October 19th

Friday, October 19th, 2018

We live in a fall wonderland!

Maybe only for today with the wind that’s picked up this afternoon, but it felt magical while it lasted.

Because this is my blog, and I call the shots, I’m going to share more than one image today for those of you who don’t get to experience it themselves because they’re not in MN today (thinking of you, Janis!).

I should start by saying that I’m not normally a lens flare girl (see image above), but it was created in-camera, and it seemed to radiate joy in this image. The brightness, yellow leaves, and lens flare encompasses how I feel about the sunshine, warm weather, and company I had while strolling through the woods today.

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October 15th

Monday, October 15th, 2018

I live in the old Hassan Township.

The city of Rogers annexed the township in 2009, but the long seeded history of the township lives on through the generations of farming families in the area, structures such as the church Paul and I got married in, and the trees.

Wait, trees?

Yep. The trees.

The name “Hassan” is derived from the Dakota word chanhasen, meaning Sugar Maple Tree. As the then-township of Chanhassan had recently been established, the “chan-” was dropped to avoid confusion.

Settled by German immigrants in 1854, the area at the time (called “The Big Woods”) was mostly covered by oak, elm, basswood, and maple. Although the settlers removed much of the timber to farm the area, large areas of woods still stand, including the ten acres on our farm.

Sugar Maple trees turn bright yellow or gold in the fall, and certain areas of our woods are primarily Sugar Maple, including the main entrance to our woods.

One of my favorite places in the world.

October 11th

Thursday, October 11th, 2018

The weather forecast says sun tomorrow.

I may be a bit desperate for the sun. Fall just doesn’t seem like fall without that cozy, warm sunshine.

I was drawn to my Sedum plant this afternoon, as it’s cheery burgundy color definitely brought a smile to my face! Especially because I don’t know that since we’ve lived here we’ve ever seen it in fall bloom – the deer always get to it first.

It was breezy today, and focusing on small objects when they’re moving is difficult. I did my best, and did get some sharp images. Although, when I came in to edit I was drawn to this imperfectly focused image. The movement in it just felt so lovely.

I tossed in a little extra yellow into my white balance for the warmth my eyes are currently hungry for, and I enjoyed the coziness. It almost feels summery, and I’m ok with that.

October 9th

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

Amidst the rain, I was determined to find and photograph fall color today.

The sumac never fails for brilliant color, although I don’t recall seeing such a vibrant yellow in its leaves before. Maybe I just assumed they were always red because that’s what I’ve come to expect to see.

Either way, it sure did perk up my day today.

October 1st

Monday, October 1st, 2018

Fall scenes are some of my favorites.

Many of the birds have migrated already, or are flocking up to migrate soon. I miss their presence already. Luckily, some birds stay year round, like Mallard ducks.

Although, technically, while we see Mallard ducks year round here, they all migrate. The ducks we see during winter are Canadian ducks that migrate to Minnesota over winter.

Interesting, huh?

September 8th

Saturday, September 8th, 2018

Tonight, I feel as if I’ve hit the photography jackpot.

Finishing up chores this evening, I had my camera on my lap on our way back home. We thought we had spotted deer off in our back field, but it turned out to be a brown cornstalk (whomp whomp), so I was feeling a little bummed.

We turned the corner by our patch, and it’s habit to look out the window and admire the pumpkins as we drive by. When Paul rolled down his window, something caught his eye behind the soybeans: this gorgeous lady.

I was thrilled! I mean, look at the awesome array of colors and the pretty light!!

But then Paul saw something else coming out of the tall grasses, and I looked a little closer…

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That’s right, friends, a fawn!

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Although still fawns, at this time of year they’re nearly as big as mama, but still fun to see! This is all the farther he showed himself, so we left as to not cause discomfort or concern for either of them.

I was riding a high from that encounter, when we pull up at home and THEN THIS HAPPENS!

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While not under ideal conditions or ideal location, I STILL PHOTOGRAPHED A MOVING HUMMINGBIRD YOU GUYS! If you follow me on Instagram, you likely saw my story about her hovering in front of my face yesterday, and me being completely awestruck. I never did get an image of her then, but this became icing on the cake this evening.

Tomorrow morning, Paul and I are getting up early to head back up to the Sherburne Wildlife Refuge to photograph the Sandhill Cranes staging. Thousands of them (11,000 was last year’s number) flock up there to begin their migration together, which will happen in November. During September and October they roost in the refuge, and fly out to eat in the local farm fields during the day. We’re hoping to catch them in large numbers – we’ll see!

October 20th

Friday, October 20th, 2017

In this day, I took more steps than when Paul and I visited the state fair.

18,600 steps.

And it was a wonderful day.

I was scheduled to assist Shelley with another shoot for Ames Percherons at Crow Hassan today, so I met a friend for a walk beforehand so we could catch up on life and so I could scout for fall color (above). We hadn’t gotten together since before Paul and I took our trip to Utah, and since then she had traveled to Romania, so there was a lot to catch up on and it was lovely.

Then there was the shoot with Ames. “Magic” is the word I would use to sum it up. Shelley is a lights-smith, and because I’ve been along on so many shoots now it’s so fun to be along for a shoot and being able to see just how the image will turn out. I can see her vision, and it’s neat to watch as it happens and then see the actual image afterward.

The bonus to this shoot? They asked us if we could stay to help hold horses while they tore down. Uh, yes. A hundred times yes.

Shelley and I both held either side of the team as they unhitched and it was another piece of an awesome puzzle for me. I could reach straight out and touch the bottom side of their chest. They are giants. And amazingly beautiful and gentle.

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This is Marshal. While standing, he likes to make noise by slapping his lips together. While driving, he sticks his tongue out – the entire time. It’s comical! Look at those sweet eyes – he was loving the extra attention and love I was giving him. I also held Newt and Will, and watched them load them into the semi. How is it that they can give me so much joy? They are just purely incredible.

October 19th

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

I did something for the first time today.

After a wonderful morning connecting with an incredible group of Godly women, I was looking for some quiet time with our Almighty.

Paul is out of town, and therefore not hunting, so I went out and sat in Paul’s deer stand. I brought my camera with, hoping to photograph some deer but none stopped by. As luck would have it, I actually came across one driving up our driveway after I came out.

But the view was still gorgeous; surrounded in a sea of yellow at one of the prettiest times of day.

October 15th

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

When good friends hurt, you hurt with them.

Sometimes, I think that’s the hardest duty of being a friend. I’m not a word smith by any means, so to find the right words or to know when to say none at all is my biggest hurdle. So you try to be present in a time of abrupt change and hurt, all the while feeling at a loss for how to help, but hoping that being yourself is enough. To understand the “should have, would have, could have,” but knowing that they won’t change anything. When you wish you could take the hurt away, knowing you can’t.

I’m sure this is what having kids is like, but with me not having any, I see it in the reflection of friends.

Sometimes, when a day is full of emotional turmoil, the sunset is what you need to begin to feel at peace. I’ve found that this project brings me just that – peace. It always brings me back to center; a reminder that God is in control. I explore His creation each day. I see the light He’s created, the animals, the grass, the trees. I watch things grow under His hand, watch the seasons change.

He is in control. His plan is for good.

The sunset today was my reminder.

The one minute of bright, red, vibrant light that crept out from under the cloud cover before it was hidden by the Earth.

A vibrant example that He sees us in all circumstances, in all of the hidden places.