Through my pocket lens: LAPC & WPWC

Peering through my pocket lens
Vivid reflections shine
where the river bends

through my pocket lens in Bend

The colors soar high into the blue
pausing in rainclouds
falling as dew

High desert sunrise

Droplets of pigment splatter parched plants
cling to pale petals
interweave and dance

Alstromeria vignette

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) # 233 – A one lens walk

Weekly Prompts Writing Challenge (WPWC) – Bend

Memorable pictures of 2022: LAPC

Today I’m sharing a dozen memorable pictures of 2022. I’m including photos of history, nature, and culture.

In the first one, I used infrared processing on a picture of Mt Rainier and I also added a colorful eel image. The challenge prompt was “surreal.” I had fun with this one!

real or surreal

The next picture is of a quilt at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. In addition to being beautifully crafted, this one had a message of kindness. I took so many pictures of the show, I divided it into three posts.

Words on quilt

The next picture is of an unexpected guest in our backyard. This Barred Owl feasted on the ample supply of Pacific Tree Frogs breeding in our pond. From then on, our nights were slightly quieter.

Barred Owl in Bend

The picture below features the aircraft known as the Spruce Goose. It is enormous! We saw it at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

Spruce Goose

The next picture is of my dog, gazing back at me near Waldport, on the Oregon coast. The setting sun, coupled with her devoted expression, made for a memorable moment.

Memorable pictures of dog

This is a photo of a silvery dragon swimming across a pond. I loved this sculpture. This dragon is at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon.

Find special surprises Silverton

I also took this hibiscus portrait at the Oregon Garden. This flower has an interesting common name, Spin the Bottle Hibiscus.

Hibiscus

This wooden sculpture, at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, was spectacular. I was impressed by both the sculpture and the beadwork, even on the baby carrier on her back.

Plains Indian woman

This is the lighthouse at Yaquina Head in Newport, Oregon. I wrote an 82-word flash fiction story to go along with the pictures I took there. Fun challenge!

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

I called the image below “Fence of Gold” and it was a favorite of visitors to my blog. The golden aspen trees were equally spaced apart, as if someone had planted them that way.

Fence of gold

The next picture is of a zig zagging boardwalk at Summer Lake, Oregon. I used a retro photo effect to make it look significantly older, like photos taken in the distant past.

Retro photo effect

The last picture is one of my favorite memorable pictures of the year. I featured it on a recent Wordless Wednesday post. When I processed it, I softened the focus and added a white vignette effect.

Reindeer migrating

However, I did not explain to readers that the reindeer pictured were actually collectible figurines. Never a dull moment on my blog! 😉

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #231 – Favorite Images of 2022

A tower of light tale: LAPC & WWP

There, above a rocky shore, a cylindrical tower appears.
The shipwrecked crew stumbles towards the house of perpetual light.
They ascend a zigzagging set of stairs, rising above the gray mist.

Lighthouse tower

A well-worn trail leads them towards the shining tower.
Thick fog clears, revealing a path that encircles the lighthouse.
The crew heads towards the front door, seeking warmth and sustenance.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse
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The details of leaves: LAPC

The details of leaves,

Rounded, serrated leaflets bearing tidbits of sweetness.

Details of leaves strawberry
Wild strawberries Fragaria sp.

Arching narrow leaves falling in cascades of ombre colors.

Hakone grass
Hakone grass Hakonechola macra ‘Aureola’

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Angles of the Earth: LAPC

Angles of the Earth sculpted by pounding waves.

Angles of the earth
Seaside sandstone formations at Pacific City, OR

Rising on the edge of a caldera in olivine and crimson shades.

Volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks
Volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks at Prineville Reservoir, OR

Fracturing leaden lava flows, brushed with a glow of lichens.

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Visiting the Wild West : LAPC

I feel most at home when visiting the Wild West.

In the West, tall tales are told in layers of intense and pale colors.

Visiting the Wild West
Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon

Odd-looking plants stand tall, like characters in a children’s picture book.

Joshua Trees
Joshua Tree National Park, California

You may find ancient hidden stories exposed by wind and water.

Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

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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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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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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. 🙂

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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Spruce Goose is a sight to see: LAPC

Last month, we took a trip to see the Spruce Goose at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. This museum is in McMinnville, about 50 miles southwest of Portland, Oregon. Its star attraction is the airplane associated with Howard Hughes, Jr.

In 1942, steel magnate Henry Kaiser approached Hughes about creating a massive flying boat. Hughes was well known for breaking records as a pilot, including a 1935 landplane airspeed record of 352 miles per hour. In 1938, Hughes flew around the world in 3 days 19 hours 17 minutes, beating the previous record by almost four days. He was also a brilliant engineer.

After Kaiser withdrew from the flying boat project in 1944, Howard Hughes renamed the plane H-4 Hercules. It’s also called the Hughes Flying Boat and the Spruce Goose. Hughes become obsessed with the project. Though the original intention was for the aircraft to help with war efforts, by the time they completed the project, the war was over.

Hughes flew the plane on November 2, 1947. He wanted to prove it was airworthy and not just a flight of fancy. In its first and only flight, he flew it at an altitude of 70 feet for 26 seconds. The aircraft flew for about one mile at a speed of 135 miles per hour.

Exterior of the Spruce Goose

I knew the Spruce Goose was large, but I had no idea how enormous it was. I’m including several exterior photos to show the scale of this massive aircraft. The first picture shows a view from the second-story balcony.

Spruce Goose

The next two show aircraft on display under one wing and then the other. They look so small in comparison.

Under wing view

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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. “No,” 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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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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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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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? 😉

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

Northwest Mural Fest : LAPC & MM

In late August, while out exploring places along the Columbia River, we stumbled upon the Northwest Mural Fest in The Dalles, Oregon. Painters from all over the country met in The Dalles to create 15 murals in three days. Yes, it was a huge undertaking, literally and figuratively.

The Walldogs


The 200+ sign painters and mural artists who took part in the event belong to a group called The Walldogs. Imagine a “pack” of artists gathering in a town for a few days to create unforgettable works of art. The murals depict places, people, and products that have local significance. The murals attract tourists and give residents a sense of hometown pride.

Honoring the History


The artists working on this mural, by Anat Ronen, must not have a fear of heights. This mural portrays photographer Benjamin Gifford. He moved from the Midwest to Portland in 1888, and to The Dalles in 1896. His work highlights scenic views of the Columbia River and the scenic highway running beside it. Gifford also featured portraits of local Native Americans.

Northwest Mural Fest

The Benjamin Gifford mural is being painted on the back of the Clock Tower. This photo shows the building, built in 1883, from the front.

Clock Tower
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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.” 😉

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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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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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Petrified wood bits – Bear Creek: LAPC & Macro Monday

Last month, we collected petrified wood bits from Bear Creek, south of Prineville Reservoir in Oregon. The following pieces are one inch or less in size. Getting decent photographs of these tiny stones proved to be a challenge.

I set up a tabletop studio and tried a Panasonic Lumix and a Galaxy Ultra phone camera. I had to keep adjusting the spotlights outside of the studio. Each stone was given a quick spritz of water to bring out their color. After many unsuccessful attempts with both cameras, I finally got some good shots with the Panasonic.

petrified wood
Close up of wood
petrified wood
close up of rock
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Cars from the Golden Age: LAPC

The Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum in Hood River, Oregon has a large collection of cars from the “Golden Age of Transportation” – the period from the early 1920s through the 1940s. The Museum has a collection of over 130 vehicles from the 1900s to the 1960s. You can get more information on vehicles in the collection by year or manufacturer here.

Cars from the Golden Age and beyond

Artifacts from the time period are on display near many of the cars. Here’s a camping scene.

Cars from the Golden Age

Storefronts around the perimeter of the building add visual interest to the collection.

Antique autos

The color and design of the cars make them great subjects for photographs.

Colorful old cars
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Lower Crooked River drive – am & pm: LAPC & FFC

A couple days ago, we went on a Lower Crooked River drive. We were there early in the morning, attempting to avoid an incoming storm system. I remembered I had been there about a year earlier for an afternoon drive. How would the lighting differ in the photos taken on both trips?

Just south of Prineville, Oregon, the Lower Crooked River Back Country Byway winds its way along the Crooked River. The 43-mile long road meets up with Highway 20 to the south.

This post highlights the 8-mile section between Prineville Reservoir and Castle Rock. See map at the end of the post. On this drive, the curving lines of the road and river contrast with the straight lines of geological features.

A morning drive

As we drove north from the reservoir, shadows covered the east side of the road. The morning light cast a warm glow over the canyon lands.

Canyon views

Basalt columns looked pretty in full light…

Columnar basalt

But took on more character in the shadows.

columnar basalt
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Photo in thirds? Bending the rules: LAPC

When taking pictures, you might want to think about composing your photo in thirds. What?

According to the Digital Photography School, the rule of thirds “is a compositional guideline that breaks an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so you have nine pieces and four gridlines. According to the rule, by positioning key elements along the gridlines, you’ll end up with better compositions.”

While browsing my photos, I realized horizontal layers are more important to me in composition. Do my pictures always follow the rule of thirds guidelines? No, it’s okay to bend the rules.

SLR Lounge notes, “Of all the “rules” in photography, the rule of thirds is one of the easiest to successfully break.”

My photo in thirds examples (with layers)

This sandhill crane is in the upper third corner, but the differing textures and colors of the plants catch your attention. This photo has four layers.

Photo in thirds

This pronghorn is near the lower third of the picture. I could have cropped it more, but I didn’t want to cut out the misty mountains in the background. This photo has five layers.

Pronghorn at Yellowstone
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Thermophile color – Nonet poem: LAPC

Thermophile color blooms near Earth’s core
In bouquets of startling brilliance
Fertilized by extreme heat
In caldera water
Where few dare to tread
The Archaea
Find a home,
Warm and
Safe

thermophile color at Yellowstone
Close ups at Yellowstone
Artemis geyser
Thermophile color
Hot spring colors
Grand Prismatic

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Colorful Expressions

Focus on what is important: LAPC

Focus on what is important and blur the distractions.

Burrowing owl

Magnify the delicacy of Nature’s architecture.

Apple blossoms

Find subjects that stand out from the herd and capture their strength.

Focus on what is important - bison

Focus on the palette of colors used to create distant masterpieces.

View from Gray Butte

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Bokeh

Stories unfolding in the rock in Wyoming: LAPC

When I drove the highway west of Cody, Wyoming, I saw stories unfolding in rock formations along the road.

The short paved trail in the photo below takes you to a place of wonderment along the North Fork Shoshone River.

Stories unfolding from a distance

The rock formations along the ridgetop are a village of homes with a view carved by the common folk. At one time, the richest man in town lived in a round home atop the tallest tower. He bragged about his wealth to anyone who would listen. One day, he danced with glee around and around inside the house. It fell to the ground, but he survived. From then on, he lived a humble life in a square home and he never danced again.

Stories unfolding in rock

Sheep Mountain is a distinctive landmark about 15 miles southwest of Cody.

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