What’s Been Goin’ On…

It’s been a busy 10 days, but I wanted to catch you up on what’s been going on with me lately.  In addition to the previous senior photo shoots of Sami Jo and Vivian, I attended a Bengals football party at a friends’ house, but didn’t watch a minute of the game.  I’m not much of a sports watching fan.  I enjoy the conversation with friends at parties and love to be active, hiking, jogging, biking, etc.  I contacted an acquaintance, who is a model, to see if he’d like to meetup at an area park for a quick outdoor photo shoot and to get to know each other a bit better.  He usually does magazine or runway modeling, so I thought a fun casual shoot might be a change of pace for him.  Isn’t he cute…

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Vivian

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  ~Marianne Williamson

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“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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“To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now.”  ~Alan Cohen

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“When virtue and modesty enlighten her charms, the lustre of a beautiful woman is brighter than the stars of heaven, and the influence of her power it is in vain to resist.” ~Akhenaton Continue reading

Hula Hoop Girl

I introduced you to Sami Jo in yesterday’s post and wanted to share some of her hula hooping photos from our Senior Photo shoot…

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It’s refreshing to watch someone engage in an activity they’re passionate about…

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Sami Jo

“Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.”  ~Henry Ward Beecher

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“The soul is healed by being with children.”~Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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“Children see magic because they look for it.” ~Christopher Moore

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“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.” ~Lady Bird Johnson Continue reading

Ash Cave and Cedar Falls

The weather forecast for Day two of our Hocking Hills hiking adventure predicted rain late in the day, so unlike the previous day, we left our rain coats, umbrellas, and waterproof camera bags back at the cabin, because we started out early.  Mistake!  While taking in the amazing scenery at Ash Cave it began to pour rain.  Fortunately for me, I was lagging behind taking photographs, under the shelter of Ash Cave, while my girlfriends were caught in the deluge.  Not a bad place to get stuck for 10 minutes!

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We ran into a photographer who was kind enough to take our photograph before the rain.  Even Evan (the dog) posed for the camera…

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The 1/2 mile trail at Cedar Falls leads to the waterfall….

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The sloped forest hillside afforded beautiful photography opportunities…

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Our cabin’s location (only a few miles from Cedar Falls) made it convenient to head back there for lunch before our afternoon hiking at the stunning Rock House, which I’ll save for tomorrow!

 

Hocking Hills Autumn Splendor

A quick two-day mid-week trip to Hocking Hills State Park for hiking followed by soaking in a hot tub with girlfriends was just what the doctor ordered!  Located in Southeastern Ohio, 2 1/2 hours from Cincinnati, the rugged cliffs, breathtaking gorges, cascading waterfalls, and flourishing forests of Hocking Hills State Park, afford visitors a pristine outdoor wonderland.  Our first hike was to Old Man’s Cave.  The well-marked one mile round trip trail, includes both man-made and natural steps.  The view from inside the mouth of the wide cave looks down onto a small stream and stone bridge…

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Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year to visit this park…

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The Search for Autumn

My latest assignment for Cincinnati Refined was to find the most colorful “leaf popping” streets within selected Cincinnati neighborhoods, so off I went, on a 40 mile journey and was amazed that I only found a few colorful trees!  It seems that Autumn is arriving late.  This was the most vibrant tree…

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A peek at a bit more of “the” tree…

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On the way home, this bean field and sky shouted for me to stop…

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So…I’ll be going out again next week hunting for Autumn!

Foggy Morning

I woke before dawn and made my morning coffee.  Peering out the window, everything was encased in fog.  I hastily threw on a jacket over my pajamas, grabbed my tripod and camera, and wandered down the lane in my house slippers to capture the beauty.

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Do you have a favorite?

Travel Diary: Washington, D.C. – Day 5

Having seen Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon, Adams Morgan & Georgetown neighborhoods, and a couple of the Smithsonian museums within four days of our week-long visit to Washington D.C., it was time for my husband and I to check out some of the monuments at National Mall.  Riding our Capital Bikeshare bicycles over to the National Mall in late morning, the chill long gone, vibrant emerald colors beckoned me for a photo at the Constitution Gardens Pond

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Although there weren’t any reflections in the Reflection Pool looking towards the Lincoln Memorial, the brilliant azure water was spectacular!

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Discover Treasures While Hiking

Hiking is such a great way to get exercise, enjoy the great outdoors, and if you’re a photographer, discover treasures along the way!  I’m fortunate to live five minutes away from a 500 acre nature preserve filled with burbling creeks, tons of wildlife, wildflowers, 4 miles of hiking trails and if timed correctly, I can usually have it all to myself.  Tuesday evening my husband, my dog and I took a 3 mile hike and here are some of my discoveries…

Not sure what these are called, but I like…

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Rebirth

Spring is so full of possibilities and life!  The trees grow fuller, the flowers blossom and our world turns green!  Living on five acres, surrounded by trees, I often feel disconnected…as if I’m in a cocoon.  I like the quiet…the sounds of nature–chirping birds, rain pattering, things growing.

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Hiking in Autumn

My dog Jake lives to hike with us!  He knows when we put on our hiking or jogging shoes that soon he’ll be out running in the woods!  He races in and out of the doggie door, unable to contain his excitement.  If we take too long, he’ll stick his head through it to see what we’re doing…

I had to take a picture of some of the trees above the roof of the house before leaving for the woods…

And the front yard.  We live on 5 acres (of which 4 acres is wooded) at the end of a lane and love the seclusion.

This spot is located right around the corner from my house.  Definitely worth a stop!

We stopped along the way for a quick photo of a farm.  I love the texture and color of the drying soy bean crop…

These photos are a combination of two different hikes we’ve taken this week.  I am very grateful to have a park within five minutes of my home that is over 500 acres with hiking trails and that I usually have to myself!

The leaves are glittering like gold…

I couldn’t believe how beautiful the trees and reflection were when we arrived to the lake.  If you’re a photographer, you know that almost giddy feeling of enthusiasm when you see something beautiful.

I recently realized that my camera has enabled me to appreciate and observe more of the beauty that surrounds me in people, nature and things.

This is from a hike a couple of days ago as dusk was settling…

Fog had descended upon us as we finished the hike…just in time for Halloween!

Get out and enjoy the beautiful outdoors!  Some people aren’t able to!

“Fall” in Love with Lexington

On the second day of our girls’ weekend, we went for a two mile…self-guided walking tour of downtown Lexington, Kentucky.  As you can see it was a glorious “fall” day!

Some of the sites we passed were the First Baptist Church, Mary Todd Lincoln‘s house, St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, and many more…

This is “Gratz Park”…with lots of beautiful historic homes lining the streets surrounding this Park!

This is the old Courthouse…

 

Transylvania University is the oldest college west of the Allegheny Mountains and the campus is beautiful!

Tomorrow, I’ll finish our walking tour…see you then!!

The Glory of a Lexington Horse Farm

After researching “things to do in Lexington” for our yearly “girls’ weekend”, I decided having a tour of a private horse farm would fit in nicely with our schedule and would be a unique experience with a personal touch!  I chose Taylor Made and our guide was “Emily”, the young lady in the next photo.  She was knowledgeable, professional and sweet!

The 1500 acre farm specialized in breeding and has received up to $8 million dollars for one conceived “baby”!  Usually, it’s more like $100,000…but still, that’s a lot!

While we were there for the hour tour, two gentlemen had arrived for their appointment to check out a couple of stallions for possible breeding, so we were allowed to watch them being brought out for show!

The farm was beautiful…even though it was an overcast day!

It was breathtaking to watch these horses race up the fence line!

 

 

They even had a small horse “cemetery”…

Here are the girls…from left to right….Gina, Cindy, Me, Sherry, and Michele.  Dee came the following day for the second night.

 

We learned quite a bit…this is the breeding room.  It usually takes about 45 minutes and they have someone restraining the stallion, so he doesn’t get too rough with the mare…such as biting her.  They videotape it for proof!

Here is the Mare‘s compound…

The tour is free…but you tip the guide.  We really enjoyed it!