As you may have noticed, nearly two hundred pictures later, the last three weeks were unusually productive for the shotsnaps realm (or unproductive, depending on your observation point). I just finished loading the black and whites, and I'm done. Hurrah for me! Now I'm going out to plant the tomatoes.
After church on Sunday, we finally made it out to the fabled yurt-home of our friends Heidi and Phil. We Owens are stupid and pathetic; it's been six months since they moved in, and we just made our first visit. Their home is beautiful and perfect, and so are they. They spoiled us with the perks of seeing soon-to-be-married Ben and Amy, delicious food (and framboise!), spring water, a luxury bathhouse, two goats, helpful books and information, and Unicorn Gorge. It's only about half an hour from church, so there's no question about doing this again. After enjoying their company twice in two weeks, I could happily get used to bi-weekly visits. That is, if they hadn't already forbidden future visits from us because we leave behind a carpet of crumbs. The ants came marching twelve by twelve...
Annika likes Unkel Wirrel and is deep in conversation. (She likes Unkel Ben, too, but he mostly eats her. Who can blame him?)
I was surprised to find this picture on the camera, and I don't know who took it (Ben, maybe?). Look at those squinty nose wrinkles!
I think shopping for Ben and Amy's wedding present will be the first time that John will not only pick the gift but will enjoy doing so. Board game heaven.
Heidi has some Angelina Ballerina books from her childhood, and Millie, only newly acquainted with Angelina thanks to a gift from Grandma Owen, was excited to see them.
And excited to hear Heidi read them.
And excited to sit in the rocking chair for which Heidi wove a fabulous back and seat.
Every time I see Phil, I'm so happy that Heidi and he are married, and not just because I get to use him as an easy resource for knowledge I haven't yet bothered to dig up myself (although I'm glad of that, too). He's even longsuffering toward our napless girls. We'd just barely arrived when his cup was mysteriously filled with dirt. The culprit obviously wasn't Millie or Annie, even though they were the only ones nearby. Darn woodland elves and their mischief, no doubt...
He isn't overly offended by Hello Kitty underwear. (Phew.)
And he's nimble enough to leap onto shoulders to close the skylight before the storm hits. (On the way home, John commented on Phil's impressive ability to balance. All that slacklining pays off in the end...)
I had forgotten about this, but it's the first watercolor I ever painted, back when I was an AJ(ohnson) instead of an AO(wen). I'm glad Heidi still has it. My brother helped me make the frame out of weathered garden stakes, and when I saw it on Sunday, I thought, "Hey! I could use those stakes!" Before my mom came down today with a supply of old stakes for me, I'd been using these I'd stolen from the girls.
You can expect the already unwieldy volume of snapshots to double because I now have a camera for each hand. All the snapshots from the day of Steve and Nicole's wedding onward were taken with this beauty. John's been working a lot of overtime the last few weeks, and he shocked my socks off with a camera the night before the wedding. I'm still kind of scared to use it, though my hands have stopped shaking when I remove the lens cap. He's claimed my other one, but I'll still choose it for park walks and the like because its smaller size is so handy.
The new camera has a macro feature. Here's an advance apology for becoming the person who knows nothing about photography but who takes lots of pictures of little things simply because she has a camera that allows her to do so. I'm that person, and only slightly ashamed. So look! Little things photographed on break from hanging up the clothes!
This little ant was racing along like nobody's business. He's blurry because he was racing SO fast, not because I had to get the lens within an inch of him and kept tripping over my own feet trying to catch up with him.
After a few sorrowful finds of broken eggshells and fallen birds we scooped up in spoons to return to their too-high homes, it's now the season for chirps in surround-sound. The baby starlings in our bedroom wall are growing bigger and louder by the day, and those in the porch roof are doing the same. Tommy hit the jackpot, though, when he found baby robins in plain view, and he immediately wired the news to us all. Their nest was balanced on a stack of sawhorses in the shed.
The day he found them, I took these pictures.
And here's the watchful parent bird, who flew into the shed with this meal soon after.
Two days later, they'd elected a sentinel to scare those stupid, nosy humans away.
He eyed me over before deciding that I wasn't worth his time.
And then those greedy, little plumplings got their last home-cooked meal.
Two hours later, I came to take the clothes off the line, and they'd all flown the nest.
And as long as I'm posting lots of bird pictures, here's one on a roof. (Not one of those newly independent robins, though.)