Saturday, July 14, 2012

Can You Tell I Recently Bought a New Camera?

As the title reads - I recently bought a new camera and I've been having loads of fun with it.  I don't consider myself a photographer in any form of the word, except that I have a camera and I push the button.

Having admitted that, I will also admit that I wanted/want to be a photographer.  I think I have an eye for some things.  Those things I have an eye for - well, it just doesn't count that I have to take 1,000 pictures to get one that allows me to claim an artistic eye.

So, come into my house and check out my pictures.  I could keep you in your chair for hours.  Nevermind that it's only because you are too polite to tell me that you are bored and want to go home.  I've got you here and here you will stay until I'm finished. 

One nice thing about the blog setting is that you can actually skim past all the blabber that comes with every picture.  Also, you can cut me off in mid sentence and you won't feel badly and I won't even know.  So, go ahead, cut me off.  Or, if you are predisposed and trained to sit through your aunt's showing of their last vacation, stay.  I will promise not to include the pictures of personal moments or the blurry ones that require an extended explanation.

 Milkweed flowers.

 I think this is goldenrod but I'm not certain.  Pretty - whatever it is.

 Milkweed buds.

 My grapes seem to be doing good this year.  

 Just some water grass of some kind with Canadian Geese in the background.

 I am not sure what this is.  I suspect it is highly poisonous, but again - not sure.

 I couldn't resist the water drops on my windshield.  I'm a sucker for close ups.

These look like little snap dragons, but my weed dictionary is rusty.

The Cathedral Spires on the Needles Highway.  This is a panoramic view.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Custer State Park and Beyond in a Day and a Half!

We are always very busy in the summer.  This year isn't any different but we have been getting out and about every once in a while.

My husband and I took our three girls camping this past weekend.  We were only able to stay one night but we all had a great time.

We spent most of our time in Custer State Park - Why not?  We bought a year pass.

As we were driving into the park we came upon a traffic jam and were excited to see what was causing it.  It didn't take long to figure out it was a few buffalo with their calves.  They weren't in any hurry to move out of the road so I decided to take some pictures.

 Not much further up the road we saw this deer.  I find the deer a much more worthy traffic stopper.  The buffalo are easy to find and photograph, the deer, on the other hand, like to run away as soon as they see you.

We saw this sweet little group at Stockade Lake.  
Momma and her four little ducklings.  

From my quick little research stint on 
"How to tell the difference between a male and female grackle," 
I'm somewhat convinced this beauty is female because 
her head isn't as iridescent as the others in the neighborhood.

 My girls found this egg shell on the ground up in the trees.  
It was a fairly large egg (bigger than a chicken egg).  
I looked up some eggs and have decided it is more than likely 
a turkey egg, but could be a golden eagle egg.

What is a camping trip without some type of risk?
I spiced up the pictures with the danger of being stung.
This little bee was just the prettiest thing on the prettiest flowers.
Double the danger!
Not only are the flowers pretty - they look an awful lot like water hemlock.
I'm not certain this is actually hemlock, but I certainly won't be tasting it any time soon.
If the flowers were in a flatter format, I'd be more convinced.

 The Cathedral Spires on The Needles Highway

 Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park.  
Parts of National Treasure: Book of Secrets was filmed here.

 Even though these tunnels make me nervous 
(this is one of three), I still think they are cool.

I took over 300 pictures over the course of our day and a half outing.  A lot of them are close-ups.  I love close-ups.  I will save those for another post, though.

Monday, July 9, 2012

4th Of July At My House - 2012

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays for various reasons.  For those of you who have followed my blog for more than a year will know the story, but for new people I have copy and pasted my explanation from last year's post.  I will add that our show was the only show available in the hills on the 4th, so the crowd was awesome!

I will first post pictures and then I will add the finale video at the end of the post.  This finale video has been posted on Facebook, so you may have already seen it.

I live on my families property (80 acres) and the community fireworks display is held on our place.

This is one of the best things we could ever hope for.  Tons of people from the community and outlying communities come to see the show and stop by for short visits.  I love it!

I'm proud to be from the United States of America.  As far as I'm concerned, it's the best place on the planet.  Not only do we have a variety of terrain and territory, we have a variety of people.  These are some of the reasons I'm happy to be a part of it all.  But what makes me the most proud of our wonderful country are the men and women that serve to protect the rest of us that stay home to raise our families.

The following pictures are of the show held at our place and I want to thank the community for their donations, support and involvement.  Thank you goes to the Volunteer Fire Fighters that really make the show what it is.  But I also want to thank those that have given their lives to the service of protecting our freedoms.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Independence Day Celebration!