Maria Merian

One scientist, who would have taken issue with last week’s “ignorance is bliss” statement is Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717). This powerhouse of a woman, of whom I knew nothing until the recent fortuitous find of her 2018 biography The Girl Who Drew Butterflies  by Joyce Sidman, not only sought knowledge at every turn, it was … Continue reading Maria Merian

Hope is the Thing with Feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all, Hoffnung ist das Wesen mit Federn Das sich in der Seele niederläßt, Und die Melodie wortlos singt, Und niemals damit aufhört, And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be … Continue reading Hope is the Thing with Feathers

Hornbek Homestead

No less striking than the buildings that line the road a few miles south of Colorado’s mountain town Florissant, is the picture of their former owner. Taking into account that photographers in the 19th century asked their subjects not to smile, the portrait of Adeline Hornbek, née Warfield (1833-1905), had always inspired respect, even before … Continue reading Hornbek Homestead

A Child of Nebraska’s Sandhills

One of my favorite American writers, Willa Cather (1873-1947), put Nebraska on the literary map when she immortalized the state in several novels. I have previously reported on our literary pilgrimage to her childhood home. Thanks to my husband, who has read several books by a second Nebraska author, our recent visit to our neighboring … Continue reading A Child of Nebraska’s Sandhills

Pikes Peak

The highest heights have inspired humankind since times immemorial. In Colorado, we are spoiled not only with lofty mountains, but with a generous number of 14ers: at least 53 stretch above fourteen thousand feet, though the actual number is still debated, depending on the definition used. That Colorado Springs was put on the map had … Continue reading Pikes Peak