Annie and I walk and shoot.

trillium so OR trail

My granddaughter whom I call Annie had recently taken a photography class with a few other homeschooling girls. The first day of my visit with her family we would go to the exhibit and reception in the evening, but we had a whole day to do “whatever” before that, and in addition to sitting around chatting and eating some meals that her mother graciously prepared, we took several walks.

var lilac revert so OR 5-15


The first one suggested by Annie was to a nature trail on the other side of the small town they live in, and as the trailhead as it might be called was easily within walking distance, we set off on foot. It’s so scenic there in southern Oregon that we both found things to catch our attention within a block or two of their house.

For example, a lilac whose every petal is bi-colored, but seems to have reverted to all white on one branch. I looked it up online when I got home and think it might be called “Sensation.”

Yellow Rose close OR backyard
Rose in Annie’s back yard

The sun was high in the sky, as it was mid-morning, so Annie showed me how to adjust the exposure on my camera to compensate. We talked about how it often happens that we take a picture of a beautiful flower and then when we get it home and see the enlargement on our computer screen, there is an ugly insect or a chewed-off flower petal spoiling the perfection. Occasionally I have found the bug to be cute, but only if he hasn’t already defaced the blossom or leaf.





The woodsy path was just shady enough to make our flower photography easy. We took care to avoid the poison oak just off to the side.








false Solomon's seal so OR 5-15
false Solomon’s seal

Annie will turn thirteen this month, and she had embarked on a project to take several photos of flowers each day to fill up an album for her birthday month. Her skill at composing her pictures was admirable, developed over six weekly sessions of three hours each, covering the techniques of portraiture, landscape, photo-journalism, macro, and animals. You can learn a lot in 18 solid hours.

bleeding heart so OR trail
bleeding heart

Later in the day we took three more walks, twice to the library to return books, and once to the post office. How many people can live such a life? For years the family also walked to church every Sunday. I often think that this kind of town life conducive to and convenient for walking would be really nice when I get 15 or 20 years older; I will need the walking and will likely be a more dangerous driver than I am now.

The photography exhibit was enjoyable; the girls were all country-bred-sweet and I loved seeing their unique collections showing their skill and perspective on the world. I’m looking forward to more outings with Annie; it’s always great to explore with someone who thinks dawdling along the trail to frame pictures is the most normal thing.

mock orange so OR
mock orange


12 thoughts on “Annie and I walk and shoot.

  1. A very pleasant way to spend the day! To live in a walkable town/neighborhood where you can meet most of your needs by walking to the shops or church, etc., does sound like a perfect situation to me, especially, as you say, as we get older. Annie’s neighborhood looks very pleasant and pretty, with green, woodsy areas so nearby. And hopefully, no bears in those woods!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never been to southern Oregon. Beautiful! It was sure worth the drive huh? I wish I could walk again. OKC doesn’t even have sidewalks. I really miss my chauffeur. My blood pressure has gone up. I wonder if it’s the driving. I’m so happy for your granddaughter. She’s blessed to have time with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sort of town is an ideal one in which to live, and it really can develop a sense of community.
    If the lilac you admired was “Sensation” I think I know a bit of its sad story. Close to where I live, in Medina County, Ohio, was a beautiful garden of perhaps 15 or 20 acres, which belonged to Fr. John Fiala, a Roman Catholic priest whose passion (after his passion for his vocation) was raising and hybridizing lilacs. I was with a group of volunteers who worked in the garden,Falconskeape, to try to keep it going after he died in 1990. But to our sorrow, his neighbors objected to visitors to the garden and his heirs wanted to sell the land to developers, and it did not survive. I think most of the bushes found new homes, but something very beautiful was lost. However, I was very happy to read that your niece may have one of these bushes rowing near where she lives… I know one of his hybrids had petals of purple edged with white If you google his name and the garden name you may find something about him….He also hybridized crab apples and taught at John Carroll University, a Jesuit college in Cleveland where several of my relatives have studied.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The photographs and flowers are beautiful! I love a walkable town, too. Every summer we spend a week on Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks, and one of my favorite things is being able to walk to the bookstore (or ride my bike). Where I live, you pretty much have to drive everywhere.


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  5. Hi, I’m a new visitor. Enjoyed your post from the 17th about flying; great view of the Buddhist retreat. Then the lovely flowers of this post caught me eye. I adore lilacs. Kudos to your granddaughter for taking the photography class and then committing to practicing her new skills!


  6. That last sentence has already endeared Annie (and you) to me — dawdling to frame photos is terrific with like-minded companions! I like it that the photography course seems to be showing the students how to make the most of their equipment, whatever it may be, and develop their composing skills.

    Liked by 1 person

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