Nature Photography: Lone Pinecone

This is Indiana’s weather pattern right now:

Freezing weather, overcast days, turning sunny and finally seeing clear days, but too cold to go outside at length because it’s in the thirties, then warm and in the sixties but overcast, rainy or super windy.

Indiana weather=never predictable

purple tulips in spring

Recently we had several trees bud and flowers pop up only for it to turn cold again.

Not sure all the flowers survived. We shall see. I personally don’t plant ANYTHING till after Mother’s Day to be safe.

Last week it was in the 30s and SO COLD and WINDY, that we bundled up under three layers of clothing just to take a walk. I haven’t been able to walk or bike much the entire year due to some horrible, 24/7, back pain, but I got a little relief recently (may write a blog about my theory as to why), so we immediately headed outdoors… frigid temps and hurricane-like winds, or not!

We quickly noticed we were the only ones walking the trail as we pushed against the wind. We looked like bears coming out of hibernation that desperately NEEDED a walk, with all those layers of clothing!

As for shooting pictures along our walks, it’s now too painful to carry much gear with me, so I’ve been shooting more with my iPhone, a 5 at that! I know, I know, you DSLR owners are shrieking right now. But, it is what it is.

A single pine cone along a walking path this spring in the park.

Along one of the paths, I came upon some pines and captured this lone pinecone. I noticed hundreds of tiny pinecones littering the ground and quickly began to stuff my pockets with them. They were so cute. My husband was patient with me as I  discussed how great it’d be to make another poster with them.

When I first got my DSLR as a gift from my parents, I shot my first ever poster with acorns I gathered from another trip where I tagged along with my hubby as he had business up in northern Indiana. But, not too long after enjoying my new camera, my tripod fell over and my lens jammed. So, now I only have a telephoto (kit lens) and I have to back up to Timbuktu to capture most shots.

nut poster

So here’s to consistently warm days (with low pollen counts for me) AND talking my husband into buying me a larger, iPhone 7.

OKAY, I’ll settle for a 6+ 😉

since I also can’t see very well….

do I sound very convincing yet?

I mean, my birthday is coming up, after all! 😀

Tell me below what you like to shoot with and what are your favorite things to try and capture?

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Rainy Days

Standing in the creek behind my house with my TOTES on.

RAINY days and Mondays always don’t always get me down.

Didn’t you love the Carpenters?

But, I’m not complaining about the rain as it really helps my dry skin and eyes…ahhhh relief!

This picture was taken back by the creek before all this rain fell. I was testing out my new TOTES.  I walked right through the creek to get some shots. 

However, I thought twice about going out to view the creek today. We have had nothing but downpours like you wouldn’t believe all day, everyday for a week. 

And I’m afraid one slip of the foot, and I’d be swept away. 

The creek is at the back of our acre of land, and normally you wouldn’t even know it’s there.

But I can hear the sound of the rushing water clear up by my house today!

Our county was under a flash flood watch just after one night of downpour.  

OK, now this is the third time I’m hearing hail hit the windows, in the past week, and these strong winds make the house sound like it’s going to implode… constant creaking sounds. 😮

What’s it like in your neck of the woods?

My Backyard

My backyard in Indiana facing the woods and a quarry hill during winter.

This is a picture right outside my bedroom, looking into my backyard.

I saw the sun, opened the slider, and took an iPhone pic. (5 that is..not the greatest camera, but I try.) I have a Canon Rebel, but I dropped it and messed up my wide lens, so I only have the telephoto to use now and sometimes that can be tricky as I have to back up to Michigan to capture anything, ha.

But, these clouds, right? Seeing two layers, just behind and higher above the trees, caught my eye right as the SUN CAME OUT! Yes, the SUN! Did I say the SUN?!!!

Yes, we get occasional sun, but when it’s 30 degrees it’s kind of hard to go OUTSIDE and stay OUTSIDE to enjoy it like you want to enjoy sun.

Although, I did go back to the creek (just behind those trees) to capture some photos as the snow was falling, and waded the creek, and stayed out till the sun went down and my fingers were red and reaching a hypothermic state.

I will have those pics next time. They need editing and this darned eye disease is giving me fits since returning home from Florida. UGH!

But, I captured some cool shots. Many times they hit Instagram first, so if you want to follow my IG there is a link here on my sidebar and below.

ENJOY!

*PS Hubby made it to his hotel and before the snow hit Maryland real hard. YAY!

Spring FAIL

Probably like a lot of readers, here, we are getting more snow today.

bird bracing itself in cold, winter weather

My hubby is off to Maryland on business and flights have already been canceled. He’s due to arrive at the airport right when they are expecting 8-12 inches. PERFECT TIMING! NOT.

I woke up to this….

snow falling in the spring of Indiana

just after buying some spring decor and hanging that banner.

Yep, it’s a no go.

We went from 60-degree temps to 30 (overnight) last week.

To go from the beach in Florida back home to this…always has been kind of disheartening.

Spring Break tan is useless when you return to snows back home.

I need some sun!

Oh man, it’s snowing again!!

HOPE and the Beach

Only home a second day from Panama City Beach, and I’m already thinking about how to move to the south, sooner!

Panama City Beach, Florida Holiday Inn Resort

I have a countdown going on in my head.

See, Hubby can retire in three years, and my grandkids are sure to arrive in the next few years. There might be a slight problem in that my son just got married and lives here, in Indiana, but my daughter is in Georgia and was married in 2015.

I guess it’s a race to see who has their kids first. 😉



If you’re at all interested in my fam…here’s my daughter’s wedding video. And a post about the wedding day: HERE

 

derek-and-heidi-wedding

And, we just got my son’s video!:  HERE



Regardless, I just can’t handle winters, anywhere, anymore! Even if my kids didn’t live in the south, I would eventually have to move there, for sure.

Or Hawaii.

I LOVED Hawaii. It was like the Garden of Eden.

I’m still trying to talk my husband into retiring there, as well. 😉

Okay, so a loaf of bread costs $5.oo.

Hanalei Bay Resort in Kauai Hawaii with beautiful flowers and trees overlooking the ocean.

INDIANA WEATHER

Don’t get me wrong, I love the change of seasons and the area where we live is known for its vivid, fall colors.

As for winter, I actually love the snow and don’t mind the cold here.

It IS pretty and it does make it feel more like the holiday season has arrived.

Some of my favorite times are going out to take pictures at night when the snow has fallen. It’s SO peaceful.

⌈The neighbor’s house.⌋

My neighbor's house in the snow in Indiana

Heck, I’ve even been known to run errands without a coat during 37º days…menopause or no menopause.

The cold, winter woods after a big snow.

And when this little, Cali girl visited grandparents one midwestern winter, she was totally obsessed with seeing snow, playing in the snow, laying in the snow…not coming in from the snow, period.

I even have fond memories, while living in southern California, of my dad driving us up to the mountains of Big Bear. We’d drive around for hours listening to Christmas carols hoping to see even one flake of falling snow.

We were thrilled to find on one particular visit there was enough snow for snowball fights and sledding. Sledding down steep mountainsides ladened with huge, snow drifts jumping a foot or two in the air and then careening down onto curvy mountain roadways. (My brother actually hit a parked, car’s wheel that trip. That wheel kept him from going under the car and over the mountain cliff. TRUE STORY.)

So the past winters have been fun, but not anymore… they are really taking a toll on me now!



PRAYING/FIGHTING for HOPE

Sadly, my body has developed worsening health “issues” where the winter just really does a number on my eyes and skin, (diseases) and it’s getting worse each year. Truly, these last eight years have been a literal HELL for me, with the last three almost unbearable. The pain has been torturous. Pure. Torture.

Yep, my hope has waned, many times.

I have continually prayed for God to restore my hope especially when the pain didn’t let up for months on end. And prayed he would protect my sanity. (Those with chronic illness/disease or chronic pain will get this.)

And I have to continually fight my mind about looking too far into the future because my 40s & 50s have been the toughest years of my life. I have to tell myself to refocus and just live out today. Many times it’s been a refocusing minute by minute, quite literally.

I have to determine to lean into God hard, TODAY, and praise Him for what I can find that’s good, TODAY.

It’s not easy, I assure you.



HEALING in the SUN

So, hubby suggested a break from winter.

My eyes and skin started feeling better within a couple of days and thankfully, I didn’t have any major reactions like my last trip- uh, YAY!

Just not having that forced heat hit me all day, brought much relief and healing. And leaving the bleak, cold, overcast days just felt GOOD for the soul.

It wasn’t an easy drive for me, with this continual back pain, (It’s been a year now.) but I was sick of so many gloomy days I finally said, “I’ll chance the drive; let’s get outta here!”

I was glad in the end that we made that L O N G, 11.5 hr., drive. (I would’ve rather flown but it allowed me to use all my heating pads, medical devices, etc.. Boy, I sound OLD! (I’m a walking medical lab, now. ha.)

And luckily, my daughter and her husband were able to drive over from GA, joining us for two days. So, it was great to see them, too.

morgan-and-logan

Playing with the sand, feeling the warmth of the sun soaking in, and just having face-to-face conversations with my daughter, just the two of us, as we waded in the water was just what the doctor ordered.

I also realized this was the FIRST time, in YEARS, I could go on a vacation and not fear the sun due to getting off my immune suppressing drug. YAY!!!!!  (*Sun exposure is not allowed due to skin cancer risks.)

That alone makes a vaca a VACA! 🙂

beach-pic

Seashell and hope bracelet found on Panama City Beach, Florida

Digression: I bought this bracelet one night at a restaurant and earlier that morning found this cute, little shell… had to dig down into the water to grab it before I got knocked over by a wave. My daughter was right by my side when I spotted it. 🙂

Didn’t find any more shells quite this perfect. 😉



REALITY

Now we’re back.

And the heat is blowing.

And my sweats and socks are back on. 😦

(going from shorts to sweats=just not cool)

I’m physically suffering again. UGGH.

Yeah, I might have (or might not have) told my husband I may be moving ahead of him.

I leave you with the sights and sounds of the beach. ENJOY!