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

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. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Moulton Falls

Finally, we got some snow! And just when I was starting to think we weren't going to have a winter this year. I had two local spots I've been waiting to visit in the snow if it ever came. One was the Witch Hazel blooming in the park, but turns out it's done blooming already (it is practically spring here; crocuses blooming, daffodils about to bloom, the forsythia even starting to bloom), so that one was a strike out. The second was the foot bridge at Moulton Falls, which thank goodness was successful (bridges being a good bit more permanent than winter blossoms!). I have a few different versions of it, because we've had several little batches of snowfall this week. This one is the snowiest, and maybe the prettiest. I'll post another version tomorrow. Moulton Falls is northeast of Battle Ground, heading up the back side of Mount St. Helens. Falls is a bit of a stretch, but the river moves swiftly in the winter and spring. This is the north fork of the Lewis River.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Three Arches

Almost sunrise at Netarts Bay on the Oregon coast. In the distance, sunlight hits the top of Three Arches, and just to the left of the rocks my crabbing boat is visible. They were laying crabbing traps while I was photographing.  I wasn't intending to include the boat in my photo; I didn't even see it at the time. There were four different boats laying traps, and one of them was quite close to me, starting and stopping as they dropped the crab traps, and sending an interesting wake my way. That's what I was focusing on when I took this photo. I'm super happy that my boat got included though. Once the traps were set, then we spent the rest of the morning (slack tide time) checking one pot after another, keeping male crabs that were large enough, throwing back female crabs and crabs that were too small. (Small crabs were measured against a guide, and if their shells were wider than the notch in the guide we could keep them). Each licensed crabber can keep 12 crabs, and since I got a weekend license our boat of four could keep up to 48 crabs. We got 45. Not bad for a morning's work!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Netarts Bay

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go crabbing at Netarts Bay near Tillamook. The thing about crabbing is its dependent on the tides, and given the tidal conditions on this day I had to get up at 3:30 in the morning! At least that got us to Netarts before sunrise, so that gave me an opportunity to do a little photography while the traps got set. I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed in the uninspiring sunrise light (for the 3:30am effort!) but at least the water was calm, and it was nice to have some sunny weather on the boat.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Winter Lace

Just before sunrise at Netarts Bay near Tillamook, Oregon.  This was my first time out with my camera since before New Year's, and it felt good to get out.  I'll post more about this trip to Netarts in coming days. Today, I want to write about my dog, Clover.  If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that Clover has been my trusty companion on photo shoots. Well, her health began to fail just after the new year, and sadly we lost her this week.  She passed away peacefully, after twelve really great years with our family, and I'm sure going to miss her! If you don't know Clover, you can see her photo in the right-hand side bar (scroll a bit), and also in my top 10 shots of 2017.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Fresh Start

Much as I love the holiday season, I'm always so glad when the new year comes.
I'm not big on resolutions, but I do love the idea of a fresh start...
reassessing, cleaning out, adjusting, and moving forward. 
2018, full of possibilities! 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Year in Review

My 'Top 10' personal favorites for 2017,
plus my usual New Year's blog resolution:
Get out more and take more photos in 2018!

1. Lucky Shot
My favorite of the year because it has so many interesting elements to it, and especially because the heron took flight just as I clicked the shutter release.  I'm not a patient photographer; this was shear luck, and made me very happy!

2. Origami
I obsessed over this old Witch Hazel tree once I stumbled upon it in bloom at a park near my house.  So much so that I bought one of my own (a much newer cultivar) and planted it in my front yard last spring.  I still plan to try to root a branch off this lovely old Japanese variety (Hamamelis japonica). So beautiful that it can bloom in the snow, and I'm currently on watch for when it will start blooming this winter.  

3. Some Snow
One of the beautiful Oregon Oak trees behind my house during our big snow storm last winter. 
I love the fractal patterns in all these branches. Why didn't I use this photo in my 2018 calendar? Maybe I thought it was too abstract? Today I'm really loving it, and I think I'll add it to the short list for 2019.

 4. Creekside
For a babbling brook in Gifford Pinchot, which is a pretty rugged place, this one was especially idyllic. And I love the butterscotchy shade of orange on the trees. 

5. Bandon Sunset 
I like how the light is filtering through the rocks.
Plus this one reminds me of my favorite vacation spot from 2017.
I think Bandon will be an annual trip for us!

6. The Bright Side 
The best shade of moss green I've found.  Electric, almost.


7. On the Horizon
I don't have a lot of opportunity to photograph Mt. Adams, so I was happy to find it in such a pretty vista (and happened to be in search of yellow flowers that day anyway). This was taken close to noon, which is not an ideal time to photograph, and there was a lot of glare, so I used a polarizer. I'm happy overall with how it came out given the harsh lighting I had to work with.

8. Good Girl
My favorite photo of Clover, taken during an early morning hike at Columbia Hills. She paused on a hilltop, just after sunrise, and made that great profile pose. She's so happy to keep me company on photo shoots, and proud to wait patiently as I photograph.  


 9.San Juan Island
 Our other vacation in 2017. I guess I like the composition of this one. And just that it captures the feel of the San Juans so well, from the extra blue light to the lighthouse, to the sailboat and kayaks in the distance. 


10. Field of Dreams
 This slightly windy abstract from Catherine Creek has such a dream like quality to it. And I absolutely love the shade of blue/purple on the Bachelor's Buttons!