A September Morning in Wisconsin

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Washington Island 2014

A couple of weeks ago, Sofie and I headed to Washington Island for our annual weekend getaway with Bella and Charm. To sum it up, it was amazing. We had 3 nights and the most of 4 days to relax and explore.
Here are some of the highlights…

• We hiked Rock Island the first day and walked/jogged the 5 mile trail, of course exploring the shore or whatever else caught our eyes along the way.

• What made this trip extra special was that some friends who frequent the island were there with their horses. Because of this, we were able to explore off the road and really see the land.

• We rode about 24 miles total on the road, in the water, through fields, meadows and along the shore. We also happened on trails through the woods with ferns and even hidden sand dunes in the middle of the island.

• We went to the annual Death’s Door BBQ Competition. We rode the horses there and tied them to trees while we sampled some delicious food. Then, we rode over to Main Street and got a couple of beers horseback.

• We picked about 6 pounds of wild blackberries. After eating our fill, I was able to bring home enough to make blackberry jam to enjoy in the months to come.

• When it comes to bugs, there are only butterflies and dragonflies on the Island, or so it seemed.

• The most frequently asked question of the weekend was, “Do year hear that?” To which the other would respond “I hear nothing.”

• We ate a lot of good food and drank some good drinks.

• We enjoyed our traditional Black Velvet at the Fiddler’s Green.

• The horses behaved like old pros. They were patient, went through anything and everything we asked them to and did not tire (except for some ouchy feet on the hard road). Charm in particular was totally in her element. She was happy and forward.

• I ended up selling my saddle on the Island. I’ve had it for sale since February and now it’s gone! Who could have guessed that would have happened?

• One night we laid out a blanket around midnight and looked at the stars all while enjoying some gourmet popcorn.

• The weather was perfect. Low 70s, mostly overcast but not dreary. Ideal when you’re riding all day!

• We had this ridiculous giant white truck for the weekend. The thing was so loud people would make comments about it to us … oops. We named it “Great White” for the weekend. Totally redneck.

• We had no schedule!

• And lastly, we became experts on Snoants and Cincolizards. I will tell you all about them sometime…

Till next year!

Here are some of the pictures that sum it all up…

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Cave Point • Before the Thaw

This past weekend I was able to spend a night away in Door County! It was a much-needed break from the daily grind. On Sunday, I was able to shoot Cave Point. I’ve been wanting to get up to the Apostle Islands to experience the amazing ice caves, but it just didn’t work out this year. So Cave Point was a good alternative. I was happy to be able to play around with my fairly new Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. I am still getting the hang of this lens and I feel like I got some good shots. Also, I used the 50mm for a few too.

This has been the coldest winter on record in North East Wisconsin. I’m not sure when we’ll see ice like this again.

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 😀

A Frosty Morning

A beautiful frost and soft light covered the farm this morning. I was fortunate enough to be there and capture it.
(Click on the picture for the best quality)

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Brandywine looked very handsome with his frosty mane.

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Little beautiful things are all around us if we take the time to look for them.

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The geldings are bored in the pasture this time of year, so they play this little game. First one to take a step back loses.

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Frost was literally everwhere.

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The whole fence line was like this.

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Wana play mom? Charm knows is time to head up to the barn with me. 🙂

Yesterday

Yesterday I spent the day at my Grandparent’s house to celebrate my Gramp’s 85th Birthday.
I ventured out into the 5˙ weather and here are some pictures that I took.

DSC_2551The Old Barn
I grew up playing in this barn… now it’s a little dangerous as you can see. We are all waiting for the day when a big storm comes and knocks it over. Here’s an interesting fact… some of the large beams are charred and are burnt timber from the Peshtigo Fire in 1871.  The Peshtigo Fire occurred the same day as the Great Chicago Fire.

DSC_2543Chilly Sun Star
The barn picture and this one were taken with my Tokina 11-16mm. One fun thing about this lens is how it produces 18 point sun stars when used at a small aperture. I like it!

GrampsmGramp & Wilson
Here is my Gramp with his little dog Wilson. My Grandparents rescued Wilson from a puppy mill. Wilson is old and is missing a few teeth, but he is a perfect companion for them (besides their Golden Retriever, Moon Beam of course). My Gramp turned 85 yesterday and my Gram had a ton of food and of course a smorgusboard of desserts. I’m pretty sure I gained at least 3 pounds.

DSC_2557Moon Rise
As we were leaving, the sun was setting in west and moon was rising in the east. The sunset caused a gorgeous pink and purple hue. Glad I was able to capture this gorgeous moment. PS.. that dark blue through the trees is Lake Michigan.