June 30th

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

The lake our cabin is on loves their loons.

So much so that a couple of years ago, the lake association integrated two Loon nesting platforms into the lake to encourage loons to nest (obviously), but then also in turn build the loon population by raising young on the lake, hoping they’ll return to the lake in future years. They’ve had great success with them; each year all platforms have been  occupied.

I am all about this idea, especially when it means there are chicks to photograph.


They grow crazy fast too. Two weeks ago, the chicks I saw couldn’t have been more than a couple days old; they were essentially black cotton balls with legs. This guy is at least quadruple that size.

On that note, I have related trivia for you.

As many of us know, when chicks are that small, it’s very common for mom/dad to carry the chick(s) on their backs.

But how on earth do the chicks get all the way up there?

Serious question. I was so perplexed by this that I did some digging.

I finally found a video that showed how it happens and it was so cool. Someone in my family said mom/dad dives under to pick up chick.


Someone else said chicks climb up.

Half nope.

The chick swims up alongside mom/dad, and mom/dad loosely extends their wing. Chick swims up and nestles between mom/dad’s body and their wing. Mom/dad half scoops up chick to get them out of the water, boosts chick towards their back, and the chick attempts to climb to the middle of mom/dad’s back.

I’m not sure why I find this so fascinating, but this added another dimension to loons for me.

Have any of you ever seen this happen? If so, I’m jealous!

June 29th

Friday, June 29th, 2018

My family did something today that they have never done before.

Actually, strike that, they did two things they’ve never done before:
1. Henna came to the cabin, and
2. She slept INSIDE the cabin.

Farm dog turned indoor cabin dog all in the span of 6 hours.

We all loved it, especially Henna.

With the crazy heat today (Heat indices of 110 degrees), we couldn’t not bring her. We were all a little concerned about how much she would bark, or that the activity of boats, people, and other dogs would have her too riled up, but she actually did so great with it. So much so in fact that it actually wore her out mentally.

For anyone who has (or ever has had) a VERY, smart active puppy, that is hard to do, and is a true God send.

She was perfectly content to be in her harness, on a leash all weekend. She happily laid in the yard and monitored all of the jet ski’s drive by. However, she was pretty perplexed by the skiers and wake boarders (they are ON TOP of the water!), and when they were out, her eyes were constantly scanning the water.

That’s what’s happening in today’s picture.

Being the sweet, loyal, brave, control freak pup she is, she was very concerned for the people in the water. She’d whine and whine, concerned for them, but unable to help them. So to cope, she’d keep at least one paw fimrly on Emma, so she couldn’t leave. She had to at least keep one of her humans safe!

We all had a good laugh at her expense, but it’s only because she’s got a sweet heart.


June 28th

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

I really really try not to post the same subject twice in a row. Actually, I don’t think I ever have done that.

But today I did.

Mostly because I’m so excited that she’s back, so she deserves a second night slot on the blog.

I had some people ask me how I know it’s her, and I don’t really know how to answer that.

Her body shape is the same, and quite honestly, she treats our yard like it’s also hers. She’s pretty fearless; like we come with the territory, she understands that we live here.

That may not seem like a significant qualifier to most people, but add in the fact that she always has a baby around, which should make her more cautious, that deems her confidence and comfort around us unique. She’s so cool and casual; she’s never flustered by us.

Like in this image. She saw me watching her, studied me for a moment, and swished her tail and continued to munch (I always seem to photograph her with her mouth full).

And I just know. I don’t really know how to explain it.

I’m so glad she’s back.

This may seem silly, but she brings me a lot of peace. She makes me stop and enjoy the view, and her confidence in my presence makes me feel like I’m a part of something so much bigger. It’s centering.

What centers you? I’d love to know!

June 27th

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

I woke up to a beautiful fog this morning.

And to my delight, our resident doe is also back!

I haven’t seen her yet this summer, and I was starting to think she wasn’t around anymore.

However, looking back on my blog, my photograph of her enjoying breakfast was taken a year ago on Friday. So only two days away. And a week after that, I saw her fawn for the first time.

So we’ll see if she has another little one hiding away this year.

June 26th

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Ice cream is a dangerous thing to have in our house.

It’s both Paul and my weakness, so we usually just don’t buy it. If it’s not in the house, it’s not a temptation. However, a couples trips ago while at the store I caved because it was on sale.

So tonight, to get it out of the house, I performed a public service and finished it.

Paul and I recently discovered KIND granola. I know that they make bars, but honestly, I’m just not into granola bars. However, their loose granola is awesome! I’ve tried both the Cinnamon and the Chocolate, and both are delicious. We’ve found that the chocolate is perfect over ice cream – so good!

If I fit in some whole grains with my ice cream I can feel better about it, right? 😉

June 25th

Monday, June 25th, 2018

This may be one of my most favorite images of mine to date.

Is he not gorgeous?!

Pheasants are normally very shy birds, so it’s rare that I’m able to get close to one. This guy hung out with me for fifteen minutes this morning, and then another few minutes this evening, and it was one of the coolest things I’ve experienced while shooting. It’s pretty humbling when a wild animal lets you into their world even if for just a few minutes.

To see the entire sequence of how this “shoot” went, be sure to check out my Facebook page!

June 23rd

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

If you are slightly terrified looking at this image, don’t worry. I was too.

When Paul and I pulled up at the cabin this morning, this lady was in the middle of the road. We parked, got out, and walked up to her thinking she was a snapper, and when we got closer realized that was definitely not what she was.

In fact, I had never seen a turtle like her before. Ever.

Huge webbed feet, a large, low, flat soft shell – she was easily over a foot across. Most off-putting, however, was her snout. It looked like a pig’s: long and tapered with two nostrils at the end. And to top it off, creepy alligator-esque eyes.

I had no idea what kind of turtle she was. But let me tell you, she was fast.

I took these photos, walked around to the other side of the cabin, came back, and she was gone.

So naturally, I got curious.

I  Googled “Minnesota turtle species,” and a handful came up. You typical Painted Turtle, Snapping Turtle, and others, but then there she was: A Spiny Softshell Turtle.


Fun fact: They don’t start breeding until they are between 8-10 years of age, and can live to be over 50!

June 22nd

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

When you have company, it makes work more tolerable.

Paul and I spent most of the day in the pumpkin field today, weeding. Paul started with our garden tiller to get closer to the pumpkin plants than our seven foot tiller can, while I hoed and hand pulled weeds between the plants.

Three acres of pumpkins to weed.

We didn’t get to all of our rows, but the ones we did finish look great!

While we were weeding, I kept noticing these black and yellow striped caterpillars. I didn’t really think much about it (there are many bugs in the field, what’s one more?), until I noticed one on almost every other pumpkin plant.

I looked up what they were, and they’re Monarch caterpillars! I’m hoping they don’t want to eat our pumpkin plants; none had any marks like they were being fed on.

I was excited to see so many pollinators! We have lots of milkweed around our field, so I’m hoping there’s enough to support cocoon building for as many caterpillars as I saw.

A fun find, that’s for sure!

June 21st

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

Happy first day of summer!

Not an overly captivating nor technical photo today, but a neat moment of my day.

Paul and I were enjoying breakfast on our front porch this morning when this Bald Eagle flew in, and landed in a neighboring field with breakfast of his own.

We couldn’t see what he had, but it was neat to watch!

June 19th

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

It’s been one year since these sweet boys came into our lives.

And what joy they bring!

Although Finn may not look like a bundle of joy in this picture, there’s a reason for that. Our skeptic, Finn questions everything. His sense of self preservation is high, unlike Colt who’ll rollover and show his belly to anyone.

While I love Colt for his outgoing nature and his love for people (ANY people), I also love Finn for his hesitation. Any noise, any new voice, any shadow, he’ll check it out until he’s satisfied he’s safe.

I can relate to that. (If you know anything about the Enneagram, Finn and I are both sixes.)

My camera and the “click” of the shutter is perplexing to him. He watches me cover my face with my camera, obscuring his view of me, and then it makes a very subtle sound. That sound does not come from the lens, so that isn’t where he looks.

And he dons his serious face.

I can hear him thinking: Mom disappeared behind this thing and now the thing is making a noise that I can’t pin down.

Cue the concern.

But then the camera comes down, and his eyes relax again, the purring starts up, and the head bunting commences.

Especially since Christine and I stopped at Fresh Thyme today and picked up some wheatgrass for our respective kitties.  I got extra brownie points for bringing that home today!