Special photos from 2020: 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.

Nature Photos

One day, while playing around with editing effects, this mirror image of autumn leaves sparked my imagination. I saw a woman wearing a crimson cape in the photo below. The short story I created, The Tree People of Autumn , is based on edited photos of trees.

The tree people of autumn

I tried to turn my camera towards things in my yard more this year. Here’s one of my prickly pear cactus in bloom.

Prickly pear cactus with petals radiating Bend, Oregon 4June2020

We created a big vegetable garden this year. Some of our produce may not have won ribbons at the fair, but it was entertaining. 😊

Three-headed carrot Bend, Oregon August 2020

This fence lizard blended in so well with the bark of one of the western juniper trees in my backyard.

Western fence lizard on Western juniper July2020

We took more short trips nearby this year. I added to my collection of rocks and featured some of my treasures in my I Like Rocks! post.

I like rocks collection of various rocks in Oregon May 2020

I visited Ireland and Northern Ireland last winter, prior to the world locking down. This European eagle-owl at the Dingle Falconry Experience in County Kerry, was gorgeous.

Eurasian eagle-owl

History photos

In May, I stepped back in time four decades with photos illustrating my account of the eruption of Mount St Helens. Here’s the mountain before it blew it’s top.

Mount St. Helens, Washington March 1980

I showed a glimpse of local history with this picture of headdresses at the High Desert Museum in Bend. The craftmanship of these is amazing. This photo also includes a ballot box, something many of us made use of this year.

Headdresses from Oregon's past August 2020

I emphasized the many shapes and textures of artifacts in the Kam Wah Chung Heritage Site in John Day, Oregon. This site, built in the 1860s, was an important gathering place for Chinese immigrants. Doc Hay, the resident doctor, gave local people an herbal decoction during the 1918-1919 flu pandemic. Though some still became ill, all were able to continue working and not a single person died.

Kitchen at Kam Wah Chung October 2018

When I visited the Kindred Spirits sculpture in Midleton, County Cork, Ireland, I was touched by the story behind it. In 1847, people of the Choctaw tribe in America shared a gift of $170 with the Irish people during Ireland’s Great Famine. That action was reciprocated this year when people of Irish descent sent financial help to Native Americans suffering from the pandemic.

Kindred Spirits sculpture, Midleton, Ireland 5 March 2020

Art Photos

The world this year seemed to be full of disasters, but many of us found comfort in art. This was one of the interesting sculptures at Winterfest in Bend. See the guy photobombing my picture?

Lighting up winter nights at Oregon WinterFest February 2020

We created art in new ways. These are face masks I made from customized fabric. Who knew they would make a fashion statement this year?

Masks with customized fabric August 2020

I finally filled up an empty wall by creating a mural featuring characters in stories I’m working on. Can you see the pronghorn, ground squirrel, magpie, and badger? High Desert Mural features close ups of each critter and more on the creative process.

High Desert Hideaway hut in Bend, Oregon

After the local galleries were shut down for the monthly First Friday Art Walk event, I decided to share more of my own art under the First Friday Art tag. Here’s the first piece I shared in May. I created this feather on scratchboard during a scientific illustration course.

Leaping towards the future

I remembered sights seen on past adventures and look forward to future travels. This dolphin sculpture is in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. It expresses the joy many of us will feel at being able to travel once more.

Dolphins in flight, Kelowna, B.C., Canada July 1998

I hope you can venture out more in the upcoming year and that you’ll share special photos a year from now. 😀

Lens Artists Photo Challenge – Favorite Images of 2020

Sunday Stills – Your 2020 Retrospective

Dance to a Colorful Beat

Yesterday I went to the Festival of Cultures in Redmond, Oregon. I was impressed by a dance group called Titlakawan Aztec Danza. Hope you enjoy the video I shot of them dancing. Even the toddlers and babies participated.

Here’s a blurb about them that was in the program for the World Beat Festival in Salem earlier this year:

“This Aztec dance troupe is based in Salem/Dayton, Oregon. Titlakawan means “We all possess it” or “We all have potential to fully realize ourselves as human beings”. Our troupe promotes through Aztec dance discipline a healthy lifestyle and outlook. The Aztec dance has its roots in central Mexico and has been practiced and protected in the last 400 years. Through immigration, it has set root here in the Northwest for the enjoyment of all those who participate.”

Here are a few pictures of the dancers. I loved the ornate headpieces! They were colorful and dramatic.

This Festival of Cultures had representatives from several countries including Bolivia, China, the Punjab state in India, Japan, and Yemen.  This event celebrates the many cultures that live in Oregon and the contributions they have made to our state. There were musical performances, dances, activities, handmade crafts, and foods from several of the cultures. There was also a play area for kids. It was a feast for the senses.

Titlakawan Aztec Dancers dance at Festival of Cultures Redmond, Oregon 23Sept2017