Garden Daily & A Texture Too!

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Taken w/ 70-300mm zoom @ 300mm, f/8.0 @ 1/60 sec. Applied Kim’s DreamIt texture and her SonnetSample that I converted to black & white.

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared my garden daily photos so thought I’d combine that with my Texture Tuesday offering above.

Though I must confess I have not taken pictures every day in the garden, I have been out there most days.

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Finally got the pond up and running again and the water lilies expressed their gratitude with a few blossoms.

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Mister frog’s throat is a bit clogged so not spitting right now. I shall get out there this week to give him a tonsillectomy!

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This variety of Foxglove called Digiplexis ‘Flame’ is new to the garden this year. I fell in love with it at a nursery on Vashon Island.

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Meet Scherazade! Not as big as a Stargazer, but every bit as stunning.

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I’m not really a fan of the blooms on hosts, but looking at them at this angle makes me reconsider.

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I keep thinking my Nelly Moser has finished blooming for the season and then she pushes out a few more. My good fortune!

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My Lace Cap Hydranga continues its show through the summer.

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The Chickadees that were born here on the property have gotten quite comfortable around me. So lovely to have them here.

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Have a beautiful week everyone. Thanks so much for stopping by!

xo

 

Posted in Gardening, Inspirational, photography | 12 Comments

Road Trip – Bodega Bay Lodge

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The picture above was taken from our room at Bodega Bay Lodge. The room at this beautiful lodge was quite spacious and comfortable, and their landscaping would make anyone swoon!

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I became obsessed with this old birdhouse on the property. It greeted me every morning right outside our sliding glass door to our room. Must have taken a 100 pictures of it!

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Lots of grasses have been planted on the property, which gently sway with the ocean breezes. Right next to the lodge is a wetlands preserve.

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Many species of birds and wildflowers grow here.

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Lovely groomed paths invite exploration.

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Brian wondered through there for quite awhile, taking pictures of birds and flowers.

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After that we hopped into the car and drove just a little up the road to Bodega Head. There were a couple of painters there with their easels up, making their own pictures of this beautiful area.

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If you are considering a vacation to the Northern California coast, I would highly recommend this place. I know we will be back one day.

Thanks so much for dropping by. Hope your weekend was lovely.

xo

Posted in Inspirational, photography, Travel | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

A Family Affair

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. ~ Jane Howard

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Whenever I spend time with my family, a kind of giddy buoyancy comes over me. They lift me up with their love and laughter, their strength and insight. Getting together isn’t always easy as we all live rather far apart. My sister Linda lives in New Mexico. My sister Darlene lives in San Diego, CA. My niece Cindy & her husband Gary live in Texas and my niece Anny & her fiancé live near San Francisco, CA. But last Saturday we experienced the gift of time with each other. My nieces had a reception to attend in Washington and had the opportunity to carve out enough time to come to the house for dinner. My sisters decided to make the trip up too so we could all be together. Such a joy. Brian had the scathingly brilliant idea of putting on a crabfest! So off he went to Uwajimaya for the best Dungeness crab the area has to offer!

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The picture above represents half of what Brian brought home. We had a total of 10 crabs. When he got home, he made pies, including this lovely nectarine blackberry pie. So good!

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The following day I picked up my sisters. We got home and settled in. They caught up with their email and phone calls. Ah technology!

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(Linda on the left, Darlene on the right. Aren’t they stunning?!)

Once everyone arrived and got comfortable, it was time to start cooking and cleaning the crab. Here’s Brian giving lessons to the guys,

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At first they seemed a bit apprehensive,

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But then they really got into it,

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The work in progress,

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Ah, success!

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Yay!

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While all of this was going on, my sister Linda whipped up the lemon arugula salad.

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Then we dug in!

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(Linda on the left, Gary in the middle, Cindy on the right. Love these beautiful smiles!)

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(The engaged couple, Jaime & Anny. So happy for them)

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(Gary & Cindy. Such a cute couple)

We had a lovely dinner and a great time together. For me, time seemed to slow down. I looked around at everyone, drank in the love and laughter, and gave thanks for this beautiful family.

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My sister Linda stayed on a couple more days, which was awesome! We took a nice walk through Discovery Park.

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The following day I took her through the Pike Place Market and stopped in The Pink Door for lunch.

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So much to be grateful for.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you all have enjoyed your week. Don’t forget to give your family a big, big hug!

xo

Posted in Cooking, Inspirational, iPhoneography | Tagged | 3 Comments

Road Trip – After Cannon Beach

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After only one night at Cannon Beach, we continued South on Hwy 101. Our first stop was at this stretch of coastline.

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I’m particularly drawn to the ocean.

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Always feels like I’m coming home when I walk along its shore.

I was quite surprised when we came upon these sand dunes.

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Though the area is called the Oregon Dunes National Forest, it is actually in Northern California, off Hwy 101 near Reedsport.

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Along the side of the road was this wonderful rickety fence…

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shadow dancing in the sun. Continuing South, we found ourselves hungry and followed the directions of a sign that indicated a restaurant was ahead at the Elk Prarie Campground in Orick, CA.

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Unfortunately the restaurant was closed for remodeling, but the area did offer opportunity for a little picture taking. This one-room schoolhouse, now a historical landmark, was built in 1893. It conjured up images of young children, restless at their desks while teacher laid out the lesson plan for the day.

We also discovered why this area was called Elk Prairie.

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There were all these Elks, just hanging out! They barely gave us a second look.

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I’d never been this close to these magnificent creatures before. Quite a thrill. Our next stop was at Richardson State Park, in the Redwood Forest.

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There was a lovely groomed trail to walk among these mighty Redwoods.

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A little technical stuff about the photo above. The lovely starburst effect is achieved by stopping the camera lens down. I was using a 24mm lens so I was at f/16. The number of blades in the iris of the lens determines the number of rays that come off the light source. Cool huh? Also, I was able to achieve great detail in both the shadows and the light areas by creating an HDR (high dynamic range) image from a bracketed set of shots I was able to take because my camera was stabilized on a monopod. I simply imported the 5 shots from Lightroom to Photomatix, an easy to use application that creates HDR images. Once done, it can be saved back into Lightroom. I’m hoping to do more of this type of imagery.

After this, we decided we wanted to get onto Hwy 1. Following the sign that stated it was a mere 24 miles West, it actually took us about 1 1/2 hrs to get there! The little road switched-back all downhill. We were exhausted when we finally hit Hwy 1.

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We only made one stop along this stretch of highway because the decision to take this route added another 3 hours to our journey that day. 10 hours later, we finally arrived at Bodega Bay and checked into the lodge.

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But that’s a story for another post :-)

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. Wishing you a lovely week ahead.

xo

 

 

 

Posted in Educational, Inspirational, photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Sense of Adventure

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Taken w/ 24 mm @ f/4.5, ISO 500 @ 1/40 sec. Kim Klassen ‘Felicity’ Texture applied at multiply 100%.

I love taking pictures of bicycles.

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The minute I see one, I gravitate toward it.

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It could be a new bike.

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Or an old one.

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Or even just parts of a bike. I’ve got quite a collection of bicycle photos growing!

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At the age of 9 I received my first bicycle at Christmastime. I didn’t know how to ride a bike.

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And since my dad didn’t believe in training wheels, he spent the whole rest of that day teaching me how to ride it.

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I finally got the hang of it. As summer rolled around, my brother and I would hop on our bikes and take off. We would be gone all day.

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An innocent time when kids could be gone from the house all day and no one worried.

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That bike had awakened in me a sense of adventure. Of traveling under my own steam. I still feel that way and every time I see a bicycle, I am reminded of where it all began.

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This is me on Christmas day 1963. Can you see how hard I am concentrating?

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Where are you off to today? If you are in the neighborhood, please stop by.

xo

 

I’m linking up with Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday. Lots of wonderful images to look at if you would like to take a peak.

Posted in Inspirational, iPhoneography, photography | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Road Trip – Cannon Beach

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This was our first time in Cannon Beach, OR. Since we can drive there from Seattle, WA in a day it beyond my understanding as to why it has taken us so long to get here. This is an amazing stretch of beach.

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People from all walks of life stroll along its shore with seagulls doing much the same.

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There was a power I felt in this place that I cannot adequately describe in words. Maybe the formidable Haystack Rock, a 235 foot sea stack at the shore, has something to do with it. I kept taking pictures with my “big girl” camera, getting some wonderful images but still not capturing what I was feeling. I then switched to my iPhone and using the Hipstamatic app, where you can switch to different lens / film modes with a shake of the phone, and I took a series of pics that get closer to visually represent what I was feeling.

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We got there late in the day so we missed seeing the tide pools that are revealed at the base of Haystack when the tide is out. We strolled the beach for quite a long time.

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Before we were ready, sunset came upon us.

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The next morning we were up early, grabbed some breakfast and hit the road again. It would be a long 10 hour drive to our next destination.

Thank you so much for stopping by and allowing me to share a bit of our trip. Hope the summer has been treating you all well.

xo

Posted in Inspirational, iPhoneography, photography, Travel | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Gone Fishing

We wanted to send a dear friend some salmon so of course we headed to the best place for seafood, Pure Food Fish Market in the Pike Place Market in Seattle. We decided to buy a whole fish, sending half to our friend and taking the other half home. Here’s a quick video of our “fishing” episode!

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Weekend in the Studio

My apologies if you already received this blog post in your inbox. I am having a problem in that some subscribers are not receiving the blog posts so am reposting this to troubleshoot the problem. Thanks for your understanding.

This last weekend Brian & I did some much needed clean-up in the studio. Afterward I was inspired to work on some still life photography, using my light set up. Brian decided to set up his camera on a tripod and do a little time lapse of my playtime. This video is the final result. Too funny!

Hope you are getting the chance to work a little playtime into your day.

xo

Posted in Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Road Trip – Along HWY 101

“The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ~ Marcel Proust

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Brian asked what I would like to do for my 60th birthday, trip to Ireland, Italy, Hawaii perhaps? Actually no. What I wanted was to explore some of the west coast between Seattle and Bodega Bay. I wanted the opportunity to stop and take pictures along the way. I wanted a road trip. And that’s exactly what we did. We were gone 9 days and took tons of photos, which is taking some time to process. However, I thought I could at least start sharing some of the trip with you. The first area we spent time taking pictures is an area along HWY 101 called South Bend.

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This is a quiet fishing community. We were here early in the morning so not many people out and about yet, but I get the impression that though everyone probably knows everyone else, folks most likely keep to themselves.

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This town was a little too quiet for my taste, but I’m sure you will agree, the area is quite beautiful.

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If I wanted to get away for a quiet retreat, I’m thinking this town would be the place.

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Brian & I probably spend an hour or so taking pictures here before moving on. Our next stop was Long Beach, WA, named because they have a very, very long stretch of beach…

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And not much else. Even the Seagulls looked bored!

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We moved on to Astoria, OR where we saw the Goonies house and stopped here at the Bowpicker for lunch.

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I know it doesn’t look like much, but they serve the best fish & chips I’ve ever had. they use Albacore Tuna for the fish. Very limited menu, basically just fish & chips! If you are ever in Astoria, this is a must do for your lunch.

I will be sharing more of the road trip in bite-sized pieces over the next few weeks. Thanks for stopping by.

I hope your travels have filled your heart with joy.

xo

Posted in photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Finding my Light & a Slice of Pie

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(above image taken w/ 35mm @ f/2.0, ISO 100 @ 1/160 sec. Kim Klassen Texture ‘Chase’ applied)

As a photographer, the key to a good image is light. Without light, there is no image. Since my return to photography 4 years ago, I have been searching for my light. One of my goals in the ‘Be Still 52′ Still Life class I am taking, was to find my light. You see, here is Seattle the light isn’t terribly strong. It’s subtle and often moody. Like Ingmar Bergman light. Very film noir! But that’s not the light I want for my still life photography. Unfortunately we don’t have big windows in our home. We have a tiny little house with relatively small windows. We do have a studio space with a slider window, but then the light coming in isn’t strong enough for my taste. Outside is fine, except with our weather that isn’t always an option. I knew if I were going to be successful with Still Life, I would have to get comfortable with studio lighting. I’ve been working with the lights now for the last couple of years without a lot of success, until this last weekend. I spent the last 3 days in the studio working w/ the lights when I finally found it. I found my light! I worked with it over and over with consistent results. Looking forward to working on future ‘Be Still’ assignments with my light.

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I have to thank my husband Brian for allowing me the time in the studio. He cooked all the meals this weekend, and made the most delicious Peach Crumble Pie (after I was finished photographing the peaches!) He found the recipe HERE. My oh, my was it ever delicious.

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Having my light and pie too! I’m one lucky gal.

Have a great week everyone! xo

PS – linking up with Kim’s Texture Tuesday today. Hope you have a chance to stop by.

Oh, one last thing -

Here’s a few more images from my Garden Daily project :-)

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Posted in Cooking, Inspirational, photography | Tagged , , | 22 Comments