Lens Artists Photo Challenge # 218 – Over the Hill

Donna of Wind Kisses is our guest host for this weeks photo challenge. She invites us to show what over the hill means to us.

I can say that at my age I am definitely over the hill in years, but not in attitude. I’ve reached the age that I know my limitations and know that I can’t do everything I used to do. I also know I will never stop enjoying life to the fullest or stop having fun. Every day is a gift.

In my younger days I enjoyed hiking in new places. Back in 2006, the Delicate Arch hike in Arches National, Utah was probably the most difficult hike I’ve ever attempted. Yes, we hiked up that slick rock and along a very narrow ledge to get to the top.

It was quite a challenge but when we reached the top this view made it all worthwhile.

Many other times we drove up mountain for a scenic view instead of hiking.

This stunning view from an overlook made the drive up steep scenic Glacier Point Road in Yosemite National Park, California one to remember.

We were rewarded with this Alpine Visitor’s Center in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado at the top of Trail Ridge Road.

Sometimes life throws us a challenge we don’t want to face. My biggest hill to climb in my personal life was my Ovarian Cancer journey. There have been many bumps in the road along the way but today I am grateful that my cancer has been gone for over 11 years.

Did you know September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month? I was one of the lucky women to be diagnosed at an early stage.

Many thanks to Donna’s Lens-Artists Challenge #218 – Over the Hill

Lens Artists Photo Challenge # 211 – What’s your Photographic Groove

In this challenge host Anne asks us “What is your Photographic Groove? What type of photography do you truly enjoy? “

I enjoy the challenge of photographing birds and wildlife in their natural habitat. The header image is of a bugling Elk in Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in North Carolina. One fall we traveled there in hope of seeing the magnificent elk herd that lives there. We weren’t disappointed. I posted about our experience at Cataloochee Valley Elk in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

The following gallery contains some of my favorite wildlife images from our travels around the United States and Canada.

This next gallery contains some of my favorite bird images.

Many thanks to Anne for this Lens-Artists Challenge #211 – What’s your Photographic Groove?

Lens Artists Photo Challenge # 210 – Picking Favorites

In this challenge guest host Sarah asks us to pick three favorite photos and describe why they are favorites. I had a difficult time coming up with just three images but here they are.

My first image is one one I took earlier this summer while I was sitting in my back yard. I was hoping to capture birds at the feeder or butterflies on the flowers. The birds and butterflies didn’t cooperate so instead I took a few shots of the coneflowers using my telephoto lens. I’m happy with the effect and like the purplecone flower in the background.

Summer Coneflowers

I couldn’t pick three favorites without including a bird image. This next image is my favorite hummingbird image. I captured him from above as I was sitting on my deck above the flowers.

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

My final image is of two Orcas I captured on a wildlife cruise from Valdez, Alaska. Valdez was near the end of our nearly two months of traveling by RV through Alaska. We saw plenty of humpback whales on two other wildlife cruises but we had not yet seen any Orcas. This wildlife cruise would be our last chance to see them before we headed south for home. I was thrilled when a pod surfaced close to our boat and I was finally able to capture a few shots. This one is one of my favorite photos from the trip.

A pair of Orcas on Columbia Glacier tour from Valdez

Many thanks to guest host Sarah for this Lens-Artists Challenge #210 – Picking Favorites