In July, we spent a rainy weekend camping near this lovely ghost town. The weather was wet but we managed to stay dry, even without a campfire.
It has been a busy end to the summer. A few weeks ago we had visitors. (YAY, we love visitors!) My husband’s parents brought our niece and nephew for a long weekend visit. The kids had a great time, as always, and the adults enjoyed catching up. During their visit we travelled to Florissant, Colorado to take in the wonder that is the Fossil Beds.
Before reaching the monument we stopped by the Hornbek Homestead to explore Florissant history. We then headed over to the monument and enjoyed a picnic lunch before exploring the grounds. Our first stop was a “lab” where a Park Ranger was carefully removing layers of shale in search of fossils. No fossils were discovered while we were there but it was interesting to see the process. It was a great time to ask questions.
I thought the most amazing sights at the monument were the giant fossilized remains of redwood trees. Yes, redwoods in Colorado! Who would have thought this dry climate was once warm and moist like California? The stumps of these trees were petrified after being covered with mud and ash from a nearby volcano that is now extinct. They are scattered around the area, some more decomposed than others and some held together with metal bands. One stump even had two saw blades stuck in it from people trying to cut it into smaller chunks to get rid of it! It was an amazing sight. I was in awe.
If you’re ever in the area, make sure to take a day trip to Florissant.
(Now I just have to live up to them. Ahhhh!)
Thank you once again to Jenn and Brandon Derrick for letting me take a few shots at your reception. I’m not sure if I would have followed this same path had you not indulged me. And, a big thank you to my wonderful sister-in-law, Stacy. The editing help was fantastic. She was also the person who recommended moo.com. Thanks again. I loved their mini-cards! They are half the size of a regular business card but twice the fun! I had to order them. I’m looking forward to when I have more photo options to put on them! (Which may be sooner rather than later. Stay tuned!)
The packaging was fun, too. I have my own cute little box for my business cards. Yay! is right!
Drum roll, please…
Yep, you read that right, the junkyard.
Last weekend I went on my second outing with a photography Meetup group. This time my photography friend, Jennifer, joined me. Saturday morning we headed to the junkyard. We met some fellow photographers and trolled the junkyard looking for interesting photo ops. We had a great time even though it was H. O. T. that day. There were so many things to see. Old cars, restored cars, parts and just plain ol’ junk. What fun with a camera! I think the heat burned us out a little early so I’m looking forward to when we can go back. I’m sure there will be new things to photograph as well as things I missed the first time.
Here are some of my favorite shots from the outing. I am saving a few for next Friday when I’ll be posting a Friday Quick Pic. It will be a close-up or macro shot. Will you be able to tell what it is? It should be fun to see what your mind’s eye sees! I will post the “what is it” picture on the following Monday.
Have a great weekend!
My sister would be so proud. I was able to make dinner last night without a trip to the grocery store! (Wow, I haven’t thought about this for years.)
As a teenager, my sister used to tease me because it seemed I could never make a recipe without going to the grocery store first. (Not a lot has changed, although, I am better.) Every once in a while, I have to put ingredients away when I realize I don’t have everything and figure something else out (or not make the cookies. Boo.) However, now I don’t necessarily head out to the store unless I’ve already started cooking the meal. Or, my husband is gracious enough to go for me.
Well, with a little improvising, last night’s dinner was a success! As I thought about dinner – and how badly I’d love to find a great local Thai restaurant – I pulled out a cookbook and the first page I turned to was a recipe that I knew was very simple. A Pampered Chef recipe called Satay Chicken Pasta Salad – perfect for a weeknight. While we didn’t have the exact ingredients that the recipe called for, it was close enough. Over the years I have learned to improvise with some ingredients. (My husband is even better at improvising – he rarely uses a recipe! And, he’s a great cook.) Sometimes my improvising works, sometimes it doesn’t. Last night, I was lucky. I used different noodles and dressing for the sauce, but it still tasted great. Not as good as the original recipe but we were still able to enjoy a Thai-influenced meal without heading to the store (even though we could have used some lettuce).
Hmm, I wonder what we’ll be having tomorrow. At least I know we need lettuce.
It took us a long time to find our home when we moved to Colorado. We looked at tons of houses. There were a few that we could have settle for, but none that we were excited about. Until we found this house. It is nestled on the edge of the neighborhood, with a creek and a walking path that leads to a large park in the back. (It was important to us to find a house with no neighbors directly behind us!) The best amenity of all is our deck with a beautiful view of Pikes Peak.
We have lived in Colorado for just over a year and we still can’t believe it’s real. Although, for me, I think it is finally sinking in.
This morning I decided to sit on the deck to enjoy my coffee and write a blog post. Our deck is our little slice of heaven in this world. The mornings are shaded and cool and smell of sweet Colorado. It is a great place to take advantage of the quiet before the noise of the day begins. I love my quiet mornings.
However, I had no idea how distracting nature can be! (Almost as distracting as three children!) Young and old birds are singing, flying over, and visiting the bird feeder. Rabbits are chasing each other playfully in the rocks. Hummingbirds are buzzing and drinking up the sugar water. All, of course, faster than I can capture them with my camera! I’m sure speed will come with getting to know my camera. Just keep shooting I tell myself. Practice makes better. Speed will come. Confidence will come. And, beautiful captures that I will want to show the world will follow.
Today I missed two grosbeaks at the bird feeder. Twice. The older and younger birds flew in separately and when I moved for my camera they flew away. Technically, I missed four shots. So, tomorrow I think I’ll just sit with my coffee and my camera and see if I can catch them.
I think I hear the morning squeal from my six year old. Let the noise begin.
I recently joined a local photography meetup group in order to rub elbows and learn from other photographers. It was easy to join the online group. Much more nerve racking to actually go out on a meetup. But, I did it! In the words of direct sales guru, Julie Ann Jones, I put on my big girl panties and did what I needed to do. In the end, it was very rewarding!
Saturday I joined a group of photographers on a trip to Mount Evans, west of Denver in the Arapaho National Forest, to photograph flora and fauna. I was a mess. A nervous wreck. It started when I woke up at 5:36 AM and I was supposed to meet the group at 6:00! I think my subconscience kept me from waking up after reading an email right before bed that the group would wait for stragglers until 6:20. Or, it could have been the few drinks and late night at a friend’s house. Plausible. Anyway, I was running late. Thankfully we were meeting at Starbucks. Coffee could wait.
I left the house just before 6:00 only to go to the wrong place. Where is this Starbucks? I was confused. It’s supposed to be right here! Uggg, I have the wrong street! It’s on Briargate Parkway, not Briargate Boulevard. DOH! Luckily, I was only a few miles away with ten minutes to go! I sped to the correct location, quickly introduced myself to a few fellow photographers, and with two minutes to spare I bolted into Starbucks to get my caffeine jolt. Whew, I made it. It took a while for my nerves to subside but I made it. I could relax now.
I drove and another photographer rode with me. It was great to have someone to chat with and get to know. She is also a relatively new photographer so we talked about what we need to work on and some of our favorite captures thus far. We were having a great trip until the butt kicking. Before reaching Denver I realized that I forgot to take my allergy meds! Well, my eyes reminded me. For most of my first pictures I could barely see. My eyes were watering so much that I’m sure people thought I was crying. Taking my sun glasses off to take a photo was torture. My eyes would be raw and bloodshot for the next 48 hours. It was worth the pain. Needless to say there is now a stock of Zyrtec in my purse. Check. Lesson learned.
We drove within a few hundred feet of the summit to a parking lot which was at 14,130 feet. I then “climbed” the rest of the way to the summit. It was like the Wal-Mart of fourteeners. So many people!
Now that I have my first meetup under my belt, I can’t wait for the next one! I am signed up for a lighting workshop, one to learn where the picturesque fall foliage will be, and several others that I am interested in. Oh, what fun learning can be!
Although I didn’t expect much from this meetup other than some great pictures and meeting some new people, this trip turned into more. A lesson in Katy. I became more comfortable crouching down to get a shot while others were walking by. I usually get nervous, blush, and maybe even give up because of my shyness and move on. However, with so many people roaming around if I wanted to take any pictures, I would need to be uncomfortable.
While taking the shot above I was crouching down just inches from the plant when a group walked by. I sat up and a girl said “Oh, what a cool picture.” As they continued walking I heard another person say “I was wondering if she was okay?” I responded “Okay, yes, I’m just a little crazy,” and they chuckled. How wonderful it was to continue with the fly’s photo shoot instead of blushing and moving on. And, to make someone laugh. My favorite.