Freedom jasper at Priday Polka-Dot Agate Beds, Oregon
The smoke from a forest fire ahead of us near Crane Prairie Reservoir was an eerie sight to see. The nearby Cedar Creek Fire reached a size of 127,311 acres and burned for three months. Once wet fall weather moved into the area, the fire was finally contained.
Peering through my pocket lens
Vivid reflections shine
where the river bends
The colors soar high into the blue
pausing in rainclouds
falling as dew
Droplets of pigment splatter parched plants
cling to pale petals
interweave and dance
Wyoming Scenic Highway roadside geology
Wordless Wednesday (WW)
Skimmia shrub with berries up close. This plant was seen at the Portland Japanese Garden in the fall.
This Alpenglow Park bench in Bend, Oregon is unique. Park designers used large pieces of columnar basalt to create this trailside retreat. In the distance, you can catch a glimpse of Pilot Butte, an extinct volcano.
After walking the trails at Alpenglow, consider walking to the top of Pilot Butte to get amazing views of the landscape of Central Oregon.
Sea of swans at Stratford, Washington
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I also took this hibiscus portrait at the Oregon Garden. This flower has an interesting common name, Spin the Bottle 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
However, I did not explain to readers that the reindeer pictured were actually collectible figurines. Never a dull moment on my blog! 😉
This month, I’m sharing a Great Horned Owl painting I did over the past couple of days. I used acrylic paint on a piece of unfinished oak wood. Sometimes I paint the main subject shape with off white paint before adding the color. I used this technique in my High Desert Mural. This time I did not do the lighter base painting.
I like how the grain of the oak shows through on this painting. It gives it a more rustic quality.
For this Great Horned Owl painting, I used a photograph from a fellow volunteer at the High Desert Museum as my reference. John Williams is one of the talented members of the Photography Team at the Museum. He took this photo of a Great Horned Owl in 2022 and calls it Surprize.
Be sure to visit Seeing the Gift to see more of John’s wonderful photographs!
Do you have artwork you would like to share? Be sure to include the First Friday Art tag.
These Oregon grape leaves were frosty around the edges. This picture, taken in November, shows the leaves getting their fall color.
Last year I showed pictures of part of my reindeer collection and this year I’m sharing more of my reindeer decorations. A good thing about this collection is that it’s only out during the yuletide season. I look forward to seeing them every year!
This large metal reindeer looks delicate, but it’s heavy. I like displaying it underneath this metal sun sculpture.
This beauty is made from blown glass. I love how this one’s pose is so confidant.
There’s a winter wonderland in my yard near Bend, Oregon. My favorite western juniper is dressed up for the season with a few inches of snow.
Snowfall softens edges while sharpening the contrast. It can also mute colors, as it did in this photo. The structure shines through, even on a cloudy day.
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.
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.
Every year in December, the Tumalo Creek Holiday Lights Paddle Parade takes place on the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon. This year, I took pictures of them paddling through the snow. I thought maybe there wouldn’t be as many participants, but a little snow falling didn’t stop people from joining in on this annual event.
Here’s a short video of paddlers on the river.
Paddlers decorate their kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and canoes with holiday lights and paddle from Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe for about a half mile to the Flag Bridge in the Old Mill district.
You can see a snow-covered inflatable reindeer on the kayak on the left side of the photo below. I enjoy seeing reindeer wherever I can.Continue reading
Reindeer migrating across the High Desert
The details of leaves,
Rounded, serrated leaflets bearing tidbits of sweetness.
Arching narrow leaves falling in cascades of ombre colors.
These photos show a kitchen from the past, full of artifacts.
We recently visited the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site in John Day, Oregon. The building originally served as a trading post, built in 1864. In the 1870s, business partners Lung On and Ing Hay established a business here. It served as as apothecary/medical clinic/store/boarding house/community and religious center. It closed in 1940 and was sealed up for decades. When it was finally opened, it was like a time capsule.
The building preserves Chinese history from a time when they were excluded from everyday society. This site is open from May 1 to October 31 and guided tours are offered for free. If you have an interest in history, be sure to visit this fascinating site!
See Kam Wah Chung: A Step Back in Time for more details from my previous visit.
Golden sentinels on a trail at Pine Nursery Park, Bend, Oregon.
Angles of the Earth sculpted by pounding waves.
Rising on the edge of a caldera in olivine and crimson shades.
Fracturing leaden lava flows, brushed with a glow of lichens.Continue reading
fable of the fox
who crept too close to a fire
enlightened and singed
I feel most at home when visiting the Wild West.
In the West, tall tales are told in layers of intense and pale colors.
Odd-looking plants stand tall, like characters in a children’s picture book.
You may find ancient hidden stories exposed by wind and water.
Happy Turkey Day from John Day, Oregon! We saw about one hundred wild turkeys alongside the road near John Day a few weeks ago. Dinner anyone?
They have become so common in some areas, that they are considered pests. They sometimes destroy crops and gardens and can become aggressive towards people in the breeding season.
Oregon created a Hunt by Reservation Program where private landowners can allow hunters onto their land to help thin out the population. A benefit to them and us!
Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.Marcel Proust
A little play on the words “let us” with this up close picture of lettuce growing in Hollinshead Park’s community garden in Bend, Oregon.
The touch of nature can be sharp and cold or
Ridged and dry
The touch of nature can be smooth and wet or
On a fall day
Brilliant colors appear
Merging into luminous wings
Many windowed barn near Dayville in Eastern Oregon
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.
Other animals give us unique views. This immature Cooper’s Hawk posed nicely for me on the back porch.
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).
I saw this fence of gold near Mitchell, Oregon last week. Aspen trees, decked out in golden leaves, looked like someone planted them at regular intervals within the evergreen forest.
the blur of autumn
catcher of fading colors
thoughts of winter’s chill
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.
Today I’m sharing a quick pen-and-ink drawing of an Indian peacock I drew. This was for the month-long Inktober drawing challenge. The prompt that day was “ego.” When male peacocks prance around displaying their tail feathers I think of them as being proud, egotistical birds. In reality, they are trying to attract mates and protect their territory.
Here’s a photo I took of a proud Indian peacock. I increased the color saturation when I processed it to bring out his beautiful blue and green colors.
When I think of peacocks here in Central Oregon, I think of Richardson’s Rock Ranch in Madras. They have a large indoor and outdoor rock shop and peacocks wander freely around the buildings.
Here’s a photo of their old family home with the birds perched on the front porch and foraging in the front yard. Can you see the pheasant decoration on the side of the building? The peafowl must have been attracted to it since they are also part of the pheasant family, Phasianidae.
Do you have artwork you would like to share? Be sure to include the First Friday Art tag.
First Friday Art (FFA)
Quit bugging me! Song sparrow in bug hatch at Summer Lake, Oregon.
Just wanted to share some Halloween greetings from my cat, Motor. He was one of our favorite pets. Small in size but big in personality!
I took this photo near Playa at Summer Lake in Oregon. Playa serves as a retreat for artists and scientists looking for a peaceful place to do their work. I was there for a workshop on Great Basin Natural History. This zigzag boardwalk was in a pond behind the cabins.
I’ll be showing how I processed this picture three ways with Corel PaintShop Pro 2021. Prior to trying out the various effects, I increased the contrast slightly. Slide the slider to see the before and after views.
The first two show the original photograph and the same picture with a Retro effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Retro Lab. This effect slightly blurs and darkens the edges and increases color saturation. I liked how this effect brought out turquoise colors in the sky and dark green in the marsh plants.
The next two show the original photograph and the same picture with a Black and White effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Black and White Film. I liked how this effect enhanced the contrast in the clouds.Continue reading
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.
Here’s a closer view of Mount Jefferson taken from the road near Madras, Oregon.
This picture shows a distant view of Mount Washington. It’s the snowy peak in the middle of the photo.
Today I’ll share a few stories related to special flowers in my life.
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.
Layers of Autumn color in Portland, Oregon
Wordless Wednesday (WW)