We took the evening to play in the backyard, BBQ, and start working on a rocketship for a photoshoot.
We had the pleasure of being given a dress by a sweet clothing brand all the way from Holland. Two Grey Rabbits. https://www.etsy.com/shop/TwoGreyRabbits
So we went out for a walk on a rainy Spring day near the Boise river to get some shots.
Today it was a cold overcast day, but we wanted to get out of the house for a bit. We bundled up and headed for Indian Creek. The creek bed was nearly all dry, but had just enough puddles to throw rocks and splash a bit. We also found sticks and pretended to fish in the shallow water.
While we were playing a long train passed by. I've always loved the sound of trains and watching them pass. It added a little magic to the afternoon playtime for us. A few times the sun peeked through, and then it began to snow on us.
Afterwards we visited a new consignment shop in Kuna and bought a barbie car. Then headed for lunch at Idaho Pizza.
I took Clara to one of our favorite spots along the Boise River that's easy to get to. It's a perfect little spot to escape right in the middle of it all. Although hotels and busy roads surround this spot, once your down on the beach, among the trees, and flowing water, barefoot, connecting to earth, it all melts away. It's also a great spot during late summer to be able to get in the river and play. The water is slow in quite a few places, and in some areas you can just walk for quite awhile through the water. It feels instantly good, which is why I took her.
We both were feeling under the weather; runny noses, lethargic, achy, but kinda stir crazy in the house. She was fussy and wanted to be outside, so I loaded her up in the car and headed for Eagle.
We watched honey bees buzz around purple flowering bushes. I love to watch honey bees, it's really meditative, and such good energy to be around. We watched ducks, threw rocks and sticks, and splashed around. We spent about an hour and half there, and when we left, we both felt better, in a sense of being more relaxed, and ready to go home and rest.
This girl loves rocks. Everywhere we go, she seems to find rocks, and on a rock beach, well then it's all about finding "the one." She was standing in this bush, just standing in it, calm, looking around, touching the long grass, and then her attention shifted. She spotted a rock she had to pick up.
At this point, my brother had called me while he was on his way home from work, which the road he takes happens to go by where we were. So he stopped to visit for a bit. He asked her if he could see the rock, and she was adamant about not sharing her rock with him. The look she gave him was priceless.
"But sweetie, it's just water, it'll dry, this is what happens when you splash in the water."
She had fun splashing, but wasn't happy to get her pretty dress wet. She's so cute. She's been here before in her swimsuit, and regular tank tops, but it bothered her when her dress got wet. She understands the difference between her "nice" clothes and"play" clothes, even though it's not something I really say or instruct her on. It's just something that's part of who she is. She doesn't like to get things like her dresses dirty, but put her in a tank top and shorts, and she's good to go to get dirty. it cracks me up, such a girlie girl, and I love it. I assured her it was okay that her dress got wet, and then she was back to playing.
She cried to uncle that her dress was wet, not being able to talk yet, she held out her dress, distressed, and he assured it was ok, too.
After playing in the water, we explored a little cozy nook with lots of bushes, bugs, and tall trees. She is always so amazed at the size of the trees. I hope by next year we can take her to the Redwoods. I just know it'll be so magical for her.
After standing in awe of the tree, she started talking to it, and even went to hug it. It was precious, and I missed getting a shot of her hugging, because I was just sitting there in the dirt, washed over in so much love for her when I saw her do that. Such a gentle soul, and I get to be her mommy. I feel so blessed.
She babbled to the tree for a few moments. My brother and I both laughed quietly as we watched her standing there, her hands behind her back, chatting away to a big tree. I unfortunately was quite sore, and sat there enjoying the moment, rather than moving to capture it better. I move much slower these days, and she is quite quick. Sometimes not everything gets caught by camera, but that's okay. It's part of why I like to blog too, so I can share the whole stories that take place.
When her conversation with the tree ended she wanted to go explore into this nook more. I encouraged her to go on. She was uncertain at first. I was happy to just let my stiff, sore body sit on the ground, and allow her space to be herself in nature. She ran back to me to kiss me, grab her bunny, and then she went looking around. My brave, sweet, wild child, I adore you so.
With my back to the dining room, cooking burgers in the kitchen, I hear her struggling. She is getting frustrated, so I turn to see her wanting to open the sliding door to go outside. I decide to go with her, while Jack watches over the burgers.
With the sliding door barely open, both her and the dog bolt outside as fast as they can. She shrieks with joy, seeing the dog running through the grass, but she wants to swing. I steady the swing so she can get up and sit down. I sit beside her. She tugs my shirt down and signs "more" for milk. She wants to nurse again, and I let her. It's nice outside as I rock us back and forth on the slightly faded red porch swing.
There's still a lot of smoke in the air from the fires, and I always feel guilty when I bring her outside in the smoky air, but I can't keep a toddler or a dog for that matter, cooped up all day. At least it's not as bad as the day before when we went to the fair,
I notice a cloud, and appreciate that we can actually see the sky. I tell Clara to look up, over to the left and she points her finger at the cloud. It's getting darker out, The sun had set, and the sky was a bit overcast looking. Still, there was plenty of light to play in the yard while dinner cooked.
I looked down at her, brushed her hair from her eyes, and she pushed my hand away, then pulled away from my breast, and in an instant was off running after the dog. Something in the grass caught my eye. It was her dollar store, plastic, pink slinky. Surprised to see it still in one piece, I walk over to pick it up. An idea struck, and off I was, back in the house to grab my camera.
Jack's voice trailing behind me from the kitchen as I head for the stairs, " burgers are almost done."
Back outside, I pick the slinky up and place it against the glass of my 35mm lens. She runs over to see what I'm doing and laughs when she sees me with the slinky against my camera. I try to snap a photo, and off she runs. Hoping I'll chase after her. And I do.
The only thing to stop her in her tracks is spotting a dandelion in the yard. As I try to photograph her, Jack's voice, behind me again, " Oh, she loves to blow on the dandelions. Burgers are done." She hears his voice and sees him coming towards us, and off she goes, running across the yard again, shrieking and laughing, wanting us both to chase her now. Jack plucks the dandelion, and she comes over to take it from him.
Finally a few seconds that she might be still enough for me to get a photo of her through the pink slinky.
It turns out looking pretty cool, so I start snapping, aperture wide open, knowing I'm not going to get perfect focus and will have lots of motion blur, but I love the way it's looking so I don't mind a bit. Besides it was getting darker, so I needed every bit of light coming in to my camera.
We talked, she played, and I took pictures. The burgers were cold by the time we all went back inside about 20 minutes later. We ate together at the table, but I couldn't wait to go load up the images in Photoshop;. We cleaned up the dinner mess, and Clara was content with her toys in the living room, so I told Jack I'd be about 15 minutes. I just wanted to go see the shots on the computer. Before I knew it an hour had gone by, and I was calling Jack upstairs to come tell me what he thinks, and that we really ought to be getting Clara ready for bed. They were watching cartoons, and Clara wasn't thrilled that it was time to turn off the TV. I huffed and puffed a bit as I made my way halfway down the stairs peeking down at them, telling Jack that he lets her watch too many cartoons, and he had that irritated look on his face when I nag him about the TV.
They followed me back upstairs. Clara saw the photos and was excited to see herself, and kept saying "wow!" as she was pointing to the pink around the images.
Jack loved the way the images looked right out of camera, but I didn't want to edit the color shots. I was drawn to the images being black and white. I had played with editing with a vintage Lith setting at first. I loved how dreamy the images were looking, but I still tend to lean towards more dramatic, dark, and moody. The Lith settings I used were pretty for these shots though. Jack preferred the Lith edits over the grainier, darker black and whites I chose to go with. We're pretty opposite on most things, and the way I edit my images is always one of the conversations we tend to differ on often. However, it was tough to choose, and we were both coming in about 50/50 on liking the Lith and BW.
When we finished looking them over he suggested I stick with the lighter, softer Lith edits, He said it made her look more angelic, and not like an angry child, or a like one of the starving children you see on TV commercials. I laughed at his comment, and replied,
"Really, seriously, that's what you think, when you see these images of her in black and white?! I don't understand that thought process, but sure the lighter Lith isn't so moody looking, and I get why you're saying angelic, but she certainly doesn't look like a starving, sad child. I think your response is quite more dramatic than my editing." He shrugged his shoulders, and said, " I don't know, I just like lighter images, and lots of bright, happy colors, and lots of smiles."
I chuckled a bit and said, " aw, that's sweet, but I guess I'm just moody, because I don't gravitate towards the 'smile and say cheese' type shots. When smiles happen naturally in the moment sure, or when she's being silly, definitely, but my tendency is always to be drawn towards the melodrama in images."
He likes spring colors and I like fall colors. He likes sweet Southern Comfort, Sangria, and Miller's High Life. I like Jameson, Cabernet, and the darkest, muddiest beer I can find. He likes Toni Basil's, "Hey Mickey" from the 80s, and I can't stand that song, but I love Tori Amos, and he can't stand her music. At least we agree on loving every Stevie Nicks' songs with Fleetwood Mac. Anyways, point made. We're different.
So I saved the color images for him, and made the BW for me. It happens that way sometimes, and it's totally okay.
And,... the images in color.
Yes, I still like the color shots that I got in camera, too. The pink is pretty neat to see around her. I think I'm going to play around, do this again, probably with another color, and a real metal Slinky. It was fun to do.
I saw this stunning yellow plaid jumper and knew it was a must have for Clara. She looks like a gorgeous baby doll in this outfit. It will always be a favorite of mine. The cold shoulder, poofy sleeves, the way the cut and the bow are placed on the back, the wide leg pants, it just makes me swoon when I see her wearing this outfit.
It's an outfit that deserved being photographed outside, and although we live in the southwest desert of Idaho, there are still little gems like this spot, along Indian Creek. When the sun is setting is looks cinematic and magical in the late Spring, early Summer, and once more at the beginning of fall when leaves turn colors. I knew this would be the perfect spot to take her.
Now, getting a busy body 22 month old to not run off every half second is the real trick. One thing about photographing babies and toddlers is that there's a special quality in not posing them. Well, you can try all day long to pose a toddler, but good luck with that. It's much better to just let them do their thing and be as quick as you can with the push of your shutter and timing.
Some shots are soft, even a tad blurry, but I still love them. I love the grain/noise that comes with a higher ISO setting after the peak sunset time. I love watching her explore and run around outdoors. Her interest in every stick, leaf, rock, and flower met with my enthusiasm and adoration over her and her treasures.
The first attempt to photograph her outside in this outfit was almost a bust. There were blooms on flowers I knew wouldn't last long. We had been having lots of wind, rain, and thunderstorms. As the saying goes around here at Springtime, in like a lion, out like a lamb.
But late one evening, the clouds passed enough and the wind calmed, so we headed to the creek to explore.
She ran all over the place as I moved with her, squatting, sometimes kneeling down, or even laying down on the wet grass to get a variety of angles. At some moments the sun coming through the trees was so gorgeous and would cloud and blow out my images, which created some heavenly lighting effects to my shots of her.
We came across some yellow daffodils at one point, but it was getting really late by that point. She was getting a bit cranky, and didn't want to play much anymore. Dad tried to help her stay in the playful mood by swinging her around, but she just wasn't going to have any of it once he set her back down. So most of the shots of her near the flowers are of running away looking grouchy or sad. So we called it a night and thought we would come back the next evening to try again with the flowers. However, like most families, life happens, and it was some time before we went back to make our second attempt.
The Second Attempt
A month and a few days had passed from the first attempt out at the creek photographing her in this outfit. I still wanted more photos of her in it near the yellow daffodils. I wasn't excited about how the images turned out with her by the flowers during the first attempt.. I crossed my fingers, hoping the flowers would still be in bloom, but once we arrived, we saw they were no more. So we played anyways. Maybe next Spring I can try again to get some epic shots by the yellow daffodils.
Catch a Frog
While playing around during our second attempt near the daffodils, we spotted a few tiny frogs. Clara was the first to see one. It immediately intrigued her to see a real frog. I was trying to get her to look up towards me for a photo, but something had her eye. When I asked her a few times what she was looking at she became really excited, and came running. Jack went over to see what she was so happy about. He saw the tiny frog on a leaf and picked it up so she could get a better look at it. Then he put it back down in the grass and she squatted down to watch it for a long, few, quiet moments. When it hopped off she was a little sad to see her new frog friend leave. But it was also our cue to call it an evening. The sun had set and it was quickly getting dark out.
The last shots I tried to squeeze out of every drop of light left before we headed home. I thought it looked pretty neat to see the dappled evening light on her face.
The kids and I went out with friends to pick some berries. We went to two farms out in Emmett that we haven't visited before. It was a great way to spend the early afternoon. We love that the berries are grown with organic practices and aren't sprayed. They taste incredible and won't last long the way we're gobbling them up!
Our family decided to stay away from the crowds and hang in the backyard to make our memory experiencing the eclipse over Idaho. We got 99.6% coverage, just outside the path of totality. Not too bad, pretty darn good really. It was spectacular. We enjoyed a couple hours spending time outside. We watched from about 10am to noon, with the ultimate time frame just about 11:26 am.
I love the lighting effect from the eclipse. It was really dreamy. A lot of the birds headed for the trees to go in their nests, and we had a giant hawk flying over our yard, very low, just above our fence line. He kept flying over and screeching down at us. It was a really beautiful bird of prey, with awesome coloring under its wings.
My dad and brother were able to make it over to watch too. Jack took the day off work, which made for a nice family day. Clara has just recently in the past couple of weeks tried to start taking steps. She would get about 1-3 steps, but over the last few days she is doing so well! She gets about 8 and then makes herself plop back down.
I hope someday both of my children can look back at this day with fond memories, because how special is it that we were able to experience this eclipse together!
We hit up some nurseries this weekend for blueberry plants. Although the air was smoky and it was really hot out, it was great to get out, and be surrounded by beautiful plants. Clara really loved crawling around looking at pebbles, leaves, and bugs. William loved the cat, and took off wandering around the nursery playing with the cat.
I am glad I brought my camera, because it was peaceful to document this outing.
"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." Anne of Green Gables
Today we went to a local orchard to pick pumpkins for carving. They grow their apples and pumpkins without pesticides, which is a win in my book. It's not easy to find too many local farms growing food without pesticides where we live.
We started out with a very bumpy hayride through some of the apple orchard to the pumpkin patch, which since it is just about the last day of October, was pretty picked over, but we still found some great pumpkins. The hayride was a lot of fun. We each picked out a pumpkin to take home.
We took the hayride back over to see the goats and turkeys. Then, we walked over to the 100 year old scale to weigh the pumpkins. We had a total of 63 pounds! After that, William ground some corn for making popcorn using a 100 plus year old grinder. It was cute to watch him get excited about grinding off the corn for popping.
Carving Pumpkins at Home
Have a Happy Autumn everyone!
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