Here is J, happy to be out of the car and running around, "Hi Grandma!"
D and A were inspecting bugs on the granite. Lately A has been afraid of bugs!
The starlings were disappointed we didn't stay for lunch. So was this little guy - a Lodgepole Chipmunk. The body, minus the tail, was about 3" long.
It was interesting to see spring in full force. These were woolly mule ears and they were growing everywhere! Usually we approach Tahoe from the south, but drove on the north side. It's really commercialized, which I hate, but one stretch of the Truckee River is absolutely gorgeous... and no place to stop and take pictures. The river always speaks to my heart and I think it is because of all the happy memories I have of spending time on the Skykomish River with my Grandparents growing up. These flowers were growing around the river area.
Naturally the kids were up for an adventure! Here is Hubby, D and A, walking on the beach.
A and J throwing rocks in the lake. J accidentally hit A in the forehead. This reminded me of an incident when I was their age. My hand went back to throw and instead of releasing forward it went backward and nearly beaned my brother. I remember the scolding I got from my Grandma Johnson, probably because she rarely scolded me (she spoiled me!) and partially because it all happened so fast, that I did not get it at first. A was okay though.
We are beginning to nature notebook as a family. Hubby does pen and ink drawings with mechanical pens. Here he is sketching.
Since we are adapting Charlotte Mason methods in our home school, I bought the children Twistables colored pencils from Crayola to use. D has a sketch pad and the girls have these small coloring pads for now. This is J drawing. She loves to wear this crocheted hat from Thailand that my cousins gave me. The top is coming unraveled, thus the hole!
I had Hubby take this picture for my Mommy. Please excuse the dippy hat. I am bald on top of my head and need to protect it. Also I sunburn quite easily even with sun screen on. Recently I purchased a 5x7 sketchbook to use. I am going to start again. My Aunt Grace taught me as a child, but photography has taken over as my primary art form. Drawing and painting often frustrate me because I understand the principles well and could even critique others' drawings and give them pointers on what could improve it, but I cannot make what I know and see come out of my own hands! Hubby is an awesome artist, so that is also intimidating. I told him ahead of time that he is not allowed to laugh!
This is basically what I was looking at as I drew. In person, you could see the individual shapes and peaks of the mountains more clearly.
Hubby took this picture of my sketch. The colors are off because I had to rely on the colors I had. I have high quality art colored pencils, however, they have been mostly used in scrapbooking and other types of art projects, not landscape, so the colors are not as natural as I would like. Mainly I threw on a bit of color to give an impression and I wrote lots of notes around the page as this is mostly a nature journal, not an art book. After working on this, I sat on the ground and did some sketches of some of the other wildflowers, plants and trees. It was really fun to have our whole family working on things, separately but together!
Here is A with a pine cone. Hubby and I took our first trip together in August 1998 to Lake Tahoe. I was fascinated by the huge pine cones and we collected quite a few, which we used for table decorations at our wedding reception (we were married 12/27). Now, almost ten years later, my children share my fascination!
Just one more shot! Yes, I take too many pictures! LOL
This was a treasure from God. I have always loved photographing wildflowers as I hike and it is especially exciting to find a new one. This is a Snow Plant, which I have seen pictures of, but have never seen in person. They were growing all over the place, pushing their way through the decaying deciduous leaves, layered below the trees. They are kind of ugly but beautiful at the same time!
We drove around the Nevada side of the lake to get to Zephyr Cove, Nevada which is just across the state line by 4 miles. I love driving on the Nevada side as it is less commercial and you can look back to the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the California side.
And this shot doesn't have the best composition but I took it to show you the beautiful color - this is all natural! No photoshop retouching!