Thirty seven lovely workshop attendees.
Seventy....yes, seven zero, you heard right, 70, adorable models.
Two weeks of picture perfect weather.
Three JinkyArt workshops that went off without a hitch.
I honestly don't think things could have gone better.
Barb taught each workshop under the trees by our pond and I think the only hiccups we experienced were the Canadian geese fighting on the pond as she was speaking during one of the workshops, and a low flying prop plane that buzzed us several times during another. Obviously word was out about the great time we were having and they all, fliers and fowl alike, wanted to get in on the fun.
I learned so much from Barb and I also learned a lot from the other photographers in attendance. Everyone was very willing to share what works for them, and I so wish we could have had more time to visit and really get to know each other. Barb packs her workshops with such an unbelievable amount of valuable information, I was glad I had three different opportunities to soak it all up.
I found myself on the fringe of most of the photo shoots, knowing I could probably call some of the models back for one-on-one practice sessions after the workshops were over. I've already asked a few of the moms, and they are all game to let me practice on their kiddos.
How nice is that?!
Here are a few of the shots I did get - Montana has the cutest kids on the planet!
So, with the workshops behind me, it's been back to life as normal around here. My hubby and I spent a much needed weekend just playing - something we hadn't done for months as all our together time had consisted of work, work, work.
Saturday morning we ate our way around our local farmers market and then later in the day took a drive to this beautiful mountain lake.
He kept shushing me in case there was a moose to be seen, and I kept talking loud in case there was a moose that wanted to chase me into the lake.
No moose. I win.
Sunday we went on a vertical hike to this lake.
I almost died, it was so steep. I've been here two other times and I don't remember my life flashing in front of my eyes before. I blame it on the high elevation and thin air, even though there's a good chance the elevation was similar the last time I went. Perhaps there really is something to all that global warming talk and the oceans rising and all. That would change the elevation, wouldn't it?
Regardless, it was steep and that's not all.....there were actually two more lakes just waiting to be visited above this one.
I had a serious heart to heart with my hubby and asked him if he really wanted to have to carry me all the way back to the car or should we just call it a day at the first lake and he said I could wait for him at the first lake, but then he wouldn't be able to protect me from the bears/moose/wolves that were just waiting in the bushes for a chance to get me and finally we reached a deal wherein I told him I'd go to the second lake, but couldn't guarantee the third, so off we went.
More huffing and puffing and high heart rates later, here is lake two.
And here's my very own mountain goat checking his GPS and calculating whether he can get another 400 feet of elevation gain out of his pathetic excuse for a hiking partner.
Too make a long, painful, and pretty darn boring story short, we made it to the third lake.
Was it worth it? Absolutely. God's creation in all it's gorgeous, icy blue green, crystal clear splendor. Breathtaking to say the least. Quite possibly the prettiest place I've ever been.
On our way back down we stopped at a scenic overlook. Gorgeous craggy mountains in every direction.
And then in this direction, a sight that's much too familiar to residents of the Mountain West.
From here, it was hard to tell exactly where the fire was, but as we drove home, it became apparent it was in our very own neck of the woods.
Summer fires are inevitable around here, but it's usually August before they start breaking out. This one was probably caused by a lightning strike last week. It's not as close as it looks - probably a good twelve miles away from us back in the wilderness, but we can already smell the smoke and hear the helicopters overhead. Hopefully, it won't get much worse than this, but we've had summers where the smoke is so thick we don't see the sun for weeks on end.
So, that sums up what's happening in my corner of the world. My favorite time of year is slipping away much too fast for my liking and I need to find a way to put the brakes on.
Summertime, summertime, oh how I love thee.
"In summer, the song sings itself."
~William Carlos Williams