Laurasjoquist's Blog

arts, crafts, photography, and joy

Mother’s Day Hike

Today we hiked at Devil’s Lake State Park near Baraboo, Wisconsin.  Partly because it was mother’s day and my family knows I like to hike.  But also because I received a new lens for my camera and wanted to try it out.  I am still figuring out the focus, but I took a few decent photos of the family.

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Less than 24 hours to go

There are less than 24 hours to go on my Kickstarter campaign.  I cannot express how amazing it is that so many people responded to my project.  In less than 2 months I’ll be making art in Italy for some very awesome people.  I thoroughly enjoyed my Kickstarter experience and would recommend it to anyone with a project and a plan.

 

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5 Days Left on My Kickstarter Project

Only 5 more days to join my Kickstarter project and receive original fine art made in and maybe even sent from Italy.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1492078961/artist-residency-in-italy-summer-2017?ref=user_menu

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Artist Residency in Italy

I have been accepted to an artist residency in Italy this summer.  I am very excited to be going to Casaprota, Italy outside of Rome in the Sabine Hills area for the month of June.  While I am there I will hike and sketch the local flora and fauna as well as explore Italian folklore.  I will also be painting for an end of residency show.

I have created a Kickstarter project to raise money for art supplies for the trip.  Even a donation as low as $5 receives an original, one of a kind work of art.  Please consider donating today.  Just follow the link below to my Kickstarter project.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1492078961/artist-residency-in-italy-summer-2017?ref=user_menu

 

If you want to find out more about the art association Sabinarti where I will be staying for the month of June, follow this link.

http://www.sabinarti.it/SabinARTi_Associazione_Culturale/sabinARTi.html

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Photos of Paris France

John had to work a few days in Birmingham, UK.  Jack and I flew into Paris and spent those few days looking at monuments, churches, and cemeteries and then took the train to meet John in London.  The last time I went to Paris I was alone and it was February.  It rained most of the days I was there and, while the city was beautiful, it had a general feeling of melancholy.  Going this time with Jack in April was different.  The city felt familiar to me, but the mood was brighter.  To see more photos of Paris go to my flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/laurasjoquist/sets/72157614852117618/ .

The Eiffel Tower

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Arc de Triomphe

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The Louvre and Tuilleries

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Montparnasse Cemetery

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Basilica Sacre Couer

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Notre Dame Cathedral

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Photos at Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

Jack’s favorite part of the trip to Paris was Pere Lachaise Cemetery. Our apartment was only a few blocks away from a “secret” side entrance and so we went there two mornings in a row. It is a place that is sad in the way that all cemeteries are, but also absolutely beautiful in its slow decay. If you’re ever in Paris with children, take them there. They will love all the little pathways and stairways and the wild flowers and broken gravestones.  Too see more photos in Paris go to my Flickr page  https://www.flickr.com/photos/laurasjoquist/sets/72157614852117618/

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Top 10 birds

I thought for fun this year I would also list my top 10 birds for the year. I ended the year with 108 (different) birds, bring my life list total up to 131.

Top 10 Birds of 2013

1.Royal Tern- We saw these in Florida.  They always face into the wind.  And that’s cool.

2.Dark Eyed Junco- I put a feeder in the backyard this year, and (in conjunction with the neighbor’s large pine trees) have been enjoying a cold weather visit from these cute little birds.

3. Bufflehead- Jack and I spent a day in early spring birding at Rock Cut State Park and found buffleheads on the lake.  How can you not like something called a bufflehead?

4. Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher- Of the small birds, these are my favorite.  I spent a pleasant (but short) time watching them make a nest this year.

5. Ruby Crowned Kinglet- I started volunteering this year as a net checker at the bird banding station near our house.  This was the first bird I removed on my own from the net.

6. American Coot-  Funniest.  Bird.  Ever.

7.  Palm Warbler-  I had never even heard of this warbler until I saw one at the bird banding station.  And then I saw them everywhere.  I especially like their little reddish caps.

8. Osprey- I was very excited to see this bird of prey hanging out for a while in Rock Cut State Park

9.Ovenbird- So named because it builds a small kiln shaped nest on the ground.  Also.  Cutest.  Bird.  Ever.

10. And lastly Mountain Bluebird-  We saw these birds on our trip to Colorado this summer. They hung out in our campsite.  They were beautiful.

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50 places to take your kids

My husband, who knows my great desire to get kids outside, showed me an article from Outside magazine, 50 great family adventures.   While I applaud their desire to get families out into nature, these over-the-top $20,000 “dream” vacations, are way out of reach for the average American family.  So, Jack and I got together and came up with our own 50 Great Family Adventures not far from our own back yard.  Most can be done in a day or a weekend.  All are located here in the Upper Midwest, which was (in my opinion) sorely underrepresented in the article.  True, we don’t have mountains or an ocean coast line, but there are still plenty of learning opportunities and places to make lasting memories here.

We will be posting our suggestions on Jack’s blog site.  Which I recently revived.  Follow the link.

Jack’s Penguin Slide

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impossible photo request

The Sierra Club asked for a photo of my favorite public land.  Well, not just me personally,but everybody.  And I thought, just one photo?  Just one favorite place?  Impossible.  I’ve loved every tree in every park on every hike I’ve ever taken.  My heart is full.  Here are a few photos of the many favorite places that reside there.

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winter photos at Starved Rock State Park

A day off from school and perfectly brisk winter weather made it a good day to check out the ice falls at Starved Rock State Park near Utica, Illinois.  We’ve been here in the summer and fall before, but this was our first walk here in the winter.  I think we may have picked the perfect day for it, we spent a happy couple of hours on the trails, and added a brown headed cowbird to this year’s bird list.

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