I have returned!

 Just moments ago I returned home from my library’s annual In Service Day.

For various reasons, over the past half dozen years, I have missed In Service Day. Most of those reasons had to do with hating it and running away screaming into the night.

Which generally worked very nicely for me.

But today I made my triumphant In Service Day return!

Here is a picture pretty much exactly from the point of view of my meeting room chair in the room where all the action took place:


I made a few alterations, as you may detect, to my view.
I also made a picture of the County Manager, from when he addressed us on the bigscreen during an almost brief, prerecorded morning feed:

And how, you may ask, was In Service Day?

As you know, I am not one to complain.

Oh, well, we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one then.


Let’s not talk too much about all this Life is a Fountain neglect. Let’s just sit down on the couch here and I’ll show you some pictures I’ve been working on.

You can probably find one or two to like without trying too hard.

There is no great theme, though couches do rather come into it, and libraries. And watch out for splashes.





Dan releases the eagle:


Fancy Nancy does landscape design:


Mr. Putter rows the flooded library:


The library’s plush new seating area:


The library’s new “Social Room”:


The secret entrance to the checkout area:



Not so much with the words right now, but loads of pictures. So here are a few on no particular theme, for you to make of them what you will:



Dan’s hideaway:




Cat vampire at the craft store:



Frida visits another painting in the Fall:


Door at the end of the stacks:


A new way upstairs at the library:


Mrs. Piggywinkel considers heading to the teen room:


Another new way upstairs:


Our local eagle:



Add water and stir.

I have managed to safely add water to the library. I think the library will survive. But I can’t seem to stop adding Dans to the library.

It has been shown that water is not very good for libraries. Dans can be a little tricky too.

But I can’t seem to stop.

Maybe I just need to lean into it.


When our patrons see dozens of giant portraits of Dan hanging in the library they often ask “Who is that?”

“That’s Dan.” We reply.

Then we go get him (if he’s not on break), and he talks to them for 20 minutes.

A little trip up Minnehaha Creek.

On Thursdays I have a bit more time to myself, and so today I took it to venture a wee bit further than my usual haunts; I headed up Minnehaha Creek, famed in story and legend and for being the creek that both Dan and Charles Schulz have lived on.

I have no great story of my journey, just a brief photolog for you to enjoy, or not, as is your psychology with these things. I will say that my whole journey up the creek was less than two hours long while the half dozen or so pictures here were what I worked on for the next five and a half hours after I got home. Although I also ate a gigantic sheet of nachos, and watched a very good soccer game between France and Belgium.



Who knew that art is subjective?


I didn’t know that art is subjective. Did you?

Two days ago I featured what I was sure was my best picture of the week, a comely scene of a small waterfall. In no uncertain terms I was informed by my thousand fictional readers that I was quite mistaken; my finest work of the week was “Small Dan on a Cartoon Moose” (pictured above).

So yesterday I published the proper correction/retraction, only to be informed that “Lion Licks the Envelope” was the week’s photographic highpoint.

This was immediately followed by cries that “Dan Takes the Egg” was the true winner of the week.

I wasn’t so sure that “Dan Takes the Egg” could be the best of the week, but these very assertive fictional readers were certain.

But before I could even process this I was besieged with vehement shout outs for:

“Creek in Fall #42”



“Dan with Parrot”


And that is when finally, FINALLY, I understood.

What did I understand? You ask.

Actually, I don’t know. I kind of forgot.

But I’m pretty sure it was the best thing I understood all week!

My finest work.

Yesterday, with a brief note, I offered my finest photographic work from the week that passed. It wasn’t exactly the picture above, but one so extremely like it this picture is likely familiar to you.

But my thousands of imaginary followers were having none of that!

“I saw your best picture, and while this is all very painterly and peaceful, we both know it is not your finest work of the week. We both know what was really special.”

“You mean…?” I replied.

“Of course.” They said emphatically. “A formal correction is required.”

“Oh. Okay then.”

Dear Readers,

My best picture last week was not a painterly picture of a tiny fall in my local creek. I am sorry for my error.

My best picture was of mini Dan, on a moose.

I regret any inconvenience this may have caused you.



And today we discuss nothing.

 After three million six hundred thousand emails to you are we out of things to say?

No, I just am tired of being mad. So I wanted to try saying nothing and see how that feels.

I have, however, included my favorite picture from this week.

And a bonus alternate version below.


Look what I found in the woods!

 Last weekend we were out in the country a bit. We weren’t even in the wilds, just in a small town called Marine on St. Croix. But we strolled the town and went down a fantastic creek to the river’s edge. I was struck by the silence and the wildness even though it wasn’t very wild. I think this is because for a couple years, and for all of my photography lifetime, I have spent all my time in gardens and pocket woods.

And I love my pocket woods, these little pieces of nature squeezed into the city, or even hidden just below it. And though wild things are wild things, with all the wonder and chaos and secret order that confers, some wild things are more wild than others. Yes, my little creek in Saint Minneapolis is full of treasures, but when I go somewhere just that one small step wilder than a creek made at least half of yard run-off, it is not hard to feel it and exult in its freshness.

Nevertheless, a mere twenty second scramble away from a major American City (well, nearly major), I have found a few exotic things in my time.

And so it was today.

Today I found a mushroom I think. My interpretation may be wrong because I am just making it up, but here is what I think happened. The mushroom grew up out of the fallen log. And as it went, growing, it pulled out of the log some of the sap that still ran in the log’s veins, so to speak. Beaded and sticky, the beautiful sap stuck to the surface of the mushroom.

Then I came along.

Lucky me.

At first I thought it was poop.


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It said “All the World’s a Stage” on his T-shirt.

 So when he came to the desk I said:

“You think I’m merely a player then?”

I am full of wise saws and modern instances.

Sorry, that is a very advanced literary reference. I wouldn’t get it either.

So how about this then, it’s much simpler, and seasonal too:

I was at the front desk of the library. A library patron really wanted a book that had been recently returned. That meant it could be in any number of bins or carts. I told them I’d go take a look.

I went to the back room and looked through two bins. I checked all the carts. I consulted with my co-workers, our consulting occasionally drifting into other, less pertinent, topics. I checked two more less likely bins. I was having no luck. I decided I better check with the patron to see if they wanted me to continue my pursuit.

So I went out to the desk and they were, like: