Category Archives: Uncategorized

A late spring flood in Upper Peninsula of Michigan

20160711_131830Two weeks ago today  there was what some people called a 1,000 year flood in our region. Keewenaw, Houghton and Baraga counties were drenched with 7 inches of hard and fast rain within a short time on Sunday morning. Joe went to work as usual and besides a detour that took him on a long way to get there, he did not suspect the devastation that happened to some others we know.  That was June 17th 2018.

Agate street is a serious incline sporting a worn thin layer of 80 year old asphalt. It was turned into a primitive ditch as the flood water scalped off the top of it and beared witness to the original ground beneath.

The great deluge pored into the Portage canal. The lower level of a house, perched on the edge, was  flooded and the 12 year old boy sleeping in the basement was buried in the collapse. His father dug him out. He died a day later and one report said that that was the only death in all the wreck of a city. The only  fatality,they said. Only one. It was his son. The only one with that name. That was the only one.

My friend Chuck is a retired  professor from Michigan Tech and lives 500 feet from Agate street. He said it is the worst disaster he has seen since coming to live here. That was 40 years ago. But this was at least the 100 plus year storm. Then some.

Today I rise early and drive Arnheim road. Migrant birds are still singing on the first day of July. Most young are flying. Some probably did not make it through the storm and some probably did. I can hear the voices of the the ones that did and imagine the other ones in heaven.nut hatch

Deer stand within a field of tall yellow flowers. Their heads bob and shake as they tenderly browse the unplowed plot . A farmers’ tractor is alone and quiet in the middle of his half finished job of bundling hay into gigantic rolls.

When it begins to rain I think of the flood again. I stop the car near the dam on Otter lake and leave the windows open so I can listen. The overflow from the dam rushes under the iron grate and for now that is as far as it goes.

July 1st smells sweet and moist. I drive on and backtrack on my path as I head home.

Those are my thoughts today, two weeks after the flood.





revisit spring in the Pictured Rocks

Recently, Joe and I had a short vacation away from the cottage and the rich everyday life we have here. For many years I have camped the Picture Rocks area in Upper Michigan and this season we both wanted to be there when the trilliams were blooming.DSC_6445This trail is a very accessible stop on ( the now paved)H58 road. You walk 50 feet from your car and are shortly standing in the midst of thousands of blooming trilliam. Rotating myself 360, I take in the scene around me, under the canopy of a deciduous forest unchanged for decades. The vegetation is alive with many other wildflowers and being here tingles my deepest sense of awe. Go there, if you ever can.DSC_6448DSC_6446DSC_6464The trail is part of the North Country Trail and you can hop off for a little climb to a spectacular view of Lake Superior and the dunes between.DSC_6461DSC_6460It is one of those places where I feel that it would be wonderful for everyone to have this experience and I am grateful to have my loving husband there to enjoy this moment.

We go on with our travel and I will leave a few more of the memories with you that we made along the way.

Swan, grazing the shoreline of a pond.DSC_6439Millions of dragonflies surround our car and hang from pine trees nearby.DSC_6435The season of spring continues it eruption and there seems to be an endless body of creation everywhere we wander.

Coming home was terrific, of course. The spring has its way with all things new and the dandelion population in our yard is yet another proof of the abundance theory.

Thanks for finding and reading my blog.

May this season find you at peace.


Winters’ other season

zzfalls 037February 14 th is a day celebrating love and if I look around at the world outside there are a many signs of it.  Love that is.  A little past the middle of winter now, things feel lifted to another season.  Eagle pairs are flying next to each other across the bay and they look serious about staying together.

Deer are grazing the pellets we offer them under the bird feeder.  The winter has been light on them and no ribs are showing under their thick blossom of 001Opps! A little bird seed for desert.

Just keeping in touch with who art out there.




Summer …and then some

DSC_5755Counting down (I realize) to the equinox. We spend some late summer evenings, when Joe gets home from the job, watching geese take off in small groups and head south. The marina is dotted with migrants…this week there have been a few black belly plovers hanging around. The black belly has been traded in on winter plumage.DSC_5855The subtle changes can be felt in the wind. The way the sun takes a different angle on things…clouds that bunch up like wades of cotton and of course the color.DSC_5845Quite a bit of the time lately I am fixing things, making things, harvesting things, resting…and then resting again…then doing more things. Been busy. One morning I noticed there were no birds at the feeder. Then I saw that a sunflower plant was swinging wildly from the weight of several gold finches who were feasting on the ripening seeds. I gave up some of my busy work for a while and sketched the happening. No birds seed expenses that morning.

DSC_5800DSC_5801A then some other things happened…while I took some more time to rest.DSC_5841DSC_5840A season is always here. Then some things change and it’s another season right while you are looking.

Thanks for reading this and welcome back to my blog. I hope you have a great time watching the season change and taking time to rest in the presence of it.



So busy with growing things inside this winter and spring too. The table I use for sewing, etc. has been occupied all the while with 30 some tomato plants. The spring season has been long and cool and wet. Perfect for preparing the earth for a growing fiesta.

I just want to share a few photos to keep in touch with anyone who is ready my blog. It has not been all about staying inside and waiting for rain to stop and reading.DSC_5513  DSC_5496 DSC_5498DSC_5511DSC_5475Okay, well the last one is because my best friends pets have come to stay for a while until she recovers from surgery.

It has been the highlight of the season…remembering the joys of  having animals in the house and loving what that does for the soul.

Thanks for coming and enjoy a great rest of the spring season.

In Like a Lion

So, last week we had rain and the paths in our yard got down to the rocks and gravel. There was a flood over the path that leads to my gallery but that is okay because the closed sign has not been turned around to “open” yet this year.

I have not made an entry here for a while so I really thought it was time to touch base again with my blog. Not that I have many readers, its just that some of my friends do come here from time to time and I wanted to let them see that I’m here.

I have a facebook page now and that is where I became focused on keeping in touch with friends however, I am not completely satisfied with the Click and Post way of communicating.  (I am sort of long winded at times)So, here I am…

Winter is fading but today, it is alive and well and the lion of late winter is here.Actually a cozy feeling, to stay in, or to go bundled up like its Christmas…into the blizzard and wrap your head around it. Cause, its going to be gone soon.  And you know you gonna miss it…(smile).DSC_4044

Then there will be nothing but spring to look forward to with all those flowers and things.camp2012 002Other Cosmosand then there’s the babiesDSC_4368There will be no end to the new beginnings…DSC_4724 DSC_4460Life will be good…no that’s not right…life IS good.

The lamb is on its way. The circle is endless. A snow blizzard is just another way to get to the next place.392Talk to you next time.  I am busy germinating seeds and finding places to put all the growing things that are popping up under the “grow light”.


June 24th and 25th Summer Event

DSC_4199Featuring my new market bags with fun and colorful images from original sketches.
A sturdy tote all with many uses. I’ll have some at Kathys gig.

Framed by Kathy has been a business which has been very good to me as an artist and Kathy is a wonderful person! Simple as that.

This year she celebrates her 20th year in business and is inviting some local artists to honor the occasion with setting up their displays at her store in downtown Houghton, Michigan.

I am one of the lucky ones.  Be there…June 24th and 25th at the Market Place Mall.

I’ll be there with energy!





Here are a couple of events I will be at this spring.
North Star Garden Club 10th Annual Conference
April 16, 2016
Florence, WI
Florence High School

No favorite season

“There is no season such delight can bring as summer,autumn, winter and the spring.”…William Browne wrote of the seasons, back somewhere in the 17th century.

I just finished reading(rereading) the Wandering through Winter by the prolific nature writer Edwin Teale  He and his wife Nellie traveled over 20,000 miles in two decades recording their journey in the American seasons.  The revisiting of these nature journals made into Pulitzer  prize winning books that captured the majesty Americas’ natural history, has become sort of tradition with me.

Sometimes I surf the net, comparing places then and now.  One thing for sure, my own love to wander in nature was again finding Joe and I on our own late winter journey, connecting the dots to spring.

We have a short term goal of circumnavigating(by car) the coastline of Lake Superior and so a few weeks ago we set out west toward Duluth,MN and traveled up the North Shore of the big Lake.trip 032Split Rock Lighthouse…and the abundance of Birch trees, waterfalls and spectacular views are abundant and nowhere few.

trip 049From Grand Marais we ventured on Gun Flint trail and there discovered ourselves in the midst of the jack pine forest that burned in 2007 affecting  thousands of acres. trip 059trip 053Representing the resilience of life.

Gray jays were so friendly they landed on top our vehicle. trip 048and eagles were unknowingly cooperative.

trip 019From some turnouts the views nudged the heart to imagine the  infinity of Americas natural beauty.

trip 014 And then there was Canada…a border invented by humans cannot separate the natural world from itself.

We turned around in Thunder Bay, marking our spot there on Northern Lake Superior as the place we would connect with when we come from the east this year to complete the circle tour of Superior.

trip 004We followed our wanderlusting back down the center of Minnesota and returned  home by way of Wisconsin to Michigan.  trip 034And I will agree with With William Brown when, in his prose he cannot seem to name a favorite season.  The next one reveals itself to us in each new bird song, in the  bulging maple leaf buds and in the puddle of a melting of a snowman that will turn the earth green again.

On to the next, but not favorite season!

Another kind of discipline

I admire the kind of discipline which many artists seem to have in their lives…and I often criticize myself for lacking that particular brand of it.  This is not a good thing to do to yourself …and I know this in my  heart.  It would be better to recognize my brand of order and admire myself for the what does get accomplished.

Spontaneity plays a large part in the process of doing my art and this can be chaotic until the mood settles and the work begins.  The product(s) is usually good, within the process.  However, this does not always work in every situation.

For instance…some horrific gales on Lake Superior caused a “small fleet” (3)  of freighters to hide behind  my cottage on Keweenaw Bay last week.  Joe(husband) took some great photos to capture the scene and I thought I would draw something again…in the near future.

038I really thought I would do the sketch from photos, when I was in the mood…but then the ships stayed there.  One of them was in my face as I looked out the picture windows.  I thought it would leave that evening but in the morning…there it was, a perfect frame job.  Now  I was under pressure. The ” being in the mood” method of creativity was not working.  Well, because the ship was there…NOW… and I wasn’t in the mood NOW.

Slowly as I kept watching the beauty of the scene in front of me, that kind of discipline, which I accuse myself of lacking, crept into the moment.  I was overwhelmed by the collage of feelings brought on by  seeing the ship take refuge and by thoughts of what life was like for the  sailors on board.  Christmas was coming and would they  be home in time…or at all?   Discipline kept sneaking in while I was fascinated with these thoughts.

I began to pick up the crayons and draw. Several hours later…as I was looking through the telescope for detail of the stern…the ship raised its anchor!   I realized I needed to finish!

ship 003That’ s how I found myself in the mood.  I like to draw as I watch things happen.  So, some kind of discipline needs to be applied.  I’ll worry about the product (or not) later on.

for now, Diana