Saturday, August 29, 2015

Best of the summer- wildlife photos and maybe some not so wild


Whilst perusing the summer photos for these posts I very much enjoyed seeing all the kinda good animal pictures that I got this summer.  I like animal pix, but I don't always have the patience to wait for the critters to stand still or come close or what have you.  A longer lens would be pretty awesome and quite helpful.


Loon on Smith Lake

But because of previously mentioned (to the point of obnoxiousness I am sure) kayak, I have been able to get a little bit closer to those creatures that hang out by navigable bodies of water.  


The Eagle who hangs out on the north side of Butternut Lake



Strange looking deer near Golden, CO (not kayaking but oh well.  Its my blog and I can go off topic if I want)
It took me a while to get the hang of the whole paddling and maneuvering the camera, but I managed.  Getting the dry bag for my DSLR was super helpful, as it is tucked down between my knees and readily available for use!

Early spring Loons with baby

I surprised this deer who was wading in the water on Smith Lake

I saw things that I never would have, because I have control over when I could get out onto the water.  And a lot of the time I was just lucky!

32 turtles, baby (Flambeau River)

The Loons on Smith, apparently doing a male domination ritual.  That was fascinating.
Really lucky!
Juvenile Merganzers (Boulder Junction area)

A very noisy young Eagle over near Boulder Junction
I was thrilled to get this shot, those blue herons are shy and flighty!

Blue heron- they are the reason I decided I need a longer lens!  :D

Mama of the noisy young Eagle as previously shown
So I had lots of good shots from the kayak, but I also found a few interesting things in my own back yard, or there abouts.

Tree toad- a very little tree toad that perched on my door's window

Tree toad that had been on my garage door and fell onto the side of my car!  Not quite so teensy
I have this guy hanging around all the time!  But there are lots of other places that I found sort of not real wild life.

Jac says hi!

This guy is always happy to see me, and the feeling is mutual!!

Mama deer and baby seen near the bike trail
I have a big old spider to add to the mix, but did not stop to shoot (as I had no GUN) the bull snake that was lying across the Tuscobia during my bike ride.  I was too busy shrieking and cursing.  I don't do snakes well at all....
Lookie the little spider I found on the horse bucket.  She's pretty cute

LOVE this guy.
The MA thinks I should try to find the Leopard frog that is lurking about the area but I didn't feel like it.  If he presents himself in the next day or two, I may add him below.  Do not hold your collective breaths.  That little sucker is fast.

Some of my best pictures of the year!  I can't wait to see what else I can get, as my adventures are not done yet.  And that gives me a lot of joy...

The best of the summer- kayaking on the Big Lake


I had some amazing days and nights this summer.  It is hard to choose what the most memorable, but we all know that the kayak was most likely involved.  I loved going on my spontaneous (and provoked- haha) 30 mile bike ride, and going on the bike trails.  Of COURSE I loved seeing my children and grandbabies, and MY FREAKING BIRTHDAY MONTH was so cool.  I covered all the people I got to see and hang out with.....  but "firsts" are always memorable.  And I had several firsts this summer, and certainly the thrill of kayaking on Lake Superior was right up at the top.



Naturally we chose to go up there on safe days- days when the wind was projected to be lighter, and we went in the mornings when the breezes are less likely to be a problem.  And of course sunny mornings are perfect- mostly- for photography.

Yes, putting my feet up on the kayak and paddling and snapping photos was a sick obsession.  Don't judge me!

I want to see this sign again soon, preferably in a car heading towards that round-about
Though the Mad-English teacher and I put on a lot of kayaking miles, we would not consider ourselves "experienced" when it comes to rough water.  In fact, one rough day on a smaller lake put us right in our place - we would have been terrified, but we were too busy paddling like Mad people...



So, like the incredibly smart people we are, we chose to tackle Gitcheegumee while she was calm and snoozing.  And she is just beautiful in repose.  



Paddling up the shoreline and visiting the caves and looking at all the rocks on the bottom made for perfect mornings.  There are little beaches all along the Chequamegon Bay, and we got out at a few of them and filled our pockets with little stones and covered our feet with the sand.



Yeah, I know, again with the feet...


Such a varied terrain along the shore

The marsh area across Hwy 2 from the lake in Ashland
There was a lot of weather that happened in a short time period on both days we went up there.  And lots of good photos to be captured.


LOVE the rocks and cliffs and trees and caves...


And as you can imagine there were moments to be shared with people who weren't even with us.  You know who you are!






When the days were done, we put on over 6 miles.... and replenished our bodies and souls with a trip to Coco's and then later to Bayfield.  Because..... well Coco's and Bayfield.
I will always think of these two trips with great fondness.  It was a time of awe-inspiring beauty and we felt like we were one of the cool kids with the kayaks on the car driving up north, parked in Washburn, and tooling around Bayfield.  Sigh.




I think the Mad-English teacher would agree that these trips, along with the whole Denver experience, are certainly the best times WE spent together this summer.  And since we did a lot of stuff to keep ourselves happy and active and occupied, that is saying something!  
I absolutely can not wait to see what life brings me next summer.  Some of it I have planned, some of it I am hoping for and some of it I can't begin to anticipate I am sure.  And certainly I will find a lot of joy in it.

To all of you who complimented me on my summer activities, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.  It gives me a smile and some part of the summer pops to mind every time.  Whether recorded by this blog, shared with special friends or just moments that occurred, I had a spectacular time. Not every minute was fun, much was uneventful and even sometimes sad and stressful- but those times make the good ones stand out.  And that is all part of a joyful life.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Summer Memories: Scene 3- It's the People, people!

You know, the thing that really was spectacular about this summer,
Bayfielding with my friends



besides the activities that I ADORED doing, was all the company that I got and the places that I visited.  There are a few of my favorite peeps that I missed out on this summer, but I have great hopes for another time soon.  My friend ,Callen, pops to mind almost first.  I try to get together with him, one of my oldest (as in longest in duration, or years I've known him...... um, yeah, I will stop here while I am ahead) friends once a summer since I hunted him down on Facebook.  I'm still thinking it could happen this fall!

Pedis with Rose and Emily!
And final product!  

Aunties Linda and Ruth, plus uncle Dave.  All my dads siblings- aunt Cathy is off to the side in blue


A few cousins I haven't seen in forever! Rose, Debi, Kurt, Theresa and Karla

I started my summer with some awesome stuff.  Of course the required Bayfield kick off with the Mad Science teacher and the Mad English teacher, followed closely by a visit to my seester-Rose's house.  I invited myself there, since we were planning a lil visit to the south to hangout with my aunties and uncle and cousins.  Not to mention my Jon, Sarah Grace and Ella!!
One of my favorite pix of the summer, and a sad moment for both of us

A quick coffee and visit with Bonnie at Caribou Coffee

Next, I did my fantastic trip to Denver with the Mad-English teacher, where I managed to meet one of my internet friends totally by accident and got to walk and talk and hug my dear dear friend Lori and her adorable girlies.

On the plane


My lovelies - Lori, Bridgid and Brianna.

Hanging out with Leland on my last day in Denver- I seriously covet his selfie stick!  :)


Then there was the best EVER visit up HERE from my friend Cheri in July- SO awesome!!  And in there was a stop at Jon's house again, with a stop at my sister's on the other end of that visit.  And a second Ella encounter in one week.  It was SO amazing.

Stayed the night with Jon and Sarah after picking up Cheri!


Cheri and Debi at the Pixley Dam


Kayaking with Cheri and Adam
In this period of time we were absolutely BLESSED to have the second Mad-Son and our Sarah-Jane and Greggy move up to the great north!  This has been an amazing addition to our lives!

Greggy and Gramma

Sarah and Greggy resting for a moment


The last section of the summer involved a lot of the Mad-English teacher and our quest to kayak all over the north, my sister visited me up here, Jon and Sarah were up here again as well, plus I got to see my former coworker, Jen for the first time in over a year.

Not sure, but I think a certain Jennifer is mocking me!!!  Lol
My sweet friend Jen, who I finally got to see after a year!


School friends, past and present!! Jess, Sheila, Paula, Adam and Jen


Vibrant!  No actual pic of my new friend Keith- sorry!

There were other miscellaneous kayaks with friends, and weddings and bike rides as well, which just added up to a whole lot of good summery times.  My birthday week was chock full of guests and visits and kayaking, which about did me in, but I had a GREAT time!

Rose and Emily at Houghton Falls









Birthday Dinner- the elusive Mike and the equally camera shy MA




I got to see Karen this summer!



Never see this lady enough! Love hanging out with my dear friend Cat.



Kayaking with Annette and Carol- didn't get good shots of them- they are elusive!



































































Connecting with my friends and family is surely the most joyful part of all...