall here on The Prairie. It's been cool. It's been windy. It's been kicks. Unlike many people here, I am one who looks forward to the snow and freezing temperatures. It's not that I am more comfortable. I'm just ready for a change ...

My photographs and I will be at the 2010 Goss Opera House Art Festival on 11 and 12 September. I'll be the one in the clouds ... and the flowers ... and the corn.

Now go see another sky on the other side of the world, perhaps, at Sky Watch Friday.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Once A Church Always A Church ...

I was raised Catholic and I have a deep respect and connection to this religion. I joined the Episcopal Church many years ago ... that's Catholic Light ... one third less guilt. I don't attend services regularly but feel I am one with God and the Universe. So when I see a Church, I stop, I look, and I listen. This is The Old Church Antique Store in Summitt, SD. And although it's doors were physically closed last night ... they were actually wide open.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Sky is Fall ...

I didn't want to admit it. I didn't want to say it. Fall is around the corner and I feel it in my bones. Here it is in my Sky. And on The Prairie we all know what comes after Fall ... Ice Candles !!! Check out the Seasons around the World at

Thursday, August 26, 2010

House Guest ...

I swing way out there some times. I landscape my Out Buildings. I have a ton of City Slicker in me still. Why not put a Delphinium in a cool pot and use it as a Center Piece on the Dining Room Table ? I'm bending a whole lotta rules out here on The Prairie.

Monday, August 23, 2010

One Leaf At A Time ...

Yesterday morning I was watering a few plants on the deck, minding my own business, and having a conversation with myself. I was reviewing summer in my head.

It's been an interesting and productive season. We've had company a few times, family and friends from the South. When we open up our home and life on The Prairie, it's something we take seriously. And as for the summer accomplishments, the two well tended gardens, mostly by Ron, are paying off with gorgeous produce. Yesterday Ron and my Mom put up pickles. Later this week we'll be canning tomatoes ... using the oven and the 275 for 75 minutes technique.

When I saw this lone leaf on my deck it got my attention. It happened to be at the north end where we made snow sculptures last winter. Where the big round wraught iron table sits, that will be moved to the other end for the ice candle assembly line. Next to the steps that will need shoveling. And along the driveway where Arvid will be plowing.

The leaf made me go there. To the other piece of this life called Winter. Where I'll be photographing nature and events that are not even remotely green, in one hell of a winter coat.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Petunias Petunias Petunias ...

This is Highway 81, one of the two that go through Watertown. Each spring my hometown plants Petunias for miles all along both sides of this highway. We have crews that care for them and keep them looking sharp. We take our summers seriously here on the Prairie.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sweet Pea ...

The color of the sky is a little late summerish ... I woke up to a 58 degree morning.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Things I Love ...

Robyn's Garden sits in a field just a few miles west of town. Although I have never met Robyn, she is one cool chick, known for her produce, zinnias, and poppies. Robyn is the wife of Donus D. Roberts, retired Watertown High School English teacher and Debate coach. My hometown knows no degrees of separation.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Sky Was Falling ...

But I was able to catch it and put it back for us. The sky is doing many things around the world ... check it out at Sky Watch Friday.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

holly hocks ...

I've gone out on a limb here on The Prairie and planted an abundant crop of Holly Hocks. The white and pink are just now beginning to bloom ... I love their insides.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Four Of July ...

make Lady Liberty your other mother.

Friday, July 2, 2010

How High The Moon Sky Watch Friday ...

Although I keep up to speed pretty well with the Sky out here on The Prairie, these past few weeks my head has been down in all three of our Gardens. It's good to be reminded that the Earth is always turning and the Moon is always circling. See your neighbor's Skies, all around the world at Sky Watch Friday.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Behold Diane's Garden ...

it's full of texture ... it's also full of potatoes, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers. And where are Diane's weeds ? They're across the road at our place.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Things Are Looking Up ...

Watertown's Main Street is Kemp Avenue ... two lanes that go one way and west. It all started with the renovation of the Goss Opra House. Now it holds a great coffee place with wireless internet, a classy restaurant called Charley's, a place for traveling exhibits and art, and an incredible gift shop. We now have two new trollies that go from the Redlin Museum to Main Street/The Goss, and on to the Watertown Zoo.

The Birch Tree Gallery, where I show my photography, is on Kemp Avenue in Watertown. So I am getting reacquainted with Historic Uptown Watertown, South Dakota. The Mall on Highway 212 was the worst thing that could have happened to Kemp Avenue ... but it's no longer the place to be. Kemp Avenue is where it's at. Now Watertown Confectioners has opened across the street from the Birch Tree Gallery. Look out, Watertown Mall ... your days may be numbered.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Blessed, Yet Again ...

The Watertown Festival of Arts will be held here on Saturday. I am a participant this year, showing for sale, a 20 piece collection of my photography at the Birchtree Gallery. Tomorrow there will be a section of their storefront windows devoted to my Biography, surrounded by additional photographs. The Gallery, owned by Al and Cheryl Wentzell, will represent me.

It started with an invitation from my girlfriends, Abby and Mary, to take a stained glass class. Then I took a mosaic class. Cheryl began following my Blog, and soon after, the Wentzell's and I were talking about my photography. By then I knew that in addition to being stained glass masters, they were both fused glass artists, Al painted, and Cheryl made jewelry.

The Wentzell's took me under their big loving artist wings ... we began working on my show for the Festival, and experimenting with dyenamic infusion, a process whereby photographs are transferred by heat to glass or tile. We are collaborating on some very unique and beautiful ideas right now. Birchtree Gallery/Northern Lights Stained Glass Studio is on Kemp Avenue in the heart of Historic Uptown Watertown. I love having made yet another step in the direction of settling in here. And I am thankful for this opportunity the Wentzell's have given me to share my photographs.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Red White & Blue ...

I always give my attention to a US flag that's flying. It is just so beautiful. But that same flag, draping a soldier's coffin, is the saddest sight I know. Pray for peace.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May Flowers ...

I love the insides of Flowers. I think they are beautiful. They make me happy. And when my eyes move out from the center and on to the petals ... well ... they are beautiful too. The contrast between the inside and the petals is always amazing. As I have said before, God had a great imagination.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Welcome Home ...

While I was away in Colorado the trees in the Shelter Belt leafed out. The Flowering Crab Apple Trees opened up too. They all said they missed me. I believe it.