Bison at Rest: Monochrome Monday

I processed this photo of a bison at rest in sepia tone. This process highlights the details of this bull’s fur. The thick, rough fur on his head, shoulders, and front legs stands out in contrast to the short, smooth fur covering the rest of him. In this view, you can see every wrinkle on his hide on his hindquarters.

Bison at rest

Monochrome Monday

The Meadow – A peaceful retreat: LAPC

For more than 25 years our family camped in a place we called “The Meadow” in northeastern Washington state. Though this site didn’t have luxuries like running water or restrooms, it was a peaceful retreat.

The first three pictures show different views of The Meadow. Stands of aspen and mixed conifers border the large grass meadow. This site is at an elevation of around 4,500 feet and hosts a wide variety of wildlife including three kinds of grouse, moose, deer, bear, cougar, and probably wolves. I had a memorable experience one day when a great gray owl drifted over me on its whisper quiet wings.

The next three photos show a couple of our pets from the past and a pest. Can you see the chipmunk silhouetted on the pine tree trunk? The chipmunks and camp robber birds would steal food right off your plate if you weren’t watching. In another picture you can see our dog, Keyah, walking in front of a place we called “Big Rock.” The kids loved climbing on top of this massive boulder. The other picture shows our dog, Leto, resting in front of the campfire. This boulder was a perfect backdrop for our fires.

The next three photos show a few of the treasures we found near our camp. The lichen looked as though someone sprayed it with fluorescent green paint. The dew-covered mushroom looked like a strange, rounded blob on the forest floor. But the best thing I ever found was a shed deer antler. After camping there for so many years and searching for antlers, I found this one right next to our campsite. The antler was found on our very last trip to The Meadow and it’s something I will always treasure.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) #188- A Special Place

Gentian in Yellowstone: 1-to-3 Photo Challenge

I’m sharing photos I took of fringed gentian in Yellowstone National Park last June. We like to visit in the spring so we can take pictures of the wildflowers in bloom. This gentian can be seen on the trails overlooking Old Faithful. It’s the official flower of the park.

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 brightness and sharpness slightly.

The first two show the original image and the same picture with a geometric effect. For this image I went to Effects>Geometric>Circle>Default>Wrap. It makes it look like a delicate ornament surrounded by more flowers.

Gentian in Yellowstonecircle editing of blooming flowers

The next two show the original image and a vignette effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Vignette. I darkened the frame slightly. This a great effect to use for flowers since you can blur out the background and sharpen the main subject.

Gentian in Yellowstonevignette effect on flowers

The last two show the original gentian in Yellowstone image and a colored chalk effect. For this image I went to Effects>Art Media Effects>Colored Chalk>High Detail. This is more subtle effect. It mimics the softness of an art piece created with chalk.

Gentian in Yellowstonechalk effect of gentian in Yellowstone

One-to-Three Photo Processing Challenge February 2022

Dragons breathing fire – haiku: Haiku Challenge & MWM

dragons breathing fire
over magical snowscapes
on the edge of spring

Dragons  breathing fire

Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge – Dragon and Magic

Mid-Week Monochrome #77

Deschutes River sights to see: LAPC

Today I’m sharing Deschutes River sights to see. Since the river, located in central and northern Oregon, is 252 miles long, I’ll show just a few of its riches. At the end of this post, a map shows these locations.

Where the Deschutes begins

The first picture is of Little Lava Lake. This is a more peaceful place to kayak than the much larger Lava Lake. The spot below shows where the Deschutes River begins.

Little Lava Lake
Little Lava Lake

The next picture was taken on another kayaking trip near Harper Bridge in Sunriver. The waters are calm on this part of the river, but get much rougher when you get to Benham Falls, a class V section. I got out well ahead of the falls!

Kayaking on the Deschutes River 10Sept2016
North of Harper Bridge

A river of falls

FYI – Deschutes means “of the falls” in French. You can find four waterfalls in close proximity north of Benham Falls. These include Dillon Falls, Upper Deschutes River Falls, and Lava Island Falls.

Here are two pictures of Dillon Falls – one at the top and one of the falls.

In Bend, they created artificial water features at the Bend Whitewater Park. I’ve seen engineers standing near the park changing how the river flows with a handheld tablet. This section of the Deschutes River is divided into three sections. One is for inner tubing enthusiasts, another is for surfers, and the other section is for wildlife. The wildlife section is not accessible to swimmers or surfers.

Deschutes River sights north of Bend

The next picture shows The Cove Palisades State Park from above. The river on the left is the Deschutes River and the one on the right is the Crooked River. This park is very popular with people looking for water-related activities in the summer.

Deschutes River sights
The Cove Palisades State Park

This next Deschutes River sight is along the Trout Creek trail. This easy, level trail is not used as heavily as others in the area. Rock climbers love to climb on the rock formations in this canyon.

Deschutes River sights Trout Creek
Near Trout Creek Campground

Where the Deschutes ends

The next picture is a view looking west from the Washington side of the Columbia River. You can see Mount Hood in the distance. The end of the Deschutes River is located on the Oregon side almost right below the mountain in this view.

I took these pictures from the Stonehenge WWI Memorial, located in Maryhill, Washington. Did you know there’s a replica of England’s Stonehenge in Washington state? It was commissioned by Sam Hill and opened in 1918.

I’m including a map of the entire river basin with Deschutes River sights I mentioned marked. Interestingly, this map did not include Little Lava Lake so my mark is in the approximate location. There is much to see and do along the course of this beautiful river.

Deschutes River sights
Map of Deschutes River Basin from Wikipedia

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Water

Labradorite up close: Macro Monday

Here’s a picture of a piece of polished labradorite up close. This feldspar mineral has a unique appearance. Its iridescence catches your attention and is referred to as “labradorescence.” I like holding a piece with a lot of color and tilting it to see different colors in the light. The parallel lines of color within the stone, the twinning surfaces, reflect the light.

Labradorite up close

Macro Monday

What our pets teach us: Sunday Stills

We don’t always pay attention to what our pets teach us. Here are a few things my pets have taught me.

Sometimes you need to pause and smell the flowers.

What our pets teach us - smell the flowers

It’s nice to share what you have with those you care about.

Dog sleeping on feet

Our pets teach us it’s okay to explore strange new worlds.

Dog at painted hills

Sometimes you need to tune out the distractions and focus on what’s right in front of you.

what our pets teach us

You can get along with those you have nothing in common with.

Cat rubbing on dog

It’s okay to take a break and pamper yourself.

Close view of cat in the sun

Sunday Stills – Love Your Pets

Hells Canyon Overlook views: Pull up a Seat Challenge

These Hells Canyon Overlook views were taken in the Hells Canyon Recreation area in northeastern Oregon. Though more people are familiar with the Grand Canyon, Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America. He Devil Peak, on the East Rim, stands 8,043 feet above the Snake River, at the bottom of the gorge.

Hells Canyon overlook view

You can learn about this unique geological feature at the Hell’s Canyon Creek Visitor Center in Imnaha. When we visited in June a couple of years ago, the road to the center was still closed due to snow so check ahead of time.

Scenic views in Oregon

Visitors seeking Hells Canyon views in the spring and early summer are rewarded by a wide variety of wildflowers in bloom at the scenic overlook. See Hells Canyon in the Spring for closer views of these beauties.

Wildflowers in NE Oregon

Pull Up a Seat Challenge

Plains Indian Museum, Wyoming: LAPC

Today I’m sharing pictures taken at the Plains Indian Museum section of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. This world-class museum has five sections focused on western history, culture, and the environment. It’s in Cody, Wyoming, a half an hour drive from the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

The theme this week for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is “low light.” Museums and galleries often have challenging lighting for taking photographs. I used my Samsung phone to take most of these photos since it does well in low light conditions. I’ll share some of my tips for taking and editing photos.

The first image shows a war lodge. Warriors made these temporary structures in wooded areas to hide their presence in enemy territory.

There was a reflection of a large blue screen on the right side of the image that I eliminated with my editing program, Corel PaintShop Pro 2021. I also used a vignette effect to direct viewers to the most interesting parts of this structure.

Stick tee pee in Cody museum

The next picture shows part of a display of several headdresses. Members of the Blackfeet tribe created the bonnet on the left ca. 1850. It includes golden eagle and great horned owl feathers, buffalo horns, tanned hide, horse hair, ermine, porcupine quills, wood, wool, silk ribbon, and cotton thread.

I erased a dark part of the base and dimmed the lights. In this case, I cloned darker colors near the lights onto the bright bulbs.

Headresses

Plains Indian on the move and at home

The next photo shows a family traveling with a dog who is pulling their supplies with a travois. A large dog could pull 75 pounds and this was a common practice among Plains Indians.

This image had several reflections from the overhead spotlights on the background photo. I used cloning and the scratch remover tool to get rid of them.

Plains Indian on the move

The next photo shows a woman on horseback with an infant on her back. Cradleboards of Plains Indians were bordered with leather, forming a sort of hood. These cradleboards combined elements of woodwork, basketry, and beadwork.

I cropped this down a lot, but left some dark cording at the bottom so I could show the horse’s front hooves. You sometimes have to work around things meant to protect the displays. Once again, I removed reflections from ceiling lights.

Plains Indian woman

The next image shows a tipi made of heavy canvas. Most were covered with bison hides before the 1880s, but they did not last as long as canvas. These were more permanent than stick war lodges and could be moved easily.

I debated cropping more off the top because of the bright spotlight. I left it in to show more of the structure. In this case, I dimmed all the spotlights by using the burn tool. This darkened the brightness slightly.

Tee pee

This picture is of an earth lodge. Tribes living in the Upper Missouri region used these more permanent structures. They covered timber framed structures with sod and these houses protected people from temperature extremes.

I cropped out as much as I could around the building while keeping the blue-edged ceiling structure. I thought it looked like a flattened flying saucer. 😉

Plains Indian building

The artistry of Plains Indians

This picture shows several decorated shields created by men of the tribe. The shields portray images of elements of nature thought to bring them protection in battle.

I eliminated spotlight reflections but left the long, horizontal reflection. Sometimes you can’t eliminate all the distractions.

Museum display in Cody

This display shows how Plains Indian tribes adapted to new resources. When European settlers and hunters moved into their lands in the 1870s, they brought colorful beads to use in trade.

For this image, I shifted position until I found a spot without reflections. I used the perspective corrector on the largest sign to make it easier to read.

Display at Cody museum

This display shows more examples of beadwork. Each tribe used distinctive patterns to decorate items such as bonnets, purses, and cradleboards.

This display had a couple of distracting marks on the background display board, and I erased them.

Plains Indian beadwork

This colorful piece is a traveling medicine doll. It includes tripod sticks, symbolizing tipi poles. The items being carried represent things of importance to a Crow family while moving. It was not a toy.

Displays are often full of multiple pieces, so if some interest you, be sure to zoom in close. I cropped out adjacent pieces and bumped up the vibrancy of the already vibrant colors.

Traveling medicine doll

This is a representation of a more modern Native American family home. Note the artistry of the quilt and beadwork displayed around the room.

Sometimes you need to be patient while others view displays. I waited a couple minutes to take this picture. At popular attractions, like the arches in Utah, I’ve politely asked visitors to step back for a second so I can take a quick picture.

Display at museum in Cody

Living off the land

This picture shows examples of plants important to native people of the plains. They used these plants for many purposes, including food, medicine, natural dyes, and raw materials for clothing and tools. I have an interest in these plants because I may include them in a book I’m working on.

I used a perspective corrector to bring the framed pieces back to their true rectangular form. Though I attempted to lighten the specimens, the lighting was uneven in this display case.

Pressed plants

The next photo is of the sign below the pressed plant display. I don’t normally share pictures I take of signs on my blog or newsletters.

If you plan to write about something you saw later, take pictures of the signs. I wish I would have figured that out long ago!

Sign in museum in Cody

One more bit of advice… be careful when taking pictures of display cases and framed artwork covered by glass. It’s easy to get a picture of yourself in the reflections. 😀

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) – Low light

The heart of a river: WWE

This photo of the heart of a river was taken near the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park. I’m sharing this image created by Mother Nature with you on Valentine’s Day. Have a wonderful day!

the heart of a river

Water, Water Everywhere (WWE)

Winter aspen silhouette at sunrise: TTL & SF

A winter aspen silhouette with a dramatic sunrise in the background photographed in Bend, Oregon. Spring is making an early appearance here in the High Desert and trees may be starting to leaf out soon.

Yesterday it was 73 degrees F here! Our high temperatures are usually in the mid-30s to 40s at this time of the year. We are having a weird, mild winter.

winter aspen silhouette

Thursday Tree Love #123

Skywatch Friday

A rabble of robins: SS & WWP

A rabble of robins settles in my backyard. Five species of thrushes often pause for a quick drink, but I’m flummoxed by the American Robins this year. There are hundreds! Plentiful food, a mild winter, or enchantment in the water? Who knows…

a rabble of robins
A rabble of robins
More robins
More rabbles of robins
Cooper's hawk
The bird I’m feeding – a Cooper’s hawk
Remnants of a songbird
Remnants of a robin

Sunday Stills (SS)- Are you a bird feeder?

Weekend Writing Prompt (WWP) #247- Flummox (42 words)

Big changes at the Amphitheater: LAPC

There have been some big changes at the amphitheater in Bend, Oregon. I featured the art in and around this venue in a post in June 2020. At that time, it was called the Les Schwab Amphitheater. It was named after a local entrepreneur who developed a thriving national tire business. Now the site is the Hayden Homes Amphitheater, named after a local home builder.

This site, the largest outdoor music venue in Bend, hosts concerts as well as events like Brewfest. Live Nation, the world’s leading live entertainment company, will partner with Hayden Homes in managing events. This page lists events scheduled for 2022.

Before and after views of the big changes

Today I’ll turn my lenses toward some of the changes at this site.

The stage before was small with whimsical art on the front and back. Here’s the artwork that was on the back of the stage. I loved the raven in this mural.

Art at the Amphitheater , Bend, Oregon November 2018

The new industrial-style stage is much larger and has a big open “window” space to take in the view.

Close view of stage

The next two pictures show the before and after images of the stage. Prior to the changes, shows set up a limited number of folding chairs and a set of bleachers.

Art at the Amphitheater , Bend, Oregon November 2018big changes at the amphitheater

Now, attendees that buy seats can sit in a couple semi-permanent structures. Many concert goers choose the less expensive option of standing.

Outdoor concert seating

I took this picture of the rules of the venue last summer. Last week they decided you cannot bring your own chair to any event. However, they’ll gladly rent you a chair!

Rules of the venue

During the concert season, food and drink carts are set up near the entrance.

Food carts in Bend, Oregon

They are currently in the process of shifting the trail’s location and building a new main entrance. This photo shows the construction in progress today.

Construction in Old Mill

The next two photos show a before and after view of the stage from across the river.

View of amphitheater in Bend, Oregon November 2018Big changes at the amphitheater

Do you see the dark shape on the rocks in the middle of the Deschutes River in the second picture? That’s an eagle that followed me on my morning walk. It wasn’t sure if it liked the big changes at the amphitheater and took flight in search of quieter environments.

Eagle in Bend, Oregon

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) #185 – Change

Blue Jay – craft & art: First Friday Art

Today I’m sharing images of a Blue Jay in a craft project and an art one.

For these Blue Jay earrings, I scanned one of my pen and ink drawings and filled it in with blue color in a Corel program.

Jay earrings

I reduced the images and printed them on cardstock. First I tried printing them on decal paper, but the color didn’t transfer well.

I cut out the teeny tiny images with these crane-shaped scissors and glued them onto blank wooden earrings.

Crane-shaped scissors

The next picture shows a painting I did of an adult Blue Jay on a nest. I used watercolor paints to create this painting.

Blue jay in watercolor by Siobhan Sullivan 2015

I previously shared this image in Jay – A bird always in my life. Different species of these intelligent and adaptable birds keep appearing in my life.

The earrings are a “craft” project and the original painting is “art.” What’s the difference?

The main difference between art and craft is that the art cannot be reproduced whereas the craft can be. Art is the creative expression of one’s emotions and feelings while craft is the ultimate creative, tangible output from a particular talent.

Pediaa.com

In other words, I could make multiple copies of the earrings created from a print, but I could never paint the exact same painting since my internal thoughts and feelings will be different.

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.

Henry Ward Beecher

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

First Friday Art

Double Arch, Arches NP: 1-to-3 Photo Challenge

I took photos of Double Arch while on a trip to Arches National Park, Utah. I’ll be showing how I processed this photo three ways with Corel PaintShop Pro 2021.

Prior to trying various effects, I increased the brightness, contrast, fill light, and clarity. Since this photo was taken from a distance, I also adjusted the sharpness.

The first two show the original image and the same picture with a Film and Filters effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Film and Filters. I selected Warm Earth Tones from the first pulldown menu and Warming Filter from the second one. The filter intensified the color of the arches and darkened the sky.

Double ArchWarming filter

The next two show the original image and the same picture with an Infrared effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Infrared.  This effect softens the edges and highlights the contrasting vertical lines of lichens on the arches.

Double ArchDouble Arch infrared

The next two show the original image of Double Arch and the same picture with the Rotating Mirror effect. For this image I went to Effects>Reflection Effects>Rotating Mirror. To me, this looks like a giant raptor of stone flying right at you. You never know what you’ll get with this effect! 😀

Double ArchReflection effect

One to Three Photo Challenge January 2022

On distant trails: LAPC, WWP, & SS

I saunter along distant trails, not knowing what wonders nature will share with me.


Will falling water sing between rocky cliffs?

Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls, Oregon


Will earth show its origins in the soil?

Distant trails Painted Hills
Painted Hills, Oregon


Will wind turn wheels of history over parched plains?

Fort Rock
Fort Rock, Oregon


And when I return home from distant trails, will fireworks light the skies?

Sunrise over Bend
Bend, Oregon

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) – Travel has taught me

Weekend Writing Prompt – Saunter (51 words)

Sunday Stills – The power of the elements: Earth, air/wind, fire, & water

It’s a Boy! Pine tree: Thursday Tree Love

I saw this “it’s a boy” pine tree along the trail to Big Tree, the largest ponderosa pine of its kind, in LaPine State Park, Oregon. I may have walked right past this odd tree, but I noticed two teenage boys laughing loudly and pointing at it. They took multiple pictures to share with their friends. Their reaction to it was almost as funny as the tree itself! 😀

Its a boy pine tree

Thursday Tree Love -122

Along the Mud Volcano Trail: Monochrome Monday

These are some of the sights you’ll see along the Mud Volcano Trail in Yellowstone National Park.

Here is Mud Volcano, located at the base of the trail. It used to have a 30-foot tall volcanic cone. Albert C. Peale, a member of the 1871 Hayden Geological Survey, noted, “The trees all about this place are coated with mud showing that it throws out mud sometimes to a considerable height.”

However, sometime prior to the area being designated a National Park in 1872, the cone blew up in an eruption. This area is still worth a visit. The rumbling sounds, smell of sulfur, and various thermal features make it a treat for the senses.

Mud volcano

Here’s a closer look at the cracked mud around the base of Mud Volcano.

close up of cracked mud

The 0.7-mile trail includes these stairs that take you up to Black Dragon’s Cauldron and the Sizzling Basin. They certainly came up with some interesting names for these thermal features!

Stairs on Mud Volcano Trail

Monochrome Monday

Cooper’s Hawk taking a bath: LAPC & SS

About a year ago, I watched this Cooper’s Hawk taking a bath in my backyard. She is a regular visitor but this day was special because she stayed for two hours. We get a lot of songbirds at our water feature and the hawks think of it as their all-you-can-eat-buffet and spa.

On this day, the Cooper’s Hawk taking a bath stood in the chilly water for 40 minutes before perching in a nearby snag. I’ve shown pictures of her preening and fluffing her feathers after her bath in a previous post. She is a gorgeous bird.

As you can tell by my pictures below, this Cooper’s Hawk has a lot of personality!

Coopers hawk taking a bath
Hawk bathing
Hawk bathing
Coopers hawk taking a bath
Hawk bathing

This is a closer view of her.

Coopers hawk taking a bath

Here’s a short video of the Cooper’s Hawk bathing that I took with a phone attached to my spotting scope. She took such a long and thorough bath.

While working on this post, I looked outside and noticed an immature Cooper’s Hawk perched on my gate. I was expecting a package and the bird did not fly away until the truck backed right up to the gate. The UPS driver apologized for scaring away “my” hawk. 😀

I’m glad they feel so at home here!

Immature Cooper's hawk

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) #183- Memorable Events

Sunday Stills – #Wild(Life)

A fruit-filled Friday: FOTD Challenge

I’m sharing memories of a fruit-filled Friday in Hood River, Oregon last fall. We took a trip to northern Oregon in search of fall foliage, but stopped to buy some tasty fruit in Hood River. These apples were at Smiley’s Red Barn, one of 26 stops along the Hood River Fruit Loop. Visitors can stop at fruit stands, orchards, wineries, and vineyards along this route. If you’re craving a good beer, check out some of the great breweries and pubs within a half hour from Hood River.

Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge

Special somethings around the house: LAPC

This post includes photos of smaller-sized special somethings collected over the years.

Special somethings discovered

The first photo shows a radiator cap from a 1928 Pontiac. We found it buried in the forest where we used to live. The Indian brave sculpture is so detailed!

Special somethings radiator cap

The next photo shows a picture of my favorite salt & pepper shakers. This pair was found in an antique store in Snohomish, Washington. I’m not sure what year these were made, but they look like Depression-era glassware.

Depression glass S & P

Things from the earth

The next photo shows a piece of black obsidian. I found this piece at Glass Buttes, about an hour east of Bend, Oregon. This rock has radiating curves that developed as it cooled thousands of years ago.

Special somethings black obsidian

The next photo shows a fossil gingko leaf. This was found at Stonerose Interpretive Center & Eocene Fossil Site in Republic, Washington. We took our family there to dig for fossils as part of our annual camping trip. It’s my favorite fossil I’ve ever found because I love gingko trees!

Fossil gingko leaf

Special things with sentimental value

The next photo is of a mug and planter. These were purchased decades ago in Rhodes, Greece by my dad when he was in the Navy. I assumed they must be valuable, but recently found a set of three of these mugs for $45 on eBay. Oh well, I still like them.

Ikaros pottery from Greece

The last photo is of a toy stereo. When I was a teenager, I asked for a stereo every year for Christmas. Our family was not well off financially and stereos used to cost a lot more then, relatively speaking. They bought me this one year and, even though it’s not in great shape anymore, I’ve kept it around to remind myself you don’t always get what you want. 😁

Toy stereo

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) #182 – Interesting Objects

Memories of summer at Old Mill: Friday Flowers

memories of summer in old Mill

This photo of memories of summer at Old Mill shows one of the many colorful plantings bordering the trails. This border is located along the Mill A Loop trail, one of my favorites in Bend, Oregon.

Friday Flowers

Seeing red near Mt Jefferson: Wordless Wednesday

Seeing red vine maples
Seeing red vine maples near Mt Jefferson in Oregon
Fall color near Mt Jefferson
Fall foliage in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains

Wordless Wednesday

Blanket flowers up close: Macro Monday

Here’s a photo of blanket flowers up close that I took last summer. These perennial flowers are big and showy. Their contrasting colors make them stand out as a star in any garden. These easy to grow plants are also drought tolerant. They attract butterflies and birds.

Blanket flowers up close

Macro Monday

Diaphanous strands haiku: OLWG, LAPC, WS

diaphanous strands
a colorful serape
muffles winter’s chill

Diaphanous strands of clouds

Online Writers Guild (OLWG) – #242 – A colorful serape

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) #181 – Double Dipping

Weekend Sky (WS) #51

Hummers – sketches & photo: First Friday Art

Today I’m sharing pencil sketches I did of hummers in action. I’m also including a photo of a hummingbird hovering over a border planting in a garden. These very active birds are difficult to capture with a pencil or a lens.

Hummers in action

Did you know their heart can beat faster than 1,200 beats per minute? However, when food is scarce hummingbirds go into torpor, which is similar to hibernation. Their heart rate drops to as low as 50 beats per minute. Hummers are amazing birds!

Hummingbird 14Aug2016

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

First Friday Art

River otter on ice: Monochrome Monday

I saw this Northern river otter on ice a few days ago along the Deschutes River in Bend. If you walk early in the morning, as I like to do, you’ll get to witness magical moments such as this one.

River otter on ice
River otter on ice

Monochrome Monday

Some of my best photos from 2021: LAPC, SS

It’s time to share special photos from the past year. Please enjoy this selection of nature, history, and art photos from Bend Branches.

Best Nature Pictures

The first photo shows a scene at the Portland Japanese Garden. We visited in October, when fall colors were at their peak.

best photos Portland Japanese Garden

This picture shows a pronghorn buck at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. My following pronghorn post includes several pictures of these icons of the West.

Grazing pronghorn buck in Yellowstone

We get spectacular sunsets and sunrises in our High Desert yard in Bend, Oregon. I wrote a two-line essence poem to go along with this image.

best photos dusk desert sky

The next photo shows Emerald Pool at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. The contrasting colors around this hot spring make it one of my favorites.

Emerald Pool, Yellowstone

This photo is of a Cooper’s hawk right after she had a bath. This regular visitor to our yard is always entertaining!

Cooper's hawk visited me

Best History Photos

This is a picture of one of the passages in the burial tomb at Knowth in County Meath, Ireland. I wrote a short story to go along with pictures of this historic site.

Best photos Knowth, Ireland

This is a biplane located at the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum in Hood River, Oregon. Black and white processing shows off the structure of this plane.

nose to nose with biplane

This picture shows an old farm truck parked along a rural road in Bend, Oregon. It’s parked along one of the 51 farm-to-market roads built in Deschutes County during the early 1900s.

Best photos old truck

This is a display of tail dresses at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon. They’re called tail dresses because the deer’s tail is left on the cured skin. You can see them near the neckline on these dresses.

Tail dresses at High Desert Museum

This picture shows an old farmhouse and windmill at a ranch in Central Oregon. To give this a more aged appearance, I used a filter that muted the reds.

A home from the past in Oregon

Best Art Pictures

This is a close-up view of a bison sculpture by Greg Congleton, one of my favorite local artists. The name of this sculpture is Wooly Bully.

best photos bison sculpture

This is a sculpture of Sacagawea that’s located at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West museum in Cody, Wyoming. I admired how the artist portrayed her as a calm yet powerful presence.

Sacagawea sculpture in Cody

This is a close-up view of a mural located outside a computer repair store in Bend, Oregon. Born Again Babylan represents mysteries of the past and technology of the future. See the whole mural here.

close up of mural

I featured the next image for a haiku challenge with the words blue and world as prompts. This art piece is at Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland. It represents bubbles forming during the beer brewing process.

Blue worlds sculpture

The last picture shows an ornament on my Christmas tree. I have a collection of reindeer and I like this one because of its joyful expression. The ornaments are each like a tiny work of art.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Favorite images of 2021

Sunday Stills – 2021 in the Rearview Mirror

Crane sculpture, Portland Japanese Garden: Sculpture Saturday

I saw this beautiful crane sculpture at the Portland Japanese Garden last fall. The colors of autumn cast a warm glow on this peaceful scene.

In Japanese literature, mythology, and art, cranes are often thought to live 1,000 years. They symbolize longevity and good luck.

I wish you good luck and much happiness in the new year!

crane sculpture

Sculpture Saturday

Pronghorn near Prineville: 1-to-3 Photo Challenge

I saw this herd of pronghorn near Prineville, Oregon last spring. I’ll be showing how I processed this photo three ways with Corel PaintShop Pro 2021.

Prior to trying various effects, I increased the brightness, contrast, fill light, and clarity. Since this photo was taken from a distance, I also adjusted the sharpness.

The first two show the original image and the same picture with a Film and Filters effect. For this image I went to Effects>Film and Filters. I selected Vibrant Foliage from the first pulldown menu and Warming Filter from the second one. The orange filter brought out the pronghorn’s tawny coats. The vibrant foliage filter enhanced blues and greens in this scene.

Pronghorn near PrinevilleWarming filter

The next two show the original image and the same picture with a Hot Wax Coating effect. For this image I went to Effects>Artistic Effects>Hot Wax Coating.  This effect gives an almost comic book-like effect with enhanced edges. The images appear to be coated in a thin layer of wax.

Pronghorn near PrinevillePronghorn near Prineville

The last two show the original image and the same picture with an Aged Newspaper effect. For this image I went to Effects>Artistic Effects>Aged Newspaper. You can choose how old you want the picture to look. I chose 50 years. More recent options appear more black and white, while older ones have a more yellowed appearance. This effect slightly blurs the edges to make them resemble images in old newspapers.

Pronghorn near PrinevilleAged newspaper effect

One-to-Three Photo Processing Challenge – December 2021

Mix Tape A & B Mural: Monday Murals

This Mix Tape A & B mural, by artist Erik Hoogen, is located at Silver Moon Brewing in Bend, Oregon. Erik worked on this labor of love seasonally for two years. This large work of art is located in a narrow alley so instead of trying to show it in one photo, I took several.

I am so impressed by this mural! It’s difficult to paint with a monotone palette and Erik made it look easy.

Mix tape A & B

He captured the essence of these musicians from different times and genres.

Musician mural

Many of the musicians are portrayed in iconic poses.

Mix Tape A & B

However, Erik also showed his sense of humor. Can you find a glam rock musician with his fingers in his ears in one of these photos? Did you spot the rapper drinking a Silver Moon beer?

Musician mural

He also incorporated powerful words to go along with the images. On one side it says,

A painting is music U can see. Music is a painting U can hear.

Miles Davis

On the other side, it says, “One Love, Unity, & Respect” and “Cheers.”

Mix Tape A & B

There are small touches of color in this mural. Did you notice the orange butterflies fluttering among the musicians?

Musician mural

And what about that door? In reality, it’s just an ordinary exterior door. I love how he made it into something amazing!

Musician mural

For a peek at a mural inside Silver Moon, see Pub Art at Silver Moon Brewing.

Some of the codes restricting where murals could be located in Bend were eliminated in 2019. Mix Tape A & B is one of the many murals that have appeared in the past couple of years as a result of that change. Lucky us!

Monday Mural

Reindeer tryouts at Malheur NWR: Wordless Wednesday

Santas reindeer tryouts
Reindeer tryouts at Malheur NWR, Oregon

Wordless Wednesday https://wordpress.com/tag/wordless-wednesday

A tumbleweed snowman: Sunday Stills

I decided to make a tumbleweed snowman from the giant tumbleweed I recently found in my yard. In my previous post, Giant tumbleweed in my yard, I tried to show the scale of this tumbleweed. It measured 7 feet 6 inches across!

Since it’s December, I thought I might as well have some fun with it. We tied it to a tree to keep it from blowing away. I added a smaller tumbleweed to make a head.

 A tumbleweed snowman

It’s kinda hard to see his face so I zoomed in. The branches are spaced far apart on the top tumbleweed so his face is held on with a few twist ties. Can you see his lichen eyelashes and juniper nose and smile?

A crazy snowman

A string of battery-powered lights added some holiday cheer.

Lighted tumbleweed snowman

Hope you enjoyed my High Desert tumbleweed snowman. Happy Holidays! 😀

Sunday Stills – Light the Night