Monthly Exposure .15th.

7.15.17 + 2

East River Valley Park // Ames, IA


Apologies for being a smidge late on posting July’s trip to ERVP! This 15th of the Month photoshoot was extremely bittersweet. Two weeks ago, I moved away from the place that I have called home for the past six years and back to my hometown of Boston, MA. This last trip to East River Valley was stunning; and in true Iowa summer fashion hot as hell (95F, 79% humidity, sunny – the whole nine yards). That being said, it was a very welcomed break from packing!

Everything was still incredibly green and bustling, and the water was fairly high given the somewhat recent rain. While the birds were noticeably quieter, we spotted two deer along the northern part of the trail who didn’t seem to mind human existence for a hot sec before jetting back off into the woods.

The erosion along the banks of the river were even more prominent than in June, and I think that by sometime next spring/summer parts of the trail along those banks will be non-existent. However, being able to walk down the banks and right up to the water is always a blast!

After wandering around East River Valley, we hopped over the the other side of the river and walked along the trail to observe what the erosion on that side was like in comparison. The western trail is much wider than the east and eroding in different ways. It is clear where huge chunks of the banks have fallen off at the same time, and there was even a small, but noticeable sink-hole in middle of a paved portion of the trail.

I was able to sneak in one last hike around ERVP after this photoshoot before starting the road trip back to Boston with my dad, but I’m really going to miss coming here whenever I want to get away from real life. Thanks for following along as I tracked the seasonal progression of one of my favorite places in Ames, and if anyone wants to keep this project going through January 2018 hit me up! Who knows, there might be a book somewhere in this adventure.

Peace out, Iowa! Hello, New England photography ❤️

Monthly Exposure .15th.

6.15.17 + 10

East River Valley Park // Ames, IA // Daily Post

The 15th of the Month photoshoot at East River Valley hit a little bit of a snag with the whole being out the country adventure followed by jet-lag recovery and a trip to Boston. However, I did finally make it out to check on the seasonal progress of one of my favorite places in Ames.

Things I learned/noticed:

  1. Remember to wear bug spray now that it’s actually summer
  2. The narrow path along that one part of the river has eroded even more and is super narrow
  3. Some day I’ll remember to bring my bird identification book with me
  4. The massive rain storms we’ve had recently have definitely made their mark on the trails – the number of trees and branches down were noticeable (especially the branches blocking one of the trails)
  5. The weather has also taken a toll on the caution sign for skiers; the actual caution sign is nowhere to be found, but the barrier it was on is in pieces along the side of the trail
  6. Sunday afternoons are prime for the three mile loop – there was only one other person there and it was super quiet
Monthly Exposure .15th.


East River Valley Park // Ames, IA // The Daily Post

Another month, another photoshoot. East River Valley continues to bloom as we creep further towards summer. Everything was super green and vibrant, which I actually found a little more challenging to shoot. The consistent color throughout the trail made a lot of my photos look the same, and I struggled to find unique angles on the wildlife. One of the highlights of this trip, however, was seeing all of the bumblebees successfully pollinating (despite the anger that my sinuses are currently exuding from the pollen). The boil of Red Tailed Hawks was pretty freaking awesome too (fun fact: a “boil” is when two or more Hawks are spiraling in flight)

Bonus: the water was warm enough (wuddup 88 degree weather and shallow rivers) to stick my feet in.

I’m also catching up on some Daily Post photo challenges.

Since January, East River Valley has had a sign warning about a narrow trail that is not suitable for skiing/snowshoeing. For the past two months I couldn’t help but chuckle that this sign and barrier were still up despite the warm weather. Two weeks ago, the Daily Post challenge was about “danger.” I thoroughly enjoy the irony of the East River Valley caution sign; which has since been moved to the side of the trail.

Additionally, while Earth Day was a few weeks ago, I think that every day should celebrate the earth we live on, because we only have one. It is not “ours;” we do not own the Earth. Instead, earth is an entity that we are lucky enough to have access too. Let’s make sure to take care of it as it takes care of us. The bumblebees are such a prime example of this. If you like the food you eat, the clothes you wear and the materials you use on a daily basis – go plant some native flowers (it doesn’t have to be a massive garden; a small pot on your porch helps a ton too!) and create a bee/butterfly fueling station to aid these essential creatures as they pollinate the world around us.

Don’t know where to start in planting your bumblebee/butterfly garden? Check out the Blank Park Zoo’s Plant, Grow, Fly program!

Monthly Exposure .15th.


East River Valley Park // Ames, IA

Spring is officially here! During this hike through the East River Valley trails, it was amazing to see all the signs of life making their annual comeback. It is still early enough in the season that only half of the trees and brush are green. There weren’t many people out on the trails, which made for a very peaceful walk to soak in the sights and sounds of spring. The highlights of this trip were coming across a Downy Woodpecker, who I heard long before I could see, and the fresh beaver markings on many of the trees.


Monthly Exposure .15th., Uncategorized

3.15.17 + 1

East River Valley Park //

Sometimes Mother Nature gets in the way of plans. This month’s trip to East River Valley was delayed a day when my camera and I got stuck in Boston due to a Nor’easter. Ames has seen some snow in the past month, and it was incredible to see the effect that it has had on the river. At dusk, the water appeared almost green, and despite the freezing wind there was a glimmer of hope that this is the last time we will see the trees completely bare until next winter.

Monthly Exposure .15th.


East River Valley Park //

One month later, this area is  almost completely thawed and on the cusp of showing signs of spring. This series of photographs was shot on an iPhone 6, because I didn’t have my Nikon 5100 on me and it was a very spontaneous trip when I was driving home from work.

After seeing the difference that a month made in this area, I have decided to create a long-term photo-series at this location. I will be going back to photograph it’s seasonal progress on the 15th of every month as we move from winter to spring in Iowa.

Thank you for stopping by! I look forward to sharing this adventure and project with you. Comment below with any suggestions or ideas you would like to see implemented during this series!