Each year has its joys and sorrows, its frustrations and accomplishments. 2008 wasn't any different in running the gamut of experiences with family, friends, animals and nature.
Although he had cancer, Chester still lived to be nine years old which is the normal life expectancy for his breed. We lost him right at the beginning of the year. Like every animal he had a unique personality. If you have ever seen a movie with a mellow bloodhound lounging on the front porch, that wasn't Chester. He was totally hyper. His liked to play ball, but if someone wasn't out there to play with him, he would throw the ball in the air and chase it by himself.
The winter was unbelievable. It went on and on and on. I have never seen so much snow. I have never moved so much snow. We had a flock of wild turkeys move in under the bird feeders.
The snow piled up on the patio.
The snow kept piling up on the patio.
The llamas could barely get into the shed for their hay. I had to shovel a path for them.
The elevation in Vernal is 1,000 feet lower than where we live so the people in "town" started to see some ground in March. We didn't.
The kids who ran track were very, very cold.
A sunshine smile on a sunny spring day.
At then end of March we escaped to faraway lands where suddenly the climate was hot. We saved for a long time to take a dream trip to Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan for three weeks. In July I started my blog in order to share the pictures and memories from our trip.
I loved getting to meet elephants up close and personal.
One of a million scenic views in Bhutan.
When we came back the snow was blessedly gone. It took some time to recover from the travel and the strange post-travel malady I brought home. It was wonderful to see the columbines eventually bloom on the north side of the house.
In August, we traveled again, more locally. Our friends' daughter was married in the LDS temple in Salt Lake and we were honored to take pictures of the happy day on 8/8/08.
We traveled to Colorado to visit dear friends and enjoyed seeing Maroon Bells in Aspen for the very first time.
We returned to Colorado to witness the joy of my niece getting married.
What would my life be without animals in it? Truly, I don't understand people who say they don't like having pets.
My daughter in lovely fall light.
This duck, named Duck, was so much fun. As the lone duck, she roamed the yard all summer. Whenever anyone went outside, she called, "QUACK!" We would quack back at her and had very entertaining conversations. Sometimes she liked to hang out on the patio with the cats in the afternoon sun. Unfortunately, a wild animal killed her and the yard is much quieter now.
As I became more addicted to blogging, my photography increased exponentially. I enjoyed many beautiful walks this fall, camera in hand, and began experimenting with composition, light and texture.
Just up the hill is an abandoned farm building.
My last walk of the season on the Flume Trail.
We finished out the year with another frenzied holiday season! My sister and her husband came to visit for New Years but did I take pictures?
So what have I learned?
*That I need to practice taking more people pictures.
*I love blogging and connecting with people all over the world through interesting sites,
*I knew I loved to travel but as I get older there's more of a physical price to pay (but it won't stop me from going new places!)
*I want to go on safari in Africa.
*Practicing meditation more frequently would be a good activity, along with more consistent exercise (but I'm not making a "Resolution" of the season.)
*How much I love my family and friends, the place I live and all the critters in the neighborhood.
*I can still take risks but they are more calculated. I can confront my fears and overcome them.
*I need to be creative and express myself artistically in some form or another.
*I love learning new things.
*The sky is ever changing from moment to moment, just like life.