Hiking and fending off killer squirrels

Well that got your attention didn’t it?  When I, Ingrid and Nancy went hiking it was a marvelous day spent with friends.  I shall confess that they are far far more adept at hiking than I am, then again look what they have to work with!  Arizona on it’s worst day is nothing compared to spots in the Midwest and eastern seaboard where when it gets cold and snowy it goes hard!

While I’ve been on the Apache Trail before (see here) I’ve never explored parts of the Tonto National forest where we went hiking.  After we tracked the wild horses down it was off to explore more of the Salt River.  The others scrambled down a hill to get to the riverbed, I chose a paved path that led closer to it.  Told you I wasn’t that good of a hiker but I’m working on improving that.

It was really fascinating to be surrounded by mountains with cacti growing on them while standing in a river bed with those beautiful tumbled rocks.  I guess this is just part and parcel of what the high desert is like.

Our next stop was Saguaro Lake;  a large lake surrounded by mountains speckled with cacti along with it’s own marina and docked boats.  There was even a river boat passing through on the lake with tourists being told to look to the left for such and such view.  Who knew!

It was suggested we go for a little hike around the edge of the lake.  I didn’t last as long as they did as I came down a bit awkward while scrambling over the rocks and had to sit and wait for them to return.  There was much ice on an ankle that evening but I survived to hike again the following day.  Frankly, just sitting there watching the world and two paddle boarders go by was so tranquil.

When the others came back we sat down on my rock to take the prerequisite selfie picture of our feet over the scenery.  Well, we gave it our best shot anyway.  Those rocks were uneven so it was best to have one foot down for stability and the other up for the photo.

Heading back to our vehicle Ingrid surprised us with a picnic lunch she made for all of us.  A picnic lunch by the side of a lake on a sunny day in February?  What more could one ask for.  Grilled chicken breast with potato salad and chips along with tortillas, rolls, soda pop, lots of water (very necessary in the desert) and wine.  We aren’t teetotalers yanno!

Everything was tasty and wonderful until we began to notice the extra company.  There were birds surrounding us waiting for handouts that tried to get close to see what they could grab.  They kept a reasonably safe distance.  And then there were the squirrels.

They were deadly ninja assassins hell bent on hijacking our good eats.  One of our crew (not naming names but she knows who she is) was more “anxious” about the squirrels than the others but when one of the bushy tailed varmints came within two feet of me, glaring at me with his hungry beady eyes while I had my chicken wrap sandwich in hand, it was just too much!

After some shouting, flailing of arms and stomping of feet they kept their distance and we finished our lunch in peace.  Have you ever had your meal stolen or threatened with theft by wildlife before?  Don’t let the cuteness fool you!  Never let your guard down!  Your lunch will be gone before you know it! You’ve been warned!

It was time to pack it up and pack it in and head off down the trail to our respective abodes.  It was great transitioning from blogging friends to in person friends; finally getting together and going hiking.  It’s something I highly recommend everyone should do.  If hiking isn’t your thing then at least be open to meeting new people.  It could be the start of a great friendship or at least some interesting tales to tell later.

Teri  📷

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International Women’s Day

As there’s an app for just about everything there seems to be a day for just about everything.  Today is International Women’s Day and while on one hand I feel like fist pumping the air for it, another part of me is miffed that this even has to be a day.  We’ve come a long way baby or have we.  We can vote, we can drive, we can work outside of the home, get a higher education and so forth but there are still places where that does not happen or happen freely and some people (male and female) who believe it should be otherwise.

As women we have/should have the right to live our lives and try to make the very best we can of them.  There shouldn’t be things as “that’s a woman’s job” or “that’s a man’s sport” although on the later issue there are some sports that I feel are just too dangerous for male or females… just my opinion.  A woman can have a strong opinion, express it firmly and should not be called hysterical, hormonal, a bitch or something worse.

A woman can be a nurse or a doctor and so can a man.  A woman can be an astronaut, so can a man.  A man can stay home and take care of the children while the woman holds down the job.  A woman can wear a short skirt and heels and NOT be a slut, whore or asking for it.  A woman can be a great and famous photographer (had to put that one here)  A woman can be a model, a stay at home mom, a cancer survivor, a chef, do oil changes at Jiffy Lube; the list goes on and on.

A woman can do so many things.  She may not succeed in every attempt but does anyone?  So yes! Let’s celebrate women as we advance things for them economically, medically, educationally, etc. to the point where a women’s day is no longer a thing.  I can see no down side to such.

(On a side note lest you think I am bashing any one gender, belief, whatever – women can also be just as bad as the next person.  Women have been murderers, have embezzled, been terrible rulers, in some cases very horrible mothers, been mean and vicious liars and so forth.  Nobody’s perfect… )

Teri  📷

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Colorific or Monochromatic

Photography has come a long way since the first tintype photos were made.  Images have progressed from black and white to sepia to color and in some cases to colors that really don’t exist in nature.  We’ve all seen that photo that was so processed the colors were practically supernatural.

But I digress.  We all have options in how we capture and ultimately edit our photos.  There are some who are very much into film and all of their images are in black and white.  Others love their images to be in color be it bright and bold or soft and muted.  And then there are those, like me, who happily switch between the two.

I have found that there are some images that just won’t do unless they are in color, such as when I want to convey the warmth of a sunset for example.  Then there are images that just stand out in black and white because of the light, shadows, contrast or mood conveyed in the image like a dark and stormy night and someone walking alone in the rain.  It’s what you want your photo to convey that will probably be the reason for how you edit it.

Often I find myself editing an image in both color and black and white to see what the image will say to me.  Sometimes it’s the clear sound of color only and then there are images that say one thing to me in color and another in black and white; both having somewhat equal say in the matter; so to speak.

There is a camp that feels black and white film is what’s happening (again) and there is the camp that believes why go black and white when we have cameras (and phones) that can capture so many colors.  I personally believe in the validity of both camps and can we all just snap along happily.  The bottom line is – in my opinion – shoot and edit the way you want to create your image no matter if it’s color, black and white, sepia, infrared or whatever.

Since it’s monochrome Monday I am sharing this image I took while we were hiking in the Salt River in Arizona.  Wonder why they call it that?  I’ve walked beside rivers, gone fishing in them, tried to water ski in the Mississippi (epic fail) but I’ve never gone hiking in one.  It was an exciting first and I enjoyed it greatly. When I took this image my main goal was to catch the clouds above the mountains and the reflections in the river but it was when I was doing the editing in Lightroom that it whispered convert me to black and white.

Why?  Well believe it or not, besides the details in the mountains that came out better in monochrome and the clearer reflections in the water, when I saw this image as shown  I felt like I was watching an old black and white western.  Gunsmoke in the early days immediately came to mind; an old favorite of my parents.  Funny how memories work, huh?

So what camp are you in – color, black and white or whatever mood hits you?  Also, how do you edit your images if you make them black and white? Move sliders, presets and actions or your own secret sauce?  I used a Lightroom preset with some tweaking for this photo.

Teri  📷

(Next…more from the hike here in Salt River and then those killer squirrels at Saguaro Lake.  Viscous little buggers!)

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Thelma, Louise and Louise…

What happens when three women who have been blogging buddies for years finally all get together at the same time? Fun, hilarity, bad jokes, really bad jokes, hiking, a picnic with killer squirrels… and of course wonderful friendship.

You know me, I’m the Thelma of the bunch and Louise number one (she gets the #1 spot because I’ve known her longer, sorry Louise #2) is Ingrid of Livelaughrv.net  Please go read her post of our day here.  Louise #2 is Nancy of TwoTrailsoneroad.com and her post of our day is here. 

We were going to hike together for two days but on day two, Nancy woke up feeling cruddy and had to bow out.  So Ingrid and I took off in her little red truck and only missed our exit to the Apache Trail once because we were laughing so hard about something.  Ingrid tried to kill me hiking that day… my story sticking to it will share that post later. (Love you, Ingrid ♥)

So they picked me up and off we went to find the wild horses of Tonto National Forest.  After asking a few other people we came across while adventuring, we eventually came upon this woman painting one of the horses; she directed us to where they were.

  

This is the horse she was painting.

We got as close as we dared and it was amazing.  I’ve never seen wild horses before let alone ones that were getting ready for their afternoon naps.

The recent rains and snow (there was still snow on some of the mountains when I was there causing many people to pull over on the sides of roads and even the highways to take photos of something that many said they had not seen in years and years) made for spectacular scenery along with the wildflowers beginning to bloom.  There was even green grass to be seen in many places!

Coming back to Ohio where everything is still in it’s dormant phase was rough.  I hope one day in the not too distant future that Thelma, Louise and Louise get to ride off into the sunset again… or something equally fun.

More about our hiking adventures coming soon.   Teri  📷

 

 

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I’m off…

Soon on a Thelma and Louise and Louise trip – hopefully.  I say hopefully because of weather and strikes and this faction butting heads with that faction but the trip shall go on!

Else how am I going to petition you all for bail money when we get into trouble 🙂

Cya later – Teri  📷

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Photo Prompt: Shadow

As we all know, light plays a major part in how an image will turn out.  Conversely, shadows (the opposite of light one could say) can impact an image as well – both positively and negatively.

No one wants a photo with shadows underneath their eyes or a person or object being in shadow so much that you cannot discern details but then there are times when shadows add depth, time and even mood to an image.

My friend, Ingrid, over at LiveLaughRv.net has issued a photo prompt of shadows today and I decided to join in.  Most of the time I try to avoid shadows in my images as I feel they can sometimes take your eye away from what the subject of the photo is but as previously stated, shadows can also compliment.

Teri  📷

 

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It’s good to have a friend to talk to

This photo has been languishing in my drafts post folder for several years now and today it spoke to me to let it come out and speak.  Everyone needs at least one friend that they can talk to.  It can be a spouse or significant other, a friend you’ve had since childhood, a new friend and sometimes it can even be a relative.

Some believe that in today’s modern world we have become so separated from the rest of the world that the only “friends” we have are those strictly in the cyber world and while that may be true to some extent is it really a bad thing?

I’ve made friends via social media that I feel are really my friends.  And by that I mean we have progressed past the likes and small comments on our feeds to emailing, texting, speaking on the phone and in some instances actually meeting face to face.  So what can we say about friends and friendship?

A good friend helps you hide a body… a great friend brings a shovel and doesn’t ask any questions.

A good friend knows all your best stories.  A best friend has lived them with you.

Friends are the bacon bits in the salad bowl of life.

If you have one true friend then you are truly blessed.

Best friends motto:  Always remember that if you fall I will pick you up… after I finish laughing!

Teri  📷

(Through the window shot taken in the Bourbon Street restaurant on west 46th street – aka restaurant row – in New York, August 2014)

Ladies at Lunch 7294

 

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