Walking in a Winter Wonderland {Snow Photography}

Hello, dears!

Guess what? Last Sunday we got eleven inches of snow, AHHHHH! Since church was canceled and it was Mom’s birthday, we just stayed home and had possibly the best snow day ever. IT WAS MARVELOUS. I took heaps and piles of snow pictures, and I can’t wait to show you a selection of my favorites!

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~ Winter Stroll ~

Hello, dears!

*sigh* I’m getting rather tired of the freezing weather we’ve had here lately. Winter is kind of boring and cold and hard to photograph, am I right? But I DID get a few good non-snow winter photos here recently that I thought I’d show you! Winter is hard for photography, but not impossible.

 

One recent Sunday we took a family walk after church to explore our new farm a bit. Well, it was more like a walk/drive/ride combined because we took the truck and the fourwheeler too.

I love this picture because of the pink and purple shirts. XD Jeff’s shirt used to be more blue but it got kind of faded.

Maggie adores going on rides with us. 😀 She’s so cute and happy and smiley!

For some reason what looked like a bunch of old tuna cans were nailed up to the wall in one of the sheds? We were puzzled. It’s kind of funny though.

I love this picture for its rustic character and texture. (Don’t worry, this isn’t the house we’re moving into or anything. XD XD It’s just an old shed.)

More rust, and more neat-ness in an abstract kind of way! This stuff went under the concrete they poured in Dad’s “new” shop.

Isn’t the bark on this tree super strange? It’s all flaky and weird – even on the twigs. It kind of looks like lichen, except completely covering the whole thing.

The kids wandered down to the pond while Mom and Dad drove around another part of the farm. Jeff was trying to convince Maggie to take a swim, but she only likes water she can wade in, not swim in, for some reason.

This is Carmen and her prize feather. XD

I absolutely LOVE the pattern the sky and clouds make on the water! It looks so neat, don’t you agree? It would make a neat painting too.

I love the cattails all around the pond!

  The light was gorgeous. ♥The boys went crazy with the fourwheeler – spinning around doing burn outs and driving through puddles and over tiny trees and stuff. -_- Boys, boys… *shakes head* XD Ah well, it is pretty fun to drive.

For some reason I really like this picture too. Probably because it’s winter and I’m eager for green and sunshine like this. Ahhh, so pretty! 

LOOK AT THE LIGHTING! *happy sigh* It was sooo gorgeous up there, but really hard to capture too. It didn’t look quite like this, but you can imagine how pretty the sun looked on the golden grass.

The fun thing about moving to a new farm is that we now have hundreds of acres to explore for the first time, and I LOVE it. The sun was out and it was such a lovely day for winter and we got to wander down paths we’d never been too… ahh, it was great. 🙂 *happy sigh* Walks like these are some of my favorite things!

The lighting here was SO pretty again, and again so hard to capture! I also didn’t want to tell them to stop walking because I wanted to get a candid picture, so most of them turned out blurry. XD At least this one is alright!

 I have no idea what kind of tree produces these strange flower thingies.

HEH HEH. Megan and I were doing photos like in movies when the characters are barely holding onto the edge of the cliff, and then she actually almost fell into the water. XD XD  A sturdy fallen tree over a creek is basically irresistible to young boys (and girls).  Heh heh, see here? Maggie doesn’t mind wading. Her expression… XD 

I love the smooth, curved edges on this ice!

OH I LOVE THIS PHOTO. For some reason I just find it really neat. 😉 I saw this little exposed knob on a tree and had to stop for a picture! Also it really reminds me of an avocado seed somehow? Don’t exactly know why… XD

Oh, funny story. I often randomly spot hawks when we drive somewhere or go on walks. I don’t know why I see them so much more than the rest of my family, but I do, and it’s gotten to be a sort of joke. I’m always like, “HAWK” when I see one, and Megan groans. XD She gets annoyed because I say, “It’s really strange how I always see hawks,” almost every time I see one. Well that’s what she says, but I don’t say it every time… *shakes head* XD

ANYWAY. I found a hawk that day too (it’s in the tree if you look close), so I took a picture for Megan as evidence. 😛

And I shall end on that note. I hope you enjoyed coming along with us on our winter stroll and seeing for yourself that there ARE things to photograph in winter after all, if you look close enough. 🙂

What was your favorite picture? What was your least favorite? (I want to know! Don’t worry about hurting my feelings – as long as you’re not intentionally mean or rude you won’t. Constructive criticism really helps!)

Do you enjoy winter (or spring or summer or fall) strolls? Do fourwheelers look fun, and have you driven one?

***Allison***

~ Etcetera #2 ~

Good gracious, guys, my unposted pictures are backed up all the way to October. XD So as you can see, it’s high time for another random photography/thoughts/etc. post! Enjoy the bits and pieces. 🙂 (And warning: this is going to be a VERY long post.)

Flowers + Butterflies

I love this next picture! The flower and colors are so incredibly bright and cheery. 🙂

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At the new farm we’re kind of in the middle of nowhere and at the end of the line, so it’s really hard to get Internet. You can get it, but it’s quite expensive past a certain monthly amount of data – and we already used that up, halfway through the month! O.o And even worse, the things that use it up the fastest are watching videos online and BLOGGING. HELP. XD Thankfully after you use up the data you still have Internet… it’s just really, REALLY slow. Like barely-moving slow. -_- Hooray.

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I was excited to be able to get decent pictures of a monarch butterfly because they’re pretty rare around here!

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I just finished reading Emma for school. Anyone else read it? I don’t know if I like it or not. It’s definitely very well-written, but it’s also rather boring  – life in the 17th century seems to consist of going to dinner parties and getting married?

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A bunch of other butterflies and moths and bugs came to the zinnia patch as well. 😀

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Guess what? You know how I mentioned we might turn the Cedar House into an Airbnb? Well if we do, and we probably will, my parents are thinking they’ll let me be in charge of it! I am SO excited. That means I’ll get to decorate it, clean it, and add all sorts of fun touches for the customers – eek! 🙂

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I think I found a new favorite word – to say, at least: verisimiltudinous. ISN’T IT GREAT? XD

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Carmen got a cat laser toy for her birthday and Tom (one of our cats) LOVES it. Mom says she feels sorry for him because there’s not actually anything to catch. XD

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Fall Forests & Fields

I took these pictures at my grandparents’ woods which are lovely and gold in the autumn. And the light… ♥

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Ahh, mushrooms. I love taking pictures of them and drawing them, but I don’t like eating them, heh heh. I used to absolutely despise them but I don’t mind them as much now – at least raw is okay.

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Speaking of food, I’m not a picky eater, but I think two of my least favorite foods are black walnuts and goat cheese. They both taste so pungent and strange, and I think goat cheese tastes like goats smell. SORRY. BUT IT DOES.

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This one kind of looks like an art prompt, doesn’t it?

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I took this picture when we were having a Nature Study on hickory trees with our friends and went to search for hickory nuts afterward. I LOVE the lighting. 🙂

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I rather like how you can see two pictures at once here.

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Bittersweet berries are beautiful! There’s a huge vine of it up the hill from our (current) house.

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My friend and I randomly did a photoshoot after church one day when I had my camera along anyway. I won’t put the pictures of her on here in case she doesn’t want me to, but here’s one of the pictures she took of me. 🙂

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The maple tree outside our church is AMAZING in the fall!

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Ooh yes, I really like this one. I edited it quite a lot to make the chopper and wagon into silhouettes, but I love how it turned out!

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Here’s a kind of similar picture. I took this right before we went on the nature walk: one of us spotted a deer on the hill and it walked right along the top so you could see its silhouette. Doesn’t it look neat?

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My siblings put colored lights around the trampoline a while back and they look AMAZING at night! And as bokeh and light painting photos. 🙂

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I’ve also been reading a phenomenal book called Extreme Devotion. It’s a daily devotional, but I’m just reading it as a normal book because it’s composed of many short, very inspiring stories from Voice of the Martrys. One of my favorite quotes from it so far is this:

God, I do not ask You to make my life easy; I do ask You to make me strong.

– From a Jewish child, in a note found in the rubble of a Jewish ghetto in Poland after it was bombed by the Nazis

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AHH THIS PICTURE. Doesn’t it look so warm and bright and sunny? ♥ It makes me happy just to look at it. Actually lots of things make me happy just to look at them. 😛

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Have you ever exploded Ivory soap? If you haven’t you should – it is SO fun! All you have to do is take a bar of Ivory soap (only the Ivory brand will work) and microwave it for a while until you see it start puffing up like a marshmallow. It’s so weird and neat. I did this one day with Carmen when she was bored. 😉

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And now let us end with a picture of three of our adorable bunnies. 😀 ♥ I haven’t posted much about them lately, huh? Probably because we don’t take many pictures of them in the winter when it’s cold and gray. Hopefully I can do another photoshoot soon, when it warms up. 🙂

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And there you have it! One long and random post. XD I finally cleaned up at least SOME of the leftover pictures, which feels great. I still have plenty left, though, so be on the lookout for another Etcetera post soon!

Which picture or topic was your favorite? Do you have the same problem of taking too many photos to keep up with? Are you enjoying winter or ready for it to be over?

 ***Allison***

~ s n o w y ~

Eeeeek, I’m so excited to show you guys these pictures! 😀 It snowed 6 or 7 inches while we were up at the new farm, and it was GORGEOUS. ♥ Good thing I brought my camera, heh heh. I also brought the macro extension tube set I got for Christmas and it worked splendidly for taking pictures of individual snowflakes! Sooo pretty.

Anyway, I guess I’ll let you see for yourselves now, huh?

I love this little snowdrift sculpture on the roof. 😛

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Isn’t this neat? It’s kind of hard to tell, but it’s snow on a wooden staircase.

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Dripping icicles are great fun to take pictures of. 🙂

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I think this one’s neat too. ♥ It kind of looks vintage to me – does it to you?

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There were some cute birds by the hay rebaling barn and I got some… okay pictures. They wouldn’t let me get too close, and I was only wearing tennis shoes in the snow so I didn’t WANT to get too close or my feet would get completely soaked. XD

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Ohhhh for some reason I love this picture. ♥ REMEMBER THOSE DOUGHNUTS?

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Snow + Cows = Photogenicness. Sadly I took this out the car window so it isn’t as photogenic as it could be.

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I quite like how you can see the snow falling so clearly in these pictures!

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The falling snow… the wooden fences… the covered trees… ahh, I think I can safely say snow looks even prettier down there than up here, and that’s saying something. XD

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Alright, now for my favorite part – the close-ups!

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Look, you can see the invidual snowflake(s)!

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Snowflakes are incredibly beautiful. ♥

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And now for my pride and joy… ta-daa!

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Isn’t it so beautifully delicate? I just LOVE zooming in and being able to see the intricacy of each snowflake. ♥ So far this is definitely my favorite part about that lens set. I’ll hopefully do a review of them once I take more photos with them and figure them out a bit more, but they’re quite neat so far!

One thing I will say – you have to use manual focus which is difficult when taking such close-up pictures. Even a tiny movement can make the subject blurry. But other than that, I love them!

I hope you enjoyed these pictures, dears. 😀 Which ones were your favorites? Did you get snow where you live too?

***Allison***

P. S. Guys, if you love photography too, you should definitely check out Roxanne’s photography challenge! I probably won’t be doing it since, as I keep saying, we’re pretty busy with the move, but it looks super neat and I’ll bet it will be great fun!

Christmas Light Photoshoot + Traditions

MERRY ALMOST CHRISTMAS, GUYS! 😀 I thought this would be a good opportunity for the Christmas Traditions post I asked you guys about recently, as well as some photos from a little photoshoot Megan and I did a while ago. Megan already had the lights out so I thought we might as well take some pictures. 😉 The lighting was a bit difficult, but I think some of the pictures turned out pretty neat! So here’s a sampling.

Megan took all the pictures of me and I took all the ones of her. I believe the random bokeh/light pictures are mine as well.

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This is one of my favorites of the ones of me. 🙂

#1. December is practically a season of traditions for us because we have so many. At the beginning of December we start listening to Christmas music (NOT BEFORE, AHEM), and put up the Christmas decorations. Nativity scenes, snowmen candle holders, poinsettia table runners, handmade “stick” people… all sorts of things. I especially love to gently unwrap the ceramic Nativity pieces from their fragile brown paper wrappings and stand them up on top of the desk. I can see them if I look up right now.

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#2. We usually get our Christmas tree the first or second weekend in December. We always cut down a live one, and wouldn’t have it any other way. 😉 It’s a great adventure and we usually end up searching the entire tree farm before we find the perfect one. XD But I think the best part is decorating the tree – pulling out each ornament and hearing its story, and sitting back to enjoy the magical end result when we’re done.

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#3. Our grandparents take my siblings and cousins and I to their church play every year. It’s quite fun. This year they had more of a Nativity scene thingy with a choir, which was different but beautiful. And the wise men’s costumes were SO funny – the camel was attached to the suit, and had two little wise men legs sticking out the sides so it looked like they were riding the camels… Ah, it’s hard to explain, but trust me, it was super funny. The audience all laughed. XD

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#4. Most every year we decorate sugar and gingerbread cookies with our friends. I, of course, love to make mine artistic and take a long time on each one, so I’m not very helpful in getting them all decorated. XD We don’t make that many cookies compared to some people, although we still have plenty of Christmas treats at celebrations and such.

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#5. The Sunday evening before Christmas, our church always has a Lessons and Carols service where different men from church take turns reading parts of the Christmas story in between the congregation singing Christmas hymns together. And we have a little party with refreshments afterward. It’s beautiful and I can’t wait to go to it again this year. ♥

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#6. On Christmas Eve we have a fancy, delicious dinner by candlelight, and then open our Christmas pajamas for that year. 😉 We all grab some popcorn and hot chocolate and drive around looking at Christmas lights and listening to Christmas music. Sometimes we find a house that has a light show synchronized to music and other times we just drive around neighborhoods and random roads, exploring.

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#7. We’ve always had a ton of different family Christmas celebrations with different parts of our family. On Christmas morning we have a delicious special breakfast, and then open presents youngest to oldest, beside the tree. Christmas is obviously not about presents, but I do think it’s a lovely tradition, though it can easily get overdone. It’s so fun to see the expressions and smiles on your family’s faces when they open your presents and see what they picked out for you. 🙂

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#8. We always like to drive up the hill to our grandparents’ house on Christmas Day too, after we finish our own Christmas celebration. Our cousins come up the road too and we all have a wondrous time. My grandparents are so, so generous and thoughtful with their gifts and their love, and we have so much fun giving them and each other gifts too. After the floor is covered in wrapping paper, we stop for a scrumptious lunch which always includes crab legs for special. We hardly ever have seafood, plus crab is one of my favorite foods, so ’tis extra delicious. 😛 The rest of the day we try out our new gifts and relax and talk and eat leftovers.

Ahh, Christmas Day is probably my favorite (or pretty close to my favorite) day of the year. 🙂

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#9. My mom’s side of the family also has a Christmas get together which begins with a delectable feast of a brunch. Then Grandpa reads the Christmas story from his Bible and we exchange gifts. 🙂 After that we (at least the older kids and adults) play all sorts of games together for pretty much the rest of the day – it’s so much fun!

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BAHAHAHA Megan has such random ideas. XD XD XD

 

#10. We ALSO have two Christmas get-togethers with extended family. For my Great Grandma’s Christmas we, again, exchange gifts and have a delicious meal together. They’re all starting to sound rather similar, huh? But there’s always something different and special about each celebration – I guess that’s why we have so many. 😉 And lastly (well it’s first this year, but last in this post) we have an extended family get-together which in which we surprisingly do not exchange gifts (which is probably a good thing, heh heh O.o). But we DO continue the theme of amazing food with fried oysters and steamed shrimp that everyone gathers ’round and eats hot off the trays until we barely have room for the rest of the meal. I… prefer the shrimp. XD Once you take a look at the inside of a oyster, it’s a little hard not to think about it. 😛 Which do you prefer?

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Megan was frustrated with the lighter, I believe. O.o

 

Phew, so there you are. I don’t think I wrote down all of our Christmas traditions, but most of them anyway. 🙂 Traditions are great in general, but I think there’s something extra special about Christmas traditions, don’t you?

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I love this one too. ♥

 

I hope you enjoyed this post, dears, and hopefully it put you in the Christmas mood. 🙂 Which of these pictures was your favorites? The traditions? Which of YOUR Christmas traditions are your favorite?

IT’S ONLY FIVE DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS, GUYS. We can do this. *determined look* XD

***Allison***

Ahem. I Have an Announcement.

Warning: this is going to be a loooong post. Our cat Jinx is prepared to dive in with you if you’re ready to go with him. All set? Okay.

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POOR THING. This was not my doing. It was my siblings’ (but of course).

Ahem. GUYS. I HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU. Something I have been waiting to announce for almost a year. I am super excited but also super sad to say…

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Of Snow, Ice, Snowmen, Puddles… Etc.

Guys, buckle up for a TON of pictures! This may be one of my longest posts to date. XD

It snowed last Monday/Tuesday, and I just went photo-wild. XD I got a few neat pictures of the snow, but most of the pictures were actually of icicles or ice. So anyway, have a seat and take a peek, won’t you?

Phew, I don’t know where to start! Let’s see. I guess I’ll start with some pretty, icy pictures.

Ice:

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It looks like rain drops only… ice drops!

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Love this one!
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The poor pussy willow buds got rather frozen. 😦

Next up…

Snow:

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It didn’t snow very much, but it still looked pretty!
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Maggie!
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Heh heh, I drew this horribly deformed smiley face in the snow with water.

My three youngest siblings made this hilarious but cute snowman. XD After I took these pictures, they made him a “Snow Cool” sign.

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They used icicles for the mohawk, a carrot for the nose (obviously), sunglasses for the… uh, sunglasses ( XD ) and a smear of dirt for the mouth.

After most of that snow had melted, what do you know? It snowed AGAIN! (And then melted super quickly but oh well.) The most amazing thing about this snow was the snowflakes. I mean, they weren’t even snowflakes, they were more like snowballs! They were the biggest flakes I have ever seen – a whole bunch of snowflakes bunched into a clump, some of which were quarter-sized or bigger. I tried frantically to get a good picture that showed how big they were, but I didn’t really get any. 😦 I did get some pretty pictures, though!

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We have a nice view of this silo from our deck. 😀
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There you can kind of see how hard it was snowing!
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Fluffy. 🙂

Ooh, yay! Now I get to show you the…

Icicles

After we finished gathering eggs, I ran back to the house to get my camera. I noticed the lovely icicles hanging from the chicken house roofs, and I just HAD to get some pictures. 😉 I’m so glad I did! It took quite a bit of patience and a high shutter speed setting to capture the drops falling, but I had SO much fun experimenting!

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Woohoo, two at once!

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These icicles are on our house, and I took this picture at sunset.

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And that leads us to…

Water Drops

After I had taken quite a few icicle photos, I noticed that the drops sliding off of them were splashing into a puddle. I decided it would be fun to take pictures of that too! Instead of kneeling down in the wet snow, though, I got a (rather dirty) measuring pitcher from the chicken house, brought out something to sit on, and started taking pictures. This also took quite a bit of patience, like the icicles. I got a whole bunch of blurry or boring pictures for every good one. But again, it was so exciting when I DID get a good one! Hee hee!

(Note: I edited these pictures a good bit – they didn’t look like this straight from the camera. 😉 )

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And now for my very favorite one. ♥ Ohhh my goodness I love it so much!

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And last but not least, we have…

Everything Else

I took several not-so-snowy pictures that I wanted to include too.

Quite a few robins were hopping around this puddle, waiting for spring to come, I guess. 🙂

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I love how you can see his reflection.
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This was a fun one! I made everything black and white except for the robin’s pop of color.

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I was pretty tickled to get this next picture. I saw two robins fighting in the puddle all of a sudden and quick pressed the button – and it actually worked! I love it when that happens. 🙂

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This is neat, don’t you think?
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I rather like this one too.

I shall end with this promise of spring. This poor little beauty was stuck face down in the snow when I rescued her, but she’s still so bright and cheery for all that! Daffodils are such incredibly hardy, resilient flowers that can spring back after even such cold trials as this snow. Sometimes it’s hard to be a daffodil, isn’t it? It is for me…

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Aaaaannnd I’m finished! Maybe it wasn’t so wise to put all those pictures in one post, but I just wanted to try and see how it worked. XD What do you think? Was that way too much or did you heartily enjoy seeing all those photos at once? Or are you indifferent? XD

If you actually got through the whole thing, which category or picture was your favorite?

Thanks for reading (and persevering)!

***Allison***

A Little Winter Walk

Winter is so drab and gray and cold that it’s a challenge sometimes to find good photo opportunities. But there is ALWAYS something to take a picture of, no matter where you are. It’s a lot of fun to go out on a “treasure hunt” of sorts with your camera and see what you can find outside: blades of grass, raindrops, berries – even dead leaves or thorns can make interesting pictures!

When you look through the lens of a camera, anything is beautiful. ♥

So anyway, that’s what I did. A few days ago I was feeding the bunnies after a rain, and I noticed the raindrops all over everything… so out popped my camera! XD By now a lot of you know how much I love dewdrops and raindrops. They’re so perfectly beautiful, how can I resist? 😀

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I must have had my camera set on slow shutter speed – you can see the rain in the background!

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Isn’t this pretty? It’s almost abstract. (It’s willow branches, in case you were wondering. ;))

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I love this photo! I didn’t edit it, even though it looks that way. I found out that when I adjust my camera’s settings to faster shutter speed, lower ISO, higher f-stop, or a combination, the picture gets darker. I still have so much to learn about my dSLR, but I’m getting there!

 

I also took some pictures the other day when we went for a nature walk. At first it seemed like there was nothing interesting around, but what did I tell you? There’s always something! 😀 (By the way, I did a similar photoshoot/”treasure hunt” thingy here.)

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See what I mean about thorns making an interesting picture? 😉
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I don’t know what this plant is called, but it’s so FLUFFY!

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Ahh, I love these reflection pictures! It reminds me of a double-exposure.

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I really, really like this one too. My friend gave me the idea when she took a picture of her little sister holding an acorn cap with water in it. ♥ the reflections.

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Ivy is so pretty, don’t you think? (As long as it’s not poison ivy. XD But actually poison ivy can be pretty too…)

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I have no clue what these berries are except pretty. XD

 

What do you guys like to take pictures of in the winter? (Well besides snow. Ooh, which reminds me – it’s supposed to snow a tiny bit here tomorrow!)

What was your favorite picture?

Have a warm and cozy day! ♥

***Allison***

YES YES YES – SNOW!

YES YES YES YES YES YES! It finally snowed here! 😀 And it snowed like two feet – which is pretty much for us. The snow is so pretty and white and smooth and sparkling and clean and cold and bright and icy and beautiful and… okay, I’ve run out of adjectives. XD

What’s that you say? Oh. Of course I took pictures – how else would I survive looking at all of that pretty snow? XD What? You’d like to see them? Perfect! I was just getting ready to show you… (I took so many pictures I wanted to show you that I had to make a bunch of them into collages. 🙂 )

First, some pictures of just snow.

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Now, onto snowy birds! A lovely cardinal pair came to our birdfeeder in the snow, and I took some pretty pictures of them. I especially like the first collage. The female:

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And the male: (Along with a picture of several fellow birdseed eaters)

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And some miscellaneous landscape, house, and deck snow pictures…

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Look how much snow we got – this is a beforeish and after picture of a little picnic table we got.

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I did a really fun mini photoshoot with my sister. (For this collage and the next, you can click on a photo to enlarge it.)

I also built a snow cave. (Well, I actually built two, but this is the only one I took a picture of.) I love building snow caves!

Straight, stately, snowy silos. 😀

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Ahhh! Snow looks so pretty on evergreens and rose bushes, doesn’t it?

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My dad just got a snow-blower recently, and he actually got to use it! It wouldn’t have been too surprising if he didn’t get to use it this winter, but he did!

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Phew! Last collage. Another rare thing that happened is that our pond froze over! We slid around on it a little bit before it snowed, and then shoveled paths through the snow.

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Wow – that was a LOT of snowy pictures!  I think somewhere around a gajillion – does that sound right? Are you frozen yet? Tired of snow? What were a few of your favorite pictures or collages – if you aren’t too tired of this post yet. 😀

***Allison***