Monday, October 16, 2017

Back to the Edge of America!

Creatures of Habit

We drove along Route 9 to Route 1, towards Calais for leaf peeking and a little unwinding. 

It seems we took much the same path in October of 2009

The weather forecast promised a mostly cloudy day and that's pretty much what we got.

Road construction kept cars in single file right past the best scenic turnouts along Route 9, although the view was fairly unchanged from the pictures I took back then. 

I had high hopes of finding lots of Letterboxes along the way but we only managed to log in 2 successfully. 

The little park overlooking the bay with the lighthouse was the nicer of the two. 

We drove to the entrance of Cobscook Bay State Park  on impulse. We noticed a nature trail as we pulled into a parking space but the attendant came running over and wanted $8 even though the trail head was outside of his gate. 

We got back in the jeep and drove down the road to explore a little more.

Happened upon a public boat launch. 

The photo opportunities were wonderful. 

And free. 

(Although Tom would have qualified for a free day pass as a new senior citizen, had we known.)

We really didn't have time to walk the mile or two of trails since our dog was home alone for the day. 

We still managed to miss the "short cut" back to Route 9 and took the long way home.

The rock painted with political commentary in the bottom picture was found on the picnic table. 

I had stuffed Attitude Monkey in my pocket with the promise of an adventure photo since he hadn't made it past the railing above the glove compartment since being deposited in the Jeep as mascot. 

Almost forgot to take him out of my pocket when Tom handed me the "collectible art".  It's signed MAINE at the bottom. I wonder if there's more floating around in other states.

Can I keep it? 
Keeping it!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Funny you should ask!

"Are you knitting anything these days?"

I was going to title this post 'Never Not Knitting' but that's owned by someone and they're probably sensitive as to how others use the phrase. 

But it's accurate. 

Or more to the point: Never Not Waiting. Lots of waiting room visits with my parents, so I need something to do!
I would like to say I knit to stay sane but this summer's obsession with the Jacobus Monkey pattern might question my claim to sanity. 

I made a bunch of them! 

They became my take-a-long project because once you get the face done the arms, legs and tail are mindless round and round knitting, only requiring you count rows and at some point recognize you've gone on long enough. 

And I kept knitting them!
And then I decided to try them on size 000, 0, 1 and 1.5. 

I also quilted! Or I should say: I pulled out a nearly finished UFO quilt-as-you-go project and FINISHED IT!

(And then I started another monkey :) 

Most recently I have been working on new felted slippers. Because winter will come. And they either wear out or my knucklehead dog thinks chewing on them is fitting punishment for being ignored.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

It seems to be Mushroom Season

Let's go for a walk in our woods . . . 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Waiting at the edge

Sunrise will not be rushed.

Lakeside Landing. 

A lake road I've driven by for all of my adult life and never driven down to watch the sunrise. 

In early August we found out how little we knew about the symptoms of stroke. My dad was shuffling more, slowing down. At 81 it seemed to be allowed. But then he fell. When I called the doctor to get him seen, little things started adding up. Go to the Emergency Room NOW we were told. 

He was admitted on a Tuesday. We have been fortunate in that this was our first experience with aging.
Realities of life. 

To say he hated the hospital is putting it mildly. By Wednesday of the next week we brought him home, as he wished most desperately. 

By Friday I knew it was a mistake. We survived the red tape until Monday. 

He's now at a nursing facility regaining strength and relearning life skills. Fully aware of his surroundings and again wishing to be home. 
He says Saturday. I hope this is not another mistake.

Meanwhile, I've moved back home and started making morning trips before the sunrise to be with my 85 year old mother. Cook her breakfast, bring in the paper, be there when she showers to be sure she hasn't fallen. And clean. To keep busy, but mostly because it's desperately needed. A little at a time, everyday.

But occasionally I turn left towards the sunrise. 
To remember to take a deep breath.

(Random days from August 22nd - September 9th.)

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Season of Change

Uncertain New Normal

My parents are in their eighties and with the recent stroke dad had, things have changed.

Things are still changing.

Helping care for them is a given, but it's taken a little while to settle into a routine that can be sustained, without falling apart.

Remembering to breathe. 

Some days it feels like panic mode has taken over and my desire to fix all the things is made harder when suddenly all the things need fixing.

An impulse left turn on the way to mom's one morning had me chasing the sunrise. After that first morning using the camera on my phone I began taking my Nikon with it's new-to-me used 18 - 200mm lens.

I've been thinking for a while now I would revive this journal. Blogging is as hard as I remember! I've written and deleted dozens on paragraphs. 
I'm going to hit Publish and hope it gets easier.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sunkhaze Wildlife Preserve

In Aperture Mode!


I took a few snaps in AUTO to be hopeful something might come out fairly decent if I totally failed this exercise.
But the plan was A mode.
No chickening out!

This adventure was a Sunday Snowshoeing trip with Tom last weekend. We had only found this location before in summertime . . . driven by on the way to Some Place Else
Fishing usually. 

The trail we took was a wooded path that looped out to a platform and back around to the gate. Mostly dark old forest growth, without much to point a camera at. It seemed.

Newly fallen snow made snowshoeing easy although the camera needed protection from an avalanche of snow coming down from the tree tops. Completely buried me and the camera at one point. Not good!

I'm not sure which, if any of these were actually auto mode.  I was uncertain how to find out photo details after the fact. Turns out trying to remember what I did as I practiced in A mode didn't go all that well.

I downloaded software from Nikon's website yesterday so now I should be able to tell.  I had been letting Windows open pictures from the camera but it wasn't very satisfactory.

Winter Finally Arrived

Snowshoeing Adventure

Sara and I headed to Hirundo Wildlife Refuge. She was practicing on new cross country skis and I had the camera around my neck.

Still in AUTO mode but the camera seemed to do a pretty good job until the sun sunk behind a cloudy sky.

Settings. We need to learn them!

When There's NO Snow

 Letterboxing in December! 

The girls and I went looking for local hidden treasures soon after Christmas.  Since I tend to get us lost whenever I'm in charge of the clues, I'm not allowed to hold them. Which works for me! Taking pictures and getting used to the new camera was my priority.

I was still in AUTO mode because the minute I get outside anything learned from watching tutorials or reading the owner's manual has gone out of my head as soon as the lens cap comes off.  It was quite dark along the forested trail. It seems clear neither one of us knew what we were doing.

We only found one of the two hidden boxes, but we may have followed the trail backwards according to the clues.


Monday, February 08, 2016

Giving it my BEST SHOT . . . ?

New Nikon D5500
I got a new camera for Christmas! 

I've watched a lot of YouTube videos esp. this one  . . . over and over again. It takes a while for things to sink in.  Now that I need reading glasses, seeing the menu on the camera is a bitch without them. I hate it!

My plan is to practice taking pictures and to blog a few of the keepers to document my slow learning curve.  As with most things that needs to be learned all over again, I intend to give myself a break. My favorite advice from one of the video tutorials to date: "You'll take a million BAD pictures before you become good at this..." Or something like that. 
I'm up to about 500.

Most of my trips outside have been either walking our trails here at the house or snowshoeing some of the local nature preserves.

My goal from this batch was to end up with a four season series of photos in more or less the same spot halfway down our field. 

The first fall photo with lots of color (when this plan was first hatched) was taken with my old Canon Powershot. 

The frosty morning pictures were taken with my new camera... I think. Probably in auto mode. Winter snow-covered attempts have included too little sunlight, a dog's butt and our tracks messing up the imagined "best shot".  Getting out of auto mode is the goal.

Snow is predicted for this afternoon and tomorrow.
Yay . . . another shot at it soon? 

(Wandering Camera Project link up! ;)