The first month of the new year is in the books and it is time for another Changing of The Seasons Post.
It started out on a very nice note. Hubby & I and several of our friends took a first day hike. I was pretty surprised at the turnout. I had put a general message on Facebook on NYE that all were welcome, but I really didn’t expect anyone to show given the late notice and the informal method of invitation. To my surprise there were seven of us that enjoyed Nature on Jan. 1.
A week later I went on my first photo shoot with the local photography club I have been in. I’d gone to the monthly meetings and even met a few of them for coffee one day, but this was the first time I’d participated in something that actually involved the camera. I really enjoyed spending time shooting with other people that liked the same thing. We also got our steps in as we walked all over the Uptown area. It’s a nice group of people and I hope to do more with them in the future.
The first weekend of January was also the sign up and kick off of the 12 week Northwood Farms Winter Challenge. Anyone who has been on this blog during the Winter knows how much I love the Challenge. They changed the media hosting platform and that came with it a few bumps in the road. All seems to be running smoother now and you may have seen some of my weekly Challenge updates on this blog during the past month.
The second weekend of January I was scheduled to go out of town to participate in a horsemanship clinic. However, there was a bit of a hitch thrown into that plan, when Mother Nature decided that we needed yet more precipitation. It was forecasted to be cold and either rain/sleet/snow/ or ice or any combination of them all. The group collectively decided that riding and more particularly hauling in those conditions was less than ideal so we decided to reschedule.
I’d already planned to take Friday afternoon off, so when the clinic got cancelled, since we were still well away from the weather hitting, I decided to use my time to take my camera over to the Carolina Raptor Center. It was a lovely outing filled with active birds, great lighting and quiet surroundings. I guess a cold Friday afternoon is just not prime time for anyone else to visit The Center.
A week later, yet another rainy Saturday cancelled yet another trail ride, so some friends and I decided to take the opportunity try out a ride simulator. It is a mechanical horse outfitted with all kinds of sensors to give you data on your balance, hands and rein position, leg cues, pressure points and all kinds of things we riders want to know but our horses frequently compensate for.
The instant feedback was incredibly helpful and it was nice to be able to work solely on my riding technique without having to worry about my horse not being responsive enough, spooking or starting to lose the rhythm. It was also helpful that unlike a real horse that covers ground when it moves this horse moved through the gaits but remained stationary so the instructor could stand right next to me and physically move my wrist or lengthen my leg to help me find what correct feels like. It was a fun and useful way spend a rainy afternoon in the company of some great ladies.
My photography class both began and ended this month. Four Tuesday nights I spent in a classroom environment learning more about this new hobby I have picked up. I’m glad I took the class because although I had some understanding of the concepts and technicalities discussed, it was really good practice to be given dedicated homework assignments to play with shutter speed, aperture, composition, ISO. It helped me to drill down the different components of exposure and have certain goals and objectives I needed to achieve as part of my photo shoots this month.
Now it is time to head into the late Winter of February.