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Get Fit with Kim–20 minutes of Outdoor Activity

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The sun peaked out today and the winter blues were vivid. I’ve been noticing when the sun rises it is very far south from my view on the Bothwell Hill in South Marquette. Sunday Mike and I noticed the blue skies emerging in bits and pieces so we grabbed out cameras and got a short walk and photo shoot. My aim is at least 20-minutes of outdoor activity each day no matter how I feel that day. When the sun is out I get the added benefit of Vitamin D which is essential to my healing.

Camera walks are slow as I stop to take macros or gaze out to do wide-screen shots of the vista. I might climb over rocks and have even been known to scurry over cliffs, bouldering to the perfect spot to get a view, but this was a slow walk, some of it over ice and snow drifts.

Mike, my fiance’, was testing out two lenses for the Canon 60D. I had my Canon S5 IS, and lucky for me as I passed a grouping of milkweed with the perfect background options snow nad blue sky. I worked both in “program” mode and AV to get that sharpness of focus and silk and smooth bokeh behind (see the milkweed photo with shoreline in background).

This outing was perfect for my stress levels. I’m seeking new opportunities and new ways of making paychecks and I get worried from time to time. But in the midst of creating I feel most hopeful for a bright future.

Twenty minutes of activity s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d to nearly an hour. I came away happy! Very satisfied with the blue skies in my captures and ready to edit and create.

Ice forming…

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Each step I take brings me into deeper healing, brings me back to poetry, opens my heart to sky!

It was just a short walk today…from camp to water’s edge. I jogged back up the hill, though. This weekend I refused to rush myself. I did little of what I had planned and I slept a lot.

On the ride to camp, I read poetry by Russel Thorburn from his book, “The Whole Tree as Told to the Backyard”

I love these lines:

At my typewriter close to the window/the cold earned its right to be a metaphor,/but none could be found as we heard/the tree crouching in its dreams.

We took things from the yard and garage (at Craig Street) to camp for winter storage. We brought home wood for the garage woodstove. I picked up buckets and pots. Found three small pumpkins in the garden.

We dropped lumber at Michael and Beth’s home, too.

Dinner was re-warmed roast chicken and I smoothed yesterday’s leftover mashed potatoes into a casserole dish and baked them until slightly crusty.

Now, I have little energy for anything else.

I feel ice forming. It’s below 30-degrees. I am ready for an afghan and more poetry.

Day Two–Porcupine Mountains in the Rain


Day One in the Porcupine Mountains on our fall trip was rain filled. Taking photos meant balancing umbrellas, walking slow and carefully and battling fogged and rain-speckled lenses. Light was challenging in the deep Eastern Hemlock Forest.

Both of these photos were shot during heavy rains on the Union Gorge hike. We entered the trail at an odd location and when we emerged it was on South Boundary Road. At first we walked the S. Boundary road back toward where we parked and then worried it was taking too long, returned to trail and re-traced out steps. So, we did the trail twice. Good thing it is a short one.

Tomorrow I will make a post on our “Enroute Day.” Mike and I never drive straight to a destination. Ultimately there are many stops.

porkiesdy1_mikeunion_0017 copy



Copper Pipe, Men at Work Series, photo copyright Kim Nixon

This is from my Men at Work Series at Flickr, and the perfect submission for’s theme, Disorder. Isn’t it ironic? When everyone is out trying to order their lives with new day planners and calendars, making professional and personal goals. The people at PhotoFriday come up with Disorder. Many of my memorable photos of 2008 came from disorder such as “Nails on Yellow” a work belt emptied onto a metal table between camp and barn.

Art Every Day, 8/30, Whitefish Falls

Whitefish Falls, Upper Peninsula Waterfalls, photo by Kim Nixon

The shots of the Whitefish River and Falls were taken on the day we stopped at Lily’s in Traunik, an organic and natural foods grocery in the middle of nowhere (smile). I am calling this series of photos, “Riverbank Series.” It was last Saturday, one long week ago that I had a day off work. The sun was bright, the air warm, it was a glorious day. Snow and rain are predicted today. It is gray and dull as I wake this morning.

I am pleased I have posted every day this month (so far) as part of the Art Every Day commitment. Join in!

Art Every Day 2/30, Lift Me Up

Lift Me Up, Queen Anne's Lace, on the side of Highway 41 South, copyright Kim Nixon

I am taking part in Art Every Day.

This photo was also submitted for the Challenge: Sharp.

A Work In Progress

A Work in Progress, photo copyright Kim nixon

“A Work In Progress,” this photo is another gift from my Magic Man. “When I tossed those nails there I didn’t know why and now I do,” Mike said while admiring my rusty nail photos. Here I thought it was the former owner of this cabin who carelessly left nails to rust! But I smiled in acknowledgement, ’cause I too have wondered why I do or don’t do some things. It’s all a work in progress, this life, our art, our relationships.

Sometimes I leave things undone–is it the color combination and texture I like when I leave something out in the rain? Is it cause someone has dreamt it? Do they need to walk past and snap a photo months later? Do they need to bend to tie their shoe and see dead ladybugs in rotten woodwork? Oh some days are gifts and the flow leads us where we need to go.

Other days we are consumed by fear thinking we cannot leave things as they are. We think I need to control this, reign it in, tie it down, put my thumb on it! I woke in fear today and then worked, sludged through, the task of turning it around. How could I take a negative day full of tears and anxiety and turn it into sunshine?

I brought in light, warmth, hot tea, candles, and activity. I looked for the positive and was surprised when I found it! The first surprise was the wonderful comments on my blog and how my stats had gone through the roof in the last 24 hours. Then I thought to connect with others in the ether and got Linkedin. Then as the temperature and attitude of my day went from cold, gray and negative I opened my photo file and began to process images. Soon I had music on and was singing.

How do you approach work in progress when sad and blue?

Broken Windows

The first time I did a photo shoot of this abandoned building was with a DXG.1 megapixel camera purchased for under $100.00. That camera was an upgrade from using a Fuji disposable camera and I thought I had it made. But the photos always had a bit of blur, especially if I was taking shots with a migraine. This abandoned building is just down a two-track driveway from our camp in National Mine. The whole house has fallen and lays on a slant. I love the mossy wood. The rusty metal. The sparse furnishings. I will be sharing more of these shots in the month of October. Why?

I think part of October is preparing us for the forgotten. That’s what is eery, spooky, we know the long months of winter are to arrive and remind us of all we have put on the back burner or not faced. Like a long car ride home without the radio on, the brain begins to surface these details. October starts to slow us down. We look to the colors of leaves, we look to our living spaces, we stockpile supplies for winter like little squirrels. But we also remember a few distractions, order in books, buy new sketch pads and paints. Think how do I keep from going crazy.

Who went crazy in this dwelling? You want to ask that, don’t you? I do.

Mike Walks on Water

photo copyright Kim NixonThis shot was a favorite from our August trip to Copper Harbor. But like many great shots it was taken in bad light at the end of a long day. I wanted more light but I wanted this image, too. I once had a young man say to me if you use Photoshop you are not a good photographer. A good photographer, he said, waits for the shot. I am not a photographer that puts my life on hold. I am not a tripod carrying photographer. I do not have an assistant to carry my bags. I am a trail seeker, hiker, who takes photos. There may come a time when I research a shot and plan, and bring that tripod–but for now I take shots on the fly. Here are before and after shots. Let me know what you think of the corrections. (curved, brightness/contrast, hue, and midtone and shadow color tweeks).

Mike Walks on Water, photo copyright Kim Nixon

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