Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Check Mark on My List

In this country, we never tire of seeing elk...never! My "bucket list" always includes photographing elk. A year and a half ago, I was fortunate enough to spend 20 minutes one early morning with a group of bull elk, but I was only in zoom lens distance. Today, I still had a zoom lens, but I was much closer to two bulls who were trying to cross the highway. The next valley has become the temporary residence of hundreds of elk who have moved down from the mountains.  The snow is deep, the wind often blows relentlessly, and the elk are searching for food.  This is the time of year when the bulls become "bachelors" in groups, although some stay with the large herds of cows and calves.  When two bachelor bulls were traveling alone today, I happened to be in a car very close to them -- with my camera.  I much prefer focusing on the heads of elk, but this will do for now.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Cold Weather Visitors

Although I feed goldfinches year-round (they do eat an amazing amount of black thistle seed), when there's snow on the ground, the dark-eyed Juncoes descend, as well.   During the storms, I counted at least 50 of these ground-feeding birds.  On each side of the house, I've hung a suet feeder with the woodpeckers in mind.  Starlings like this treat as well, although I'm not fond of them.  Red-shafted Flickers are common here, and I've seen as many as 5 in the maple tree outside the kitchen window.  A Downy woodpecker visits sometimes, as well.

Friday, January 13, 2017

More Trees

In an earlier post here, I featured my favorite trees, the aspens in snow.  Less than a week later, there was more than double the amount of snow, and this time the trees' bare branches had collected the snow.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I'm thinking late spring....

For a change from winter and landscapes, I've chosen my favorite flower...the peony.  My late mother had a huge peony garden and I have at least 25 of my own plants.  This particular flower came for Christmas in an order that didn't work well--the freeway in this side of Oregon was closed for two days and the peonies sat in the cold in a FedEx location just an hour and a half from my home.  (I'm getting a replacement order when the weather is warmer.)  The background is the lid for a tea crate that I found at one of my favorite little "everything" shops.

Monday, January 9, 2017

I Have a Thing for Trees

A few years ago, I began photographing this substantial stand of quaking aspens on land 15 miles from my town. Over the years, I've photographed the trees in every season, and a handful of my photos are printed for frames and on canvas for my own relatives and the relatives of the trees. (See Aspens) Winter might be my favorite season for the photographs because of the blue cast the snow takes from mountains in the background.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Window on the World....or my backyard.

This window is in an old garage on the neighboring property.  I don't think the owner uses it except to store things---and that's only a guess.  The little house has its own attached garage.  This past year, I noticed that the lower right pane of glass had fallen out, and with snow on the exterior sill, it's an interesting looking window. (I couldn't get "square" with the window when photographing it because of the deep snow in our backyard.)

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Winter Storms On

As I prepare this blog post, we are in the 5th hour of wind and snow---the wind is the problem.  Even a little snow goes a long way to create drifts.  And we already have 2 feet of snow from last week. This image is one I took while on a drive "out north" a few days ago; we wanted to see what the landscape looks like after two wind-driven snow storms---and after the county road crew had opened the roads.  In a white landscape, features often become prominent, if they aren't the type that can be buried by snow.   This skeleton of a tree sits at the top of a slope; I don't recall noticing it before but it was prominent on this particular day.