Another Year at the Renaissance Festival

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“I could never really imagine myself doing one thing,

and I’m pretty sure that I’ll end up doing four or five different things.

I want to be a Renaissance woman. I want to paint,

and I want to write, and I want to act, and I want to just do everything.”

– Emma Watson

~ 🍁 ~

Renaissance Festival is my very favorite event of the year. I spend every single minute of free time I have attending it. Here in Minnesota, the Fest runs from August 22 to October 4th, on the weekends. Every time I go, I see something new, and I fall in love with it even more. This year I really got comfortable using my camera, and nearly every day I have gone, it has just been my camera and I. Going on my own gives me the freedom to meet new people, and get photographs that I might otherwise not be able to get for fear of abandoning my friends or family.

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But don’t think I don’t love taking my family. I took my daughter and my mom to the Festival. Collette got to enjoy a few rides, and loved seeing all of the animals and people. I’ll also be attending this last weekend of the Festival with Collette. No doubt enjoying a few more rides and some good food.

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Of course, going on my own, never means I’m alone. I have many friends who work at the Festival. This year I spent a lot of time visiting my friend Jessica (above photo). I also made lots of new friends this year, including some of the traveling shop owners that I never had the time to converse with while having friends or family with me. There were also shows I got to watch that I didn’t normally get to attend, as well as just sitting and people watching, or hanging around the petting farm. Photographing the sheep makes me really happy for some reason. They are so cute I can barely stand it.

When the ponies from the pony ride get turned out into their small pasture to graze and rest, I like to sit in the shade and watch them happily devour the grass. It’s so freeing to be at the Festival on my own.

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The shows I’ve enjoyed the most this year are the Fandazzi Fire Circus, and the Washing Well Wenches. I don’t normally get to stop and watch those ones, but I made it a point to enjoy them this year.

I highly recommend the Fandazzi Fire Circus to anyone attending the Festival for the last weekend. Their 4:30 show is completely worth it. Lots and lots of fire! Their show is passion filled, with an amazing band, playing undoubtably the best music at the Festival. It not only pulls you in, but it holds you there. It’s fantastic, and I cannot believe I have missed out on their show as much as I have. Katy Solko is absolutely breathtaking dancing with a flaming hula hoop. So please, take the time to see this one!

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The Washing Well Wenches is a raunchy show about two “cousins” who “wash” clothes. Their idea of washing is just smacking articles of clothing into a pool of water. Thus soaking the people in the front of the crowd. It’s raunchy, since both are “looking for a man” and they tend to search for him in the crowd. They also make men do silly things for flowers to give to their lady friends. Nothing but fun and laughter from these two! This show is also very worth it!

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~ 🍁 ~

Well, that’s all for now! I’ll be attending the last weekend, and will hopefully get some more photos!

If you’re going, look for me! I’d love to photograph you. :)

If you’re interested in seeing the rest of my Renaissance Festival photos:

Go here!

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All photos are mine!

Thanks so much for reading!

A Summer Well Spent

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“Summer afternoon — Summer afternoon;

to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

– Henry James

~ ☼ ~

 Most of my summer was spent outdoors. Every second was worth it, as I became more confident with my camera, and remembered what it was like to be myself again. As Fall sets in, I feel myself growing frustrated with the lack of insects. Yes, you read that right. I’m going to miss the bugs! More specifically, I’m going to miss the bees and wasps as the weather grows colder here in Minnesota.

It wasn’t until more than half way through the summer when I realized I really enjoyed chasing bees and wasps around with my lens. Everywhere I went, I caught myself searching the flowers, trying to spot a big fat bumble bee minding its own business. My 300mm lens came in handy during these searches. Before becoming comfortable with my “zoom lens” as I call it, I had always tried to get close to bees. Of course, they always flew away, and I was left frustrated. Once I started actually having fun with my zoom lens, I realized it was nice to just hang back and watch them from afar. The ease in which I captured them was shocking to me, and I couldn’t believe how much I had missed out on. All because I was impatient and thought I needed to get close to get good photos.

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Nearly every day was spent searching for bees, and I didn’t care what they were doing. However, fat bumble bees were not the only ones I trudged through brush to find. Paper wasps are probably one of the most interesting insects to photograph. I came across one resting on some flowers, and knowing that it was a little more dangerous than a bee, I left it alone. A lake was a few feet behind me, so I just turned around and photographed a few other things. After about a half an hour I ended up back by the flowers where the wasp had been. She was still there, only on a different set of flowers. That was it, I knew I needed to take her photo. When I did, it was as if she knew I was photographing her. She was still, but going about her business. I gave her a great distance, and used my zoom lens to take some amazing photos of her. This is when I learned how to be patient.

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Near the St. Croix River, Marty and I found ourselves hiking in tall grass that had taken over the trail. We were just feet from the flowing water, and the weather was incredible. It was pleasantly warm, but it was also cloudy, and there was a slight breeze which felt amazing. We came across a wide variety of flowers, and a lot of spiders. It wasn’t until I found a little bumble bee buzzing about that I started using my camera. It was the first time I had used my zoom lens to take photos of a bee. I snapped a few, thinking they would be neat but probably nothing special, and we finished our little adventure. We hopped back in the Jeep and drove to a few other areas, stopping to hike, and moving on again before it started to rain on us. Once I got home, I looked at the photos I had taken, and I couldn’t believe how lovely they were. I couldn’t believe I had taken them.

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This summer is the first summer I have spent using my camera nearly every day. I have found something I really enjoy photographing, and it’s incredibly freeing. Photography has always been my passion, but having something I can photograph passionately is something new for me. I plan on spending all of next year’s summer doing the same thing.

Here are a few more photos from the St. Croix River.

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~ ☼ ~

Thanks for reading!

All photos are mine.

Except the photo of me, which was taken by Marty.