Wow! I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I've posted here. Sheesh! I have been posting in my daily photo blog , so I haven't been totally AWOL. In fact, David gifted me with the new Nikon D5 earlier this summer and I've been learning how to use it. I've challenged myself to explore our area here in NW Arkansas once or twice a week, to get off the beaten path and find new spots to photograph or new techniques to try out. It's been a lot of fun and I'm slowly getting over my intimidation of the new camera.

Yep, I'm just a wee bit "skeered" of this new machine that sits on my desk, staring at me. Haven't you ever been "skeered" of some new technology or equipment? Just a little?

But it's been a lot of fun finding new things to shoot and I feel like I'm learning a lot. I found this little community church on the way to the kayak park that's located in a near by town. Just something about little country churches really speaks to me and sets off my imagination, especially ones that have been on site for longer than I've been alive. I like to imagine all the potluck dinners and weddings and gatherings that happened here and how happy the building must've been to house all the those generations of congregants.

Something else that I've been learning is how to compose a photograph while kayaking. That is quite the challenge! I see the photo unfolding before me, but by the time I get my camera out of the waterproof bag, the photo has pretty much floated out of range. Take this photo of David and Joe that I took on our most recent paddle down the White River:

I saw this scene before me and scrambled for my bag, yanked out my camera, got the lens cap off . . . but I had drifted too far to the right and my boat was cock eyed to the boys. So I put the camera back in the bag, grabbed my paddle and paddled back into position and repeated the whole process, but this time managed to snag the shot before drifting over to the left and facing the wrong way altogether. It's a learning process, making me really think about composition and and focal length and proximity to the subject. It's fun, though, and like I said, I'm really learning a lot (also, can you spot the mink in the last two photos?).

David and Joe and I have been doing a lot of kayaking lately, in fact, just about every weekend that it hasn't been raining, we've been out on the water. Over the Fourth of July weekend, we drove over to Oklahoma City to check out the adventure park, Riversport Adventures, which boasted white water rafting, kayaking and tubing, as well as all kinds of climbing, slides and zip lining, which by far was my favorite part. Meghan got to come with us, so between the four of us we managed to hit all the different sections. It was a lot of fun, tiring, but lots and lots of fun. Oklahoma City is a pretty cool place, anyway, but this just added to it. I'm hoping for a repeat performance before summer ends. That zipline sure was fun . . . 

Speaking of midsummer, I recently had the honor of covering the production of William Shakespeare's comedy, "A Midsummer Night's Dream", put on by The Crude Mechanicals, a theatrical group made up of college and graduate school students. This play is one of my favorites, and this group of young actors (and actresses!) did not disappoint. It was a fantastic production, and the storms that were predicted to hit right when the show was to start held off till later that night. There was drama! and romance! and comedy! and fairies running amok! and it was just all around wonderful. It truly was a magical night.

Last but not least, Joe haas been humoring me with getting his portrait made this summer. The trick is that I have to have everything planned and set up and it has to be completed in no less than five minutes, ten being the maximum. No pressure, huh? But I bake him cookies and muffins for payment, so I guess it's a win for both of us. I know I won't have this opportunity for long, so I got to take advantage of it while I can.

And that's a wrap. I hope you all are having a wonderful summer!