The Cherry Street Farmer’s Market on an September Saturday

The Cherry Street Farmer’s Market on an September Saturday

So often Scott is the photographer between the two of us. I tend to be the scout; the one who finds the moments and places in time for him to capture with his Sony A6000. However, there are times I feel a need to take photos. Unfortunately, I take photos with my Sony A5100 so rarely that I forget how what buttons do what on it. I have been trying to be better at this, but it is just so much easier to take photos using my Samsung Galaxy 9.


I decided one Saturday morning during the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market it was time to pull out my actual camera and practice taking photos. Normally, I meet my daughter Amber at the coffee shop just feet from my apartment, but she was unable to walk the market with me this Saturday so I had no excuses; it was going to be a perfect morning to take photos and I really needed the practice.


Grabbing my fabric bags to put produce in and camera bag, I set out at just before sunrise to decide where would be the best place to start snapping photos of this magical event. Our local Cherry Street Farmers’ Market starts up every spring on the first Saturday of April and ends the third Saturday in October from 7:00 am until 11:30 am. The street for three blocks is shut off to traffic and people wonder about cheerfully. It is where the community comes together to purchases their weekly produce, samples the treats, and celebrate the beautiful Oklahoma mornings.

 

 

 

 

Our farmers’ market is not like what you will see in the movies or on television, it is only has four, maybe five vegetable vendors, maybe two or three artists, a couple of food trucks and a smattering of prepared food vendors. It is pretty small, but it is perfect for our square mile community. We all like it this way because most of the vendors know what each customer is looking for and they even know our names! Often my daughter will pick up my produce when I am not able to attend the market due to Scott and I traveling and the vendors know that she is mine and shopping for me. Yes, I do love our farmers’ market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite things about the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market is that there is live music being played every weekend. One weekend it will be the Falsey Twins who play the blues, another weekend the piano man will be banging on his upright piano (an actual wooden upright piano) while his wife belts out a ballad, and yet another weekend there will be an old-timey musician playing causing everyone to break out in shared song and dance. Everyone seems to enjoy the music, no matter the genre; they are extremely generous when they toss money in the bucket of appreciation.

 

 

Most importantly, the best thing you will find at this little Saturday farmers’ market are the people who have made it possible. There is so much work that goes into putting on such an event. Someone has to get up before 5:00 am, set up the closure signs, get vendor spots set up, take care of the city permits, and all the other things no one really sees as they wander through the market tasting, buying, and enjoying. They are amazing people who are dedicated to being on our little bit of heaven every Saturday from April until the middle of October no matter the weather. Yes, they are what makes this event so magical.

 


I was able to take so many wonderful photos that September morning while the morning light was still low and making everything golden. I am not able to tell you what my settings were on the camera, but I can tell you that it is days like this that get me excited about taking photos and maybe making someone smile. Even though the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market is gone for a short while, I can look back and remember the magical morning I had.

Thanks for spending time with me today,
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All photos in this post were taken by me and are my property

Cedar Hills State Park – photography project

Cedar Hills State Park – photography project

Cedar Hills State Park is a Texas State Park located on Joe Pool Lake within the Dallas metropolitan area. When Ren and I lived in Fort Worth it was about a half an hour from our home, which made it convenient when we wanted to get outside during the week without a long drive. Back when I was first learning photography Cedar Hills was often where I went to practice.

Being a new photographer, I went through a period where I was obsessed with sunsets, and Joe Pool lake often had some spectacular sunsets.

At this time I was using an old Nikon D70 I borrowed from a friend. While it was an older camera, it was still capable of some very nice photos.

Some of my favorite photos were taken with my phone, proving that it is not the quality of the gear that makes a great photo.

Later when I upgraded to my Sony camera we still came here often and I kept trying new things.

This is a composite of several photos looking North across Joe Pool Lake at the Dallas Love Field airport.

If you are learning photography, don’t be too obsessed with gear at first. As the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have with you. The best way to learn is to get out and shoot as often as possible and keep trying new things.

Safe travels,
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Scott’s Friday Photo – Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

Scott’s Friday Photo – Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

Located on Highway 64 ten miles northwest of Taos, New Mexico, the Gorge Bridge is 1280 feet long and spans the Rio Grande River and is one of the highest bridges in the country. Sources disagree over just exactly how high the bridge is above the river, with some saying 600 feet and others saying 650 feet. The gorge is particularly deep in this area because the river flows through a continental rift zone. This is an area when the continental plate tried to tear it’s self apart millions of years ago, then stopped before the separation was complete.
It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is both a National Monument and a State Park. The bridge is something of a tourist attraction with parking available along with restrooms and an observation deck. The bridge has a pedestrian shoulder so you can walk across it if you like.
Ren and I visited in August. We had not heard of the bridge, but the manager of our hotel told us we should go see it while we were in the area. I’m so glad we listened. This was my favorite part of the entire trip. If you are in the area it is well worth seeing, and if the Bus Stop Ice Cream and Coffee Stop are there, you should absolutely treat yourself. Ren loved the frozen coffee.
These photos were taken with my Sony A6000 using the SEL1850 lens. The panorama above was stitched together from 3 photos.

 


*Looking South From The Bridge *
Safe Travels
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Nope, We Ain’t Dead, Just Exhausted

Nope, We Ain’t Dead, Just Exhausted

We took a few days off from SteemIt to go visit the county of Osage here in Oklahoma. Having collected all 77 of the counties here in this state, Scott and I decided it was time to do a letting more in-depth travel and see what the largest county in Oklahoma looked like. Granted, we probably won’t be able to do this for every county in the United States, but we can do it occasionally while we do some local travel.

 

Taking a traditional sign photo for Osage County.

I am sure you are asking yourself why we decided to focus on Osage county even though we have 442 other counties that we could really dig into. First, this is the largest county in Oklahoma and there it is pretty unique in its history. Secondly, this county is close to home. Because of this, we were able to save on hotel and camping expenses by going home each evening. Granted, we found ourselves wishing we could have camped a time or two, but that is hindsight for sure. Lastly, we were just curious! That is the best reason of all!


Old trestle bridge crossing the Arkansas River from Pawnee county into Osage County.

We were able to find some pretty amazing places in this county and are excited about sharing them with you in future posts. One of the places we visited was the Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve just north of Pawhuska. We arrived early in the morning so we could get some sunrise photos. Because we arrived so early, we had time to take it slow, do a little hiking, and enjoy a surprise on the prairie!


Hiking along the creek in the middle of a prairie.

There was a bit of a shock for us once we officially arrived home, ending the trip. When we had thought about traveling to Southeast Texas, the milage was looking to be about 800 miles. Because of all the flooding in Texas, we decided to do something more local; hence, why we chose to ravel in Osage County. The mileage we traveled within Osage county came to 715 miles! We were so stunned.


Near the highest point in Osage County, the view was amazing.

Over the next few days, Scott and I will be processing the photos and videos to bring you more informative and entertaining posts about our trip. We enjoyed our travels these past few days, but can’t wait to share them with you.

“Nobody achieves anything great by being happy and cozy.” — Alex Honnold

“Nobody achieves anything great by being happy and cozy.” — Alex Honnold

This evening Scott and I went to the movies. If any of you know me, you know I hate going to movie theaters because of the loud volume and I feel like I am wasting my time. However, there are those few movies that are the exception for me. **Free Solo** is one of those movies. It is a National Geographic documentary about solo mountain climber Alex Honnold and his ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in June of 2017.
Free Soloing is a style of rock climbing where a climber does not use any type of safety gear while scaling the rock walls. Normally climbers will have harnesses and guide ropes to keep them from plunging to their deaths. However, there are some climbers who find this type of climbing to be well worth the risk. There have been thirteen notable deaths from this sport since 1913 and Ueli Steck being the most recent having fell approximately 1000 meters. Most people believe this sport to be reckless because if you fall, you die.


Click HERE to view the photo source. 

Scott and I have come across a person or two who were doing soloing on small boulders in Glen Rose, Texas, but these were just boulders; not anything like the huge granite monster in Yosemite Valley. It was interesting to see these people working their way around each boulder and I was very curious how they could figure out where the hand and foot holds were. The movie actually discussed this by showing Alex Honnold participating in a scientific study to figure out just how his brain worked in this type of situation.


Big Rocks Park in Glen Rose, Texas.

One of the things that caught my attention during the movie was when he said, ” Nobody achieves anything great by being happy and cozy.” This struck home for me. I have found when I am sitting at home comfortably, not putting myself in new situations, I am rarely accomplishing anything more than the daily chores I have deemed important. It is when I am going new places and experiencing things where I am out of my comfort zone, outside of my box, that I find I am learning something new, being more creative, and accomplishing so much more.


Ren’s living on the edge!

I may not be climbing without safety gear on the tallest mountainsides, but I am stepping out and trying to experience life the best way I know how. For me, this means driving on those twisty roads high in the mountains, going for a hike where there are wild beasts and snakes, or preparing to travel to places unknown to us. The fact is that I get out there and live.

 

If you get a chance, go see the movie **Free Solo** and see just how inspired you can be to achieve something great by getting out of your comfort zone.

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