Weekly Photo Challenge: Cherry On Top

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cherry On Top

Purple Coneflowers with Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

The purple coneflowers  are in bloom outside my front door and all day I go in and out with not much more than a glance their way.

I see honey bees among the flowers as I rush to the feed mill and a bumble bee as I come back from the vet. But when an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail stops by to feed I can’t help but stop my day to watch it flit about.

A delicate butterfly on such a striking flower- a cherry on top indeed.


I was very good at drinking water.

I drank out of a quart mason jar. All day my jar would follow me around the house. Sometimes it would sit in the kitchen, sometimes by the computer or at the table and sometimes I would end up with more than one floating around, but I always had water at hand.water glass and computer


Jane came bursting through the front door. “MOM! A woolly bear peed on my finger!!!” She was half excited and half horrified. I inspected her finger, (having never been peed on by a caterpillar myself) and sure enough there was a tiny drop of liquid on her finger. I wasn’t sure if it was bonafied caterpillar pee but I told her to go wash it off anyway.

Jane walked into the kitchen, looked on the counter and said, “I’ll just dunk it in here” and then, in a motion so smooth it could only have been born of habit, she reached up to dunk her hand into my water glass.

I’ve been slightly dehydrated ever since.

Frog Catching

You know what they say…

Ivy's best frog face

Ivy’s best frog face

Cousins that catch frogs together stay friends forever.

Jane and Natalie catching frogsWhat?

You never heard that?Clara and Gwen catching frogs

Trust me, it’s a thing.

Grab a cousin, or a second cousin, and find some frogs.

Frog catching with the cousins. #frogs #greenfrogs

A photo posted by Behind The Willows (@behindthewillows) on

What have you got to lose?

Chris and I caught the frogs

That’s duck weed on my cousins forehead and it wasn’t just him, you can’t see my arms and legs but they were smeared with mud too!

You didn’t think the kids caught that whole bucket of frogs did you???

Chris with frog on hat

My cousin the frog whisper-er.

My cousin and I don’t get to see each other much anymore but we had just as much fun catching frogs together as we ever have, even if we do have to share the nets with all our girls!

It Can’t Be Snowing

There should be a word for it.

That feeling you get when you can’t shake a dream.Willows with sparkle

When the world gets a little more blurry and the blowing willow tree seeds look just like snowflakes dancing in the breeze.

But, they can’t be snowflakes because the sun is shining and it’s too hot outside.

And you couldn’t have been chased by men with knives, been betrayed by your friend or broken anyone out of prison.

But it does look like it’s snowing, and the feelings are there.

The terror of the night, the hurt and anger live on.

They are real in your mind.

It was all real in your mind.

Even now, when the sun is shining and the snow is falling, the feelings cling.

And it might be real- after all it’s snowing.Willows with sparkle

But it can’t be snowing, because the sun is shining and it’s too hot outside.


I wrote this right after I discovered that I’m not the only person who has overly vivid dreams and then has a terrible time moving on from them once morning comes. It can be confusing for me and frustrating to family members who have angered me in my sleep that I’m still mad at them when morning and reality come.

Do you have dreams that stick with you longer than you wish they would?

Book At The Door: July Giveaway

I’ve got a brand new book here and I’d really like to mail it to someone.

Would you like it?


I believe that the first page, paragraph and even sentence of a book will give you a feel for what it contains.

This months book is no exception:

"They say she is property."

“They say she is property.”


This month’s signboard art was made by Ra. Do you know Ra yet? You should, I mean, she lives on the internet, is basically a dinosaur and she (probably) loves you. This kind of magical being doesn’t come along everyday, you don’t want to miss out on a connection like that. Go visit her at Rarasaur.com, say “Hey”, and tell her Jessie sent you. Then, if you like this signboard, you should see all the others she’s put together! Don’t worry, it’s easy.  Just find rarasaur on instagram. Of course if you are already on Instagram looking at sign boards, you should probably take a peek at Ra herself.  And I’ll give you a teeny hint about this month’s book… shhh don’t tell but Ra wrote it! I know! An internet-living, book-writing, people-loving dinosaur, what are you waiting for? Go meet her!

Then, come back, leave me a comment, tell me the name of her book and you’ll automatically be entered to win a copy of her brand new book and a print of the first line art.


Contest will be open through July 26th

Winner will have the honor of receiving a quality print of  Ra’s signboard in the mail as well as the book.

Artists of all kinds (Yes, you photographers and you who says you can’t draw and you who just wants to practice hand lettering and you who is selling paintings online and…all of you!) if you are interested in providing a small piece of work that includes a first sentence I would love to hear from you!  

Authors, have I read your book and tagged it as a recommended read? Would you like to donate a hard copy? Let me know!