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Rain forest, detail

I was looking through our recent Lake Quinault camping photos again and noticed that I didn’t include any of the detail shots. It’s easy to be bowled over by the big picture (so green! giant trees! lots of rain!), but a lot of what makes the rain forest such a special place are the little things – the carpets of clover, the furry mosses, the delicate unfurling of a fern frond – all those tiny lives being forged out of the clouds and mist. It’s amazing. I think its worth a second look, don’t you?


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A weekend away

We had a wonderful weekend visiting friends north of Seattle. The weather was sunny and perfect, and for the first time I could see the entire skyline of Seattle, including the Puget Sound and distant mountain ranges. I would love to live so close to the water. We arrived late, but with enough sunlight left to visit Hayworth Park and let the dog have some off-leash time.

On Sunday morning our families took the ferry to Whidbey Island, to the picturesque town of Langley. The toddlers tossed stones by the waters edge and we all peeked into the various shops until lunchtime. Unexpected treasures were found at the Chocolate Flower Farm where I bought up an envelope of the richest hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted and David found Chloe a like-new Little Tikes Tambourine for only $1 at the Good Cheer Thrift Store. Lunch was very tasty at the French Bistro, Prima (I’m always up for a good croque madame). The girls were getting tired though, so we parted ways soon after, but David, Chloe and I hung around just a little longer, to soak up as much of the island atmosphere as we could before the long drive ahead.

Greta and Ava picking up rocks
David and Chloe dropping rocks into the water
The gorgeous view from Langley

See all photos


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Eeny, meeny, miny, moe

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(1) Maple leaves in the forest  (2) White flowers, Smith Rock
(3) Indian Paintbrush at the grandparent’s  (4) Miniature Rose in our yard

I’m thinking about putting new photographs in the four gallery frames hanging in our living room. Over the years they’ve held illustrations, photos, artwork, magazine pages and right now they’re displaying fabric. However, you’d think with all the photos I take, I’d easily fill those four frames with new photographs. But, no. The issue? Finding four vertical shots to make a set. Since I don’t often photograph vertically, there is a limited number to choose from. Choosing a matched pair is easy. A set of three, fine. Finding four that look good together? That’s a challenge.

I briefly considered doing four shots of Chloe, but it seemed too shrine-like in our little house. Then I considered texture shots, but now I’m thinking about the four nature scenes above. I think what ties these together is the sunlight and glow of color, plus the combination of crisp foreground and softer background.  I also like that Chloe and David are represented in one of them, but not overly so.

Someday I’d like to  shoot a set of nice black & whites – maybe architectural in theme – bridges, buildings, cityscapes. I like the set of three France photographs donated to Craft Hope’s Etsy shop (they sold!), but they are all horizontal, too. Or maybe I just need to scrap the current frame layout and turn them all sideways. Hmm… there’s a thought.


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A Day in Death Valley

This past Sunday was David’s birthday. We spent the weekend in Las Vegas and on Sunday we rented a car and drove to Death Valley National Park, a little over 2 hours away. Unfortunately we had a bit of a late start, and didn’t cover as much ground as I had hoped. We’ll have to come back because I was a little bummed to miss Scotty’s Castle and other sections of the park. We did however stop at the Furnace Creek Visitor’s Center and proceed to the areas nearby – Badwater, Devil’s Golf Course, Artist’s Drive, Golden Canyon, Zabriskie Point and a final drive through the Twenty Mule Team Canyon.

It was so nice to get out of the city and enjoy a day away. Our rental was a Jeep Liberty and although it was loud and somewhat of a gas guzzler, it was a nice ride. We had planned to do some of the off road 4×4 trails, but it was getting too dark by the time we were finished with the main attractions. Here are some more pics of the park…

More Death Valley pics can be found here on Flickr.


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Thanksgiving Weekend 2007

Lone Autumn Apple

Okay, this post is way overdue, but I thought I’d write it anyway. David and I spent a lovely few days at Kevin and Jerry’s farm down near Roseburg (about three hours south) with our friends Alex and Marcy. Every day was just so perfect. peaceful. happy. delicious. It is such a wonderful place, inviting home, warm atmosphere, beauty out of every window, new things to find and see and do – like collect hazelnuts from the tree in the yard, admire the chickens, watch the dogs (Barkley, Mia, Suki and Booker) play and have fun. It was just what I needed. Some time to get away from my desk. To play games and eat good food and give thanks. And I am so very thankful.

farmhouse

thanksgiving dinner

wildflowers

Trees in sunlight

Tokatee Falls


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A Beach House Weekend

View from the deck of Eagle’s Nest

Another great weekend at the beach. It just never gets old. Pretty much every trip is an adventure and this one was certainly no different. This weekend was Marcy’s birthday weekend and we spent it at a gorgeous house called Eagle’s Nest (the pictures here do not do it justice, much more Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous at least to me!) that had an incredible view of the Pacific City coastline and miles of ocean. The first night we let the dogs run on the sand and frolic in the water while we simply admired the crashing waves from the stormy weather. Then we went back to for dinner and birthday cake.

On Saturday we rented crab rings and bought crabbing licenses and bait in a town called Garibaldi. Let me just say that crab bait does not smell or look pretty – basically large fish heads frozen with string, so they can be attached to the rings. The traps are thrown off the pier and checked every 10 minutes or so. Although many found their way into our nets, none were large enough to keep, so we ended up buying live crab nearby. Meanwhile, David had struck up a conversation with another couple on the pier while the rest of us went to find lunch. I’m not sure how, but eventually it came out that they live in our neighborhood, which is pretty weird considering how far we all were from home. One thing led to another and they joined us for some late afternoon mushroom hunting and also for dinner back at the rental house of crab and freshly picked wild chanterelles. Yum!

Late afternoon on the beach, hardly a soul in sight.

Beach houses aglow from the late afternoon sun

The marina in Garabaldi, where we rented our crab rings

A desirable male, but too small to keep

Barkley on the train tracks with the pier behind him

University Falls, on the drive home from Tillamook

A little caterpillar resting near the falls

More photos of our weekend can be found here.


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The Deschutes & White River Falls

deschutes river

David and I went flyfishing on the Deschutes. It was so nice to drive out of the grey and see some sunshine and blue sky for a change. This is the third time I’ve been fishing and still no luck. I’m trying not to be disheartened about the whole thing, because I know that David really wants me to like it. I certainly don’t mind going, but I think taking pictures of the surrounding areas is more fun, at least at this point.

near maupin

sage

desert flower seeds

blue desert flower

yellow desert flowers

sun flare deshutes

The Deschutes River is located in dry, rocky gorge surrounded by a high plains-like desert, filled with yellowed prairie grasses and sage growing all over. The landscape changes dramatically in the mere 2.5 hours east of Portland. I really like it. I think that some people find it boring and desolate, but I like its ruggedness, and the little surprises of natural beauty in small things. I also like how you can see for miles and how it feels so open and free.

We stayed on the Deschutes the whole afternoon trying different flies – blue wing olive parachutes, a cripple wing, and several patterns of stoneflies. Although the fish were scarce, we did see lots of other wildlife. I spotted 3 mule deer when we first arrived, as well as a blue heron and several other large birds of prey. David was even lucky enough to be surprised by a river otter.

deschutes river

By the time we reached White River Falls State Park it was almost dark and closing time. I was disappointed not to have enough light for any really good photos, nor time to walk down the steep and winding path for a closer look. There were two main legs of the falls where the water thundered down over an approx. 90ft high basalt shelf. David said there was twice as much water flowing over than he’s ever seen. Incredible.

white river falls

Tired and hungry from our day’s adventure we returned to the tiny town of Maupin for dinner at the Oasis Cafe for a good burger and hard ice-cream chocolate malt. It was a long drive home in the dark, interspersed with more deer on the road than I have ever encountered. Luckily, there were hardly any cars for miles so I could slow-down as needed to avoid an accident. It was almost as if some were simply lying in wait. David says I’m amazing at spotting deer. Must be because my Dad was always pointing to hidden animals when we went for drives when I was little. Glad to know I picked up some of that.

See more photos from this trip here.

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