Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Big Birds for the Headbangers

Big Bird

So you want to see a funny big bird? You have to check out this traffic cam.
Now for my own big birds. I have seen them from Alaska to Arizona, in the wild and in captivity, in parks and wildlife reserves and rest areas. Some bigger than others.
Take a look.
Egret--Lake Merritt--Oakland, California

American White Pelicans--Lake Merritt--Oakland
 White Pelicans visit our valley seasonally. These probably find the lake in Oakland a good place to stay year round. Their wingspan is a good six feet.
Sandhill Cranes outside Othello, Washington
 Sandhill Cranes can stand nearly six feet tall, so you can imagine their wingspan. Thousands of them descend on the Mid-Columbia National Wildlife Refuge and nearby farmlands each spring as they rest on their migration north to breeding grounds in Alaska.
Bald Eagle near Juneau, Alaska
 We saw this eagle as we returned from a very successful whale watching tour during an Alaska cruise.
"Lady Baltimore"--Bald Eagle--Juneau, Alaska
 Lady Baltimore looks out at us with her one eye. She was injured by hunters, and now lives at the Mt. Roberts Visitor Center at the top of the tram.
San Francisco Zoo
 Don't know what this guy is, but he sure looks steady on his FOOT.
Eagle Totem--Ketchikan, Alaska
 Now here in Southeast Alaska is where totem poles and totems belong. This eagle is one of many totems in Ketchikan--and one of many eagles.

Flamingos--San Francisco Zoo
 Did you know that baby flamingos are gray and fluffy?
Penguins--San Francisco Zoo
 Penguins have attitude.
Great Blue Heron--Veterans' Oasis Park--Chandler, Arizona
 You might not expect to see water birds in Arizona, but this park and its wonderful trail system features several lakes.
Crane--Veterans' Oasis Park

Cormorants --Veterans' Oasis Park
It can be quite warm in Arizona, even in November. I think these cormorants are cooling off.

Sandhill Cranes--near Othello, Washington
 More cranes. I hope to get better pictures of them this year.
Seagull--Sun Lakes State Park, Washington
 Not so very big, but they made up for it in individual loudness.
Wild turkey--Sun Lakes State Park
 If Ben Franklin had had his way, this would be our national bird.
Canada Geese family--Sun Lakes State Park

Big birds need big nests. Near Lake Shasta, California

Not sure, but these guys might be Sandhill Cranes or a related species. Near Grass Valley Rest Stop, Northern California.

Mute Swans--near Grass Valley Rest Area
We had seen Mute Swans at the Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge, so we recognized them when we saw them in California.
The headbangers are birdwatching this week.
You can see their finds if you click their links near the top of my sidebar.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I didn't expect to see THAT here.

That was the theme I proposed, and I suppose at the time I may have had some idea that I would find some apropos images in my files. I didn't really expect to go out on a Sunday drive and find this.

 in a yard in Toppenish. Toppenish is located on the Yakama Indian Reservation. But the Yakamas are not totem pole carvers. I selected this totem...
 from which I created a header image--which I still might use. I really did not expect to see that there.

It's just that, when I did go looking through my files, I found so many fine examples of the unexpected.
Such as the time two boys rang my doorbell and asked if they could go into my yard to retrieve their ball. I didn't expect to see this there.
Just a little matter of an accent.  (I told the story here somewhere but I can't find it now.)
I also found this--which I did not expect to see in a rest stop restroom.
We were surprised enough to see the eagle over the beach at an urban park, but what is he carrying home for supper. Maybe I don't really want to know.
Maybe it's just something with a bit of seaweed tangled with it?
Maybe that is not a leash.
I didn't expect to see that there.
I did not expect to see Abraham Lincoln in a London park.
And one November trip when we stopped to visit our son in a newly rented home, I did not expect to see a picture postcard view of the Golden Gate Bridge through their living room window.
We encounter surprises every day. Down the road from us is a flock of sheep in a pasture. This time of year I am surprised several times a week with a new lamb in the family. There were no black sheep till the other day and now there are two. When I went for a visit, I didn't expect to have them be quite so antisocial.

What might the other headbangers find that they did not expect? You can check out their entries from the links in my sidebar.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Winter for the Headbangers--Winter Fun for Me

While I could care less about winter at home, if all the circumstances are right:
  1.  the weather is right
  2.  the pass is clear,
  3.  we have gas money and funds for an overnight and a meal,
  4.  health concerns allow for sufficient energy,
then my favorite activity is snowshoeing and my favorite place to do it is Mt. Rainier.

It's an overnight project because the park entrances on the west side are the only ones open in winter--and we live east. We head to Ashford, get a room, and make the trip to Kautz Creek or Longmire for the afternoon's trek. Then the next day head to Paradise and take  a long hike there.

The snowshoes and snowpants are packed away in the car. The tire chains are loaded just in case. And we are just waiting for all the other factors to fall into place.

It is glorious!

See what I mean about the road in the pass and carrying chains?
We hope that some medical issues are resolved and we can make the trip again next month. Snowshoeing takes a LOT of energy. These pictures are from years past. The snowshoes lived in the trunk last year without ever being used.
It is worth it for the views.
So that is winter a I like it. The theme was chosen by Lew. You can check on what he and the other headbangers found to post about winter by clicking their links in my sidebar.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Something New

New Moon through the hop lines.

on the
Headbangers find something new--check it out from the links on my sidebar.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


A pot of soup maybe? Tea kettle? a dunk in the hot tub? How can I do Steaming into the New Year? When Mac gave us this theme and then escaped to Cornwall for the New Year's Holiday it didn't occur to me to contemplate taking any pictures while cooking Christmas dinner, nor did I have time to do a thorough search of my photo files for steamy images.

I thought back, though, to our recent drive to Arizona. On that route as we pass by Cement Plant Road south of Baker City, Oregon, we generally are in the dark as we approach the road's namesake. My usual attempts to catch a photographic glimpse of the plant come out like this: 

 or this:



We don't stop for the cement plant no matter how much I want to get a shot.
This time, my new camera provided the possibility for a faster shutter, and with hubby driving and carefully keeping the camera as still as possible while traveling 60 mph, I got a much truer view of the brightly lit plant--including the STEAM.

So that bit of steam is all I have to offer. (I really love the abstract jiggledy light trails of the other images though.)

My esteemed headbanger colleagues will have done much better with the steam I am sure. Check them out from the links on my sidebar.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Headbangers: FOOD

Well, I did think of something to do other than my main plan for the day, which is tossed by the wayside because it involved getting out of the house and someone--ahem-ahem--took my whole car when I told him there was a phone charger in it, instead of taking the phone charger and putting it in HIS car. Of course, he also took the keys to his car AND to the decrepit pickup we call the "dump truck" because mostly all we ever use it for is occasional trips to the dump.

Someone stopped and asked him if we wanted to sell it the other day. It would not bring in much cash and then what would we use to go to the dump?

So I have remembered that I need to post my thoughts on food--the theme presented us for this week by Craver Vii.

Last night I gathered a few shots from archives and from dinner. Still deciding which to use as the header, but I am nearly there.

 Cioppino--a seafood stew that we had at a dockside restaurant in Olympia on a trip there a few years ago. I had to remember when that was to look up the pictures.

Sticky Toffee Pudding--a yummy UK treat which was a bit different every time we had it. This one was in the village of Kinlochewe in Scotland.
Snowman cookies for the season. I haven't made any cookies this ambitious this year, and got candy canes for the pageant kids instead of making them cookies for the final rehearsal. Maybe it was the sight of the dreadful faces that moved me. ( I do have four kinds of cookies on hand.)

Last night's tacos. I thought about taking a picture after one was half eaten.
If any of the other headbangers had time for true food photography this week, they will surely have outshone me. No matter. All of these were well worth eating, and that's the point, isn't it? You will find their offerings through the links on my sidebar.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Right Place--Right Time

Why is this the right place at the right time? Until this year we had never been to the Arizona desert in the Spring. Our usual trip is in November, and beautiful as it can be, the desert is not in bloom then. So our trip for our grandson's graduation was the right place and the right time to not only celebrate, but to see the blooms on the saguaro.

On the same trip we were in the right place and right time to see--WHAT? A COYOTE IN THE CITY PARK? That's right. Maybe a more conventional interpretation of right time right place.

Sporting events provide some exciting opportunities to get right time shots. We caught the "WAVE" when we went to a Mariners game this summer.

and the action at the goal at the Priests vs. Seminarians soccer game. Block it Fr. Jaime!!!!

And you had to get up in the middle of the night to be at the right place and right time for the eclipse--one of a few this year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It's Cold Out There

Except it isn't.

When I posed the theme "It's cold out there" for our header challenge, I did not anticipate that when the assigned week arrived that our October winter weather would have turned to a December fall rise in temperatures. It's not like it's time to go around in sandals and shorts, but finding a cold out there image this week is not going to happen.

So I returned to yesteryear. Some pictures from some snowshoe trips to Mt. Rainier and to Satus Pass. A bit of urban hardware. A bit of country hardware. Most of these images are about five years old.

Here goes. I think I have decided which to use for the header, but I may change my mind by the end of the post.

Frozen barbed wire

Meadow above Satus Pass

Urban Security--well, sort of urban if you call a city of 10,000 or so urban.

Nisqually River Ice and Snow

Paradise River Ice and Snow

Reflection Lakes not reflecting

Looking for a Camp to Rob

Well, I ended up changing my mind. I was ready to post the camp robber for my header, but gave hubby a vote and he nixed it. What do you think? And what do you think of my headbanger friends? You will find their blogs linked in my sidebar.