Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The New Year Begins

Christmas in Ripon came early, on the Monday preceding the holiday because daughter and son, Leah and Cary both returned home.  

 As the preceding photograph and the smaller one to the left indicate, all family members now sport Oskar Blues sweatshirts from the award-wining brewery in Colorado at which Cary presently works.

Cary left for Colorado Tuesday morning, and the next day, Linda and I took off in the car for Sarasota on an unplanned trip to help mother-in-law sort things at her house for an upcoming move to Eugene, OR. 

I spent a lot of two days on the lanai reading my books and writing post cards, for the temperature topped 70 twice before cold wet drove me inside.

On one of my many trips to Goodwill, I photographed White Ibis and a pair of Sandhill Cranes--the one pictured below walked slowly across the street, stopping traffic.

In addition to the cranes and ibises, I also came across the Armadillo pictured on the right.

These creatures do not have the brightest bulbs in the animal kingdom, but their strange ugliness possesses a certain appeal.

We returned to Ripon after a two-day drive--and for the first time in twenty-five years, no traffic jams in Chicago--with all manner of "loot" from Linda's mother's house.  The living room looked as though presents await wrapping.
For some fresh air and a change of page, Linda and I drove to Horicon Marsh, a favorite place for biking and for walking--and for taking photographs of birds and especially wild flowers.

As the photograph on the right indicates, a marsh looks rather desolate during a winter snow. 

We also went to the marsh's headquarters building to see an exhibition by Rafael Francisco Salas, an art professor and colleague of my wife's at Ripon College.

Well, the New Year begins, and soon enough Peru State College events will fill the pages here.  Thanks to a gift from Santa in Peru,
my yard now sports the new home pictured here:

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