A bit about us...

We are a modern family of three, living on less than two acres with a 3,000 square foot garden that meets our produce needs and allows us to share with friends and neighbors. Our laying flock of chickens seems to expand each year as we raise chicks each Spring to replace older hens. This blog is more of a journal, if you will, for us to chronicle and share our experiences in the yard, garden and kitchen. It is our hope that along the way a few folks might learn something, be entertained, or simply enjoy sharing in our stories and the lessons we learn on a daily basis. I named the blog after the times when I am the happiest, when I am elbow deep in earth.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Scenic Drive From the Perspective of an Inquisitive Six Year Old

We gave Lexi a digital camera of her own to record our journey for the day.  We thought it would be great to see what she saw and might also keep her entertained on a painfully long drive for a six year old girl with an active mind.  It was outstanding!  She loved it!

We set a few expectations before letting her go with the camera though:
1.  Don't turn it on and off a lot, nor leave it on all the time, as there was no spare battery.  It has to plug in to charge, so when the battery went dead, that would be the end of her photo journey.
2.  Keep the wrist strap tight on her wrist for safety.
3.  Have fun and take pictures that would make her happy and help her remember her trip.

Here is a sampling of her photographs from the day (I have asked her to caption the ones she has something to say about.  The photos are hers, so shall the captions be. There were quite a few blurry shots and totally pointless shots of sky and haze, etc., and what fun would there be in posting those, so I have edited them out (mostly).

I took it because it was pretty.
One of her first pics:

I made a mistake and took it.
The back of the seat is her view all the time.  There were several of these.  It's a true view from her perspective though, so I thought it important to include one.

Mountains are cool and they also
have big hills, so I like
mountains very much.
The mountains were hard to capture with the haze, but she did a great job here of showing the topography of the land and showing some perspective for distance in our views.

What else does a little girl see from her booster seat?  Daddy yawning in the mirror!

I did not rotate this one, this is how she took it. :-)

Someday, I can't wait to remind her of the beautiful places she got to see at such a young age.  So many kids spend too much time at home in front of the television and computers.  This is how kids should be experiencing the world.

 I think she was trying to get herself with the scenery behind her here...

What an interesting scene for her to capture.  

She watched Daddy walk out on the rocks to get some good shots.

Then she took some of her own.  Like this one:

Clouds are white, skies are
blue and that is what I
 like about this picture.
And this.

One of the recommended stops on our way was the James River Bridge.  The man at the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center said there was a nice walk there. He was not wrong.  

Lexi shot this neat reflection from the bridge.

Some water is good for people
to go in but some it's not.
She spent some time looking out at the river as well.

I like baby birds and I also like
plain birds.
There were a few late bloomer Cliff Swallows still in the nests.  She really enjoys birds, so this was a treat.

After lunch, she was back in the car and still excited about the mountains.

Waterfalls are cool and they
also look neat and water
comes down from the
big hill.
Another stop with a small hike was an area where the park service had recreated a section of old logging railroad.  She was not interested so much in that point of interest, but she did enjoy the waterfall on the trail. 

She even took time to watch the water flow between the rocks at the bottom.

I don't think we take enough time as adults to look just stop and look up.  Lexi did.

We stopped at an overlook called 20 Minute Cliff.  The sign read: "In June and July during corn-choppin time, this cliff serves the folks in White Rock Community as a time piece.  Twenty minutes after sunlight strikes the rock face, dusk falls on the valley below."  We had quite a nice rest here snapping pictures and taking in the landscape.  

It was nice of me to let the
man use my camera.
This pic was taken with Lexi's camera, but by a kind gentleman who offered to get a family shot of us. Interestingly, he was originally from Michigan...

I took a good picture and
I had fun taking pictures.
Then Lexi took the camera back and snapped this gem for us:

And then the mountains must have gotten a little boring, because she began looking for prettier material to photograph... 

I tried really hard to take a good picture
of myself because I like myself.
Well, you get the idea.

We could hear the camera turning on and off (it chimes when it does) and warned her that the battery would run low... So she began to focus on the mountains from her view once again.

That bear is cool and I tried to take a
good picture of him but he
was moving too fast.
We left the Blue Ridge Parkway and scooted up the highway a bit as evening was drawing close.  We got back on the scenic highway, but this time in the Shenandoah National Park, where it is called Skyline Drive.  We weren't on it long when Lexi got to see her second bear of the day.  This one was so close and was moving quickly, we were all a little shakey.  It's blurry, but that's a young female black bear.  We talked about how cool it was to see one in the wild, not behind barriers at a zoo. 

Down the road a bit, we drove up next to a deer that stood RIGHT next to the car.  Lexi got her camera out only to discover that the battery had died.  She announced to us then that she should have listened to our warnings and saved her battery since she was going to miss out on the rest of the pictures for the day. :-(

Lessons learned from this exercise:

1.  Kids really enjoy the freedom to express themselves through photography
2.  You may be surprised at what the world looks like through their eyes and the striking perspective they have.
3.  Lexi REALLY loves taking pictures of herself. :-)  I sincerely hope she always maintains a healthy level of self-confidence that means she is never unhappy with her image being preserved.
4.  Parents do know some stuff and should be listened to (sometimes).

This was such a great opportunity and we will definitely have to do it again (the trip and the camera in her hands)!  Maybe we will look into a nice camera of her own in a couple years to see where this interest goes...

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