Cross-country skiing this morning at the Iowa City waterworks park, cold and sunny after several days of snow. Just a little open water left holding about 1000 Canada geese and a few ducks. The light not what I had hope for, but the skiing was nice–6″ of powder snow. Love cutting my own trail in fresh snow.


I have a small show of my landscape photography opening at the Design Ranch in Iowa City tonight from 5-7 (www.designranch.com). It was a last minute request from the owners/friends Chris&Gary Gnade, when my significant other dropped out due to other commitments. There will be some color work: botanicals from the Neal Smith prairie I shot this summer and some black&white prints from my “back catalog”: Iowa scenes and some from canoe trips to Quetico Provincial Park, the canoe wilderness in Ontario. These works and more are also on my website.


I’m printing some 17″x22″ inkjet prints tonight to hang at Design Ranch in Iowa City tomorrow (shots of Queen Anne’s lace I took on a beautiful summer evening at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Des Moines), and I’m listening to The Dave Brubeck quartet play Take Five, one of jazz’s greatest tunes. My dad took me to see them back in the ’60’s at the Iowa Memorial Union ballroom. I’ve always been crazy about Joe Morello’s drum solo in the piece. So simple, almost tentative-sounding, although he was brilliant and always played it like that. Morello said he was really nervous when they made that track though. It was in 5/4 time which is a tricky time to keep, especially through a solo, and back then the whole quartet played on every take. I saw my brother play a drum solo that good at the Sanctuary in Iowa City back in the 70’s when he was playing with a great jazz group and going to UI Music School, and I was there with my dad, which was really incredible. Now my son Nathan, who reminds me of my dad, is getting there, although he’s a punk rock drummer. He studied with the great Cedar Rapids girl drummer Kerri Collings and did a summer when he was in high school at Berklee Music School in Boston.


Grandchildren and niece, Thanksgiving 2009, LtoR: Mia Echo Huddleston Tade, Taylor Anne Purington (niece, holding Hudson Jon Kelley), Kosmos Coda Tade and Lucas Dircks Kelley.


Chef/author/TV personality Anthony Bourdain was in Des Moines for a book tour and they shot a segment for his Travel Channel series “No Reservations” at Bistro Montage, my step-son Enosh Kelley’s restaurant. Just two cameras, no lights, they let me shoot stills behind them. He and Enosh spent an hour and a half eating, drinking wine and talking. Should show up on TV next summer. Enosh and his wife Rachel have a new baby boy, their second, who got some face time with Bourdain also.


Returned early this afternoon from a quick blast down to Memphis and back to pick up a rowboat made for me by Ken Moreau in New Orleans (www.yellowbayouboats.com)–a little, 90 lb. 12-footer, fiberglass over plywood with pine trim. Nancy wanted something to take the grandkids out “bobber fishing” and I couldn’t find anything around here except 500 lb. Jon boats. Weather was incredible for August–70’s all the way, even down south–actually met Ken and his wife Chintana in northern Mississippi, just across the border from Memphis. Unfortunately didn’t have time to explore Memphis–would loved to have checked out Beale St., BB King’s place, Sun Records, etc. although I did drop in on Elvis. He dug the boat but wouldn’t let me get a photo of him with it, understandably. Very nervous about towing the little trailer around the city though. Pretty nerve-wracking towing it on the highways too, but the roads all the way were four lane and in great shape. Here’s a shop just across the Iowa border in Missouri (on Highway 61–from Canada down the Mississippi all the way to New Orleans).