With two busy boys and the long summer days, finding activities to keep them busy can be a chore…and expensive. Camps and classes can easily add up to more than $1,000 per month. Not to mention spending the summer vacation following the same school day routine of waking them up early for camp, packing lunches, yelling at them to get dressed, driving them early to the camp and so on. Summer is supposed to be relaxing, right? Instead of filling up their entire vacation with even more activities, why not spend some of it with them? Let the kids sleep in, lounge around in their pjs, eat a little too much, watch a little too much TV and simply enjoy the lazy days of summer. And when it’s time to get outside and play, make use of the freebies around Asheville. One of our favorites…Splashville downtown. Splashville is located at Pack Square and is simply a large circle of water fountains that spray randomly. But throw in some kids on a hot summer day, and they love it. You can spread a blanket on the large, green lawn, read a book, and let the kids run wild. Enjoy the unique “wildlife” downtown Asheville has to offer with some people-watching while they play. Then take the kids to eat at Pack’s Tavern when they’re pooped. A little sun, a little fun, and it’s free. Not bad.
This session was my first visit to the Botanical Gardens at Asheville and wow, what a beautiful spot! Of course, this is nothing new to other photographers in the area but since I’m still fairly new to the city, I was happy to finally see it. First off, I loved, LOVED the color of the dresses mom picked for her adorable, blond-haired beauties. The bright pink looked amazing with the green grass. Then add in their tow-headed, sweet curls and oh my…precious! Because the younger sister was a busy little thing, she kept us moving. But it only meant I got to see more of the gardens. The trees, the bridges, the stone, the creek…perfect for a photographer, which is probably why we bumped into another one at work. We took the sandals off little sister to slow her down on the trails. Good idea, mom! And big sister was a pro – smiling, laughing, playing, and grabbing her sis when she took off. We finished with the sun quickly setting and with mom and I pooped from our “chase.” But that’s the fun of photographing kids and I think it made for some beautiful images…
During a long, two-week vacation at the beach, I had plenty of time to think and plan for the next fine art photography post. And with days spent under our large, red umbrella people-watching like…. wincing at the beach-goers in teeny, tiny bathing suits who probably shouldn’t be in teeny, tiny bathing suits; laughing at the 60-year-old intoxicated man try to dance and flirt with the much younger woman one towel over; and giving my best angry glare to the teenager who decided to shake out his towel with the wind in my direction… I knew the post had to be beach-related. Then add in my two boys who finally agreed to assist if I paid them each $5, and the shark theme was born.
While we there, we watched on the news about Great White Sharks tagged by scientists to track their movement. And yes, you know the sharks are out in the ocean as you swim by the shore, but to actually see it on the news makes it feel a little more real. And then when you go to the website that shows just where all the sharks are at that moment, wow! (Click here on the Ocearch.org website to see where the sharks, with adorable names like Katharine, Betsy, and Mary Lee, are currently swimming.)
So take all that information, throw in two wild boys and a “too close to shore” shark, and this is what you get. Happy swimming!
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Jan Madert, Jan Madert Photography, Duluth, GA
10 on 10… Ten photos taken throughout one day, documenting that day, as an exercise in lifestyle photography
This month, the boys and I (that includes the hubby and Patrick the Poodle) packed in the car and headed right down the road to one of the most beautiful spots we’ve seen so far since our move to North Carolina. First off, I’m still amazed that we only drove about 20-30 miles from our house. But in that short drive, we climbed 3,500 feet, driving the curves and tunnels of the amazingly beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. Our destination…Craggy Gardens.
This stunning stop along the parkway seems almost otherworldly. The trail to the summit includes a “tunnel” of rhododendrons that bloom in June. Rare plants also grow at this high-altitude spot and make the quick hike to the peak a showy one.
After our hike and drive, we headed back down into Asheville to a favorite outdoor bar, Creekside Taphouse. This is a PERFECT example of what’s so neat about the city…so many restaurants are family AND pet-friendly. So while the kids played in the nearby creek and on the playground equipment, we sat at a table with our beer and nachos. Patrick lounged on the patio by our feet with his bowl of water provided by the bar. Not bad!
The day ended with one more activity – field day events for our youngest son’s baseball league. To celebrate the end of the season, all the players and families met at the fields for games like a watermelon walk, an egg toss, and home run derby. As expected, both boys won a watermelon early on which just added to the things I had to keep up with as they played for two more hours! But a busy day equals pooped out boys…a beautiful thing for this pooped out mom.
Patrick ready to go
At the top…
Hike back down
We passed so many bicyclists on the parkway…tough ride!
Nachos and beer at Creekside Taphouse
Watermelon Walk winners
Taking a break from a busy day
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I always love seeing her documentary school photography!
So technically, the ones featured below are the “Boys of Spring.” But what better way to welcome in the “almost here” summer season and the grown-up, major league “Boys of Summer” then with a little fine art photography. Again. I love photographing youth baseball. There’s something about the all-American, Mayberry feel of the sport that makes for some sweet photos. That’s why this is my second post on the theme for our fine art photography group’s monthly feature. My first one can be seen here. And the action’s not always on the field. Which is why I usually turn around with my camera or sneak near the dugout to get the good stuff. Rowdy boys covered in dirt and trapped inside a dugout? Imagine the mayhem! This is just a small sample of our recent baseball season. It’s over now and they won a few and lost a few more. But they played like tiny pros and made us all proud. So here’s to the Braves and a job well done. Play Ball!
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