Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Catching Butterflies


Today was a beautiful day, as warm as any summer day.  Wyle and I went for a walk at Hartwood Acres and she had the pleasure of catching her first butterfly.  She was quick and persistent so I should not have been surprised when she actually cupped it against the grass in her hands.  She was so gentle, but still we had to have a lesson in the ethics of butterfly handling.  She was not going to let it go, but I did coax her into releasing its wings and being content with it sitting on her hand.  I taught her about butterfly dust and how the butterfly can't fly without it and how important it was not to touch its wings.  Despite my lecturing, it was a magical experience for both of us to share.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Autumn Pinks

Here's more autumn color from my neck of the woods.  These pink leaves are so pretty this time of year, and I find the rectangular shapes in the bark to be fascinating.  That's not a shape you often find in nature.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Misty Morning at the Creek

I'm not usually glad when I wake up as early as I did today, but I think my subconscious was eager to get out and take some photos.  It has been very foggy the last several mornings.  I was planning a trip out this weekend, but when I peeked out the window and couldn't see the street for all the mist, I knew I should get up and get some shots before my husband went to work.  This is one of our favorite places to spend time in the summer and it was every bit as peaceful this morning.  Maybe more so, because the morning light was so soft but so much brighter than I imagined.

Friday, September 26, 2014

My Bunny and Me

Do you remember those commercials where they would sing, "My buddy, my buddy, my buddy and me!"  Well, I hear that in my head almost daily since Wyle and bunny are inseparable.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Magnolia Gift

Does the natural world offer us anything more graceful than a magnolia blossom, spilling these matchstick petals as it fully opens?  I think not.  Thank you, my dear neighbor, for bringing this lovely bloom over to us!

Saturday, September 6, 2014


For all the beauty of the marsh, there is garbage everywhere you look.  It is a shame, but it can be hard to reach when the dark waters and marsh grass claim it.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Busy Little Crabs

Beneath the boardwalk, thousands of these little guys were dashing to and fro.  These two may have been up to a little bit more.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Salt Marsh

I was in South Carolina recently and met a good friend down at Shem Creek for some lunch.  There are fantastic boardwalks down there that cross the little estuaries that flow in from Charleston Harbor.  I have always adored marsh scenery - I dream of having this view every day - and it was a delight to spend an hour or so there with my camera.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Storm Brews on Lake Michigan

Sometimes the water was a mix of grey and blue, and we saw some tremendous clouds on the horizon.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lake Michigan in Grey

And sometimes they were grey.  It all depended on the cloud conditions and the direction you were looking.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lovely Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan has many faces, and even in the course of a few hours she turned from lovely to angry and back again.  Here she is, looking pleasant.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Among the Water Lilies

While on vacation in Michigan, Brian's parents offered to babysit so we could take a morning fishing trip.  There was a lot of fishing and not a lot of catching, but we still had a great time enjoying a quiet morning on this pretty little pond at Baroda Township Park.  The dark clouds kept rolling through, but the sun kept peeking out and thoughtful Mother Nature waited until we were back in the truck before she decided to rain.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Oh, How I Love Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas evoke such a strong sense of place and time for me, pulling me back to my early childhood where the days seemed endless and everything seemed so much larger than life.  A row of hydrangeas ran across the side of our yard, always fully in bloom and dotted with butterflies in my mind.  I have long aspired to take a photo that really captured just how dear they are to me and finally, after many tries, I think I have one.  On a day when the sun was in full force, these lit from the back diffused the light into an image that my memory deems worthy.  Thanks to my sister-in-law for pointing out her beautiful hydrangeas hidden by the side of her house!  I hope one day the sight of hydrangeas will recall beautiful memories for you, too.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cacapon State Park - Mountaintops and Waterfalls

I can't express how much joy I felt just being around this beautiful scenery all week.  Clearly we need to make getting outdoors a priority.  I feel like at home we do the best we can, frequenting the creek and the nature trails near our home, but I think what we need is to bring back camping to our life.  Wyle was probably ready last summer, but we weren't!  But, I think we've gotten enough rest over the past year that we can try this sort of adventure (and handle being up all night if it doesn't go so smoothly at first).

The first photo is at the lookout over Cacapon Mountain.  I was in love with the lushness of it all, particularly those ferns that carpeted the ground.  The second was an afternoon shot on one of the trails.  The last shot was of a waterfall from atop the little lake in the park.  You can see how shallow the water is at the top.  We spent a few hours trying to catch the trout we saw swimming around there.  They did not want to be caught, however, so we caught a mess of bluegill instead.  What a cool fishing spot.  I am so ready to head back!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cacapon State Park - Gone Fishin'

There was plenty of Great Grandpa and Wyle bonding time on this trip.  Wyle was fishing with a stick the first day we went out, so Brian bought her a cute little fishing pole that you could cast and reel with.  She loved it, though it took the whole week to get the hang of casting.  

We went out several times, sometimes all four of us or sometimes in pairs during Wyle's nap and after she went to sleep.  We fished in the morning, we fished in the afternoon, and we fished at night.  I love this time of year when it is light clear past eight at night.  I am always a little saddened when the sun slips behind the mountains, but that joyful feeling that intense late afternoon glow gives me hangs with me for days.

The fish weren't big, but they were plentiful.  Our first meal we had trout, bluegill, and catfish.  We decided the bluegill, though the smallest of the bunch, had the best flavor, so we were fishing for just them later in the week.  We ate them by the dozen, and Wyle was fascinated by the cleaning process.  Grandpa would scale them and Bri would gut them and I just took photographs and ate the finished product.  There is nothing like eating fresh fish you caught yourself!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cacapon State Park - Beach Fun

The sandy beach was Wyle's absolute favorite part of Cacapon State Park.  I didn't even know a lake could have a sandy beach (I'm from the coast, so what can I say?).  The sand they use was beautiful and plentiful enough to make sandcastles, a high priority for Wyle.  We hit the Family Dollar and bought a bundle of buckets and molds and shovels and she was the happiest kid on the planet.  We also bought ice cream from the concession stand which fulfilled another of Wyle's dreams, as seen in a recent library book, Circle of Seasons.  Ice cream on the beach, sandcastles, splashing, and catching salamanders and tadpoles - I don't think she could have had more fun.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cacapon State Park - Gorgeous Green

When I planned our vacation with Grandpa to Cacapon State Park in West Virginia a few months ago, I knew I was making the right choice.  I had been here a year before, in a different season, and I so wanted to see it in all its green glory.  Early June was perfect - everything was leafy and lovely, and the weather was always in that sweet spot, never too hot and never too cold.  

We rented a cabin for the week (with air conditioning, just in case - we had not forgotten the hottest temperatures on record from last year's vacation to Lake Champlain).  We hiked.  We fished.  We played at the beach.  We built fires at night.  We played cards.  We napped.  We ate at the picnic table.  We dipped our feet into the lake.  We took the paddleboat out.  We drove to the top of the mountain.  We learned about trees from the naturalist.  And we all wound down, unplugged, relaxed, and reveled in the beauty around us.  I can't tell you how much we needed that this year.  West Virginia, thank you for the lovely time.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Rest and Relaxation

Hi everyone.  I'm sorry it has been so long since I posted... it is hard to believe there was a time when this was a daily photoblog!  I also can remember a time, before my child, when there was actual free time in a day, and we did things like watch t.v. and play games and process photos!  And blog!

Anyhow, I do have some new photos for you, from our recent week-long vacation to Cacapon State Park in West Virginia.  It was all rest and relaxation and yes, we even managed to squeeze in some poker.  We also did a lot of what this guy is doing - fishing.  He looks relaxed, doesn't he?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Spring Emerges

These are from a few weeks ago, when the Salamander Trail is alive with these joyous little wildflowers.  Alive, too, with people like us, eager to enjoy the outdoors after being cooped up all winter.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Spiderwebs on the Lawn

Wyle actually pointed out these spiderwebs that were crisscrossing the tips of the grass as I was turned around gardening.  They were nearly impossible to see when I stood over them, but from her height, you could see them spread out for several feet.  What an observant little girl.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Springtime Fog

Springtime in western Pennsylvania is always fickle.  A warm day will be followed by a brisk one, and then it will warm up again. Sometimes the combination is just right for fog, though that never lasts long.