I was up in Seattle again this week. This time job-hunting with my older son. We stopped at an office along the ship canal west of Lake Union. I had never been to this stretch of Seattle before, and I found the ship canal to be fascinating. Full of wildlife and full of industry, and completely tucked away from the rest of Seattle at the same time. I enjoyed pulling out my camera and taking some photos while I was waiting for my son. This crow landed in the tree right next to my park bench, and so perfectly filled the negative space that I couldn't help but photograph it. I expect to still be very inconsistent about photo-blogging for the next few weeks, but hope to be posting regularly again soon. Thanks for your patience while I take a break from the blog this month.
So much weather to photograph here! The last of our heavy rain systems rolled through midday today when we were driving in downtown Portland. I tried photographing people crossing with umbrellas or on bikes, but those shots didn't turn out so well. This one ended up being the best 'through my rainy windshield' photo (#3).
I haven't been doing that much photography this winter. Guess I'm just needing a break and wanting to focus on some other things right now. I'm posting this photo from my Seattle/Whidbey Island trip a few weeks ago, mainly because I don't want to leave that horrible slush photo at the top of my blog. Also, this is a photo I would have posted if it hadn't snowed. I was driving our little car during this trip, and I think that's why I was directed to the outer edge of the ferry. I was really happy with my location though, because I had a window view out to the Sound without even leaving my car! As the ferry pulled away from the dock, these piers starting moving and caught my eye so I just rolled down my window and took some photos. I hope to get out with my camera again in the next week or so. Until then, I'll be getting all kinds of stuff taken care of around here.
I was watching the local news the other night and I heard a Portland city official asked why they don't plow the side streets. He said it would cost the city $300 million dollars in extra employees. If that's true, then it hardly seems worth it to plow the side streets given the rarity of a big storm like this. It didn't make it any easier to get up our street last week though. This photo was taken yesterday afternoon when the well-worn travel ruts had completely melted. It rained all night, so this morning there wasn't any snow left. As fun as the big snow was, have to say I'm happy to see it gone!
A graphic photo from our peak snow day over the weekend. By the time it stopped snowing, we got 12 inches! It's much warmer now and not looking nearly so pretty around here today. Maybe if I can get an interesting slush photo I'll post it in the near future. In the meantime, everyone is happy to get back to business as usual.
Here's one of my little Anna's Hummingbirds (not to be confused with my daughter, Anna.) Anna's Hummingbird is the name of this species native to the West Coast. I was surprised to find them last winter in California, and even more surprised to see them around my house here in Washington last month. I immediately put a hummingbird feeder out. This particular hummingbird is my favorite of all the ones that visit. She has taken to sitting in the tree that is planted directly in front of my kitchen window. This is her favorite branch. I wish I could have photographed her without the large yellow branch out of focus in the foreground, but I never found a good angle from outside. Anyway, since there are no takers on my birdhouse so far, I'm hoping she is scouting out this tree as a location for her nest this spring.
I'm constantly learning these West Coast weather terms. Last year in California I learned the term for a ribbon of wet weather originating in the Pacific Ocean, 'Atmospheric River.' This year there's a new term for this weather system, 'Pineapple Express.' As near as I can tell, a Pineapple Express is an Atmospheric River that originates in Hawaii. Either way, it means wet weather for a while. This system happened to coincide with especially cold weather so that's why we got all this snow. Today it's icy as well, and I'm working on getting a shot of one of the hummingbirds (so I don't have to leave the house). Our Pineapple Express will continue through the week, but it will turn back to rain tonight or tomorrow.
I know this is nothing for those of you on the East Coast or Midwest, but all this snow is a pretty big deal around here. We got two more inches yesterday and at least another inch so far today with no sign of stopping, so that's nine inches so far. I'm posting the birdhouse again just for comparison, and also because I see it all the time out my window. Just out of the picture is a bird feeder which has seen active use, and a hummingbird feeder. I have taken it as my personal mission to keep (at least) three Anna's Hummingbirds alive during our cold spell. I suppose they could survive just fine without me, but they like the feeder, so I dust the snow off to keep it usable, and I bring it in a few times a day and thaw it out. I would say there is a hummingbird at the feeder every five minutes, so I like to think they are appreciating my efforts.
Well, it started snowing yesterday morning and didn't stop until it was dark. We got six inches which is quite a lot given that there are no plows or salt trucks around here and that it can be very hilly. I didn't see any way to get out to the horse trail because there's an unclimbable hill (for us non-4WD drivers). So Clover and I headed out on foot to our nearest path through the woods. More snow coming tonight, then I think we'll warm up enough that our roads should melt. For now we're all snowed in and loving it!
I don't know why, but whenever I get around water I start looking for all these reflection shots. It's just something I have to get out of my system, over and over again. Saturday was no exception. I always look for a scene I can turn upside down, and this was my best option. I think the building with the blue roof is a restaurant near the Oak Harbor Marina; I took the photo from pretty far out on the dock. I wasn't so happy with the amount of water movement near the shore, which I think was caused by some ducks further down the harbor. I like the calmer water reflection in the sky better. I waited a bit to see if the water would settle down but it never did.
I had the whole day to drive around Whidbey Island while my son was at a high school event up there on Saturday, so I decided to drive to the top and check out the wildlife at Joseph Whidbey State Park. It was closed for the season though, so I just parked at the edge of the gate with the rest of the visitors and walked along the shoreline for a while. I left my tripod at home, so I had no business taking this slow shutter speed photo handheld (sorry for the blur!) but did it anyway just because it was interesting.
I got to stop in at one of my former hometowns on Friday, heading up to Seattle. We had a light drizzle on the way up, but the weather report kept calling for clearing skies. I was imagining a sunbreak just as we drove into Olympia. We pulled into town for lunch, and it was just like I order up this weather. The skies cleared overhead, so I got my sun in the foreground and overcast in the background, which is classic Olympia weather. The foreground, by the way, is Percival Landing, which is undergoing a transformation right now, thus all the construction equipment behind the Sandman. In the background is Port of Olympia. Olympia is were I took my photography classes and also where I started 45journal, and happens to be one of my favorite cities. It was great to be back here, if only for a short while passing through.
I was so excited to see this little chickadee checking out the wren house just feet from my kitchen window. If he moves in it will be only the second time that I know of that birds will have nested in this house which I painted a very long time ago. (1993?) I took a Bavarian painting class when we were first stationed in Germany, so this was one of my little projects. I always wondered if something about the paint kept the birds away early on. Just last week I tried turning it to more of a south-facing angle, and I'm thinking that has helped make it more appealing. Keeping my fingers crossed for some new neighbors at the kitchen window this spring!
Green and red, but no blue in this photo; yet the red is the edge of a large blueberry field in McMinnville. Blueberry fields are pretty common in Oregon and in Southern Washington, and I absolutely love the red color but I've been struggling with how to photograph it. I'm on the lookout for a field in rolling hills because the red line pattern is so pretty, and it's just too hard to see photographed on a flat landscape. The rows aren't visible from this side angle, just a sea of red. I liked the fence though, so for now I settled for this graphic composition with the fence line zipping the scene together.