L & G

We recently revisited Woodford Reserve Distillery, when my parents came for a visit. It was a gorgeous weekend! The weather could not have been better. This is only the second distillery I have visited on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. It sits in the quaintest setting, right next to a brook, in a little valley in horse ranch country.

It was a busy day at the distillery—the same day as the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland. Our tour guide was also a bit long-winded at times, but when he started droning on, I started snapping photos. All the better for me! *smile* I mean, some people are really passionate about bourbon.

Woodford Reserve is famous for their copper pot stills, and they are quite a sight! This was the first time I had seen them in person. I loved taking them in!

My favorite part of the tour at any distillery is entering the barrel warehouse. I love being hit in the face by the "angel's share" as I walk in. It's funny how the smell almost knocks you over at first, and then softens as you stay. I love the barrels, too. There's just something so earthy about them. I mean, these are virgin white oak barrels! As you stand in front of the massive walls of bourbon-laden barrels, you can't help but be awed by the huge amount of liquor over your head.

Now, I wish I could have sat (that's poor grammar isn't it?) in this chair (above) to sip my sample of bourbon, but we were ushered into the tasting room, which is really nice, too. I love that they give bourbon balls along with the tastings. Mmmm! I can't decide if I like my bourbon better with ice or not. I think it depends on my mood. Hot summer evening . . . on ice. With dessert . . . no ice. It just depends. But, either way, it was a fun day!



This picture was taken a long time ago, and a few cameras back. I'm not sure when it was taken, and I'm not sure what the occasion was—maybe my birthday? Not sure. But, whatever they were for, they were from my awesomely wonderful husband, for whom I am so very thankful.



These grapes were on the table for lunch one day, while we were on vacation this Spring. Grapes can be so refreshing when you're at the beach. I was having fun with my camera, so I snapped them. It turned out to be a fun shot! I like the textures in this picture.


Sunset & Cattails

"O setting sun! though the time has come,
I still warble under you, if none else does, unmitigated
—from "Song At Sunset" by Walt Whitman 


Prints now available for purchase

Good news! I've just added a "Purchase" page to the blog. If you're interested in purchasing any of the pictures you see here, for yourself or as a gift, click on that page for pricing information. I've just put my matted prints on sale—34-40% discounts! All the information is on the Purchase page. Check it out!


I Heart Faces, Week 16, “Collages” Photo Challenge

I've never done a collage in Photoshop before. I know . . . *gasp*! So, this week's photo challenge at I Heart Faces was a good exercise for me. I went to MCP Actions to do a little research and learning, and this is the finished product.

These pictures were all taken the Saturday before Easter at the Arboretum. My daughter loved being able to explore the meadow, and pick and smell the dandelions. It was too cute! I love this stage! Now that she's proficient at this walking thing, I love nothing more than to let her run around in a large field of grass.


View from the observation tower

View from the observation tower at Big Lagoon State Park

I couldn't decide which angle I liked better—portrait or landscape? So, I decided to post them both. The sun was setting when I took these pictures, and you can't loose with that kind of lighting. This is a small bay that empties into the Gulf. I love the swooping of the shoreline, and the way the water is flowing into the shore. It was a beautiful view!


Great Blue Heron

On a recent Gulf Coast vacation, we made a trip to Big Lagoon State Park, and encountered this Great Blue Heron on our walk to the observation tower. He must be quite use to people, because he wasn't all that startled by us. This was my first picture of him (above), from a good distance away. Then the second one (below), was actually quite close—closer than I thought he would let me get.

Then, he flew away. But, then I found him again (below). I was standing VERY close to him in this particular picture, snapping the picture with my left hand (not an easy feat with a chunky D90), and holding tightly to my squirming little 15-month-old in my right arm.

Week 15 - “I Heart Desserts” Photo Challenge!

This week's I Heart Faces Photo Challenge theme is "I Heart Desserts." I wasn't going to participate this week, because we didn't really have anything sweet around the house, but then I remembered . . . Bourbon Balls! My parents were here for a visit this past weekend, and for fun, we took them to Woodford Reserve. They had never been to a Bourbon distillery, and this is a fun one, so we went! Our tour guide was a little long-winded, but we had fun, and it's always interesting to hear the history behind this industry.

After our tasting at the end of our tour, we just hung around a bit, and my mom bought us a 1/2-pound of their Bourbon Balls . . . yum! Watch out. They're rich! I'm not a fan of the pecan on top, so my husband gets those. :o)

I entered my photos in a bag contest!

Kroger (and their entire family of grocery stores) is having their annual Design a Reusable Shopping Bag contest, right now! And their offering some great prizes.

So, I entered! I used photographs that I had taken myself and that you've seen here! and designed what I think are a couple of very nice bags. Head on over, check them out, and vote for me! Here they are . . .

The Design a Reusable Shopping Bag Contest with Kroger - Vote for My Design

The Design a Reusable Shopping Bag Contest with Kroger - Vote for My Design


Maple in Bloom

This little maple was just waking up from its winter nap, when I took this picture in late March. It will be full of leaves before I know it, but right now, it has these beautiful red flowers bursting from its branches. I love beautiful days like these, when the sky is ultra-blue, and the sun is warm and shining. I'm looking forward to the warmer weather, and a bit more sunshine for a while.


Ultimate Blog Party 2010!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

It's Ultimate Blog Party 2010 time, hosted by 5 Minutes for Moms!! The UBP is all about connecting with other moms, building new friendships, and exploring lots of fabulous mom-blogs. I'm really excited to be participating this year—I'm a first-timer. The UBP is open to blogger and non-bloggers. Everyone is welcome. And, there are tons of fabulous prizes, too! If you're a Grace Made Evident reader, you can win! Head on over to the UBP prize page, and find some great new blogs to follow. Remember, it all ends April 16th, so hurry on over and start having fun, now!

If you're brand new to Grace Made Evident, my name is Leslie and I started this blog in 2008 to share and write about my photography. I'm a wife and a mom. I work full-time from home in the Christian publishing industry, and I love writing, photography, bargain shopping, and being outdoors.

I love creation, and I love the way it's Beauty and Grace are so evidently displayed. Whether you believe in God or not, I believe there is a Purpose behind the beauty we see in the world. I try to capture that in my photography.

There are several ways you can receive my updates:

Here's what I'm hoping to win (from the prize page):
  1. 40- One winner will receive a 3 day 2 night stay from Holiday Inn Main Gate East in Kissimmee, FL
  2. INTL 3 – The Girl Creative will giveaway one Deluxe Blog Design ($50 value) to one person
  3. INTL 11 – Custom Blogger Design- valued at $100
  4. USC 11 – Win a $50 gift certificate good towards any purchase in my Etsy shop  or my website.
  5. 56 – 12″ x 24″ Custom, hand~painted gallery style canvas for baby nursery or kid’s room {to be coordinated with winner’s bedding/decor} for one winner
  6. 20 – $50.00 in jewelry from Cookie Lee
  7. 32 – $25 Target Gift Card
  8. 37 – $20 Visa Gift Card
  9. 38 – New Mary Kay Fragrance Free Satin Hands Set
  10. 70 – $25 Kroger Gift Certificate
  11. 84 – One $25 Gift Certificate to Shutterfly.com
  12. 107 – $25 Gift Card to Target
  13. USC 15 – $50 Target gift card to one winner
Have fun, and party on!



What kind of name is "Grackle?" Poor bird! You see them all the time, and they make a slightly obnoxious sound, but why tag them with such a hideous name?

This guy was hanging around at the end of this dead tree in a park near where we use to live. I loved the way he was silhouetted against the evening sky, and I'm lucky to have captured him just the way I wanted to. He was backlit just enough to make him look completely black against the soft blue sky.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (my husband will be proud):
Common Grackles are blackbirds that look like they've been slightly stretched. They're taller and longer tailed than a typical blackbird, with a longer, more tapered bill and glossy-iridescent bodies. Grackles walk around lawns and fields on their long legs or gather in noisy groups high in trees, typically evergreens. They eat many crops (notably corn) and nearly anything else as well, including garbage. In flight their long tails trail behind them, sometimes folded down the middle into a shallow V shape.


Forsythia in Spring

Happy Easter, everyone! Today, we celebrate the resurrection, and the hope that Christ bought for us. One of my favorite worship songs, these days, is this one:
"In Christ Alone" by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

Now, about the picture . . . our forsythia is in bloom, now. It started blooming the last couple of weeks of March, and it's brilliant yellow right now. I forget how much I love Spring, until the flowers start blooming, and then I remember. I remember the beauty, renewal, and awakening that comes with Spring. It's like waking up from a long nap, and creation begins to sing again.


Boardwalk at Big Lagoon State Park

I was recently at the beach . . . recently. But, I'm not right now. Can you tell that I wish I was? *sigh*

Well, we had fun while we were there, at least. And, on our visit, we visited Big Lagoon State Park in the Florida panhandle—right next to Alabama. I'm starting to really enjoy this little state park. I haven't done too much exploring, but they have this really great observation tower. I was standing at the top of it when I took this picture. The sun was setting, and the lighting—well, "c'est magnifique." It was definitely a fun chance for me to play with my D90. If you were to follow that little creek out to the left of the picture, you would be in the Gulf of Mexico. It was a really beautiful spot.

While we were there, we had a close encounter with a Great Blue Heron. I'll be posting pics of that soon.

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