Painting is just another way of keeping a diary ~Pablo Picasso

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Huckleberries

In recent years we've driven up to Indian Heaven Wilderness in Gifford Pinchot to pick huckleberries for a birthday pie. Last year we went up late in August. Picking was slim, but the leaves were starting to turn red. I decided to try a hike up here in the fall to enjoy the color, and we returned mid-October...only to find the entire area under two feet of snow! Huckleberries start growing around 3500-400 ft. so rain at the lower elevations can mean snow in the mountains. This year we hiked in September, trying to beat the rainy season. We did find some lovely shades of red, especially in the clearings. Hurray! I'd love to get up here again this season; with luck I'll make it back before it snows. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Familiar Places

Back to a familiar spot on the WSU trails...quiet, shady little Mill Creek. There's a little foot bridge behind me, and it's just a few steps down the bank before you can dip your toes in the water.  I used to stop here with Clover, especially on hot days so she could get a drink. This was my first trip here without her, which felt really strange. I'm realizing that I spend a lot less time outdoors and also a lot less time photographing since she passed away. It's starting to feel like it's time for a new puppy at our house.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Garden Mascot

Working in the yard today, and noticed this little guy.
Like the ladybug, the praying mantis is a sign of a balanced ecosystem.
I paused and gave thanks with him, then went and got my camera. :)
I tried front and backlit, but opted for the backlit 
because it made the day lily leaf so much more interesting. 
Plus I liked his wing detail and backlit body shape.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Morning Rush

The White Salmon River, originating near Mt. Adams and rushing down to the Columbia River, is a main white water rafting location in southern Washington. Not hard to see why! I was heading back from an early morning trip to Trout Lake and decided to stop at one of the staging areas to check it out. Lucky for me the morning light was making a beautiful reflection on the water! This is my kind of rush hour! :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Still Got It

Driving east I saw plenty of the big, newfangled windmills spinning on the hills overlooking the Columbia, but they just don't have the charm of this old guy, toiling away all by himself along the edge of the Palouse. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Mustard with Clouds

 I might have found the last Palouse canola/mustard field that was still in bloom! Other than the colorful patches this scene is little empty of subject matter...I was trying to stay away from the red barns, and guess I overdid it a bit...but this is mainly what you see driving through the Palouse so in that way it's quite a good representation of the region. Structures of any kind are very few and far between. Rolling fields and rolling clouds as far as they eye can see. 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

White Barn

I was out visiting in the Palouse a few weeks ago.  From my few early springtime trips, I have come to know the region for its green fields and red barns.  And for mid-June it was actually still quite colorful, with fields in all stages of growth and harvest.  But there were also plenty of fields like this one, prepping for another round of planting.  I don't typically pay attention to the bare fields, but this one caught my eye with the graphic white barn and telephone poles.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Easy on the Eyes

Well, here's a new salad at our house!  I've got hanging baskets of nasturtiums on my front porch this year, so I didn't have to venture far to clip these edible flowers to garnish our salad today. I learned that nasturtium blossoms (and leaves) are edible, and that they are a good source of lutein which is protective for the macula.  So these flowers are not only cheery and beautiful to look at, but they are actually good for your eyes as well!  Of course to get the amount of lutein provided in one 45mg capsule supplement, you would have to eat 100g or about a 1/2 cup of blossoms. But they are still a fun addition to the table, and pretty tasty too! Flavor opinions varied in my family, but we all thought the first flavor you taste is somewhere between lettuce and cucumber, and they finishing flavor is more peppery or like a radish. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Bee's Knees

Here's an up close look at a Bachelor's Button with a busy little bee, taken with my macro filter and 50mm lens set to f/1.8.  I did crop a bit off the top... I did an awful job framing it because the tiniest movement makes a huge difference and my face was maybe 6 inches from the bee. All the bees were so busy, and they couldn't have cared less about me, but still I felt tense. When I try a closeup like this in the future, I need to remember to use a higher f-stop. It would have been nice to get the whole bee in focus, not just his knees.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Wildflower Season

Bachelor's Buttons are blooming all over the gorge right now.  I visited Catherine Creek a week or so ago, and the fields were full of flowers. Plus, from the looks of this photo, many more on the way.  In between the photo shoot and my finally getting around to looking at the images I visited family in Nashville.  Looking at all the photos this morning makes me feel like I should hurry back out there for another walk early this week.  The blooming starts at the lower elevations by the Columbia River, and continues up in elevation over the course of the spring and summer.  Lower elevation walks are the easiest...otherwise there is a long drive involved or a difficult hike with elevation change. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Wild Rose

Beautiful wild rose bush on my walk this morning! And by a lucky fluke I had my macro lens in my camera bag. I never carry that lens anymore, so I took it as a sign, and searched for the prettiest flower to photograph.

Friday, May 11, 2018

White Camas

One more camas lily closeup from my trip to Lacamas Park in Camas. 
The rare white camas. I spotted four in all the fields, this one being the prettiest. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Lilies

Two spring lilies that I like to photograph. 
I've never seen them blooming right next to each other before! 
Camas Lily and Avalanche Lily. 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Creekside

These Oregon white oaks grow along the edge of Eightmile Creek, which is fed by a freshwater spring in the hills above the Dalles Mountain Ranch. The ranch, otherwise open fields and rolling hills, has occasional ribbons of trees running through it. I didn't realize that the creeks that feed these trees are fed by springs, but it makes sense because the rain here is seasonal and the creeks would run dry in the summer without the springs.