Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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WordPress Photo Challenge: Unusual

I was in Alabama over the 4th of July. We got to watch fireworks from a boat, out in the middle of a huge lake alongside hundreds of other boats. It was beautiful.

Patriotic evening on the water.

It’s unusual that I would share with you an imperfect image. But I kind of liked the way this one looked even though it wasn’t crisp. And, it’s the only shot I took of the fireworks, because I realized the boat was rocking too much to ever get a clear shot.

And that’s unusual too…me only taking one shot of anything!

Headed home the water was really rough, making the boat under my feet heave and roll. These are some of the other boats headed home along side of us…the green bow and white stern lights shifting in the waves as we all rocked and rolled.

At least we’re all going in the same direction.

Kind of makes me seasick even now, weeks later.

Having fun with it now.


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4th of July parade…of a different sort.

Uncle Sam waits for everyone to show up.


How many of you went to a 4th of July parade this year? I suppose if you don’t live in the United States the odds are slim that you did, but if you live over here maybe you got to enjoy some patriotism on wheels! Or hooves as the case may be.

Time to check your phone before the start.

I was extra lucky. I was in the South, on a lake that just happens to have some very patriotic water lovers. Every July on the 4th a huge community of jet skies and boats circles part of the lake at full speed.

This year I got to shoot images of them as they went by. It was a big group, probably more than a hundred total.

Fully decorated!

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First there was the gathering of everyone. The waiting for the prompt 10:00 a.m. start. The chatting with friends. The smiles. The admiring of costumes and decorations.

Waiting and watching.

The increased anxiety for me.

You see we had been out on the lake the day before, talking to friends, telling them I’d be out there shooting. We told them to look for us and come by as close as they could.

We told them to smile.

Festive balloons.

I hoped I wouldn’t let them down. I’d be sitting in a boat moving up and down over choppy waters. They’d be out in the middle of the chop, moving fast across my bow.

Gathering for the run.

Anything could happen.

It was a beautiful day, bright blue skies, puffy white clouds, beautiful water. Perfect for a parade.

It’s gonna get crazy out there!

At two minutes to ten they took off. We high-tailed it to the other side of the lake and a particular point near where we planned on anchoring.

They’d have to go around us.

I was as ready as I could be. Extra batteries. Extra memory chips. And advice on shooting action shots from my friend Heather, aka Snap Happy Gal who does phenomenal work. You should visit her web site.

How did it turn out? Well, it was a blast. Here’s a slideshow of some of my favorite shots.

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It was a perfect parade. I didn’t notice the waves much while I was shooting. But when I took the camera away from my face and saw the waves heading toward me I sort of freaked. They looked at least 3 feet tall! They looked like they’d swamp the boat! I scrambled toward the back of the boat a couple of times, but we stayed sea-worthy.

It was an honor to photograph these people enjoying their holiday. I especially liked to capture the families that were riding the waves together. My brother has posted some of these photos to a lake Facebook page. I will post more soon.

I hope you enjoyed my representation of a 4th of July lake parade. But honestly? You should have been there.

On the lake. Can’t get better than that!


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Meandering

Headed out for a day on the lake.


Retirement. What a gift! Here Katie girl and I are wandering without time constraints or obligations.

We’re visiting family…

Riding the waves.

…sleeping in.

Good morning!

Taking lots of pictures of nothing much in particular.

Evening light on azalea.

Exploring places we’ve been many times, and other places we never knew existed.

Morning glow.

We’re watching the weather up north, trying to figure out when we might go home again. There doesn’t seem to be an urgency.

Dangerous dive bombing mockingbird.

Especially when we watch the weather patterns slide across the country full of snow and rain.

Might have to snuggle down here in the South for a bit longer.

Condo living.


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WordPress Photo Challenge: Wish

Tonight as I sit out on the deck of the lake house, watching the moon rise, I wish everyone had such a warm, beautiful and safe place to relax.

I wish upon a moon.

I know that many of my friends ‘up north’ are facing their third night of no electricity following a major wind event. I know the temperatures are heading down toward 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.77 C) tonight.

I wish that spring could come early for them. That I could somehow share the warmth and color and contentment surrounding me here.

I wish they could all just come down here and soak up the sun. Or sit with me under the moon listening to the waves gently lap against the shore

I wish, not upon a star, but upon the bright moon, that the warmth from here in the South could find it’s way up to the dark and frozen North.


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Rivers and mountains oh my!

Anyone want to float down the river?


Katie here. I guess I have to do all the explaining cause mama is lazy. You’d think this was my blog or something, she hardly does anything anymore. She says she’s on vacation.

Whatever.

So anyway, we’ve been over in Columbus Georgia the past few days, visiting family and taking it easy. Well. I’ve been taking it easy. Mama and family have been working hard on projects and stuff.

They did stop working for a bit to take me on a walk along the Columbus waterfront. What a pretty place!

I’d rent one of these but my fur gets curly when it’s wet.

We walked and walked for about a hundred million miles. Good thing mama had water and treats for me. We watched people going down the rapids in a big yellow rubber raft…

They are definitely going to get wet!

…and in little tiny kayaks. Seems like the water would be way too cold for that! Plus it would mess up your hair. I’m pretty sure I’m not a kayak kind of girl.

Kinda scary if you ask me!

Mama says she likes kayaks but wouldn’t want to go down those rapids! Smart mama!

We saw lots of pretty stuff. We walked in Alabama and in Georgia! I don’t think I’ve ever walked in two states on one walk before!

A lone fisher-bird.

We walked so long that I slept all night without bugging mama! Mama said that was a wonderful thing. I slept with the new toy my Aunt got me. Isn’t it cute? (I’m cute too..it’s OK, you can say it out loud.)

It’s a hedgehog…zzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Anyway, we’re back home at the lake now, and today mama took me to Smith Mountain again for a walk. (Cause I was bugging her while she was napping. I think she wanted revenge.)

You are so slow mama!

This time we walked up what is usually the exit down from the mountain top. It was very steep.

Come on! I ran up these, you can too!

Good thing mama had me to show her the way! Sometimes I had to drag her up steep passages!

Just follow me mama!

These are baby long leaf pines. Mama loves these trees. I think they are pretty too.

I secretly don’t mind posing. It means I get to rest and I get a treat!

We had to go way up here and I scampered right up. It was awesome.

Are we THERE YET mama?

But about 3/4 of the way up I figured that was enough and I started back down the path. Mama said oh no..we’re not going back down this steep path and she took me all the way to the top!!!

Good thing I didn’t have to go all the way to the top of the fire tower too!

Not going up there mama!

We walked back to the car down the road. There was lots of pretty stuff to see there too….including native azaleas in bloom.

Pretty pink deep in the woods.

I was a slowpoke on the road down, but as soon as I saw my car I started trotting ahead of mama. Enough is enough mama!

I see my car mama! Hurry!!

Time to get a little shut eye….mama says we have a big day tomorrow. I have no idea what she’s got in store for me now, but if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s to be well rested!

-Your tour guide gal Katie

Here’s the start of the trail up. (I’ll wait for you here.)


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I was tricked!

Come on mama, this looks like an AWESOME park!

Come on mama, this looks like an AWESOME park!


Katie here. Mama asked me if I wanted to go to a park, and I said “OF COURSE MAMA! Are you crazy? I want to go to a park! Let’s go right now! RIGHT NOW MAMA!

So we did.

We drove and drove and drove and I started to get vocal. Mama told me to settle down but I didn’t really. I was just expressing my opinion, and a princess is entitled. Right?

Isn't this a pretty lake mama?

Isn’t this a pretty lake mama?

So anyway, mama was going to take me to visit Auburn University but she couldn’t find anywhere to park the car. We drove around and around and mama saw lots of stuff but I didn’t see anything cause I was in my crate in the back.

Not fair.

But when we finally stopped and mama got me out it was at a park! A beautiful park! Mama says she’s not sure where it was because she was lost by then. And she said she wasn’t going to take her camera, we’d just walk around a little bit.

Mama liked the row of trees.  I liked the shade.

Mama liked the row of trees. I liked the shade.

And then of course she found a gazillion pretty things that warranted a camera. So we walked around this beautiful little lake and then mama and I went back to the car, got a drink and her camera and walked around it again!

Isn’t it great? There was a blue heron the first time we walked, but he had moved on by the time we came back. We did get to watch these turtles though. Mama said they were all looking at me. Well of course they were, I’m the princess!

A little warm for my taste, but these guys liked the sun.

A little warm for my taste, but these guys liked the sun.

And there were these exercise things. Mama tried a couple of them, she said they were really fun. I was not interested, given that I already have a svelte sheltie figure.

These look fun mama!

These look fun mama! For you anyway.

Once we got around the lake the second time mama loaded me in the car and drove some more and when she parked again I couldn’t figure it out. It was a busy parking lot? What are we doing here mama? I dutifully followed along and suddenly we were inside a groomer’s place!!

Mama tricked me!

The lady put my on a table and there were all these little dogs, bichons and chihuahuas and other little fru fru dogs running around on the floor, and then a great dane walked into the room and stretched! Why he could reach as high as the table I was on! And the lady was clipping my toenails! And trimming my toe fur! I turned my head and looked at my mama and pleaded with her to get me out of there!

Mama says she wishes she had the camera, because the whole thing was ridiculously funny, dogs running all over and me looking pitiful up on the table. But she left her phone in the car, so no pictures.

I’m personally glad. It was humiliating.

When we left I was in such a hurry to get out of there that I ran up the 8 stairs outside. Up the stairs. Wait…I forgot I don’t do stairs. Mama called me a little stinker. I think that’s a compliment…right?

I’m ticked at my mama. Taking me to a wonderful park does not negate the secret groomer appointment. But I have to say my feet do look a whole lot better.

Don’t tell her I said that.

Pretty feet.

Pretty feet.


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WordPress Photo Challenge: The Road Taken

Walking a forest fire access road around the mountain we were surprised to find a bit of the lake hiding in back.

Let's go explore that shoreline mama!

Let’s go explore that shoreline mama!

We were glad we took this road a bit further than we ever had before.

Wonder what surprises other people have found on the roads they’ve taken? Check out the link above. Or here are a couple I especially liked.

Katie says she hopes everyone gets out today on a walk filled with wonderful surprises.

And that you all get to take a nap after.

Come along with me!

Come along with me!