Tree at Buckley

On a recent hike through the Kentucky woods, I stumbled across this very interesting tree. What made it interesting was the bark. It had all these really deep grooves in it, all the way up the trunk. The detail was truly incredible. No two parts were alike. I could have looked at it for hours and not seen the same pattern or shape. This view is looking straight down the trunk to the lichen around the bottom of the trunk. I have another picture that I'll post another time that shows the detail even better. This reminds me of the limitless details of our Creator.


Woodford Reserve Distillery

Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey at
Woodford Reserve distillery in Versailles, KY


I Heart Faces “Hands-On Fun” Photo Challenge, Week 8

As I get to know my new camera, I thought it'd be fun to participate in one of these iheartfaces photo challenges. I know it's not nature photography, so you'll just have to bear with me as I experiment with my new toy.

My little one LOVES these little farm animal toys that her "Grammy" got for her. When she squeezes them, they make the animal noises. She loves clutching them and squeezing them over and over and over and over and over . . . . Well, you get the picture. It's fun though, because she mimics their sounds now, too. When I read about this current photo challenge, I grabbed my camera and snapped this shot after the duck had finished his quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack. Doesn't she have the cutest, sweetest little hands?

Fun with my new camera

I've been having a lot of fun, spending quality time with my new Nikon D90. :o) I've just been playing around with it to see what it can do. It came with a Nikon 28-80mm AF lens, and a Tokina 70-210mm telephoto manual zoom lens. I'm having a blast! And I haven't really even gotten out in creation to do some serious photo snapping.

Taken in my office (also my little one's playroom)
using the Nikon lens . . .

The forsythia bushes by our patio, taken using the telephoto lens . . .

Invasive house sparrow in the forsythia bush by our patio, taken using the telephoto lens . . .

More fun to come!


Trailside at Buckley

These plants lined the trail we hiked recently at Clyde E. Buckley Wildlife Sanctuary-Trust and Audubon Center in Frankfort, KY. There wasn't anything particularly breathtaking about the scenery along our path. But, there were many, many little pieces of breathtaking scenery that you would only notice if you stopped and looked closely at the minute details surrounding you.


Happy Valentine's Day!

Flowers from my beloved on Valentine's Day . . . aren't they gorgeous?!

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

—Shakespeare's 116th sonnet


We have a winner!

And the winner is . . . . comment #31 on "GIVEAWAY: Win one of my prints!", Michelle!

Congratulations, Michelle! You won the matted photo print of your choice! I'll be in touch to find out which picture you'd like.

Thanks to all who entered and said such sweet things about my pictures. It's so much fun for me, and even more fun to share them with you. Thanks for sharing my blog on your blogs, Facebook, and for following. Happy Friday!


Porch of Woodford Reserve

My family (13-month-old in-tow) and I recently made our first pilgrimage to Woodford Reserve distillery in Versailles, KY. For you Northerners, that's pronounced Ver-say-allz (not the traditional French pronunciation). This is only the second Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey distillery I've been to, but this was my favorite of the two. We walked in after a nice hike at a local natural area, and the folks there treated us like royalty! Apparently, we had just missed the last tour of the day, and they wanted us to have as much of the full experience as we could anyway. One very nice gentleman took us on a "porch tour" where he pointed out all the various points of interest from the front porch. He then escorted us inside to our very own personal viewing of the Woodford story on DVD. After that, he walked us straight to the tasting bar, where he guessed that we were from Colorado. No, but thank you! We were genuinely flattered. Then they made sure that we knew we were welcome to look around. Very nice! The bourbon was really good, too. We're definitely going back there. Nice atmosphere, and nice folks. Maybe next time we'll take the real tour, or sit in a rocker on the front porch and sip some bourbon.


Good news . . . I just bought a camera!

I am so very stoked about the purchase I just made! I've been shopping around for a new camera with the wonderful little fund that my husband set up for me (contributed to by several generous family members for Christmas, birthdays, etc.). And, I just bought a Nikon D90! I'm so excited, because this is a HUGE step up from the camera I have been using. It's not my dream $5000+ set-up, but it's definitely a step in that direction. I got it second-hand, because we all know what a bargain shopper, second-hand nut I am. :o) I just CAN'T bring myself to buy brand new. It's coming with two different lenses and all the in-the-box accessories. Anyway, the "new" camera should be here by this time next week, and I'm so excited. Did I mention that I'm excited? AAAAHHHH!


Flowers at White River Light

These beautiful flowers were planted in the gardens around the White River Light Station in Muskegon, MI. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what kind of flowers they are. It's a nice splash of color, though, in the middle of winter.


My new artsy collage

My husband and I have been trying to figure out which of my artistic photos to display in these four black frames we have. I've traditionally taken seasonal pictures and put them in these frames, but we wanted to do something a little different with them. And we wanted to put them in our bedroom. I haven't really taken the time to try and figure out what I wanted to do with them, but my creative bug has been alive and well lately, and I just had to do something about it. So, I rifled through my pictures, and decided to go with a natural Michigan theme (we're from Michigan)—specifically "up North." But, I didn't want to use the full-color versions of these photos, so I sat down and spent a little QT in Photoshop.

After playing with them, I decided to use a sepia tone, which would work well with the black frames, off-white mattes, and the colors in our bedding. Only two of these pictures are ones that I've previously blogged about (I included links to the originals below the respective pics), and two of them are new to Grace Made Evident. So, here they are . . .

Pyramid Point view of Lake Michigan 
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Curling Birch bark in the woods of Northern Michigan

The Empire Bluffs Trail in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
View the original

Mouth of the Platte River, emptying into Lake Michigan
View the original

Those are the ones I decided to use. Two of them went into 11x14 frames, with an 8x10 matte. The other two went into 8x10 frames, with 5x7 mattes. I couldn't quite get a great picture of the end result, but here it is . . .

I have to say that I was impressed with my own picture hanging abilities. They're all really straight!

P.S.—These pictures ARE included in the giveaway. :o)


High Bridge

High Bridge, 1877

I didn't know it when I took this picture, but this High Bridge is apparently a fairly famous historic engineering landmark. And I just thought it was a cool bridge. On the particular weekend this photo was taken, my little family, along with my husband's cousin and his wife, had decided to visit Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. We settled on a hike, but ended up on the road down to the Dixie Bell and the Kentucky River. We noticed this bridge about half-way down to the river, so I had to stop and snap some pictures of it once we got to the bottom.

As I did a little research on this bridge, I discovered that this High Bridge was the tallest trestle bridge in the world when it was finished in 1877. When it opened, it was the very first cantilever bridge in North America! It is 280 feet above the Kentucky River, and is still in use today.

On either side of the bridge are large, beautiful limestone cliffs and palisades. You can see them in the upper left side of the picture, near that end of the bridge. These types of cliffs line the Kentucky River at many parts. These beautiful cliffs have been quite a surprise for me. I never saw Kentucky as a state with this much beauty, but I'm quickly seeing that my assumptions were wrong.


GIVEAWAY: Win one of my prints!

I have some fun news (well, at least I think it's fun)—I'm hosting a giveaway! I've been wanting to do a giveaway here for a while, but needed to sort out exactly how to do that. I think I've finally figured it out.

I'm giving away one (1) matted print of your choice from my pictures posted on this blog! This does include pictures that are posted between now and the end of the giveaway, but excludes pictures of my family (I'm sure you understand). The print will be a 5x7, but the mat will fit an 8x10 frame. I'll also include a brief write-up about the picture and the story behind it on the back of the mat. Enter before 5:00 PM (Eastern) on Friday, February 12—that means you have a week and a half. The winner will be randomly drawn that evening, and announced right away!

Here's how to enter (mandatory to enter): leave a comment on this post, telling me which print you would like to win if your name is drawn.

Extra ways to enter (leave an extra comment for each one you do):
  1. Subscribe to Grace Made Evident via e-mail, and leave an EXTRA comment here telling me that you've signed up, or are already signed up.
  2. Commenting in other posts during the week will give you ONE EXTRA comment PER EACH comment that you make. Simply post an EXTRA comment on this one telling me the title of the post where you wrote your comment (I'm borrowing this wording from another blog I follow.)
  3. Become a follower of Grace Made Evident, and leave an EXTRA comment here letting me know (or letting me know that you're already a follower).
  4. Share this giveaway on Facebook, and leave an EXTRA comment here letting me know that you did.
  5. Blog about this giveaway, and leave an EXTRA comment here letting me know that you did.
On Feb. 12, I'll use the random number generator at Random.org to select the winner. The winner should expect their print to arrive within 2-4 weeks after the announcement. It will be the winner's responsibility to contact me with their shipping information.

So, look around and let me know which print you'd like to win! Good luck!



Euonymous- Manhattan

Ok, ok . . . so I'm not talking about the city of Manhattan. I'm talking about a shrub. These shrubs are outside our apartment, and looked so pretty with the snow we recently had. I hurried outside to grab some pictures, and saw their tiny pinkish berries with the snow on them. Well, I just had to snap a shot.

I've been missing the snow since it went away. The winter's just been so gray without it. We've had rain the past several days, and I'm ready for that to go away. They are forecasting a teensy, tiny bit of snow sometime in the next little bit, but I don't think that it will amount to much. I'll still be crossing my fingers though!

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