nature

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Devils Garden in Arches National Park at sunrise. The best part about this entire trail was that we were pretty much by ourselves. Hardly anyone was out there so early in the morning. I felt like I had the whole park to ourselves. But we did run into a few chipmunks, deer, etc. They were cool.

If you’re interested in doing the hike, it’s pretty easy. For the most part the land is flat and the trail itself is well marked. The rock formations were great because they provided some shade underneath that hot sun. However, had I known earlier we would of been able to see so much more than we did. There was kind of a split in the middle of the road around this huge rock. Andrew and I didn’t know which way to go so we kinda decided to just walk back to the car and try out some other trails.

Which leads me to the question, how much research do you guys do before you leave for a trip? I have an idea of the things that I want to see when I visit a new place. I’ll mark them on a map and figure out which is better, sunrise, sunset, or during the day. But I’m not sure if I do enough research like how to get there or how long it will take. I kinda leave to when we arrive at our destination to figure that kinda stuff out. Partly out of laziness but partly because I know things always change. Road closures, construction, etc. Sometimes those things can be hard to predict. For the most part it works, but had I known the Devils Garden trail went a lot further out, I would of been able to see some more really cool arches. Oh well. You live and you learn.

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Out of all the places that we went to on our trip to Colorado and Utah, Maroon Bells was my absolute favvvvorite. I loved it so much for many reasons. First of all, the walk was super short from the parking lot to this point of view. I’m not sure why that stands out so much in my mind, but it was awesome. Then once you actually see this view, you can’t help but to say ‘WOW’. I can’t even imagine what it’d be like to shoot this during the autumn time when all the leaves are changing. OR during golden hour. OMG I’d be the happiest person in the world. And if you put those two things together… mind blown. Unfortunately, we only had about an hour here before we were off to our next location. But we’ll be back soon and I’ll be sure to spend some extra time in Aspen just for this park.

But if you asked me what was my favorite moment of this trip, it was the simplest thing. We were walking around the lake and Andrew and I were talking about what it’d be like to swim in the water. Then we started wondering about how cold the water actually was. So we dipped our fingers in and the moment my finger tips touched the water was one of my most treasured memories. The water was just so crisp and refreshing feeling. I don’t know, it was such a simple act but it really made me feel connected to the environment.

We also saw 3 more deer in the parking lot of Maroon Bells. Deers seem to be everywhere in Colorado! I mean we have some in VA but not like how it is there. They move in herds!! But that’s not the deer story I was talking about in yesterday’s blog post 🙂 Just a little bit longer for that story 🙂 Hehe.

Shout out to Jason for telling me about this place.

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I love Colorado. There I said it. I fell in love on our trip. Everything was absolutely amazing. As soon as I stepped out of the airport in Denver, I could definietly tell a difference in air quality. It was just so fresh and crisp. The weather was absolutely perfect the whole time we were there, 70 degrees with a little breeze.  I really think it’s something I could get used to but I don’t know if we were just lucky with the weather or if it’s always like that in the spring/summer. Either way, I was lovin’ it. (Like McDonalds).

At one point, Andrew and I were walking around after we had a big lunch and we saw this lady with her dog. We stopped to talk to her for a little bit and as we were walking away, Andrew said “I never realized how many nice people there are”. LOL! I thought that was hilarious but so true. I feel like everyone in DC is always in such a rush to get things done. You can definietly tell the slow paced, enjoying-life/nature type of of people in Colorado. Seriously, I can’t wait to go back.

This image was taken in Rocky Mountain National Park on the last day we were there. Andrew thought he “discovered a secret” vantage point however, it was just the parking lot of a museum. Moraine Park, specifically. We didn’t have a lot of colorful sunsets while we were there, but we did have some pretty cloudy ones which is really all you need. I shot this with my 16-35mm at F/10 for 4 seconds with my Ice Neutral Density filter. At one point we spotted a herd of deer running around on the grass in the foreground which was so cool to watch. But don’t worry, I’ll have more deer stories for you in the future. Oh man. HAHA.

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It’s been soooo long since I’ve been to Great Falls Park. If you have been following me for a while then you’ll know that I used to go to Great Falls Park a lot. Like more than I ever went to the National Mall. Which is a little crazy because everyone always assumes that I have a little bed right under Lincoln’s chair in the Lincoln Memorial. When in fact, I don’t! I sleep in my bed, in my bedroom, in my house in Fairfax, VA. LOL

But I love Great Falls Park. I have so many great memories there. Its the place I used to go to all the time to practice my photography skills that I learned in school. It’s also the place where my cousin got so sick she had to throw up in one of the bathrooms but later found out that she wasn’t sick at all. She was pregnant! It’s also the place where Andrew and I had one of our first dates together and the place where we’d take Frankie and our nephews to play soccer. So many great memories from this place.

I think what changed it all for me was that they started closing the gate at night. Before I felt like I could come in and out as I pleased. But there have been so many times where I tried to go at sunrise and the gates were closed. I was even there one time at sunset and was there for so long that they closed the gates on me. I had to call for someone to pick me up because there was no way to get my car out that day. So to say that this place is special to me would be an understatement. I love coming here and seeing beautiful views like this one.

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Happy Monday! Can’t believe May is here! Did you guys check out the desktop and cell phone wallpapers? I do them every first of the month and love them.  Or if you haven’t yet, make sure to sign up for my newsletter. You’ll receive them straight into your inbox. What could be easier? If you use them, send me a screen shot. I have a folder on my desktop that’s called ‘happy’ and I put all of my favorite screenshots in there. If I’m ever feeling down or anything, I always look in that folder and feel uplifted. As you may have noticed I have tons of other folders on my desktop, maybe one day you’ll find out what they all are. Or if you’ve even be interested in that? It’s sort of the method behind all my madness. LOL.

This image was shot in 2013 when I was still using my Canon 5d Mark II. I recently found it on one of my old drives and been having a good time looking through some past images. I love this one with all the greens and different lines. I think my favorite part is the path leading off to the edge of the image. I still remember shooting this. It was on an early morning walk through the Blue Ridge Mountains. I was staying in a yert with some of my friends and a few of us decided to explore the surrounding area. I love how that foggy weather just lingers all morning in the mountains. Perfect mood lighting for a great, calm day.

My settings for this image was F7.1 at 1/20th of a second with ISO 200. I shot this with my 17-40mm wide angle lens on a tripod.

Wow that was a lot of links in just one blog post but in case you were wondering, I was a backstreet boys girl allllll the way. Still love you, Nick.

 

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You wouldn’t have to have followed my blog for long to know that flowers make me so happy. Every time I look at them, I just want to smile. So it made me so sad to hear that we were going to have a cold front and all these saucer magnolias were going to go away. They were barely around for a week. I’m grateful that I was able to enjoy them at least once this year. I love the mood the pedals all over the park bench and grass is providing. Sort of sad but still amazingly beautiful that I had to photograph it.

The cherry blossoms are a different story though. They may not even get the chance to bloom! Thanks to winter storm Stella we’re expecting 5+ inches and the cherry blossoms are not happy about it. I really really look forward to the blooms at the tidal basin each year so I guess it’s not happening this time around. I feel bad for anyone who has made special travel plans just to see them.

I’m trying to look on the bright side though. This whole winter I was asking for at least one good snow storm and we’re finally getting it. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it to the city since the metro will be closed but I still plan on going out and shooting tomorrow morning. I’ll probably walk around my neighborhood with my camera and see if i can capture some flowers with snow. I want to go out early so I can capture some of that fresh, untouched snow. And of course, snow is always better when you have Frankenstein around 🙂

And yes, my dog has an instagram account. If you want to follow him it’s instagram.com/frankensteinwoopan. Hes the cutest.