Saturday, June 18, 2011

Foto Friday (a little late)

Week in review

Sunday evening I went on a walk along the river trail near my home. The cottonwood tree fluff is in full bloom leaving the trail looking like snow has freshly fallen.

I'm not sure what kind of tree this is, but they were in full bloom and very pungent.

Monday I went on a wonderful hike in the rain. Didn't want to get my camera wet so it stayed home. But the rain limited the crowds, and the mosquitoes. It was a warm night and the rain was light, a perfect evening.

Tuesday I decided to go back to the trail I'd been scared away from by creeper guy. Unfortunately the trail is now closed due to damage from the overflowing river. It might be awhile till I can get back up there. So I tried another trail I've never been on. I was pleasantly surprised to find another great trail that I can't wait to go back to.

Hobble Creek Canyon is now open to cattle grazing. On one hand I feel so sorry for the cows stuck in small enclosures standing in their own filth. So I'm happy they get to spend a few months wandering the canyons. But on the other hand they become way too comfortable with cars and just stand in the road. By the end of the summer the last thing you want to see along the road is the cows.

I hadn't made it very far down the trail when I came across a herd of about 10 cows. Unfortunately it was at a spot where there was no way for them to get away from me, except to travel further down the trail. I didn't want to turn around yet, so I just kept walking, and they kept running away.

The little straggler in the back kept stopping and staring at me. It was like he was saying, are you really still following us? Really? Sorry little guy.

After a few more minutes there was a creek crossing that was a little more than I was up for and by then the mosquitoes were actually driving me crazy. I'm glad I was alone because there was a lot of yelling at them. So earlier than I wanted, I turned back. Part way back something flew up from the trail startling me. I stopped to see what it was and a hummingbird flew to within inches of my face. I'm pretty sure he was interested in my purple shirt. He spent several minutes circling me, stopping to hoover and decide what I was. I very slowly slipped the lens cap off my camera and switched it on. I gently raised the camera up to my shoulder and tried to get a picture of him checking me out. Of course I couldn't line up the shot or adjust any settings so this was the best I got. I'm just glad I got something. It was one of the coolest wildlife experiences I've ever had. It was definitely a role reversal where instead of me stopping to check out wildlife, I became the subject of investigation. Would much rather that experience with a hummingbird than a mountain lion.

A beautiful day in the valley

Friday was Will and I's first time to the pool this summer. Not including Lagoon, which didn't really involve playing in the water because of how cold it was. Luckily the Payson pool does heat their water. I bought the kids little snorkel sets. The goggles were well used, but the snorkels were a little harder to figure out. I always wonder at the start of the summer if Will will have retained the progress he made the following year in the water. He did great! He's becoming more and more comfortable in the water and willing to try new things. His swimming attempt looks more like an inch worm than swimming, but he has a lot of fun.

And apparently the whole family loves goggles, including Zen. These are official Doggles and Keeley and Will dropped off, on their way home from assisting in the birth of Will's sister's baby. Zen has an auto-immune disease which makes his eyes very sensitive to UV rays. The doggles are supposed to help block the rays from his eyes. You can tell how much he loves them.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Foto Friday

Yesterday Maiken and I took the kids to Lagoon. For those that aren't familiar, Lagoon is our local amusement park. I don't like amusement parks and haven't been there since high school. Lines, crowds, scary rides, extremely expensive, who wouldn't want to go! A friend at work had a free pass only good for Friday that she couldn't use and gave to me. We decided that for free, we couldn't pass up the chance to take the kids, because we're pretty sure we may never take them again. It would have cost us $165 if we'd paid for it. That's just crazy people. So off we went to make the most of our opportunity.

Any amusement park is going to have lots of this, waiting.

We very quickly found out which of the lines moved the fastest and avoided all others. Luckily one of the rides that never had a long line was the perfect ride for Will.

Getting to pretend to shoot other planes? Perfect! This shot is out of focus, but I just loved how much he enjoyed this ride.

After a few of the kiddie rides we went over to the water park. Which would have been a lot more fun if it had been about 20 degrees warmer. The water was freezing! When we were getting out of the lazy river a couple was getting in and stopped at the stairs when their feet hit the water. The lady asked, are they trying to make it as cold as a river? Yeah lady, I think that was the issue. Not the weather.

I didn't want to take my nice camera into the water park so I had just grabbed my little one. And forgotten that it needed to be recharged. So I only got one picture before it died. Good thing I made the one picture count.

Even with the freezing water, we still had a lot fun. After a few hours we made our way back to dry land. And took to the sky in helicopters

And planes

All the kiddie rides have a lock on the seatbelts so the attendant has to come around with a key. It makes for a lot more waiting.

Maiken and Lucia took a spin on the Dragonfly

Then a ride across the park on the Sky Ride. My last visit to Lagoon was my senior year of high school, the last week of school. Because I don't like roller coasters, or the majority of other rides, I can't say I'm the most exciting person to hang out with there. I went on the sky ride while my friends went on the roller coaster and the plan was to meet up right after. Except my "friends" decided I wasn't much fun and never turned up at the meeting place. So I spent the last hour just riding the Sky Ride back and forth. Good memories. Maiken was remembering that she really liked the Sky Ride until she got on it. Oh well, ended up being one of the two rides I actually went on. And its a good way to see the park.

The other ride I went on was the Carousel. I know, I told you I'm exciting. And my very adventurous child picked the little bear that rocked instead of going up and down.

Lucia went for the cat and Maiken wanted to ride a stallion.

After six hours this was the look on Will's favorite ride.

Cue time to leave!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Canyons and Rivers and Rocks

On Sunday evenings, during the nice part of the year, I love to go up the canyon and end the week with some time in my favorite spots. Because of the weird spring weather I haven't made it up to my Hobble Creek Canyon hikes. This Sunday was beautiful and I was excited to get up there. Unfortunately the place I really wanted to go was packed with cars and I figured the spot I wanted to photograph had a high chance of having others there. So I moved on to a trail I hadn't been on yet. I was the only car there, just the way I like it.

The rivers are definitely full, fast and loud. And there is a beauty in their power.

I had just finished taking photos of these roots when I looked down the trail and noticed a guy coming up behind me. I've actually had very good luck that when I've been alone on a trail, I've remained alone the whole time. There are a few trails that I like that are always busy, but I just prefer being alone on my hikes. I don't usually feel vulnerable hiking by myself but I have started carrying pepper spray and I do try to be very aware of my surroundings. It may have been a moment of intuition, it may have been a moment of paranoia, but I did not feel comfortable on the trail with this guy. I stopped and pretended to be taking some more photos allowing the guy to pass me. Once he had gone around the next bend I got the hell out of there. I'm pretty sure I have not ran that far since high school. Luckily I wasn't that far up the trail and it didn't take long to get back to my car. I was kinda pissed because the hike was beautiful and I didn't get very far, but not worth sticking around. I'll have to revisit another time.

I didn't want to go home, so I just stuck to places along the road to take photos. The water reminds me of hot chocolate this time of year.

I'm really, really, really craving a stronger (longer, bigger, not sure the correct camera term) lens. I'm very drawn to plants growing out of crevices in rocks and I really wanted to be able to get closer shots. I loved the exposed roots on this plant.

Today I was still feeling a bit jittery about my experience on Sunday so I went back to the very pretty, but way to popular Rock Canyon. And what do you know, more flowers in rocks.

I love when the moon is out during the day. For some reason it always feels special to me. (sadly I found out after I got home that I had several spots on the lens. damn spots)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Foto Friday

Two weeks of lameness! Good thing I had a good post in between. I had this plan tonight that we were going to go to take the kids to the carnival and it would be a great time to practice different lighting shots and hopefully get some good pics. Well I guess I should have actually looked online before I made those plans, cause the carnival starts next week. Awesome. And I was too tired/bored/lazy to make a different effort today.

I did take a pic of Will and his awesome accessory of the day. Some show was on last night and they mentioned legwarmers and Will perked up and asked if I knew where his legwarmers were. Which Maiken bought for him a few years ago when the girls all got some. He was putting them on this morning explaining how you could wear them when you didn't want to wear pants, but they are kinda like pants and he should start wearing them with this pajama shorts. Ok.

Before we left
Will: mom, are people going to laugh at me?
Me: probably, but you should still wear what you want to

(blowing the dandelion in the pic was his idea, and if there was anything this pic needed it was dandelion blowing!)

I hope my child doesn't hate me when he gets older.