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Eagles and Hawks

My challenge for a number of years has been to capture a fantastic photo of an eagle or hawk.  My eye has gotten where I can spot them quickly, mostly when driving down the road.  Often times I don’t bother stopping because of several reasons such as a bad angle, by the time I came up close they flew off, traffic is such that it’s not safe to stop, etc…

My regular job that I work at has started up again, which requires me to drive about an hour up a canyon to where I work and an hour back.  This gives me plenty of opportunity to see these magnificant birds.  Only problem the opportunity to capture them hasn’t worked out.

On my way home, I tried by having my camera out and ready, but still no success.  These creatures are smart, once you slow down or stop they know something is up, and they will fly away faster than you can pull the camera out.

Yesterday I was coming home from a job and saw the most amazing thing.  Only problem is, that I didn’t bring my camera.  Total bummer, for it would have been perfect.  There was a dead rabbit on the back road.  I see lots of ravens, and as I came closer-slowing down-I noticed that there was an eagle in the center of the road,  eating the rabbit.  The ravens flew off, but the eagle was so busy eating that he didn’t pay much attention to me.

So I  drove extremely slow towards where this eagle was eating off the rabbit on the roadway.    I was able to get within 6 to 9 feet of it.  The bad thing is, I didn’t have my camera with me.  I would have been able to take some fabulous pictures of it, with how close I was and the angle, etc.

Instead, I watched it and observed it for nearly 15 minutes.  Fortunately for me their was no traffic on the road, and the eagle was so busy eating that it didn’t fly away when I moved into its zone.  It was interesting to watch it so closely as it devoured the meal.  It would use its beak to tear the rabbit fur off, then peel into the flesh and eat it.  The strength in it’s beak was something else.  Then to see it’s feet cling to the kill to steady it while it tugged at it with it’s beak was fascinating.

So much for the perfect picture…this is like the third time to have a opportunity like this, and miss it because I didn’t have my camera with me.  You’d think I’d learn.  Maybe someday.

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Oh My Goodness “Meine Gute!”

Had to add in a bit of German there.  It fits!  The last number of weeks seem like a BIG whirlwind with so much going on, that I had to make decisions.  Those decisions included putting a number of things on hold while focusing on the most important thing in my life which is family.  Family will always come first.  Christmas season is normally a busy time anyhow, but throw in a son’s wedding, one can only image what that can do.

I will remember this Christmas season as a season of miracle; with caring people who opened their hearts in many ways.  This made things fall into place that only a month earlier I was wondering how to pull it all off.  I’m not going to elaborate on the details except to say that I’ve been blessed!  In the end I’ve gained yet another wonderful daughter-in-law!

Then, I’ve been cleaning up after company, Christmas, open house, trip and trying to again become organized if there is ever such a thing and once again get into a regular schedule.  (wink).  But then….who knows what else will come fill the void.  Wait, did I say void?  Never mind, most should understand what I mean.

Here is my son and his wonderful new wife in a scrapbook page I put together of them.  All the photo’s are by me except maybe the upper right hand one.  That one her Dad (also a photographer/artist) may have taken using my camera.  The digital Scrapbook kit is by one of my most favorite designers Jenny Binder.  Her kit “Winter Frost” seemed perfect for this winter wedding.  The colors were perfect; except I did recolor some papers to include purple since it was also part of Bri’s colors for her reception/open house.  Beautiful bride and groom don’t you think?  Ok, I know I’m a bit biased.

I started out with one daughter (right) and now have two more beautiful and wonderful daughters added.  Amber Skye joined our family almost two years ago (left).  Married to Sean.  Brianna is my newest daughter (center).  Married to Ryan.  My boys have done a good job.

Ok here is a picture of my boys!  Yep,  every one of them.  Aren’t they a good looking crew?  I know, I’m very biased, for that is how Mom’s are.

Here is our newest family picture.  It’s the first time we’ve been all together for quite a few years.  So this is my treasure!  My family.

Here is the man I love most.  My dear husband and friend Steve!

Anniversary Day

Yesterday was my Anniversary.  It’s hard to believe that it was 27 years ago that we got married.  Little did we know what we did to our parents when we picked “our day” so close to Christmas.  Well now we are getting paid back.  Would I change it?  No, not at all.

The other day I was visiting with my dear mother-in-law and we were commenting on December weddings.  Why?…because weddings in December seem to be a family tradition that is being carried on.  My in-laws got married right after Christmas.  We got married right before Christmas and now my son is getting married right after Christmas.  We laughed saying “pay backs” will come to them someday.

Would I have my son move the wedding date?  Absolutely not!  It adds a lot to the “to do list” but I’m soooo happy for them and support them fully.  So am I getting everything done on my “to do list”?  Absolutely not, but it’s ok.   As to celebrating “our” anniversary…it was in a small but meaningful way.  We’ll take time to celebrate it later when things slow down some.  We know we have each other and grateful for each day we have together.

Here is a scrapbook page I created for our 25th wedding anniversary.

Here is another page created using the same scrapbook kit featuring our Wedding Day.  I’ve made more but I’ll just show the one.

A Sad Day…

Monday December 21, 2009.  Why?  Well we had to put our loyal dog down.  She was suffering.  She had served our family well for over 13 years.  I found two pictures of her so far.  When I find more I’ll make more scrapbook pages to go with this one that I did up in dedication to her.

The print on this page may be to small for you to read so here is what it says:

She was our watch dog.  She loved watching over the place and warning us of anything that was close by.  She was born April 15, 1996.

We got her when she was about  six weeks old.  We Got her from the Park County Fair from the Kawano’s.  We paid about $50 for her.  The kids picked her out because of the one dark spot over her eye that looked like a patch.

As a Australian Border Collie she had natural instincs that we loved.  Here is a collection of online descriptions for this breed that fits her personality:  Australian border collie shepherds are intelligent active dogs.  It is an intelligent working dog, possessing strong herding and guarding instincts. They have a strong instinctive desire to work closely and intensely with a human handler.  Loyal companions, these dogs are the happiest when having an ability to work all day.

When she was a young pup my cousin was over visiting.  Anyhow his kids and our kids were out jumping on the trampoline.  A snake (bullsnake) came into the yard and started hissing at the kids.  This young pup kept those kids from going up to the snake by growling and barking at the kids.  If they started to go forward she’d growl at them.  I remember being amazed that a young dog would sense danger and also protect the kids from it.

There is only one time that she didn’t stand guard. Again she was a young pup.  There was a mountain lion out back.  She made a run to the house with her tail between her legs…leaving me behind.

I had to nurse her back to health a couple of times.  When she was quite young she got Parvovirus.  I was able to nurse her back to health and save her life.  Another time she had flees so I put a flee collar on.  Bad mistake, she went “crazy”.  It caused her to act real odd and she was attacking weird things.  Then the fall of 2008 she again got very sick.  So I nursed her back to health.

A while ago…I noticed that her neck was larger than normal.  The vet suggested that it could be cancer and we needed to watch it.  Well since about August I noticed that Snip was loosing weight, that she was moving like an old person, and she just seemed weaker.  Recently she would look at me for a long time with those eyes it seemed to say she needed love.  Then she started to throw-up and it had dried blood and blood clots in it.  She became so weak we had to carry her.  So we decided that it would be best to have her put down so she didn’t need to suffer anymore.  She’s been to good to our family.  She was put down on Monday December 21, 2009.  We will certainly miss her presence!

She was in kidney failure and full of what we guess was cancer.

Kindness-The Spirit of Christmas

Our family has been recipiants of kindness over the last several months.  In each case it has been humbling….and teaches one lessons.  In recent days we’ve had some big ones come by friends and people I work for.  It has made me examine my own heart.  This kindness makes me appreciate the good people we seem surrounded by.  I certainly desire to have that trait too and shall continue to work on it for the rest of my life.  Anyhow this has been on my mind which inspired me to create this page to share with you.

Billings again

Today was the day to go fetch Steve from the Billings airport.  Once again I left my camera at home.  A BAD thing to do because that’s when one will always find those perfect picture moments.

How does one describe in words what a picture can convey?  Well for me pictures can say things far better than I can in words.  Never was gifted at that, but I’ll attempt here in this post.  By the time you’re done reading, if you do, you’ll probably wish I did have the camera too.

Sure enough, I saw quite a few perfect pictures.  One was of the river valley outside of Belfry.  The fog coated all the bushes, trees, etc….next to the river with all its white glory.  Then the river had steam rising up in the cold air.  There were quite a few places that would have composed a GREAT picture.  Alas no camera…so I guess I’ll have to keep the image in my mind till it’s replaced.

Then there was an area that had at least two dozen black ravens all together.  They were feasting on a road kill.  It was quite the site because I don’t think I’ve ever saw more than three together in one area.  Made me appreciate my own method of eating in the comfort of a warm home.  Then I saw numerous hawks perched here and there.

Coming home, I thought I saw a wolf.  So we pulled over to view it.  Of course it knew that wasn’t normal, so it immediately ran off.  We watched it run across the field from a distance and tried to figure out if it was indeed a wolf, maybe a coyote or fox.  Regardless, that would have been fun to try capturing.

When seeing animals while traveling like this, it’s hard to capture those pictures, because by the time you stop, pull out your equipment, etc…the animal is long gone.  So I try to console myself by saying I wouldn’t have been able to get it anyway, but then that is the fun and challenge in trying.

In the end the trip to Billings this week may have been well worth the time, even if I didn’t capture those pictures, because their are some positive possibilities on the horizon for Steve.  Now, that would be the most perfect picture!  Yet I’m not sure if words or pictures can capture the deep feelings involved in that moment when it indeed becomes real.   Just hoping those possibilities don’t die as the others have.

What a Family

Yep, this is one great family!  They know how to have fun with each other.  I love seeing that and capturing it through the camera lens.  These photographs capture that fun.  I’ve known Peggy for a long time and she is one of the most devoted mothers I know.  These pictures were taken the day after Thanksgiving and I’m now just getting them posted.