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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WordPress Photo Challenge: Danger

As Katie the dog and I entered the park I noticed a pair of Canadian geese resting in the spring green grass. They noticed us too, and immediately stood up, sensing danger.

Mom and Dad watching over their five little ones.

The five little babies swam oblivious but mom and dad were on guard.

You can see other interpretations of danger here, here and here.

What’s dangerous in your world? Share!


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Busy Princess reports in

Hi all. Princess Katie here. I’ve been way too busy to blog, but mama says I need to keep up with my responsibilities so I’ll give you the short version of what I’ve been up to lately.

As you all know I visited Reilly last month…and then I went over to my lake house for a few weeks, and then my daddy came down to join mama and me and we visited my Aunt and Uncle for a few days.

Me and my guy Reilly!

So…then instead of going home we went back to Florida and I got to spend five more days with my intended Reilly and his brother Denny and their mom! Wow!

Five whole days of running on the beach…

I love running on my beach!

…and walking through the jungle!

It’s a jungle in here!

Mama and daddy and Reilly’s mom went off and looked at forts and zoos and lighthouses and such too…but that’s not important. What is best about this time is I got to spend it with my guy.

One morning we all got up early and went out to the beach to watch the sun rise. I got to run around and mama took pictures of stupid birds. There were some flying really low to the water with their beaks open. Mama thought they were really neat.

Skimmer birds.

And some just stood around a lot. I thought those were much more interesting.

Nobody was out there that early so I got to run a whole lot. I loved running free on the beach!

There was a cool breeze, perfect for a sheltie-princess!

And then another day we went out in the evening when it got cool and played on the beach some more. We watched some big ships go out to sea. I barked at them, as is my right as a Princess.

Watching the ships go out to sea.

Mostly though the three of us hung around waiting for our folks to stop taking pictures of the ships from the seawall.

Whatcha doing up there people?

I don’t know why they were interested in the ships more than us. We three were adorable.

Mama and I ran on the beach again too, until she tried to trick me by running close to where the tide was going out and the sand was really wet. I don’t like getting my feet wet mama! I went and walked with my daddy after that.

Sadly we had to leave, so we drove across a beautiful bridge and headed north.

Mama’s artsy-fartsy bridge image.

But, lucky me, we got to stop along the way and spend a few hours with a friend of mama and daddy’s. She has two beagles! Wow! More doggie friends for me to hang out with!

Me and my new friends!

We all got along just great and we got to go for a long walk.

This has been the best adventure ever, but I think I’m ready to head home now. This hotel living can wear on a girl you know.

This is the good life!

And even a princess needs to return to her castle once in awhile.

Your gal Katie.


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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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Perfect weather

Sometimes when you wake up in early morning darkness you go back to sleep. And other days, for some reason, you get up, pull the curtains back and check the sky.

Last week I got lucky.

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The sun was coming up over the hills behind me, just touching the house across the way as it sat under a big rolling cloud racing across the sky. The light was only like this for a moment. So brief I might have imagined it.

This morning I woke and caught a sliver of light through a crack in the blinds. It looked a bit gold, so I leaped out of bed and threw back the curtains.

Not gold, but just as rich.

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“Those are Snaphappy Gal clouds!” I cried. (Go to her photography site, you’ll see she loves clouds!) Katie looked at me with held tilted as I raced outside with my camera.

And then the sky turned into a van Gogh right before my eyes.

Which way does the wind blow?

Which way does the wind blow?


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Reflections

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Sitting here in the house that dad built I can’t help but keep one eye, sometimes both eyes, on the water.

Sure the lake level is low, as it is every winter, making it difficult to enjoy this huge lake, but just our little part right here is beautiful.

And it’s always changing. The light moves and twinkles and shifts and the water ruffles and calms.

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I have lots of time to sit and reflect as the sun goes down and the shadows lengthen across the slew.

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I wish my parents were here. But the house is still filled with their presence. Not the same of course, as having them physically here.

But not as sad as it was in the beginning.

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Lots of good memories flit through my mind as I watch the water shift in the changing light.

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We’re lucky they left us this place. I think they’re glad we come to visit.

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But I bet they miss us all too.

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