Monday, August 31, 2009

Split Rock Lighthouse (Part 3)

August 29 & 30th, we went camping up on the north shore of Lake Superior at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Here's Part 1 and Part 2.
SRL back view

After setting up camp we went over to the lighthouse. When we got there the lady said it cost $8 per person just to go back and see the lighthouse. Well you also got a tour, but you couldn't get close to it unless you paid, and there was no way I was paying to SEE a lighthouse!  So I asked if there was some place I could go to take pictures of it at a distance, she asked if we had a vehicle permit and I said yes, we are camping here.  Then she got VERY excited and said "OH well then you can come see it when the light is on. The light will be on from 7:45 to 8:45!"  The lighthouse does not run anymore, so I guess it was a big deal that they were turning it on.  She also said once they close, people are free to go back and walk around the lighthouse. So that's what we did! We just waited til after they closed (went back to camp and made dinner) then came and walked around and got pictures up close to the lighthouse, for FREE! HA!
SR Lighthouse

over look lake superior

Once we walked up around the lighthouse, we got back in the jeep and drove around to another little trail area, that took us out by the water to get some shots of the lighthouse from a distance.
superior island

lighthouse pands 1

lighthouse pands 2

split rock lighthouse on

We hung around for a while taking lots of shots of the water and the waves. I thought this one turned out pretty cool. The moon is behind a cloud and I like how it reflects on the water:
moon reflecting on water
This last one was actually taken at 5:00am when we were getting ready to head back down to the lake to get some sunrise shots.
night trees

Next up: sunrise over Lake Superior

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park (Part 2)

August 29 & 30th, we went camping up on the north shore of Lake Superior at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Here's Part 1.

As soon as we got to the state park, we walked to our campsite (but we didn't take anything yet), then we headed off on the trail. Here is a map of the trail we walked on. We took the one down along lake superior, then went around and walked back on the paved trail just south of the highway.
Look out Pano Lake Superior
**sorry this panorama is not viewable on all computers. You should be able to click the image and view it in Flikr.**

It had sprinkled on us a little at the beginning of our walk, but quickly stopped.  It was a pretty cloudy day, and rather chilly out by the water, but it still didn't take away from the beauty of the lake!

water on rocks

north shore

lighthouse in background

distant split rock lighthouse

self portrait

kyle lake superior

Harpo looking out


family portrait

We came across this Corundum Mine site: "In 1901, Duluth prospector Ed Lewis claimed to have discovered a form of the valuable mineral corundum. Used for grinding wheels and sandpaper, corundum was in high demand out East. Its discovery prompted three companies, including Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing (3M), to begin mining in Minnesota. The North Shore Abrasives Company began mining at Corundum Point in 1904. Unfortunately, it was not corundum, but a softer mineral called anorthosite. The operation closed in 1908, and fire destroyed the mine shacks two years later." (taken from the sign on the trail)
corundum site collage

Kyle was finding lots of berries to eat along the way... and I just didn't feel comfortable eating things I didn't really know what they were. But close to the end of the trail we came across some people, they had a dog in the back buggie of their bikes that Harpo got to meet. But I noticed they were picking lots of berries and eating them, so after that I felt okay eating the berries.  A ways down the road Kyle finally noticed I was eating some with him and said "Oh I see how it is, you're only eating them because you saw those other people eating them" lol ::snicker snicker::
handful of berries

Had to get some shots of the pretty flowers =)
yellow flowers  my relatives

There's still more coming....

Weekend Camping: State Park #5 (Part 1)

campsite pano

Oh wow, what a fun weekend! So much crammed into a 48 hour period, but it was well worth the tiredness it brought on. 

I feel a little overwhelmed trying to figure out where to start, so I've decided to just start basic! Don't worry (mom) I will get all the beautiful photos up eventually ;-)  This is part one... of probably many. But if my plan goes accordingly there should be about 7 parts. (not bad since I took over 500 pictures!)

So to begin!

We checked out another state park this weekend: Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, which is about 3.5 hours from our house and is located along Lake Superior. It is gorgeous up along the north shore!  And cold!  The last time we were up there was two years ago this coming October. It only got down to 40 on Saturday night, so that was good... seeing how when we checked the weather on the way up it had given us a low of 37! Yes those 3 degrees were better ;-P

We decided to live spontaneous, and headed up there without a camping reservation... well there were no reservations available so we were just hoping.  Our first choice was to stay at Split Rock Lighthouse SP, but there was also a SP five minutes south, Gooseberry Falls SP, and then another one 10 minutes north, Tettegouche SP. So out of those three we were hoping we were in. It start sprinkling on the way up, and we took our chances by passing up Gooseberry and heading to Split Rock Lighthouse.... 'FULL' says the sign at Split Rock so we continue on to Tettegouche. I get out and go inside "sorry no more sites left"... well crap!  So we head back south. I call ahead to Gooseberry to make sure, they have 70 sites, so surely one is available!!!  I get put on hold a few times, the office must have been busy and the lady tells me "well we only had one site available and that was a while ago so it's probably taken by now".  Well crap, so I call Split Rock Lighthouse... JUST to make sure. I ask if they have any available and she says "Yes we have 3 spots, where are you coming from?"  I spit out "we're right down the road ready to turn in, we'll be right there!!!!"  AHHHH I was SOOO thankful we found a spot, what a fiasco, but that's the fun part of living spontaneous right?  =)

campsite stairs

This ended up being our most favorite campsite so far. It was a cart in site, only about 2 blocks from the parking lot. So we were pretty secluded, which meant no barking from Harpo... YEAH!!  We had a food locker for our food, and their was even a little area of woodchips for our tent. 
woodchips bed

We normally sleep on an air mattress, but didn't bring it this time. We both agreed that we slept better off the air mattress than we did when we had it.

After a walk around the state park trails, we set up camp.  It was mainly an up hill slant TO the site, which caused Kyle a lot of work getting that cart to the site.
site number 9
cart in camping

Luckily getting it back to the car was easier since it was downhill.
cart away
(and you can't really see it, but Lake Superior is in view, right over Kyle's head in that above shot)

My brother sent me a birthday gift of a few camping utensils, a P38 can opener, and a magnesium fire striker.  We put them all to good use:
start a fire
P38 opener

We had a pretty nice view of trees from our campsite, which was so relaxing.
beautiful campsite view

We got up early to watch the sunrise over Lake Superior, and when we got back, there was a deer pretty close to our site. This picture here was taken after it trotted away a bit and he wasn't as close.
deer near campsite

Like I said we had a food locker to keep our food away from the bears and rodents...
food locker

or so we thought. When I went in to get our cereal out I found that our Doritos, marshmallows, and chocolate had been nibbled at. We didn't find the little feller, but we think it was rummaged by chipmunks, since Kyle saw a few the night before.
damn rodents  rodent buffet  rodent turds

I was so mad the little sh!ts got into our Doritos!  We don't eat junk food very often and camping is one time we get things like Doritos, luckily there was less than a quarter of the bag left, but still - I was looking forward to eating them for lunch that day, oh well! And of course they didn't even touch Harpo's food!

Stay tuned, more to come! =)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Number 9

009 boys bridge sunset
This is my ninth image for my project Y27.  I took it - Monday, August 24th while leaving the dog park, that is right down the street in our neighborhood. 

It is actually a combination of two photos.  I first snapped this one:
take one sky shot

Then when looking at the playback on my LCD realized it had exposed for the sky.  So I changed a few settings then re-snapped it to get this one:
take two kyle harpo shot

Now once I got back home on the computer I realized I liked the sky better in the first one, so just decided to combine the two!

I opened up the dark, good sky one in photoshop, then placed the second good shot one of the boys on top of it - which created a second layer.  Then using a layered mask, I erased the over exposed sky on the top layer (the one you can see kyle and harpo) to reveal the good exposed sky beneath it.  Then after a little croppping -to get rid of a big tree to the left that didn't line up very well- I got my end result, wa-la! Now would you have ever noticed if I didn't tell you??

:-) Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oh the things I learn

drinking from the mighty mississippi

Last weekend, Kyle, my dad, harpo, and I went to the Minnehaha Dog Park. This is our FAVORITEST!!! dog park of all time! It's a 4+ acre dog park that goes down along the Mississippi river.  It's fun for us because it's like we're hiking trails but Harpo doesn't have to stay on a leash. It's fun for Harpo because even if we were there for only 30 minutes, he wears himself out because it's so big and he can run as fast as his little legs will allow!

he went a little deeper

He even got in the water farther than he ever has before! We were so proud of him, I think that swimming a few weeks ago helped ;-)

My learned lesson of the day was this:

If I'm going to be in a dog park... switch my shooting priority mode off of apeture and onto SHUTTER priority!

These dogs are too quick...thus producing lots of blurry pics :-(
blurry olde english BD

But they're still cute... right?
blurry basset

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mall of America

This is one of those places everyone just HAS to visit.... or at least they think they have to visit. Kind of like BRANSON! Everyone thinks it's this magical place, full of mysterious wonders... but honestly, can I tell you the truth? It's just a mall - super sized, with an amusement park in the middle... that's it :-)

dropped pizza

A few weeks ago when Kyle and I went to meet up with some family that was in town for the weekend we were walking around and decided to stop and look at the Lego Land. We were standing up on a crosswalk overlooking the Lego Land and watching all the little munchkins scurry around building things, knocking other's sculptures down and being chased by parents.

I hear this weird sound and I look up to find a piece of pizza that was dropped, and then I looked up even further to find a mom looking under the table for where her son's pizza went as he looked over the railing. Now how it got over the railing remains a mystery to me, but it was pretty funny to watch. And EVEN funnier when Kyle and I were back at MoA the next week and the piece of pizza was STILL THERE!!!!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Have I told you lately that I love you?

"Each man's life represents a road toward himself." -- Hermann Hesse

As hurt and disconnected I may have felt at times throughout my life, I know it is part of becoming who I am. I know I get confused and use anger as an expression of hurt or I use blame as an expression of overwhelmth. But as I travel down this road.... called life.... I learn more and more each passing day.

Unless they have loved someone effected by the disease of addiction, people don't truly understand what it is all about. It's a disease that makes a person... well not a person at all. Yeah humans are selfish, it's in all of our natural ways of thinking, but an addict is truly selfish, an addict is so wrapped into what they are addicted to, even their own needs, like eating and self hygiene aren't even a thought.

Even though an addict continually does things that hurt the ones they say they love, they are not doing them to intentionally hurt that loved one.

He didn't forget my birthday to hurt me, he didn't forget to call me, because he didn't care. He was consumed... consumed by a disease.

And when that disease is under control, me (as a human) often forgets that there is a person under all that mess. There is someone that is trying to make what was wrong, right. It's hard for them, it's hard for me.

dad dp B&W

My dad came to visit me this weekend. I spent more time with him in the past three days than I have in over ten years. I saw that he is trying, trying to be there for me now because he couldn't be there for me before. It was a good visit. It is a blessing that he was able to come visit us, able to tell us stories from his teenage years, his life is a big story. But like us all, he just wants someone to listen, someone to care.

A few weeks ago my dad had a heart attack, I knew this would happen someday, I mean he hasn't been the kindest to his body over the past few years. I think situations like this help to put life in perspective for everyone and anyone that has to deal with it. We're getting old, and as I get old, my parents get older. And this all makes me look at life a little more precious.

One story he told me was about his high school reunion he attended a few weeks back and how he was once voted most likely to be a comedian. I thought "WHAT? MY Dad, a comedian? Um... he's not funny, he's just embarrassing" Then talking with Kyle, he could see how what other people think is funny, I think as embarrassing. This made me take a step back, and take a look at things, not from how I see them or how I think other people see them, but just how things are and how I don't really need to take everything so seriously. So what if an inappropriate comment is made out loud in the middle of a movie in a dark theater... am I really going to see these people ever again? Who cares!

"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves and not to twist them to fit our own image." --Thomas Merton

"Change your thoughts and you change your world." --Norman Vincent Peale

I've learned that I let the little irritating things get to me, when it fact it doesn't matter at all. And when that does happen I end up getting upset with myself for wasting the time I had on those little things. Since Kyle and I don't live near our family, when they come to visit, or when we go to visit I have to remind myself that I need treat these times the same way I have looked forward to them. I always look forward to visiting family, I'm excited, I miss them and love them - I'm just horrible at expressing it. In the moment I get consumed with all the little things that annoy me, but really, those little things aren't what I need to focus on.

"Today I'll use the slogan, 'How Important Is It?' It will help me think things through before I act and it will give me a better picture of just what is important in my life" -- Alateen-a day at a time.

It's interesting how as I get older I learn things (wow!, who knew that would happen?!), the interesting things are what I learn about my family and myself. It's funny to see how the way my mother is and then see the way my father is and it makes total sense about the way I can be. Getting married has opened up a lot of windows in my mind, as well. Kyle and I took a pre-marital class at church last winter and it was probably one of the best things we could have done in preparing for our lives together. We learned a lot about each other and married couples in general. My normal is not his normal, or is it anyone else's normal for that matter. But one of my normals that differs from Kyle's normal is talking... I saw this weekend that I was doomed to be a talker :-) Between my mother who loves to talk and give her opinion, I learned that my dad also loves to talk! Sorry Kyle ;-) but that's why he loves me, right? I also learned little things like why I find it necessary to log the miles I travel or time different routes and see which is faster. After spending a weekend with a parent I see ALL the things I do, which I had always thought were MY great ideas or habits, were really the great ideas of my parents! LOL. It's okay, we're family right? I have ever right to want to organize things, keep maps of all the places I've been, highlight the hiking trails we've used. But I can't throw it away, we might one day go back to that exact spot and want to know what trails were hiked ;-) or so I tell Kyle so he'll let me keep my room 'o' junk. Clutter... it's all clutter... but it's ME, it's my normal.

dad and daisy cropped

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Y27: Week 1 of 52

Week 01
So I made it through week one and took a picture everyday thus far. This might be something hard as time goes on. It's hardest during the week when we're not doing new and exciting things and I have to be creative all by myself in figuring out what to get a picture of. So, I'm sorry if some are 'boring' along the way.... what do you expect with 365 shots that can only be counted one a day. I know there are many days I have many great shots.... but I gotta pick just one.

Now I'm still trying to figure out how to blog them all. I made a template (above) with seven photos in one, but I'd like to still be able to tell about each picture. So I'm not sure if I should just describe them (like I will today) or if I should post the collage then re-post each individual picture and then talk about each one.... how bout you vote, if you have a preference? :-)

Alright here I go:

Day 1: August 16: Minnehaha Falls: this was one of those 'hard to pick days' when we did so much that I had many options to choose from. I wanted to go to Minnehaha Falls to use my new tripod and practice getting nice water flow shoots. This ended up being my favorite shot of the day, therefore it is number ONE of my project. I think it's a good one to start off with!

Day 2: August 17: squirrel: this shot was actually taken as I was getting in the car to go grocery shopping. It was the end of the day and we needed to go to Sam's. I hadn't taken a picture yet so I thought I'd take it with me to the grocery store and see what I'd find. I just loved how this squirrel was all sprawled out on his belly (much like Harpo lays) so I got a shot of him and ended up liking it better than anything I captured at the grocery store.

Day 3: August 18: Harpo smile: I actually only took two shots this day, one before this and then this one... I just loved how it turned out. Sometimes it is hard to get a good shot of Harpo since he rarely stays still unless sleeping... but he is looking right into the camera on this one... and it even kinda looks like I'm using a fisheye lens (which I'm not), isn't he cute?

Day 4: August 19: tomatoes with water drops: It had rained ALL day and I needed something to take a picture of so I went around the yard getting various drops of water on all my plants. This was the winner!

Day 5: August 20: buzztime and beer: when we lived in Georgia we really got into doing the buzztime trivia... it's offered at various select restaurant/bars, and it's FREE! This evening we just happen to want to go grab a beer and a bite to eat, and we had a coupon for a place right down the road 'Park Tavern', they so happen to have buzztime trivia.

Day 6: August 21: patio garden: I was really desperate this day and stuck to something easy... our patio garden! Kyle ate one of the strawberries later that night, then the darn squirrels are coming out and we think he ate the other one the next day! Little culprit!

Day 7: August 22: bacon wrapped japs: this day was a little tricky too, but not too much. My dad was in town over the weekend and we went to Minnehaha dog park, since I will most likely have MANY pictures of Harpo at the dog park, I decided to pick this one, which is what we made for an appetizer that evening. Yum, Yum!!!

Don't forget.....
I'd love some comments on how you'd like my weekly Y27 blog to be?
Would you like to see each picture separate?
More dialog?
Less dialog?
I'd love any advice you would like to give!

Thanks for reading :-)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My love

Kyle B&W

I love my husband!

I love my husband for always letting me take pictures of him.

Here he actually let me pretend I was taking portraits of him. Isn't he wonderful?

ferriswheel collage

All images are copyright of Daisy Simpson. It is unlawful and illegal to copy, scan, alter or edit the images in any way. This depreciates the photos value as well as my reputation, I take great care in capturing and editing each image and they are each important to me. Thank you for respecting my passion and my copyright.