Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, it became a realization that we need to open our heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we would but stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

Our Friends

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Early Birthday Present

An early birthday present!!  My birthday is not until March 21st but since spring appears to be making its debut early this year, Mike didn't want me to be without a camera to capture the beauty of the season.                

My old faithful Sony point and shoot was about 8 or 9 years old and I was having trouble getting disk to fit it and getting the pictures off the old disk.  I didn't want a large DSLR mainly because I don't know much about them and I didn't want to carry a lot of extra "stuff" every time I wanted to take pictures.  So for the past several weeks we have been looking cameras, reading reviews and asking a few bloggers that we read their opinions.

I finally came to the conclusion that a small DSLR would be the best choice.   I chose a Canon SL1.  It is about the same size as my Sony, which was a big plus.  I have two lenses, the 18-55 mm and 75-300mm.  I will learn with these two lenses and probably use the 75-300 the most.  I still don't know a lot about DSLR cameras and terminology such as ISO, aperture and speed but if all else fails I can use the automatic setting.  I do want to learn more about how this camera works and how to make it do what it's designed to do.  But even on automatic I get good clear, crisp pictures with good color.


It feels good to have a camera again!!!

I think he is looking for spring

Spring is truly right around the corner

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Rains Stopped, the Sun Came Out and So Did We

We have had a few days of rain and been unable to get out and hike more of the trails here at Chewacla but today the weather cleared and was overcast to partly sunny so we decided to do some exploring.  We began not really knowing where we would end up but that was okay. We decided to head down to the lake and see where that would take us from there.  You could tell there had been a lot of rain because the lake was full and brown in color but very calm.  
We could see a couple people out across the lake fishing and hoping they were having luck, so we decided to take the trail around the lake.

As we walked, there were a few john boats on the shore lines below the cabins that the back end of the boat was full of water from all the rains.  

Luckily they were pulled far enough up on the shore line as to not being in danger of slipping into the water.  As we rounded the back side of the lake we saw a CCC hiking trail that led away from the lake so we decided to follow that path.  As we walked through the woods, we ventured out into an open area and a field in front of us and up on the hill to the left was a pavilion in the park. 


That open area put us on an old unused paved road, so we followed it.  As we walked down that road and started up a hill, we noticed another open area with several rv’s parked and realized they were being stored there.  Wow, it is amazing what you may see as you explore virgin territory.  We continued up the hill on the road and Gerri noticed a few large hawks flying above us so I snapped a few pics, but did not have my large zoom lens with me. 

Soon they flew into unreachable areas, so we continued up the hill.  As we made it to the top of the hill, we could hear massive waters going over the waterfall down below, so that is where we headed.  Sure enough, we had made a long about hike to the waterfalls.  

After we enjoyed the rushing of the water at the waterfall, we decided to take the trail around the lake to make our way back to our rv since it was clouding up again.  When we got home we sat out for a bit and as we got up, we knew we had made a good hiking trek today as we were sort of tired but it was a good tired.  It was a great day and we enjoyed the exploring.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Making Our Oliver More Home

We are still in the process of making our little Oliver "home."  One of the things we decided to do was add cushions to the back of our benches.  When we ordered the Oliver, we upgraded the material covering the benches as well as their depth.  We chose 6 inches deep instead of the standard 4 inches.  We also chose brown leather instead of cloth.
We liked our choices but wanted to finish it off with back cushions.  Not only does this add to the finished look but is also more comfortable with good back support.


We contacted, Jason, at Oliver and placed our order about 3 weeks ago.  Yesterday our cushions arrived packed neatly in this huge crate!! I'm not sure what I expected them to arrive in but this was a surprise.

Mike got busy pulling heavy duty tape and unscrewing the sides.
We had them delivered to our son's apartment so once we unpacked them we had to carry them back to our site at Chewacla.

We placed them in their appropriate spots on the benches and then we stood back and took a look.  Yes, we like them and yes, it makes sitting more comfortable.


We made a trip to Hobby Lobby and found a few items to decorate and make the Ollie more homey.  We especially like the picture board where we can display pictures of family and travel.  This is nice when space is limited.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Naked Woods

Winter in the woods.  I have always been one of those people that never could find the beauty in nature during the winter months.  You know... everything is drab and grey.  Many trees are without leaves so they appear dead on first glance.  I heard this referred to once as the naked forest.


But under all that plainess there is life waiting to burst forth.  If you look hard enough you can see it.

Notice the red buds on the tree in the right corner

There is a sweet quietness about winter in the woods and in the campground.  You can hear the wind through the pine trees if you are still and listen.  You can hear the chirping of the birds and the playful game of chase the squirrels play.

The woods will be waking up soon.  The tiny buds in the barren trees will swell and burst open producing beautiful leaves and there will be many shades of green everywhere.  The animals will be busy finding places to raise their young.  The sun will be warming things up nicely.

Until then we will be enjoying our walks each morning or evening in the naked woods.

Notice the chipmunk on the tree stump

                                     "Come to the woods, for here is rest."    John Muir

Monday, February 13, 2017

Land Locked for a Bit...

One reason we are unable to travel quite as much as some of you lucky RVers is Mike has been diagnosed with a herniated disc in the L5, S1 region along with osteoarthritis.  He met with the Physical Therapist, Karen today.  She worked with him in January for  Spinal stenosis (cervical area neck). This PT literally might have prevented surgery.


Today we found out Mike has considerable weakening on his right side, the right leg being shorter than the left and atrophy of the right butt.  He has numbness of his right foot.  This can be very serious but Karen is hopeful that she can help Mike correct most of this issue without surgery.  He isn't allowed to lift anything heavy and can't do steps or walk uphill.  If he does something harmful the disc could totally pop and off to the doctor we head....immediately.

We are so thankful for dedicated therapist, like Karen, who have been trained to correct some of these problems that come from having birthdays!!  Therapy for this starts tomorrow (Tuesday).

It has been a beautiful day with temperatures nearing 64 degrees with lots of sunshine. The campground is beginning to fill up and get busy and it was a beautiful weekend for camping.


 After a treat to Krispy Kreme we decided to head home for a nice quiet evening.

Mike went out to get a picture of the moon the other night when there was suppose to be a comet and eclipse and  this is what he got!! Pretty cool.

I hope you have a wonderful week!!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sunrise to sunset

We got up early one morning and took a few pictures of early morning fog on Open Pond

Later in the day we decided to take a few pics of the sunset over Open Pond.


On Saturday we headed back to our home base at Chewacla State Park.  Open Pond is definitely a place we will return to and explore a bit more.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Open Pond in Conenuh National Forest

Conecuh National Forest is located about 17 miles south of Andalusia, Alabama.  Located in the national forest is Open Pond Campground.   The campground consist of 4 loops ( A, B, C and D).  Loop A is primative camping, loop B is group camping and C and D are for RVs or tents and include electric and water.  The loops are located on one side of the 30 acre pond and is part of 450 acres of the recreational area. It has many hiking trails, fishing ponds and hunting areas.   There are many sites on the water and several that have wooded privacy.  The area is very well kept and the sites are clean with a lot of space between sites.  We would highly recommend this beautiful serene setting to anyone driving through the area.

The road in to area C
We were here four days and were not able to see everything.  We would love to return and do more exploring.


Our Site C23

Our site from across the pond
Loop C drive

Road to another pond

One of the other ponds