State Parks in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is home to 66 state parks. And as a family, my husband and I have only been to five. And one of the five barely counts because we were only there for a few minutes. In the next couple of years, I would like to change that.

The five that we’ve been to include: Amnion Falls, Highcliff, Peninsula, Whitefish Dunes, and Newport.

I’m in a Facebook group about the Wisconsin State Parks, and it is lovely to see all the photos throughout the state. This group, was actually, part of the reason how I came up with this goal of visiting all the parks.

Below are the top three parks that I am trying to make a priority for 2023.

Copper Falls

I grew up about an hour away from this park, and I can honestly say that I’ve never been there. Which is unfortunate because I’ve heard good things. One of these days, we’re going to stop either on our way to or from my parents’ house.

Big Bay

This is another park that was about an hour away from where I grew up, which I have also never been to. I am a sucker for any park on Lake Superior, so I’m really excited to go here. My husband also wants to spend some time on Madeline Island, which is where this park is located.

Devil’s Lake

I have heard a lot of good things about this park from members of that Facebook group. It’s only about two hours away, so it would be perfect for a weekend getaway.

Governor Dodge

This is another park that I’ve heard good things about. It is also only about two hours away so also drivable, even for a day trip. The images on the internet look cool, and I can’t wait to take my own.

What other state parks should I make a priority? I’ll keep you all posted with every park that we go to in the upcoming months and years.

What I Love in Each Season

I love taking my camera out every chance I get. That’s why I became a photographer in the first place. And I am fortunate enough that I live in a place that experiences all four seasons, and that they are all drastically different. Here are the things that I love to photograph in each season.

Spring

In the spring, I enjoy photographing the trees before they grow their new leaves. It’s fun to explore when it’s starting to warm up after being cooped up inside all winter long. I look for every excuse to take out my sassy puddle boots instead of my boring winter ones.

Summer

During the summer months, I like to go on location scouting missions. That way, I’m prepared for sunrise and sunset. I don’t like to go to new places in the dark and have no idea what to expect. I also enjoy photographing flowers and tall grass. The sky is usually not very distracting from the grasses, so I can make them the focus. We tend to visit my parents more in the summer, so you could say my all-time favorite thing to photograph is Lake Superior.

Fall

I’m a basic white girl, and I’ll say I love photographing the fall color. The leaves that I don’t enjoy in the spring, become the main excitement in the fall. We also tend to travel more in the fall, so I take more photos of very different locations than what I usually get to see.

Winter

Call me crazy, but I prefer photographing sunrise in the winter. Even though it’s cold and snowy, sunrise isn’t as early in the winter. It’s also more cooperative than during the summer. I’m one of those people who likes to look at the snow. I think it’s pretty, and it beats looking at dead grass for six months.

What are your favorite things to photograph? I’d love to hear more about them in the comments below.

Solo Travel

I just got back from my first solo overnight trip. As you know, I had a craft fair in Stratford, which is about two hours away from house. And since it was for both days, I didn’t want to keep driving back and forth. There were a few hiccups, but overall it went really well. 

Bad Times

The first minor issue was the hotel confirmation, which I figured out. 

The second one, was my car notified me that two of my tires were low about halfway through. So I had to stop just before sunrise and fill them. No big deal. 

The third was I forgot to pack a fork for my dinner. But my hotel was right next to Walmart so that wasn’t an issue either. 

The fourth inconvenience was it snowed on and off all day so the roads were a little slippery, but it’s winter in Wisconsin, so it’s to be expected. 

The final non-issue was that Google maps took me down the county roads instead of the highway to save me two minutes. I questioned it because it seemed weird, but it worked out in the end and I saw some lovely scenes that I wish I had had time to photograph. I guess that was Google’s way of telling me that I have to come back sooner rather than later. 

Good Times

I did really well at this craft fair. I’m going to be busy these next two weeks rebuilding my inventory for the next craft fair I have. Which is a good problem to have and I’m not complaining. 

It was also surprisingly easy to navigate around. I am directionally challenged, and, while I didn’t drive around too much, I didn’t get really lost. 

Last night, I got all of the bookmarks laminated and ready to cut. I wish I had had time to make more greeting cards, but it was getting late so I decided not to.

That was how my first solo trip went. It wasn’t terrible, but I would much rather have someone to keep me company in the car. Do you like to travel alone? Let me know your experiences in the comments below.

Bookmarks

I was trying to brainstorm projects for my photography. And I’ve been toying with the idea of making bookmarks. I told my husband that, and he mentioned that he wanted me to do that because he needs a new one.

I found a few of the photos that looked good at that size and I ordered them from Vistaprint. 

My husband suggested laminating them so they last longer, and I thought that was a great idea so I looked on Amazon for the supplies.

Everything finally came last week, and I don’t know who was more excited about that, me or him. He’s asked me twice now if his bookmark was done.

I’m staying at a hotel tonight, away from our cat so I thought it would be the perfect time to get as many bookmarks made as I can. She is very inquisitive and sheds, and I don’t want to laminate cat hair.

Laminating my bookmarks.

I’ve learned some things while making these bookmarks.

First off, I much prefer laminating one at a time in a 4×6 sleeve, versus laminating four in an 8×10 sleeve.

Second, I’m not a good cutter with scissors. So I need to use a paper cutter in order to cut straight. I didn’t order one of those, so I’ll have to borrow one from someone.

Third, this is a lot easier when I don’t have a helper. I do miss her though.

I almost finished this bookmark. I just Have to trim it down to size.

I’ll add these to my Etsy shop soon. I just have to trim them down and photograph them. Let me know which one your favorite is. Also, let me know what other images I should include in my inventory. 

50 States Goal

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved to travel. I love exploring new places and trying new things. Since before I got married, I have wanted to visit all 50 states. This country has a lot of natural beauty to offer, and while I do want to travel abroad, someday, I recognize that there is a lot to see here too.

I’m so glad that my husband also likes to travel, or this would be harder to accomplish. We try and take one big trip each year, usually around our anniversary. Early in our marriage, we decided to do that instead of getting each other gifts. We would both rather have the experience and the time.

So far, we’ve seen 10 states. Sort of. We’ve been to the UP once, and just for half a day and we didn’t really see much, so maybe it doesn’t count. But for argument’s sake, I’ll add it.

We’ve also been to Minnesota, Illinois, South Dakota, Maine, Arizona, Utah, Iowa, New York, and Wisconsin. My husband tends to pick the east coast, and I tend to pick the southwest.

We were supposed to go to Hawaii for our tenth anniversary, but Covid killed that dream. And now we’re both kind of salty about that idea right now. Not that it was Hawaii’s fault or anything like that.

And for 2023 we’re going to add at least one more state goal if not two or three. Depending on what life throws at us. Any guesses as to where we want to go out of the 50 states?

Craft Fair Blunder

I have another craft fair this weekend. This one is in Stratford, and the This and That Wisconsin Store. If you’re in the area, please stop by and say hello. Also, bring me coffee. I have to leave my house around 5 am on Saturday. It’s a two-day event, and too far away to go home Saturday night, so I’ll be staying overnight somewhere nearby.

I was starting to get ready for the trip, and I wanted to see if my room had a mini-fridge and microwave (because some don’t) so I could bring my dinner with me. And I can’t find my hotel reservation. I booked it in early October, and I can’t find the email.

I remember sitting at my kitchen table looking at it with my husband while dinner was cooking, and I remember picking a hotel. Apparently, I didn’t book it.

I’ve looked through both my emails and my credit card statements. I even tried looking at Google Maps, because I wanted to see how far it was from the event. Nothing. I finally texted him to see if he remembered the name of the hotel so I could search for that in my email. His memory is just as bad as mine is apparently.

At least my credit card wasn’t charged. Hopefully, it won’t be because I didn’t cancel the reservation. And now I get to book probably the same hotel again. They look cheaper than they were whenever I looked last. I’m so glad I thought to look. It would have been a nightmare on Saturday trying to find a place to stay.

Hopefully, this craft fair will go well, despite this blunder with booking a hotel. I’ll let you know when I get back.

***Update***

I found the hotel I thought I booked, but I wasn’t 100% sure. So I called and checked. And I did book the room. So honestly, disregard this whole blog post.

The Gales of November Came Early

A few weeks ago, we went up to visit my parents for the weekend. And I was hoping to try and photograph Lake Superior at sunrise and capture some fun colors of the sun and clouds interacting. The gales of November came early, so I didn’t attempt sunrise.

As you know, I’ve struggled to capture the sunrise on this lake. I do have many cool shots of her on cold, gray, and rainy days, and I’m happy with those. But I’m part of several Lake Superior groups on Facebook, and I’ve seen what the sun and clouds can do, and I want to capture that magic.

It was cold and rainy, and I considered not even going out. But since I don’t get to visit as often as I would like, I knew that I had to go out with my camera. I somehow talked my husband and my brother to tag along.

Maslowski Beach

We stopped at one of my usual spots just down the road from my parents’ house. We were only there for a few minutes, and I am so happy that we went there.

My camera shutter takes multiple photos if I hold the button, and I usually do that, just in case, and I captured the progression of the waves crashing against this tree. When I was looking through my photos on my computer, I saw it, and I had to share the images with you guys.

Washburn Marina

Then we went to the Washburn Marina because the waves were crazy big there when we had gone earlier with my mom and grandma. Spoiler, they had calmed down a little bit by the time we got there.

West End Park

The final destination of the day was West End Park. By this time, I was soaked to the bone, and my camera was also pretty damp. So it was a quick get out, snap a few photos, and get back in the car.

I’m not sure if we’re going to make it back up there anymore this year, but if we do, I’ll be sure to blog about it. And who knows, maybe the sun will cooperate with me. I am much happier with these photos than the more recent ones that I’ve captured. The gales of November definitely were fun to photograph.

30 Blog Posts of November Halfway Done

NaNoWriMo is halfway over. And with that my 30 days of blog posts is halfway done too. I was attempting to keep track of my word count on that site, but I forgot to add the words one day, and now I don’t remember where I left off.

Not that my word count really matters this time around. This time, I’m working on consistency. I’m more concerned about posting every day than tracking my word count. The last time I checked, I was at about 5500 words. It’s probably closer to 6000 now. I guess I’m not curious enough to figure that out.

I hope you’re enjoying my 30 blog posts of November. I’ve got 14 more to go if you’re not, and then I’ll be back to posting twice a week. Are two posts enough? Or do you want to see it somewhere between two and seven? Let me know how many posts you want to see in the comments.

I know I’ve had several posts lately with no photos. And since this is a photography blog, I feel conflicted about that. I promise, that I’ll post more photos soon. In the meantime, check out my Instagram.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? How’s it going for you? What are you working on? Let me know in the comments below.

100 Blog Posts

This blog post marks my 100 for me. I feel like this is the longest that I’ve committed to a project since my fiction writing days several years ago. I should really get back into that too one of these days.

It’s been almost two years since I started this blog, and I really enjoy it. This is one aspect of my business that I’m not willing to give up. I’m also trying to nurture this blog so it can grow and help my business become more than a side hustle.

I’ve been trying to blog at least twice a week to not burn myself out, but still grow a following. Sometimes it was more. Most of the time it was less. But for the rest of this year and all of next, I’m committing to two posts a week. I have them already planned out so it should be easy sailing from here.

My favorite posts to write were of all of our trips. I especially enjoyed our Utah vacation; it was so different than what we’re used to seeing in Wisconsin.

Speaking of Wisconsin, I also love writing about Lake Superior. That lake is home and I will never grow tired of photographing that. Even though we’re having difficulties with sunrise.

I can’t wait to see what the next 100 posts will look like. I’ve got a lot of plans for next year, and some huge goals that I can’t wait to share with you guys in the next couple of weeks. The next milestone is to get 100 followers.

The Photography Genre that Intimidates Me

As you all know, I’m a landscape photographer. And I love every minute of it. There is one genre that intimidates me; the type of work that I won’t take no matter how desperate I may get.

That genre is weddings.

I don’t want the stress of trying to get the perfect shot for the happy couple. I also don’t want to ruin their day with any of the number of things that could go wrong on my end. Especially for what wedding photographers charge these days.

With landscape photography, if I miss the shot, I can always try again. But with weddings, if I miss the shot, I can’t ask the couple to have their first kiss again. And I may not know that I missed the shot until I go back and look through the photos on my computer.

Maybe you could blame imposter syndrome on that feeling. We’ve all gone through that at some point. And it is something that I struggle with almost every day. That feeling of, “I’m not a real photographer. What was I thinking? I’m a total fraud.”

The thing is, I know what I’m doing. At least, most of the time anyway. And I know I know this. I have a college degree in journalism that can vouch for that. I also get a lot of validation at craft fairs saying that my work is beautiful, nice, stunning, insert adjective here.

Anyway, this post wasn’t supposed to turn into that, but it is what it is I guess. What genre intimidates you? Do you deal with imposter syndrome? What are your tips for getting out of that spiral? This is a judgment-free zone so don’t worry about that.