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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Flathead Valley

On our way to and from Glacier National Park we passed through peaceful Flathead Valley. Plenty of hay bales spread out in fields or freshly stacked in piles; and plenty of farm stands selling huckleberries. And lucky for me, a few red barns too!
Linking to Thursday's Good Fences.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


As we winded along on Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, we passed a large area affected by a fire in 2003. And even though the fire was obviously devastating to this area, I couldn't help but find this scene so pretty. Maybe because all the affected conifers are such a beautiful shade of white. And also because the young new growth seems so healthy. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Geology, Part 2

Another example of the billion+ years old mountains, also at Logan Pass so the elevation here is close to 7000 ft. One of the things I really loved about Glacier National Park is the rainbow of colored rocks visible not only in these old mountains but also in the younger ones underneath. And all the pebbles around the park and in nearby towns reminded me of Easter eggs! When I come back to this park again I would really like to do a ranger-guided geology tour to learn more about these amazing rocks!

And on a completely unrelated photography topic, I did not bring my polarizer on the hike, and look how blue the sky is here! The sun came out midway through the hike, and this particular photo was taken with the sun almost exactly 90 degrees to my left. I know that this is the prime angle for polarizer use, so I guess it also works without a polarizer. When I was living in California I was advised to leave the polarizer at home when photographing up at Lake Tahoe (also 7000 ft.) because the sky will come out a deep shade of blue just from the elevation, although I'm not sure what the physics behind that is.

Monday, July 28, 2014


I guess I should start by saying I'm no expert in geology, but Glacier National Park has a very interesting geological history. It has some of the oldest and best preserved exposed sedimentary rock, evidentially on the planet! And what's really strange is that during the time these mountains were forming, this old rock, dating from 1.6 billion to 800 million years old, was actually thrust on top of much younger and softer rock over an unbelievable distance of 50 miles. It's called the Lewis Overthrust, and the older rock is amazingly over 1,400 million years older than the stuff under it! The old rock is the kind visible in the upper left of the photo. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Continental Divide

The Continental Divide slices through Glacier National Park at Logan Pass.  And most interestingly, just south and east of Logan Pass is a mountain called Triple Divide Peak where, as the name implies, there is a three-way continental divide. "From Triple Divide Peak southeast of Logan Pass, a hand's width can determine whether a raindrop becomes part of the Columbia, Mississippi, or Saskatchewan river systems.  Waters from the (park) flow to the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and northeastward into Hudson Bay." From the Waterton-Glacier visitor's guide, but so well said, and so cool!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Glacier National Park

So many guesses yesterday for Canada, and actually we were very close to Canada, visiting Glacier National Park in northern Montana.  Glacier National Park extends to the US-Canada border and continues in Canada as Waterton Lakes National Park. This view from Logan's Pass is looking northeast, but based on my map I don't think Canada would be visible in this photo. At an elevation of 6646 ft., the snow on Logan's Pass is still melting, and parts of our hike to the Hidden Lake overview were very snowy/slushy (those parts where behind me in this particular photo, but expect to see them in coming days)! I didn't get many vista shots on this trip, but I liked this one because it does give a larger scale view and because of the striped pattern of snow melt in the foreground.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hidden Lake Reflection

I've just returned from a short trip to visit friends and see a National Park.  And yes, we did walk through snow in this park (and not with the right kind of shoes either). I've got a lot of photos to share, but I'm starting with this one so I can link to Weekend Reflections. I'm not sure it's my best intro photo, but it's one of the few reflection photos I took, and I think it's a good teaser photo for the series.  Location guesses welcome, of course.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fence Post

I meant to post this fence scene from our trip to eastern Washington last Thursday for Good Fences, but I forgot to post that day so I saved it for this week instead. We're heading back through eastern Washington again today, so I'm hoping to have some new photos to start posting tomorrow.  Linking to Good Fences.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

La Connor

I thought this was a pretty farm up when we were up near La Connor earlier this month. We had an overcast day, but the young fields were still colorful.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

2015 Calendar

I know it seems early, but I'm pleased to announce that my 2015 calendar is printed and ready to distribute!  I'm really excited to be working with Small Changes, a regional indie distribution company based in Seattle. I dropped off calendars for them when I was up in Seattle last week.  And of course my calendar will again be for sale through  Here's the link: 2015 Pacific Northwest Calendar

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fermenting Veggies

Lots of experimenting with fermenting vegetables at my house a few weeks ago. Left to right, sauerkraut, sour beets, kimchi, more sauerkraut, fermented lemons, more kimchi, and more sauerkraut. The only one still on the counter is the lemons. They take a month, according to an article in the food section of our local paper. The rest are either in the fridge or eaten. Everything turned out very yummy after following the recipes in the Sandor Katz book, Wild Fermentation.
Linking to Weekend Reflections

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Poplar Farm, Summer

Driving home from eastern Washington took us past the hybrid poplar farm in Boardman, Oregon.  Of course I had to stop again for an abstract summer version of this farm.  I took a very similar photo in early April when the leaves where a light chartreuse color.  Here's a link to that post if you're interested in comparing, or you could type poplar farm into the search bar at the top of the page.  This image came out much softer.  I think that is mainly because I picked an older section of trees for this photo, and very little sunlight was filtering through.  Now I'll need to get this shot again in fall and winter to complete my seasonal series!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Wheat Field

It's getting to be wheat harvesting time in eastern Washington. This field near Walla Walla was one of the earlier fields to be harvested.  Wheat is the main crop around here, followed by lentils.  Everyone thinks of Washington apples, but the eastern part of the state is a big grain producer too.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


We had a short visit to eastern Washington late this week.  We crossed the Columbia somewhere just past the Dalles, and followed this truck around some curves in the hills before heading into a stretch of high desert-like country. It was a little bouncy, so I had a hard time framing this shot for Weekend Reflections.  And in case you were wondering, the tank in front was numbered 23.  I'll have a few more photos from the trip in coming days...

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July

This America flag-inspired ensign reflected beautifully in Percival Landing during Olympia's Wooden Boat Festival. I had to look this flag up, and learned that it's a yacht ensign; not for international travels, it can only be displayed in US waters.
Linking to  Weekend Reflections

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Butterfly Kite

I'm really partial to monarchs.  Having grown up around the Great Lakes, I got to see their multi-generational migration each summer and fall, and I have great respect for their journey and fond Midwestern memories of spotting butterflies in July and searching for chrysalises come September.  I thought this monarch kite looked so pretty glowing with the sunlight behind it at the kite festival Sunday morning.  I also have a monarch micro-kite (4 inches with a 10 foot tail!) which I had so much fun flying at the festival this weekend. I had forgotten what a carefree feeling you get flying a kite!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Kite Festival, another view

This view looking out to the ocean probably gives a better perspective on the size of the display kites.  Those large stuffed animal kites always just hovered off the ground.  I'm sure people liked them, but as a photographer I found them to be really annoying because they always got in the way of my ground line.  This shot was taken fairly early on Saturday before it clouded over completely.  I was looking forward to getting some bluer sky photos on Sunday, and the sky was beautiful but the display kites were grounded for insufficient wind.  I never imagined that happening; it's always so windy on the coast!  By the time we were heading out of town I saw the kites starting to go up, so I guess the wind picked up.