Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Another Saturday Drive

We are fortunate to live on the borders of two national forests: the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman. Forest Service roads are numerous and in decent shape for vehicles designed for off-road ventures. This time of year is especially beautiful because the landscape is newly green and lush. And elevation of 5000+ feet means that things stay greener longer, too...once the snow has melted.

These photos were taken in Umatilla National Forest.
 At more than one point along Summit Road, which travels east to west across Mt. Emily in the Blue Mountains, there is a view of the huge Grande Ronde Valley.

 There are so many star-shaped white wildflowers in the Audubon Society's Field Guide but I can't distinguish which one this is. The leaves should help in identification, but they didn't help me!

 These beautiful buds are forming at the ends of branches on a fir on green in Spring.

 Along this particular Forest Service Road, there are remains of a wooden-fenced area and a corral.

 I love this time of year in the mountains, when various wildflowers spread across the landscape.

 This odd little flower is Elegant Cat's Ear  aka Star Tulip. Theoretically, it grows only in southeastern Washington and northeastern Oregon to western Montana.

Canyon upon canyon ... close to the Umatilla Canyon

The slopes of canyons are dotted with bright yellow lupine, much more vibrant than the yellow lupine growing on dry hills. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

One Month Later --- A drive in the mountains.

To anyone who finds and reads this blog...thank you. 

I don't know about anyone else, but I've simply lost track of time during this pandemic. One would think that all the unscheduled time would be a bonus, but it hasn't been.   I'm still contemplating ending this blog, but not right now.  We drove a big loop through the Wallowa-Whitman and Umatilla National Forests, where snow still exists in shaded areas.  Downed trees and snowdrifts in the road helped us decide to turn around.  (I'm glad we did, because we were headed for cities in SE Washington...on Forest Service roads through the mountains!)

 Finally, an animal in my favorite grove of aspens!  The doe was on alert, although she didn't move.  I'm pretty sure there was a fawn hidden in the tall grass.

 These are the signs of a volcanic creation here.

 Crimson Columbine provides a splash of color along the roadside.  A bumblebee was working hard for some nectar.

 This little pretty is a Blue Violet.

 The Stream Violet doesn't match its color name, and I didn't see a stream nearby.

 According to the wildflowers book, this is Butter Lupine.  I just call it "yellow."

 Indian Paintbrush generally blooms earlier in the spring, but many flowers are later at higher elevations.

The book says this is "Blue Pod Lupine."  And I call it "purple."  

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Deep Into the Quarantine

I'm back into photography; my rehab for the new hip has progressed as well as my age allows (tough realization) and the social distancing allows lots of car rides in our rural area.  I also purchased a new lens, one that weighs a ton!  It's a Sigma 150-600 mm.  I haven't used it very often because I really want to get out and take some time.  However, I have used it in my kitchen to photograph hummingbirds on the feeder outside.  

This is a black chinned male; generally, I see one early in the spring and then he's gone.  Not this year.  This guy was terrorizing the feeder when I shot these images. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Texture Tuesday 2.0

I don't recall exactly how long ago we participated in Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday, but it was a wonderful time.  I've collected so many of Kim's photo textures, and as she has "moved on" in some ways, I've stayed where I was.  In this time of the coronavirus, Kim has invited followers to participate in "Texture Tuesday 2.0" and she provided some great "grunge" textures, plus instructional videos for how to apply them.  I have an older version of Elements, and I use Picasa for text on my photos.   This image was edited with "Together 6" but I haven't yet figured out how deal with layers.  :-)

Friday, March 20, 2020

Eagle Eye .... way up there!

It's always on my list to photograph an eagle; we often see them here but catching them with a camera lens is challenging.  On a drive this week, we took a lane we hadn't driven before.  As we anticipated, it ended in someone's barnyard.  On the way, though, we saw two full farm ponds.  Canada geese are paired and settling down; far above in a bare snag sat the eagle.  Two problems: the sun was almost directly overhead, so the eagle was in its own shadow; the branch was about 30 feet high which tested my 400m lens to the max.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Spring is here, I think!

More than two months without a post; I need to decide if  I'm going to maintain this blog (I don't do very well on my crafting one, either).  Blogs used to be "the thing" and I enjoyed them all so much.  I learned so much about the bloggers and was so inspired by their photos.  Now it's Instagram and some Facebook, and I don't interact the way I used to.  I miss it.   I know the internet is always changing and we rarely go back, so I'm resigning myself to the changes.  For the time being, I'm going to continue to post, although I might not be as consistent as I would like.  The Coronavirus will keep me inside most of the time for the next several weeks.

Since the end of November, I've had 3 surgeries...crazy because I consider myself extremely healthy for my 7+ decades of life.  As I write this, I am starting my third week of rehab after a hip replacement.  It is not progressing as rapidly as I thought it would.  A cane is my constant third leg.  It makes photography much more challenging.  My husband is a bossy nurse, but is always good about driving me around the country when I'm in a "photo mood."  Hopefully, as winter turns to spring, subjects will be more appealing.

The blog header features buttercups, always such a good sign after winter.  Farther north, the little mountain streams are still running fast, bordered in snow.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Week #52 - P52 Completed!

A dramatic sundown seems to be a good way to end my Photo Project 52 of 2019---a week late.  Winter hasn't been very forceful yet this year. We've had hints of snow and lots of rain.  It's cold and windy and dark.  This past week, I could see that there were pretty horizons with clouds and lots of color, so we drove up and out of the valley to Cricket Flat, where I could pick any horizon I desired.
Now I can order the photo book.