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!
a rainbow moonscape
dreaming of winter
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Do you have artwork you would like to share? Be sure to include the First Friday Art tag.
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.
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.Continue reading
Wordless Wednesday https://wordpress.com/tag/wordless-wednesday
Once again, I’m sharing images of peaceful scenes near my home in Bend, Oregon.
Sahalie Falls, about an hour west of Bend, rewards visitors with this picture perfect view. Moss-covered rocks frame the rainbows floating over the river.
The next photo shows a few of my next door neighbors. This mule deer doe often jumped the fence into our yard to take a break from her fawns. 😀
blue worlds drift away
scattered by the winds of change
winter’s eve draws near
These reindeer on my tree are part of my reindeer collection. The great thing about a seasonal collection is that it’s only out for part of the year. It gives you something to look forward to.
Some of the ornaments, like the Fitz and Floyd one below, have value as a collectible.
Others, like this ceramic one, have a different kind of value. I’ve reattached the antlers more than once on this sentimental piece.
Some, like this wooden one, are more arts and crafts than fine art.
I took this picture of Emerald Pool along the Black Sand Basin Trail in Yellowstone National Park. Emerald Pool is one of my favorite hot springs in the park. The bright colors in and around the pool stand out against a backdrop of forests and cliffs.
The water temperature of this pool averages 136° F (58° C). The pool used to be more green in color, but drops in temperature have caused the color to darken.
Walking towards the burial mounds of Knowth, in County Meath, Ireland, it’s easy to imagine they must have many stories to tell. The largest mound was likely created circa 3200 BC. This is part of the World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne. I featured another passage tomb nearby in The façade of Newgrange.
Each image tells a story on its own, but I created a Tale of Knowth to go along with the photos.
Tale of Knowth
“Go to the mounded land on the day fall begins.” Maimeó said to me weeks before her passing.
Once I found the 18 mounds, I didn’t know where to turn. I followed the curving trail around the largest mound. A cool gust from the north made the emerald grass covering the mound dance in the wind.
“Find the sunburst kerbstone. It will show you the way.” I remembered Maimeó’s words.
The sunburst kerbstone? I thought. Spirals, crescent, and other patterns covered the boulders encircling the mound. I wondered how I would find the right one.
I trudged around the perimeter of the mound, pulling my cloak close. Light snowfall drifted by me and settled in the characters carved into stone.
Why is it snowing on autumn’s eve? I thought to myself. I tried to keep warm by rubbing my arms and stamping my feet. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something.
Sometimes you experience memorable moments by following fall close to home. I’ve made a special effort to capture glimpses of the season in photographs this year near my home in Bend. Fall is my favorite season!
Autumn weather brings cloudy skies and spectacular sunrises that take your breath away.
Trees don their finest fashions and marvel at their reflections.
Some trees try to see how many shades of autumn they can pack onto one branch.
And when the leaves fall, they dazzle you like an ephemeral work of art.
If you listen closely, you’ll hear the leafless trees revealing stories layer by layer until they are clothed once again.
I went on a road trip near Mount Hood in October and took this photo of the mountain. I’ll be showing how I processed it three ways with Corel PaintShop Pro 2021.
Prior to trying various effects, I decreased the brightness, increased the contrast, fill light and clarity, and used the local tone mapping setting. I made these adjustments because the gray and white mountain blended into the cloudy gray sky. Cloud cover can block your views of Mount Hood in October so we were lucky to see it on this overcast day.
The first two show the Mount Hood original image and the same picture with an enhanced edge effect. For this image I went to Effects>Edge Effects>Enhance More. I like this image because it showcases the trees in the forest.
The next two show the Mount Hood 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, Cooling Filter from the second one, and increased the filter density. This effect’s blue filter highlights the sky more.Continue reading
the wisest ones wait
impatient trembles of green
longing for fall’s kiss
gold whispers, orange laughter
autumn’s fleeting love
Here are a few photos of wildlife sightings at Yellowstone from our trip in early June. Visitors have opportunities to see many furred and feathered creatures within Yellowstone National Park.
Sometimes you see wildlife, such as this snowshoe hare, that you may not have seen in the park before. This hare’s population peaks about every ten years and this must be a peak year.
Sometimes you’ll see wildlife interacting within close proximity of each other. This radio-collared gray wolf got a little too close for comfort to the bison calves in this herd. The bulls and cows quickly chased it away.
A couple I once knew had a memorable experience involving mushrooms, up close and personal. They went out mushroom picking with friends in the rainforests near Olympia, Washington. That night, they prepared a fancy meal that included the mushrooms they harvested.
After dinner, they sat around the table exclaiming how wonderful the freshly-harvested mushrooms tasted. Suddenly, they noticed the family cat had jumped onto the counter and eaten a little of the mushroom sauce. She immediately began to vomit.
The dinner guests looked at each other with horror. When they picked the mushrooms, they weren’t sure of the exact species. Even when you look at mushrooms up close they can be difficult to identify. If you eat the wrong type, it might kill you.
Out of an abundance of caution, they decided to go to the hospital. Everyone had their stomach pumped in case the mushrooms were poisonous.
When they returned home, they were surprised to find the cat with a litter of newborn kittens. The cat wasn’t sick from poisoning—the vomiting was due to her labor.
At the time it happened they decided to err on the side of caution, but later, they thought their reaction was pretty funny. 😀
I have been patiently waiting for fall at the Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon. Every day, I visited their Fall Color Status Update website. In mid-October, the site indicated good leaf color in their plantings. Off we went!
A brilliant rainbow of colors bordered the Flat Garden. The green Circle and Gourd Islands in the sea of white gravel represent enlightenment and happiness.
This nearby path is bordered by more subtle colors.
The Garden limits the number of visitors, but they crowded around this maple tree with its bright red leaves.Continue reading
After the rain in the Painted Hills of eastern Oregon, the colors stand out in bold contrast. I live an hour and a half away from these strange geological features and patiently wait for the storms of fall to arrive.
The first image shows the view from the road to the Overlook parking area. The hills are located within the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
Though I’ve been here several times, I’d never hiked the 1/2 mile Painted Hills Overlook Trail. The easy trail leads you past this dramatic scene. Wow!
Here’s a closer view.
These hills are on the south side of the trail.
There are four short, easy trails and a more moderate longer trail a short distance away.
This photo shows part of the Painted Cove Trail after the rain.Continue reading
green leaves fluttering
ever alert for dawn’s frost
blushes of autumn
Steep knife-edged mountains arose from the plains centuries ago. Over time, torrential rains wore them down into rounded hills. Though plants tried to take root on their soil, none survived.
The Wise One summoned the artists of her tribe. She asked them to paint the hills in sacred colors. Pale green colors, from crushed sagebrush leaves and golden rabbitbrush blossoms, and black and red, from sumac trees, filled their brushes. The artisans painted the hills with broad brushstrokes and veiled the skies with delicate dabs of white.
Here in the High Desert, things tend to last well past their prime. Though this old truck shows signs of wear and tear, chances are it still runs.
This truck is located on rural property along Deschutes Market Road. This is one of 51 “market” roads in and around Deschutes County. These farm-to-market roads were built following passage of the Oregon Market Road Act of 1919. Prior to their construction, farmers navigated many miles of bumpy, rutted dirt roads to deliver their goods.
A label on the truck’s door reads S & M, Land & Livestock. I’m not sure if this was a local company. There were many ranching operations in Central Oregon, large and small, in the 1870-1920 pre-Industrial period.Continue reading
Splashes of autumn
Along verdant waterways
Beside winding roads
Within ancient lava beds
The glorious frocks of fall
I thought this windmill at Fort Rock would make a good candidate for showing three ways to process a photograph. I used the photographic effects in Corel PaintShop Pro 2021. This picture was taken at the Fort Rock Homestead Village Museum in Central Oregon.
Prior to trying other effects, I decreased the brightness by 4 and increased the contrast by 10.
The first two show the original and a platinum processed image. This processing was popular from 1873 to 1920 but was discontinued due to the high costs of platinum. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Time Machine>Platinum. I tried black and white processing but liked the slightly warmer tones of this effect.
The second two show the original and a cross process image. This process resulted from mismatching the film and development chemicals on purpose. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Time Machine>Cross Process. This effect oversaturates the colors and they really pop.Continue reading
I saw these fading hibiscus flowers at a local garden center in early June. The petals are past their prime, but the flowers still have a style all their own.
Do you wonder when you wander
Where the path will lead?
Up to mountains,
Where scattering clouds reveal the peaks of possibility?
Down to deserts,
Where sandstorms expose the color of earth’s soul?
Over to ocean shores,
Where waves create cryptic messages in the sand?
Through dense forests,
Where trees of different character stand together as one?
Do you wonder when you wander
Where the path will lead?
Here are pictures of daisies three ways I took on the Mill A Loop trail in Bend, Oregon. I used Corel PaintShop Pro 2021 to do the photo processing.
The first two show the original photo compared to a soft focus adjustment. I think it works well for these soft flowers.
The second two show the original photo compared to a colored edges effect. I like to draw and this effect created a work of art, minus all the erasing I usually do. 😉Continue reading
In these portraits of creatures, the lighting is a major part of the scene.
In the first picture, a family of Sandhill Cranes struts across a meadow in the morning light. The lead bird, in the strongest light, keeps an eye out for predators.
In the next photo, a bull elk grazes in a grassy field. Bright fluffy clouds and dark forest trees are major parts of this shot. The elk, with its bright back fur and dark legs, blends into that environment.
In this photo, a northern river otter drifts through the water. Mid-day sun cuts through the water and dapples the bottom surface. A trail of bubbles emphasizes the otter’s streamlined form.Continue reading
pushed by hot magma
through ancient layers of rock
the pull of dawn’s light
Sometimes you visit places where the landscapes are pretty as a picture. Here are a few places I’ve visited in the western states that feature picture postcard views. I tell a tiny tale about each of them.
Kiger Gorge on Steens Mountain, Oregon is full of drama. A giant serpent tunneled through here leaving scales of deep green. Wise ones believe the sweetest water can be found in shallow wells beneath these strands of greenery.
Morning Glory in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming is a glorious sight. The artist who created this landscape experimented with various colors. She could not settle on using a single color and discarded her pallet here for us to find.
This grandfather tree in Arches National Park, Utah often told tales of wild places to his many grandchildren. When he passed, they honored him by preserving the bones of his existence and planting golden flowers near his roots.
So, the other day I heard a loud “chirp, chirp” call outside my house. I peered out the back door and spotted a baby American Robin in the middle of the yard. Maybe it was the same one we put back in its nest several days before, giving it one more chance at life.
When I approached, the young bird walked underneath some cactus in my garden. Meanwhile, both parents continued chirping loudly.
A movement nearby caught my eye. A Red-tailed Hawk lurked in the background, watching the fledgling. No wonder the parents of the baby robin were upset!
I tried to catch the young robin, but it flew. Not well, but I was pleased to see it could now fly. The bird settled in the gravel and rocks, right under my High Desert mural painting. Maybe it wanted to be a character in one of my stories. 😉Continue reading