"Quit hanging on to the handrails... Let go. Surrender. Go for the ride of your life. Do it everyday"

Friday, March 30, 2012

What's the Buzz About Spring

I really do love the rebirth that happens during the springtime.  Kind of like an earthly version of God's promise of eternity, flowers blooming again and new babies being born.  I haven't seen any baby birds yet, it might be early still, but our extra warm winter and early spring have got the flowers blooming and the bees pollinating.
Bee pollinating my apple blossoms

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Omaha, NE Really... Travel Preview

I have been asked by a few people as to why on earth I am heading out to Omaha Nebraska for my little weekend getaway next week.  Nebraska, of all places, how boring can a state get right?  That is how I have always thought about Nebraska.  One of those states you drive through at night to get to more exciting places like Wyoming and Yellowstone, because to do so during the day is to cause a snoozefest.  As a traveler I am always on the lookout for out of the way places, areas that most people look at you and shake their heads at.  Trying to find the hidden gems of the United States.  Omaha Nebraska might be one of those gems, or it could be the snoozefest that everybody thinks it is.  Either way read on if you want to know why I decided to take a few days to check this state out.

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Blooming in March Post Correction

I wish I knew my flowers better then I do.  I probably should if I am going to photograph them.  But until then I have some nice people who let me know when I have something wrong.  So thank you, my friend Ang from Ang's Chicken Coop for pointing out to me that these pictures I took are magnolia's not dogwoods.  Thanks! 

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wanderlust Wednesday

Destination:  Copper Falls State Park, Wisconsin

I've been very open about my love for the state park system in our beautiful states and todays destination contnues along that vein.  Copper Falls State Park is located in northern Wisconsin.  You got it, home of the North Woods and those cute northern accents, where everybody sounds like they are from Canada.  I love it!

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

WalkAbout Wonders - Blooming in March

I wasn't planning on writing anoter WalkAbout post quite so quickly after the last one, but it's been so beautiful out and the dogwood trees are in full bloom, sooooo I couldn't help it.  This was more like the post I had planned to do before Nanook took me in a different direction.

The dogwood blooms are just sooo gorgeous and I have been wanting to get pictures of them for awhile now, but I just kept missing them. Today my family and I were out at the playground and I spotted one of these trees, so I took full advantage of it.  I couldn't decide which one to use so I am posting my fav 4.

Nikon D90
50mm Fixed
Shutter 1/250 sec.
White Balance - upped the pink saturation

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

WalkAbout Wonders-Water Dog

WalkAbout; we know this from the Australian Aborigine youth, where they would have to go and live out in the wilderness as a rite of passage into adulthood.  So I am shamelessly changing that idea around to suit my own purposes for this blog.  I hope you can forgive me.  For my purposes WalkAbout is where I take my camera and randomly wander around somewhere looking for something beautiful, interesting, unique or just fun to take pictures of.

I want to do something a little bit different for these posts and borrow from when a few of my friends and I were doing a photography blog together. I post the details of my shot. The camera and lens I used, my settings and what kind of editing I did in Photoshop, along with a blurb about the photo. I miss doing this and how it helped me out while doing that blog. Hope it can be of some use to those of you reading this or at least fun for you to see.

For my first WalkAbout post I was practicing trying to capture water in motion, stop action droplets if you will.  This was not my plan for this post, but I love how God just throws stuff at you and changes things.

Nikon D90
Lens-135mm F2 Fixed Defocus
Full Manual
Aperture F4.5
Shutter 1/400 sec.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wanderlust Wednesday

Destination:  Starved Rock State Park, Utica, IL

I have to say that I LOVE state parks!  They are usually run very well and are hidden gems in the travel world.  You can find some of the same beautiful scenary as you can at more well known places.  I haven't been to any of the state park lodges, but have heard good things about them as well.  If I ever stay at one, I will let everybody know how it is.  Onward to our Wanderlust Wednesday destination for this week.
St. Louis Canyon waterfall at the park

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

2012 Travel Plans so far...

I'd like to say that this early in the year, I've got all my traveling figured out for that year, but I do not.  I begin thinking about and even make some plans this early, but nothing is ever set in stone.  I just never know what is going to happen in life that changes things.  Remember my post here about the different trips that I would like to take, well that is what I use to begin my planning and then I just take it from there and see how everything goes.  All that to say that these are my plans thus far and they will be likely to change haha.

Trip 1 
First up is my trip in May to California.  I will heading out there on a plane (gulp) with my son (double gulp) by myself to visit my dad.  I hope to spend a few days in San Diego, walking around Balboa Park and hitting the zoo.  I also hope to visit either Joshua Tree National Park or King's Canyon/Sequoia National Park, not sure yet which one.  Both parks have beautiful, yet distinctly different scenery.  Probably the thing that will tell me which one is 1. weather and 2. gas prices.  I will be renting a car and gas is supposed to be astronomical at that point like $4-$5 a gallon or some crazy price like that.  Insane!!  This trip will probably take the place of my couple trip since it will be somewhat pricey and I only have so much money allocated to my travel fund :).

Trip 2 Family Vacation
 Philadelphia/ Gettysburg/ Valley Forge OR South Dakota
This summer our family trip will be one of two places with pretty different things to do.  If we go to Philly, it will be a trip chalk full of historical sites.  I'm an avid lover of history so this would be a lot of fun for me and I think my son is old enough to enjoy the sites as well.  We would stay in Philly for a few days and then make our way out to Valley Forge and spend a few days there.  The 150 year celebration of the Battle of Gettysburg is forthcoming.  The battle site has tons of things going on to celebrate that.  It will be a fun time for sure.

If we decide to go the South Dakota route, it will be more of a natural history kind of vacation.  I am leaving some of the decision up to my family, see who wants to go where.  In South Dakota we would hit the Badlands and the Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore.  I would enjoy seeing the fossilized remains of a wholly mammoth and my son can participate in a fossil digging site.  We would also be able to see some of the Native American Indian history.

Trip 3 Solo Trip
Wichita, Kansas/Michigan Along the Lake/????
If all my plans go right I will be making my first solo trip this summer as well to brush up on my photography, see some of the beauty of God's creation, and have some intensive study time as well.  This trip is pretty wide open.  All I know is that it will probably be closer to home, within a day's drive for me and will last probably 3-5 days depending upon where and how comfortable I feel.  I am looking forward to it, as I have been wanting to do this for quite some time now.  I will be praying for God's wisdom in this and how I can best use it to serve Him.

Miscellaneous Longer Weekend Trips 
I have a few of these planned for as well.  Not sure yet where.  I hope to do a Fall Colors Trip like I did a couple of years ago.  I might spend a few days in Omaha, NE at the zoo.  Lake Michigan shoreline to hang out with a friend and her kids if she is able to.  Also wherever my husband and I would like to go together if that pans out.  But that is the extent of my plans for the moment.  Will fill you in later as I get everything more planned out.

So there you have it.  My list of trips for the year.  What about you, do you have any plans for the year?  Ideas on where to go?  Let me know about them.

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