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

Friday, August 28, 2015

Kite Festival Reflection

Another view of the Kite Festival last week in Long Beach, Washington.  I keep holding onto the idea of a reflected scene with kites, trying this shot both last year and this year. And somehow it never comes out how I am imagining it. I think this photo is sort of interesting, but just fell short of my expectations, and I'm not sure what conditions should make it workable as a strong photo concept. Maybe if the shoreline were at a different angle to the festival, or if the shoreline and sun angle were different. Here that would mean closer to sunset, and it would also need to be low tide. So maybe I haven't given up on this shot yet, and I'll try again next August...
Linking to Weekend Reflections

Monday, August 24, 2015

Kite Festival

No shortage of kite festivals up and down the coast during the summer months.  The Washington State International Kite Festival in Long Beach is one of the larger ones, encompassing two weekends in the week long festivities.  We headed to Long Beach on Saturday to enjoy the beach and the kites.  Beautiful weather in the 70s and the water was warm (relatively speaking).  The winds were out of the northeast that day, which really blanketed the entire western part of the state in smoke from all the fires still burning in central Washington. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015


During our boat tour of Crater Lake, I was interested to learn that the lake is fed almost entirely by rain or snow in the caldera basin (this little waterfall was the only one I saw on our boat trip.)  The average snowfall at Crater Lake is 43 feet.  That's AVERAGE!  Last year they only had 21 feet of snow, which still seems like an awful lot.  The lake drains out slowly through an underground pumice section on one wall, so there is very little fluctuation in water level.  Given its confined water source, the lake water is extremely pure.  In fact, when the tour ended we filled our water bottles in the lake before our hike back up to the rim!  It's this clarity that helps give Crater Lake its trademark blue.  Water, without any sediments, algae, pollution, etc. can absorb all colors of the light spectrum except blue. And with 4.6 trillion gallons of water in the lake, there is a lot of blue to reflect!  The area photographed here is in one of the few shallow sections near the shore.  Our boat tour stopped here to talk about the water clarity, because it was so easy to see the lake bottom for a bit before it plunged over 1000 ft.  Crater Lake holds the record for clarity.  They measure it with a secchi disk, which looks like a pie with four alternating black and white slices.  The disk is attached to a rope and lowered into the water.  And the record for viewing the secchi disk is at a depth of 134 ft!

Thursday, August 13, 2015


One of the highlights of our trip to Crater Lake was the ranger-guided boat tour around the lake.  This photo, taken during our boat tour, shows the section of the mountain, Llao, thought to be the origin of the eruption 7,700 years ago.  It also shows the fabulous shade of blue that Crater Lake is known for.  More on the shade of blue tomorrow.  For today, Llao.  According to stories passed down by the Klamath tribe which resided in the area at the time of the eruption, Llao, the god of the underworld became unhappy with the tribe, beginning roughly 300 years before the eruption.  The tribe tried a variety of things to appease Llao, but he wasn't to be calmed.  They appealed to Skell, god of the sky.  Skell descended to Mount Shasta in Northern California, and Skell and Llao had it out.  Skell was victorious, burying Llao forever beneath the volcano.  Before the eruption, Mount Mazama stood at over 12,000 ft.  After Llao was buried, the height of the mountain was halved, and the deepest lake in the US was born.  Crater Lake sits at an elevation of about 6,000 feet, and extends over 1,900 feet below water level. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Crater Lake Sunrise

We're just back from a fun camping trip to Crater Lake National National Park.  This sunrise photo was taken our first morning in the park.  Crater Lake is the deepest fresh water lake in the US.  It fills the basin of a collapsed volcano, which erupted and emptied its magma chamber over 7,700 years ago.  At an elevation of roughly 6000 ft, it was a brisk 46 degrees at sunrise!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens, looking a little apocalyptic in a haze created by the Lake Chelan fire currently burning in eastern Washington.  Last year we visited here as the wildflowers were starting to bloom.  This year we overshot, with the main bloom of prairie lupine already past.  Too early, then too late.  Next year I hope to get it just right!