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One photo a day challenge: Day 242.

I had a fun adventure today.

Today I explored a trail that was new to me.

Last year when I set out to explore some nature areas in Pennsylvania using my newly acquired Purple Lizard maps I learned about even more places I wanted to explore at some point.

I was exploring the Pine Creek Rail Trail when I learned about the Golden Eagle Trail. The Golden Eagle Trail can be accessed from two different points along the Pine Creek Rail Trail.

The Golden Eagle Trail is over 8.5 miles long. I knew I would need a good long time to hike it. I had been meaning to go back ever since learning about it. I just needed to commit to a time to do it.

So now it has been probably almost exactly a year and I finally made it back to hike the trail. I wanted to commit to really hiking it and enjoying it. Enjoying the work. And admiring the beauty of nature.

I didn’t want this adventure to be primarily about taking photos or running as many of my adventures are. So I took relatively few photos. At least few for me. So I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do. It was an amazing nature experience for me.

View along the Golden Eagle Trail

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One photo a day challenge: Day 241.

We spent the day hanging out with friends today.

We had a fun time.

I ate a lot of food. I am always munching on something.

Today I was munching on bread for a while. It was delicious. I mean is bread ever not good.

So I thought it made sense to make bread the subject of todays post.


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Camping for us usually means activity and adventure….

I am mostly a homebody. I am definitely not a lets go out and do something kind of person. Not a night out on the town person. Things I would rather to do than go out include but are not limited to: Relax at home and binge watch a TV program I have been waiting to see. Sit and read a book. Maybe even alternate between two books reading a little from each at a time. Play with my dogs. Sit on the deck and drink a beer. Watch the birds at the feeder. Photograph anything.

If I choose to leave the house to do something it usually is to do one of two categories of things. Do something active. Or I am doing something in nature. Or both simultaneously.

When I go out in nature one of my favorite things is to explore and try to see new things. That can be going new places, going places different times of year, or just paying attention to different things at places I have been before. Nature provides so many options.

Camping

Because we like to be out in nature when we take a vacation we almost always go camping. But sometimes I think we do camping differently than a lot of people do. One version of camping is go someplace you want to be and literally set up camp. Staying at camp or within the campground and relaxing and enjoying the time at camp.

That is not traditionally what we have done. Our version of camping treats camp, as in the location of our tent, more like a base of operations. We use the base of operations as a staging ground for explorations. We often head out on day trips to explore as much of the region we can. Returning to camp mostly at night to eat, sleep, and plan the next day’s excursions.

This year has been different for us. We often take a dog with us camping. Our current dog that accompanies us on camping trips has been facing a lot of health challenges. She simply cannot get around like she used to. Not even for walks at home.

Thankfully she loves car rides and is good in the car. She gets plenty of those. And she is still going on a long car ride to camp with us.

We don’t know how much time we still have with her or how long she will still be able to even endure this level of adventure, so of course she still goes.

Making Adjustments

Taking a dog with us that has limited mobility means the humans make adjustments. All the dog people out there know, when you have dogs you make adjustments.

Normally on a vacation we would take our dog, Brynn, on long hikes. She even climbed mountains in New Hampshire with us. There wasn’t going to be any of that this year.

As it turned out a short walk around the small loop where our camp site was is about all she could tolerate.

As humans who like to be active with a dog for whom that is no longer an option we had to redefine our idea of a vacation. We completely reshaped how we plan to spend our time camping on this trip.

Not Adventuring In The Adirondacks

We were camping in the Adirondacks of New York. For most people that probably means hiking, biking, boating, or bagging High Peaks. This was not the case for us this year.

The Adirondacks are undoubtably beautiful. And thanks to the remarkable abundance of beauty to be found it can be accessed in a multitude of ways. One of which is by car.

For a region that is quite rugged and full of wilderness it is also quite accessible by car. There are gorgeous scenic drives to be had. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s possible to see much more of the region this way.

Our dog loves car rides. Our dog loves being with us. We love being with our dog. We all love nature. It is a perfect opportunity to spend time together, enjoy nature, and explore. And we did it all by car.

In addition to all the nature to see there are also a host of towns to visit. All with their own charm and character. Shops to check out and food establishments to patronize.

One day we decided to go for a drive. We would drive or a while and then stop periodically as we arrived at the next town. It was time to get out walk around and stretch our legs. Taking in what each town had to offer.

On another excursion we all went to Lake Placid. Plenty of nice things to look at on short walks. There are places to sit and relaxed by the water. We enjoyed the scenic drive.

It is easy to think of the Adirondacks as a place of mountains and wilderness. Someplace where the only way to really see it is out on the trails or in the back country. What is really easy to overlook is all of the amazing natural features that are incredibly easy to access.

I bought a book that is entirely about the waterfalls you can see in the Adirondacks. The book categorizes them by how easily accessible they are. There is page after page after page of waterfalls that are accessible by a walk so short you wouldn’t believe it. Some of them are even quite large waterfalls.

I bookmarked all the pages in the book with waterfalls I thought we would be able to go see with our dog. We went out for an exploration to find them. Zig Zagging from one stop to another. Getting out of the car to walk around and take in the beauty of the waterfalls. Some were more impressive than others. Some had more space to stop and relax than others. But it was fun to explore by car and see what there was to behold. All within a few short steps from the car.

Staying At Camp

I mentioned how we really like to explore and be active when we go camping. Well on this trip we mostly did….. “Nothing”?

The vast majority of the our trip was spent within our campground and more than that at our camp site. This is really new and different for us on vacation. We really don’t do relax well when we are on vacation. I think we get a version of FOMO and typically feel like we need to do as much as possible while we are on vacation.

It was time to slow things down.

The campground we stayed at included a large lake. We regularly went down to the lake to relax. Have a picnic. Or in my case take photos.

We spent a lot of time at our camp site. Sleeping, napping, resting. Also relaxing.

At the camp site we spent time sitting and enjoying time together. Petting our dog. Playing with the dog.

We played games. We have recently really been enjoying playing board games. I bought games specifically to play while we were on vacation. We tried to learn how to play the game GO. It did not go so well.

One activity I really enjoy is reading. But for me it is not often top of mind. It is also something I struggle with because I tend to fall asleep when I try to read. But on vacation if you are trying to just relax and you fall asleep reading you are doing vacation just right. I spent a lot of time reading. It felt like just the right way to spend a relaxing vacation.

My favorite activity is photography. When I think of my photography I think of exploration. Looking for wildlife. Trying to photograph nature in new and exciting ways. This trip really required me to bring fresh eyes to my photography.

I photographed some of the normal things. Waterfalls, Lakes, and scenic vistas. But I also did different things. I photographed the same locations at camp night after night at sunset. I walked around our campsite and photographed the trees and vegetation right near where we were sleeping. Trying to think of something different I photographed the tiny decorative LED lights hanging from our canopy. Those turned out better than I expected. On one of our last nights I stayed up and built a big fire. I sat and watch the flames. And I decided to see what I could create in a photograph of a camp fire. Those also turned out pretty cool

Mix It Up

On our trip where we had to adjust to doing things differently it was great to expand our definition of a fun vacation to include new options.

Don’t define fun by something that takes lot of work. Learn to enjoy the simple things.

Mix things up. Do things you would not normally do. Open your mind to new possibilities.

Travel during your travel. Go for the scenic car ride and see all you can.

Step off the beaten path, but maybe just a little bit. No reason to go so far to enjoy the wonders of nature.

Look through the lens differently.

Enjoy the freedom to relax.

In some ways I think I enjoyed this version of vacation better than the way we normally do vacation.


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One photo a day challenge: Day 240.

Spent the day out and about. Wanted to try and see a sunset somewhere different today. The opportunity never materialized.

So I came home. I turned my attention tot he cats.

Hoping for an opportunity for a few cat portraits.

Paisley

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One photo a day challenge: Day 239.

When you are literally taking photos every day you use up battery power. Sometimes faster than one might think.

I knew my main camera battery was going to need to be charged soon. Turns out soon meant tonight. I went outside tonight to take my daily photos. And the battery was dead.,

No problem I thought. This is why I have two camera bodies. I will just put the lens I was intending to use on my second camera body.

Not so fast there. That battery was dead too. So now I have to batteries charging.

What is next?

I wouldn’t be able to use my macro lens as I intended because both of the compatible camera batteries are temporarily out of commission with dead batteries.

The obvious choice was to turn to my Sony Alpha Mirrorless camera. I have been using it a lot. But not usually under these circumstances.

What kind of creative photos could I capture with it?

I am not sure I am particularly satisfied with any of the images from tonight. I think part of that problem is I ended up using a totally different camera set up. And I tried to shoehorn that camera and lens into the same type of photography I was going to take with a completely different set up.

Probably not the best idea. I should have tried to be more creative and take advantage of the new set up I was using. Use the new setting for what it is best at.

Garden Flowers

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One phot a day challenge: Day 238.

When you plant something in a pot early in the year and it finally blooms!!!

To Everyone else this probably looks a lot like if not identical to the flowers I have posted before. But this is a totally new flower photo. I have posted photos of this plant previously, but it never had flowers before.

It may have had tiny little buds, but they now just started blooming.

I think I planted this Sedum back in the spring.

It is actually amazing that I managed to keep it alive this long. Especially since I had it in a pot that has no drainage. I always over or under water plants to death.

I am hoping to plant this one somewhere permanent in the yard when things start to cool down. If I am fortunate enough I will have this plant as well as several other sedum varieties I acquired this year return next summer out in various locations in the yard.

One thing about photographing the flowers on this plant that I think is cool is the flower clusters. They are cool for a couple of different reasons.

I can choose to get real close and focus on one individual blossom. Or I can pull back and focus on the cluster or even an entire stalk of the plant.

Then when zooming out to the clusters of flowers there are more options. Where to focus? Because there are numerous flower blossoms I can focus anywhere on the cluster and bring that section into focus and soften other areas.

Then I can change it up and highlight other portions. Taking different angles and points of focus creates a wide variety of photographic opportunities on just one plant.

Flowers finally blossomed

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One photo a day challenge: Day 237.

Usually my One Photo A Day posts arrive in the afternoon or evening.

When those posts include a colorful sky photo they are almost always at night. The photograph is usually of a sunset.

Well, this morning I walked outside to get something out of the car and there was a beautiful sunrise.

The sun was illuminating the puffy, light , and airy clouds. There was a nice purple hue to the sky. The clouds had a subtle shade of pink to them.

Some of the clouds with the prettiest colors were opposite the sun rising in the east.

This photo is of the trees in our yard. The colorful sky. And it included the moon hanging in the sky just above the trees.

I was not planning to take a photograph this morning. I ran back into the house to grab my camera. Then I headed back outside.

Always be ready to capture natures beauty. You never know when it will surprise us.

Sunrise: Upstate: New York

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One photo a day challenge: Day 236.

Feed Dogs. Run 3 miles. Eat Dinner.

Now it is time for my daily photography challenge.

It is dark outside now. Time to get out the artificial lighting. Thank you Lume Cube.

Today I wanted to focus on a brightly colored flower against a dark background.

This Yellow Hollyhock was just perfect for the job.

I like this close up view of the petals. The foreground portion is in focus and the outer edge of the flower is soft.

Yellow Hollyhock

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One phot a day challenge: Day 235.

One hour commute home.

Let the dogs out. Feed the dogs. Change clothes.

It’s hot. Put on light weight clothes. Get in the car to drive out for a run on the Lackawanna Trail.

The trail was in the shade. Watched beautiful clouds. The clouds were taking on beautiful colors.

As we were finishing our time on the trail, the sun was setting.

Get back to car. Drive home.

Get home to photograph the tail end of the beautiful sunset clouds over our trees at home.

Sunset Clouds: New York.

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Dogs are amazing, right? I love dogs. You love dogs. Who doesn’t love dogs.

I literally live a life of dogs. Dogs are a part of my daily life.

I take vacations centered around my dogs. Taking trips to see other dogs.

I get involved with organizations and not for profits that are involved with dogs.

Spanish Water Dog

Dog Shows

I will drive over an hour to see dogs thyat aren’t mine. Dogs that I don’t know. And dogs that I probably will never even touch.

I wil spend hours on end staring transfixed at dogs. Dogs of all different shapes and sizes. As many dog breeds as one can imagine. From tiny to enormous.

Dogs with no hair, short hair, big poofy hair, long hair, or big long dreadlocks of hair.

I love it all. There really aren’t any dogs that are not interesting.

They are especially interesting when it comes to photography.

Lagotto Romagnolo

Hickories Circuit Dog Show

The Hickories Circuit Dog Show is where I discovered that local dog shows were even a thing. That was over ten years ago. We have spent time at this event just about every year since.

It has been fun to see this event change and evolve over the years. From including different types of events at the show. To different locations. And best off all to see the numbers of dogs in attendance grow to expand the number of days the show is held.

When I go to a dog show the only thing I really care about is how adorably cute the dogs are. I just want to find the cute dogs that I want to boop noses with.

But it is also fun to learn about all the different breeds of dogs. Becoming familiar with so many different breed and learning their names and general information about them.

The most fascinating part is seeing new breeds I didn’t even know existed. Looking up information in my program to see what kind of dog is before me.

Those are my favorite photographs to create. It is like discovering something completely new in life. Dogs are dogs, but did you ever realize just how many different breed and varieties of dogs there are?

This weekend I photographed three breeds of dogs that I had not photographed before: Spanish Water Dog, Lagotto Romagnolo, and Pumi.

Pumi


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