Sheepherder’s wagon Haiku: HPC

sheepherder’s wagon
rolling across windswept plains
steady sentinel

Sheepherders wagon

Haiku Prompt Challenge – Rolling and Steady

Historic Short Bridge: Wordless Wednesday

Short Bridge
Short Bridge, South Santiam River, Oregon

Short Bridge
View of bridge from the side

Historic Short Bridge, built in 1945.

Wordless Wednesday

Trailing petunias up close: Macro Monday

I saw these multi-colored trailing petunias in a hanging basket in downtown Bend. Since they produce so many flowers, another common name for this plant is ‘million bells.’

Trailing petunias
Trailing petunias Calibrachoa hybrida

These perennials are hybrids from plants originally grown in South America. They bloom from spring through first frost and they’re easy to grow. They make a perfect addition to hanging baskets.

Macro Monday

Lens in my pocket photography: LAPC

Though I don’t have a favorite type of photography, I prefer to do “lens in my pocket” photography. I use a Samsung Ultra phone or a Panasonic Lumix camera that easily fit into a pocket.

Sometimes I like taking panoramas of scenes from afar with my phone, such as this photo of bison in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park.

Lamar Valley

At other times, I like a closer view of wild creatures. This Barred Owl in my backyard was photographed with my phone attached to a spotting scope. This is called “digiscoping.” The owl visited regularly last spring, feasting on the numerous Pacific tree frogs in our pond.

Barred Owl in Bend

I bought an inexpensive phone case and glued on a universal mount for digiscoping. You can quickly pop in a phone, attach it to a scope or binoculars, and it’s ready to go.

As I’ve mentioned before, I like taking pictures of layers. I went for this slightly closer view of layered landscapes with my Panasonic camera at Arches National Park.

Arches National Park

At other times, I like a much closer view of geological wonders. Here’s a closer view of crystals, from different angles, taken with my Panasonic.

I use a tabletop studio for close up work, such as the previous photos. It folds up flat when you’re not using it. Getting the proper lighting can be the biggest challenge for these types of shots.

Lens in my pocket table studio

I like photographing panoramic views, intimate portraits, memorable landscapes, and detailed close ups with my phone and pocket camera. The versatility of the small lens in my pocket allows me to be spontaneous or more deliberate, depending on my mood. Even though there are so many options for taking different kinds of pictures, sometimes I choose to take in a scene with just my eyes, and remember it in my heart.

Len-Artists Photo Challenge – What’s your photographic groove?

White-faced Ibis drawing & photos: FFA

This is a pencil sketch I drew of a White-faced Ibis. He is a character in a book I’m working on. The ibis, Arco Iris, gets his power from the rainbow obsidian stone he wears. Sometimes if you draw a character, it helps you write about their personality and physical traits.

White-faced Ibis drawing

I recently took pictures of White-faced Ibis in a field near Paisley, Oregon. The field was full of blue camas and it gave the scene a kind of magical feeling.

Ibis in a field

When you think of ibis, you may think of ancient depictions of this bird found in Egypt, but there are three species in the United States. You can find Glossy Ibis, White Ibis, and White-faced Ibis in parts of North America, Central America, and South America.

Inlay depicting Thoth as the ibis with a maat feather. Image source: Metropolitan Museum of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The plumage of our local ibis looks black at first, but when you take a closer look, it’s iridescent. Their feathers catch the light as they plunge their long beaks into marshes and meadows in search of prey. They eat a variety of prey including insects, worms, and small fish. Ibis are particularly fond of crayfish.

Birds in a field

When in breeding plumage, some of the White-faced Ibis’ feathers turn a bronze color, their legs turn pink, and a mask of pale white skin around their eyes appears. What better way to attract a mate than putting on a mask, pink leggings, and a bronze cape!

Do you have artwork you would like to share? Be sure to include the First Friday Art tag.

First Friday Art (FFA)

Wind-sculpted poem: Haiku & MM

Beach scene in Oregon

wind-sculpted mountains
emerge from sandy shorelines
embrace life, vanish

wind-sculpted mountains

Note: These sand “mountains” near Waldport, Oregon are about 1/2 inch tall.

Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge – Sand and Life

Macro Monday

Storm over Playa : 1-to-3 Photo Challenge

In early June, while participating in a Great Basin Natural History workshop, I took photos of the storm over Playa. Playa, located on the shores of Summer Lake, serves as a retreat for artists and scientists looking for a peaceful place to do their work. They also offer a limited number of workshops.

We had an unusually wet spring here in the High Desert. This photograph shows a big storm over Playa. I stayed in the two-story cabin pictured and had commanding views of the Basin and Range landscape. High winds were pushing dust storms into the air near the lake’s shore.

I’ll be showing how I processed this picture three ways with Corel PaintShop Pro 2021. Prior to trying out the various effects, I slightly increased the contrast and brightness.

The first two show the original photograph and the same picture with a Retro effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Retro Lab>Process 2. This effect slightly blurs and darkens the edges and increases color saturation. I thought this effect made the center appear brighter and gave the photo a vintage feel.

Storm over PlayaStorm over Playa

The next two photographs show the original and the same picture with black and white processing. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Black and White Film. I accidentally slid the clarification to high and liked how it turned out. This effect emphasizes the dramatic storm clouds in the High Desert Sky

Storm over PlayaBlack and white cloudy landscape

The last two photographs show the original and the same picture with a Chrome effect. For this image I went to Effects>Artistic Effects>Chrome>Dark & Rough setting. This effect gives the sky a nightmarish look and darkens the landscape.

Storm over PlayaCharcoal effect on landscape photo

It would have fit well with last week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge of ‘Surrealism.’ See my take on that challenge here.

One to Three Photo Processing Challenge – July

Memorable moments from home: LAPC

Trying to choose only three of my favorite photos for this challenge was very difficult. I decided to focus on memorable moments from home.

The first shows a glorious fall sunset behind my juniper tree muse. I like the combination of color, lightness and darkness, and texture in this photo. The branches of the western juniper tree seem to be directing a symphony of clouds.

best photos dusk desert sky

The second is a close up view of a different juniper tree’s bark. Though some see western junipers as an unwelcome invader in sagebrush habitats, I’m impressed by their beauty. Their rough bark varies in color, as does their wood. Wrinkles add to their character as they age. The birds in my yard are grateful for the shelter and food these trees provide.

memorable moments with juniper bark

The third picture is of my “pet” Cooper’s Hawk. I’ve taken a lot of pictures of her. On this day, she took an extended bath and spent a long time preening her feathers. Her fluffed up feathers, piercing gaze, and stance are not the typical view you get of these raptors. It was one of those memorable moments!

Cooper's hawk visited me

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Picking favorites

Real or surreal? Strange sights seen LAPC & RDP

I’ve noticed odd plants, animals, and natural features recently and wondered if they were real or surreal.

I had an odd feeling when my flight flew over Mt Rainier a few weeks ago. Just as we passed over its peak, this strange creature emerged from its depths. Yikes! I was glad I was able to take a quick snapshot before it disappeared.

real or surreal

While exploring Crack in the Ground on a June field trip, I was overcome by a sudden feeling of peacefulness. I paused when I noticed a movement from the corner of my eye. This benevolent Picasso face emerged from the rock walls and smiled and nodded at me.

Picasso rock face

On a recent hot afternoon, I dozed off in my comfortable recliner. I was awakened by a strange noise. A few feet away, I saw a weird creature. It had the head of a ground squirrel and the body of a cat. Was it real or surreal?

cat with squirrel head
Continue reading

Pagoda lantern and pond scene: CFFC

As sweltering temperatures occur here and elsewhere around the world, my mind keeps wandering back to the landscape near the pagoda lantern at the Portland Japanese Garden. I visited this impressive garden on a cool day in late October. The waterfall near the sculpture, Heavenly Waterfall, enters a small pond, full of koi fish.

Pagoda sculpture

This ‘snow-viewing’ pagoda lantern (Yukimi-dōrō) is located in the the Lower Pond section of the garden. The roof, or umbrella, on these lanterns is designed to catch the snowfall. These sculptures are traditionally placed near water.

Heavenly Falls

Though it’s still a couple of months away, I’m looking forward to the cooler temperatures of autumn and the bright splashes of colorful leaves.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (CFFC) – landscapes or waterscapes

The art of quilters in Sisters, Oregon: LAPC

When I was strolling down Hood Avenue on 9 July 2022, something across the street caught my eye. I was there to see the art of quilters at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Though the event has taken breaks due to wildfire smoke and pandemics, it proudly celebrated its 47th year in 2022.

A WOW! quilt

Quilt show

I had to take a closer look at this quilt. WOW! I think it was my favorite of the whole show. The intricate stitching and subtle changes in color drew me towards it. There are signs telling you not to touch the quilts, but I really wanted to touch this one.

Art of quilters

I continued my walk and noted some of the interesting architecture in this western-themed town. This clock business was one of my favorites. I’ve always wanted to live in a house with a tower.

Clock store

Attention getters

Some quilts attracted a lot of attention and I had to wait for visitors to pass by before snapping a picture. Here is one of those.

Art of quilters
Continue reading

More quilts in Sisters, Oregon: LAPC

Once again, I am sharing images of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show on 9 July 2022. Today I’ll show quilts with critters, people, holidays, and places.

Quilts on display

Buzzing bees on quilts

One of the groups attending the event had a bee-themed challenge.

More quilts

The one below was my favorite. It’s simple but complex at the same time.

Bee quilt

This “Phoebee” quilt had a lot of quilting stiches.

Bee quilt

This one had a more traditional design.

Bee quilt
Continue reading

Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon: LAPC

The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show is one of the biggest events in Central Oregon. You know it’s summer when you start seeing advertisements about the show.

Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters

Set in the small town of Sisters, Oregon, this show “is internationally recognized as the world’s largest outdoor quilt show.” The show often displays more than 1,300 quilts. Visitors from all over the world gather in Sisters on the second Saturday in July to view the quilts.

The quilts shown include more traditional patterns.

Colorful patterns
Continue reading

Shore pines along the shorelines: TTL & WIL

On a recent trip to the Oregon coast, I was impressed by the contorted shapes of shore pines along the shorelines. The scientific name of this tree is Pinus contorta var. contorta. It’s a very fitting name.

Some shore pines are barely attached to rocky cliffs. This common tree of the coast tolerates salt spray and a wide variety of soils.

High winds are common near the shorelines and they sculpt these lovely trees into interesting shapes.

Others grow in 40-50 foot tall forests, constantly buffeted by the wind.

These resilient trees have adapted to living in a challenging environment. They twist and turn in an effort to find the best ways to survive.

Thursday Tree Love

Whatsoever is Lovely Week 27

Captured sunshine: Macro Monday

These colorful lichens at Lake Abert look like bits of captured sunshine.

Captured sunshine in lichens
Colorful lichens at Lake Abert, Oregon

Macro Monday

Double views in changing seasons: LAPC & WWP

Changing seasons bring double views

Shining cactus blossoms returning

double views of cactus

Mothers guarding their curious young

Cow with calves

Dramatic storms hovering over landscapes

Double views of Summer Lake
Continue reading

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’: Monochrome Monday

Rollin’ wooden wheels from the past presented in monochromatic tones.

Rollin wooden wheels

Monochrome Monday

GIANT thundereggs at Priday Polka-Dot Agate Beds: LAPC

North of Madras, Oregon, you’ll find giant thundereggs tucked away on a hilltop near the ghost town of Ashwood. Polka-dot agates and thundereggs occur naturally at the Priday Polka-Dot Agate Beds.

Agate beds

The thundereggs you’ll find here are amazing! You never know what kind of treasures you’ll find on the inside.

Close up of rock

Giant thundereggs
Continue reading

Primrose painting, photo, & Poem: First Friday Art

Today I’m sharing a primrose painting, photo, and poem I created. When I was on a field trip in early June, we saw a “field” of this plant in bloom near Crack in the Ground. Tufted evening-primrose, Oenothera caespitosa, usually only bloom at night but on that day, dark clouds filled the skies.

Here’s a watercolor I painted of the flowers.

Tufted evening primrose

And here’s the work in progress in my little studio space.

Studio space

This is the close up photograph I took of these beautiful flowers near Crack in Ground. I’m growing evening-primrose in my landscaping and, so far, the always hungry resident mule deer have not discovered them. 🤞

Tufted evening primrose

Here is a Sijo poem about these remarkable flowers.

Awakened when the moon rises over the silent desert
Flowers in sandy soil open, shining like pale lanterns
Enchanting the world with intoxicating scent, until dawn breaks

Do you have artwork you would like to share? Be sure to include the First Friday Art tag.

First Friday Art

Powder House building: 1-to-3 Challenge

The Powder House building, near Prineville Reservoir State Park in Central Oregon, makes a great subject for photographs. This historic rock structure was once used to store gunpowder. It’s located next to a popular boat ramp on the reservoir.

I’ll be showing how I processed this picture three ways with Corel PaintShop Pro 2021. Prior to trying out the various effects, I increased the contrast, brightness, and white balance slightly.

The first two show the original and the same picture with a Retro effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Retro Lab>Surreal. This effect blurred the edges like a vignette. I thought this effect emphasized the door in the building. It looked like a portal to another place surrounded by misty fog.

House Powder Oregon  House Powder

The next two show the original and the same picture with a Time Machine effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Time Machine>Albumen. This monotone effect reflects a technique used in the 1850s-1890s. It works well when you’re trying to emphasize the history of a place. A picture such as this might have appeared in newspapers of the time.

House Powder

Continue reading

Dr Jolly’s colorful façade: Monday Mural

When cannabis was legalized for recreational use in Oregon in 2015, dispensaries popped up all around Bend. Dr Jolly’s is one of these appropriately named establishments.

The first picture shows a vibrant mural at the south end of the building. This looks like a color-filled view of Cascade peaks located near Bend. Red flowers and blue marijuana plants grow in the foreground.

Dr Jolly's mural

The second photo shows a view of the front of the building. A hand points the way to the entrance. Barbers poles, with green stripes instead of red, flank the doors.

Storefront in Bend

The artwork at this business was created by Janessa Bork and Josh Ramp, of VIVI Design Co., in 2020. Their website refers to Janessa and Josh as the “dynamic duo [who] founded VIVI in 2018 with a focus on unique tactile presence.” They create murals – inside and out, signs, menus, and other graphics. The pair’s impressive talent is on display at Dr Jolly’s and many other local businesses.

Monday Mural

Focus on the eyes: LAPC

When you focus on the eyes of your subject, you make a connection with them to share with others.

The intense golden stare of an alert Great Horned Owl.

Focus on the eyes

The ghostly ice-blue eyes of a dog with ancestry from frozen lands.

Close up of dog

The chestnut brown gaze of an immense grizzly bear in motion.

Grizzly bear
Continue reading

Doors of Shaniko: LAPC & TD

Today I’m sharing pictures of the doors of Shaniko, Oregon. Once a bustling town known as “The Wool Capital of the World”, it later became a ghost town. Its current population is somewhere between 12 and 32, depending on the source.

The doors and doorways of abandoned and occupied buildings in Shaniko have a lot of personality.

From the curious…

doors of Shaniko

To the grand.

Old Hotel

From the rustic…

Blacksmith
Continue reading

Cactus buds in my garden: Macro Monday

Here’s an up close view of prickly pear cactus buds in my garden. Yes, those spikes are sharp and difficult to weed around, but I eagerly await the day when their delicate yellow flowers unfurl.

Cactus buds

Macro Monday

Guided by shadows haiku: FFC & WHPPC

guided by shadows
emerald meadows slumber
slip into summer

Guided by shadows

Friendly Friday Challenge – Green

Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge – Guide and Slip

Stick fence at Summer Lake: Wordless Wednesday

Stick fence at Summer Lake
Stick fence at Summer Lake
Rustic fencing
Stick fence at Summer Lake – closer view

Wordless Wednesday

Santiam Wagon Road 2 hike: LAPC

Santiam Wagon Road
Santiam Wagon Road

In late May, I went on a hike on part of the Santiam Wagon Road near Sisters, Oregon (see trail map at end of post). Carol Wall, of the Deschutes Land Trust, led this hike. We traveled along an out and back two-mile section of the road. This 400-mile route was used to move livestock and freight between 1865-1939. In the first 15 years of its operation, around 5,000 wagons passed over this route.

Santiam Wagon Road map
Santiam Wagon Road map


As I mentioned in a previous post, most travelers on this road traveled from the west side of the mountains to the east. My Santiam Wagon Road post gives details about a 2-mile hike on a different section of this route.


We gathered around the kiosk in the parking area and Carol had us imagine what this road must have looked like in the 1860s. The ponderosa pine and western juniper trees you’ll see at the trailhead likely didn’t exist at that time. Junipers expanded their range due to fire suppression and overgrazing.

Sagebrush-steppe
Sagebrush-steppe field

Glimpses of nature along the trail

Continue reading

High Desert voices of the many and the few: LAPC

High Desert voices can be heard throughout Central Oregon if you just pause and listen.

Bold shouts of the many

High desert voices Abert Rim
Lichen-covered boulders at Abert Rim

Quiet whispers of the few

Painted By The Earth Summer Lake, Oregon 30March2018
Stones layered with calcite at Summer Lake

Raucous calls of the many

High desert voices Summer Lake
Waterbird colony at Summer Lake
Continue reading

Tulips up close: Macro Monday

Here’s a picture of tulips up close growing in my garden. There’s something special about these two flowers.

tulips up close

They are the first to make it to this stage without being eaten by our resident deer!

Mule deer

Macro Monday

Buffalo Bill sculpture in Cody: Saturday Sculpture

This large Buffalo Bill sculpture is on a major street near the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming.

History of the Buffalo Bill sculpture

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney created Buffalo Bill – The Scout to honor the town’s most famous resident. The dedication took place on July 4th in 1924.

Buffalo Bill Cody sculpture

Buffalo Bill Cody’s niece, Mary Jester Allen, was determined to honor his legacy after he died in 1917. She dreamed of opening a museum recognizing his accomplishments, despite the challenges. With her connections with the Eastern establishment, she convinced Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney to create a statue of Buffalo Bill.

Whitney agreed to create the sculpture, but didn’t like the proposed sites for its placement. She bought 40 adjoining acres. Whitney also ended up paying the entire $50,000 cost of the sculpture. The small town of Cody, evidently, could not raise enough to pay her.

Buffalo Bill Cody sculpture

A dream of a museum becomes a reality

In 1925, the International Cody Family Association formed. They proposed creating a Buffalo Bill Historical Museum. The town constructed a full-size replica of Buffalo Bill’s ranch home and opened it to the public in 1927. By 1949, the Buffalo Bill Memorial Association made plans to expand the facility. Western history and art, Native American culture, and natural history would be highlighted. A $250,000 donation in 1955 finally made expansion possible. Sonny Whitney, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s son, made that donation. In 1958, The Whitney Gallery of Western Art would become the first part of the world-class Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Buffalo Bill ca 1875. George Eastman House Collection.

Sometimes when you research one thing – a statue – you plunge down a rabbit hole and learn much more. I did not know the Vanderbilts, once considered to be the wealthiest family in America, had this connection with William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody and his legacy.

Mary Jester Allen would serve the museum in multiple roles from 1927 to 1960. Because of her actions and perseverance, the center now attracts millions of visitors from around over the world.

Saturday Sculpture

Bald Eagle drawing & photos: First Friday Art

Here’s a pen-and-ink portrait I drew of a Bald Eagle. This stylized drawing captures their intense gaze and powerful bill.

Bald Eagle by Siobhan Sullivan

Last week while I was photographing the “eyes” of aspen trees, I noticed a bald eagle overhead. It perched briefly atop a ponderosa pine to escape the Red-winged Blackbirds attacking it. It’s always amusing to see how large birds of prey react to territorial songbirds.

Bird of prey
Bald Eagle

Do you have artwork you would like to share? Be sure to include the First Friday Art tag.

First Friday Art

X-ray images of fish exhibit: Monochrome Monday

This beautiful exhibit at the High Desert Museum featured x-ray images of fish. X-Ray Vision: Fish Inside Out! The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES) organized the exhibit.

I am presenting them in sepia tone. The photographers at the Smithsonian showed their structure in artistic layouts.

Though I wrote down the species of the fish in each display, I decided to let the x-ray images of fish speak for themselves. The wonder of Nature.

X-ray images of fish
inside of fish
X-ray images of fish
inside fish

Skeletons of fish

This exhibition closes at the High Desert Museum on May 8, 2022, but it will continue travelling to other museums around the country.

Monochrome Monday

Aspen eyes – somebody’s watching me: TTL

When I’m out walking among the aspen eyes early in the morning, I always feel like somebody’s watching me. While Michael Jackson was referring to his fans or the paparazzi with those lyrics, I’m referring to the eyes of nature. These aspen trees watch over me, always making sure I’m safe. My many-eyed guardians are beginning to leaf out with their distinctive fluttering leaves.

Thursday Tree Love 130