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.