A New Day & A New Year

I’ll start off by saying Happy New Year to all my friends and family who read this little blog.

Some of you I know face to face, and some are new friends that I have met through WordPress. I think that’s cool! You all inspire me 🙂

Well, the new year starts tomorrow and of course I have mixed feelings. At times I dread change (although I am getting better) and a new year is in a way change.

This past year was okay.. not the easiest year, but not the worst either. I’m curious to know what 2014 will bring.

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The past 6 weeks have been honestly very difficult for me. I didn’t enjoy any time leading up to the holiday and work was crazy, it was just all too much. As an introvert, I need my quiet/reflection time. And the more stressful the situation, the more I need it. As you can imagine, I didn’t really get that. I’m not surprised, but it really took a toll on me.

I am now enjoying a week off of work and time away from the computer, which I desperately needed. I needed some time to recharge and recover if you will.

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I always make goals and tasks for myself.. like personal goals, work goals, fitness goals… and I also make yearly goals as well. So here are my 2014 Goals or a To-Do List.. or something like that:

Run a 5K
I work out at least 3 days each week, but thought this would be a different kind of challenge. I’ve always been more of a sprinter, but I feel I am in good enough shape to tackle this.. it will be good mental stimulation if anything.

Read 12 Books
I don’t make time to read and I am more of a researcher than anything. I get bored really easy, so the book needs to be very visually stimulating for my mind. So there you go. I’m starting with The Hobbit.

Give More/Expect Less
We always have more to give, whether it be our talents or time or money.
I don’t want to get that entitlement attitude that so many people have these days. I think giving, will curve that.

Write Handwritten Letters
Communication is so shallow these days. We text, we email, Facebook to everyone. Besides a Christmas card, when is the last time someone sent you a hand written letter? Doesn’t it make you feel special to open it and take the time to sit down to read it? I just think it’s thoughtful and it will also cause me to take the time to pause and reflect.

Develop a Riding Horse
Charm is my horse. I’ve had her for almost 11 years and now we can do anything together. It’s really time I started to learn from another equine at the farm. Not that I will stop riding Charm, but this will be in addition.

Go to a Show
I haven’t been to a good concert for a long time. And I don’t mean sitting in assigned seats… I spent much of my late teens and early 20s at every ska/punk/rock/blues concerts that came to the area. I do not make the effort anymore and I really miss it. It’s time to let loose and remember what it felt like to be 17 again 😉

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So there it is. Wish me luck!
Happy New Year everyone! See you in 2014 😀

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Algoma Harbor Sunrise | Long Exposure

I been intrigued lately by some Instagram photographers and their beautiful long exposure photographs. Specifically around bodies of water giving them this cool silky/foggy look. It was time for me to experiment!

So I took a shot at it and here’s what I got. I had a tripod, but forgot the tripod plate to attach to my camera! So this was taken while my camera was placed carefully on the pier. It was very windy and the waves were between 2-3 feet in this harbor. I used some Tiffen Neutral Density filters and stacked them, then exposed this image for 25 seconds. I am happy with how it turned out.

This is the JPEG straight from the camera, no editing.

I’ll be doing more of these!! I am looking at getting this filter for my wide angle lens which will allow me to do much more with this technique.

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Algoma Harbor
ISO 100
f/8
18mm
25 seconds
Tiffen ND: 0.6, 0.9, 1.2 all stacked

Kiteboarding Death’s Door

I was on the ferry traveling from Washington Island to the mainland and noticed two kiteboarders taking on the waves. It was really windy and the waves were a good size, so good that it was hard to take a decent picture with my telephoto without bouncing around. I got a few and then got back in the truck to avoid falling over on the ferry deck.

Notice the lighthouse in the background.. kinda cool how that turned out!

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My visit to Rock Island, Wisconsin

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Rock Island Shoreline

This past weekend I was able to escape for a couple nights for the annual Washington Island trip with the horses. This year, Sofie and I decided that we were really curious about Rock Island and wanted to spend a little time discovering it. We were able to catch the noon ferry ride over and hiked around for a couple hours trying to soak it all in.

Cars aren’t allowed on the island, or bikes. So we walked with the other tourists that were enjoying the beautiful day. There is a campground on the island, and I would actually like to camp there sometime. They are primitive sites, but it would be an awesome adventure.

Here are a few pictures that I took during my short visit. I’d like to go back, and am trying to convince Adam that a night in October would be perfect (fall colors? yes please).

I hope you enjoy these pictures. It wasn’t the best time to shoot since the sun was shining high, but I think you’ll get a flavor of what the island is like. Please click on the picture for a better view.

A hint of fall.

A hint of fall.

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The typical trail on the island. Only foot trails, no bikes allowed.

The typical trail on the island. Only foot trails, no bikes allowed.

Fliterary Butterfly

Fliterary Butterfly

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Loving all the different colors and textures.

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The gate at the top of the hill.

The Island Boathouse. The first thing you'll see upon arriving at the island.

The Island Boathouse. The first thing you’ll see upon arriving at the island.

Washington Island in the distance

Washington Island in the distance

Gorgeous ground cover, including thyme.

Gorgeous ground cover, including thyme.. it smelled amazing.

Rock Island Lighthouse (Pottawatomie Light). The oldest lighthouse in Wisconsin.

Rock Island Lighthouse (Pottawatomie Lighthouse). The oldest lighthouse in Wisconsin.

The steps leading to to shore below the lighthouse.

The steps leading to to shore below the lighthouse.

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The top of the Boathouse, Viking Hall.

The top of the Boathouse, Viking Hall.

These Saddled Prominent Caterpillars are an invasive species and are defoliating the island hardwood trees.

These Saddled Prominent Caterpillars are an invasive species and are defoliating the island hardwood trees.

Fiery Searcher Beetle. This guy is also called the Caterpillar Hunter and aids in the caterpillar control. The only thing is they probably need about 10,000 more on the Island.

Fiery Searcher Beetle. This guy is also called the Caterpillar Hunter and aids in the caterpillar control.

More pretty groundcover with a rock hedge.

More pretty ground cover with a rock hedge.

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We are hiking back down the hill. It was around 2pm and a gorgeous day. Washington Island is in the distance.

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Trying to notice the little things.

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There really wasn’t a bad view anywhere.