4th of July Backyard Fun with Cheese

After our long walk in French Park on the 4th of July Antoine and I ran some errands and then headed over to my sister's house to relax for the evening.  My sister and brother-in-law were out of town for the weekend and we were supposed to feed their cats that night so we decided to take advantage of their newly finished patio and grill up some dinner while we were there.  Hijacking your backyard is what family is all about, right?  Anyway, we decided to bring Cheese along since our backyard isn't fenced in so he doesn't really have the opportunity to run around unleashed unless he's at the dog park.  And we also obviously brought his beloved ball to keep him company.  He loves that thing!  And I brought along my camera, because obviously it's been too long since I dedicated an entire post to Cheese.  Prepare yourself for some cuteness...
Playing fetch is awesome!
Except when mom won't give you the ball!
Not surprising, but after a while he usually gets tired and gives up.  
Basset hounds need to relax too!  But once they get their second wind, they're back at it...
That face!
Antoine snapped this photo of me and Cheesy and I'm in love with it!  I usually hate having my picture taken, but I had had a couple drinks and look at him posing like a little angel.  So cute!

That was our 4th of July; a nice long walk in French Park, running errands, and some fun with Cheese in my sis' backyard.  It was laid back and relaxing, just the way we like it.  I have some more photos to share from that weekend, but I'll probably save those for next weekend.  Until next time...



We all know how crazy I am about flowers.  Obsessive is probably the best way to describe me when there are flowers around and I have a camera in my hands.  The only thing that's with bees buzzing around them.  I don't know what I find so interesting about it, but bees collecting pollen/nectar is just so mesmerizing to me!  Maybe it's that they are busily doing their job and barely noticing that there's a large camera shoved in their little bee faces?  They're so intent on collecting that pollen or nectar, so focused on the task, that they aren't scary anymore.  When a bee is just buzzing around, especially around my head, I find them terrifying.  I am constantly worried of getting stung.  But when a bee is busy at work all my fears melt away because I really seem to be the last thing on their mind.  It's kind of awesome.  So, here, a photo dump of flowers and bees...

I have more July 4th photos to share, probably this week, but I also took a bunch of photos this weekend that I'm really looking forward to sharing soon.  Until then, have a great day!


A Walk on the Fourth

Let's rewind for a bit and go back to July 4th weekend.  I took a bunch of photos that weekend, but of course I was too busy editing and sharing Hawaii photos to think about them, until now!  Our fourth of July weekend was very laid back, mainly because my back was still bothering me.  But I was also getting antsy from spending most of my evenings resting indoors so I was dying to get out of the house and do something.  Antoine and I decided to go to French Park and take a long, slow walk with Cheese...
I really don't know who likes French Park more, us or Cheese!  It's such a great park.

I love when Cheese gets a burst of energy and goes nuts!  It's so much fun to watch him run around!
Haha, this just makes me smile!
And just like that, the energy is gone!
After his running spree Cheese proceeded to pull Antoine over into the shade of a tree and plop down for a while.  Poor guy!

I'm not going to go on and on about how much I love this place, because that's already a widely known fact in these parts.  But there's just something about a walk in the woods when you've been laid up in the house for a couple weeks that brings you back to life...even if it does leave you a little sore in the end.  I have some more French Park photos and July 4th weekend photos to share next weekend.  Until then, happy Friday and have a great weekend!


Petal Explosion

Every year I eagerly look forward to the summer for a variety of reason, blueberry picking, hikes in French Park, bike rides with Antoine, etc.  But I also really look forward to summertime because it is when our Rose of Sharon tree erupts with flowers.  Sometime in April the leaves begin to grow, then in late May the buds start to form.  Then usually by the end of June or the beginning of July the buds start to blossom with big, pale pink flowers.  It's a petal explosion and I love it!  And so do the bees (which just makes me love it even more!).  What I love most about the tree is that it flowers pretty much all summer!  New blossoms just keep blooming throughout July and August!  It's a constantly source of beauty and pollen.  We even say a hummingbird feeding on the tree the other day, which I had never seen before!

I also took a quick detour to our back porch to snap some photos of our pretty lavender we have growing in a pot...

Late in the day is usually when the bees really come out...and we know how I like taking pictures of flowers and bees!  What can I say, it makes me happy for some reason.
A beetle joining in on the fun.

I was also looking forward to sharing these photos because they were all shot manually.  I have a bad habit of shooting in automatic or one of the preset modes out of convenience, but I'm really trying to get away from that and expand my skills.  Since I'm self-taught it's been a constant struggle with that lazy part of myself  to branch out and experiment...but I know it'll make me better in the long run, even if it takes more time and energy.  I still think there are times when automatic is the way to go and I will admit that I will almost always have my lens on auto-focus, because I don't trust my eyes and it takes me forever.  But in times like these when it's the weekend and I'm just playing around...why not!  Well, except that I look like a crazy person standing in my front yard in front of a tree for 45 minutes taking pictures of flowers.  The neighbors will just have to get used to it!