Four years ago I planted some red poppies.
The next year they bloomed and were spectacular; bright red, tall and perfect in my garden.
The following year they came up, were just about to bloom and suddenly they were gone - totally gone - not a sign of anything above the ground.
Mountain Beavers again!
I thought they were gone for good but earlier this spring I noticed poppies coming up and I wasn't quite sure if they were my red poppies but this morning the first one opened and it is as spectacular as I remember.
As of now there are still more to open and I haven't seen much sign of the Mountain Beavers yet this spring so, perhaps, I'll have a grand showing.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Four years ago I planted some red poppies.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Our first White Shepherd came to us through our son Brian, who got her at a Pet Store while he was in college at WSU. LC (Lambda Chi) was a fraternity dog and Brian eventually figured out that that wasn't the best life for a dog so she moved home with us with great protest from Jim.
In her early years we blamed her for a series of duck and chicken deaths - she was guilty but the true instigator was her big sister Lucy, a Chocolate Lab/Basset Hound mix. At one point we gave LC away to a new home, but she was too much for her new owners and she came back to us. We were happy to have her back and she has been one of the best things that has ever happened to us. It's hard to believe we almost let her out of our lives.
Over the years LC comforted us when our son died, she pushed Jim to call for help when he was having a heart attack and she warms out hearts with her loving presence.
When we decided that we needed a little life in the house we went looking for a White Shepherd puppy. I researched on the Internet and eventually found SureFire Shepherds, a breeder in Longview, Washington. We selected our puppy via the phone and Internet and went to check her out before our final decision. At 6 weeks of age Abby (in the picture) was already showing signs of being an alpha dog which has proven true as she has matured.
As LC has been a strong steady presence, Abby has been pure joy. I knew she would settle down when she hit two so I enjoyed her puppy years. At two I figured she would calm down by three and now at four years old I often describe her as a "nut case" although it is that pure joy showing through. She has been the best thing for LC, who at 13 is slowing down but still full of spirit and loves Abby dearly. For us she indeed added some life to the household.
LC can no longer walk the beaches, but Jim, post heart attack, and Abby walk almost every day and are well known to the other regulars at Point No Point - be sure to waive if you see them!
More about White Shepherds or check out SureFire Shepherds.
Monday, May 28, 2007
My mother has been a "Monday Walker" for many years.
The loosely organized group walks every Monday, year 'round, no matter what the weather. The group splits into smaller groups based on ability and pick different hikes each week.
I always thought it was a terrific group and would love to have Mondays open to join them. My son and both of my nephews all enjoyed wonderful hiking experiences with the Monday Walkers when they were young.
Today was a perfect walking day and as we headed down the beach we met the walkers. These are two of my mother's friends and we met her further down the beach.
I never get tired of taking pictures of the lighthouse at Point No Point. Different seasons, different weather and different angles - always a new shot.
Today was beautiful and the wild roses were at their peak so they are the focus on the picture with the lighthouse in the background.
For LOTS more pictures of the lighthouse check out my website and search either "lighthouse" or "Hansville".
What a great day - sunny but not hot and just perfect for a beach walk.
It's Memorial Day so the beach was crowded by local standards but with a low tide there was plenty of beach for everyone and we enjoyed a nice walk and Abby got a great run.
These bird watchers were enjoying the beautiful day was well with their scopes on the bluff just south of the lighthouse.
I'm not sure what they were looking for, but not the shorebirds that the area is known for. Possibly they were looking for the Bald Eagles that occupy Washington's largest eagle's nest which is found on the bluff.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Marcia had a little lamb (see post below) and now she's got another.
Following a day of whale watching, where not one whale was spotted, my friend Marcia and I stopped in Port Townsend to pick up a new Jacob lamb at the Green Water Farm to keep her little "Lucy" company.
Jacob Sheep are an ancient breed of sheep. Originally from the British Isles they aren't very common in the US, actually closer to rare.
This handsome guy was one of the willing models I photographed while Marcia and I toured around Green Water Farm learning more about the sheep.
Jacob Sheep Breeders Association
Green Water Farm - Port Townsend, Washington - they have Cashmere Goats too!
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Just a quick add-on to the post below - a picture of the historic Carlisle II that serves as a foot ferry (passenger only) between Port Orchard and Bremerton.
During weekends in the summer the ferry ride is free and very reasonable at all other times.
The Bremerton Harborside Fountain Park is open and a wonderful place to take a walk, enjoy a lunch, stick your feet in one of the fountains or just sit and watch the marine traffic.
The fountains are beautiful and fun with a sequence of eruptions that become predictable and mesmerizing. A very fun place to photograph as you try and catch the water in mid air. I was there mid day but earlier or later would offer better photo opportunities and in the evening the fountains are highlighted by lights.
The stone sculptures by Will Robinson are both beautiful and functional with some serving as tables, seats and one, by children, as a slide. Again, more dramatic shadows, earlier or later in the day, would enhance the sculptures in photos.
The park alone is worth a trip to Bremerton's rapidly changing waterfront. Other draws include Anthony's Restaurant, the other fountains near the conference center, the USS Turner Joy and the wonderful views.
Make your trip a two-for-one and take the foot ferry to Port Orchard to continue your exploration.
Coming from Seattle? The one hour Washington State ferry ride is a bargain cruise with views the Cascade and Olympic Mountains including Mount Rainier. Wind your way through Rich Passage, watch marine traffic and animals. You can bring your car or walk on the ferry and easily explore both Bremerton and Port Orchard without the need for a car. If you decide to stay overnight there is a hotel directly on the waterfront within easy walking distance of the ferry and other attractions.
A ferry ride from Seattle and walking tour of the Bremerton waterfront makes an excellent photo outing with a wide range of subject matter all in one day.
Monday, May 14, 2007
A gray day with what at first appeared to be nothing compelling to photograph.
It must have been a quiet night or the chair crew started early; every chair was lined up perfectly. With the hotel having such straight lines and the chairs all in order, I couldn't resist.
Love the green spring grass!
Sunday, May 13, 2007
What is, was, that? . . . Greyhounds!
I attended my first greyhound race at Southland Park in West Memphis, Arkansas as a side trip during the recent NATJA conference.
Prior to attending the races my first hand knowledge of Greyhounds was limited to my neighbors "rescued" Greyhounds that are basically very sweet couch potatoes despite their ability to hit speeds of 45 mph.
This evening I learned as much about photographing greyhound races as I did about the actual races. Thank you Michael DeFreitas!
Actually, from the picture above you would think I didn't learn a thing, but Michael patiently stood by the rail with me for at least two hours as we took pictures of greyhounds from various angles; at various speeds and camera settings. This was new to Michael as well but his years of experience paid off as he very quickly found settings that produced some good photos from what we could see on the camera monitor - Southland take note; you might want to buy a few.
Just to make sure you know that I know; this picture is terrible; not in focus enough; dogs running the wrong way and much more but it was a "learning" experience and those dogs do move!
I never quite caught on but I did listen and learn and realized that Michael has a talent and patience to teach as well as to take pictures. He has agreed to come to Kitsap later in the year and do a photo field class - say tuned - space is filling up and we haven't even set a date!
Check out Michael's site: http://iwritetravel.com/ - he may post some of the greyhound pictures eventually.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
My Aunt Rose was visiting and we were eating peanuts so the red Wonder Horse was named Peanuts. I'm sorry I don't remember the day or who gave it to me but I remember many days of riding Peanuts long and hard. Not only was he fun to ride; pounding both front and rear legs into the ground, but I would turn him on his side and the hollow underside became something of a doll house where other smaller toys lived.
I loved, and still have, Peanuts. Over the years and several moves I could never quite let him go.
On a recent trip to Arkansas with the North American Travel Journalists Association I took a tour of NE Arkansas. As we were being toured around Pocahontas I spotted a Wonder Horse in a store window. I mentioned that I had one and found, to my delight, that I was in the town where the famous Wonder Horse, a nationally known child's toy, was invented by William Baltz.
The picture above was taken in the local museum where the original Wonder Horse can be seen as well as some of the more "modern" versions such the one in the picture which is of the same vintage as my Peanuts.
Marcia has a Jacobs lamb. Lucy, one week old in the picture, was second born and abandoned by her mother so Marcia jumped at the opportunity to raise her.
Good thing I was out of town and didn't get the opportunity first - it would have been hard to pass up.
Marcia; Lucy, Howard the dog, a cat, a variety of chickens, ducks and several llamas all live at Morgan Hill Retreat; a Bed & Breakfast I highly recommend. Beyond the ambiance of the mini farm, the view of the Olympic Mountains is spectacular, the pond is a place for quiet contemplation and the yard has several places to sit, kick back and relax. AND Marcia is a wonderful cook providing wonderful breakfasts using her fresh eggs, herbs from the garden, and other seasonal treats from the orchard and garden.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
May Day - morning - not dressed.
Bethany and Kevin (sister and brother-in-law) stop by with a May Day basket of Lilly of the Valley (my birth month flower and a favorite). Bethany has been bringing me May Day baskets since we have lived close enough for her to deliver in person - one of my favorite days each year.
We were on the deck and an eagle flew by and caught our attention. We have eagles around just about every day but I can never resist watching them. On this day there were 3; two immature and one mature eagle coming and going and flying in circles. There seemed to be a lot of discussion over who could sit on the pilings in front of our house. While watching I kept thinking I should get my camera but it was in the car and I knew I would need to change lenses and it is always that internal discussion of just relaxing and enjoying the show or running for the camera knowing that the show may be over by the time I get back.
Bethany and Kevin were leaving and I decided to grab the camera. In bear feet and my morning attire of a nightshirt and fleece jacket, I went to the car, got my camera, changed lenses, found some shoes and looked over the bank to see if the eagles were still there. Unfortunately only one immature was sitting on the pilings.
Then the mature returned and took over the coveted spot and the two immatures circled and chased out over the water with one crashing into the water for a quick moment and then flying off. I got so involved in the show again that I didn't take pictures but when it was all over the mature eagle was still on his piling.
I took a couple pictures then got into the tram (elevator to the beach). I thought that starting the tram would scare off the eagle (it has before) but he/she sat tight. I went part way down - stopped and took a few more pictures. Moved down a little more - more pictures. It's about a 100' bank and with no stops the tram takes about 2 minutes 40 seconds. I finally got to the bottom and kept taking pictures as I walked toward the edge of the bulkhead. The eagle had "won" the piling and wasn't going to be chased off by a photo snapping human. I got to the front edge of the old boathouse that belongs to the old pier which is now remembered only by the pilings, one occupied by the eagle. I kept taking pictures and started to hope it would fly off since my arm was now tired. I stepped totally into the open and the eagle took flight and headed for a nearby cedar.
Yikes, I was late for work so headed back up; took a shower, headed to the office and had to wait until later to see what my shoot had produced. I wasn't disappointed, I have several "classic" poses of a beautiful mature Bald Eagle. Many more on KitsapImages.com!