Hiking Pictures

We recently acquired a new puppy from a friend. She’s a gorgeous little thing, part Malinois, part Border Collie- a mixed breed that they’ve termed online to be a Malincollie. We decided a Malincollie dog must have a Melancholy name, so we called her Lenore. She doesn’t live up to her name at all though; with two very high energy breeds for parents, she’s a very lively, very curious, very bouncing off the walls if you don’t walk her EVERY SINGLE DAY kind of puppy. My friend gave her to us because we were supposed to be moving to a place where there’d be lots of running room. That may or may not happen eventually… in the meantime I have to keep this puppy entertained so that she doesn’t eat my house or drive our older, EXTREMELY MELLOW by comparison, dogs insane.

I started taking her on walks every morning to the city parks last week. This week, I decided that I actually liked walking every morning. I haven’t been outdoors nearly as much as I would like this year due to house remodeling (again! sigh) and holding off on new yard plans due to possible move. It’s not given me much to write about on Dirt, as you can imagine. No yard, no garden, no posts. 😦

I was already bored with walking circles at the city park, looking at the same scenery and the same people that also go there to walk every morning. My husband would probably make friends. I’m not very social in that way though. I prefer a small circle of close friends to small talk with strangers, ALWAYS. I started driving out to one of the state parks instead this week. Ha Ha Tonka has a been a favorite haunt of mine for as long as I can remember. I was going there as a child to swim in the springs and walk the dirt paths long before it was taken over as a state park. Lenore needs exercise and I need something interesting to look at while she’s exercising, so I decided we would pick a trail each day until we’ve gone down all of them. I’ve explored 90% of the trails in the park and even some that aren’t trails anymore, but I haven’t’ visited every single one of them.

I went down Turkey Pen Hollow the first day and the views were spectacular, in spite of little rain this fall and the colors not being as vivid as usual. I took pictures along the way. It occurred to me today that I should be posting all these wonderful photos on here and share them with everyone, not just my friends on Facebook. These I’m posting today are of the Spring Trail, that main paved/board walked trail that leads from the parking lot down to the mouth of the spring.

Hope you enjoy the views as much as Lenore and I did.


Dirt Goes Commercial

This blog has been up over a couple of years now and any blog that has survived that length of time is doomed to start hawking stuff eventually. And so it begins. DirtStuff

But I promise, I’m not going to try and sell you cheap and easy gardening tools from TV or anything like that. What I’ve done is started a little shop at Cafepress to add some of my better nature photography to mugs, t-shirts, phone covers, water bottles, laptop skins, etc.
I’ve got 4 designs live right now and working on several more. Each design is on many, many products- so if you’re not into Cafepress’ overpriced handbags, there are still value T-shirts and little things you can pick up for a more reasonable price. I make a whopping $3 per item that is purchased on the store. That goes to more or less keep the store paid for. About once a year I may get a HUGE check for $25.00.
But this isn’t about the millions I won’t be making as it is about getting my stuff out there to be seen. I’ve had friends, family, even a few complete strangers tell me that some of my nature photos are wonderful and that I should be a photographer full time-or at least sell them as prints or something. I’m taking some of my favorite shots, combining them with quotes that speak to me and putting them on everything from toddler t-shirts to journals. I already post this stuff all over here, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, so why not on stuff too? Oooh… I should put them on Instagram also…

Some of you that follow all my accounts are in for a load of “BUY DIRT STUFF” and I apologize. But they really are quite pretty- don’t you need a mug or SOMETHING??? Your mother would even approve of these as Christmas presents. What mom wouldn’t want a throw pillow with a witty quote and a shiny winter scene on it?

And that is the extent of my salesmanship. Which is why I write and garden instead.

You can find the shop here: http://www.cafepress.com/belleofdirt