July 5th

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

I love the lake.

Can you be a Minnesotan if you don’t?

Just kidding, friends.

But really, I do love the lake. I love boating, water sports, and all of the wildlife that flock to the water.

We were cruising the lake on the pontoon today when a Bald Eagle cruised in overhead. He dove toward the water, pulled back up with a large Northern, and flew back over us.



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 16th

Saturday, June 16th, 2018

The cabin is one of my favorite places to be.

This weekend is the first weekend we’ve spent time here, and it’s wonderful. I don’t know about you, but if you spend a lot of time on the water, you begin to enjoy the look of it. The colors, textures, depth, contrast. Each day it’s different.

Tonight, cruising around the lake on the pontoon, I loved the texture and colors of the water.

June 7th

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

Our first cabin night of the season!

The weather wasn’t perfect, but it felt good for the boys to get in the water and play with the new boat. My parents upgraded their surf boat, meaning a bigger and better wave, so they had lots of fun getting the curl just right.

We were the only ones out on the lake, meaning there was lots of room to play and experiment.

Making the transition from surfing in the ocean to surfing behind the boat, Paul even completed his first 360 unassisted, which was sweet!

Looking forward to lots of lake time this summer.

May 18th

Friday, May 18th, 2018

I learned a great lesson today: It pays to have awesome friends.

Yes, yes, I’ve known this all along, but today proved to be especially awesome.

About a week ago, I posted on Facebook asking for recommendations for an underwater camera to bring to Hawaii. A few people came to my aide with suggestions, and it was super helpful to help narrow down what I was looking at, especially since I didn’t leave myself much time to research and purchase.

Well, one of the friends that came forward isn’t a photographer, but had an underwater camera that he uses often and really likes.

So I reached out to him with a proposition: A case of beer for a week’s worth of borrowing his camera.

With no hesitation, he responded “Yeah, absolutely, no sense in you spending money. Just as long as we’re in agreement that if you break it, you buy it.”

A more than fair stipulation, my friend.

So today, on our way out to the cabin, I swung over to his house and traded the beer for the camera. At the cabin, while Paul and dad were playing with the new boat, I climbed down into the water. I looked at this little camera, and thought to myself “this goes against everything I stand for” – and stuck the camera in the water. It was a little frightening, but all went well.

At that moment, I fell in love with this little camera.

It’s an understatement to say that I am excited to give this guy a go in the ocean.


September 14th

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Day three for portraits, day two for Paul.

What can I say – when the husband is home, we maximize our time together hence the Paul inundation.

Today was a sad day for the Johnson family (my side of the family). My family has a lake cabin and one of our favorite things to do is surf behind our Centurian. As we are going into fall, it was time for the boat to come out of the water for the season. It was gorgeous and nearly ninety degrees today, so we took a couple laps around the lake and everyone who wanted to surfed. We had the lake entirely to ourselves, so it was a very relaxing last run.

July 28th

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Minnesota was made for snow shoeing and lake life.

At either end of the year, it’s hard to imagine the landscape in a different season. In the winter we can’t imagine how we could ever be outside in a swimming suit, while in the summer it’s impossible to think of donning a heavy coat, hat, and mittens.

Each season has its unique beauties and attractions, but time spent on the lake in the summertime is one of my favorites.

Last summer, the newest “toy” at the cabin was this Lily Pad. Made of dense foam, up to twelve people can hang out on it before it loses buoyancy. It takes relaxing on the lake to an entirely new level, which my sister, Emma, demonstrates well 😉

July 27th

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Textures have always been like eye candy for me.

I think that’s why I love clouds so much, and it makes sense as to why water would be up there on my list of favorites too. The reflections, light shimmers, and wave patterns constantly vary – like watching a fire.

July 16th

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

This was fun to watch today.

These two adolescent Bald Eagles took turns hunting together and wrestling together over the lake this morning.

As loon chicks can’t dive or fly until they are a certain age, they make for easy prey. You know the eagles are around when the loons start calling – sounding the alarm for the pairs that have chicks.

There were no easy meals for the eagles this morning; so they stuck to wrestling.

June 9th

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Can you guess what species of bird this little chick is?

I’ll give you a second to think it over…

Ready for it? A Common Loon!

Talk about the ugly duckling story in the flesh. Very unsuspecting, plain by comparison to their adult counterparts, when by mom or dads side, it’s very hard to see them – especially when riding on their backs.

I was alarmed at first to see this chick on its own, then mom surfaced; he wasn’t alone, he was simply getting a fishing lesson from mom. It was fun to watch!