Toiyabe National Forest – Wild Horses and Burros

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It was my birthday yesterday. I was planning on getting out of the city, and was hoping to experience some high mountain air, see some snow and wild horses. I know.. high expectations. All my wishes came true, and then some.

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I was going to take my daughter on this adventure, but mentioned my plans, and we got company. Which was absolutely wonderful, and I didn’t have to drive myself, and could enjoy the experience even more.

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I wanted to go to Toiyabe National Forest, to the Spring Mountain area, because I knew that there’s several herds of wild horses roaming there. The chances of seeing some were pretty good. It also snowed there earlier this week 🙂 Being from the mountains in northern Sweden, I LOVE snow.

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I apologize for this photo not being crystal clear, I was shooting towards a very bright sun. I was so surprised to see this unusual friendship between a young moose and a mustang foal.

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This is right outside the small off-grid community of Cold Creek (NV.)

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I’ve always been fascinated by eyes, and how loud they speak, if we are quiet enough to listen. They really are the eye of the soul. (LOVE my new telephoto zoom lens!!)

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If I can have experiences like this, only an hour from home, I can handle living in the city a little longer. I don’t have words to describe what it does to my soul. I hope you can feel it by looking at the photos.

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My daughter enjoying lunch, with a scenic view.

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Without a doubt the best birthday so far in my life. I got so much more than all my wishes come true.

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I’ve seen plenty of wild burros these past few weeks, but haven’t had the chance to actually capture them with my camera, until last night.

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This is outside Indian Springs (NV.)

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It was a magical day, filled with joy, laughter, love, photo opportunities to die for, fresh mountain air, snow, adventure, presents, and even a homemade cake and song. When I went to bed I was filled with an feeling of immense gratitude, and love in my heart. . and thank you everyone for all the birthday wishes on social media as well. I am so thankful for each and every one of you being a part of my life.

Love,

Ms Zen

 

Weekend Coffee Share – Thanksgiving Week

It’s almost 6 pm Sunday. This marvelous Thanksgiving week is over. I thought that I was slightly late with my weekend coffee share, just to find out that there is no official coffee share this week. Naturally I can’t let YOU down. Can I offer you some coffee? Or pherhaps tea, since it is so late? There is some leftover pumpkin pie (homemade from scratch of course,) in the fridge. Or if you’d eaten your share of pumpkin pie for this time, I have some warm rye bread straight from the oven, would you like to taste some? Maybe with some cheese?

How was your week? Did you celebrate Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones? Or maybe you live in a country where every day is the perfect day for giving thanks?

My daughter attended a family reunion on her dad’s side of the family, and I celebrated Thanksgiving with the family I work for, that kindly adopted me into their family. The whole week has been wonderful, so much good food, laughter, and love in the air.

As you probably know, I’m a minimalist. I don’t do a whole lot of shopping, only if I really need something. I had by no means planned to do any Black Friday shopping. Then I got a message that a telephoto zoom lens that I’ve had on my wish list for a long time, was on Best Buy’s Black Friday sale…well that changed the no shopping idea in my head. 

The photos in this post is from when I tried my new lens, in Red Rock National Conservation Area, this weekend.  

I think I’m going to have lots of fun with my new lens! Well, I already am.

There’s a few upcoming events that I’m looking forward to capture with my new lens this coming month, that would not of been the same with my old lens (which was a very cheap lens, and the only one I could afford at the time I upgraded my camera a few months ago.) I feel very motivated photography wise.

I’m getting to know my Canon EOS 6D Mark ii better by the day. Now with my new lens it’s going to be even more fun. The season offers a very comfortable climate, and there’s so many amazing places to explore around Las Vegas, that I haven’t seen yet. I’m due for another trip to Grand Canyon as well. My dog, Gretchen, have made a couple new friends, that she’s been playing with several times these past couple weeks. It’s two other German Shepherd girls. They have so much fun together, and I am happy for her. They speak the same language so to speak, and hit it off immediately. I’m envisioning a photo session with the three of them at a beautiful location in a near future. That would be so much fun!

Can I get you a refill on your coffee? 

As I’m writing this I feel so thankful, happy and completely satisfied with a magical week. I hope you feel it too! If you did write a coffee share post, or another post about your weekend, please feel free to post a link in the comments.  Happy (late) Thanksgiving!

Love,

Ms Zen

Weekend Coffee Share -Valley of Fire State Park

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Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)! Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about? All are welcome!

It’s been a great week, and I am settling in to some kind of routine with everything. I really enjoy my new nanny job, the children are wonderful, and the parents are great people that I like a lot. How was your week? How would you like your coffee today?

I realize that I have not been posting as much as I usually do on my blog. It’s definitely not because of lack of content. On the contrary. I work more hours now. Even though I feel that I’m starting to come into a new routine with most things, I have been working less on my blog. I’m going to do something about that, because it’s important to me, and I’m going to try to stick to the writing schedule I have. Do you experience that sticking to your writing schedule is more challenging when there’s lot of changes going on in your life? For me writing helps to keep me grounded, and stay in the zen. Writing, and photography goes hand in hand. When I write something on my blog, I often re-live a wonderful event. Both while sharing some of the details in writing, and posting the photos to go with the story. 

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Atlatl Rock, at Valley of Fire State Park

I spent yesterday exploring Valley of Fire State Park. It’s 42 000 acres of incredible sandstone formations. Located 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas (NV.) Basically in my (new) backyard! It was pure magic! It was close to a Grand Canyon experience, if you’ve been there, you know what that means! It was an emotional experience, to the degree of bringing me to tears at times.

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Petroglyphs at Atlatl Rock. The light conditions were very harsh. I will try to get some better photos of the petroglyphs during my next visit.

I went on several shorter (around 1 mile) hikes, to different points of interests in the park. I’ve only edited a few of the photos so far, and I’ll share the first ones with you today. I’ll post more during the coming week, as I have a chance to look at them. The light in the park, the colors, and the desert landscape was simply breath taking. It felt like something from another planet. The geology is most interesting. I saw hundreds of caves, and I’m sure there was thousands more hidden in the park. The rock formations are incredible, with the way the light plays on them, they sometimes look very harsh, and sometimes as they were soft to the touch.

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Valley of Fire derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs, 150 million years ago. Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape. 

– Valley of Fire State Park visitor brochure

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My dog Gretchen resting in the shade. 

Yesterday morning it was around 85 degrees when I arrived, and when I left it was 100+. There was extreme heat warning signs on some places (some of the longer hikes,) stating that hikes are not recommended at this time. I honored these signs, and only went for the shorter hikes. There will be plenty of times to go back, and explore to my hearts desire.

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On some places the sand was deep, and it was quiet exhausting to hike. Still it was definitely worth it.

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There’s natural caves everywhere.

The park has a couple campgrounds, and I am planning on trying them out. That’s the only way to experience the early morning, and late evening light, as the rest of the park is only open sunrise-sunset. Today, the day after, I still feel high on life after this incredible experience. If you get the chance, I can highly recommend a visit. If you have been there, I would love to hear about your experience 🙂

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I hope you’re having a wonderful, amazing weekend! ❤

 

Love,

Ms Zen