Day 225


Some days are hard.

Today was one of them.

I live everyday with cloud that hovers over me.  Most of the time, I am able to keep it at bay and be fine.  But depression has a way of sneaking up on a person and taking over.  In these moments, it is a battle to get up, to get dressed, to smile for my children.  Small bumps in the road become insurmountable hills that defeat me.  Today was one of those days.  People don’t like to hear the word depression, nor do they care, at times, to help the one who is depressed.  It is easier to tell them to “get over it”, to “suck it up”, or my favorite:  to look in the mirror and counsel yourself”.  Just because I was trained as a counselor and worked as one, does not mean I can “counsel” myself.  Depression is an invisible illness.  You look fine, you move fine, but inside you are drowning.  You doubt every move you make, and you doubt the words and actions of others.  You feel as if you have lead in your hands and feet.  And you feel so very alone, so lost and alone.  You end up sitting at a computer at 1 am crying and wishing that you didn’t feel this way.  That somewhere out there, someone would understand what you are going through and raise you up.  That they would expel this demon that resides in you.  People with depression do not live to be depressed, to tell you about all their problems, to get you to feel sorry for them.  They live to battle with the hope that someday they can be free.  It doesn’t not help for them to be told to look at the positives, because in the dark moments there are none.  They are tainted with self doubt, with sadness, with pain.  And there lives the frustration in me, the knowledge that it was not always like this, that an event in my life pushed me over that fragile line.  And now everyday I cling to that edge trying desperately to pull myself up and over.  That I want so badly to walk away from that edge to live in the warmth and happiness of life, buy my feet get stuck in the mud and at times the edge is the only thing in my sight.  And so I keep it to myself, because the judgment of family and friends shows on their faces even when they are silent.  And so tomorrow I will get up and try to beat the demon down.  Maybe this time I will beat him down for a long time, maybe I can smile and hide the pain and try to look at the positives.  And someday, perhaps, I will win.

And then my photographs will be taken before the light fades and color is drained from the storms.

Day 224

Today was a special day; my hubby celebrated his birthday.  So this meant that he got to pick what we were doing after supper.  So that meant that we were going fishing.  It was a wonderful night on the lake, a little bit of clouds to start with and a small breeze.  But other than that, there was nothing going on.  The birds were very quiet, with only a few to be found on the water, and the fish were not willing to play.  So while it was slow in some ways, it was still a good time with the hubby celebrating his birthday.


What did we see tonight:  An Eagle sitting in a tree that was extremely unhappy with something and made a lot of noise.  The clouds were pretty heavy at this time so it isn’t the greatest picture as my ISO had to be up high.

A family of loons, where the baby was diving by himself.  I am a little concerned as there were two babies in this area.  I know they move around, but it makes me worried.

A new bird for us:  pied-billed grebe.  Some flew off and left this one lonely one swimming in a bay.

Mallards swimming and flying around.

Our friendly neighborhood beaver.

And one wonderful sunset.  Within minutes it went from soft to vivid to gone very quickly.


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Day 184

Today I got to spend the day with one of three of my favorite people, my daughter Oly.  I actually got her out of her room.  Oly spends a lot of her time reading, writing or drawing.  She will venture out for a night of fishing, as she likes to either out fish us or be the net girl.  Today we hit the beach.  I was hoping to get some birding done, but she wasn’t in tune with that.  I was able to get a few shots of birds, an Eastern Kingbird and a new one: Yellow Warbler, before she was ready to move on.  So we hit the bookstore for a couple (3) new books for her and one for me.  Then back home where I was able to lay in my chair and watch my little birds (Goldfinches, nuthatches, chickadees, and hummingbirds along with some sparrows and doves) play in my yard.  It was a wonderful day with my young lady.

Day 183

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Today we started off with a trip up to my parents house.  I thought for sure I would find some good birds/animals when we were up there.  Right away I spotted a Northern Flicker, but the minute he spotted me he flew further back into the swamp and I was only able to get a few far away shots.  There were many other little birds, but either they hid or they flew so fast I wasn’t able to get a shot of them.

Later on in the day we decided to hit the lake.  While the fishing was fine, the animals we saw were even better.  We started off right off the dock with a bunch of geese and their young.  And then right when we hit the water, there was an Osprey that landed in the tree. It let me get some good pictures and then off it went.  I kept on snapping as it flew towards me and then I saw it:  a red-winged black bird was attacking the Osprey.  Those little birds sure are mean.  So far this year we have seen them attack crows, ravens, eagles, and now an osprey.  Very soon the Osprey flew off across the water.  I was hoping to get a pictures of him diving, like I did a couple of years ago, but he flew into the trees.  I think he was going back to his nest on the other lake.

From there we visited a few bays.  I was able to get some nice pictures of a turtle sunning himself and some great reflections in one bay.  When the fish were not biting there, we headed to one of our favorite places.  There we came across an otter swimming in a corner. It was rather dark so the pictures were a little tougher to get.  As we moved away I was lucky to find a momma duck with 9 little babies swimming along the edge.  We moved away so we wouldn’t disturb them.  That is when the hubby and daughter pointed out the loon across the bay.  We had been listening to a pair of them calling since we got on the lake.  I started to take pictures when she moved and there was a baby on her back.  I have been waiting to take a picture of a Momma Loon and a baby for a long time.  I was extremely lucky to have the Dad come back very soon with a minnow in his beak to give to the baby.  It was truly a great time watching this.  I am sure glad I had a long lens so we didn’t have to get close.  However, we didn’t want to make the family worried so we went on our way to do some more fishing.

It was at this time we got to see our beavers again and I was able to get some more shots of them bringing in branches.  Soon after that we decided to head out.  It was on the way out of our favorite spot that we spotted the Momma Loon again.  I decided to take another shot, and was happy to see the baby swimming along the side of the Mom.  It was a great time.  The Loon family made up for missing out on all the small birds through out the whole night!


Day 171

Happy Father’s Day!

Today was a day to celebrate the fathers in your life and be grateful for what they do for you and your children.  I am very lucky to have found a man, who not only is a really great father, but an awesome husband.  It has been a treat watching him with my children, and it has been my privilege to have him be my best friend.  He is willing to spend hours with me hiking in the bog looking for birds or driving around looking for flowers.

Today, when given the decision on what he wanted to do today, he decided to drive with me so I could find and photography the Lady Slipper.  We could have done anything else, but he knew how much I wanted to get that picture.  And thanks to some “helpers” we were able to find the Showy Lady in a spot where I didn’t have to hike (knee still makes it hard at times).

While we were on the look for the Lady Slippers we happened to find some other critters along the way.  A female Belted Kingfisher was eyeing the small river we found her on.  Guess she didn’t read the sign that said NO FISHIN!  We then found one of my favorite things:  a porcupine in a tree.  He was just coming down when we spotted him and soon was off into the woods at his slow pace.  Once we found the Lady Slippers we decided to head home, spotting some small birds along the way.  But we ended up finding one of our favorite ones:  Northern Harrier.  The first one was flying in a field.  She was hovering low to the ground for the most part and gave me some good shots.  The other one was in our normal spot we see them and hung around a good chunk of time for me.  And then right as he flew away another male flew up on the other side of the ditch.  It was fun watching them as the wind, by this time, was really blowing hard.  They had to really move their bodies to stay where they wanted.

So it was a wonderful day spent with my favorite Dad person:  My husband Joe.

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Day 165

Tonight we got out on the lake with a great friend of mine, Brian.  It was a gorgeous night to be out with two of my favorite men.  It started off with seeing two eagles sitting in their tree near their nest.  I was able to get some good shots of them before they took off.  I was then hoping to get some pictures of the bass jumping out of the water but it was to much fun fishing with how they were hitting the lures and I ended up not taking pictures.  I did happen to find a mother duck trying to hid her babies as we left one of our bays.  So after that, Brain showed up and I couldn’t resist sneaking a picture of my friend.  It is so nice to find at least one person who just likes you as you are and accepts you with your flaws.  And it doesn’t hurt that he loves to fish and camp as we do.

Day 161

Tonight I got to do something I don’t get to very often…I got to be home alone!  I spent my time resting my back (feeling so much better) by just sitting in my favorite chair watching my birds in my feeders.  Today was a really great day.  It started with the news that the hubby will be going back to work sooner than expected and included having a nice lunch with my father and hubby at the new K&B Drive In.  Then I was able to get a nap in while John headed off to the ATV training with his best buddy, Mia and then the hubby and Oly went fishing.  Now all my little family is home and it is great.

So my photo blog for today is all about the little critters I find in my back yard.

Day 156

Today I had the privilege of going to my nieces graduation from Greenway High School.

It is truly amazing to watch her stand up on the stage and receive her degree.  It seems like just yesterday I was hurrying home from college so that I could meet her sweet little face.  I spent a lot of time holding that little one and when Joe and I moved to Buhl, we got to babysit her and her sister often.  Over the years she has grown so much and become her own person, a very strong willed determined young woman.  I have no doubt that she will take North Carolina by storm and will excel in her studies.  I am so proud that she is taking a huge step and moving so far away, it takes guts to leap that far from home at such a young age.  My only wish is that she knows how much she is loved.  That even though we didn’t get to see her as much as I wanted, that I will miss her and think of her often.  It is my hope that she will know that I hold her in high regards and wish only the best for her.  And I hope someday she will come to visit and tell me of her adventures in North Carolina.

So Congratulations to my niece Allyson.  You will take this world by storm and leave your mark in such a wonderful way and amaze all those who know and love you.


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Day 150

Today I got to run around with my Dad.  It started with helping him with his boat where I was able to get a shot of a bumblebee.  It was a hard shot since I had my long lens on.  But we then took a run out to Meadowlands where he grew up.  We stopped by the cemetery where we have family buried and then we ran out to the road with our name on it.  During this whole time, my Dad was telling us all about Meadowlands and what it was like in his day.  He pointed out where people used to live and who owned what store.  We drove by where his family had a large chunk of land, about 200 acres, and then by the old homestead.  There isn’t anything left but one out building, but it was really nice to drive around and here my Dad talk about stuff like that.  Made me feel closer to him getting this information about him and his hometown.  Was a little bummed we missed the bear my Dad saw, but by the time we turned around it was gone.

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Day 143

Tonight, after a day spent at home doing chores outside, I decided that I would take photos of what was in my back yard.  So I grabbed my camera and started walking around.  I had spent the morning weeding my one good bed.  That bed holds my tiger lilies, strawberries, and blueberries.  The berries were both in bloom and going strong.  I love the look of the delicate blooms, and how they change into such sweet desserts.  Scattered among them were some small violets.  A year ago we had planted some violets in a planter on the corner and the scattering of plants in the larger bed is the end result.  I love them, so I will leave them to grow.

I happened to glance over at the old garden, a plot of dirt that has the rockiest dirt that I have ever seen.  According to sources this was the “dirt” they had placed in there.  Must have come from a gravel pit and not a top soil place.  The only thing that really grows there  are weeds.  We have decided to let it go to seed and next year place pavers onto to create a patio.  In the meantime, I found some dandelions in bloom and took some pictures of that.

I moved around the back yard for a while more and decided that I needed to take pictures of the one thing we love to do as a family: carpetball.  A few years ago, after a horrible scout camping ordeal (the breaker for us in Scouts) we came home with the idea to make a carpetball table.  So John and I set out to find plans and then he built it.  We have spent many many hours holding carpetball tournaments and playing for fun.  And so, I grabbed a few shots of the balls waiting to be hit.

And as I walked away I happened to see the weird bits that have fallen from the many tall pines we have in our yard.  I know this end has something to do with the seeds and making of little trees, but I have no idea what the correct term is.  It was weird looking and I figured it would be fun to shoot.

So what you see today, is what is in my yard, it is part of what makes my home so special.

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