Sunday, February 24, 2013

My kind of weekend

It's been my kind of weekend, fun mixed with relaxation.  It's Sunday afternoon and I may even take a nap just to say I did because that rarely happens.  

We took a little road trip yesterday to Lunker's in Edwardsburg.  It's a hunting, fishing, outdoor type store.  And there's a cool restaurant there too.  It's a fun place to go and spend a few hours.  I bought a little fishing pole that collapses so I can take it kayaking.  I just love it, it's a cute girly fishing pole.  We'll see if I still love it once I start using it.  I've never been a person who fishes but I thought it might be the perfect thing to do in a kayak.  So I'm going to buy a fishing license this year and give it a whirl.

 Craig says I have to learn to bait my own hook and also remove the fish from the hook.  Baiting my hook will be no problem for me, now removing the fish might be another story.  I informed Craig that I would just start hollering across the lake when I needed him to take a fish off my hook. 

It is the end of February and we have our first trip to Silver Lake planned in 6 weeks and two weeks after that is our first camping trip..... Winter is coming to an end and I am soooooo ready.  
I got to do a little thrifting yesterday morning.  Craig usually works a few hours on Saturday mornings so that's my opportunity to hit the thrift stores.  It was 50% off Goodwill day.  I picked up a few sweaters and some wonderful soft t-shirts.  My best find of the day was a black leather genuine Harley Davidson hat in mint condition.  Picked that baby up for only $5 and immediately came home and posted it on ebay.  That money will go in my camera fund (I have my heart set on a Canon 60D)
Haven't gone anywhere today.  My favorite things today have been watching the birds at the feeders, spending the day with my puppies, editing and organizing photos, and watching Andy Griffith on TV......  

Happy Weekend 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Joy

We don't get to see the sun a lot this time of year.  Winter would be so much easier to get through if it would come out more often.  Sunday we had bits of sun in between the clouds.  I stayed home most of the day doing Sunday things, preparing for the inevitable Monday that would be there all too soon.  About 3:00 I grabbed my camera and Craig says "Where ya going?".  "Oh, I don't know, wherever my camera leads me".  
Truth was there were some cool looking cows that lived near my parents house and I'd been itching to photograph them.  I thought the sun shinning might be a good opportunity to try it.  It was freezing, in the teens so I bundled up and ran out the door.  
As a photographer I've been trying to work on one of my faults.  I find that I am sometimes intimidated to photograph something I really want to.  For instance, these cows that live down the road from my parents.... I don't know who the farmer is, and what if he shows up when I'm out there photographing his cows?  The farmer doesn't live near the cows.  There is no barns or houses near them... just the cows in a field.  I have seen the farmer feeding them but he comes from elsewhere.  
Sure enough, I'm standing near the road with my big camera and lens and up pulls the farmer.  I wave and smile.  I want to be friendly and let him know I mean no harm to his cows.  He gets out of his truck and looks at me like I'm a crazy person.  I explain to him that I do photography as a hobby and his cows are awesome and I hope he doesn't mind me taking photos of them.  He doesn't say much and went right to work feeding his cows.  I try to strike up a conversation with him asking him a few things about his cows.  He just gives me one word answers.   I finally give up and walk back to my car... that went real well!  And that is precisely why I am intimidated to photograph things sometimes.     
A few years back there was an abandoned home a few miles from my house.  The home had been empty for years and was way out in the country, surrounded my farm fields, not another house around for miles.  It had been condemned, uninhabitable for a long time.  But it was oh so beautiful!!!  In it's day it was a grand home.  It held so much mystery for me.  I would have loved to know it's history.  And it was also a photographers dream, old weathered wood, broken windows, overgrown vines and bushes, huge historic trees in the yard.   I had heard that a local farmer had bought the property and was going to demolish the house to use the land.  I wanted to photograph that house so bad.  I went there with my camera but only stood at the edge of the road and quickly shot a few frames.  But it was calling me to come closer.  I wanted to walk all around it up close and get some cool photos but I was too intimidated.  Within a week the house was gone and I regretted not getting the real photos I wanted.  
My cow photos didn't turn out as good as I hoped.  I'll try again another day.  But I did stop at my parents that day and had a cool photo shoot with the guineafowl.  I love those birds and have chased them around with my camera before but this time they cooperated with me and the sun was just perfect on them.  I stare at those photos and look at the details of their ugly heads.  They are some ugly birds!  
How lucky I am to have my photography that brings me such joy.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Seasons Are Passing

The seasons are passing and much has been happening in our lives.  Good things!  Somehow we manage to fill our days with things that make us happy.  I will try to fill you in on what we've been up to these last months.  
These first 4 photos were taken on one of my lone kayaking excursions late summer or early fall.  As much as I love to kayak with my friends and family I love to kayak on my own as well.  If I see a bird that I want to photograph and I chase that bird around for 30 minutes trying to get the perfect photograph I don't feel so bad about holding up whoever is with me.  
I fell in love with this Bittern.  
This is a Great Egret.  He's not native to our area but must have been passing through.  I thought it was pretty cool that I saw him.  
Early October we took a fall color tour with some of our friends on the motorcycle.  Scenery was BEAUTIFUL but it was a cold day.  Hopefully better planning next year for a warmer day.  
Zoe doesn't like Halloween as much as we do.  But she's sooooo darn cute.  

All of our puppies are doing well.  Seadra is 13 now and nearly blind and deaf but so far she is hanging in there.  Zoe's getting up there in age too (she's 9) and her fat body doesn't do her arthritis any favors.  We really have to keep her from jumping off the furniture because she's beginning to hurt herself doing that.  And Fiona, well, she keeps us on our toes.  She is a happy healthy delight.  
I wanted to do some fall kayaking but the timing wasn't the greatest.  By the time we fit it in most of the colors were past peak.  It was still a beautiful day.  I enjoyed having Jordan with me.
We spent the day kayaking at Yankee Springs in Augusta.  
Fall leaves....
Now that we are nearing the end of winter I am getting anxious to dust off the kayaks and get back out there.  

Jordan and Fiona.  Jordan is moving from her apartment to a house in Big Rapids in May and she's hoping that her landlord will allow her to have Fiona for some of the summer.
My Mother's orchid club has an orchid show each fall and it's a fun place to take my camera.  
My poor birds were neglected for most of the summer but this fall and winter I am spoiling them again. The squirrels appreciate my bird obsession and I get to enjoy how entertaining they are too. 
My parents neighbors raised turkeys for Thanksgiving and I took this photo of one on Thanksgiving Day.  
Jordan's Christmas concert.... That girl loves her oboe.  I don't think she will ever give it up. 
Craig burning some brush this fall. 
Jordan and I went to Disney World for 8 days the middle of December.  Just us two... a girls vacation.  Craig does so much traveling with his job the last 3 months of the year that I asked him if he minded if Jordan and I went to Disney.  He said "Go for it!"... so we did!  
It was a very FUN vacation.  The weather was perfect the whole time.  We never saw a drop of rain and it was sunny and 75 to 80 everyday.  
It was not a relaxing vacation... we crammed as much as we could into everyday collapsing into bed around midnight each night.  But it was so worth it.  
Hollywood Studios
Main Street Magic Kingdom 
Margaritas in Mexico EPCOT
My Girl.... My best friend
Dumbo ride 
This photo was taken on Christmas Eve.  I'm feeling so blessed.... 
The loves of my life.... 
And now we are well into winter.  And even though I am ready for spring I can't do anything to hurry it up so I make the most of what we have.  We recently had a big winter storm that made the lighthouse in St. Joe amazing.  I went there with my camera along with hundreds of other photographers.  
I was not disappointed!  What a sight to behold.  It was breathtaking.  
A few weekends ago we had a heavy snowfall so I joined Craig early one morning while he groomed the snowmobile trails.  
My hubby is so good to me.  He knows me well.  The other morning after a beautiful snowfall he says... "Grab your camera and lets go on a little road trip so you can take photos".  
Away we went and he would stop right in the middle of the road whenever I asked.  
I am super excited to be taking an 8 week photography class at our local art center.  Last week was our first week and I really enjoyed the instructor.  It's going to be great!  Maybe I'll get back to blogging on a more regular basis.  Blogging and photography go hand in hand.  I've missed my blogging.  

Hope your winter is going well.....