Friday, December 29, 2006

A New Iron

My old iron died. Didn't get hot. Well, it never actually got hot, but now it wasn't even getting warm. It was doing a fine imitation of a paper weight. As luck would have it, the January issue of Threads magazine ran an article on irons and it convinced me that I needed to pay some major bucks for an iron that would do more than touch up collars and wristbands. The article talks about "heavy soleplates, narrow shapes, superior temerature dials and thermostats, and almost limitless steam capacity."

Armed with a 20% off coupon from Bed Bath and Beyond, I headed to the store. I chose the Rowenta Advancer. It's pricier than any other iron I've ever had but after using it for only half an hour I was convinced that it's worth it. With my old iron I had to work and work to get the wrinkles out of fabric that had been stuffed into boxes. Even spraying it with water and using steam, the results were never very good. The wrinkles still showed.

But with one swipe of this quite heavy iron with bunches of steam, the wrinkles are gone. Excellent!

Isn't it impressive? It has LED lights to indicate that it's warming up, cooling down, turning itself off, and ready to iron. After reading the manual (I always read the manual) I had to find a more powerful extension cord. This iron would likely overheat the cheap extension cord I had. And under Important Safety Instructions I learned that I should not direct steam at people or animals. And most importantly, I should not iron clothes while they are being worn. I wonder what bozo tried that. Rowenta probably got sued because somebody tried it and then claimed that it never said not to.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


It's been a long time, nearly a month since I posted. Time has surely slipped away but everybody knows what December is like. Thank heavens Christmas is over and I can go back to my regularly scheduled life.

So in amongst the Christmas cards, the shopping, the traveling, the baking, the shopping, the wrapping, and the general all around chaos, I have also been doing art. This first piece is what went on top of the background with the flung paint (I think I posted it sometime back in November, or maybe October...) It's called Sun Dance and measures about 50x50.

I really liked the process of making the background on Sun Dance and so did it again with reds. But on this piece I tried quilting the entire background in a small grid before adding the foreground pieces. I didn't do that on the first one and it made the quilting a little tricky.

So on this one I quilted the grid then showed it to friends for input. They all thought it was finished at that point. I thought about that for a while and disagreed. So I painted silk organza, layered on top, then quilted it in a larger grid pattern, then cut out in between some of the grid. Then added some more yellow and orange silk squares for interest. Now it's finished. This is called Downtown and measures about 43x50.

Here are details of both pieces.

In other news I received my copy of the Journal Quilt Project edited by Karen Bresenhan. My journal July is on page 213. I was very excited to see that it was given a full page treatment. You can buy one for your very own from Amazon.

And my first New Year's Resolution: to not let so much time pass between postings.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Upcoming Exhibits

For the coming month and into January I have two exhibits, both invitational. The first is fairly local, at the Carroll County Arts Center, Westminster, Maryland. Entitled Not Quite Quilts, it is a survey of different styles of quilts from traditional to art quilts. There will be quilts by 8 different people. The show runs from December 7 through February 3 and the opening reception is Friday December 8 from 5-7pm. There is also a showing of the movie "How to Make an American Quilt".

These are the pieces on exhibit:

High Noon
25" x 15.5"

On the Edges
37" x 23"

The Ides of March
23" x 46"

The second show came about because the gallery owner was surfing the Internet and came up on my web page. (SCENE) Metrospace Gallery in East Lansing, Michigan, an alternative art gallery. Here is more information:

410 Abbott Road, East Lansing, MI
Opening Friday, December 8, 2006
through Sunday, January 7, 2007
Wednesday through Friday afternoons from 1-4p.m.
Friday evenings from 6-9 p.m., Saturdays from 6-9 p.m.,
Sundays from 1-4 p.m. during scheduled exhibits

Their web page is pretty sparce but their shows have been written up in the local news. I will have four pieces in this show.

Ventanas I
12 3/4" x 10"

Ventanas IV
13" x 10"

Ventanas V
12" x 9"

Ventanas: Reflections
52" x 18"

In other news I received 100 meters of bleached mercerized cotton broadcloth from Testfabrics yesterday. It's 60" wide and weighs a ton. Luckily it only comes from Pennsylvania so I'm not paying an arm and a leg for shipping. Just an arm. It's interesting that they measure the width in inches but the length in meters....

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Book Reviews

I purchased two new surface design books and after reading them thought I would share some information. The first one is Holly Brackman's new book The Surface Designer's Handbook .
The subtitle of this book is Dyeing, Printing, Painting, and Creating Resists on Fabric. This is really an excellent book with tons of information. She covers fiber reactive dyes, vat dyes, disperse dyes, and acid dyes. There are chapters on discharging and devore. Other surface design techniques include screen printing, monoprinting, stamping, stenciling, resists, embellishments, and textile paints. This book is a primer for those just beginning who want to get a detailed overview of what's available and yet still has loads of information for those who are more experienced.

The second book is Carolyn Dahl's Transforming Fabric, another book on surface design. The subtitle here is 30 Creativae Ways to Paint, Dye, and Pattern Cloth and she delivers what she has promised. Some of the techniques are leaf printing, sponge and foam printing, resist dyeing, heat transfer dyes, hand cut stamps, wax resists, and silk painting. This book is less technical than Brackman's book, that is, her directions are not quite as specific and the reader has to be willing to try it out without worrying about the precise steps involved. Great for the adventurous and there is enough information for the beginner to get goin.

I can't recommend that one is better than the other but together there is enough information to keep the surface designer busy for a long time.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Diversion

I've been remiss in posting here. Lots of stuff has happened and I've thought about posting it. Lots of good intentions but little action. I got two books from Amazon and they're both very good; more about them in a later post. The Patrons Preview Party went well and I sold a small piece. My quilts were spread out onto tables instead of being hung up on the wall and it was an invitation to everybody to lay their hands on them. Next year I will specify that my work must be hung, just like the paintings.

This past weekend I went on a retreat with my local guild. Two days of nothing but sewing. They serve us our (edible but plain) meals and the accommodations are about 2 levels above spartan, but it's lots of fun to be with friends and see what everybody is doing. I owed a baby quilt to my great niece who was born last spring and I was determined to get it done. I finished all but stitching the binding down and I would have managed that also except I didn't plan well and had to do it by hand.

I love these bright colors! It's all commercial fabrics and I just grabbed pieces from the fabric annex more or less randomly. Cut them into 1 1/2" strips and tried to have no duplicated fabrics in a block. I'm thinking about doing something along the same lines for own bed, but it would require 144 blocks instead of just 36. Hmmm...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Beautiful Fall Day

It's mid November and it's warm enough to go outside without a jacket. These days are getting rarer so they have to be appreciated. We had a killing frost last week so I've pulled out all the icky impatiens remains and tossed them into the compost bin. They remind me of cold wet lettuce, another thing I hate to touch. The maple and the chinese elm in my backyard are in glorious color, but it won't last long. The sky is a perfect blue and it all just calls out for picture taking.

In a few days these trees will have lost all their leaves and the winter blues will be just around the corner.

On the up side I just got some bolts of silk, tjaps, an electric tjanting, and some dye from Dharma; I'm waiting for some books from Amazon; I'm going to order some PFD from Testfabrics; and I got a new laptop. Lots of new toys to keep me busy.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Frequently we talk about professionalism in the art quilt world. Many of us are hampered by our backgrounds. What I mean is that we have come to this place through the quilt world and not through the art world, and there is a distinct lack of knowledge about what the art world is and how it functions. The learning process is difficult and painful and not always very nice. We want things to be nice and ladylike and that's not going to be the case. If we stick to exhibiting in quilt shows, we haven't any right to complain that the greater art world isn't accepting fiber with open arms.

I read an article in yesterday's New York Times about the difficulty that foreign athletes have in obtaining visas to the US in order to compete here. Yesterday was the New York Marathon and since there are big money prizes, it attracts athletes from all over the world. But since 9/11, those who need visas are subjected to much more scrutiny, and the process has gone from taking only a few days to six months or longer. Quite a few have missed the opportunity to run because of not getting their applications in in a timely fashion. A quote from the from Mary Wittenberg, the race director: "If you’re a serious athlete, you’ve got a lot to take seriously." That applies to us directly: if we're going to be serious artists, then we have a lot to take seriously.

On Thursday I am delivering six pieces to an exhibit that benefits the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. This is going to be quite an extravagant event. There will be 500 pieces of art for sale. On the postcard is a list of the exhibiting artists and among those names I found Sol LeWitt, Henri Matisse, Robert Rauschenberg, and Joyce Scott. And moi. So it really runs the gamut, and I'm thrilled to be included in this event. The patrons' preview party and silent auction on Fridayis only open to those who are willing to pay $500/couple for the opportunity to attend. As a participating artist, I get a complimentary ticket to this event, and in my efforts to be a serious artist, I think that I should be there. I am not the least bit comfortable in a crowd where I don't know anybody and have to make small talk, but this is an opportunity that I shouldn't let pass me by.

And they used an image of one of my pieces (albeit lopped off on one edge) on their web site.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Art Quilt Reviews

Joanie San Chirico has posted a review of the Fiber Revolution show at the Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey. Instead of what we often get that passes as "reviews" of art quilt shows, Joanie has chosen to critique the work as art. She has written about what works and what doesn't work, and doesn't sugarcoat it.

Too often reviews are more like rah-rah sessions. It can be difficult to say anything critical because the reviewer may know the exhibitors personally. The problem is if we don't hear about what needs improvement, how can we improve it?

Anyhow, there is a lively discussion going on. Art Quilt Reviews and also on Lisa Call's blog.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Flinging paint

I've been working on a piece, as yet untitled. This is one of the problems of not naming things in series ie Whatever #1, Whatever #2, etc. I tried that once and after I got to #3 I couldn't keep them straight in my head anymore. Each piece is distinct and needs its own name, and so I will continue to struggle with names of pieces. But I digress.

This latest piece started with a background of blue and blue-green fabrics stitched together. I wanted to unify them even more and thought I would try something inspired by one of Robert Genn's Twice Weekly Essays entitled "Saving a Painting". All the tips related to painting, and I particularly like the one that says "Obscufate incompetence with a scumble." This just sounds funny to me since I don't know what 'scumble' is and am too lazy to look it up. Anyhow, I thought I would try "unify by glazing a mother color", more or less. I wanted to fling paint at the piece and first had to solve the problem of containing the paint that doesn't land on the fabric.

I finally hung an old shower curtain down in the basement and attached the background fabric on top of that so that there was something around the edges. Dipped my paintbrush in blue paint and just flung away, ala Jackson Pollock. Then did the same with green paint.

I like this very much, and the paint spatters that ended up on the floor and ceiling and overhead lights just add to the art studio ambience of my basement. I'm up to the quilting stage on this, and with the amount of intensive stitching that I'm doing, it's taking a fair amount of time. Audio books downloaded to my MP3 player help to occupy my brain.

Lately it seems that the bookkeeping part of art has occupied more of my time than the art part of art. I completed calls for two public art projects, and have two more awaiting my attention. It seems that everybody wants digital images these days, which is great, except that everybody want them in different sizes. There are also a couple of shows I want to enter but juggling what will be available is tough. I have three shows coming up, both with the possibility of sales (probably remote possibilities, but...) and I don't like entering something into a show when it just might get sold beforehand. I need to make more work.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Fabric Annex

Several years ago, about four I think, I decided that I would use only fabrics that I had dyed, painted, or otherwise made marks on in my quilts. I would put aside my commercial fabrics. I boxed them up and stored them in a spare bedroom. I had about 15 file boxes worth of fabric. They came in useful as backs and for baby quilts and other non-art projects. After a few years of pulling fabric out they still took up too much room, so I went through each box and pulled out all the smaller sized scraps and gave them to Martha to give to her sister, who taught third grade. Except it seems that Martha culled some of them for herself first (but that's her story to tell)...

So now I'm down to about 10 boxes of fabric, not a very substantial reduction. And then we decided to turn that spare bedroom into a space for grandchildren to sleep over and the boxes had to go. Well, I couldn't just totally get rid of them, so I moved them up into the attic. However, our attic is 99% occupied by my husband's train layout. This is no ordinary train layout; it's the equivalent of a 40 room mansion compared with your basic 3 bedroom tract house. Anyhow, there wasn't much extra space up there - except there is this little cubby hole that's tucked in under the eaves and has enough space to store my boxes.

Getting to the space requires a flashlight and kneedpads because (a) there isn't a light and (b) I have to crawl under the desk and around the pipes.

Here's the view from the "door", which is less than 3 feet high. The reason I'm up here is that I need fabric for the back of my current quilt. The box with purple fabric is the easiest to access so I pull out some fat quarter sized pieces.

Jumbled up on the table, they need to be ironed and spread out.

I pin them up on the wall over top the quilt to make sure I have enough backing.

And then sew them together. Not particularly attractive, but it works for a back. I could use fabric that I've dyed, but it's a very dense broadcloth, and what with all the layers of fabric, it can get very heavy and a pain to sew through. Particularly if I want to do any hand stitching with big threads. It's hard enough with thick thread, big needles, and tightly woven fabric; don't need to make it more difficult by adding another layer of tough fabric.

Tomorrow I'm picking up the quilts from my show, Wednesday I'm giving a lecture to a guild in Bethesda, Thursday I'm flying to Chicago for the weekend. I think I'll take the pizza suitcase.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Oh well....

The notification emails for Quilt National went out last Sunday. I searched my Inbox, then I searched all my Junk and Spam mail folders, but I didn't get one. Sigh. So it's back to the regular old routine. Congratulations to all those who were accepted!

But the news isn't all bad: I have a second sale from my show, and the promise of a commission. This news cheers me up immensely and I'm pretty much over the QN disappointment. And since the piece I worked on practically up to the deadline doesn't need to be kept secret, here it is:

And a detail:

I've also uploaded it to my web page, along with the piece I did for Purdue University. Check it out here

I've been knitting also, but after doing blocks in both the colors, I think I should have dyed a 3rd skein in the blues and only 1 skein in the oranges. It's going to be an interesting sweater.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Diversion

I've been sucked in by knitting. On Mrs. Mel's blog she showed some pictures of colorful mitered squares that she knitted. It's modular knitting with squares of different sizes. Given my current overlapping squares style of composition, this immediately caught my attention. But wow! the cost of yarn is amazing; even more so for hand dyed yarn. So why not dye my own? How hard can it be; I already know how to dye fabric and I've done pearl cotton threads. It's just bigger threads, right?

I ordered 4 skeins of cotton yard from Dharma. I've ordered so much from them lately that I had to tell them not to send me another catalog - I already have 3 of Fall/Winter 2006. It arrived yesterday and last night I prepared the dyebaths. I want variegated yarn, so 2 of the skeins are red/yellow/orange and 2 are blue/purple/green. Except I think one of my jars of blue dye has lost its oomph. That sort of olivey green was supposed to be teal. It sure looked like teal going onto the yarn, but it sure doesn't look like it now. I guess dye powder does have a shelf life; this blue is 6 years old. The part that does look teal is really green.

I discovered several differences between fabric dyeing and yarn dyeing. You have to be very careful not to tangle the skeins which means you can't rely on the washing machine to do the rinsing. A major inconvenience, for sure. And for the same reason, I can't throw them into the dryer to dry. The humidity here currently is 70% so this drying out could take a while. I'm going to have to put a fan on them or else they will mold before they dry.

I soaked the yarn in soda ash first and it was difficult to get it wet. It epelled the water and it took some persuasion. And since I wanted to dye each skein with 4 colors they had to be laid out so that the colors didn't migrate into each other. I spread the skeins out on a melamine board, surrounded the edge with towels, and commenced to squirt. I missed a few spots, either with the dye or with the soda ash, but I'm not going to redo it. It will just be a design decision.

Stay tuned for further progress reports on the sweater...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The die is cast

Last week I scurried around to complete my entry to Quilt National. I've entered QN at least 5 times and so far have not made the cut. In the past I've been much better prepared and didn't have to send my entry at the last minute. Not this time. I put the finishing touches on the 3rd entry last Monday and photographed it. QN seems to be a holdout in the digital world because it is only accepting slide entries. Took my slides to the local processing lab in downtown Baltimore to drop them off and discovered that they no longer have the 4 hour turnaround that they had in the past. The slides wouldn't be back until Friday.

Well, Friday still gave me enough time if I sent the entries FedEx 2 day delivery. The only problem was that on Friday I was leaving town for a weekend sewing retreat and didn't want to hang around until the end of the day. Luckily I was able to pick them up by 1pm. I had my entry all prepared: forms filled out, other slides labeled, check, return SASE, and the FedEx envelope and label prepared. I even had enough forethought to figure out where the nearest dropoff spot would be and it was less than 1 mile away from the lab.

And even though I designated 2 day delivery so that it would arrive today, the receive by deadline, it was delivered yesterday. And so I throw in my lot with the other 1800 or so entries. They said you could include an early notification postcard, which they send if you don't get in. In the past few years the news of who has been accepted has been out long before I ever received my postcard, so this year I didn't bother. The grapevine is alive and well, and working far better than the USPS.

And also, so as not to tempt the evil goddesses, I'm not posting a picture of any of what I entered.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My show

My show Seeing is Believing: Glass and Fiber opened last Sunday at VisArts in Gaithersburg, MD. The opening was well attended and many favorable comments were made. I had 13 pieces displayed and the 3 glass artists had about as many. The contrast between the two media made for a very interesting display: color vs neutral, soft vs hard. It was a very well put together show, imho.

I forgot my camera at the opening but went back yesterday and got some shots.

This next piece is the first one visible as you entered the room. It is nicely enhanced by a little red dot. The show continues through October 6. If you are in the Washington, DC area, drive on out to visit. VisArts is located at 9300 Gaither Rd, off the Shady Grove Exit of I-270.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Changing the World - European Edition

Changing the World - European Edition opens next week at the Val d'Argent Expo, Ste Marie aux Mines, Haut-Rhin, France. The show runs from September 14-17. Above is the cover to the catalog produced by Thelma Smith, the curator of Changing the World. It is available for $12 through this link Congratulations and thanks to Thelma for all her hard work in putting this exhibit together and taking it to France.

My quilt "Grid City" is a part of this exhibit.

This is a whole cloth quilt that was dye painted and stamped. Small squares of colored organza were overlaid for the transparency effect. The size is 29" L x 19" W.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Upcoming Show

Next Sunday, September 10, my show at VisArts opens. This is the postcard for the show. The other 3 artists work in glass. I will have 13 pieces hanging, some new and some several years old. If you are in the Washington, DC area between September 10 and October 6, please visit!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Web Cams

Web cams are great - you can see what's happening someplace else live. There is a webcam that shows Old Faithful; it was out of service while they were remodeling the Visitor Center. The Center was reopened last week and now the web cam is back in service. The picture updates every 20 seconds and operates 24 hours, except of course that you can only actually see stuff during daylight hours.

These are some pictures from today:

Old Faithful at first light. It's so much easier to see the sunrise at Old Faithful from the East Coast where we're two hours ahead.

First eruption of the day occurred at 6:15am. There's nobody there to watch it. During the middle of the day those benches are full of people.

The sun is high enough to cast some light on the geyser basin. I would like to figure out a way to use these real time webcam pictures as my computer wallpaper.

On an art note - the piece on which I am currently working met with disaster when I tried to take it off the design wall. Hundreds of little pieces of fabric were pinned to a lightweight base but not securely enough and they all ended up on the floor. WonderUnder is the solution and I now have a large piece of padded ironing board cover on the design wall, with wonder under pinned onto that and will now re-pin all the fabrics. I hope it works. If it doesn't, I will know that this piece was destined not to be.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bits of stuff

I just got Nancy Crow's newest book in the mail. It's pretty spectacular - pictures of her work and journal entries that accompany the pieces. I find it so interesting to see how people work - each person has worked out her own process (hopefully one that works pretty well) and tailored it to fit her work. Here is the link to Amazon if you would like to check it out.

There is a new blog for art quilt reviews. The intent is to present an objective view of both the good and bad points of art quilt shows. Too often we all work at being too nice and don't want to say anything negative. That's a counterproductive attitude because how are we ever going to improve if we don't look at ourselves honestly? Check it out: Art Quilt Reviews

And lastly - the Purdue commission is finished, packed, and shipped. I talk about this piece in some of my May postings: Where does the time go? I'm not ready to post an image yet because I want the Purdue people to see it before it's put on display here and on my web page. In a week or so I'll put it up.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Travelogue - Grand Teton National Park

The second part of our week was spent at Grand Teton National Park. We stayed at the Signal Mountain Lodge in a lake front cabin with a view of the Tetons right off the front porch. Such a hardship!
The morning after we arrive the photographers in the group head out to Schwabacher Landing for sunrise shots. It's amazing how much difference there is in the temperature between sunrise and the middle of the day. We are wearing many layers, hats, and gloves and there is frost on some of the plants. By the middle of the day we will be in t-shirts and shorts and looking for shade. Although, compared to the heat wave we left at home, we weren't complaining.

Anyhow, here you see the mountains catching the first rays of the sun.

On the way back to the cabin we pass a herd of bison behind a fence. They must belong to somebody - I can't imagine that they would choose to be captive. While we were there a tour bus pulled up and disgorged. I thought that the picture of the herd of people was way more interesting than the herd of bison.

There is a wonderful hike around the southern part of Jenny Lake, about 2 miles through the woods. Another hiker told us that he saw moose down by a pond, so we took a detour to look for them. After a while it was apparent that the moose had left and since we weren't sure where this detour path ended up, we retraced our steps back to the main path and continued around the lake. At the end of the hike it is possible to take a boat back to the trailhead and by the time we were getting close, the little kids were wearing out. Imagine our dismay when we got to the bridge and discovered that it was under repair and we needed to detour half a mile to another bridge that was up a steep incline. The smaller children had to be carried at that point. We finally made it to the boat landing and while waiting in line heard that a bear had been sighted not far up the path eating berries. We had been hoping to see a bear, and were disappointed that we missed it.

Next morning it's off to the Snake River Overlook for more sunrise shots. The sun was obscured by clouds so there wasn't much color, but a lousy sunrise in the Tetons is still pretty darn good.

This was the sunrise looking into the sun.

Returning to the cabin we again passed the herd of bison except somehow a gap had opened in the fence and they were all leaving so they could cross the road. Looking into the sun makes for an interesting picture. Too bad that fence is there.You can almost hear them saying "And what are you looking at?"

Near the Signal Mountain Lodge is an excellent moose watching area. Here is Momma Moose.
And here is Baby Moose. I'm using a telephoto lens and am nowhere near as close as it seems. It is a very bad idea to get too close to a baby moose when momma is nearby.

And not far away is Daddy, at least I think he's the Daddy. He's pretty well hidden in the willow bushes. You can see that the velvet is still on his antlers.

Off in the distance is the smoke from a forest fire in the Teton National Forest. This is the view from the top of Signal Mountain. Part of our group had seen a grizzly bear the previous night from this vantage point so we were hoping he would return. No luck.

The trip home was not so much fun. We flew from Jackson to Dallas where a 3 hour layover turned into a 5 hour layover because of lightening. We finally arrived home around 1:30am East Coast time. Or maybe it was 2:30am, I think I was nearly unconscious by that time. It was good to be home in my own bed.

Today I received the 5 yards of silk dupion I ordered from Dharma and spent the afternoon dyeing it. Will post pictures soon.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Travelogue - Yellowstone National Park

I just returned from a week's vacation at Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. If you have never been there, I highly recommend a visit. These are just some of the pictures I took.
This is Old Faithful Geyser at dawn. It isn't erupting at the moment, but the ever-present steam is drifting with the wind. Old Faithful erupts approximately every 92 minutes and is quite spectacular with the shooting water and the whooshing sounds.

This is an eruption; the stream can go as high as 180 ft, although this one was not that high. Still pretty cool to watch.

This is the site of another geyser - Grand - which is the tallest predictable geyser in the world. It goes 200 feet in the air and often erupts simultaneously with 2 other geysers in the same area. It erupts about once every 13 hours, but there is plus or minus 90 minutes for each predition. We sat on the benches waiting for 2 hours during the window of 5:30 to 8:30pm. Most of my group left but I stuck it out until 9pm, by which time it was way too dark to take any pictures. And it was getting quite cold, so I left. Grand finally went off at 9:15pm.

I took this picture of the sunset while waiting for Grand.

This is my husband and grandson walking on the boardwalk. Aren't they cute?

These are the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.

This is the Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest spring in the Park. These colors are not exaggerated - they are truly this spectacular. The temperature range of this water is between 147 and 188 degrees Farenheit and the different temperatures determine which algae and bacteria are present.

I think this one is Morning Glory Pool, but I'm not certain.

One day we take a drive through Hayden Valley, where herds of bison can be found. The thing about bison is that they are not intimidated by anything and they're just like house pets in that they always want to be on the other side of where ever they are now. If there is a road, it must be crossed. Traffic has no option but to stop and let them cross. Of course, everybody is eager to see bison, so stopping is not a problem.

This is my husband and son, and they're not as close as it looks. It's not a good idea to approach the wildlife, even though they are quite accustomed to the presence of humans.

I think that bison were designed by the same committee that designed African wildebeests. And they make a most unattractive bleeting grunting sound that only another bison would find alluring.

Elk are also frequently seen in the park. This is a 12 point buck who happened to be grazing alongside the road. I stood sort of behind a small tree and took pictures. He suddenly stopped grazing and began to walk towards me. The tree no longer seemed to be much protection and I very slowly and quietly backed away. At this time of year the bucks are not aggressive, but in another month during mating season, being this close would be very dangerous to my health and well being.

Outside the west gate entrance of the park is the town of West Yellowstone, and in this town is the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. This place is a research center that rescues grizzlies and wolves and also provides opportunities for the public to see them up close, but not too close. As part of the research, the GWDC also is a testing facility. In order to keep bears and humans separate, it is important that bears not be able to get to human food. Garbage cans must be made sturdy enough to ensure that bears cannot get to the contents. Businesses that make such garbage cans test them with the grizzlies. The cans are filled with enticing food and the bears have the chance to work on them. Any can that lasts 90 minutes with the bears passes the test. This one didn't make it.

Next installment: Grand Teton National Park.