Yard Adventure in Shakopee, MN | A Photographer's Blog

I love portrait photography for family, children, and high school seniors, as well as corporate clients. I love creating amazing images for my clients. But I also enjoy capturing images for myself, too!

I'm going to take you on a journey of what is happening in the world of me today - Monda the Photographer. And I'm taking you outdoors into my yard! In the summer, a favorite past time for our family is hanging out by the bonfire. My husband and I were given this awesome firepit as a wedding gift from my in-laws. It is an old LP tank sitting atop an old wheel well. Maybe I like it so much because it resembles a cauldron. (and I like cauldrons!) Best. Firepit. EVER! It is huge - measuring at a span of over 42 inches across! One of my dear friends even made us a brand new iron fire "poker" with our last name in the handle! (my golden retriever, Allie Dog, is in the background!)

Our awesome new firepit "bowl"

Awesome poker from my good friend, Steve!

I do not have much of a green thumb, but every year on Mother's Day, I try to plant annual flowers in my pots. This year, I also bought some "clearance" flowers from Lowes, that were barely hanging on. I'm proud to report that 15 out of the 16 clearance flowers have survived and are thriving in the summer weather! (maybe I do have a green thumb after all!) 

My "clearance" petunia flowers from Lowes. They are so beautiful!

This is also the first year of my grape vine (which was a gift from my son for Mother's Day a few years ago!) actually having grape cluster berries on it! I'm so excited for these to ripen! I have heard they are very bitter so I must use a ton of sugar for flavor if I try to make anything with them. I'm just happy the vine has survived 2 years and has finally blossomed with fruit!

Cluster of grapes! Can't wait for them to ripen!

I wound up having some milkweeds in my landscape garden this year as well. I'm sad to report, there are no monarch caterpillars. But i did manage to find a few ladybugs on the leaves!

A ladybug nestled into the young blooms.

Milkweed is actually a very pretty weed. I'm told their flowers give off a beautiful smell. I blame allergies because I could not smell anything!

Milkweed flower.

Take a look at where this poor tree decided to make it's home! Within the bricks of my retaining wall! This is on my to-do list to repot this tree! 

Tree growing in between my retaining wall!

I also have three beautiful smoke bush trees in my landscape. My mom and aunt planted them for me when I first moved into my house. This tree has finally taken off and produces beautiful blooms that appear to have a cloudy "smoke-like" appearance. 

Smoke bush

Closeup of the smoke bush blooms. They are a pinkish purple and appear "fuzzy" like a cloud or puff of smoke - hence their name.

I also have a few maple tree seedlings that have sprouted around my yard. This one is near my front patio...again finding growth within my retaining wall block and the wood chips.

The result of a helicopter seed from a maple tree in a neighbor's yard! A new little maple tree.

Lastly - this weekend we had some spectacular lightning storms pass through our Shakopee, MN neighborhood. We were happily enjoying our fire, watching the radar, and boom! Just like that, the rain came. Our awesome bonfire pit kept burning for two more hours even though we had a downpour on Saturday night!

The awesome firepit still burns even when it was raining.

With my iPhone 5 phone, I had wanted to take photos of the lightning bolts. That proved to be quite difficult. My husband and son laughed at me as I stood there armed and ready...missing every single strobe by a millisecond! But - I was able to capture a video of an anticipated lightning strike safely from inside my garage. Check it out below:

Some still shots of the lightning display:

Lightning storm in Shakopee on early June 28, 2015

I am in awe of our creator! What a sight to see!

View from the inside of my garage. Images taken with an iPhone 5. So beautiful!

While it may look like it, the streetlight and lightning had nothing to do with each other. The lamp itself was lit, so it over exposed that spot in my images. The lightning was quite a ways away from our location.

I hope you enjoyed a day in the life of Monda the Photographer! Thank you for viewing! See you soon!