The View From Above

The last month and a half, our skies have been filled with smoke from too many forest fires.  The smoke on some days was so thick you couldn’t see down the road.  While it made for some unique sunrises and sunsets, and a few good pictures, it was sad.

The last couple weeks we’ve been feeling “fall” in the air.  This past week it was really starting to feel like fall with the change of the weather, our first freeze warnings, and a little bit of rain.

The blessing in the change of the seasons was in the higher country in the form of snow.  In my home state of Montana, they have lost over 1 million acres of beautiful forest land to forest fires.  I will not get into my opinion of why, because this is a happy blog.  They said the only thing that could help Montana put out the fires was snow.  Glorious snow.  We also got the snow in Oregon and rain in Washington state to help with the fires.

At work this past week, the clouds were just beautiful.  And we all know how I love clouds!  I thought it was a good thing I didn’t have my camera at work because I would want to be outside capturing the beauty.  So I waited.

Friday morning (my day off) the Hubby and I went into town for breakfast and it was awesome to see white puffy clouds and clear blue skies. No smoke on the horizon.  We did some shopping and while we were in the stores, we came out and our puffy white clouds were gone and our skies were filled with white and gray clouds.   I think they were calling to me.  So we drove home to grab the cameras and go above it all.

To the top of a mountain called “Hamaker”

“1958-1979 A Cold War Air Force Radar Station was first established in Keno, Klamath County Oregon.  Named Keno Air Station”

To me, the above sentence is merely a “golf ball” on the top of Hamaker that we can see from our house.  But, there is history up on that mountain top.

Hamaker 11

 

Keno Air Force Station.  Established in 1958 and became operational in September 1958, manned by the 827th AC&W Squadron.  The station initially had both a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and early warning mission.  The early warning mission involved tracking and identifying all aircraft entering their airspace while the GCI mission involved guiding Air Force Interceptors to any identified enemy aircraft.  Controllers at the station vectored fighter aircraft at the correct course and speed to intercept enemy aircraft using vice commands via ground-to-air radio.

I could go on about the logistics and big words I didn’t understand in the article, but it is pretty interesting.  You can find more information here:

http://www.fortwiki.com/Keno_Air_force_Station

My story is this… It was a beautiful day in the Basin and the clouds were abundant and we were going to the top of that mounting to get some fresh air and beautiful views, and hopefully some pictures too.

It’s about and 8.5 mile drive to the top which is about 6500 feet. Don’t quote me on that, I was looking at the GPS on my phone.

We had been up here before when we first moved to the area.  I know it gets a lot of snow.  Hubby decided one day in March, to go on an adventure and travel to the top.  I am extremely glad I wasn’t with him. The last mile or so isn’t maintained.  It’s bad enough without the snow.

Hamaker snow 02

He made it back slowly to tell about it!

Once on top of Hamaker, you can look to the northwest and see Mt. McLoughlin, which you can also see from Medford on the other side of the Cascades.

Hamaker 06                                      Mt McLoughlin with a fresh blanket of snow!

You look out to the north, you see the Klamath Basin, farmland, Klamath Lake, Klamath River, and points beyond.  I truly love it up here.  Except it was 43 degrees and a light breeze.  Once the breeze quit, it was quite nice!

Hamaker 01

Hamaker 03

Hamaker 07

Hamaker 10

Hamaker 08

Hamaker 12

There is one thing for sure, that you can’t deny.  It is beautiful here every season.  (except fire season)

My advice is this;

If it’s the beginning of fall where you are, put on that hoodie or flannel shirt, pack the camera, maybe a picnic lunch, and go find your view from the top!  You won’t be sorry.  If it’s not feeling like fall, wait a couple weeks!  It might skip fall and go right into winter.  I say this because it almost always gets really cold or snows before Halloween!

Enjoy fall.  Enjoy the Pumpkin Spice everything.  Enjoy life.

Just a girl and her suitcase 01_01

Happy Shooting

Tracy Lynn

 

The Enchanted Highway

Life’s like a road that you travel on
When there’s one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend and sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind

There’s a world outside every darkened door
Where blues won’t haunt you anymore
Where the brave are free and lovers soar
Come ride with me to the distant shore

We won’t hesitate
To break down the garden gate
There’s not much time left today

Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long
If you’re going my way
I wanna drive it all night long

Lyrics by Rascal Flats

Recently the husband and I went on vacation.  It was a wonderful trip!  We seemed to spend most of it on the road, not really stopping long enough to decompress.  It was all go, go, go.  We were able to stop and spend the 4th of July with a dear friend and her family, and we managed to see family and friends in Montana and South Dakota. (That’s always the bonus!)

As you all know I was born and raised in Montana, and my husband was born and raised in South Dakota.  So, this route from Eastern Montana through North Dakota and into South Dakota was familiar to us both.

Along a highway in Western North Dakota is this little offshoot highway called;EH SIgn 02                                                          “The Enchanted Highway”

“The Enchanted Highway begins at exit 72 on I-94 near Gladstone and terminates 32 miles down the road in the small town of Regent”

I have always wanted to tour the Enchanted Highway but never had the opportunity. Same with my husband. So this trip we planned our little tour towards Regent North Dakota.

My question was Why?  What was the reason for these sculptures along this little highway?  I did my google research and this is what I found.

“I saw the town was a dying community,” says sculptor Gary Greff, who grew up in Regent ND., population about 200, and returned in 1989 after working as a teacher and principal. 

I personally think it is a sad reason to have such amazing sculpture, but in turn, Thank You Mr. Greff, for your amazing work.

Sit back and enjoy our little tour down the “Enchanted Highway”

The first stop that you can see off I-94 is Geese in Flight.  The “eye” catcher to the highway tour.

Lines of geese copy                                                    The road is lined with metal Geese

 

And when you get to the top of the road and turn to your left… you see the Geese in Flight

Stop 01

It was pretty spectacular to see up close for a change, instead of flying by it at 70mph.  This was built in 2001 as a billboard to the highway route!  For once a billboard you don’t have to read!

With EGTo show you the size of this “Little Sculpture” I made sure to put our truck up against it.

It’s a not so tiny when you see it against a vehicle.  I would love to see it in the winter with the snow!  However, I’m not quite sure I want to make the trip to North Dakota in the winter.

The second piece of art, is something pretty common to the area.  Something you always have to watch out for.

Stop 2 from hwy                                                                “Deer Crossing”

You can see it from quite aways off the road.  Deer Crossing was built in 2002.

The anticipation of what it really looked like was building.  It was a great representation of what you get on the roads and interstate.  You must watch out for the deer and antelope on the roads!

Stop 2

Also at this site was a metal crafted Maze of Enchantment.

I hope my husband doesn’t get lost.  I am sure it was built for the younger generation, but it was still fun!

The Maze

Amazing Husband                                               My a Mazing husband leading the way.

I think I can do this, however my sense of direction is something to be seen.

Tracy in Maze at E H copy                           Almost to the end! Whew!  (I only went the wrong way once)

It was fun.  I kind of hope there aren’t any more on the road, we will never make it to our destination.

Back on the road we head to the next fun sculpture.  What will it be?

Grasshopper 01                                               Grasshoppers in the Field built in 1999

A not so friendly reminder of where we are.  Grasshoppers can be not so nice when it comes to fields.

The amount of detail and imagination in these pieces is awesome.

Grasshopper 02

How did Mr. Greff ever come up with these ideas?  I don’t know but I am glad he did.

Tracy and hopper copy

I felt very secure under this guy!  Except I might want to re-think that if there was a thunder and lightning storm.  I imagine these metal sculptures are lightning rods!  Wouldn’t you just love to see it though?

The artistic side of me, when it comes to photoshop, kind of wanted to see what one of these sculptures might look like on a cloudy night, with the moon breaking through.

Grasshopper at night bw

It was kind of eerie, but really cool!  I could make some great Halloween pictures with these as a background!

It would be really cool to see these on a dark night with only the stars in the sky.  This part of  the prairie has no light pollution to hinder the view of the stars.  Guess I need to add that to my list.  I wonder where the nearest hotel is.. hmmmmm

Next up on the road is another common site, more in South Dakota that we’ve noticed, but right after we stopped here and were headed to our next cool destination, we saw a rooster on the side of the road.

Stop 04 02                                                   Pheasants on the Prairie built in 1996

The colors in the hen and rooster were so true.  How did he do that? Magic perhaps?!

Stop 05                                                        The little ones are so cute too!

Tracy Shooting Pheasants               Me, shooting the pheasants legally in North Dakota out of hunting season.

What could be around the next corner? Although I must tell you, there weren’t many corners on this stretch of road. Just a lot of beautiful prairie and farm land.

ND Prarie

A lot of tourists to Montana and the Dakotas, love to hunt and fish.  There are so many beautiful lakes and rivers.  Something for every type of fisherman!

Stop 4                                                         Fishermans Dream built in 2006

This was to big to fit in one picture frame.  The sun was fighting with us at the time, but we managed to enjoy the big catch!

Stop 4 02

Stop 4 03

It might be hard to fit those fish in the back of the truck. I might have to get rid of the suitcase. Or the beer cooler.  Um, nope I think we’ll leave these fish right here for the next traveler!

Theodore Roosevelt was a big part of Dakota Territory. Leaving the east coast after losing his wife and mother almost at the same time. He left politics and became part of the “Rough Riders”  The states that were part of the Dakota Territory were Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

Our next sculpture was for “Teddy”

Stop 06                                                    Teddy Rides Again, built in 1993

I would love to see this if it were lit up at night!   I did read that Mr. Greff (the sculptor) started a fire on the prairie while welding this in the summer.  He no longer welds in the summer due to the dry conditions.

North Dakota is also home to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  If you’re leaving Eastern Montana into North Dakota, it is well worth the trip!

Our last stop on the Enchanted Highway was to see The Tin Family.

LAst Stop 01                                                           The Tin Family.  Built in 1991

How cool are they?  The curly hair is all wire.  The little boy (Not so little) eating his sucker, and the farmer ready to go pitch some hay!

Showing how big the sculptures are copy                                                       Not so little Tin Ma and Pa (and me)

I was sad that our 32 mile side trip was coming to an end.  I have no idea how long we were, but long enough for the clouds to burn away and the sun to rise higher in the sky.

We ended up in Regent North Dakota.  Regent ND

A quaint little farm town.  We were pretty early, so we didn’t stop at the “trinket” shop, but we fueled up and got some refreshments.  You know, the bad for you food you have to have while on a road trip!

Mr. Greff is working on another sculpture!  We will go back and see that and add it to the photo collection!

We hopped into our truck and headed southeast to our destination in South Dakota.  I only  wonder what else we might see off the beaten path.

Our trip was 3400 miles total, and most of it was on the little highways.  From Eastern Oregon to all over Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nevada and California.  It was another wonderful trip in our book of road trips.

I know summer is almost over for most of us, and just beginning for other parts across the oceans.

School is back in session, the county fairs are starting up. Enjoy what’s left of summer.

Welcome Autumn with open arms and make it memorable!  Find some really neat fall colors to photograph, pumpkins and scarecrows too!

Vacations don’t always have to be about going somewhere far.  You would be surprised what you can find in your own back yard.  We have some amazing lakes and mountains in ours!

Pick a direction, go 50-100 miles and see what you can find!!

Most of all, capture it, enjoy it and remember it!

Best of all…Have a great day

Have a Great Day doing it!

Happy Shooting

Tracy Lynn

 

 

 

 

Signs

“Signs, Signs, Everywhere there’s signs

Blocking out the scenery. Breaking my mind

Do This! Don’t Do that! Can’t you read the signs”

Thank you Five Man Electric Band, 1971

My husband and I were just on vacation.  Traveling from the Southern Pacific Northwest of Oregon to the lands of South Dakota and back.  3950 miles in all.  This also included side trips and perhaps one or two U-turns.  I wasn’t driving nor was I navigating.  Had I been navigating, there would have been no U-turns.

I love traveling with my husband.  We talk a lot and I take a kazillion pictures through the bug smeared windshield and the side windows and sometimes we even stop to get a good picture!  He’s really good at stopping for me though.  This year was just as fun as those in the past. Although we spent more time driving this year than at our actual destinations.

We traveled through the barren lands of Eastern Oregon, took windy roads in and out of Idaho and Montana, and we took highways that I even wonder why they were on the map and who put them on the map!

But small towns are great. If it weren’t for these highways we’d have not seen the sights that we did.  At one time I am sure these small highways were major thoroughfares!  But now they seem off the beaten path.  Kind of reminds me of the movie Cars, where the new highway was built and the little towns slowly diminished.  Kind of like the old Route 66.  Something I would love to travel one day.

Small towns are proud.  We were traveling  on the 3rd and 4th of July.  The towns were abundant with patriotic colors and the flying of Old Glory down main street.

As we went through these towns that were off the major interstates, I decided to find a common theme to shoot.  I originally started out shooting water towers, but not all towns have them, and some of them were to hard to read. So I stuck with signs. All kinds of signs, from Diners, to Theaters and Motels and Bars.  They were old school.

 

Backroads Diner

Bllue Fox Theatre

They were colorful and then they were literally embedded into the buildings.

Baker MT

I wonder what happens to this building if they decide to close the Lake Theatre.  I guess it’s still a cool old building built in 1918 in Baker Montana.

I kind of wonder though, why the Busy Bee Cafe and Dining room has a horse on it.  Wouldn’t it make more sense  to have a bee?  Or was that to hard to find? Did someone have this horse in their garage just waiting for a place to put it?

Busy Bee Cafe Montana                           Perhaps the Busy Bee Cafe could sell it to the Mustang Motel.

Mustang Motel Montana

Speaking of Motels…

Roys Motel MT

I did not notice until looking at this picture that the answer to “do you have a vacancy” was either Yep or Nope.  Now, how confusing is this to a foreign traveler that only recognizes Vacancy or No Vacancy.  Well, they are in the “Wild West” of Montana, so maybe they do understand.  If you look at the bottom of the sign you can see the faint Yep and Nope.   Good Humor Roys’ Motel!

bbq bar and grillI am hungry, but now I am so confused.  BBQ is one way and Bar & Grill another.  Isn’t BBQ a grill?  And which way am I really supposed to go?

UPstairs MT

I do however, know that I need to go Upstairs to the Steakhouse and Bar in this town.  I really liked the ornate old fashioned look of this sign.

Central Hotel in Oregon

Central Hotel, somewhere in Central Oregon, is pretty old fashioned as well.  I am wondering if it was supposed to be an old telephone receiver, or just a cool way to get Central on the sign.  You can also have Chinese food and play the Oregon Lottery while staying here.

Signs are everywhere.  One of my most unfavorite signs of the trip.  “Road Construction Ahead”  We hit a lot of it.  I totally understand the roads need to be maintained in the summer because of harsh winters.  We went through some construction that literally was dirt and mud.  No road anywhere.  It was a twisty canyon that seemed to have some slides during the winter that may have wiped out the roads.  Once we made it back to asphalt and the pilot car started leading the other side of the road, I noticed there was a bicyclist preparing to make the trek through the construction.  Good Luck Dude!  I know how skinny bike tires like mud.  And there wasn’t a road so I have no idea how successful he was.  Maybe some nice person with room in their truck, helped him through the construction.

I attempted to capture the green signs as you entered a town, you know the one that says the name and the population.  But they came up to soon most times.  So I stuck with all the different kinds of signs that drew in your attention.

Most creative sign goes to the Pioneer R staurant.

pioneer

Not to be outdone by the Pioneer Cafe, where I can get some  Good Homestyle Cookin’ and Pure water for my coffee and tea.   Okay….

Pioneer Cafe Montana

 

Everyone knows that bars have unique signs.  We were traveling in the daytime, so you can’t tell how lit up the signs would be at night.  Guess we need to use our imagination. Some bars are straight and to the point.

Plevna MT Bar                                 I think the patrons are probably more lit than the sign.

A few unique bar signs in old towns.

Two Dot Bar Sign

Two Dot is an actual town in Montana.  It has one road in and out.  And a park and a convenience store.  I had always heard of  Two Dot, but never knew where it was, until we were off the beaten path!

Bison Bar MT                                               Every western town needs a Bison Bar

Buffs Bar Montana                              I wonder who Buff was. Maybe I don’t want to know.

Cannonball North Dakota                                 Three Cheers for the Saloon.  What pray tell is an Off Sale?

Iron Horse Saloon Montana                      This Iron Horse Saloon is in a railroad town in Eastern Montana.

Seven Devils                  To me the Seven Devils Saloon looks like a fake movie set.  I bet you can get a good charred steak!

Montana Bar                             You can pretty much tell, what state we are in with this sign.

Montana Motel Montana                                                                     Go Spartans!

Hotels, and Motels, and Inns.  I know there is a difference. But they all have the same things right?

Red Rock Inn MT

Parma Inn

Sagebrush MT                                 Not sure where the Sagebrush fits in on this one.

Sahara Motel                               Yay, they have in room coffee and obviously electricity!

The Plaza Miles City MT                                  I bet in its time this Plaza sign could be seen for miles!

In almost every old town, there is a theatre. Those signs always catch our eye!

Bllue Fox Theatre

Even if they’re painted on the side of a building.  Why not use the space you have on an old building for advertising. Whoever came up with that idea way back when, was pretty smart!

Sign on Building Montana

Selway Bar

You can’t get away from signs.  I like the old signs.  Classic old hotel signs.  Not your new franchise signs.  Everyone knows what McDonalds is without even seeing a sign.

Two LadiesThis sign hurt my eyes. If it wasn’t early morning, I wouldn’t have known what it said.

Riggins Motel             And the correct Font would be nice.  I wasn’t sure if it was Riggins or Piggins.

Give me a simple to understand sign.  One that doesn’t require a degree to figure out what you really want me to know.

The Griddle    I know for a fact I can get Good Cookin’ at The Griddle and I bet some great Flap Jacks!

Cattlemens              And without spelling it out, I bet I can get a good steak at the Cattlemen’s.

Granite MTN    I can get a Pepsi at Granite MTN cafe.  I think they didn’t want to pay to spell MTN out.

Lariat Bar Roxy Theatre Montana                After the movie at the Roxy I can head to the Lariat Bar for a night cap.

Riverdance LodgeYou can just hear the Celtic music at this Lodge.  All the river dancing going on after hours!  I imagine the River Dance Lodge was here before the craze.

Say When                              Very unique Nevada.  At least it doesn’t “Say Uncle”

There are simple signs as well that let you know exactly what you can get.

Snack Stop                             You can’t however, get chips here. According to the sign.

Muffys mT                              You can probably get your chips here if it’s convenient.

 

There are some signs you must read and you must follow the instructions.

I honestly hate seeing this sign.

Rattlesnakes

And it is something that you really need to pay attention too.  This was at a rest stop in South Eastern Montana.  While I was reading the sign, and mother was having her children run up and down the side of a grassy hill. Most likely not thinking about the fact there might be rattlesnakes.  She was probably trying to get them to get rid of some energy.  I just shudder at that thought.

Toro

Please, Please Please, watch out for Toro in Nevada.  You never know where he may be.  Good Job Nevada!  Most other states have cows. You have Toro!   Ole’

You have to have a sign to tell you where you are as well!

Welcome to SD

I know I am in South Dakota and I can see the presidents at Mt Rushmore!  Good Job South Dakota! Way to represent your state!

Welcome to ND

Welcome to Idaho

Dear North Dakota and Idaho, you need to step up your game.  I am not excited by your welcome!

My favorite sign of the trip?  Thats easy to guess

Welcome to Mt

Montana has many different signs.  They’re all cool, or perhaps I just think that because I am home.

It was another wonderful trip to put in the books.

When you are out and about, take a look at your town.  I have seen faded writing on the brick buildings in Klamath Falls, that indicate there was a hopping down town district.  And look for the dates on the old brick buildings!  You will be amazed what might be in your little town!

The best sign of the trip, really wasn’t a sign. It was the sound of our dogs barking as we pulled our truck into the driveway after a long trip.  Those dogs were saying Welcome Home!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!!!  Go outside and shoot some signs!!!

Make wonderful memories!

Happy Shooting

Tracy Lynn

 

Clouds

There are songs and sayings and poems written about clouds.  I originally searched for a witty saying but there were to many to choose from. But all in all I discovered “I really don’t know clouds at all.”

Clouds are mesmerizing.  They are wispy, fluffy, dark, mean and pretty.

Depending of course on the type of cloud they can be pretty.  I’m not much of a fan of dark windy tornado looking clouds.  I’ve seen a few and it was never fun.

I have my favorite clouds.  Flat bottom clouds.  (I heard you singing Fat Bottom Girls by Queen, don’t deny it.)

Not just any flat bottom clouds.  But my clouds from Eastern Montana.  Those are my favorite for two reasons, I’m home or I’m seeing a picture from being home.

Flat Bottom Clouds Montana                                     Eastern Montana clouds and the Yellowstone River

 

Flat Bottom Clouds Oregon                                  Southern Oregon clouds and the Klamath Basin Refuge

Here in Oregon, you know, the southern pacific northwest where we live, the clouds do resemble my Montana clouds.  Of course, it always makes me homesick.

There are a lot of memories in those Montana clouds.  One of my first blue ribbons at the fair was of a cloud and the sun after a good rain storm in Eastern Montana.

Last time when we were in Montana it was a beautiful day, the sky was blue and the clouds were gathering.  I remember hubby and I driving around taking pictures of my home town and the clouds.

One other vacation we were in Rawlins Wyoming touring the Frontier prison.  (It’s haunted)  we were in the courtyard and the clouds were so close and so big.  They were popping all over!  http://www.wyomingfrontierprison.org/

Rawlins Wyoming                                                                Rawlins Wyoming

I like rain clouds too.  Watching the rain stream out of a cloud, wishing it was over us instead of farther away.  When we were living in the desert of Southern California, it seemed the storms would almost always go around us.

Rosamond Rain                                     Rain just out of our reach in Rosamond California

One year, on the 4th of July the clouds were building up in the east of where we lived.  Our grandson and I kept watching the storm build as it moved closer to where we were. Those were some dark clouds.  Of course, the husband was certain that storm would never get to us because we never get storms from the east.

Rosamond Storm from East                                                 Something Wicked This Way Comes

Okay, you may be right husband, but guess what, that little storm was actually a tornado. I was shooting the clouds as they were forming over the house and after the storm passed and we had no power, I was looking at the pictures from our hotel room.  Low and behold, one of the pictures was of a funnel cloud.  It was indeed an adventure.

Rosamond Funnel Cloud                                                                             Uh Oh…

The grandson, the husband and I were muddy messes, because like any other storm loving crazy people we just had to be outside while the storm blew through our back yard.  Little did we know at the time of the storm, power poles down the street snapped in half. We had no water to clean up before going to the hotel. I bet the staff was frightened when we walked in.  We stayed in the hotel two nights.

So, not all clouds and storms are bad.  We did have some pretty great cloud and sunset opportunities in the desert.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA                                                Rosamond California Desert Sunset

But, I will always prefer the mountain clouds and sky scenes over the desert sky scenes.

Mountain Sunrise                                              Mountain Sunrise over Keno Oregon

Yet, the flat bottomed clouds are still my favorite.

You can be creative with clouds.  If you have the right programs on your computer, you can use clouds as fog, or add them to a picture that just seems to be missing something.

WIndmill no clouds                                                                    Before

WIndmill with clouds                                                                  After            Vya Nevada

The after picture was also turned into a water color using a Topaz Labs adjustment filter.

Grab your camera, or use your phone and go out and find some clouds to capture!  Try some different filters on your phone to make the clouds more dramatic.  Everyone has their favorite photo-apps!

Try some black and white filters to give them a different feel!

Wyoming Somewhere                                                       Somewhere in Wyoming

I guess the key is to Go Outside!  Enjoy your surroundings. Find new areas!    I love to be outside.  I would rather be outside than inside, unless of course it’s the middle of winter, or it might be blazing hot out.  But I also like to be inside when updating the blog!

Monument Valley Clouds                                                Monument Valley with a few clouds

This summer go outside and capture some great weather scenes!

Enjoy nature, enjoy the nice weather and enjoy life!

Be Safe

Happy Shooting

T Lynn

 

Every Picture Tells A Story

Sorry to steal the words from Rod Stewart, but indeed every picture does tell a story,  be it happy, sad, funny, or serious.  There is a story behind every picture that you take.  Why did you take it? Where were you when you took it?  Who was with you when you took it? What was happening at the time you took it?

We all take pictures and in this day and age more and more pictures are taken with mobile devices.  I think its kind of sad really.  I understand that not everyone can afford a digital camera, or not everyone has a way to download their digital photos.  I totally get that.   I have had a conversation with an older lady that said she refused to stare at a computer to look at her pictures.   I understand!   But how long before you can’t replace your film camera?  I miss the days of dropping off the film and waiting two weeks for your pictures to come back.  That was the longest two weeks ever!  And then, you had to nervously open up the envelope and see which pictures actually turned out!  I remember many stores having a “Goof Proof Picture Policy” where you didn’t have to pay for the blurry ones!  This day and age, the blurry ones go in the trash can.  My trash can is getting full!

I have mentioned a couple (or more) times that my favorite thing to do is to go out shooting with my husband.  Sometimes he has a camera, and sometimes he uses his phone.

So what’s the story behind this picture?

4931 His

Where are we? Why the heck am I on my knees and how the heck am I going to get back up?  Who is going to help me up? What was I trying to capture at this very moment?

T A Moulton Barn

This was the result of that on the knee photo!  The T.A. Moulton Barn in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming.  This barn is one of the most photographed barns in America.

https://www.nps.gov/grte/learn/historyculture/mormon.htm

We were on vacation in 2012 and neither one of had ever been to  Mormon Row.  We had been in this area but before we were “us”.   Dear hubby even hiked and camped in the Tetons in his younger days.

This was one of our stories.

2068 His

What more can you say about these gorgeous mountains?  We spent hours driving through Grand Teton National Park.

2068 Hers

Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Wyoming

We had an amazing day in the park.  I think there are still photos that I haven’t even touched.  I shot a lot of HDR back then.

Fast forward many years ahead and hubby and I still have a wonderful time where ever we go with the cameras.  I might add, we don’t need the cameras to have a wonderful time.  But there are stories behind everything we do!

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No.  I am not a fan of being in front of the camera, and the spouse is quite sneaky at times.

1234 Hers

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge

But it’s kind of fun to see what I was taking a picture of when he was taking a picture of me taking a picture.  Whew!

Finding two photos that matched up before I wrote this blog was an adventure.  The times are off on the cameras so a couple pictures are off by an hour or two.  So if you are thinking I am making this up.  I am not.  The EXIF data is a wonderful thing.  It is the data behind the picture.  Date, time, settings, and other information I don’t know what I would do with even if I knew what it was!  Even your cell phone has this data.  And with cameras and cell phones, you can turn on the GPS information and you and the rest of the world will know exactly where that photo was shot.  Sometimes it’s a good thing, most times its not.

If you are an avid social media poster and you are gone from home, sometimes the bad guys can know you aren’t home.  There are always things to be cautious about, and that is one of them!

9366 his

Husband and I find adventures where ever we go.  We can drive into town and make it an adventure by taking a dirt road we hadn’t been on before.  Life is indeed what you make it!

9366 Hers

Oregon Skies, Medford Oregon

I for one, want to make it count!

I want my pictures to tell a story long after I am gone.  Someone will see something that will remind them of me.  Where was I when I took a picture that reminded them of me?  What was it about that certain photo?

9809 His

9809 Hers

A view from our Mountain

Have you ever taken the time to look through the photo albums from your parents or older siblings?  It is really kind of a neat thing to do.  I have my mother’s photo albums and one from my father.  Seeing them at a young age, seeing what they looked like and where they went were really kind of cool.  And then seeing their photos once they got together!  All those photos tell a story of their life. Life before they met and after they met.  After they met the photos were of my older siblings.  Explore your family history!  Read their stories in those pictures!

9845 His

 

9845 Hers

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, Tulelake California

Remember to make your pictures count!  I don’t mean all those millions of selfies that are posted everywhere.  I personally don’t quite understand the self absorbed love that some people have for bathroom mirrors!  But then again, I am of a totally different generation.

No matter what generation you are from.  Take sometime to make some memories and write your own stories!

You will never be finished writing your story as long as you are still waking up in the morning!

And at the end of the day.  Kick back, put your feet up and plan a new story for tomorrow.  Or reflect on your story of the day!

Photographer no camera

North Rim of the Grand Canyon

2 photographers taking in the view

Happy Shooting!

T Lynn

 

Spring Green

Green

Spring Green

I am almost afraid to say it out loud.  But I can see it everywhere!  The leaves are on the trees, the blossoms are on the trees, the bees are buzzing around the blossoms on the trees. I think it might be spring!

Spring Leaves

However, looking ahead to the weather report, I fear we will have one week of spring, and go straight into summer.  Lovely wonderful summer heat that no one is ready for.

Just last week we were still running our pellet stove.  Hubby and I were commenting on the fact that we only had 3 bags of pellets left and we needed a couple more.  Winter just did not want to give up!  I might add that in the western part of my home state of Montana, in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley, they just had close to a foot of snow a few days ago, mid May.   Also last weekend, we had a dusting of snow on our back deck.   This is why I am afraid to think of spring.

Driving along our favorite State Line road with our favorite trees, I captured some trees, with leaves.  It rarely happens.  These trees are more  dramatic with out the leaves.  But I still like them… a lot!

Tree along stateline 1

On the way to where I work, I pass wonderful trees.  I had noticed something in one of these trees for about two weeks and finally told the hubby we should drive to the trees and see what was in it.  I knew there were nests close in other trees but I was surprised to see what was there!

GH Owl Fledling and Parent

My favorite of all owls and an owlet.  I love the word owlet, I had to look it up to see if it was even proper.

There were 3 owls in the tree when we pulled up.  I got out of the truck and one flew away.  I am thinking dad wanted to watch for any shenanigans from the next tree.  No worries dad, I am not going to hurt your precious owlet and the mother of your child! Nope, that’s not how I shoot!  I respect all signs.  And owls.

Adult Great Horned Owl

Besides, I really don’t want you or mama to come after me, I have seen your talons!

It was a challenge to shoot between the branches and leaves, but I was quite satisfied with the results.  And trust me, I had a lot of pictures of leaves!

How many people drive by these trees daily and haven’t even noticed? How sad for them.  They are missing out on nature at its finest time.

I think the Good Lord above has a favorite color, and it is indeed Green.  It might be blue, there are some awesome shades of blues in the mountains.

Have you ever driven through farm country or even a mountain canyon and noticed how many different shades of green there are?  Way to many to count!  I sometimes wish I could take my color picker out of photoshop and sample them all and have every color of green!  Is it even possible?

Spring Morning

Weeds are green, and there are plenty of those.  The alfalfa fields are growing green, and in the morning with the sun coming up and the sprinklers misting, it makes for an awesome relaxing sight to see so early.  It’s serenity at its finest.

Sprinklers in Spring

Don’t close your eyes to spring green! There is so much to see!  All different shades!

Before you know it, the browns of summer will be upon us and you’ll have missed the glory of spring.   Because after brown comes the beautiful fall colors and then it turns white and I refuse to think about that for another 6 months!

Cows in Spring

Take a drive this weekend, in the early morning, in the afternoon, anytime your heart desires.   Get out of the house!  Go see things!

You won’t be sorry, well, unless you have allergies.  Don’t forget your allergy pill!

Mt Shasta Spring

Happy Shooting

T Lynn

Goslings

Following Along

A couple of weeks ago the husband and I started seeing the goslings on the refuge.  It’s almost as fun as photographing the eagles when they started migrating in.

Follow us Kids

The tiny little yellow “fluff balls” are just so stinking cute!Mom Dad and Kids!

We went out to the refuge this past weekend in search of more cute adorable  fluffy goslings.  Boy were we in for a surprise!  They grow fast!  It is amazing to see what a difference a week has made.  No, I do not know if they were the same goslings as the week before, but we can sure see the difference!

The Goslings are getting bigger

3 Older Goslings

One thing we have noticed and learned is they have very protective parents.  The geese were across the canal from us, so we weren’t causing any real harm, other than disturbing their day and perhaps the swimming lesson and other lessons.

Mom and Dad put their heads and bodies down very flat and they remain very still.

Protective Parents

Older Goslings and Protective Parent

As with any youngster, the babies weren’t as still as they probably should have been. I am sure they have a short attention span as do most little ones.

Protective Mama

This mama, kind of resembles a snake that I would not want to mess with!

A couple facts about the newly hatched balls of fluff.

The newly hatched babies are able to swim immediately.  After the babies have hatched, the family moves away from the nesting site on foot toward more favorable feeding areas.  Five weeks after the goslings hatch, the females begin moulting (the males begin right after mating).  During this time, the adults are unable to fly.  The adults regrow their flight feathers and are ready to fly at about the same time as the goslings are able to learn – at nine weeks old.”

Nine Weeks?  Really?  That means before the end of May!  Then what will we photograph?

We’ve only seen goslings, and no ducklings yet.  Hubby and I are really looking forward to seeing little baby ducks! There are so many different species on the refuge right now so I am curious to see what the babies will look like!

I think I should pack a picnic lunch and a couple lawn chairs and find a “good spot” to sit and watch and photograph all of these cute babies!

Maybe next weekend!

Family All in A Row

One thing about where we live and what we get to photograph, is it gives us a chance to not only see some cool birds, but it also gives us the opportunity to do a little research and find out interesting facts about the birds.  It is true, we are never to old to learn.

Never in my life would I imagine that I would be going to a wildlife refuge on a weekly basis, find a bird I haven’t seen before, take a picture of it, and go home and break out the bird book.  I’m not addicted, so I can’t be classified as a true “Birder” but it is fun to try and identify what you saw while you were out for the day!

One thing I will say is this.  Take some time to “unplug” go outside and stop and listen.  There are so many different sounding birds that it is really kind of cool to listen to how many different birds are out there!

Small Goslings on the Marsh

Set up the video camera, find a great spot on the bank of the water that has a lot of birds  turn on the camera, sit back and let the video listen for you.  You can even use your smart phone to capture the sounds!  You won’t be sorry.  Unless the wind is blowing right into the microphone!

Best of all, have fun!  You will fall in love with the sounds of nature.

Until Next Time!

Happy Shooting and Happy “Birding”

T Lynn

Nice day for a swim