2017 Favorites: Weekly Photo Challenge

I’d like start my first post of the 2018 New Year by saying Thank You!! to all the people out in the blog-o-sphere who are following me, and who found my  Ascend Weekly Photo Challenge  post. I’m not quite sure what happened, but somehow while I was busy with holidays, wedding celebrations, family & friends, my blog excitedly went from just 13 followers to nearly 200 over night! I am incredibly appreciative to everyone who follows along, comments, provides feedback, or even just checks in from time to time. Your time here is genuinely appreciated.

It’s been a fantastic and busy start to the year for me. I have been on the road since just after Christmas, traveling for some very inspiring projects I am working on. I have to admit, I feel very fortunate with how many people want to share their unique stories with me. Stay tuned to see what unfolds here in 2018! It’s pretty exciting and I love the wide range of stories I’m working on.

When I started this blog portion of my site, I personally committed to being a part of the weekly photo challenge as a way to inspire myself as a photographer and a writer. Sort of an assignment each week. I’ve really enjoyed participating every step of the way.

I recently had countless hours in the car and I really hoped I would return from my travels knowing which one photo to post of the kajillions I took this year for the  2017 Favorites Photo Challenge Well, here I sit. Still unsure. In fact, this post has been sitting in draft form for quite awhile. However, I do need (& want) to get on with 2018, so I’m going to post a few different favorites from 2017. Each one involves an adventure of some sort. After all, it’s all about the adventure, who I meet, and what unfolds along the way for me.

I hope everyone reading this is starting off the New Year wherever you need or want to be. In comfort, security, happiness, togetherness, finding creative inspiration, and of course love. There’s no one who can love you more than YOU!

Here are a handful of my favorites from 2017. Thanks again for stopping by!

An incredibly gorgeous Arabian in Montana. I was feeding the herd and filming from the bed of a moving pick up truck, which I find myself doing often! I was laughing very hard because when  you have the feed, you’re everyones best friend and have undivided attention! This particular horse, well, I was so intrigued by this gorgeous color and its elegance.
I had so much fun filming these two breeding Heritage pigs, and their adorable (probably very yummy)  litter in Gunnison, CO. Pigs can be moody but these two are more like dogs who follow you around. It was -35 degrees while I was there in January. Yikes! My equipment kept freezing up, never-mind my hands! The young farmer of these pigs was such a trooper because I had to film regardless of the weather and she was standing in hip deep snow. Her nose ring kept freezing to her skin. Poor girl. Thanks MJ for being so willing!
This was my very first trip ever to the Bay area & I was here for the Bay Area Puma Project I was filming. To my amazement here was no fog surrounding the iconic Golden Gate Bridge when I arrived the first night. To get this shot & to film this, I literally jumped out of a moving car, ran as fast as I could up the hill with all my gear, took a deep breath, and set up beside the masses of spectators. Then this freighter on it’s way to Oakland came by. There’s something I love about the colors & composition here. And the story of how I got this shot will always be one I remember. Thanks Joe (and Kaya, image below) for being such great hosts!
On the way to the airport after a fun and very full filming trip in the Bay area I snapped this one of Kaya. I had never met Kaya until this trip in March, 2017. We bonded pretty hard. I have two male dogs and being around a female is pretty snuggly. She came to stay with me on and off during the summer 2017 while her dad was traveling. It was great. & I truly miss her.
One of my lifelong mottos has literally been “I speak for the trees” The Lorax by Dr. Suess. He and I share the same birthday by the way. So I was pretty taken aback when I spent the morning at Muir Woods amongst this magic. We arrived before anyone else was there. I could feel and hear all the forest critters waking. Loved it.
I didn’t take this one, so I’m not sure it counts. But this is a favorite from my graduation with my Master of Environmental Management (MEM) degree in May 2017. I had been a full-time, working student for six and half years (!), obtained two degrees, & an unknown number of certificates. (Yes, someone just reminded me of my over achieving goals). Having my son (& his apparent stoked-ness) by my side that day was just what I needed. He is incredibly understanding and supportive of all of my endeavors. I am so grateful & never take that for granted. xo

After I graduated, I took a solo trip back to Cali. and went to Napa for the  BottleRock Festival , then backpacked around Point Reyes National Seashore. For me, it was just how I needed to recalibrate, and take in all I had just accomplished. Each day many incredible gifts presented themselves while I was there.

This is my Brown Dog (8 years) , with his pet turtle, Freddie (~20+ years). There appears to be sincere love between these two everyday.
A daily highlight of my summer is always watching, and listening to, the Broad-tailed Hummingbirds come and go. It’s what I call reality TV.
At the end of summer I went on a mindfulness retreat at Georgia O’keefe’s Ghost Ranch. I rode horses and met people from all around the world. Everyday this herd of sheep would wander into the pasture just after breakfast. The leader of the herd wore a bell, and everyone followed him. It was a hoot to watch! I wanted to be a sheep for a day to experience the landscape from their perspective.
Yes! There was llama drama! And LOTS of it. A friend & I went on an adventure in the backcountry of CO & decided to take a couple llamas with us. (Her idea, by the way). Well, I have lots of horse experience, & zero llama experience, so I learned a great deal. Needless to say, my mantra on this trip was: “Llamas are not horses.” In fact, I did learn they are completely different in every way! So many stories from this journey.


I’m pretty sure I didn’t catch one fish the entire season. But I am always grateful for those who will join me for some casting, and the opportunity to be fully present on the water in such an ideal landscape.
Ascend! The photos from this day have received a lot of attention. I am incredibly honored. You can read more about this photo on the Ascend post.
During my annual fall trip to the backcountry of Moab my camera jammed. Ugh. We stayed in a new spot with incredible views, and I had to let go of the fact that I wasn’t going to get any pictures of the fantastic sunsets while we were camped over looking the valley. Such is life, right? Spending 5 days together with my family is really special to me so I focused on that. We decided to stop at Sand Flats on our way out the last day to walk the dogs before our drive home. I just happened to try my camera one last time and it worked! I was able to take many wonderful pictures of my son with this dog Willow, who is loved by us all.


These are my two dogs ready to drop their new album titled “It’s a Dog’s Life in the Valley.”  They make me laugh on the daily. And this is where I am fortunate enough to live.
Doing what he loves brings a huge smile to his face. And to mine, as his Mom. At one point in his life I was an Assistant Coach on his mountain bike team. This year my son participated in Todd’s Dirt Fondo in Durango, CO. Such a great time! No one knew I was out on the course with my camera. I captured lots of smiles from many participants!
We said good-bye to this little guy in December. He was my neighbor’s dog, and a staple in my everyday. When I saw him each day, he somehow brought me back to the present moment. He had a rough start in life but that all changed when my neighbor Diane and he found each other. RIP Bart.
There is just something magical and comforting about a cozy cabin with family and friends around the holidays!
My friend Michelle and her love Allan got married on New Years Eve. I was thrilled when she asked me if I would take pictures. This was the group shot just before their ceremony. It was a wonderful way to start the year celebrating love, blending of families, two congregations, and many diverse people, each from a unique community. #andthentherewaslove
I completed 2017 with the hashtag #andthentherewaslove. This one pretty much sums that up!
Regardless of where I am, I tend to really enjoy slowing down to watch the sunrise, or set along the way. Cheers to slowing down and experiencing all the beauty along your journey, wherever that takes you this year. Happy New Year 2018!


Happy New Year! See you here again soon.

WordPress Photo Challenge 2017 Favorites



%d bloggers like this: