Paddle Adventure on the 5th of July

Published Categorized as Musings, Photography 11 Comments on Paddle Adventure on the 5th of July

Is has been nice to actually take some time to relax recently.  I finished my big project (30 pillows, 9 cushions in a 7 day deadline) and will have photos to share on that in the next week or two but I wanted to share another non-quilting or crafting related post so please take a seat and grab a coffee and enjoy my ramblings.

It seems like forever ago but in a past life I would take pictures all the time. It was long before I dabbled in portraits, model portfolio development photo shoots or weddings. I’m a serial hobbyist; always trying something new, never sitting still long enough to know what is going to stick.  I would go on adventures to parks, the city or drives down roads I’ve never taken before in search of a beautiful photograph.

At some point (probably when I was doing the model portfolio development, portraits or weddings) I lost the love of editorial photography; the photography where you take a beautiful photo just to capture the moment; no one is paying, there is no deadline it’s just about taking beautiful photos.  This past Sunday afternoon, armed with the dry bag, my “big girl” camera and telephoto lens (80-300mm Nikor) the boyfriend and I grabbed the kayak & canoe to go on a paddle adventure.

Bright Blue Dragonfly

I took a lot of terrible photos of this dragon fly before I got this one just right. I couldn’t believe the vibrant shade of metallic blue of this little creature.

Wild grasses on the river bank

I’m a sucker for bokeh. That term describes the effect when the subject stands out from it’s blurry background. I loved the way you can see the same beige grasses blurred in the background blended with the vibrant green from the side of the river.

Large dragonfly on a leaf

This dragonfly was a bit tricky to capture a photo of. There was so much to consider every time I lifted the lens to my eye. Is the kayak still moving in a forward or backward momentum? Is the wind going to blow me about? How can I stabilize myself well enough to get the subject in focus? If the kayak is still moving, how long until another leaf blocks my subject or I end up deep in the weeds with spiders on my vessel, again? Lots to think about when all I want to do is disappear into a world where the only thing is me, my subject and the landscape in the viewfinder.

A Vulture Flying in the Sky

I had actually forgotten I’d brought my camera until we spotted a pair of birds soaring in the sky.  At the height and the way they were flying we wondered if they were eagles or vultures.  Eagles are not necessarily common in the central Massachusetts area but there are a number of nesting pairs around.  The dry bag I mentioned was purchased after our last kayaking adventure where I watched a bald eagle catch a fish with it’s fierce talons no more than 20 yards away from me, it was a amazing. We decided that based on the photos this is probably a vulture but we weren’t sure.

Beautiful swamp forest

When we got off the river we took the back way home and drove through the dirt trails in a nearby state forest. I insisted we stop the truck for this landscape and then we headed back home.

Through the rest of the summer I’ll be posting a few more of these photographic adventure posts but there’s some sweet quilting posts coming soon too (one tutorial in progress on my craft table). I like sharing my R&R with y’all to try remind everyone to take some time for yourself in this crazy busy world of ours. All of this beauty was only 15 minutes away from home and gosh it was nice to just get back to nature for a little bit.


Terri Ann


  1. What talent you have Terri Ann! I never knew it was called bokeh, but the effect is so beautiful! I’ve always loved dragonflies too.
    Serial Hobbyist – what a fun and accurate term!

    1. It’s funny you mentioned that Lara, I didn’t include the definition of bokeh in the first draft of the post and then went back and added it cause I imagine that all of my blog readers are like me and enjoy learning something new every day!

  2. Beautiful work. Do you know about how many pictures you save when you go on a trip like this? My husband does photography, too, and he estimates he only keeps about 5% when it is all said and done. My thought on the bird is that it is a vulture, the notch in the wing at the tip is what suggest that strongly to me. Congratulations on the big deadline being met, and I hope you continue to find a bit of R&R time.

    1. Thanks Yvonne 🙂 When I’m shooting mindfully (portrait session, weddings, something where I need to have keepers at the end) it’s about 10% though when kids are involved that number fluctuates significantly! When I’m out taking “for fun” photos 2-5% sounds right. I’m almost out of space on my home computer and have been spending some time purging out old “not keeper” photos and duplicate files on my system so I’m learning to be more diligent about immediately deleting the images I don’t need to keep. The wing notch made us think vulture too but the rest of the wing span is less vulture-y so we weren’t totally sure.

  3. your dragon fly photo is brilliant. I can’t believe you got all your sewing finished – your poor shoulders must be aching.

  4. So impressed with your lovely photography. Interesting how you note that you need to take lots of photos to get a good one. Something I am learning. That was lot of sewing to get through, so pleased you made the deadline.

  5. I am in awe of the wonder of nature — some small things are incredibly vibrant and beautiful.

  6. I’m so glad you got some time to relax and create stress-free. There’s only so much time for all the hobbies, eh? I moved into the cottage for a week and it was so good for me. Time to read books instead of just listening to them, lots of paddling and cousin time and board games. I brought my sewing machine for the one rainy day we had, and used IG but no blog reading. It was a perfect time for a break from the Blog Hop. I’m a kayaker and I bring my Nikon in a dry bag too! I love paddle adventures 🙂 On our lake we have osprey, loons, muskrat, beaver and a big old snapping turtle. I always have my camera with me just in case I spot one. Great shots you got! I need to get better at weeding my photos out after I upload them, space is definitely an issue. I got an external hard drive just for photos to transfer the older ones onto.

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