I Got a New Camera Lens! {+Photo Dump}

Hmm, I’ve made better titles. *Wince* You know you’re a photographer when you’re that excited over a new camera lens. XD BUT SERIOUSLY! I AM EXCITED!

I just ordered a new lens for my camera, and I am loving it! It’s a Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 lens (see it here on Amazon),¬†in case you were wondering. ūüôā *Update: Whoops, I¬†accidentally said “zoom lens”¬†at first, but I don’t think it’s actually a¬†zoom lens. O.o*¬†¬†I love all the beautiful blur and bokeh it makes in the background with the subject in sharp focus. The one thing I don’t like is that I can’t get super close-up pictures unless I crop them smaller. But anyway, I’ll keep experimenting, and in the meantime, how would you like to see about a million or so pictures? Okay, maybe closer to a thousand, but still. ūüėČ ūüėõ

First I want to show you the difference between my old lens and my new lens. The next (awful) picture was taken with my old lens at ISO 800.

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TERRIBLE! But the next picture was taken with my new lens at ISO 800. It’s so much brighter because it goes down to an aperture of 1.8 instead of 4 something, which means it lets in a ton more light and thus makes the entire picture brighter. Ta-daa! (Okay, I know it still isn’t a beautiful picture, but my youngest brother kindly brought¬†the iris in for me to take pictures of¬†with my new¬†lens¬†and I¬†decided to experiment.¬†ūüôā ) So in conclusion,¬†this¬†new lens is¬†way better for indoor photography and other low-light situations.

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Now for the actually pretty pictures. ūüôā Get ready for lots of raindrops, snails, and flowers!

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I had to up the ISO quite a bit here so it’s kind of grainy, but I still like it. ūüôā

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Ohhhh this next one is one of my favorites!

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As you can see, it was getting pretty dark when I took this picture. I think it looks kind of neat that way though!

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I got¬†quite a few¬†pictures of this cute little snail meandering over a bush. ūüôā

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AWWWWW he’s so cute! ūüėÄ

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‚ÜďThis poor guy’s shell looks a bit shattered.

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The next two photos are a little different. For the first one I shined (or is it shone?) a flashlight close to the drops, and for the second one I used flash. *GASP*, she used flash?! I know it does look a bit flash-y, but I thought it was worth it to capture the neat glittery effect.

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Moss pink are such adorable, bright flowers!

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Yep, it’s a fly. ūüôā

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Lily of the Valley flowers are such charming little things, but goodness gracious, their perfume is so strong it nearly knocks you over! (Ha ha, I guess it can be that way with humans too. XD )

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I really like the next picture for some reason. It’s so crisp in the foreground and beautifully blurred in the background.

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Ahh, so pretty!

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I love this next picture! The blur makes it look so much more professional! ūüėÄ

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Taking pictures of clouds and landscapes isn’t really what this lens is made for (you can’t zoom out far enough), but I did get a decent picture of part of a cloud.

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PHEW! Are you still here? If you are, congratulations on making it through all those pictures. XD I hope you liked them!

Do you think snails are cute? Do you love raindrops on things as much as I do?

Have a lovely day, dear readers!



Photos from of Old: Entry 3

About time for another one of these, eh? These photos were taken in the summer of 2013.

First some snail pictures… (I remember I was pretty proud of these when I took them. XD And I still like them!)

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Now some flowers…

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Tiger Lily

I took this picture one night when after a family walk. Isn’t it adorable? (All of these next few pictures are edits of the original.)

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My dad, my littlest sister Carmen, and my mom. ūüėÄ
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It looks cute in B&W too. ūüôā
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Carmen is a rainbow!

I requested my siblings to pose for this one; I think I meant it to look similar to the last photo. They look so cute and tiny (well, younger at least XD) in this photo!

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Megan, Carmen, and Jeff. Just look at Carmen’s little curly head!

An edited clouds-over-field photo…

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And lastly, two miscellaneous nature photos: a mushroom and bedewed leaf.


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Thanks for time-traveling with me!


P. S. Recently my littlest sister Carmen has been determined to learn how to fly. XD XD XD She asks Mom if it’s possible for people to fly, and Mom explains that God just didn’t make humans to able to fly.¬†But¬†she thinks¬†that maybe she’ll be the first person ever to do it! XD XD XD It cracks me up! But it’s adorable too. ūüėÄ Hey, we all wish we could fly, right? One can always dream…

P. P. S. I have 111 followers! Besides the fact that that’s amazing, and “Thank you so much guys,” (but¬†seriously – THANK YOU!), isn’t 111 such a fun number?! XD

Path-Breakers (and Other Woodsy Stuff)

We were¬†recently at¬†my grandparents’ house for three days while my parents when on an anniversary trip, and during that time we made ourselves a path through their woods. It was so fun! (But, heh heh, I had to pay for it – my face is half covered in poison ivy rash now.¬†Yeah. But it’s not so bad, actually. It doesn’t itch¬†that much right now, although¬†when I woke up today¬†my face was all puffy.¬†XD¬†)

Oh, and sorry, but I didn’t take any pictures of the path. ūüė¶

*Bursts into laughter* I’m just kidding –¬†of COURSE I took pictures. XD XD

We made the path by clearing away the leaves, rocks, nuts, and sticks; and pulling out and trimming the many roots, saplings, and maybe the occasional unbeknownst poison ivy vine. ūüėČ It was hard work, my friends. But it was FUN!

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The beginning of the path (and my brother with a wheelbarrow).

But the our pride and joy was a nice-sized clearing we made in the woods. We even cut down a smallish tree with a handsaw¬†that was in the way.¬†(Uh-huh, yep! XD ) For the clearing, we made sure the ground was especially clear and free of stumps and other poky things because we wanted to be able to walk there barefoot. After we got it all cleared we¬†rimmed the whole thing with rocks which¬†we¬†brought to the clearing via wheelbarrow.¬†Then we¬†added a fire ring (made from rocks), chairs (from stumps), a bench (from stumps and a board), and little table (also from a stump), and hung up a hammock (which we didn’t make. ūüėÄ ).



You can see the size of the clearing best in the third picture.

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Now for some more detailed views.

You can see in the picture above that we made a little fire, but we had to put it out because sparks were kind of flying about, and we weren’t hankering¬†after a forest fire. :/ We might try again when it’s wetter outside. We specifically made the fire ring around the stump of the tree we cut down so that we could burn it off.

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Stump-chairs and the bench:

We dragged this stump to the clearing for a little table/chair. (The white thing is a quartz rock)

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The day we made the clearing, Megan found a snail and a salamander. We made them our “mascots” and put them on the stump in a little container. And the next day they had disappeared. ūüė¶ XD

I only have pictures of the snail, but you can go to my sister’s post about this here to see a picture of (the back of) the salamander.

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Aren’t snail shells beautiful? I love the way God designed them.

And the hammock… ahh!

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Looking up at the sky from the hammock…

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I can’t wait to see the path in spring! All the new leaves and blooming forsythia bushes will¬†make it¬†beautiful.

So far the path is about 400 feet (we added some past the clearing too), and we’re going to keep making it longer!

I hope you enjoyed this little tour. ūüôā


P. S. Before you leave I wanted to show you some neat pictures I took of my sister puffing a puffball. I LOVE puffballs, don’t you?! ūüėÄ (Click on a pictures to enlarge.)

P. P. S. I took gobs more pictures of things like sunsets and¬†farm landscapes while I was at my grandparents’ house, so look for those soon. (By the way, my grandparents live just up the road – we are so blessed!)

New Additions

Yep, we already have a lot of pets (5 rabbits, 1 cat, 1 dog, 2 kittens) but we just added more!¬† We now have 5 crayfish, and um… a LOT of underwater snails!¬† The crayfish (also called crawdads, crawfish, or mudbugs) are fascinating to watch.¬† We have the four biggest ones in a large tank, and the smallest one (which is mine by the way!) is in a fishbowl so he/she won’t get eaten.


I named mine Mudbug, and the other four are Duncan, Mike, Bart, and Jamie.  Sometimes the big ones fight each other, and they make their own little nooks and crannies to hide in in the tank.  But I think the most fun thing to watch is when they eat.  Believe it or not, they love frozen peas!  When we give them to the crayfish, they grab the peas and start tearing off little bites.  I took a video of one of the crayfish eating, and one of a cute little underwater snail trying to lick the glass of the tank Рtwo more videos for my YouTube channel!

And here are some pictures.  (The last crayfish picture shows the swimmerets Рthe little feathery things under its tail.  The swimmerets help the crayfish swim, they fan water over its gills, and for the females, they hold the eggs!)

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And here is a snail.



P.S  We also have 5 black swallowtail caterpillars!  (But no pictures.)

A Beautiful Hike in the Mountains


We recently went on a hike with some friends.  We decided to hike the Dark Hollow Falls trail at Skyline Drive.  It was beautiful.  The waterfall was gorgeous, and along trail we found lots of interesting things. We kids especially loved the little creek running along the trail, and we could hardly be torn away from it to keep on the trail.  Along the creek we found some mini waterfalls which were quite pretty too.

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We also found flowers,

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Several pretty ferns,

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Teeny tiny mushrooms,

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Lots of lush green moss,

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And some interesting creatures such as…¬†a¬†millipede,

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A¬†newt (or maybe it’s a salamander?),

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And a snail.

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We finally made it to the waterfall.

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The little creek that we had played in earlier in the hike turned to a roaring torrent of water.  The rocks around the waterfall were mossy and green.  If you leaned close enough, you could feel the spray of the water on your face.  We paused for some refreshment on some rocks near the waterfall.


On the return journey, we stopped at a small pool along the trail.  The kids had lots of fun wading in the (freezing) water, and skipping and throwing rocks in the pool.  It was fun to see the big splashes the rocks made.

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Just as everyone had finished putting their socks and shoes back on, Jeff’s water-bottle¬†decided to go on a sea journey.

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Of course, Jeff had to take off his socks and shoes again to get it.  With the water bottle returned to its proper place, we resumed our hike.

Near the beginning of the trail, the kids stopped to catch salamanders and crayfish at the creek.¬† Well, we tried to catch salamanders and crayfish, but the little sneakers kept getting away.¬†¬†After¬†the hike, we had supper at¬†our friends’ house.¬†¬†It was a¬†great end to a great day.