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.

Beach sunset

In the fall, clouds begin to fill High Desert skies, leading to dramatic sunrises. I took this picture from my house a couple of days ago.

find special surprises

Find special treasures nearby

You don’t always have to capture faces to capture a mood. These two kids were fascinated by the otters in this exhibit at the High Desert Museum. You can see the frame of the window they were looking through in the next picture.

watching otters

This picture shows reflections in the water and two Northern river otters swimming together, reflecting each others movements. Another submerged otter follows behind them.

Northern river otters

Find odd things while on the road

Sometimes when you’re driving down the road on your travels, you see something that makes you say, “What is THAT?” Do you know what this truck was hauling? (Find the answer at the end of the post).

Weird truck load

Find special surprises from the past

Other times you’re walking down the street in your hometown and find special surprises. This is Bend’s Pet Parade, the oldest parade in the city. This community tradition began in 1924. Can you find the umbrella in this scene?

Pet Parade

While digging through my archives to find pictures for this challenge, I found this little treasure. This was my cat, Weasel, my first pet I had after moving away from home. I was lucky to find this photo of a special pet from my past who brought me much happiness.

find special surprises cat

So did you guess what the truck pictured earlier in this post was hauling? According to my brief research, those are parts for SpaceX’s Starlink ground stations. You learn something new every day!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) – Treasure Hunt

Three Things Challenge (TTC) – Emotions

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

On the other side
Abert Lake, Oregon

Hike to majestic mountains to discover distant aspirations
but be aware of obstacles lurking in the shadows

Mitchell, Oregon
Near Mitchell, Oregon

Keep climbing upwards because on the other side of the hill,
there is a place full of light and acceptance

East Lake
East Lake, Oregon

Lens Artist Photo Challenge – Over the Hill

Weekend Writing Prompt #278 – Viable (82 words)

Barn beside the road: Monochrome Monday

A barn beside the road near Redmond, Oregon shown in black and white.

Barn beside the road

Monochrome Monday

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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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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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)

Amazing airplanes in Hood River: LAPC

If you’d like to see a large collection of amazing airplanes, be sure to visit the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum (WAAAM) in Hood River, Oregon. The indoor hangar space is more than 3.5 acres in size.

All of the aircraft have been restored to working condition. This process takes a long time and the Museum restores an average of two per year. Our family donated a Fly Baby homebuilt plane, but it’s not yet on display.

The planes are generally arranged by type within the buildings.

Biplanes

Amazing airplanes

Biplanes have interesting designs and they’re a great subject for photographs. I featured one of them in a black and white photograph in a previous post.

Mike and Linda Strong, friends of the family, donated the two 1929 WACOs pictured below. Mike worked as an airline pilot for many years and liked to fly smaller planes in his spare time. He gave me a ride in one of the WACOs years ago and it was a memorable experience.

The first WACO is a taper wing. At high speeds, tapered wings decrease drag and increase lift. They also make the plane lighter and more maneuverable.

1929 WACO
1929 WACO CTO
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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

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.” 😉

Imagine a World Exhibition

     The Imagine a World exhibition at the High Desert Museum focuses on past and present efforts to create utopian communities. Participants joined for assorted reasons, including religious persecution, environmental concerns, and anti-war sentiments.

     The communities featured are in the Western United States. Founding members often thought of the West as an idyllic, “empty” place to settle. However, they did not always consider who was already living in these environments.

Imagine a World

Indigenous Futurism

     As you enter the gallery, two life-sized astronauts suspended in front of a bold painting of bison catch your eye. Two bright paintings adorn the walls next to this display. These works represent Indigenous futurism. They highlight how important cosmology, science, and futurism have been to Native peoples. Grace Dilon, Ph.D. (Anishinaabe) states that Indigenous futurism is part of the process of “returning to ourselves.” The goal is to recover “ancestral traditions in order to adapt in our post-Native Apocalypse world.”

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Sisters Oregon mural: Monday Mural

This Sisters Oregon mural in Central Oregon is full of life. North Sister, Middle Sister, and South Sister volcanic peaks hover in the background. Local wildflowers and wildlife fill the bottom of the frame.

I especially liked the great gray owl in the middle of the mural. If you stand in front of this mural in just the right spot, it looks like you have wings. Great for pictures!

Sisters Oregon mural

The Sisters Oregon mural was created in 2020 by local artists, Katie Daisy and Karen Eland. You’ll find it on the wall of Marigold and True, a boutique gift shop. Katie also contributed to murals painted in Foxtail Bakery, which I featured in a previous post.

As noted in this article in The Nugget Newspaper, Katie and Karen had known the store’s owner, Kelley Rae, for ten years. She commissioned them to paint this piece and it turned out beautifully.

I was in town taking pictures of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show when I stumbled upon the mural. The arts are alive and well in this small town.

Monday Mural

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

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

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
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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
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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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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
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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
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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

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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

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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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

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

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