A Vermillion Little Things

Vermillion is a very small town. It’s a nice, quiet farming community. So far, it has had no protests, no riots. A small stream named the Vermillion River flows nearby. The town is located about seven miles from MY Town and it’s along one of my regular cycling routes. Downtown Vermillion has a nice Catholic Church, two restaurants, a gas station/convenience store, a farm implement dealership, and a grain elevator. Approximately 400 people live there.

Before you scream out “BORING,” let me tell you something else I’ve noticed about this bucolic little town and the surrounding area. I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I hereby claim that Vermillion and the two highways that connect it to MY Town have the highest per-capita concentration of whimsical yard art IN THE ENTIRE WORLD! (Sorry, Sister Mary Whatshername.)

Here is a small sample:

I think this tree is the home base for a community of dwarves, judging by the seven little fellows climbing the stairway. I believe I also see Snow White back there underneath the archway.


Less than a quarter-mile from Ms. White and the septet of Dwarfs were these big roosters. “Cockadoodledoo,” I said, making use of my recent studies in bird languages.


After turning south on County Highway 85 (AKA: Goodwin Road) I came to the most interesting View-blocker in all of Dakota County. For some reason, bears, monkeys, and gorillas love to congregate here.


I think I’ve displayed that tree before on this site. If not, I can’t imagine why. It’s on the grounds of a very busy farm so usually I just try to be as discrete as possible with my picture-taking and move along quickly. But today I conducted my longest photo session yet. I even waved at a pickup truck full of farm workers driving down the driveway. I chose to believe they LIKED seeing somebody appreciating the artwork.

Dudes, if I was a few years younger I’d be right up there with you.”


“Hey there, gray gorilla, be careful. Did I ever tell you about the time I hung upside down from a swing set when I was in the first grade. I fell straight down on my face and had to go to school with two black eyes. An even worse thing happened to Old Grumbleface’s friend, Jeff, when he hung from a tree.


I’ve been alive for quite a few years, but never before have I seen a pig with a jet pack preparing for take-off from the deck of a trailer. Of course, I’m not exactly a man of the world.


I might be too close to this velociraptor. I figure it’ll attack my bike first, which will give me a few extra seconds to run away.


I know I can outrun a velociraptor. Yeah, WHEN PIGS FLY FROM A PIG NEST.


The pig with wings is accompanied by some scary reptiles.


It was almost as if everybody in the area came to an agreement to entertain people on these highways. No doubt, bicycle riders get more entertainment than auto drivers. Within the city limits of Vermillion, things were just as good.

Who remembers Gumby and Pokey?


And there was this at the outskirts of Vermillion. Maybe some Easter Islanders brought it here via pickup truck.


I know the owner of this property. He made a fortune in the trucking industry. Then he built this diorama in front of his house.


Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

6 response to "A Vermillion Little Things"

  1. By: Scooter Posted: July 29, 2020

    The pigs are both (the jet packer and the winged one) are both really great. Thanks for passing them around!

    The hanging gorillas, bears and monkeys are something else though. The way they’re strung up, they look like torture victims. Very unsettling.

    • By: gregblood Posted: July 29, 2020

      Yikes! I never looked at them in that way. They always seem so happy. Next time, instead of photographing them, I should set them free.

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: July 29, 2020

    That is truly amazing!

  3. By: Rocky Posted: July 30, 2020

    I think you’re right about it having the best concentration of whimsical yard art! I guess the town needs to find some way to keep themselves entertained.

  4. By: NancyG Posted: July 30, 2020

    I LOVE yard art!! And your little jaunt in Virmillion outdoes anything I have seen on any bike rides I have taken ;’-). I have seen some good ones, but probably will not be getting to many on my nearby home rides. However, with this as a mini challenge (I am setting for myself), I will be looking 😉🚴‍♀️.
    Great photos of all those animals doing what they are doing. I find it so very wonderful that some people entertain us with their creations ;’-)

  5. By: Suzanne Posted: July 31, 2020

    Are you sure you didn’t bring those stuffed animals with you and hang them in the tree yourself – for our entertainment?

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