Positive Social Media Experience – Instagram

Posted by @texasbirdnerd on Instagram

I am genuinely passionate about writing. There is nothing comparable to the terrifying yet freeing feeling of putting your raw truth out for public inspection. I can handle the risk of judgement or rejection because I know that so many others need to understand that no matter how dark the moment may seem, there is always hope to be found. Breaking the silence about the harsh parts of our shared human experience is critically important so we can all be reminded that it’s not just us. That we are not broken. That we are never ever alone.

Posted by @texasbirdnerd on Instagram

However the challenge that I face as a blogger is that as much as I adore writing, I can’t turn these posts around in 5 or 10 minutes. They take a good chunk of time for me to compose, and I only seem to find that time somewhere between 11pm and 2am. Sadly that doesn’t jive so well with my 5am wake-up call and kids / work / life keep me jammed for the other waking hours.

Posted by @texasbirdnerd on Instagram

Furthermore the blogging community is so interactive that I remain in a perpetual state of feeling tremendously guilty about my inability to read 99.9% of the other bloggers’ posts including those written by my closest friends. I absolutely love reading all of them – truly. But I simply can’t keep up, and it makes me feel like a literary toolbag.

Posted by a clever young photographer (my daughter) @dragondaydreamer on Instagram

But then there’s Instagram. Although there are innumerable posts each day, you go through copious information in a few quick minutes. It’s much easier to support more of the community while leaving quick positive comments encouraging others forward. Like all social media, you can stumble into a dark bummer of a depressed you have serious daddy-issues kind of rabbit hole, but you can also kick that off your feed in two seconds once you recognize it.

Posted by @texasbirdnerd on Instagram

And on that note, please trust me when I tell you to stick with the happy, the amazing, and the educational. Don’t focus on the yuck and definitely don’t feed on the unhappy. Aim for the feel goods and the awe-inspiring. Put more good in to get more good out.

Posted by @texasbirdnerd on Instagram

While I took up photography a few short months ago, I have found myself absolutely smitten with it and always end up focusing on the nerdiest of subjects. (No, not fanboys. I prefer to marry those.) In the world of photography, I’m a nature nerd all the way. And much like writing, it makes me smile, soothes my soul, and appears to do the same for others in need of a mental respite from the racetrack of daily life.

Posted by @texasbirdnerd on Instagram

Although I will continue to write whenever I can find the time, I sincerely hope to see you on Instagram in the gaps in between. If you are already there, please look me up! I would love to support your work. And if you need tips on how to get started, let me know that, too. I would be happy to send along some tips for that as well.

Posted by @texasbirdnerd on Instagram

Best wishes and hugs to all of you!

Jo Price – Instagram ID @texasbirdnerd

Posted by @texasbirdnerd on Instagram

***All photos and writing contained herein are the sole property of the photographer / author. Use is prohibited without express written permission of the photographer / author. (c) 2018 – Jo Price Photography

It’s Too Hot for this Chickadee

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Is the entire world melting or is it just Texaa? Don’t get me wrong. It’s a nice change of pace to be able to blame my perpetual sweaty glow on on the weather instead of my standard hormonal beatdown. Some refer to this female physiological anarchy as “The Change” but if you use those words in my presence, you will visibly see me throw up in my mouth a little. Seriously people. Blegh!

Stop. Calling. It. That.

Let’s all agree that it shall henceforth be known as “Advanced Creaky Hoo-hah Syndrome” and be done with all other terms (scientific, irritating, or otherwise). Okay?

As a quick side note for my fellow birdnerds, adding a birdbath to your yard is a sure way to attract more feathered critters. I should also mention that if it continues to get hotter and hotter, it is quite likely that you will see me splashing around in your new aquatic feature as well. You have been warned.

😉 Jo

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Life in the Spectrum – Nature Photography vs. Travel Anxiety

***Originally posted on lifeinthespectrum.com.

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It’s no secret that I don’t do well when I have to travel solo. Despite my issues, my company is located out of state, so solo travel lands on my calendar multiple times a year. In order to redirect my nervous energy this past week, I opted for a series of random after workday adventures. A couple of those days included the coolest of activities. Happy hour? Chillin’ with my team at the bars? Dancing the night away?

snowy egret seafood - IG with logoOooooh nooooo. Think cooler. Much much cooler. That’s right.

Nature. Photography.

Aaaaaah yes. Haters gonna hate, but I couldn’t stop the unmitigated badassness that came with lugging around a lens so ridiculous that it made my forearms ache to hold it. As an added bonus, I was able to respond to inquiries from curious passersby who repeatedly asked, “Do you get incredible photos with that camera?” with my sly response of “It’s a hit and miss given that my limited camera knowledge is derived from the patient people at Canon customer support and Google.”

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I told you. Mad. Skills. My anxiety faded away as my native nerdiness returned to the forefront. But it made me happy, and it did calm me down. I send heartfelt thank yous to the many California locals who suggested several beautiful places for capturing lovely nature shots and to those who pointed me in the right direction once I arrived.

seal in la jolla - IGKindness is so very powerful. We often don’t realize that the people around us are struggling deeply, and the smallest of benevolent gestures can mean more than we could ever know.

As is the norm, I actually had a wonderful week. Despite a few questionable moments (to be discussed later), I survived relatively unscathed. And now I’m home once more. Back to Texas. Back to my people.

Back to me.

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Big hugs to you all!  Jo

*My instagram ID is @texasbirdnerd for any other nature photo nerds. Find me so I can see your pics, too. Those always make me smile.  🙂

acorn woodpeckers - IG

***I would love to know what you do to take down the stress level when you are feeling overwhelmed. Feel free to tag your relevant posts in the comments, but keep in mind that this is a family show. Please keep it G / PG rated. Sorry, but I don’t need to read any of your PG-13 and above ideas.  😉

I Mustache You What You Are Eating

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I’m cutting out carbs. Aaaaagain. My track record on this surpassed “not good” long ago. To put it mildly, my healthy eatibg conviction and follow through has been at “stanky to the max” level for quite some time.

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I prefer fruits, but even fruits are loaded with sugars. Some fruits are great, but the emphasis should be on the veggies. Bleh.

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I’ve tried the liquid route – protein shakes, blends of veggies and fruits, etc. – but I just don’t feel satiated with those.

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Clearly I need to up my protein intake, but even that can problematic for me. I can be extremely picky, and my getting burnt out and grossed out with the meat overload doesn’t help. Whenever someone throws out the word “tofu” as a possible protein solution, I find myself thinking about how it’s ironic that “tofu” is a four letter word that I associate with multiple other four letter words. I would provide examples, but this is a family show so you’ll have to use your imagination.

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Maybe I’m nuts to go this route yet again, but I don’t feel good in my body. That makes me feel sad, so I have to try. And as I read that last sentence, I hear Yoda in my mind… “Do or do not. There is no try.” I’m guessing that Yoda never struggled with being a sugar addict.

If you have any websites or tips on low-carb, no sugar, paleo-esque, or other similar options, I would genuinely appreciate the advice. Please note that intelligent / common sense recommendations with regard to overall health are lovely, but they don’t sustain long-term commitment to low carb eating for this girl. I know what I should do, but somehow that’s not enough.

Thanks in advance.  😉  Jo

Liquid

Take a Moment to Observe the Beauty and Embrace the Magic Around You

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These painted buntings seem surreal to me yet they spent several days over the past week transforming our backyard into a wonderland. They are little feathered miracles that lift my worries and make my heart smile.

So many of us live and breathe by our endless schedules. Our lists of activities go on and on, and we often forget to take a few moments to observe the beauty in the world around us.

Birds. Wildflowers. Clouds. Our children.

All are in plain sight yet we fail to notice them.

I’ve had another long day of my own and am finally finishing up today’s work at this ridiculously late hour once more. Although I am in dire need of a few solid hours of sleep, I wanted to take a brief moment to celebrate the beauty that has blessed my life this week.

I feel tremendous gratitude for the innumerable gifts that fill my world and move around me at all times. I am pausing to remind myself of the importance of reserving a few minutes of each day to simply be. To look around. To breathe in the wonder. To embrace the magic. I pray that you can do the same.

Miracles surround us always. We just have to remember to notice them.

Love, light and magic to all of you.  Joanna

Observe

Living Outside of the Lines When You Don’t Blend In

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I just want to be normal.

My heart aches deeply whenever I hear my son say this. I understand this feeling more than he can fathom. I faced the same struggles at his age, and speaking honestly, I often still do.

So many of us dream of blending in. Of feeling accepted. Of being another regular face in the crowd.

Instead we become fluent in the nuance of the dismissive body language of others. We try to join the herd only to find that we are met with annoyed looks, caustic comments, or the cold shoulder. We feign strength and indifference on the surface, but we are aching and crumbling on the inside.

Why don’t they like us? What are we doing wrong? What can I do to change myself?

Well I have a few suggestions that I believe hold merit:

  1. Refrain from acting like a jerk in return.
  2. Use deodorant, brush your teeth, and shower every now and then.
  3. Don’t change a damn thing.

If other people treat you with tremendous unkindness, it speaks to the faults in their character, not yours. No one races to buy a book or jumps on the internet to search for a story about someone normal. We don’t clamor for more movies about the bland life. The world is not changed by people who live life inside the lines.

The people who shake things up are anything but average. They are the unathletic types. The nerds. The misfits. The weirdos. The losers. They are made to feel less than because they don’t fit the mold.

People who are secure in themselves don’t need to step on someone else to build self worth. Never allow others to make you feel small because they can’t see their own value. Your light will always shine even when another tries to keep you in their shadow. Their ugliness does not detract from your beauty nor does their unkindness reflect on your truth.

We are better because of our differences, not in spite of them. We each have unique roles to play, and the divine colors we bring to our part in the scene are not there by chance. You my precious darling are so far beyond the standard. You were never meant to blend in, and no matter how hard you may try, you never will. You are spectacular, you are miraculous, and you are a world changer.

Own your beauty and your uniqueness. Forget trying to blend in, tell the status quo where to stick it, and embrace life outside of the lines. You never have to run with the herd. You were made to soar!

Love and light always – Joanna

This post is dedicated to all of the incredible misfits of the world, especially the ones who call me Mom.

painted bunting

***For the bird nerds in training (like me), the beauty in this photo is a painted bunting. The solid blue birds in the top picture are indigo buntings. I was beyond thrilled to see these stunning birds outside my window last weekend.  🙂

Lines

Inspiration in Focus

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Inspiration often presents itself when I least expect it. Having the ability to capture a unique moment in a photograph can kickstart writing creativity while also potentially adding a little visual swag to a post.

I have found myself in a multitude of photo-worthy situations since moving to our new home a few months ago. Unfortunately I must have left my camera’s ability to focus at the old house as I no could no longer snap a quality shot. The incessant appearance of blurry unusable pictures sent me into a creative tailspin as my irritation heightened.

I looked into repair but was told that I might as well replace it given the cost. Consequently my artsiest of children became the proud owner of an art-generating machine and instantly began to work that fuzzy angle like the creative boss she is.

That left me to I consult the magical world of Google in search of a replacement and immediately became overwhelmed. Being one who refers to the dials on the camera as “these thingies right here” and the buttons as “those doodads on that side,” I was clearly in need of a device that could compliment and possibly improve on my own my unique photographic approach. If I had to describe it, I would say that my style draws heavily on a total lack of skill combined with a penchant for taking photos with hands so unsteady that they seem to be driving down a road comprised of boulders.

As I already owned a couple of decent Canon lenses, it made sense to start there. I contacted camera stores for feedback and was ultimately pointed to the Canon ESO ADD. It seemed like a poor marketing approach on Canon’s part to call it an A-D-D, but it also felt like a comically divine sign that it was right up my alley. I post frequently about my own struggles with ADD and felt like it would be ironic to have a camera that was dealing with the same label. Of course it became exponentially funnier when I went to pick the camera up and saw that the name was actually 80D – not ADD.

Regardless of the name, I immediately found myself smitten with the camera. My photos are far from perfect, but the overall quality has improved. In addition, I have taken more time to learn about a few more elements of photography to be able to speak with greater confidence about the aforementioned thingies and doodads whenever I have to contact Canon customer service. That doesn’t mean that I use those dials and buttons correctly on any level, but I feel cooler and that’s the most important part.

I’m thankful that the renewed focus in my camera equipment appears to have renewed my inner focus as well. Please be warned that you are about to be assaulted with inspiration in the form of countless bird photos, home and decor images, step by step walkthroughs of DIY madness, and other miscellaneous subjects. Apologies in advance if the relevance seems unclear, but the good news is that the photos shouldn’t be. 😉

Joanna

***Please note that I’m not saying that my photos are particularly good or that the pics included in this post are my favorites. I just love the camera relative to what I was working with previously. 🙂
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