Thursday, July 31, 2008

purple flowers

This beautiful clematis was left here by the previous owner and persists in blooming every summer despite little attention by the current owners. All we have to do is help it find the trellis each year and it rewards us with deep purple flowers that brighten up our day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

cottage life

One of many big poplar sphinx moths found on the neighbor's light post. We made several trips to view them. By Sunday morning they were gone.

big poplar sphinx moth

Tony and the boys enjoying a paddleboat ride. They also took the canoe out on a turtle-finding expedition.


Following the "Great Frog Races of 2008", Owen helped return the contestants back to the water.

owen holds frog

owen holds frog closeup

This piece of machinery is from some old factory. All of the visiting kids like to climb, sit, and jump off of it.

logan atop monument

Uncle Denny shows Logan how to operate the big Cat. He lifted the scoop and spun the deck around for all to see. Owen's favorite part was when they honked the horn.

logan drives the cat

Monday, July 28, 2008

friday fish fry

No trip to Rhinelander, Wisconsin is complete without a stop to the Al-Gen Supper Club. The all-you-can-eat Friday night fish fry features delicious haddock fried to perfection. This is seriously our favorite fish in the world and the whole family looks forward to our annual visit. The meal also includes cole slaw, potato salad, pasta salad, french fries, potato pancakes, apple sauce, and a bread basket.

No trip to the Al-Gen Supper Club is complete without a stop at the gameroom. Both boys played their first pinball in this little log cabin room. This year we were seated immediately so we had to play games after dinner instead of before.

Two of the classic pinball games available. There is also foosball, and several 1980's era video games such as Donkey Kong, Xaxxon, Burger Time, Track and Field, etc.

Friday, July 25, 2008

a taste of summer

In addition to being extremely crafty, Tracy is a world-class berry picker. She recently spent a Saturday morning picking 50 quarts of fresh strawberries.

strawberry harvest 2008

Some of the berries have been frozen for future use in smoothies, etc. Others have been transformed into three different kinds of jam, one of which is shown here on delicious homemade multi-grain bread.

strawberry jam 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

primary colors

I know, tomorrow, I will have wished that I had packed at least one thing for our weekend road trip, but I couldn't resist. Check out these cool photo effects here (discovered via photojojo). This was a lot of fun! And the clothes will always pack themselves, right?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

a favorite place

Contemplation comes easy while gazing out over the world's largest lake.

gazebo with a view

With over 3000 rose bushes blooming, how does a photographer choose a worthy subject? Ask the boys to pick their favorites.

rose garden beauty

rose garden prize

Each trip to this park begins and ends with a stage show by the boys (shown rehearsing in the wings here).

echo castle

Rocks are carefully selected, based on a criteria known only to each thrower.

rock throwers

rock throwers 2

How can you argue with a destination where the fun is determined only by rocks and water?

Monday, July 21, 2008


Estes Park fireworks as viewed from a field near the historic Stanley Hotel.

fireworks 1

fireworks 4

fireworks 5

Sunday, July 20, 2008

hiking lily mountain

Destination: Lily Mountain
Summit Elevation: 9786 feet
Distance: 3.4 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1006 feet

Logan shows off his new walking stick as Owen hits the trail.

boys hiking up lily mountain

The boys enjoyed looking for the trail markers as we approached the peak.

lily mountain cairn

Successful hikers at the summit.

lily mountain summit

We didn't have reservations but still got a table for four.

lunch on lily mountain

The Lily Mountain trailhead.

lily mountain trailhead

Saturday, July 19, 2008

rocky mountain critters

Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! Actually we didn't see any of those animals but we did see: elk, deer, prairie dogs, marmots, pika, bats, squirrels, chipmunks, trout, pelicans, magpies, osprey, a fox, and countless others I'm probably forgetting.

This elk visited the deck at our condo. If you go to Estes Park, you are guaranteed to see elk. Large populations live in and around the Rocky Mountain National Park and can be seen wandering through town on a daily basis.


A squirrel eating pine cones at Bear lake.

squirrel at bear lake

The trout were spawning at Bear Lake.

trout in bear lake

A chipmunk looking for handouts at Sprague Lake.

sprague lake chipmuck, rmnp

A family of ducks at Sprague Lake.

ducks at sprague lake, rmnp

Friday, July 18, 2008

vacation life

Long's Peak as viewed from our tent. On a previous trip Tracy and I hiked this mountain.

view of longs peak, rmnp from tent

Owen tests the water at the Alluvial Fan in Rocky Mountain National Park.

cool & refreshing

Just another beautiful afternoon hanging out in Moraine Park.

relaxing in moraine park, rmnp

The whole family enjoyed smelling the sweet, vanilla-like scent of the ponderosa pines.

ponderosa pine

Owen devours a smore next to the campfire.

savoring the s'mores

Welcome to Dream Lake. Nothing ends a beautiful hike better than a view like this.

dream lake, rmnp

Thursday, July 17, 2008

colorado on my mind

Owen leads the hike around Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.

owen, hiker extraordinaire

I haven't confirmed this, but it might be illegal to hike around Bear Lake and not stop at this rock for photos. Seriously, everyone takes family portraits on this particular rock.

family photo at bear lake

Surrounded by mountains in Moraine Park, Logan finds a nice place to eat lunch.

lunch in the mountains

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

summer mowing

Plenty of rain + warm summer sun + busy schedules = an overgrown lawn. As always, Logan and Owen pitched in with their matching mowers.

mowing 1

mowing 2

everybody mows

Monday, July 14, 2008

dish washers

Owen has been enjoying playing in the sink lately. The other night the boys surprised us by washing the dishes. Owen washed while Logan inspected and rinsed. At this rate we won't even need to hook up our new dishwasher currently sitting in the garage while we decide how to rebuild our cabinets.

dishwashers 2

dishwashers 1

Saturday, July 12, 2008

young artistry

Owen paints his masterpiece.

young artist 1

young artist 2