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

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. 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Back to the Ranch

Balsam Root and Lupine are blooming this week at the Dalles Mountain Ranch in the Columbia Gorge. And this year, the wildflower season happened to coincide with a warm spell and almost no wind. Last year I visited several times, and was nearly blown off my feet by gale force winds each time...so sunny, mild, and 75 was a real treat!  I walked a loop near Eightmile Creek that wound through some of the thicker patches of blooms. The flowers are fickle, tending to cover some hills and leave others bare, and that has caused me some trouble with wide-angle landscape photos in previous years. I decided to really focus on landscape shots during my trip.  And maybe I overdid it a bit, because I realized once I got home that I actually don't have a single close-up photo to show for my shoot. I do like this scene though, because it shows the rolling hills and patches of flowers, and the beautiful weather.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Awakening

Well, I'm finally coming out of hibernation...such a long absence on the blog!  My last photo was snowy, and this scene in eastern Washington (somewhere between Richland and Walla Walla) looks like early summer.  We're actually still in spring here, and it's been an overcast, rainy, and colder than usual spring which is why I've not been out with my camera much.  I think that's about to change because we've got sunshine all week so wildflowers should really start blooming soon!  As for today's photo...I can't resist an occasional puffy cloud, cheery sky photo.  And when I was in eastern Washington earlier this week it was still gloomy and drizzly west of the gorge, so this sunshine was something to savor! It also happened to be super windy, which shows a bit on the crops that are all bending in the wind.  Sorry to not know what is growing here; I forgot to take a close look. At the time I was more interested in the wheat growing along the edge of the field; leftover from last season, and the fact that the "soil" seemed to be mostly sand.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Sunrise Moulton Falls

Another angle of the Lewis River (north fork) at Moulton Falls, taken on the snowier day. This one gives a better idea of how the river moves, swiftly through the small canyon it is carving. The river bend at the footbridge (90 degrees to my left) is a rather sharp S-shape, and a large portion of that S curve is fairly shallow, the river having cut more deeply on one side than the other. This allows for the outer bend to give off a nice glassy, reflective surface. I had a hard time with this shot. I think it comes at you a bit too much, but the canyon is narrow here, and I had to frame it that way to get the sunlight reflection on the tree tops. So it's a bit extreme, I think. But it's got a nice frosty feel to it.  When we get snow, it tends to be a warm, wet snow that clings to branches, with temperatures hovering around 32-33 or even slightly higher. So it wasn't really that cold of a day, even at sunrise. The frostiness is a bit deceptive; unless our temperature dips into the 20s (a rare event) it's always more damp than cold.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Moulton Falls, Version 2

So this is the other Moulton Falls photo, which was taken after our first snowfall. We got several inches, and so I headed out to Moulton Falls mid-morning thinking that the roads would be cleared. The driving was still pretty slow because Lucia Falls Rd. runs along the river so it's damp and shady. And even though the elevation is rising as you drive, for some reason (which I still can't figure out) the snow cover got lighter and lighter. And once I got to the falls there was hardly any snow on the ground! Still, the morning light was really nice. I've tried photographing here in the fall and the morning light is harsh and the fall color not great. This light was really ideal. Soft and clear. I love the glacial blue water on this day, and the softer, more painterly light. I redid the trip after our second snowfall because I heard that the snow was heaviest in this area, and because I didn't like where I had placed the little foreground tree. I thought it intersected awkwardly with the bridge. So when I went back on the snowy day, I moved further to the right (which required that I literally be a tree-hugger to get the composition for the snowier version). Now I'm not sure which composition I prefer.