Monday, March 25, 2013

I am a grateful life-loving human

Awesome weekend!  And it's not over yet.  It's Monday morning and I'm not at work!!  One of our providers is out of town so I took a low census day for a 3 day weekend.  YAHOO.....  Do you know how much more wonderful Sunday's are when you are not faced with the fact that in a few short hours it's back to work.  For me, I relax so much more.  
We still cannot break out of this nasty weather.  It's gloomy and cold.  Did I mention cold???  We are literally 20 degrees below average and have been for weeks.  In between the gloom and clouds the sun tries to peak out here and there.  Yesterday around noon the sun decided to show her face for brief intervals here and there.  Craig says "Grab you camera and lets go to the cottage for a few hours".  So two pairs of pants, 3 shirts, heavy socks, boots, jackets, hats and gloves later we were on our way.  
Zoe was my most willing participant for a photo shoot.  She always is.  
This was me trying to be artistic.  If I can't have green trees, and flowers, then I'm bound and determined to find beauty in other things.  
Zoe and Fiona loved being outdoors with us.  It's been a long winter for them too.  
This was my favorite photo of the day......  
The only clean up we did at the cottage was pick up sticks and burn them.  The leaves are still too wet and there is still snow on the ground in spots.  
Several months ago I found a new app for my phone that I am in love with.  It's called "Flipboard".  You tell it your likes and interests and all day long it continually updates showing you articles on the web pertaining to your likes.  Of course it shows me all these awesome photography articles.  One of my favorite things to do at the end of the day is sit down and see what Flipboard has recommended for me.  I get lost for hours reading photography how to's, watching tutorial videos, looking at amazing photography.....  

But two things I read this week really stuck with me.  First was a quote...

"Find the thing you're most passionate about, then do it nights and weekends for the rest of your life"

Love love love that..... It's my new motto. 

Second was a post I read on Instagram of a woman explaining why she loves photography.  It really hit home for me.  She said....

"One of my favorite things about photography: that moment of "church" at my desk when I'm editing photos--given the chance to stare at a moment for much longer than it actually lasted.  Noticing things that might have been ignored.  Seeing the people and things I love with a different perspective.  The art of picture taking has truly made me a more observant, grateful, life-loving human.  Amen"

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Did nuthatches come from Africa?

I did a really cool thing today.  I went to Sarett Nature Center and listened/watched a photo presentation by a woman who spent 2 weeks in Africa last year on a photo safari in the African Bush.  That is my dream vacation!  It was fascinating listening to her stories and seeing her photos.  Oh, what I wouldn't give to photograph elephants, lions, giraffes, hippos, leopards, crocodiles, hogs, African birds, antelope, water buffalo, etc, etc..... in the wild.  

But for now my little white breasted nuthatch will have to do.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy First Day of Spring

Today is the first day of spring.  This was a photo that was taken on the first day of spring last year.  We aren't even close to this yet.  I know we were far ahead of where we should have been last year but this year we are 25 degrees BELOW average and we are under a winter snow advisory with 6 inches of blowing snow predicted overnight.  YUCK!!!!! Enough already..... 

With all this talk of spring today I was feeling pretty depressed, especially each time I looked out my office window.  I decided enough of this moping around and went for a drive on my lunch hour.  I headed down to Riverview Park (a beautiful park about a mile from my office).  I don't do it very often but it's one of my favorite places to go on my lunch.  Always before when I've gone the trees are heavy with leaves, the grass is green, wildflowers are blooming......  I knew I wouldn't find those things today but I had one goal in mind.  I WANTED TO SEE A ROBIN!!!!  It was as simple as that.  

I pulled in the park and drove along the river.  There he was!  A robin!!  And then another and another.  Oh, what a glorious sight.  I parked my car and counted about 15.  They were hopping and scratching around, throwing leaves around, digging in the dirt.  The robins were everywhere.  Soon I saw a blue jay, a red winged black bird, Canadian geese, and squirrels.  

I only had 15 minutes to spend at the park but I drank in every minute of it.  Needless to say I was feeling much better the rest of the day.     

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I scooped poop today... spring is on the way

Saw my first robin of the year today.  Actually, Jordan was the one that spotted him.  I was walking around the back yard doing that wonderful chore that dog owners have to do once the snow melts.... you know that one that involves a pooper scooper.  I was feeling like my life was really glamorous and then Jordan points out the beautiful robin in the tree.  Jordan was kind enough to run and get my camera for me.  I barely got two shots before he flew off but it was a nice break from my "chore".  

I saw another robin tonight across the street.  I promised him I'd have a photo shoot with him soon.   
Jordan was home for the last 10 days.  It was her spring break, she headed back to school this afternoon.  Love having that girl home.  She's amazing.... that's all.... just amazing.  
Jordan allowed me to have a quick photo shoot with her and the dogs.  This one of Zoe and her is my favorite.  We would have liked to spend some more time messing around outside with the camera but it's been so darn cold that we don't feel like spending much time outdoors.  Warmer weather HURRY UP, would ya!?
My photography class is on Thursday nights at 6:30 and since I get out of work at 5:00 I need to find something to do to kill the time.  Last week I popped a bag of popcorn and headed down to the beach to try and get a few cool shots of the seagulls.  The seagulls were more that happy to pose for me since I had popcorn.  And being it was cold no other humans were at the beach... just me and the seagulls.  
Waiting for popcorn..... 
I think this guy wanted me to throw him a kernel right into his mouth.  He was yelling pretty loud too.  I don't think he said please either.  
You'll probably get sick of seeing guinea fowl photos but right now they are willing participants and I can't get enough of them.  Coolest birds ever.  
Caught this beautiful shot of my precious ones last weekend.  We were at the carousel in St. Joe for a family birthday party.  

Have a wonderful week....... 

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Sunday Outing

Dang, he's cute....

At work I've been scheduling surgeries well into April and every time I write down the date I smile. I was happy to see March 1st last Friday but I'll be even happier to see April 1st.  Do I sound like a bitter person who hates winter?  Really I'm not.  I love winter, in fact I think it's one of the most beautiful seasons but when it gets to be this time of year I am so ready to move on.  SPRING.... bring it on.  Out will come the kayaks, the trailer comes out of storage, the Jeep trips to Silver Lake, fires in the back yard.....  
But for now it's still very much winter and cold.  
We went on a little outing Sunday..... 
Not far from where we live is a 400 acre hunting/dog training/skeet shooting place.  What a cool place.  Craig works with a guy who is really involved with training German Shorthair hunting dogs. We watched them for about 3 hours on Sunday.  How fascinating!  I've never seen such control in a dog.  They plant these pigeons all around the fields and the dogs find them, point, and obey commands.  My description doesn't do it justice.  
It was a great way to spend an afternoon and experience something I've never seen before.  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday Ramblings

Favorite Photo of the Day

I'm in the process of taking an 8 week photography class at our local art center.  I am LOVING it!  I've taken other photography classes before but they have only been one day 2 hour classes and then it's over.  The one I'm taking now is 8 weeks of 2.5 hours of lecture/questions.  In the three weeks I've been going I'm already noticing results.  I've had so many aha moments.  Like learning how to use the exposure meter in the viewfinder (where has that been all my life!!!!).  

The photo above of Fiona was taken today.  She was laying in the dog bed in the living room under a big window.  She was tolerating me putting the camera in her face so I messed around for about 5 minutes experimenting with exposure.  It is sometimes difficult to get a good photo of Fiona.  Her black face and dark eyes make it a challenge to capture her features in certain lighting conditions.  Score!!!  I couldn't have been happier.... no flash and it's perfect.  It's such a good feeling to look at what is happening in the camera and know that shutter speed, aperture, ISO needs to be changed.  Oh happy day!

Well, we broke into March yesterday.  For me March signifies a light at the end of the tunnel.  Hopefully some warmer days start to show up and best of all April is right around the corner.  Our first trip to Silver Lake is April 5th.  And our first camping trip is the middle of April.  Bring it on..... 

Happy Saturday my friends.......