I Saw A White Deer!

You won’t believe it! I barely believe it and I saw it! I was driving to the store on a familiar route on the highway. Off to the right is a big clearing where herds of deer are often seen grazing. I always enjoy seeing them when I drive by. Sure enough, on this drive, they were there. A big herd from about 10 – 15. Then I noticed something that was a little off. There was another animal grazing with the herd, right in the center of them all in fact. Most of it was white as snow and at first glance I thought maybe it was snow. Was it a horse? A goat? Holy Cannoli!! It was a white deer! I couldn’t believe it but it made more sense than a goat grazing with deer! I studied it as long as I could. I wanted to turn around so badly and get pictures but I was on the highway and had only my phone, which was at 4% battery. I was so upset that I couldn’t document such an amazing sight! I never in a million years thought I would see such a thing in the wild; I probably will never see another again for just as long! It was literally breath taking. I was in awe. The deer was not purely white though. It looked like someone had poured black paint on it’s head and back and it started to run down the sides. Not a brown, like the other deer, it was much darker. Everywhere else on the deer was totally white all the way down to it’s toes. This deer was truly Mother Earth’s canvas and she did a marvelous job!

I can’t be 100% sure but I think it was a buck. It is hard to make out antlers with the trees in the background but it looked like it had a rack, 4-point perhaps? I came home and drew a sketch of it as soon as I could. If I can’t have a photograph of him, then at least I have my drawing. This is exactly what he looked like (give or take the antlers).

Needless to say, I will be studying the symbolism behind white deer or white animals and see what I can find. I’ll share a post after the holidays with some information on that and maybe another drawing.

Have you ever seen a white deer before? Share your story in the comments below! I would love to hear it! I was ecstatic when I saw this guy! Thanks for stopping by.

Take care, free spirits!

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Updates from the Road

Hey All!

We’re having a blast in Ohio. My parents, son and I took the boat out on Lake Erie this past Wednesday. We caught a bunch of perch and fried them up the next day for a fish fry with my brother’s family. The kids went swimming in the pool and we hung out with the horses for a bit.

Today we are exploring Grand Rapids, OH and later a bike ride at Oak Openings Nature preserve in Swanton, OH.

Then, tomorrow we begin the long drive home. I have many photos to go through and share, to include my daily photos. I’ll be working diligently when I get back to get all these photos posted! I can also get back on track with my totem animal drawings and their symbolism. I have a few photos of the wildlife in the area as well, mostly aviary. Perhaps one of them will inspire my next piece.

Check in next week to see the adventures!

Until next time,

“Adventure is out there!”

Things to do: Tulip Fest

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I was finally able to make my way out to the Tulip Fest in Albany, New York. It’s held every year on Mother’s Day weekend in Washington Park. I have been wanting to go for the past couple years but never got the chance to. This year I just barely made it! We went on the last day two hours before it ended. My son and I went on Mother’s Day the Sunday before last. I was a little concerned when I continuously heard from others that the crowds were horrendous! By the time we got there though, we parked only a block away and the crowds were minimal. There was plenty of elbow room! The tulips and other flowers were beautiful and everyone was getting their picture taken in front of them. There were a lot of different vendors and a whole section just for art vendors! I definitely want to set up my own booth there in the future!

It was a great place to take a relaxing walk and I enjoyed the time my son and I spent together. It was a great Mother’s Day and I enjoyed photographing the park. I hope you like the pictures and if you haven’t made your way to Tulip Fest yet, I recommend it for next year! Or have you been to one before? Share your Tulip Fest story or photo below! Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time,

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”

Photo Journal: Schodack Town Park

We had a quick break in the rain last weekend where the sun peeked out and the air was warm. My family and I made our way to Schodack Town Park for a peaceful stroll before more rain was due to come that evening. It was nice to finally get out and enjoy the outdoors, the green, the water, the wildlife. I love nature! We found some salamanders that I was able to get a few macro shots of and we also found big beautiful green frogs. I sought out to photography some wildlife and I was able to do just that. I was surprised we did not find any turtles. If your looking for a quiet and easy hike to enjoy some sunshine and see some critters, Schodack Town Park is a good place to start.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy the photographs!

Until next time,

“The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself.”

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  • Ending quote from the movie “Castaway”

Travel to: New England Aquarium

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It was trying to be a difficult day but no matter how hard the day tried we still had a blast! The drive to Boston, MA is roughly three hours for us. We had heard great admiration about the New England Aquarium from friends and family and knew it would be worth the drive. It was forecasted to be a sunny 70 degrees that day but turned out to be a cloudy,windy 40!

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When we finally arrived in the city, we wanted to check out Quincy Market before hand to grab lunch. We had tickets for a 3-D IMAX movie at the aquarium but gave ourselves enough time to eat first. So we started walking towards what we thought was the market until we realized we were walking in the wrong direction for 15 minutes. Did I mention it was cold out! We wasted so much time trying to figure out where we were but we finally found Quincy Market, found some food (very yummy seafood from Salty Dog), and quickly got to the aquarium to catch our movie.

Lines were crazy but moved quickly. We thought we might miss our show but made it in the nick of time. Phew! Turns out we didn’t have to rush. They were having issues with the equipment and couldn’t get the movie to play. They tried for 25 minutes before they called it. Luckily they offered refunds or tickets for another visit. We chose the tickets. We stayed in good spirits and headed to the actual aquarium now. That’s when the real fun began!

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It was pretty crowded but it was a systematic chaos. We were still able to check out everything. Everyone kept moving to give others a chance to look at all the different tanks. When we first walked in, we headed straight for the penguins. The penguin enclosures were just below the first floor so you walked above them, looking over the ledge. It was like they could swim through the bottom floor and you could watch them as you walked around the entire aquarium. There was three different species and they were feeding them when we were there. They were funny to watch; they hopped from here to there, diving in the water and swimming rapidly after each other! I kept thinking about the Penguins of Madagascar and it made me laugh.

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In the very center of the building is a huge cylindrical tank that starts on the first floor and goes all the way to the top. There is a walkway that spirals all the way up and you can watch all the fish swim by in the gigantic tube of water. It’s about four floors high and all the way at the top, at the time, they were giving a seminar and you could look down into the huge tank. There were bonnethead sharks, rays, big balloonfish, and so many other colorful crazy things I don’t even know what they were! Not to mention the green sea turtle which you would never believe her gigantic size until you see her in person! Beautiful, gorgeous animal! She was definitely my favorite creature in the entire aquarium.

We saw shadowy piranhas, electric eels, mesmerizing jellyfish, seals and sea lions, a beautiful octopus and even a ginormous anaconda! We saw native fish, exotic fish, one, fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish! (see what I did there ;)) The cuttlefish were oddly adorable as well!

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The entire day was overwhelmingly fantastic! I really wish I could go on a slow day or in a perfect world after hours. I would just sit there all night; I would watch them all and draw everything I could in amazing colors. I would fill an entire sketchbook. Maybe one of these days I will go out there and do just that. Talk about some meditation.

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So much seemed to go against the grain with this day but it turned out absolutely amazing…and we didn’t even get to see the 3-D IMAX movie! We are excited to see one next time we go back because we are definitely going back!

Have you been to the New England Aquarium? What was your favorite creature? Share your story in the comments below. And if you haven’t made it there yet, I highly recommend going with the family! (or alone for some artful meditation ;)) Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the photography!

Until next time,

“I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food.”

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Photo Journal: Beach Treasures at Magee Marsh

I made my way to Lake Erie again a couple weeks ago. My family and I walked the beach at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. It is known for it’s bird watching boasting over 300 different species recorded! Driving up to the beach we passed an eagle’s nest in the trees next to the road. Unfortunatley, no one was home. 

Some interesting beach art.

The beach was peaceful with a consistant, cool breeze. The sand was soft at first. As the tide came in it brought millions of tiny shells and other treasures. It was quite pokey to walk on. We found some “lucky stones”. They look like small, white pebbles with markings resembling either “L” or “J”. They are actually the ear bone of a freshwater drum fish or more commonly known as a sheephead. Fisherman will keep one in their pocket for good luck and others have adopted it into their own collections. I love beach treasures!

“Lucky Stone”

What are some beach treasure you have found? Any lucky gems? Share your story in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by this week! 

Until next time,

“Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.”

The inside of a shell, looks like a planet.

The gulls take flight.

The waves were splashing.

Driftwood….or art supplies?

So many treasures to find!

See what I mean!

Driftwood statues.

Photo Journal: Kayaking at Round Lake

I tried out my new kayak the other weekend at Round Lake, NY. It was a beautiful area, especially following down Anthony Kill (Tenandaho Creek). There was an abundance of water lilies and dragonflies as well as other marshland critters. The air was cool and the sun was shining. We kayaked all the way around the lake, down the creek and back. It was a total of about 5-6 miles and we sure felt it afterwards! It was worth it though and still very relaxing.

It’s definitely a place I would visit again. Thanks for stopping by this week! Do you have any favorite spots for kayaking? Share a comment below. I would love to check out some new places!

Until next,

“The rainstorm and the river are my brothers.”
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Travel to: Put in Bay, Ohio

Did someone say party?

My best friend did so we traveled to Put in Bay, Ohio for a combined bachelor/bachelorette party! A group of us met at Miller Ferry and rode the ferry to the island. It was about a twenty minute ride and the weather was beautiful!

Once we arrived, we took a taxi to the Island Club where we all pitched in to get a cabin for the weekend. The cabin was spacious and had two decks with picnic tables. Even though it was Memorial Day weekend and many of the cabins were occupied, we were nicely tucked into the woods and still felt a sense of privacy.

As with most bachelor/ette parties, we hit the bars! There were many to choose from of course. Mojito Bay had a great atmosphere. It featured an outdoor tiki hut for a bar and sand as the floor to give it a beach setting. To top it off, they served drinks in coconuts! They were tasty! Another great spot was The  Beer Barrel Saloon featuring the longest bar in the world. It truly was the longest bar I had ever seen. They also had a stage with a live band and an outdoor area with umbrella tables.

One needs more than just alcohol to survive. Luckily, there were plenty of restaurants to choose from as well. We stopped at Frosty’s for breakfast. I ordered some of the best french toast I have ever had with a side of sausage links. The coffee was great too!

There was so much more that I didn’t have a chance to check out such as a nature preserve, a cave, and a butterfly house. So much to see, so little time!

It was a great time and I am overjoyed for my BFF and her fiance! Next time I see them, they will be Mr. and Mrs. It’s about time! Love ya guys!

Have you ever partied down in Put in Bay? If you remember it, share your story in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by this week.

Until next time,

“Never cry over spilt milk. It could have been whiskey.”

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Things to do: Raptor Fest

This past weekend my family and I went to Raptor Fest at Schodack Island State Park. No, it wasn’t dinosaurs. It was all about birds of prey. I had to work that morning so we showed up at the tail end of the event. Haha….tail end….see what I did there. Anyways, the festival was hosted by the Audubon Society of the Capital Region. They are an organization that started in the 1890’s to protect birds and their habitats. You can read about the history of the organization here. We were able to catch a fantastic seminar about raptors in the area which covered Kestrels, a couple owls to include the Great Horned, and a couple hawks. Sharon, the representative from Audubon, gave a great presentation and was very informative. I learned about some of my favorite birds and was introduced to some new ones as well. She would bring out each raptor one at a time, perched on her arm. They were beautiful and well cared for but unfortunatley were unable to be released back into the wild for one reason or another. The Great Horned owl sadly was hit by a car and lost a wing. One of the hawks suffered an eye injury and the others were found as hatchlings and raised by people. Therefore, imprinting with humans.

There were also vendors and other organizations related to raptors and nature preserves. I wish we could have made it for the entire event but just seeing that one seminar made it worth going. We had a great time at a beautiful park on a beautifully sunny day.

Have you ever been to a Raptor Fest before? Do you have a favorite raptor?  Leave your story in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by this week!

Until next time,

“Pin feathers and golly fluff!”

Travel to: Fort Hardy Park

I enjoy taking my son to different parks and playgrounds at various locations. We like to adventure and see new places. One park that he enjoys is one we visit often, Fort Hardy Park. It has a playground, baseball fields, basketball courts, and not to mention various events throughout the year that are held by the town of Schuylerville. It’s a quaint and peaceful park for any family to enjoy.

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Although, it wasn’t always a beautiful, serene atmosphere. In fact, it is the very site where the British surrendered to the Americans after the Battle of Saratoga.

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British General John Burgoyne attacked the American troops on October 7, 1777. Although he hailed a minor victory weeks prior to this attack, he was over confident in his depleted troops and was forced to retreat. The British suffered 600 casualties whereas the Americans lost 150. Ten days later, the British General surrendered to Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold, the Generals who led the Americans during the battle. This became a major turning point in the Revolutionary War and was the deciding factor for the French government’s alliance.

It’s amazing the history that scatters the globe. Where good men have died, children can now play. Where troops marched along the river to prepare for battle, people now gather to watch parades go by.  Where forces invaded and tried to overtake us, we now live peacefully side by side as neighbors.

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It’s a little late for Veteran’s Day and a little early for Thanksgiving but this post ties into both. So many men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that I can live freely with my family and I am eternally grateful.

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Are there any parks you visit that have a bit of history? Share your story in the comments below. Thanks for checking in this week!

Until next time,

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them.”  ~John F. Kennedy

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sources: History.com , HistoryPlace.com