The touch of nature: LAPC

The touch of nature can be sharp and cold or

The touch of nature
Prickly pear cactus in the snow, Bend, Oregon

Ridged and dry

Dry reservoir
Low water in Wickiup Reservoir, Oregon

The touch of nature can be smooth and wet or

The touch of nature
Cobble Beach near Newport, Oregon

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Morning on a fall day cinquain poem: SoCS

Morning
On a fall day
Brilliant colors appear
Merging into luminous wings
Soaring

Morning on a fall day

Stream of Consciousness Saturday – Morning

Remnants of a Solitary Life: Monochrome Monday

I found these remnants of a solitary life in my yard yesterday. This is what was left of a Townsend’s Solitaire thrush. I suspect one of our resident Cooper’s Hawks preyed upon it. The cycle of nature continues.

Remnants of a solitary life

Monochrome Monday

Backyard Beauties in Bend: LAPC

I see some of our backyard beauties often, like the chipmunks. This one came right up to our sliding glass door, driving our indoor cat crazy. It was showing me its best side.

Chipmunk on porch

Other animals give us unique views. This immature Cooper’s Hawk posed nicely for me on the back porch.

Backyard beauties Cooper's Hawk

Our regular visitors can be very entertaining. Playful Mule Deer fawns like to run full speed around the yard (when they aren’t busy munching on my plants).

Mule deer fawn

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Fence of Gold: Thursday Tree Love

I saw this fence of gold near Mitchell, Oregon last week. Aspen trees, decked out in golden leaves, looked like someone planted them at regular intervals within the evergreen forest.

Fence of gold

Thursday Tree Love 137

The blur of autumn: Weekly Haiku & Sunday Stills

The blur of fall

the blur of autumn
catcher of fading colors
thoughts of winter’s chill

Autumn leaves

Weekly haiku prompt challenge – Catcher & thought

Sunday Stills – Paths & trails take you to happy places

Lighter and darker nature pictures: LAPC

I’m showing lighter and darker nature pictures to go with the lens-artists photo challenge of “exposure” this week. Sometimes I frame a shot with lighter and darker settings; other times I make changes during the photo editing process.

The first two pictures are of maidenhair fern growing along the trail in Silver Falls State Park. In this case I like both versions. Maybe it’s because I like all shades of green. πŸ™‚

The next two pictures show a mountain peak near Mitchell, Oregon. The first shows the structure of the rimrock at the peak and the second brings out the clouds. I prefer the darker, more evil-looking, version.

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Quit bugging me! : Wordless Wednesday

Quit bugging me

Quit bugging me! Song sparrow in bug hatch at Summer Lake, Oregon.

Wordless Wednesday

Halloween greetings from my cat

Just wanted to share some Halloween greetings from my cat, Motor. He was one of our favorite pets. Small in size but big in personality!

Halloween greetings

Pets

Zigzag boardwalk: 1-to-3 Photo Challenge

I took this photo near Playa at Summer Lake in Oregon. Playa serves as a retreat for artists and scientists looking for a peaceful place to do their work. I was there for a workshop on Great Basin Natural History. This zigzag boardwalk was in a pond behind the cabins.

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 slightly. Slide the slider to see the before and after views.

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. This effect slightly blurs and darkens the edges and increases color saturation. I liked how this effect brought out turquoise colors in the sky and dark green in the marsh plants.

Zigzag boardwalkRetro photo effect

The next two show the original photograph and the same picture with a Black and White effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Black and White Film. I liked how this effect enhanced the contrast in the clouds.

Zigzag boardwalkZigzag boardwalk

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Fall maple in lava beds: WW & SS

fall maple

Fall maple in lava beds on McKenzie Highway, Oregon

Wordless Wednesday (WW)

Sunday Stills (SS) – Color Challenge – Lava

Rollin’ across the Columbia: Monochrome Monday

Rollin' across the Columbia

Rollin’ across the Columbia River near Biggs Junction, Oregon

Monochrome Monday

Peak peeks near and far: LAPC & RDP

Here are some peak peeks from near and far. These volcanic peaks are in the Cascade Mountains in Central Oregon.

The first picture shows a distant view of Mount Jefferson I took on a flight to Seattle. The small cloud hovering over its peak looks like a puff of smoke.

Peak peeks

Here’s a closer view of Mount Jefferson taken from the road near Madras, Oregon.

Mt Jefferson

This picture shows a distant view of Mount Washington. It’s the snowy peak in the middle of the photo.

Mt Washington

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Special flowers: LAPC

Today I’ll share a few stories related to special flowers in my life.

Roses

Whenever I see roses, I think of a funny thing that happened to me when I was in my early twenties. I had just started dating a guy who checked parking passes where I worked. I invited him to my cozy little A-frame house on Puget Sound in Washington state. When we got to my house, I pulled open the screen door and there was a bouquet of roses tucked next to the main door. I grinned and asked if they were from him. β€œNo,” he said sheepishly. He pulled a bouquet of roses from behind his back. Oops. The flowers in my door were from a different admirer. Awkward!


I took these photos on the High Desert Garden Tour this summer. The tour takes place in different Central Oregon locations, from sprawling rural ranches to tiny city yards. This year the featured gardens were in Bend.

Hibiscus

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Abundance of flowers: Friday Flowers

There are an abundance of flowers growing along the path near the Hayden Homes Amphitheater in Bend, Oregon. I always look forward to walking there in the late summer and early fall months. Can you see why?

Abundance of flowers

Friday Flowers

South Falls from 3 perspectives: LAPC

Here are photographs of South Falls from 3 perspectives. This 177-foot high waterfall is located along the Trail of Ten Falls in Silver Falls State Park in Sublimity, Oregon. South Falls and Upper North Falls are the only trails where dogs, on leash, are allowed.

The first picture shows a distant view from the overlook trail in afternoon light.

South Falls

The next photograph shows a closer view of the falls.

Waterfall

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Where hula hoops come from: MM

Did you ever wonder where hula hoops come from? I think I found out. They’re grown from tiny round seeds at the community garden in Hollinshead Park in Bend. 😁

Hula hoop farm

Monochrome Monday (MM)

Find special surprises: LAPC & TTC

Find treasures on walks

When out and about taking pictures, you never know when you might find special surprises. This delightful dragon sculpture was at The Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon. It brought a little cheer into a cloudy day.

Find special surprises Silverton

Though not as much is in bloom at this time of year, I was happy to see these fall-blooming crocus at the The Oregon Garden last week.

Fall crocus

Find special surprises in the skies

Here’s the last glimpse of the sun going down on a nearly cloudless day near Waldport, Oregon.

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Visit Upper North Falls: Pull up a seat

Last week we took a trip to Silver Falls State Park, in Sublimity, Oregon. We went on a short hike to visit Upper North Falls. Lush vegetation and towering trees surround the trail.

The Trail of Ten Falls in this park passes by ten waterfalls along a 7.2-mile moderate level route. Upper North Falls and South Falls are the only parts of the trail where dogs, on leash, are allowed.

 Visit Upper North Falls

We stayed a couple of nights at the campground in the park. There are cabins, RV and tent sites available for rental. This beautiful park is very popular so be sure to reserve in advance here.

Pull up a seat

On the other side: LAPC & WWP

On the other side of darkness,
it may be difficult to find a clear path ahead

On the other side
Lava Butte, Oregon

The journey towards a viable future
may be surrounded by ghosts of what once was

Santiam Highway
Remnants of fire, Santiam Highway, Oregon

Meander between colorful boulders haphazardly blocking the trail
in a landscape dark and unfathomable

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Clean dog to a dirty dog: LAPC & FF

How can your canine companions go so quickly from being a clean dog to a dirty dog?

Dog walking along flower border

I walked my dog recently along this trail bordered with flowers in the Old Mill district of Bend.

I often play fetch with her after we get home. The second picture shows what she looks like after she catches her ball a few times when we’ve had a little rain.

What a pretty girl! Can she sit on your lap? πŸ˜‰

clean dog to a dirty dog

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) – Opposites

Friday Flowers (FF)

Contrasts in places: LAPC & WPWC

These places show contrasts in voice, feeling, and appearance.

A place’s voice can be quiet or loud.

The quietness of a vast sandy desert

Contrasts of deserts
Alvord Desert, Oregon

And the pounding presence of a waterfall.

Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls, Oregon

A place can feel ethereal or slightly evil.

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Morning clouds over Bend: Skywatch Friday

Morning clouds over Bend, Oregon last Fall in a dramatic High Desert sunrise.

morning clouds over Bend

Skywatch Friday

Beauty after a tragedy: Story Swap

Today I received a little gift of beauty after a tragedy. A couple weeks ago, at a local grocery store, a young gunman killed an elderly customer, an employee that tried to stop him, and then himself. The community is still dealing with the tragedy, but is moving forward.

The store reopened today and employees were happy to see customers returning. Customers received an orchid plant as a token of the store’s appreciation. I thought it was interesting they chose to give customers orchids.

Beauty after a tragedy

Orchids are epiphytes, often growing on other plants. The host plants offer support to these beautiful plants. Orchids rely on their host plants for survival, but they don’t harm them. Orchids enrich their shared environment.

Bend, Oregon and other places are learning to deal with tragedy. We are hesitant to depend upon each other for support, but when we do, our shared communities blossom and prosper.

Find beauty after a tragedy where you can and share it with others. πŸ™‚

Story Swap #8 – Survival

Geese flying high quinzaine poem: OWS & SM

Geese flying high over Bend
Searching for good brews?
Soaring songs?

Geese flying high

One Word Sunday (OWS) – High

Saturday Mix (SM) – Quinzaine

A cool place to rest: Pull up a Seat

Cool place to rest

A cool place to rest at the Portland Japanese Garden last fall. There are comfortable places to pause and take in the scenery throughout the garden. Cooler temperatures and colorful autumn leaves are just around the corner in the Pacific Northwest.

Autumn in Portland

Pull Up a Seat #36

Avian sentry poem: WWP

Avian sentry blackbird

Avian sentry alert at daybreak
Perched on cattails near High Desert lake
Dangerous clouds move in
Surrounding him
Lightning flashes
Thunder crashes
Blackbird sounds alarm
Protecting marshes from harm

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Weekend Writing Prompt – Avian (29 Words)

Jasper shown up close: Macro Monday

This piece of jasper, shown up close, comes from Fischer Canyon, south of Prineville Reservoir. I liked this rock because the yellow lichen stood out in bold contrast against the red background.

Jasper shown up close

Macro Monday

Weird and wonderful sights: LAPC

In your travels near and far, you may find weird and wonderful sights.

Weird architecture

Sometimes you find a weird sight when you’re driving down the highway and look it up later. This is the Smith Mansion, located in Wapiti, Wyoming, halfway between Cody and Yellowstone.

Lee Smith, a former builder and engineer, began constructing this structure from locally harvested logs. However, he became obsessed with adding on to the building, which led to his divorce. For 22 years he continued construction so that eventually it was 5-stories tall. One day, unfortunately, he slipped while working and fell to his death. His daughter owned the house for many years until it was sold to a neighbor in 2020.

Weird

For a better look at this amazing structure inside and out, watch this video by Scott Richard.

Wonderful tastes

At other times you’ll go a little off the beaten path in search of a good meal. This delicious barbecue dinner is from the Apple Valley BBQ in Parkdale, Oregon. Parkdale, at the base of Mt Hood, is a small town with a population of about 650. Fruit orchards fill the valleys in this part of Oregon and the restaurant incorporates fruit into their meals. The coleslaw pictured contains slices of fresh pears. They use local cherry wood to smoke their meat. Yum, definitely one of my favorites!

Apple Valley BBQ
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Seeing seaside sunset: LAPC

Seeing seaside sunset with my dog near Waldport, Oregon. She doesn’t like water, but felt comfortable taking in the scene from this distance.

seeing seaside sunset

The Lens- Artist Photo Challenge this week is Here Comes the Sun, but this is more like “there goes the sun.” πŸ˜‰

In the Spotlight: LAPC

The pictures featured in this post focus on part of the picture being in the spotlight. A darker background increases the contrast and draws your eye towards the lighter part.

We visited Steamboat Geyser at Yellowstone National Park in the early morning. The sun rose behind the scene, bathing the steam in light.

in the spotlight geyser

These two Northern River Otters at the High Desert Museum were in constant motion the day I photographed them. In this picture, sunlight illuminated both of their heads simultaneously.

Northern river otters
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Sticks & stones: Monochrome Monday

A collection of sticks & stones along the shoreline at Yaquina Head in Oregon.

sticks & stones

Monochrome Monday

Wyoming skyscapes as paintings: LAPC

I dip a dry brush into Titanium White and tentatively paint delicate wisps onto Cobalt Blue Wyoming skyscapes

Wispy clouds

Emboldened, I fill my brush and paint curving lines reaching towards the sky

Wyoming skyscapes
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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.

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