As mentioned in my last 2 posts (here and here), I partook in a photography workshop at Banning State Park Saturday morning with my friend Kendra. Thursday evening while perusing my Facebook feed, I happened upon an event announcement from MN State Parks & Trails advertising the workshop. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do a few different things: go hiking, explore a new park, play with my camera, and have some quality away-from-work hangout time with Kendra. I had decided to go whether or not Kendra could, and got rather excited when she said she was in.
I’ve only been really working on my photography skills for about the last 3-4 years. The hobby really took off right when my thirst for travel was revving up. Up until this workshop, I’d never had any “formal” training in photography. It was all by trial and error, reading some stuff online, and studying other people’s photos. I learned a lot just from looking at other people’s photos. Anyway, the workshop was pretty basic. The official title was “Digital SLR Nature Photography for Beginners.” Megan, our Naturalist running the workshop, did a great job explaining different ways to take photos, aperture, shutter speed, and other basic photography items. It was a nice review for me, and I even learned a new thing or two.
If you have a State Park nearby, I would highly recommend checking out the different types of events they are hosting. Megan talked about how in Minnesota, the Naturalists get to decide based on their own strengths and interests, what kinds of workshops they host. Topics could include photography, birding, plant identification, story time, fossils, archery, junior naturalist, and much more. This means there are fantastic learning opportunities for everyone in the family for little to no cost…which is awesome for people like myself who are forking over a lot of money to pay back grad school loans. On Saturday, our only costs were the gas to get there and back, a day pass for the park, and lunch after our hike.
Saturday’s hike wasn’t too hard. It was around 4 miles total with our main destination being a waterfall on Wolf Creek. Banning State Park is gorgeous. It was just so green. The trees just kind of hugged you as you hiked along. It had rained the night before so there was some water and mud on the trail. The mosquitos were out in full force. I didn’t get bit up too bad as they were more of a nuisance than anything else. We had a group of 12, plus the Naturalist. It was nice to chat with Kendra during our hike. We both mentioned that we would have broken out our cameras a lot sooner than we did because of the fact we were hiking with a group of people…and we were at the front of the group. Oh well. I still took plenty of pictures. 150 in total. Here are the rest of my favorites taken during the workshop.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this adventure into Banning State Park. Take a look at the photos Kendra took during the workshop.
This past week was an interesting one. On Tuesday, I co-presented with my friend Jessi for 2 presentations at our Student Life Spring Retreat. Both presentations revolved around social media. Session 1 was more Q&A style and the other one was about blogging & Twitter. It was fun to do some knowledge sharing with colleagues in my division. Wednesday marked the arrival of my sister. She was visiting for a couple days since she was going to be attending a library conference in Superior on Friday. Thursday was probably the big day of the week. I had my first major dental work done. I’ve had to endure a few fillings before, but nothing major. The week before I went on vacation, half of a tooth broke off. I was in no pain (that happened the week before when I probably actually cracked the sucker) so I held off actually going to the dentist until after my vacation. So Thursday, I had a root canal, a screw (yes an actual metal screw) put in where the nerve had been, and a tooth-like contraption put in place of where the tooth had been. It’s sore (and will be for a while), but not unbearable. However, I can’t chew on that side of my mouth and I’ve just been eating soft foods. Do you know how hard it is to figure out soft foods to eat? It’s been a bit of a challenge. So far, it’s been yogurt, smoothies, soup, oatmeal, soft fruits, ice cream, and some pasta. If you have any other food ideas, please let me know. It’s been a challenge to incorporate veggies (spinach is going into the smoothies) as they are rather hard.
Anyway, enough with my dental saga (it’s not actually over though as I have 2 more visits scheduled to put a crown on the tooth). Julie was here until Saturday and we definitely enjoyed the time to hang out. We rented Identity Thief – funny, but not what we expected. We also enjoyed the nice weather on Saturday with a trip down to the Lakewalk. On Saturday evening, I also ventured down to the lake front to enjoy the nice weather. Good thing I did that as today is chilly and rainy. Here are some photos from my jaunts down to the lake front.
I think it’s safe to say that I fall in love with Duluth and Lake Superior a little more every day (even the days when it’s snowy, foggy, or rainy). All photos in today’s post were taking with my iPhone.
Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!
I had a lovely walk this morning down the by lake and I just wanted to share it with you. I’m sooooo happy that the nice weather has finally arrived!
Spring is slowly, but surely, arriving in the Northland. Winter lasted far too long and the result was a delay in beautiful spring flowers blooming. We actually had a warm day yesterday and I ventured down to the lake to one of my favorite places in the Duluth, the rose garden. I wanted to see if anything was blooming. There just a few things here and there starting to bloom. As I was wondering around the garden, I was reminded once again that I should really invest in a macro lens. I love taking the close-up shots and my current lens that came with my Cannon Rebel, doesn’t always agree with me that we should get a beautifully in-focus upthisclosetotheflower shot. Regardless, here are a few of my favorite photos.
P.S. This was one of my first attempts at using some of the editing features in iPhoto on my new Mac. Anyone know how to do pixel resizing in iPhoto (or can I even do that)??? I ended up using PicMonkey to do the pixel resizing in an effort to not take up too much of my allotted space on WordPress. Thanks!
This past week has been wonderful. Why? I’ve been on vacation with my sister, celebrating her recent Master’s graduation from UWM. We did a similar trip out to the Black Hills in South Dakota to celebrate my graduation from UW-Whitewater. We (well, I really) had had a grand plan for a roadtrip out to Virginia. To be honest it was a nice dream, and the closer we got to it, it was very clear that the trip plan was ambitious for our time frame and more costly than we could afford. Insert Plan B, a roadtrip up the North Shore of Lake Superior. We’ve already had numerous adventures up the shore, but this would give us a chance to stay further north than Duluth for a couple days and explore even more. We decided to use Grand Marais as our home base for most of the week. Grand Marais is this adorable little town right on Lake Superior about 45 minutes from the Canadian border. I have plenty to share with you about our trip, and today I want to share with you all the wonderful rainbows I saw. One of the themes for our trip was waterfalls. They were everywhere! Since we had so much late snow, and a couple recent days of rain, the rivers were crazy full. You’d hear the waterfalls long before you saw them and once you were there, you could hear nothing else. The roar was, well, loud. It was also a beautiful sound. I just couldn’t get over all the water…especially because I’ve seen some of these waterfalls in the past year with hardly any water flowing over them.
Anyway, on to the rainbows. Because of the intense amount of water flowing over the waterfalls, there was a lot of spray. A lot…especially at High Falls in Grand Portage State Park where we were just doused with water spray (even before we got to the actual waterfall). The combination of the spray and the sunshine made for a the perfect setting for rainbows. The rainbows just added a spark of magic to the already wonderful setting. So, here they are, captured at three different parks.
High Falls is part of the Pigeon River, which forms the border between Minnesota and Canada. The rocks on the left side of the photo are Minnesota, and the right are Canada. Pretty much got rained on with the icy cold water spray at this waterfall. So worth it to see the full rainbow that was happening.
The rocks are hiding the waterfall, but it’s there. Such a fun couple of days. I’ll be back with more about our trip.
Until then, have you seen waterfall rainbows? If so, where?
After today, I’m in awe of the power of water and Lake Superior. Well, let’s face it, I’ve been in love with Lake Superior since I moved to Duluth almost 2 years ago. Today we had some crummy weather…rain, chilly, and windy. However, that combo has quite the impact on Lake Superior. The waves were intense today as I drove up the North Shore towards Grand Marais. I spent a lot of time just listening to the water. It was a very beautiful loud crashing sound.
I’m enjoying a glorious week of vacation this week. Yay! Just wanted to share some of the sights from today.
Yesterday was a very good day. My younger sister graduated with her Masters degree in Library and Information Science from UW-Milwaukee! We made the trek down to Milwaukee on Saturday. No trip to SE Wisconsin is complete without a stop to the Johnson Creek outlet mall. Found so many good deals! Anyway, it was a beautiful day for traveling through the state of Wisconsin.
Graduation was bright and early Sunday morning at the US Cellular arena in downtown Milwaukee. We got there, parted ways with Julie and found good seats in the arena.
Between the two ceremonies, UWM had almost 3,500 graduates! I was floored by intense organized chaos that was the announcing of the graduates. The ceremony was only two hours long. Impressive. The keynote speaker was decent. It was John Gourda, who is a local Milwaukee historian. He had some great advice for the grads. It escapes me at the moment, but I remember liking it.
After the graduation ceremony, we took some quick pictures outside. It was a beautiful day!! After pictures we met up with our cousin Amy at Cheesecake Factory for a delicious lunch to celebrate Julie graduating.
All in all, it was a great, whirlwind weekend of celebration. So proud of Julie for surviving her grad school experience. If you’ve made it through grad school, or known someone while they’re going through that process, you know that it’s all about survival. Just a side note: all these photos were from my iPhone. I took some great photos on my Canon, but I haven’t gotten to editing them yet.
So proud of you, Julie!!