Monday, April 13, 2015

Hiking Minnehaha Creek

I've been wanting to take Olive and June to Minnehaha Falls for a few weeks now. The days that I intended to go kept ending up with bad weather or something else getting in the way. Yesterday, while I was photographing a baby, Tyler took and Olive and June to the waterfall.. but that's what I had planned for today! Oops! But my plan was more to start at the waterfall and hike the trail down the Mississippi River. So.. it still worked out. :)

We parked at the Wabun Picnic Area and made our way down to the creek. We even brought Honey along.

Olive kept insisting on walking Honey. They did a pretty good job together but it was fairly comical to witness. Honey doesn't get out much - so she was really excited. And Olive doesn't walk her much - so she was a little all over the place.

I have quite a few photos of them just looking tangled or running into each other.

Honey doesn't wear a collar at home (she is prettier without it) and she hates the gentle leader. Here she is trying to get it off, as always.

Olive and Honey did great on this boardwalk together, until Honey jumped off to smell something and Olive didn't let go. I yelled ahead for her to just drop the leash.. rather than be pulled into a puddle of mud. She "let" me lead Honey for a few minutes after that.

Olive was really proud of herself for going on the side of the creek with the actual hiking trail. Some of the rocks and roots were big for her so she had to keep her balance, grab onto things, etc.

She preferred that I have Honey for a lot of the trail since it was narrow and so close to the water.

I took this photo because she was saying "I'M DOING SUCH A GOOD JOB!"

I was wearing my hiking boots and she was wearing Toms. ha. I really need to find some shoes with great traction for her.

She found a tiny shell.

She climbed up onto this bench (it's fairly high off the ground), threw up her hand, and said "hey" in a funny voice out of the corner of her mouth.

She's pretty cool.

We got to talk about sandstone. That was pretty great.

June was getting pretty jealous at this point that he was stuck in the carrier.

She seems to love sand.

We finally made it to the river. I had planned to let June wander around down here but there was so much broken glass.

We need to tour some lock and dams in our area. I remember those well from when I was a kid. I've tried to describe them to Olive but it really helps to actually be on one.

She kept getting her shoes a little wet. Honey ran in for a drink and a little splash but I encouraged her to stay close.. since it's a river..

We walked over to where the creek meets the river and suddenly I heard a clicking sound. I realized it was my camera's shutter. I had it over my shoulder, so it was kind of under my arm.. I assume I was somehow hitting the button. I look down and realize that June had leaned himself over and was taking photos with my camera. So I have about 10 like this.

15 or so of this.

And three of these. Olive ran over to investigate what was going on and immediately requested that June take her photo. Great collaboration guys.

We used the timer and a log. Do you like the branch in my face? I'm not a professional or anything.... :P

And then June snapped a few more photos of Olive. He has impressive aim when hovering above the camera.

Of course Olive then wanted a turn to take photos, too.

We took this wider path back towards the car. It's on the other side of the creek. I'm glad we did because I was pretty worn out and it was so much faster, for obvious reasons.

I encouraged Olive to keep up a good pace by suggestion a trip to get donuts.

June preferred the Christmas lights at Mel O Glaze Bakery.

We actually didn't end up with any donuts. I got a huge cherry coffee cake, Olive got a heart cookie, June got a chocolate chip cookie, Honey got two dog cookies, and I got a coffee. For $2.75. We took it to go so Honey wouldn't have to wait long. And because it was already past June's nap time. My intent with his cookie was twofold - so he would be sad that Olive was eating a treat in the car and he wasn't, but also in hopes that a cookie would keep him occupied and awake on the drive home. The woman at the counter said that next time we can bring Honey inside. It was nice of her to offer.. But I don't think Honey is that kind of dog. Maybe someday.

If you would like to see more from our hike, check out the gallery here.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in April

There are a few places I want to make it a priority to visit frequently. They're close to home and really wonderful.

At different times on the weekends there is something called the Family Garden Ramble at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary. We didn't end up discovering what exactly that is... but we had fun visiting anyways.

From the photos it looks like we're miles outside of a city.. enjoying a rustic adventure all to ourselves. But this garden and forest is actually a small oases in the city and is less than a 10 minute drive down the parkway from our house. An easy bike ride, too.

I often travel with my 28mm. It's short so it's easy to fit, doesn't take up space when I'm carrying it, isn't long enough to hit things, and therefore has a smaller chance to getting damaged than a longer lens or a zoom with moving parts.

I love the 28mm for a lot of reasons. I recently started trying to take photos of myself with a kiddo or two using it because it's wide enough and has a short focusing distance. It's much harder than a phone but enjoyable nonetheless.

Olive made us stop at the map and show Tyler what we were going to do and where we were going to do it. It seems that coming here for the Nature Tots program a few times has made Olive an expert.

The visitor's center is so pretty.

There is always a fire burning inside. It's just down the hill when you enter the park. I love walking in to the smell of burning wood.

The little DoodleBug explorer mice came along for the trip.

This time of the year, when the trees only have little buds, if anything, is nice because you can see so far and get a really good idea of the topography of the land.

We found one green thing.

Another great thing about no leaves on the trees is the way the sunlight reaches the forest floor and casts such long and interesting shadows.

June didn't want to be in the Ergo carrier for long. He soon wanted Tyler's arms. And soon after that he wanted to be down. The path was recently covered with mulch.. which June was delighted about.

He very excitedly ran up to me with a stick and some mulch he had collected.


June running up hill is pretty amusing. Kind of like slow motion.

Oh, the light.

June found a puddle of water on a rock. Olive said it was for deer to drink. June said it was for bathing his mouse.

Olive stopped at this sign and attempted to read it. "Staie-oon Ta-ra-ah-eye-el" Close....

A climber and a photographer.

Then we meandered into the wildflower garden. It's mostly tall dead grass right now. Which is kind of my favorite.

I asked Tyler to take some photos with me in them. I'm glad I did.

He took that one, too.

This is Olive teaching me something about seeds. Or telling me her plan. I don't recall which. But this is her "I'm informing you of something" face.

She found some seeds in a pod that didn't fall.


Look! It's me!

I think June was trying to feed the camera lens.

If you would like to see all of the photos from our little adventure click here.