sunset paddle

It’s been a several years since my first kayaking trip through the mangrove tunnels near Sarasota, Florida. I’ve been kayaking a time or two since, but it’s been awhile…so when my husband and I saw the sign for a sunset paddle on the very calm Back Bay in Virginia, we decided to sign up. As soon as I got in the kayak, I realized I forgot that you get really wet, especially when you paddling technique is somewhat lacking. I also realized that I can’t paddle a kayak in a straight line to save my life! and that whole paddle on the right side to go left– ha! forgot every time! It takes a lot of mental focus to move in the correct direction, especially for someone who just wants to look around the whole time. Fortunately for me, the other couple on the trip were also fairly novice so my struggles weren’t quite as obvious.

All of the effort was worth it though– I saw an owl fly by, a heron, an eagle nest (but no eagle), and had a lot of fun with a workout (surprisingly didn’t regret it the next morning either!) Another fortunate thing was that I got to borrow my cousin’s waterproof camera, so I was able to get some pics of the trip!

warming up

If I ever have a bright idea to visit a tropical exhibit of butterflies in the middle of walking around Philadelphia in November, I really hope whomever I’m with bashes me on top of the head! 85°F (30°C) with 80% humidity after a couple of hours at 40°F (4°C) with no humidity means about 30min of sitting in a sauna, waiting for the condensation to leave the lens. Oh, and did I mention that I was wearing a sweatshirt and fleece-lined leggings under jeans in that sauna? Yeah, I’ve had better ideas… at least the butterflies were worth it!

waterfalls

Last month, I visited McConnell’s Mill Park and tried to take a step back and focus on the big picture, rather than just closing in for macro shots with lots of pretty bokeh. I carried my tripod around for about 6 miles and must say that it was worth feeling like a pack mule when I finally got the chance to go through my photos this past weekend. Here are a few from the Hell’s Hollow trail.

life around the pond

I’ve never been able to spot a frog when I’ve been near water– I may hear them all over but not spot them anywhere. A couple weeks ago while we were in Colonial Williamsburg, we took a walk around the pond near the Governor’s mansion and I was in awe of how many frogs there were. Hundreds of them! All sitting on the pond scum and if you made too much noise they’d all hop off at once, then start to reappear about a minute later. There were also tons of dragonflies… it was a good day.

a walk in the park

About two years ago I switched from using Olympus cameras to Nikon, which sadly meant that all of my old lenses were useless on the new camera. I’ve slowly amassed a range of lenses but the one thing that was lacking from my Olympus days was a Lensbaby. I had the Lensbaby Muse for the Olympus and while I loved playing with it, the key is that I was “playing.” I can get some fun shots with it, but it’s not a lens that you use on a daily basis– at least not me, there are clearly some photogs that rock the Lensbaby all the time with GREAT results, but I’m not quite to that point. A couple weeks ago, I found a Lensbaby Composer for Nikon used and snatched it up! It’s barely been off my camera since, but yesterday was the first time that I really got to experiment with it. Here’s some of the results (but trust me, like 50x as many photos went straight to the trash!)