Monday, April 11, 2016


This past Sunday found me waking up feeling sulky over the cold and nasty (read: snowy) weather that had occurred over the previous 2 days.  Friday afternoon had us all giddy from the early release from school: a half snow-day. Saturday, I was in a fine mood- though it was cold- it was sunny and man, I needed that.  Got a walk in, and planned to drive back to the stone house  to take some nice sunny afternoon pictures.  I was a little miffed when it clouded up  by the time I got home and so much for sunny pictures.  Ugh.  So Sunday I woke up sort of sad, which has been characteristic of my Sundays lately.  Weird, as I don't really dread Mondays, but oh well.  Anyway, I had made pancakes and was cleaning up and saying "see ya" to the MA, when I noticed patches of blue skies to the north and west!!!! Oh. Yeah. Baby.
The boat landing, you can see the ice and the ducks and geese
I am always on the look out for interesting clouds/landscapes so I grabbed my camera and headed out the door to the field.  Well, that was all fine, but I decided instead of sitting in the house and pouting, I would go for a drive.... since my chauffeur was otherwise occupied at the office.  I had only my camera and my regular lens, but had the conscious conversation with myself about how angry I would be if I had the chance to grab my long lens and didn't..... so I did!

Receding clouds 

Here comes the sun... 
I began in the yard, actually, but started the road trip down at Smith Lake.  Those were some tough shooting conditions- the sun is directly in front of you at this time of the year at 8:15.  I got a few pretty acceptable shots, and I took my self into the car and went over to the stone house to grab some shots over there.  In my usual optimistic way, I was thinking how nice it was to walk around in the grass that was slightly covered with snow- a. the tall grass was beaten down and b. no ticks!!  Combine the snow with the fact that it was close to 0 the night before and the ticks are temporarily suppressed.
Yes, I would like to kayaking in you by the weekend, thank you.

Though the highlights are blown out, I do love this picture I think.  :)

Moody back view of the stone house
The stone house has some challenges as well- there is this amazing stone foundation that is left over from an old barn.  It is really hard to get that foundation in any recognizable form, as it is long and narrow and there is so much vegetation.  Even at this time of the year, a lot is obscured by the branches.  I have an idea for the next time I get there, so I'll take another crack at it.  Otherwise, I was so happy walking around and finding other angles to shoot.  I had the MA's voice in my head warning me about where to step, as you never know where there might be an abandoned well.

Part of the foundation and an apparent silo

It was fun to shoot there and at the quickly degrading house across the street, and so where to go next?  I had seen in one of the many snowfalls this past week a little pond that is up the road towards town.  I had seen the boy who lives in the house next to it fiddling around with a canoe in that pond during the week (this water will dry up later in the spring), and he left it on the shore.  I noticed this picture as I was driving past to go to work several mornings in a row, so I parked and got that shot too.  I am not 100% happy with this, but it will do.

The canoe is waiting

So after a quick stop at the grocery store, I decided that maybe I should drive up to Butternut Lake and see if I could get some cloud shots over the lake. The clouds were sort of cooperating and I thought of a few places that I could try out.  Since I was on the highway I drove up to the boat landing on the far end of the lake.  I have no idea if you would consider that the north side or the east side or what the hell ever... but I went to the little boat landing - Koch's landing- for those of you in the know.  I was scoping out the state of the blue sky and where the sun was as I was driving into the area and was stunned by the sight that greeted me.  There was open water by the shore, ice after that and a bunch of waterfowl!!  Probably 10 swans (tundra swans) and a bunch of geese and ducks as well.  **I would like to thank my intuition for insisting on taking along the telephoto lens**  Anyway, I quietly exited the car and avoided actually getting knee deep in the swampy margins of the lake, and found a frozen path out past much of the brush that was obstructing my view.  I realized about 30 min. later that I was seriously underdressed and had inadequate footwear! Oh well, feet can be warmed and car seat heaters can be turned up. I do get myself into places I don't expect, lol.  Even with the size of my new lens, I was still a bit far away, but the quality of my camera allowed some serious cropping of the photos of these birds.

Tundra swan

Beautiful in flight

Oh, and I stopped at the big boat landing on the west side of the lake too!  

I learned a lot about my camera on this trip, and from some photography discussions I learned what I REALLY should have set my camera setting to.  Lol.  I was so happy with this day!  In spite of not being able to get out to kayak yet, and the cold, and the snow, I did use some of these conditions to my advantage!

I admittedly slapped a preset on this one!  :) Its a bit bright.  haha

Of course part of learning new things is being frustrated with not knowing instantly how to do everything, if that makes sense?!  So even after successfully solving a few issues with the camera, the editing program offers its own array of bang-your-head-on-the-table moments.  Thank heaven for YouTube.  I found one guy, who I LOVE listening to (Swiss accent- I am a sucker for an accent) but he sort of over-edits.  But I have found so much technique that I can use and I needed to start somewhere. So I am loving the way most of these pictures are turning out, but there are flaws in all of them.  And they make my eye twitch.  But, I am showing you the ones that don't make me slam my computer shut in irritation, so there is that!! Lol

Anyway, I am finding my way around this new technology and feel like I am making some progress.  I sort of thrive on these sorts of challenges and am looking forward to more.  I am itching to get some portraits now, I wonder if I have any grandchildren available for practice??  :D That will certainly be a joy!


  1. Old barn foundations might also hide deep gutters. A sudden step a foot lower than you expect might cause serious injury, too.

    1. Well I live on the edge, so there is that! :)