Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Exploring a new park


While I was on the guided tour of one of Katie’s parks a couple weeks ago, another participant told me about a park the next township over that she found beautiful.

I had never heard of it, but it sounded intriguing.

So last Monday I got up early and headed over there. It’s a short ten minute drive and I arrived just as the sun was coming up behind me.

It lit up the trees across the small lake near the parking lot and I spent a long time just sitting on the end of the fishing dock listening to the birds and frogs as they greeted a new day.

Then I started across a boardwalk that connected the parking lot to the hills and woods surrounding the lake. Dew was beading on the grasses there, shining in the early light and I spent a long time trying to get a focused shot.

It was a lovely warm morning but as I moved into the woods I realized I should have worn bug spray. I pulled the hood of my sweatshirt up over my hair in an attempt to keep the deer flies from swarming my face. It kind of worked, but I walked faster anyway.

Around one corner I came across another wetland, and spent some time out on the boardwalks away from the bugs.

But eventually I had to go back into the woods, where I sprinted up and over some lovely hills, stopping only to take a few pictures before racing back to the car.

This is definitely a beautiful park, I just needed to be more prepared. I only did one long loop and there is more to see, so I’ll be back.

But I might wait until after the first frost!

Pretty but invasive.


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Doing so much smiling I haven’t had time to blog!

I’ve been away, but I don’t want to miss this weeks’ smile. So I’ll share one photo from my quick get-away.

I hope it made you smile too.

I’m still working on the processing of images like these, but the fact that I even found the milky way and got some of it in the image made me grin.

I’ll be back with more on this impromptu adventure, as well as the images from the new park I explored a week ago. Coming to a blog near you soon.

Promise.


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Davis Lake Overlook meander

To me, the woods are always filled with wonder and mystery.


Saturday I went on a guided walk, of a park that Katie and I have explored quite a bit. She and I especially like it in the fall, but midsummer turned out to be pretty interesting too, especially when the guide was the person who manages the natural preserves in our township. (You can click on any image and make it larger for more detail.)

I don’t know what this is, was low to the ground, blossom was about the size of a nickle. One blossom on each side of the stem. Do you know what it is?

No, Katie didn’t get to go, it would have been too hard for her anyway, and she’d have been a distraction to all the rest of our group. Plus she wasn’t invited, but don’t tell her that!

Our guide told us the name of this, now I can’t remember. Should have taken notes.

I went back to the park on Monday with my camera to capture a few of the things we saw that I thought were spectacular.

Our guide showed us orange lillies. We didn’t see this particular group on Saturday, it was out in full force on Monday morning, just a few feet from where he showed us lilies, but on the other side of the trail.

Specifically I went back to visit a beautiful field of prairie plants. This year the predominant flowers are black-eyed susan but our guide said next year it will probably be something else as plants get established.

A sea of yellow against that blue sky.

It sure was stunning!

Do you see the little inch worm?

Monday I had blue skies with clouds moving in. I’m always happy with sky like that.

I confess I also walked down to a part of the park that isn’t open to the public. They are working there to make it ready for public use, but it’s not quite there yet and there aren’t paths worked out.

This is a small glacier lake, surrounded by beautiful uplands and wetlands.

I followed where we had walked on Saturday because I really wanted some shots of the little lake back there. Don’t tell them, I scurried down and back quickly so as not to break the rules for very long. And because the flies and mosquitoes were horrible!

Water lilies rest quietly near the shore.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to one of Katie’s parks, she says next time I go I better take her with me! I also made it to the park recommended by one of my fellow nature walkers. I’ll be working on those photos next. Stay tuned.

A walk in the woods is always a good thing.

And meanwhile, get outside and take a walk. It’s absolutely gorgeous out there and we can all use some gorgeous in our lives.

Speaking of gorgeous…


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And then the sun went down

Last week I thought there might be a great sunset, so I headed over to the park where I can climb a hill and have an unobstructed view to the west.

You hardly ever see anyone else on the nature trails that wind up the hill, but on this evening a pregnant couple and their photographer were climbing out of cars at the same time I was. As there are several ways to the top I asked them which way they were going, and told them I’d go the opposite. They laughed, I think in relief, and we headed off on our own paths.

There was a half moon hanging in the sky as it began to get dark, but not much to the west of me. I spent my time taking pictures of other things.

I noticed the couple standing in the tall grass down below me. They were standing about where I’d taken pictures of lupine in the fading sunlight a month or so ago. Where I ended up with two ticks. Hmmmmmmm.

They looked beautiful together in the evening light. Silently I wished them and their baby well and hoped the photographer told them to check for ticks when they got home.

Meanwhile the sun wasn’t making much of a sunset, so I continued to focus on other things.

It was a beautiful evening and I was glad I was there even though, in the end, there really wasn’t much of a sunset at all.

For a little while I could forget all the craziness going on in the world and just enjoy the soft summer air, the light sliding off the grasses, the birds beginning to swoop against the sky turning navy.

I wish you all a bit of peace like this, or whatever works for you, during these times. Share with us all how you relax during these days of social isolation.

We can all use some new ideas on that front.


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So much to smile about.

Both of them worked so hard to keep the kids fed.


Well, first on my smile list is the fact that I’m figuring out the new laptop, and the new Lightroom and even though there’s still a lot that I’m frustrated with I know eventually it will all work out.

Sneaking around the side to check on the kids.

But here it is, Sunday afternoon and I can’t let the second week go by without posting a smile for Trent’s Weekly Smile campaign. I don’t understand how time moves so fast when I’m not really doing anything. They say (and they are right, whoever they are) that time speeds up as you get older. Maybe that’s what I’m experiencing.

Listening to what the kids are up to in there.

Anyway, a couple weeks ago I took a series of photos of my wren family while mom and dad were frantically feeding the youngsters. The light wasn’t always good and certainly cropping these made them even more grainy, but they were such a delight to watch that I’ve been meaning to share them with you.

When either adult arrived at the box they’d do a little wing flap dance. This time they both arrived at the same time.

And even though they’ve been gone for a week or more now, looking at these images still makes me smile.

“I’ll wait here, you take yours in first.”

Of course the wrens aren’t the only thing worth smiling about around here. Yesterday I went on a guided walk through one of Katie’s park, she calls it Katie’s Park II, with a knowledgeable young man who manages the township’s nature preserves.

Doing their happy dances.

I didn’t take my camera and there were at least a couple moments that I wished I had it. In the next day or so I’ll be going back to see if I can capture a couple things I hadn’t noticed when I was walking there with Katie-girl.

“Eat your bugs and then dad will bring you desert.”

And during our walk someone told me about another park that she really likes, so I'll be going out there too. I'm pretty sure you'll get to see photos from both soon. Might even be next week's smile!

“Where’s my shift replacement?”

Meanwhile, enjoy the wren couple. I miss hearing them sing all day while they’re sitting on top of their home. I hope all their babies are growing big and strong and maybe next spring one of them will raise another brood here. Maybe I’ll get to photograph them with a more powerful lens, or at least in better light.

Taking a breather.

Oh, and Katie says to tell you all HI! She’d tell you herself but she’s busy planning her next nap. She says that’s about as exciting as it gets around here these days.

She’s not wrong.

Heading out to find more dinner for the hungry brood.


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Change is hard

From earlier in the week. I drove by this, went home, got the camera and came back for this shot.


Unfortunately my laptop memory is full.

Fortunately I got a new laptop with even more memory for all those pictures I take.

Unfortunately I had a very old version of Lightroom that I can’t move to the new laptop.

Fortunately I purchased a new version of Lightroom.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a clue how to download it.

Fortunately my husband did.

Unfortunately it is quite a bit different than the old version.

Fortunately it supplies tutorials that pop up when the program is opened.

Unfortunately there seem to be a dozen tutorials, each four to six minutes long.

Fortunately I am retired and have the time.

Unfortunately I do not have the patience.

Fortunately, if you bang enough keys you can work your way through it.

Unfortunately I haven’t figured out where the newly edited photos were exported.

Fortunately I accidentally found them in an obscure file.

Unfortunately this hours long exercise has resulted in only two photographs being edited.

Fortunately I like how they came out.

Unfortunately I’m tired now and need a nap.

Fortunately (Did I mention this before?) I’m retired and have the time.

Change is hard.

The barn next to the hayfield. All the bales in the trailers are rectangles, all the bales in the field are round. Hmmmm??


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The birth of summer

Katie and I went on an early morning walk around the yard today. It was already hot, the kind of hot that reminds me of summers growing up. Some of you remember those days, oppressive heat pressing down on you even early in the morning. Sweaty sleepless nights with a rattling box fan ineffectively moving the stifling air.

Morning light slices through our backyard.

As kids all four of us got to spend a week at grandma’s house on the farm each summer. No air conditioning there either, but I don’t remember being so insufferably hot in the big old farmhouse. We each got to choose the week, though I remember in later years my uncle requesting my brothers during certain harvest weeks.

Neighbor’s flag celebrating in morning light.

I usually tried to be there when the wild black raspberries were in season. They grew behind my grandpa’s work shed and every morning I’d go out and pick a small bowl of them, and grandma and I would put them on our breakfast cereal. So good.

Katie and I shared these in the backyard.

And I remember the summers when I was much younger and my folks bought a lake lot with the intention of building a cabin someday. I remember the orange lilies blooming in the ditches on the road to the lake.

Bringing back memories.

They always represented summer to me. Now when I see them I am instantly transported back to that lake lot and the summer days spent swimming off the dock and rowing the big green rowboat.

Queen Anne’s lace getting ready to spring into summer.

This morning while Katie was busy sniffing I was noticing so many reminders of summers past, right in my own back yard. Lots of evidence, too, that summer is progressing regardless of the craziness happening in the world.

Looking for something to cling to.

Even as we stay home, curtailing plans, missing family, time is moving and mother nature is pushing forward. A lesson, I guess, for all of us not to give up hope either. For more than sixty years I’ve watched summer unfold, leaf by leaf, petal by petal.

I guess I should stop worrying about what tomorrow will bring and just let it be.

Sneaking quietly into summer.