Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Movie Title

Stewart sent us the theme "photo to portray a movie" a couple of weeks ahead so we could think about it. Not being a big movie goer, I was pretty much stumped. The other headbangers offered me some thoughts based on the sorts of images they know I have in my computer files. Cold Mountain. On the Beach. They were okay. I could have used those.

Once I got a handle on the theme I thought of some marmot pictures I have that would make a good "Groundhog Day" title. Some bird pictures (some of them taken the same day as my seagull from last week) that would be "The Birds". Wharf pictures could be "On the Waterfront."

Then we went to the lake to spend a few days with our son's family on vacation, and when we arrived, guess what the kids were watching...

Stuart Little.

So I present to you my thought process.

 Four years ago we spent a lovely day exploring Lincoln, UK with Stewart and his lovely wife Julie.  We had dueling cameras at the cathedral, we walked a street called "Steep". You can imagine what that meant. We had a meal at a typical pub. We walked along the canal. (More dueling cameras.)

Across from the cathedral I caught Stewart peeking out of this doorway.
A bit of editing and -- bye bye Stewart.
A little work with Stewart removed...
Then shrunk and pasted back in, and voila...
Stewart Little.
You can see what films my friends found to illustrate by clicking their links in my sidebar.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Header Challenge--Birds

If I stroll back through my photo archives I am sure I can find a goodly number of bird photos.

There are the Camp Robbers at Mt. Rainier (actually Gray Jays and Clark's Nuthatchers) who will beg and steal any food you leave unattended even for a second (as the strip of bacon when I turned to the stove to cook the eggs)

or even if you don't.

Here are some other birds of some note.

Great Blue Heron

Chaffinch--taken in Scotland

Some more large birds--the Sandhill Cranes

We spent a couple of days with the kids at the lake this week, and the birds we spent time with were the ducks.

But on the way at a rest stop this sign made me laugh.

I laughed because it reminded me of these gulls when we camped at Sun Lakes a couple of years ago.

 They were quite determined.

  A collage suggested itself for the header image.
I am sure that my header colleagues found some great birds for their entries this week. You can find their posts through the links in my sidebar. The theme was suggested by Craver VII.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Color to Black and White

When I worked at the local newspaper, people would sometimes bring in information with snapshots to go with it. Color snapshots. Black and white newspaper. I learned to gently tell people why one shot would work and another would not.


Our challenge this week is to take a color shot and turn it to black and white.


All these shots are from the last week and take with my new Canon Powershot SX50 HS.

We spent a couple of days at Mt. Rainier and a couple of days in Seattle.

There is not much color to start with in this White River crossing.

The cloudy color of the water comes from the glacial flour--bits of rock ground down by the Emmons Glacier which feeds it.

Reflection of the blue sky enhances the river surface.

The yellow monkey flowers are lost in the black and white version, so I cut them off. The texture of the water carries over.

Looking east from the Silver Forest trail, the layers of the mountain ridges provide a contrast...
(I really did take this picture last week, despite the fact that it looks like my template's stock background.)

...that renders nicely in black and white. I am channeling Ansel Adams.

We made a quick exit while the Mariners were putting the final touches on their win over the Chicago White Sox.

We made it to our bus and did not have to wait another hour. But again the original is not much different.

How many planes in this shot at the Museum of Flight?
Another with not much more color in the colored version.

For my header I am going back to the mountain. Wonderful in color or black and white.


Visit my header challenge friends--we call ourselves the Headbangers. You will find their links in my sidebar.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Headbangers--the Other Side

I was the one who came up with the theme of "The Other Side" a few weeks ago when we were camping with the kids and my daughter wondered what was on the other side of the restroom window. It turned out to be:

I have thought since of what I could use as the other side.

Here in Washington (and in Oregon), there are two sides of the Cascade mountain range. On our side it is dry and we have weather extremes, on the other side it is wet and mild.

The view of a mountain can be disorienting when we view it from the other side. Let me show you Mt. Rainier from different sides.

from Bonney Lake

from Sunrise

near Paradise (Do you see that ridge on the right? Notice that it is the same ridge that is on the left from Sunrise.)

from Sunrise

another from Sunrise area

from Hwy 12--this and Packwood and Sunrise are MY side of the mountain

from Packwood

from Puyallup

I remember taking my Campfire group to a weekend sponsored by the Council in Portland Oregon. On Sunday morning we had a service at their campfire circle, which had an amazing view of Mt. Hood. As I sat and looked at it I was a bit puzzled, till I realized why I was disjointed. We had several times hiked near Satus Pass in Washington, where there is a view of Mt. Hood.

It is not as obvious from this photo taken near Goldendale, WA, but there is a slight but
definite hook to the top of the peak. Seeing it from Portland, the hook hooked the opposite direction. I made the comment at the time that we need to remember that sometimes we need to see things from the other side to understand others.

I am going to go back to that first Rainier image for my header. It is the other side of the mountain almost literally from where we live. It also represents the other side of the family, as it was take from the window of my daughter's in-laws' home in Bonney Lake. They have that incredible picture postcard view--when it isn't raining.

What did the other Header challengers find on the other side? My sidebar bears the answer in their links.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


I am not much of a carnival goer, and we haven't been to the Central Washington Fair for a couple of years, but when we did, I got some great shots of the midway as the sun went down and the lights went up.

Our Header challenge this week is Carnival, suggested by Lew. You can see what the other Headbangers chose by following their links in my sidebar. For me, it is going to be a matter of deciding on my favorite of these shots.

bungee jump 

passing the ferris wheel


look up (better than looking down)

giant wheel

another bungee couple
The Yoyo

yoyo is fast

verrrrrry fast

Tuesday, July 22, 2014



It is fire season in the Northwest. Fires rage in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. the largest is the Carlton Complex Fire in North Central Washington. At 381 square miles it is the largest in Washington history.

The town of Pateros was in the path of this fire. You can click to get an idea.

The opposite of chaos is the courage and organization of firefighters from across the country coming in to fight this fire. The opposite is the outpouring of help to those affected.

I was considering using this image from the area affected by the Milepost 24 Fire near us last year.

But it is nothing to compare.

So I will leave my header without an image this week.

Our little group challenges each other to post a header to a theme each week. The others are listed in my sidebar.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


God called the dry land "the earth,"
and the basin of the water he called "the sea."
God saw how good it was.  Genesis
one of my favorite fountains in Seattle
Knowing that I live in the Pacific Northwest, the impression might be that I live among abundant rainfall and a wealth of water. That is a stereotype of our state.
When it rains, it pours.

It is true that our state contains at least two temperate rain forests, several year-round snow covered peaks, more than 25 glaciers, snow and water skiing, and a variety of other evidences of an abundance of the H2O.

But the truth is, I live in a desert.
while as yet there was no field shrub on earth and no grass of the field had sprouted, for the LORD God had sent no rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the soil, Genesis
It almost seems like wherever we go in Washington, we have a view of one of the mountains. Do you see Mt. Adams peeking over the hill in the distance?
 Webster's: 1 a :  arid land with usually sparse vegetation; especially :  such land having a very warm climate and receiving less than 25 centimeters (10 inches) of sporadic rainfall annually

Washington has two main ranges of mountains which are oriented from north to south--the Olympics and the Cascades. By the time the moisture coming in from the Pacific has fallen in the rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula, on the cities of the Puget Sound, and climbs the Cascades with a dusting or dumping of snow, there is little left for us in the valleys of Eastern Washington. (Eastern Oregon is similar.)

The Header theme that Mac gave us for this week is

While my home in the Yakima Valley is literally a desert with around ten inches of precipitation falling each year, it is a rich farmland due to irrigation. 
Mt. Adams in the distance beyond the sprinklers
 To enrich the waste and desolate ground
till the desert blooms with verdure?  Job
Grape vines overlook other crops and another set of sprinklers and the Horse Heaven Hills beyond.
Seed production in the Mid Columbia (and the sprinkler lines beyond.)

Circle Line Irrigation rig. (and another mountain view in the distance.)
 The computerized circle lines are a great improvement over the hand lines--looks like these are no longer in use.
These were idle in Eastern Oregon, but it WAS February.
These look more like they are getting ready for the season in early May. I like this image simply as a graphic.

So where does all this water come from?
but a stream was welling up out of the earth and was watering all the surface of the ground    Genesis
I don't have a picture of Grand Coulee Dam, but it is only one, and one of the earliest of the projects of the Bureau of Reclamation that make irrigated agriculture a possibility (and provide many megawatts of hydroelectricity.)
Just at the far edge of the visible water you can see Wanapum Dam on the Columbia.
It is one of a series of dams downstream from Grand Coulee.
What happens when the structure of a dam is compromised?

We took the above picture of the Columbia River when we climbed up to the Wild Horse statues near Vantage a few years ago. If we made the climb today--well, we would definitely not do the hike TODAY as it is 101º F.--desert anyone? Nevertheless, the view from this spot now has much less water, as some months ago the Wanapum Dam was found to have a crack. The water behind the dam was drawn down to relieve the pressure on the structure. The "beach" extends about halfway out into the river. The State Park at the upper right of the photo is closed to protect the environment and prevent people from illegal digging for artifacts. Additional efforts are made to insure the migration of fish.
Other dams
Shasta Dam in Northern California (Mt. Shasta in the background) is part of the irrigation system for California's Central Valley. From the water level of Lake Shasta, you can see part of the effects of drought.

Hoover Dam on the Arizona-Nevada border controls the Colorado and provides hydro power for a large area.
Lake Mead, behind it is even lower than Lake Shasta. Lake Powell, behind Glen Canyon Dam near the Arizona-Utah border is lower still.

Back in Washington, water from those series of dams is diverted into canals to serve the various irrigation districts in the Yakima Valley, the MidColumbia, the Wenatchee Valley, etc.

Diversion dams like this one control the irrigation canals.
There is not much of wild water left. We have done so much to control it. What might have been if we hadn't?
Control of the water provides irrigation and hydropower.
It provides flood control.
It also makes available habitat for wildlife.
 Then God said, "Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky." And so it happened:   Genesis
It provides abundant recreation.

And in some areas provides transportation.
One of the Washington State Ferries approaches the dock in Seattle.

Here in the desert we are not slave to the ferry schedule. When you live on an island in the Puget Sound, you are. Yes, that ferry has just left, it is not just arriving. We waited an hour for the next one to get off the island after visiting a friend.
"May God give to you of the dew of the heavens
And of the fertility of the earth abundance of grain and wine."  Genesis
Headbanger Challenge--WATER
Visit my Headbanger friends from the links in my sidebar and see what wonderful views of water they have found.