Hunter's Weekend – Labor Day

We went camping over Labor Day with the kids and some good friends (missed you J’s). September 1st is opening Grouse Season (and my husband’s birthday every year) so up the mountain we went. It was a chilly 24 degrees that first morning at 6:30 am, but by the time we reached the summit around 7:30 it was a balmy 39 degrees! HA! Sometimes in photography, you just have to be at the right place at the right time if you want to see the things only God can do, and being up on this peak was the right place to be that day. There was a fire somewhere in the distant hills that created a smoky haze over the land which was breathtaking. (Or wait … was it because it was so dang cold that my breath was taken away!) You know, it’s always been said that the best time of day to shoot is early in the morning and at sunset. Maybe that’s why I never get those great shots — cause I usually like to sleep in until … oh, say 9:00 when we’re camping. But, I do the wifey hunting thing for the first hunt every year and have never regretted it yet. It is so beautiful up there.

We hiked down a mountain (then back up a mountain) to grouse hunt and when we returned it was close to 9:00. These are some of the shots taken after that as we hiked and hunted the next ridge. They are quite different from the first one … seriously, the things only God can do!

Happy 55th birthday Mike. Love you. XXO

And here’s the four mighty hunters on the third day’s hunt — Mike with 9-year old mighty-hunter dog Sammy (born a Golden Retriever … shaved a Labrador), friend Jim and 6-year old Sage, son Matt, son-in-law Robby.

You know the movie “Jurassic Park” where the raptors screech while they are hunting down the humans? Well, there were two Sentinel Jays that came into our camp several times a day screeching as if to say “get out of here!” I tried and tried and tried to get a good picture finally coming up with these two as the best of oh, maybe 30 shots! It was an obsession to say the least but so amazing to see something rarely seen.

Hunting for photography subjects with KJ produced the following pics. It’s so fun to venture out with someone who loves photography and wants to learn more and she got some great shots! The first are berries that good-tasting grouse come from. Surprisingly, these were the only berries we saw. “Here birdy, birdy.”

Flowers are some of my favorite things to photograph … even if they are weeds … of which bees have no distinction.

These water-flowers were itty-bitty — about 1/4″ in diameter. They were rooted under water (see their reflections?) along the river banks where the water was a bit warmer (if that’s possible because it was like ice).

We almost stepped on these next little flowers since they only stood about an inch off the ground. I was using my 50-135mm lens at 135mm at f/2.8 which blurs out the leaves and rocks making you think the flowers were much bigger than they really were. They weren’t. They were about a half-inch wide if that.

Back at camp there were frogs all around and my not-so-fond-of-bugs-and-creepy-crawly-thingsย grandson, MJ (now almost 2 years old), got over some of his squeamishness. His folks and I were so proud! He later even learned to catch ’em all by himself! He’s going to make such a great big brother come April!

Camping with two toddlers two-months apart and only months from their two-year-old birthdays can pose its challenges. There was the occasional hitting, pushing, crying, yelling, pouting, and shouting but it’s to be expected. I think my kids are fantastic parents, each and every one, but sometimes after explaining something for the 10th time …

… you just need to stretch out and take the weight of parenting off your shoulders …

… maybe even have an adult “time out” …

… and let Gramma and Grampa take over for a while. As for Sydney, that girl knows how to have some water fun!

And when the play time is over, it’s time to wind down with a good book before campfire.

And speaking of camp fire, Robby can really build ’em.

But if you can’t take the heat, get out of the campground …

… until next year that is!

And oh yea … GO BSU! Mike and Jim grilled us up a little Georgia Bulldog while they listened to the game on the truck radio. The meat wasn’t even tough. ๐Ÿ™‚

Roberta Johnston - September 7, 2011 - 5:20 AM

My only complaint about these pictures…..Mike should have been wearing a Boise State hat! It comes in Orange too and would work for hunting! Other than that….breathtaking! Mary you need to be putting some of these in the Idaho Outdoors photo contest, but then again if you did, you’d be going up against some really good photographers like my son, Beau! haha, no really Mary, your photos of Idaho are stunning and are worthy of winning a contest, I am so glad you have that eye that can see what those of us miss, in this crazy, busy world, you help us to stop and “smell the roses” or at least stop, if only for a moment, and see what the Lord has created!! You have my Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval….. - September 7, 2011 - 6:10 AM

Oh, that’s funny about the hat Roberta. You are absolutely right! I took one photo that I will now need to add of Mike and Jim sporting their man aprons. Mike’s is BSU! I didn’t know Beau did this too — how cool — and yes, I intended to enter that contest and it sat by my desk and I never did it and was then mad at myself. Next year I promise to not let my lack of confidence get the best of me. Thank you for encouraging me as always.

Megan - September 7, 2011 - 6:25 AM

That second picture has Western Idaho Fair “Best of Show” written all over it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Fun but COLD weekend. Oh, and thanks…really, thanks for the mouth-open sleeping picture. Guess it could have been worse, right? And it was such a lovely nap…. - September 7, 2011 - 6:38 AM

Hee hee hee! I remember a much less flattering sleeping pic that showed up on you blog once of me. You know what they say about paybacks don’t you? So glad you guys came!!! Love you.

Sent from my iPhone

Roberta Johnston - September 7, 2011 - 3:23 PM

Thanks for adding the last photo and the commentary about Georgia! Now your Labor Day weekend pictures are complete!! (:

Aubrey - September 7, 2011 - 6:27 PM

WOW WOW WOW!!!! Those pics are STUNNING. I am so impressed. Looks like fun, wish I could have camping-crashed your group ๐Ÿ˜€

Your Man - September 7, 2011 - 7:47 PM

It was a great time. The weather friends and family all made it perfect. Great pics babe. Next time hand me the camera to get a pic of you with our grandkids. Love you after 36. - September 7, 2011 - 11:04 PM

Aubrey, seriously, thank you! As for crashing the party … any ol’ time! Your boys would have a blast!

Beth - The Botut Blog - September 9, 2011 - 2:52 PM

OH MY GOSH! Just when I think I have found a favorite post you do something like this and make me re-think my favorite!! I love ALL the photos and cracked up at the “Born a golden retriever, shaved a lab.” Although, I must say I’d have to kill you for posting a picture of me sleeping. Why? Because I don’t sleep pretty like Megan does. I’d be all open mouth and drooling!

Awesome stuff Mary!

Cathie Alonzo - September 9, 2011 - 7:24 PM

Cousin Mary, you have definitely found your calling! Your are always just amazing!! Thanks for sharing. - September 9, 2011 - 9:35 PM

The sleeping picture? Pay back … only I DID look like you described!

justleesha - September 11, 2011 - 2:39 PM

Love all these Mary! All the landscape photos for soooo beautiful!

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