Tuesday, October 29, 2013

No Fear

I have to start by saying that for most of my life I have been terrified of heights. I am the one who would climb to the top of the landmark du jour when travelling, and once there, back away from the edge and miss the view. I have never been near the windows at the top of the Space Needle, though I have been there numerous times.  I should include this image from when I was in India with a group of volunteers and we had the opportunity to have a group picture taken.

You notice I did not take a close-up and I am not in the group picture.
That was thirteen years ago. But look where I hiked today. This is just a view down to the highway from the trail. The valley is below the road, and it is all nearly straight down. Well, it seems like it. The straight down pictures don't really show the road very well.

I have NO FEAR!
Christine gave us the theme "No Fear" with the thought that it could be Halloweenie or not, depending upon our preferences. You can find the other headbanger challengers listed and linked in my sidebar.
Before we set out on our hike to
Sheep Lake I made a pit stop in the vault rest rooms and heard a
scream from the one next door.

When I came out, the screamer was waiting to use the unit I'd been in.

There's a huge spider on the wall in there, she said.

Hmm. She hasn't seen my Halloween spider.

When we came back I went into the spider side of the vault. I wanted to see this giant spider, I have NO FEAR of spiders. This was a big big spider, if you measure from toe to toe. About four or five inches. But its body, well, look how scary this is:

Up on the trail, hubby pointed out this and said it was a really big print. Yes, we are in cougar country. But yes, I also saw the golden retriever hiking with the family that left the parking lot a few minutes ahead of us.
No Fear!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I have to ask myself whodunnit? Who gave us this theme for our weekly header challenge? I think it was.... I can't find it. I am sure the headbangers, whom you will find linked in my sidebar, will let me know, and also will have some delightful images to provide.

I wondered, perhaps it was Mac.
 He does have a slightly guilty look
 on his face here sneaking
 out of this gateway
 when we explored Lincoln
with him and Julie in 2010.
I wasn't sure, though,
 and can't find the message
  announcing the theme,
 but I have snuck over and
 seen Mac's rather gory entry
 and he actually admits it was he.

I could easily showcase a shelf of books. Holmes and his companions take up a major portion of our home library. A shot of my Kindle and my husband's Nook would confirm that penchant for the mysterious in our reading matter. Here are a few examples laid out on the bed.

Back to current times, summer is gone. Who took it? Our planned camping trip last weekend was postponed--till next spring. A bit of bad back and some appointments to relieve it put the kibosh on it, and with the nighttime temperatures, well, I might have put the kibosh on it anyway. So our tiny trailer has been bedded down for its winter hibernation. I did it!!!
 It rather looks like this around here and it is sneaking up upon us -- Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the bend. Where did it come from? Who made time move so quickly?
So who was the painter? Who done it?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Flash Fill

Craver gave us headbangers a theme that just isn't something I often do. Flash fill. The header has to be a picture taken with a flash.

I didn't get out to take something with the flash, or in. I don't have many flash pictures that are worth sharing.

I searched my files for some. And although I am not positive that this shot of the grandkids lining up to show off their fancy duds was taken with a flash, I think it was. (The glare that is my flash bugaboo is the hint.) I think it is at least a fun shot.

I much prefer natural light, and when the light is not quite right, minor manipulations of the digital image through editing software does for me.

It brings to mind my old flash maxim, though. When I was a college student many years ago, I spent an academic year in Florence.

It was the time of the instamatic camera. Do you remember these?
(Images borrowed from Wikipedia)
This was the kind I had, with the flash bulb. My more up-to-date classmates had the latest ones with flashcubes. Flashcubes had not yet come to Italy, and I was actually better off with the older model.
I also was often able to get better pictures than the friends with the fancy cameras--because I wasn't overwhelmed with settings to deal with. I had three options: Flash, No flash, Spent flash. The shutter speed was slower with a bulb in place, and a spent bulb gave just that extra time for dreary day shots. Oh, yes, I forgot the fourth possibility, hold your hand out to shade the lens  when it was too bright.
And film. Film was not cheap. If you were on a budget, you considered your shots. Even at that, I took hundreds of pictures.  
A flash has a limited distance. If a flash would be necessary, and the shot was too far for the flash to light, I would not take the picture. Some of those I travelled with just could not get that into their heads.
Our group spent the Christmas holidays in the Middle East and one dusk some of us found ourselves on the Mount of Olives looking back at the old city of Jerusalem.
And consequently my maxim became: You can't light up the city of Jerusalem with a single flashcube.
My headbanger friends are likely to have some better ideas for their flash headers. You can find their blogs through the links in my sidebar, and they will have their new headers up by Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Headbanger Challenge--Macro

I'm often switching my camera settings to macro. I don't have to change lenses, as my cameras are both point and shoot, but they do have an awesome range of settings so that I can concentrate on the image instead of boggling my head with F-stops and apertures.

Here are some of my favorite close-ups--watch out, one of them is ickier than the one I chose for the header, which, by the way, I took on a Mt. Rainier hike a few years ago. I admit, I cropped it in closer for the final header image, but I wanted you to see the hungry look in that spider's eyes--all of the eyes.

Close stitches with shiny thread

frost on the playground

dewdrops in the forest

Oh, ick! Aphids in the Rose Garden!

This was quite funny. As we hiked the first day in the Scottish Highlands, the rest of the group (hubby excepted, as he knew me well) kept wondering what I was doing when I stopped and got down close to the ground. Their eyes were opened when they saw this on my camera's viewscreen.

Quiche with lentil and arugula salad for brunch

The uncropped spider lunch picture.
The other members of the Headbangers club are listed in my sidebar near the top. The links will take you to their blogs, where they will have their macro headers up by sometime later this afternoon.

I just remembered a very practical use of the macros setting. If you are an avid sewer like myself--when you have switched sewing machine needles to a different size and have popped several needles into your pincushion for safekeeping and future use, if you are like me and your eyes are old, you can't see the size of the needle printed on the shank. Take a close-up picture of the needle, then enlarge --you can do this on the camera display--and you can read that small print.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sometimes you see things along the way

...incidental sightings, not what you are traveling for, worth one picture but not a lot of time.

exercise class

sailing class

a gondola--Where am I?????

You think these Oregon residents root for the Ducks?


vanishing point???

lock it up

sequey tour

steeple hawk

Bicycle cops have flashing lights and a siren--who'da thought?

goose butts

pretty trucks all in a row

And now, the ones I did not get a picture of:
the crow that was harassing the steeple hawk
a gypsy trailer
a really strange encampment along the creek on the reservation
the Shaniko shoe tree
and a billboard advertising a "Naked Winery"

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It's in the Computer!

I proposed the theme this week. Let me tell you where it came from. A couple of years ago after a conference at Google we were visiting some of the kids and my then 4 year old granddaughter, puzzled, asked me: "Grandma, why does your shirt say Google on it?" I was wearing a T-shirt purchased at the Google Store.

"Well, Leesa, it's a souvenir from when I visited Google."

Leesa was most indignant. "Grandma," she declared. "You CAN'T visit Google! GOOGLE-IS-IN-THE-COMPUTER!"

I'm in Silicon Valley visiting Google again, and since my turn for a theme came along at the same time, I proposed "It's in the computer!"

I sure had no idea what I would do, but a visit to the Oakland Museum of California history display (a must see if you are in the area.) took us to the section on history of Silicon Valley and the computer industry. And if this stuff is not "IN THE COMPUTER", I don't know what is.


No cat videos here!

You will find the other members of the Headbangers crew listed in my sidebar. Their posts should be up by Wednesday afternoon.