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

Monday, February 27, 2017

Water Colors

One of the things about a really rainy month (I'm pretty sure we've broken the local record for rainiest February) is that things look more colorful when they're wet. I normally see February as a very uncolorful month, just dark green, rust, and the peridot color of our moss in winter. But this year with our nearly constant rain I can't help noticing all the subtle colors that I've been overlooking. Tree trunks, branches, and underbrush have been an ongoing motif this month as I've explored this color theme. Today's image wasn't made in the rain, but on a very foggy morning this weekend, and the fog really softened all the colors so it reminded me of a watercolor.  I've probably photographed this group of trees on five different occasions this month, but the very cold, damp, and foggy light on Saturday gave me my favorite palette.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Witch Hazel

I stumbled upon this fabulous yellow blossomed tree in the park this morning.  Blooming several weeks before the Forsythia, and based on the flower, my first guess would have been Witch Hazel, except I thought it bloomed in late fall.  Some sleuthing ensued.  First at the NatureScaping plant sale, where the park environmentalists guessed some sort of Chinese ornamental.  I told them it was growing in the wild, and they told me that this area of the park was reclaimed from an old home, built in the early 1900s, that was sitting in the flood plain.  So the tree, or maybe its ancestor, was planted at this home a long time ago.  On my way home I made a stop at Yard and Garden Land for some supplies, and sitting at the entrance to the nursery was my little yellow blooming tree: Chinese Witch Hazel! Mystery solved.  As of this morning I'm obsessed with this plant. I want to go back and buy it.  I love the idea of cheery yellow blossoms in the winter. But where to plant it?  I should wait this year and give it some thought, maybe...

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Green Around the Edges

A hint of green, mainly along the edges of this creek which has spilled over its banks with all our rain this month. I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring right now. Snow is forecast again for tonight, but I'm skeptical; after the meteorologists missed our big storm in January, any possibility of snowfall is overhyped. If I wake up tomorrow and there is snow, I will be really surprised. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

More Rain

So far this month we've had over 9in of rain, which is about 6in above average. I read in the paper this week that our February record is 11in, so I think there's a chance we might break the record. Guess that's good news for practicing with my camera rain cover, which I got to use again today. The cover is shaped like a capital letter T. The camera zips inside, with an opening at the bottom of the T stem for the lens and openings at either ends of the cross bar for your hands to fit in and operate the camera. It's a bit clumsy to work with, but a lot easier than trying to hold an umbrella in one had and work the camera with the other. It turns out there is a Velcro strip around the lens opening, so it can be secured snugly, so I had no trouble with the cover wandering into my shots today. This scene is from the edge of the "field" near my house where Clover and I walk. It's wooded at one end, and this portion includes an interesting double row of cedars planted tightly together, and is nearly overrun with ivy. I don't know the history of the plot, but suspect the cedars were planted around the border of an old homestead, and the ivy was perhaps planted along the edge of the home. Purely speculation. Ivy is horribly invasive, but I have to say I always think it looks pretty in this little woods, especially today completely waterlogged with all our rains.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Rainy Saturday

At least I got to try out my new camera rain cover. It worked great, except it kept sneaking into the corner of the photo without me noticing. That's what happened with this image, which was composed a bit differently than this, but it needed a good crop to remove the rain cover from the lower left. It was a learning experience. Still, fun to get out in the rain with my camera. Rain coat, rain boots, rain cover for my camera...only my knees got wet. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Winter Mosaic

  Our mornings have been cold, with a hint of frost, 
but as the day wears on the temperature climbs into the 50s. 
 It still feels like winter, but it also feels like spring wants to begin.  
Maybe because weeds are starting to grow,
or maybe it's just wishful thinking.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mountain View

We had the perfect combination of light fog and sun this morning for a beautiful pastel sunrise. I photographed from Felida Bridge at sunrise last month after our big snow storm, but didn't include Mt. Hood in that image because the sunrise was too bright. Today we finally got the perfect light. I regret not taking the few extra minutes to find the trail down to the water because there was a really great misty fog hanging over the water and it doesn't show up at all from my vantage point on the bridge. Next time...

Friday, February 3, 2017


Winter storm number 6 (or 7?) thankfully didn't materialize as forecast. 
Snow is so pretty, but for now I've had my fill.  
This image taken a few days after our big storm on January 11th.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


2017 Pantone Color of the Year, aka winter in the Pacific Northwest. 
(I'm pretty sure one of these mossy tones hits the color exactly, or at least comes very close!) 
I'm glad they picked it; it's a nice fresh color.