Saturday, September 29, 2012

Jersey Valley, Vernon County WI

Seems as if I have really 'fallen' for Fall this year.  I have a love - hate relationship with Fall.  I hate that the days are getting shorter, I love the colors that come about...

I hate the feeling that the warm days are slipping by, I love the feeling that winter and snow is coming.  [Snow is beautiful to photograph!]

My husband and I went to a County Park called Jersey Valley to fish the other afternoon.  We had a great time and I decided to go back at dawn to take some fall foliage shots.

Was I surprised!

When I got home that morning, I decided to check out the other parks of Vernon County and check out the 'Hollows'.  Sidie Hollow, Jersey Valley, Runge Hollow, and Duck Egg.  All parks that had earthen dams, all free County parks.  Beautiful areas that I had not yet explored.
This is where I stop and smack myself in the forehead.  I have lived here since 1996 and only last year began to explore the parks?

My list is long.  There is a park in Esofea, one in Coon Valley...

I took off for Jersey Valley late in the afternoon.  I had figured on 2 hrs of daylight and 3 miles of hiking.  I'd of course forgotten, or had not thought about it.  In the hollows, the daylight is shorter.
But I hiked hard and fast.

The trails are quite nice, the hills are steep.  The scenery is, well ...

I even took an 'off' path and had to back track, yet I enjoyed every foot step of it.
There was even a nice bench to sit on after a steep climb.

Rock walls...

Stunning reflections off the water...

And of course a beautiful sunset that came to the valley 35 minutes before the sun set on the ridge.
I made it around the trail in 1 hour.  That was some hard hiking and several stops for photos.
I'm hoping to be able to get into some more of Vernon County's precious 'gems' to hike them in all seasons and of course photograph them also.

If you go, the trail is steep in places, muddy in places if it rains, but if you take your time, it is well worth it.
It will give your legs a nice work out too.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Lovely Thursday

It began with a trip to Sidie Hollow before dawn.

When I got home, it was chore time and help put in new electric wire, time....

Next up, breakfast and phone calls.  To the vet, *Can Morris eat breakfast?* No.  He is going in to get his teeth clean, he is 8 yrs old, which is like 50+ to us.  $$

Next call to the shop that put the struts on the jeep.  Front end squeaks like the struts are doing something?  Mechanic...*bring it in Monday and we'll check it out...$$$*

Next call to my counselor's office, I needed to make a last appt for the follow up.  *Okay Tuesday, it is.*  Then pay the bill too.  $$

My hubby calls his buddy to tell him thanks for the pears, they made great jam and pear sauce.  Hubby instructs me to take 'buddy' jam and sauce samples and to pick up another box.

The rest of the day was spent making pear sauce.  Wow, was it ever delicious!  Now I have nearly 6 quarts of pear sauce.  Slightly seasoned with cinnamon and spices.  Very little sugar or other 'stuff' I consider it a healthy wonderful dish!  Served warm it was tart and delicious!  Better than any dessert!

I saved $$$!  Whoop!  Whoop!

6hrs of processing if anyone wants to know.  6hrs on my feet, peeling and coring and dicing.  But hey, it was worth it.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fishing is easy and fun right?

Off we go with the itty bitty boat.  In such a hurry that we don't stop to get a battery to run the electric troller motor.  Hubby says it will be a piece of cake to row the bitty boat.  He also says that there won't be 25mph winds in the hollow.

OHHHkay! So we launch the boat.  Hubby stands and surveys his world...the boat is tippy and it IS windy.  But hey, we are goin' fishin'!
The boat wobbles as he moves around to get settled in to row the boat.  Quickly he finds that we WON'T be rowing across the lake.  The wind is too hard to fight.  We settled for a nice peaceful spot and begin to fish.

He monkeys around with magical lures and 'spinners'.  I toss a silly old worm in on my cheap old fishing rod.  I get 6 bites.  Small large mouth bass that I toss back.  I am having a blast.  He meanwhile is cursing, trying to 'figure' out which lure he needs to have.

As he ties a nice one off, it falls into the water.  Yup, overboard and gone for good.  The little lake is very deep.  He ties on another one and on his first cast it ends up ensnared in grapvines hanging from a tree.
We go over to it and end up ensnared ourselves.  I take the opportunity to jump to shore and find a spot to know.  Pee.  Back in the boat we shove off, the grapevines attack and whisk hubby's new sunglasses off his head.

Lo and Behold, we use his very long rod to 'push' the sunglasses towards shallower waters.  I use an oar as a paddle to try and follow the sunglasses.  Eventually after much cursing [not me, I'm entertained], we get the errant sunglasses in shallower water.

Hubby decides to lean over and get them.  EEEEK! I have to lay immediately backwards across the other side of the boat to keep up from tipping.  I keep thinking...I'm gonna kick his arse if he flips this boat!  How is my 115 lbs supposed to counterwieght his 204 lbs?  EH?
Sunglasses get rescued.  On we go with fishing.  Finally after I've continuously caught fish, he decides to try the worms.  See, here is my method of fishing.  Toss in the worm on the hook.  Look around and day dream.  ... the fish will bite.  His method.  Be methodical, work it, work it, work it.  I like my fishing style better.

I catch more.  I caught enough for us to have a small meal. HE kept commenting on my fishing abilities and laughing about his own misfortunes.
This was a great evening.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Coming of Fall

I think Fall has just jumped in and started without my permission.
Suddenly we've gone from hot hot hot, to nights of 40 degrees and days of balmy sunny 70 degrees.

The Robins are starting to leave.  The starlings are lining up on wires, grouping together to make a mass migration.
I love and hate this time of year.  The beauty is incredible.  The shorter days...well, almost difficult to deal with.  
Although the later sunrise does allow me to take great sunrise photos.  So there is a benefit.

When the days grow shorter, I feel like I am losing out on something.  Not sure exactly what, perhaps it is just a reminder that indeed time grows short.

But I do look forward to winter oddly enough.  I like hiking through the quiet snowy woods and the landscape that winter provides.
Once winter hits, I'm good.  But with the onset of fall and the shorter daylight hours...well it makes me anxious.  It makes me feel like I should be outside grabbing every second that I can before the dreaded 'darkness' hits.

Today I spent an hour or so just sitting on a log in the woods and listening to the birds sing and watching squirrels gathering food for the winter.   
The animals are starting to grow their winter coats, although they still look slick and glossy.

Oh how I do have a love-hate relationship with Fall.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Art through photos

At first I thought it would be a piece of cake.
Sure, take the photo and then drop it into any processing program and viola......ART!
Here is the original:
That was pretty boring right?
So I dropped it into Elements 5 by Adobe and decided to run it through Topaz Adjust 5.
Still not very exciting.
 Then I though perhaps if I added some 'far' out textures and colors it I may come up with something interesting.
I added a painted texture and another 'painted' texture.  I used overlay for the layer blending and adjusted how much would show through.
Now I wasn't sure I really 'loved' it, but this photo was beginning to grow on me.
This photo taken with a point and shoot Pentax Optio...don't ever underestimate a pocket camera or what you can do with it.

Next thing I did was grab a so-so photo and run it through Corel Essentials 4, free when you buy a Wacom Tablet [which I did a year ago].  I painted it in 2 different layers and then blended them together.
Here is the original:

Here is the painted version:

I ended up liking the painted version enough to put it in my 'calendar' shots for this coming year.
This shot was taken with my FujiFilm Finepix HS 30 EXR.

My conclusion, do NOT underestimate what you can create with a non-DSLR camera!