If you’re anything like me (my apologies and best of luck if you are), you’ve probably noticed an uptick in two activities recently: eating and cleaning. You’re probably learning a lot more about the ingredients and products you use as well. I started looking at the box on my dryer sheets one day and began to wonder if I should be using this particular scent.
Things that typically stay outdoors aren’t always the most pleasant things, are they? Who has ever had an outside dog? They don’t always smell April fresh. In fact, they like to seek out the opposite of fresh, roll in it for a leisurely afternoon, and trot home to give your family a hug.
I live in an area where the outdoors seems to really want to come indoors right now. As the weather has grown warmer, it’s usually been flies.
Another outdoor bug made its way into my home recently, though, that I hadn’t been expecting.
It was a Saturday night (I think). I was in the process of changing from my daytime pajamas into my nighttime pajamas. I had only stepped away from the living room for about fifteen minutes or so. When I returned to resume wearing the contoured dent into my sofa, I saw something on the rug. I wasn’t wearing my glasses, and I wondered if I’d dropped some food from my fourth snacking session of the evening.
As I looked closer, though, I realized that I didn’t have anything in the pantry of that shape, consistency, size, or that moved by itself.
Wait. It’s MOVING?!?
I took off towards the pantry to get a fly swatter. At first glance, it looked like a night crawler. As my vision came into slightly better focus (and after I poked at it), it curled up into a tight coil.
A couple of scoops, some shrieking, and a flick out the front door later, I set it free to roam the neighborhood.
Those darn millennials. Thinking they can come into my house uninvited. The least it could’ve done was knock on the door or ring the doorbell. It has enough feet to do both.
Some things are just meant to stay outdoors, though. And if that’s part of what represents “outdoor fresh,” I think I’ll switch to new dryer sheets.
I’ve finally found a way to balance my love of photography with my need to write sarcastic statements. The whole concept was looking at me every time I opened any of my social media accounts.
Place any statement on a beautiful background and it becomes inspirational, right? Even if the grammar and spelling are suspect, the pretty picture makes it all better (but correct grammar and spelling matter, so I’ll be really careful, because that’s who I am and this sentence is a really bad example of grammatical correctness so I should probably move on with my other thoughts). Why not have a little fun with it?
Natural beauty is all around The Natural State–hence the motto, “The Natural State.” You’ll never run out of photography options. Take, for instance, these photos from Northwest Arkansas. You have choices–street scenes, forest scenes, water scenes–that you couldn’t possibly fit into just one day of your expedition.
I can’t be this serious for very long, though. So, I’ve added some “inspirational” messages to some of my photographs to satisfy the need for humor.
One part peaceful, another part goofy. It’s the least I can do to contribute to humor while exploring different locales with a camera lens.
Don’t they all look so fancy? That’s a word I need to start using more often–fancy. It’s just so…fancy.
I will do my best from this day forward to contribute further to the advancement of fancy inspirational humor. Any thoughts?
It seems that every time we think warmer weather is on its way this year, we have ourselves a few tornadoes and then go right back into the deep freeze.
Snowfall in April was a dead giveaway that winter likes it here and doesn’t really want to leave, despite the fact that most of us have made it quite clear that it has overstayed its welcome and it should just look for other places to hang out because we would like to move forward into the next season that will give us at least a brief period of time to enjoy outdoor activities between the “freezing-to-death” months and the “I’m-melting-melting” months. (Whew. I should try to punctuate more often.)
To top it all off, I’m all about some nature photography. I really, really, REALLY like to capture each of the four seasons that Arkansas supposedly gets to experience annually. Every time I think I’ll have a spare Saturday to go forth and look for pretty spring trees, I end up at home…under a blanket…looking at the clouds outside and expecting the poor little flowers to wither any day now. Or, I’m huddled in a closet as the tornado sirens scream at the neighborhood. But, I’m still trying to find photography opportunities.
We have had some short windows of time when the conditions were good for springy, flowery photography, however.
Any suggestions on where I should go for upcoming photography excursions? (By the way, I don’t limit myself to Arkansas at all. However, if you suggest Hawaii, I suggest that you might need to help out with those expenses…)
Several years ago, I was visiting a friend and noticed an odd contraption in the middle of the room with the Apple logo on it. My mind started spinning with all the possible newfangled inventions that Steve Jobs and his team of geniuses could have come up with that I didn’t know about yet, so I pointed at the object and asked about it.
“Hey–what is that thing right there? Something new from Apple?”
“That? No, that’s my humidifier. I just put the sticker on it.”
Of course, how was I really supposed to know unless I asked? I’m not usually hip to all the latest technology and lingo and such. I’m not on fleeks with all that and a bag of chips.
I was recently in a situation where I decided it was best to just trust that something I was seeing was a bit…off.
Elevators make me nervous. I was stuck in one once for about ten minutes when I was ten years old, and a little incident in which about a baker’s dozen of my colleagues were stuck between floors on one in the not-so-distant past hasn’t helped ease my concerns. If I have a choice, I’d prefer the stairs…or an escalator.
Anyway, I found myself in a building I’ve only visited a handful of times, and I’ve always taken the elevator. However, once I walked through the lobby doors, I noticed that one of the elevators was staying put with the doors open…and was apparently under repair. The interior of the elevator is filled with mirrors, and most of them were covered as though they were being replaced.
The situation screamed, “FIND THE STAIRS.”
I asked a lady that I saw in the lobby to help me find the stairwell…because I didn’t trust the elevators. I pointed at the one in question as I spoke to her and she said, “Oh, that doesn’t look good. Let’s see if we can find the stairs. Where are you going? The top floor? Ooh…hmmm.”
Error Number One: I didn’t ask enough questions about the key card she had to swipe in order to open the stairwell in the first place.
“Umm…when I get to the top, will I be able to get through the other door?”
“Oh, I think so. I think this is just designed to keep people out but not lock them in.”
I was huffing and puffing my way up the stairs when I had a little flashback to a summer internship during the ol’ college days. I have always preferred getting to work early, and I was true to form on the morning in question. Interns are typically given what they need and not much else, so I only had one key–the one that accessed the back stairwell. I soon found myself in a stairwell limbo because I wasn’t able to open any other doors. (I’m glad someone was actually there and heard me knocking frantically on one of the doors.)
Error Number Two: I thought I was in better physical shape than I am. Had I known that I would have to climb all the way back down the stairs because–surprise–I actually couldn’t get through the upstairs door, I would have just taken my chances with the elevator in the first place. The whole time I was headed back downstairs, I kept praying that I could get back through the original door. Otherwise, I was going to have a problem on my hands.
When I finally made my way back to the lobby, I was able to get back through the door (thank goodness), and I took my chances with the elevator.
I’m happy to report that the problem with the elevator wasn’t as terrible as it appeared. My calves, on the other hand, are now feeling the results of my stellar intuition.
Speaking of things not appearing as they seem, sometimes things are exactly as they appear. (Why, yes, I do have some new photography to share! How did you guess? And, no, I haven’t doctored or otherwise overly edited these photographs. What you see is what I saw…unless it’s in black and white. I did shoot a few in black and white.)
I took a little Spring Break adventure to visit some parks I hadn’t been to before, and here are just a few photographs. Look for some of them to appear in my Etsy shop soon!
The first ones are from Elephant Rocks State Park in Missouri. I really enjoyed the trail and the scenery. If you haven’t heard of it, you can find more information here.
Another stop…Big Spring, also in Missouri. Although it was cloudy and cool the day I visited, the views were quite impressive. You can find more information about this location here.
So…there are a few photographs for you to look at that are accurate at first glance. I’m going to go rest my calves now. I hope you enjoy the photos.
I believe I’ve made my feelings about winter very apparent.
In case you missed it, here’s a summary:
I HATE WINTER!
With that being said, you have to look for the silver lining in all situations. Occasionally, our trees quite literally have that silver lining.
No one in northern Arkansas will ever forget the Great Freezing Rain Power Outage Ice Storm of Misery (2009 Edition). Not only were the trees, power lines, elevated surfaces, inanimate objects, cars, grass, leaves, houses, (yeah, you get the picture) and lawn furniture coated with a thick, shiny sheet of ice, the frozen precipitation caused infrastructure chaos that left many, many people without power for several weeks.
Luckily, Winter 2018 hasn’t shown off in that manner…yet. (Let’s hope it doesn’t. Do you hear that, Winter 2018? That’s not a challenge. Just don’t do it.) However, the silver lining has been quite attractive for photographers like myself. (Well, to the extent that photographers like me can stand to be out in the cold long enough to capture the images.)
I call this phenomenon “Nice Ice.” It’s the kind of ice that doesn’t stick around long enough to do any actual damage. It stays off the roads and only accumulates enough in the trees to produce good photography.
“Nice Ice” is rare around here, but it can make winter slightly more tolerable by providing something to look at other than bare branches and gray.
Lots of photography.
Sometimes, they even throw in a nice sunset for you.