What the Heck is a WHEEL BUG?!

You will not believe the resident weirdo-bug Julia and I found tonight. 

Isn't he marvelous! We found him nesting on a butterfly bush, when his bizarre-o little crest caught our eye. These little guys are large, shy bugs that are a big hit with most organic farmers because they prey on many garden pests, like Japanese beetles. They also are top garden predators, and their presence usually means you have a very healthy garden.

On a cautionary note, that big beak he is sporting can give people a painful bite, so it's best to let these guys be.

~K

Nicey Treat: A delicious sweet that will blow your mind

What is happiness? Food on a stick, sweet treats, and cold things on hot days. 

Sometimes we try foods that pose the question, "What have I been doing with my life and where has [insert food item]  been all my life?"

Cat and I are home-grown Hoosier girls and we love supporting local businesses that utilize fresh and local ingredients. Enter Nicey Treats.

But first, a little education. Did you know a popsicle is a ice pop brand, the way that Kleenex is a tissue brand. Did I just blow you mind?  

Did you know they can be called ice pops, freezer pops, popsicles or ice lollys?

Nicey Treats are all natural, made-by-hand, frozen treats. They are local, organic and made with love.

Cat and I tried the Key Lime Pie and the Peach Ginger.  We will never be the same.

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If you don't happen upon the Nicey truck, you are in luck. Cruise on over to 916 E Westfield Blvd, in downtown Broadripple, and stop in to the Nicey shop for a treat today! I promise you, once you try one of their delicious creations ice cream will be a thing of the past.  

 

Nom nom nom nom nom... 

Nom nom nom nom nom... 

Kally & Bily

Kally and Bily are the kind of couple you only read about in books of supreme badassery.  The badassery section of the library is just after the self-help section but before you get to ornithology...if you've stumbled upon horticulture then you've gone too far.

They are kind, caring and capable people. They adventure, camp, boat and build up their vintage house, one project at a time. As dear friends of Cat's, my gal-pal Julia and I were honored to photograph their big day.

These two. 

These two. 

Kally and Bily met at a bonfire some years ago and it was love at first sight. The kind of love that inspires Instagram posts of poems typed over pictures of sunsets and mountains.
eah.  That kind of love.

Here is one of Cat's favorite stories: 

"A few years ago they took a bike trip (the kind that peddles) from Chicago to the West coast.  They camped and stayed with people they met along the way.  When they got to California, Kally found this really great architecture book that she fell in love with.  Deciding it was too expensive to warrant an impulse buy she forgot about it.  Meanwhile Bily snuck back into the shop and purchased the book in secret. Some months later, she found it wrapped under their Christmas tree."

That's Kally's sister Rebecca zipping her up, and that veil is the very same one Kally's mom wore when she got married :) 

That's Kally's sister Rebecca zipping her up, and that veil is the very same one Kally's mom wore when she got married :) 

These are my very favorite kinds of photos. Not posed, very unplanned and natural. After seeing her in the light I think she should go by Sunshine Girl. 

Golden. 

Golden. 

Gorgeous. 

Gorgeous. 

Loved all these girls. Julia caught this angle on the way to the church.  

Loved all these girls. Julia caught this angle on the way to the church.  

Buddies.

Buddies.

I love this photo of the flower girls catching site of Kally starting down the aisle. Another shot of the same moment, captured by Julia.  

I love this photo of the flower girls catching site of Kally starting down the aisle. Another shot of the same moment, captured by Julia.  

Hometown-Hooser skyline pride. 

These guys. I love meeting a dude's, bros. Great group of fellas. 

These guys. I love meeting a dude's, bros. Great group of fellas. 

Rebecca (brides sister) + Logan (grooms sister) + Larisa + Angie + Cat (my sister)

Rebecca (brides sister) + Logan (grooms sister) + Larisa + Angie + Cat (my sister)

Joy.

Joy.

~love

A BIG Surprise for Will

Our 4-year-old nephew Will, was the recipient of a very big surprise today. A brand new jungle-gym*, playset, slide and swing spectacular! 

The best surprises are the real ones. They don't fall on a holiday or a birthday, and they come straight out of the blue. Today was that kind of day.

I hope Will remembers this day forever. How his dad took him to a special pancake breakfast, "just the two of us". And how, when he got home, his Papa and Grammie were waiting at his house for no particular reason at all... 

*Do they still call them jungle-gyms?

 

After school, his parents and grandparents ushered him out onto the lawn, blinded by a kitchen dishtowel, binder clipped over his eyes.

And, cue the joy. 

Joy.

The Great MONTANA Adventure! part III

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach...”

― Henry David Thoreau 

 

The Woods

Glacier National Park, is more than 1,000,000 acres of the most breathtaking country you will ever see.

Sometimes called "the Crown of the Continent", this land is almost completely untouched by man. Not plowed, cut or altered; Glacier is the awe-inspiring example of beauty untamed.

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We Went

After the wedding in Whitefish; 7 Mitchells*, 4 Kanes, and 1 Berchiatti stepped into this wilderness. 

*The Mitchells 2.0 (My brother, sister-in-law, and nephew) only made it briefly into the park ,before they went to find an adventure better suited for a 3 year-old, and a pregnant lady.

We traveled through the southern end of the park, and took the Going-To-The-Sun-Road which heads into the mountains. The ionic route has a very “all-in-it-together” feel, as you share the narrow two-lane road with fellow tourists and the iconic Glacier National Park Red Buses (sometimes called Red Jammers), that wind leisurely through the park. 

 

Traveling the Going-to-the-Sun Road 

Traveling the Going-to-the-Sun Road 

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Our crazy family jumping off the mountain  

Our crazy family jumping off the mountain

 

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Our aunt Beth

Our aunt Beth

A real mountain man  

A real mountain man

 

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Ashley

Ashley

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Our parents Tom and Gail

Our parents Tom and Gail

Look at these two crazy kids. Ashely and Markie!

Look at these two crazy kids. Ashely and Markie!

I Learned

It would be odd to visit the park and not come to see the very thing the park is named for. Over a hundred years ago more than 150 active glaciers could be counted in the park. Today there are only 25, and these will be gone by 2020. The glaciers are around 7,000 thousand year old, and were formed from the snow and ice that mammoths may have trod across. It is a broad, and humbling thought.  

America's state parks are our some of our greatest national treasures.†  Next time you find yourself lamenting a lack of funds or the time to travel to a remote island, remember what we have in our own backyard.
The last time I traveled to Montana, I was on the lookout for the most elusive and majestic animal Big Sky Country has to boast. The Grizzly bear.
Glacier is home to more than 300 Grizzly bears but once again I missed out on seeing one in the wild. So I will return.

There is nothing that compares to the beauty that our national parks and Glacier is no exception. Go see it for yourself. You will learn what cannot be felt through a photograph or understood through any words. It is an inheritance that must be lived.

~K

†See also, National Treasure staring Nicolas Cage. I am not kidding. I love those movies. 


 1. Glaciers / Glacial Features. National Park Service. 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2010-04-24.

Coyote Tooth Earrings D.I.Y.

Sarah Kate modeling the "goods"  

Sarah Kate modeling the "goods"

 

This week The Ecology Box's D.I.Y., was a pair of gold-leafed, pearl and bronze, coyote tooth earrings.

I adore coyotes. Growing up I would leave my bedroom window cracked on even the hottest summer nights just to hear their little howls. One might think that sounds out of place living in the Midwest, but coyotes are actually native to the Hoosier state. Prior to the settlement of Indiana, coyotes were primarily restricted to original prairie regions to the state. With the clearing of forests for farming, coyotes have consistently expanded their distribution. Today, coyotes are found throughout Indiana and they're known to wander into towns and urban communities looking for food and mischief.*  

*www.in.gov/dnr/

Population control in the form of hunting and trapping is legal but, personally; I prefer my coyotes living. 

So noting that as these teeth were a gift, as well as from an antique shop, I made an exception. 

 

Supplies cost: $20.00

- Liquid Gold Leaf
- Various beads and findings (I used all natural stones, gold and bronze)
- Long, thin-nosed pliers
- Freshwater pearls
- The teeth (a gift from my friend Sarah Kate)

To begin, the teeth were lightly dipped in the gold-leaf, up to the level of the natural tooth-line.

For best results I would recommend allowing the gold-leaf a full day to dry and cure.
Taking a small piece of tape, hang the tooth by the "clean" end to dry. ( I used a teacup turned on it's side.)
 
Using a your thin-nosed pliers, manipulate the wire to finish all the connecting ends into clean circles. I did mine by pulling the wire around an over sized wood nail.

My best advice if you are new to working with delicate wire and cumbersome pliers, is to buy enough wire to play with.

If at first you don't succeed, try try again!

~K