Introducing: Johnny Mantis

Praying Mantis

“Pray tell me, man! Which way to Mars?”

Mantis vs. Man

A rose is a rose is a bug on my rose moss,
mostly rosy, except for that glare…mostly creepy.

Martian Mantis heading for Mars

Johnny Mantis preparing for take-off!

Buggy pretty in pink

Pretty buggy in pink tutu!

A bug with a view

A bug with a view of our back patio.

A full-length feature creature

A full-length feature creature, if ever I saw one.

Searching for a Mars Bar

“I know I left a Mars Bar in here somewhere, dagnabbit!”

Uncle Tree and Johnny Mantis

Johnny Mantis is telling Uncle Tree a tall tale.

A laughing praying Mantis

A laughing Praying Mantis knows no bounds.

A Johnny Mantis sunset

One should never count him completely out of the picture.

International Space Station

At the end of the day, Johnny hops on board his space station,

and heads for home. I pray, he made it safely.

Praying with A Praying Mantis

Photographs by Uncle Tree and his lady, Lucy Scarlett

with a special thanks to our star for the day,

Johnny Mantis!

A Praying Mantis profile

“Are you lookin’ at me?”



Agent Nala On Spy Duty

Maine Coon: Nala

Maine Coon watching Nebraska ground squirrel

eating Rose Moss flower buds.


Maine Coon watching ground squirrel

“Yes, Nala. The squirrel is eating our little pretties,

but your oh-so refined hunting skills will not be necessary today.”

Feline spy

“Dream on, li’l kitty. You’re a cat with an inside job. Feel lucky.”

Moon watching Jupiter

Later that night, Lu and I saw the Moon spying on Jupiter.

Two Moons

Two Moon — Double Agent

Neither a skill, nor a trick, but a total accident of a digital nature.

I have no idea how this happened with a single shot. Do you?

Keith and Lu

Happy Labor Day!

Lu and Keith


Eclipse Yourself II

Fans watching the eclipse

As the eerie darkness moved in, the long-held cheers from afield went up.

Wilber, Nebraska

To see 2 minutes and 36 seconds of totality, we left Lincoln for Wilber, Nebraska.

Kirstie and Tre in Wilber, Ne

The small shady park was filled with anticipation of the day’s celestial night.

Sun quest

Phase 1 of the Sun’s quest to hide its success behind the Moon and a fine fest of clouds.

Wilber ballfield

Faced with the impending doom directly above, many a trooper split town.

Eclipse makes darkness

Goosebumps plague the remaining crowd, as day turns ghostly dark.

Venus during the eclipse

Opening the show to our delight was Venus (far right in fairer weather).

Venus at high-noon

Never in my life had I seen a nearby planet in blue sky at high-noon.

Totality obscured

As clouds are wont to do when the Sun refuses to shine, we caught a break.

risking blindness

Cheers and applause erupts in hopes of more to come from Father Sun.

The Great American Eclipse

We didn’t have to wait long, but, alas, we missed totality by two minutes.

Mere minutes after totality

Thanks to Mother Moon, all were awed to silence.

Sunshine eclipsed

my best eclipse shot

last eclipse shot

About two minutes later, the clouds decided to ruin our fun for good.

cloud cover won

Cloud cover won. “Goodbye, sliver sun!” Do rest in peace.

Exit stage left

Exit stage left

final phase eclipsed

For the final phase, we offer up a peek behind serenely soulful scenes.

the day the park went dark

All in a day at American Legion Park in Wilber, Nebraska

Czech Capital Of the USA 

“Thank you!” from Keith, Lucy, Tre and Kirstie

Mural in Wilber, Nebraska, Czech Capital of the USA

Photographs by Uncle Tree


Totally Overshadowed

solar eclipse



For once, see Father Time play the fool and stay put for five seconds.

For your first or last time, come to the dividing line!

See Mother Moon Superior glide her sleigh

across the vast expanse which hides the Milky Way.

Watch her steal the spotlight from our only light of day.

total solar eclipse

Photograph by Luc Viatour 

We live in a perfectly-sized space, where something

perfectly small can totally overshadow something perfectly large.

400 times bigger than The Moon, but 400 times further away is our Sun.

Perfectly placed as of now, but even this equation is falling into entropy,

as The Moon continues to drift further and further from dear Mother Earth.

Do catch this very human experience while you have the chance.

Nebraska map of total eclipse

↓ The best interactive map to use wherever you are ↓

overshadowed by the Moon

Mere creatures of the Earth are we, and we merely believe

in illusion perfected and far-out magicians far greater than we.

August 21st, 2017



Eclipse Yourself

Eclipse yourself

Solar winds notwithstanding, we glide the curtains closed,

eclipsing our former shadowy figures with a shadier version of sunny-side up.

bee pollen happy

The creative evolution of an artist takes time — time worth spent.
Do bee friend my tree friends — find time to get young again.

sweat bee

Bee sure to preserve the best life has to offer.

Highlands Pool



River Inn Resort

River Inn Resort

A supremely wonderful Bed and Breakfast Boat on the Missouri River.

Very reasonably priced for a small, but fancy cabin,

a tasty wake-up meal, and a well-anchored over-night stay.

Sunrise on The Big Mo

Sunrise over the Missouri River

Lodging on the water

Get a room on the riverside, and step out to this view.

Tom Osborne deck

While you’re there, catch a ride down river on The Spirit Of Brownville.

Captain Meriwether Lewis dredge boat

Just up a ways yonder on the riverbank — a beast of history:

The dredge Captain Meriwether Lewis


get a room

Uncle Tree onboard

“Ride on!”

Keith and Lu

Keith & Lu