Travel to Crystal Springs in your Armchair!

Open a book and feel the magic!

Snowed in? Foggy, gloomy day? Kids home sick and miserable? Treat yourself to a visit to another time and/or place.

You won’t find Crystal Springs, WI on a map. This small town lives between book covers, and in your imagination.

Seed of Desire — is the third in the Crystal Springs romance series. This sweet romance introduces Beth and Jackson. And dogs…plenty of dogs.

This and other titles by Ellen Parker are available at all major on-line retailers.

Here’s a like to a popular one:


My Story???

Are you writing about me? Really?

Belgian shepherd — Ozzie

I’m honored.

Oh — sorry. But…but…. Okay — the story features one of my distant relatives — obedient, brave, and heroic!

I like it already.

Lower price! Oh, please human — give it a try. You know you like stories with happy endings. Sweet romance sounds wonderful to my ears — and you know my ears are the best in the family.

Ozzie’s all excited to have you check out Seed of Desire — a sweet romance set in the fictitious village of Crystal Springs, WI.


Underwater Spooks

BOO! ‘Tis the season to scare each other.

Most Americans take the Halloween decorations, jokes, and “trick or treat” activities with a smile and idea of fun.

Do you ever wonder how other creatures cope with things which scare us? Does a plastic dog skeleton scare a dog? Do corn field creatures appreciate a maze? Do raccoons tell jokes to each other?

Cue the spooky movie music —

the hunt is on.

I’m convinced Hollywood designers used this stealth swimmer as a spaceship model.



Smile! Look at the camera! Say cheese!

Okay — the actual word you ask your model (or child) to say does not matter very much. I have heard that it gives the best expression to have an “S” near the end of the word. (Hmmmm…the photographer for our high school year book was eager to prompt the girls with the word “boys”.)

Photographs, and a great many other things, have gotten more casual during my lifetime. Gone are the days when my mother (the photographer of the family) asked us to squint into the sun and smile at the same time. Now we hold up a digital camera or phone and can check for results before we’re gone from the picnic, visit to relatives, or zoo. (Granted, animals continue the habit of turning away at critical times.)

Has a smile ever made you nervous? Raised all your internal caution flags?

Do you trust this model’s smile?

I was glad for the clear barrier between us.


Cozy Cabin

In a cabin by the lake,

Mr. Moose watched you make

A copy of the view

Without me or you.

Hey! I never claimed to be a poet. My use of meter and rhyme stalled out about age nine.

Can you imagine having a quiet afternoon in this room? The light looks good to curl up beside the dog on the couch and enjoy a book. What would you read? Adventure? History? Romance? Or how about — a historical romance full of adventure?

I think you can find a volume to your liking at any public library. And the writing should be better than my poetry.


Swim for your Supper

Yum, yum — fresh fish.

Today we’re talking birds — one particular species.

After having a rather rough time of it fifty or sixty years ago, the species now appears along waterways and in bays and inlets throughout most of North America.

Need to keep social distance? With a wingspan of up to 10 feet — this bird’s got you covered.

Born and raised in colonies — an island is good to escape foxes and coyotes — you find them either as singles or groups as adults. They will cooperate when feeding — fish while swimming (a sport I’d never participate in).

Enough with the beak jokes!

The proper name is throat sac. It serves me well when the small fish, frogs, and other tasty morsels are plentiful.

Name? My name is GLIDER– the best of the American White Pelicans in this zoo.


Need a Rest?

Long-time readers of this blog — or people who know me in person — are aware I enjoy zoos.

Recently I visited a New-to-me location.

While smaller than the local zoo (St. Louis is rated world class) this medium-sized facility presented a variety of mammals, birds, and reptiles in both people and animal friendly displays.

Perhaps I’m getting older. One of the things which caught my attention was not an animal at all — a bench with a clever design.

A smooth, simple place to sit and watch the animals — and people. Slide to the end for a stylish arm to assist standing.

Do you admire benches in public places? Want to see more? Click here for a link to my Pinterest collection.


Pretty Pair

Some things pair well — bread and butter, salt and pepper, or cat and dog — often come into our minds as a duo.

Glancing around my home recently, I discovered a few book and mug pairs that I wish to share.

When curiosity about one of my favorite insects strikes, the book comes in handy. Perhaps I saw one on a walk. Or I’m writing and my character would know the correct name. That’s the purpose of Field Guides.

Taking a little time and enjoying tea or coffee with my reading? The mug from the Butterfly House makes the ideal companion.

Do you have any special book and mug pairs?


Life Cycle

Every child learns about the life cycle undergone by most insects — the four stages of egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

You may have gone hunting for and found all four stages on a nature hike. Looking for butterflies at the various stages is especially popular.

Artists through the ages have used them as models and incorporated them into paintings and sculpture.

Have you ever…tried to compare this to humans? Think for a moment.

Egg — before birth yet very much alive.

Larva — children are always hungry and refuse to stay in one place

Pupa — teens (have you ever tried to wake one early in the morning?)

Adult — a magical moment, or short time span, where the previous stage gives way to rational thought and dependable actions (every parent’s wish)


Keeping Watch

Stand watch. Keep a look-out. Stay alert. Sentry duty.

The orders imply a solitary duty. It may require effort to stay awake and alert for the entire assigned time.

The longer the observed area remains quiet, the less attention one tends to pay to the task at hand. However, it danger does arrive, you may be in for a short time of intense activity. And if you fall asleep on the job expect a different sort of intense attention when discovered.

Sentry duty comes natural to this Black-tailed prairie dog. With his head on swivel, he checks all the quadrants for danger. Look sharp! Cartoon coyote has been spotted. (Didn’t I tell you these fellows fill in when the roadrunners take vacation?)