Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween, again and still

Actually this is Halloween, but the town celebrated last night. There is a powerful cultural prohibition here against activities on Sunday.
Meanwhile, teenage artists decorated downtown store windows. I liked the cat with it's head in a pumpkin (Golden Finch) but I really liked this sports shoe, partly because it is so silly and partly because it is decorated with my favorite Halloween special candy - candy corn! Candy corn tastes of wax and treacle and no one in their right mind likes it except me. I just ate a bag in honor of the season. Now I'm sorry.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Streets full of little ghosts and goblins filling their bags and pumpkins with candy. Even the dogs came in costume! (But not the parents...)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Art Hop, with music

Books and Flutes at Lowry's on Friday night, a warm, gorgeous evening for the Three Rivers Art Hop!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


This weekend's Three Rivers Fall Color Tour is perfectly timed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Homecoming 2010

The band plays, tractors are draped in purple, the populace lines the street wearing team colors, stores stay open late. A snow plow is embellished with the team logo, people hang from upstairs windows, decorated floats mock tonight's game's opposing team. Fire truck and ambulance sirens wail, dogs bark, church bells ring. It's St. Homecoming Day!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tax Freedom Day

Pack up the computers and tax books, boys. It's time to ride into the sunset for another year.

My own personal "Tax Freedom Day". That's a joke. Well, I thought it was funny!!

Closing it out at the Three Rivers Community Center.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This is the flower of the earliest blooming local, a lovely shrub or small tree of the rose family native to the Three Rivers area. Starting in June there will be lovely sweet berries. Amelanchier has many species in Michigan; this one is probably A. arborea.

The plant is called "Juneberry" locally, referring to its early fruiting. While visiting relatives on Martha's Vineyard I learned that it is called "Shadblow" there; the reason I was given is that it blooms in early April when the shad, a valuable food fish related to herring, comes up from the ocean to New England rivers to spawn. "Blow" in the sense of "full-blown", but I'm not sure whether it refers to the blooming of the fish or the blooming of the trees!

Most plants indigenous to North America also have common names that reflect the general irritation of early European settlers when they found themselves having to deal with unfamiliar plants. In that vein the Amelanchier are also called "serviceberry" - implying that the plant's berries would "serve" as a (barely tolerable) substitute for more familiar European fruits.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Marsh Marigolds

Marsh Marigolds to glow as they rises out of the muck along the Portage River. I love the bits of pink in with the green of the soft round leaves. Caltha palustris is native to the Michigan; we have quite a colony of it along the river. It is also found in similar zones around the world, and found hybridized as a garden flower as well. Although the common name "Water Buttercup" persists, it is not an aquatic plant and can and does grow where it is fairly dry - but it is in the buttercup family of plants. It's called "Gundega" in Latvian; the Three Rivers area has lots of Latvians.

Monday, April 12, 2010

In the News

People gasped in amazement to read about the Three Rivers Daily Photo in a feature story in Monday's Three Rivers Commercial-News.

The story also celebrated Day By Day in Fabius -- and CityDailyPhoto in general! My journalist brother comments, "It's great local news. And better than the latest Tiger update by far, or news of Tea Parties and other alleged happenings."

Three Rivers Commercial-News is a print newspaper but they do have a "web presence" at

Sunday, April 11, 2010


One day snow, the next day the sun is shining. Children play in the park and couples stroll in the sunshine. Trees suddenly show soft clouds of new leaves. A young woman in a summer dress bicycles past me. Winter never existed.

People keep using the word "balmy".

Friday, April 9, 2010

April (snow) showers

Snow this morning, on the flowers. The native plants - like these violets - are a more sure sign of spring than the showy non-natives; the indigenous plants seem to "know" more about the weather and don't leaf out or flower too early.

But sometimes even they guess wrong!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


A huge but very short windstorm swept through Three Rivers on Monday night, bringing trees and tree limbs down on the roads and highways - and fences.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Forsythia

The Chinese shrub Forsythia, although not native to the area, is so widely planted that it has become a marker of spring.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fishing

The first of April: fishermen in a bass boat on the Portage River in Three Rivers.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Thing 3

This little guy crawled out of where ever he was hibernating and was lying on the grass, unmoving and in need of a good shedding, soaking up the sun. Although his stripes are more murky-white than colorful right now, he's likely a Butler's garter snake, Thamnophis butleri.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring thing - 2

Ice and snow recede; the city workers are busy filling the potholes that spring up in spring, sending the sweet smell of asphalt through the air. Hey guys, you missed a few over here in the library parking lot.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Thing - 1

Despite some remaining snow, the owner of this mailbox on Portage Ave. decided to get a jump on spring with plastic flowers.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dragon's Teeth

For the unwary in Three Rivers, the dragon waits. Small children walk on the other side of the street.

To see more of the world in monochrome, just click over to The Monochrome Weekend, presented by Aileni.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Offered for dinner on Monday and Saturday this week at the Three Rivers American Legion Hall, gizzards and burgers. A local delicacy, I presume. I'm imagining it all breaded and deep fried. I'll check my calendar - oh sorry, I'm busy elsewhere those nights.

Life is intruding into my CityDailyPhoto time! I'll try to do better.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Now, about those arms...

Sun and blue skies after yesterday's storm. This fine snowman showed up, jaunty despite some rather strange anatomical details!

The marshmallow snow was dripping off the trees in balls of ice. Crack! Crack! falling bits ricocheting off my car while I was driving down the street.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Marshmallow Snow

Big change from yesterday - a storm with lots of heavy, wet snow, globbing all over everything like marshmallow sauce. This is looking down Portage Avenue. The highway was awful.

The picture that didn't come out: while I was waiting for a light, four big snowplows went by in a line - followed by a little tiny pickup truck with a plow on the front. Looking very much like the little brother tagging along with the big kids!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ice Shadows

Brittle ice still holds some nice shadows. The resident pair of swans are visible in the distance. This is the section of the Portage River in Three Rivers called "Hoffman Pond" - here's another shot from the same spot taken last September: Morning Mist.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Monochrome Race

Seen in monochrome is the race from the Rocky River as it exits the old powerhouse. The race then goes under Michigan Avenue, through Scidmore Park, and joins the St. Joseph River just above the point where the main part of the Rocky flows into the St. Joseph. In the distance is a barn in the park.

The old powerhouse provided electricity for downtown Three Rivers in decades past; the building now fuels the area with expresso, dispensed at LA's Coffee, which shares space in the former powerhouse building with a travel agent.

Leaving the cafe yesterday morning with my coffee in hand, the scene just looked like a perfect monochrome. To see more of the world in monochrome, just click over to The Monochrome Weekend, presented by Aileni.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Skywatch Sunset

A lovely sunny day today for the Friday skywatch. Coming in to Three Rivers from the north, a sunset worthy of the beautiful day is seen across the snowy cornfields.

More Friday skies from around the world may be seen at Skywatch Friday, click here:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

GAR and a Cane

The American Civil War (1861–1865) both shattered and formed the United States. After the war, Union veterans formed a group that became the most influential political organization in the US for the next fifty years. It was called "The Grand Army of the Republic" (G.A.R.), and the chapter (or "Post") of this powerful organization in Three Rivers was named after Edward M. Prutzman, who was killed during a battle in Resaca, Georgia, in May of 1864.

His name has appeared again in the local news. As reported in an article this week by Elena Hines of the Three Rivers Commercial-News, a man cleaning an attic in Pennsylvania found an elaborate gold and mahogany walking stick that had been presented to Edward M.'s father, A. C. Prutzman, by "The Citizens of Three Rivers, Michigan, Sept. 23, 1893".

A. C. Prutzman was a promoter of Three Rivers as early as 1838, when he built the giant flatboats called "arks" that were used for shipping on the St. Joseph River. He also owned warehouses along the rivers, and became wealthy through his shipping businesses. A. C. was the city's chief librarian, and also served six terms as state senator. He died in 1899.

Many men from the Three Rivers area died in the Civil War, and the finding of the cane has been a chance for people today to re-learn the stories of the lives of both the father and son. The G.A.R. began declining in influence as its membership aged; and it was officially disbanded in 1956 after the death of its last Civil War veteran member.

The photo shows a gravesite of a G.A.R. member, marked when the organization was still active, with the name "Ed. M. Prutzman Post" clearly marked.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Car Waits in Snow

Like yesterday's horse, this car also has a blanket! Not as warm, though.

Happy Chinese New Year and also Valentine's Day, both at once. Take your sweetie out to a nice Chinese restaurant!

To see more of the world in monochrome, just click over to The Monochrome Weekend, presented by Aileni.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Barely seen

I do try to take my Friday photo on Friday, but it seems for weeks Friday has had the most uninteresting sky. Other days are sunny, other days have interesting clouds, sunrises, sunsets. Alas, Friday is stuck in a pearl bowl. But I caught a glimpse of the sun as is slipped through a crack between the white world and the white sky about 6pm. Snap!

Taken above the snow mountains by the hospital.

More Friday skies from around the world may be seen at Skywatch Friday, click here:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A walk in the sun

I'll be inside today, toiling for Taxaide, but yesterday I took a wonderful walk in the deep powdery fresh snow and sparkling sunshine. My dogs loved it, burrowing under the snow for voles (they didn't catch any) and bounding through the drifts. I loved being outside in the sun!

This is the Memory Isle Bridge. I'm not sure why it is called Memory Isle or what it commemorates, but the island in the Rocky River was created when a dam collapsed a very long time ago. The bridge is the only way on to the island. The picture I wish I had gotten was a long line of Canada geese sitting in the river, fifty or more, lined up facing me. Swimming regally past them was a swan, like a general reviewing the troops. Camera misfire!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


After yesterday's storm the front-loader was busy. I wonder where they put the snow?

They have a lot more trouble with snow removal in Sweden - see this photo from Haninge.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Noah Lake

It's pouring snow today, so instead of looking out the window I will look at the blue shadows and bright sunshine in this picture I took yesterday at Noah Lake. The little park at the lake is reached by driving down a very narrow peninsula; a little frightening since it is hard in the snow to tell where the roadway ends and the lake begins! One of the many lakes that encircle Three Rivers.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Brownie's Radiator

This cute old building, possibly a 1920s gas station and formerly decorated with a large sign reading "Brownie's Radiator", was located for years at the center of a controversy, as well as on a main road. The owner, Mr. Brownie himself, I presume, kept dilapidated cars parked around the building. Despite the "Brownie's Radiator" sign, I never saw anyone working, and assumed it was more a spot for old cronies to sit, smoke, complain to each other about electronic ignitions, and get away from the wife.

Eventually the junk cars, which he called his collection, precipitated complaints from the neighbors. The City Fathers Frowned. Actions were Taken. "I-can-do-what-I-want-with-my-property" activists Reacted. Neighbors were Enraged. Soon a kerfuffle of epic proportions stormed through the City Halls. But Mr. Brownie sailed serenely on, his prow high above the waters of the squall, his "collection" intact, until his recent sad demise.

The building then became a Mexican market, which promptly went out of business. Someone should check the Feng Shui of that corner.

(Note: I fully expect someone to tell me that "That's Not Right, It Didn't Happen Like That At All." What can I say? I just look, and read the papers...)

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Sealed up window and dark passageway, delicate Victorian decorations and crumbly brick walls. Walls that have been here a very long time, and have their own secrets.

To see more of the world in monochrome, just click over to The Monochrome Weekend, presented by Aileni.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blue is Back

Wow sunshine coming in the window this morning woke me up - what is that big bright light in the sky?

Despite the sunshine, swimming is discouraged when the water is hard and cars are driving around on it.

Off to the right you can see some ice-fishermen. To see a summertime view from about the same spot, click here: Bluetiful Noon

Friday, February 5, 2010

Skywatch - if you can see it

Today's sky was, well, not there. Taken about 5pm behind the Three Rivers High School football stadium.

I missed something fun yesterday - local grade school children made pottery bowls in their art classes and sold them at a "Soupless Supper" as a fundraiser for the needy. After the Soupless Supper bowls were all sold, soup was served.

More Friday skies from around the world may be seen at Skywatch Friday, click here:

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Inside the city limits, along a river, were these tracks. The webbed footprints are between four and six inches (10 to 15 cm) long, possibly slightly elongated from snow melt. I think I know what it is; any guesses? (Hint: not a duck.) (or goose.) (Hint #2: this wouldn't happen in California!)

Oh I'll tell although I would not have known if I hadn't seen him walking, enormous, low, and wide, rocking up the slope like a huge turtle - but with a deep rich brown coat and a long, flat broad tail... beaver! As weird as seeing an abinobabinabibble snow monster tanned alligator, a Kentucky monster crossed with bigfoot, or a swimfin wearing misguided icy river swimmer.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pearl Bowl

"Grey", everyone complains, "a grey day". Sometimes it is grey; sometimes it is something else. Driving back to Three Rivers from Centreville, the sky and snow blended together in a pearlescent glow.

(Inside the pearl bowl is a red pick-up truck that I didn't see until I looked at the photo!)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tax Time

Today is the first day of my annual volunteer job, assisting people in preparing their tax returns for the Tax-Aide program at the Three Rivers Community Center and other senior centers and facilities. I thought I would celebrate by posting my painting of one of my fellow tax volunteers with her apprehensive client. I like the long curl of paper tape coming out of the calculator.

Tax-Aide assists low to moderate income people, emphasizing helping the elderly. I'm sorry that we have a tax system that is either too complicated or too frightening for many people to feel confident about doing their own returns without assistance. Perhaps some day it will be different, but as it is, we can always use more volunteers for next year! The Tax-Aide program is supported by AARP, wbsite here:

Monday, February 1, 2010


It snowed a little today. In this cold climate, wood brings a warm fire immediately to mind.

"Wood" is the City Daily Photo Theme for February 1; click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chef Monochrome

Rick, the owner and chef at Matt & Mike's Eatery, seen cooking through the chrome-rimmed serving window at his new location off Michigan Ave./Highway M60 in Three Rivers. Matt and Mike's is named for his sons, and was downtown for 25 years. A boutique baby store now occupies his old location, and his new address is 103 South Lincoln Avenue. Just in case you were looking.

This was my favorite b/w picture this week. Others I took were more stark and contrasty, but I think this has plenty going on.

To see more of the world in monochrome, just click over to The Monochrome Weekend, presented by Aileni.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Little Pleasant

During a trip to the dentist last week, the dental assistant told me that her husband was "going down to Three Rivers for the weekend, to do some ice fishing." He was going to Little Pleasant Lake, and since I didn't know where that was I set out to find it. Turns out it is one of the closest-in lakes, and, delightfully, the lake does not have the usual total encrustation of large modern houses that barnacle the shores of many area lakes (I used to live in a lake barnacle, don't hate me...) Anyway, I saw no ice fishermen, but I did see a group of people sitting in lawn chairs on the snow at the edge of the lake, with a nice bonfire going.

That's Little Lake Pleasant, glimmering icily just past the old barn.

Oh what a beautiful day we had today! It started out at 0F (-18C) and warmed up to about 18F (-8C) but the blue skies and sunlight on the snow worked their euphoric magic. On the way home I took the dogs to Meyer Broadway Park, where cross-country skiers and tubing children provided entertainment for the dogwalkers.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Skywatch - Cloud Line

A unique feature of this part of the country are the bands of weather that run out like ribbons from west to east across the state. Driving north or south on 131 there may be sunlight - and then a ridge of clouds across the sky, sharply demarcating where the weather changes. This is an example, looking south from the 131/131 business loop intersection. Part of Three Rivers in sun, part with snow falling!

More Friday skies from around the world may be seen at Skywatch Friday, click here:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Big Bag

The Biggest Big Bags will be on sale on January 30th. Perhaps the sign means means something else; I may have to go see.
Taken downtown Three Rivers in the falling snow. Later, the sun came out.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Waiting for Summer

A cheery reminder of warmer days to come, the closed popcorn stand in the grey and snowy park waits for the summer children.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


A group of citizens braved fluorescent lighting, TV cameras, and state bureaucrats tonight to attend a hearing about the local water system. It seems that Three Rivers is the second largest city in the state without a regular program for treating its water, and the state wants that changed. Young and old locals said that they like their water just fine the way it is, and used the opportunity to expound on the evils of chlorine. What will happen, I wonder?

(News coverage -online at, as well as regional tv, radio and newspapers.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thaw, then Not

We had a few days of "January Thaw". On Saturday, the temperature warmed up to 40F/4C, and I went out painting! But now the temperature is dropping into the 20s and the snow has started really coming down. Photo taken at dusk, downtown Three Rivers.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Monochrome in the Gallery

Everything looks more mysterious when backlit - and in monochrome.

Taken in the Armstrong Gallery at the Carnegie Center for the Arts.

See gorgeous monochromes by lots of people around the world, just click over to The Monochrome Weekend, presented by Aileni.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Tragically, the cat passed away; but now it is safe for the birds to return to the feeder. This is a Downey Woodpecker, a tiny little member of the woodpecker family.

Backtracking my posts - didn't post the last few days 'cause I'm exhausted- a touch of something, combined with too many meetings!

Friday, January 22, 2010


What I like best about the winter sunsets here are the colors through the tracery of bare branches at the tops of giant old deciduous trees.

I didn't get this posted in time so I won't link to skywatch this week. Backtracking my posts 'cause I'm exhausted- a touch of something, combined with too many meetings!

However, here's the link to the skywatches that did get posted on Friday:

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Donna Rathert, Iconographer. Explanation is here: IconGallery.html