Post Trip, Postscript

4 June 2015 – Every really worthwhile trip offers some reverberations, a few now-moments to illuminate the then-moments of travel.

And, if you’re lucky, it also offers a souvenir that still looks good when you get it home.  (T-shirt? Tasselled cushion? Box of fudge? You’ll see.)

Barn Quilts …

Big thanks to Kris Leaman, of Mason City, who wrote in to tell me more about the “barn art” I enjoyed throughout our mid-West loop. Remember?

barn Hwy 22 s. of Shawano Wisc

These panels are known as “barn quilts,” she explains, and may be admired not just by serendipitous chance, but also by taking part in an organized tour.

Further big thanks to my travel companion — and Kris’ sister-in-law — Danna, who promptly did an online research for an example. As you’ll discover, such tours are offered in a great many counties throughout Iowa. I’m guessing in other states as well, but will leave that research to you.

Bog Plants, Heroes & Villains …

Now Danna doffs her Mason City hat for her Dr.-Danna-the-Ethnobotanist hat. While walking the Cowles Bog in Indian Dunes National Lakeshore park, we loved a giant fern & a probably-iris plant.

But what are they? And do they deserve our love?

Yes, and no.

American Royal Fern in Cowles Bog, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Yes to the fern! Cautioning this is a tentative ID, Danna labels it a native species, the American Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis).

That iris is another story, so I will not even show it to you again.

“The lovely yellow iris,” she writes, “may, alas, be an alien invasive (Iris pseudacorus:, introduced to North America as an ornamental pond plant. It behaves itself nicely when at home in Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, but is an unwelcome bully where it has escaped into North American bogs and other wetlands.”

Let us all take a moment to renew our vow never to yoick species around the world, but instead leave them safely in their native habitat, where local conditions (including predators) keep them in balance.

And my Indiana Dunes souvenir!

Not a T-shirt, though heaven knows, they were on offer. Nor fudge. (Always on offer — what is it about tourists & fudge?) Not even a tasselled cushion. (I made that up.)


A recycled-plastic DIY birdhouse kit. For inside or out, real use or ornament, whatever you (& feathered friends) decide.

DIY birdhouse kit, from Indiana Dunes

All snapped together with my own little fingers …

the birdhouse, in its Toronto home

and hung on a convenient tree stub in my back yard over a recycled chair-now-ornament.

Farewell to old travels; new ones loom — off to Prince Edward County (Picton, ON etc.) in a week’s time, with my partner & other friends, for a week. Lucky me.




Next Post
Leave a comment


  1. I hope your lovely birdhouse proves popular. Currently I can’t use my cooker-hood because the outlet has been invaded. Maybe I need to supply an alternative.

    • Think it will remain a piece of art, for 2 reasons: there are lots of lovely dense hedges & shrubs for birds to use (& they do), and also the hole is very small. Perhaps a chickadee could squeeze through, but they migrate farther north in summer. Even a sparrow couldn’t fit, let alone a cardinal or blue jay. (Totally new topic: I hope the trip to Scotland went well.)

  2. Great photo work. I can’t find your “About” page re: who Iceland Penny is? Great blog!

    • Sorry for the delay in replying & thank you for your interest — you’ll find the word ‘About’ in the absolute upper left-hand corner of the home page, in a separate copy block above the Walking Woman header.

  3. Agree with Mary; – Nice work… if you want to know about me

    • I’ve just answered Mary, thank you also for your interest! The word ‘about’ is in very small letters, absolute upper left-hand corner of the home page, in its own copy block above the Walking Woman header


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

    "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" -- Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

    "A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities" -- Rebecca Solnit, "Wanderlust: A History of Walking"

  • Recent Posts

  • Walk, Talk, Rock… B.C.-style

  • Post Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 88,329 hits
  • Since 14 August 2014

    Flag Counter
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,632 other followers

%d bloggers like this: