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?

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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?

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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!

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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

 

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

Trees

Trees are wonderful.

Trees along the waters edge can be beautiful.

Trees in winter are amazing.

Trees in spring are amazing.

Trees are just simply wonderful.

In case you haven’t noticed, I love trees.

My favorite trees (right now) are the trees along state-line road (Highway 161) along the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge

Lost Highway 161

For some reason these trees call to me, just like the culvert along this same road that begs to be photographed.

Who knows how long the trees have been along the waters edge.  What have they seen?  Drought?  Wet winter and spring?  Think of the birds and other wildlife that enjoy them as well.  How many critters have been raised in a tree, and how many eggs have been laid in a nest hanging high in a tree.  Life, Spring, Hope.  Trees are all that.  And More.

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As a child, I was not one of those kids that climbed trees.  I think it was a fear of heights thing.  I was guilty of carving a name or two in an aspen tree.  Those trees, I am sure are long gone.  But the cluster of Aspen trees was beautiful.  White bark against spring green or the yellows of fall.

Where we live, we have Ponderosa Pine trees and Juniper Trees, amongst other various trees, but mostly tall Ponderosa trees.  I grew up with them in Montana, and I love to listen to the wind blowing through the tops the trees.  My sister lives in a heavily wooded area as well, and has many different trees, she has some  trees that will hit other trees when the wind blows, it’s makes for an eerie sound, but all in all, it’s very relaxing.  As long as they don’t topple

The Lower Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge has beautiful meaningful trees. The Eagles and other raptor types nest in these trees, year after year.  The Willows.

Where eagles nest blog

These trees are closed off to the public from the first of March, to the middle of  July, so the young fledglings have time to grow.  Less disturbance is best for the baby birds.

Tree of Three

There are live trees, and there are “Snag” trees along the waters edge of the Refuge, and they all have an importance.

One of the snag trees is off the main road and on a side road.  We saw something in the tree, we knew it was a raptor of some sort, but weren’t really sure what it was.  Much to our surprise it was a large raptor facing the sunshine with the wings out enjoying the first warm spring day.

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Much to my surprise it was a beautiful juvenile Golden eagle.  Such a gorgeous bird.  I was able to walk around a bit and capture this glorious bird before it flew off to who knows where.

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The next morning we headed back out to the refuge.  And again, in this snag tree was another large bird.

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A juvenile Bald Eagle.  No matter how often I see these birds they still take my breath away.

I love the trees along the water.  I drive the road the same direction most times. When we decide to reverse the direction, it’s a whole new tree!  Still serene and peaceful.

With leaves and with out.  They’re beautiful either way.

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Waters Edge

Winter can be harsh, but the frost has a beauty as well.

Misty Morning Original

Add some photoshop magic to the same tree and it’s even more beautiful by the waters edge. Or in this case, the icy edge.

Misty Morning copy

Trees are beautiful no matter where they sit.  Along the water, along a ditch, in a field, in a park, or in your yard  They are homes.  They are shelter. They are strong.  They bring us shade on a hot summer day, and they bring us beautiful fall leaves for scrap books and memories. Trees can be dramatic.  Including the snag trees.  Not to mention, the commercial products that we use everyday from trees.  We kind of need those!

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Whether you live in the city, the country, or the forest.  Trees are everywhere.

Go outside, find some trees.  See what you can find.  Hang a bird feeder, hang a bird house!  Don’t forget to photograph the beautiful tree!

Springtime in Farm Country

Happy Shooting!

T Lynn

Explore and Experience Your Local Wildlife Refuge

When we first learned that we were moving to the Southern Pacific Northwest, we naturally started to research the area in which we were going to move to. The Klamath “Basin”, Klamath Falls Oregon.

One thing we have learned or I learned since I moved up here first, was this is not a valley.  Unlike Southern California, where you have San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley, Antelope Valley, etc … you get the picture. They’re all surrounded by mountains. So therefore it’s a valley.  I totally get that. I lived there for many years. Even in my home state of Montana, I lived in the Bitterroot Valley. But… Klamath Falls is the “Basin”
Here is the difference according to the search I did and we all know everything is true on the internet.

A basin is a depression or hollow on the earth’s surface, which is surrounded by higher land. A valley is also a depression or hollow between hills, mountains and uplands. A basin, which is also called a watershed, is the part of land that is drained by a river and its various tributaries.

So, I will go with the Basin idea, now that I know what the difference is. Kind of. It dates back to lots of history about the Klamath Watershed, and all the other shenanigans dealing with water in this area.

All that said, in doing the research of this area, it was learned that Klamath Falls is located on the “Pacific Flyway”

The Pacific Flyway is a major north-south flyway for migratory birds in America, extending from Alaska to Patagonia. Every year, migratory birds travel some or all of this distance both in spring and in fall, following food sources, heading to breeding grounds, or travelling to overwintering sites.

You can bet that once I learned that, I was all about what kinds of birds migrated to this area.

A large number of bald eagles winter in Bear Valley, located 10 miles (16 km) west of Klamath Falls, near Keno.

Yay!  Bald Eagles!  Last time I saw them in a large number was in 1981 when they followed the spawning habits of the Kokanee Salmon.  Which sadly, I learned a few years ago, they no longer converge on the waters of Glacier Park for this yearly event.

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Bear Valley, is close to where we live. It is part of the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

The complex consists of several refuges;

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge    https://www.fws.gov/refuge/lower_klamath/

Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge    https://www.fws.gov/refuge/tule_lake/

Clearlake National Wildlife Refuge   https://www.fws.gov/refuge/clear_lake/

Upper Klamath Lake National Wildlife Refuge    https://www.fws.gov/klamathbasinrefuges/upperklamath/upperklamath.html

Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuge    https://www.fws.gov/refuge/bear_valley/

Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge   hyperlink not available.

The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge was  Established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908 as the Nation’s First Waterfowl Refuge.  

HAwk 01 blog

The Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge was Established in 1928 by President Calvin Coolidge “as a preserve and breeding ground for wild birds and animals“.

Clear Lake Refuge in northeastern California consists of approximately 20,000 acres of open water surrounded by over 26,000 acres of upland bunchgrass, low sagebrush, and juniper habitat. Small, rocky islands in the lake provide nesting sites for American white pelicans, double-crested cormorants, and other colonial nesting birds.  Clear Lake is not open to public access.

Upper Klamath Refuge was established in 1928 and is comprised of 15,000 acres of mostly freshwater marsh and open water. These habitats serve as excellent nesting and brood rearing areas for waterfowl and colonial nesting birds including American white pelican and several heron species. Bald eagle and osprey nest nearby and can sometimes be seen fishing in Refuge waters. A boat is a must for those who wish to explore this refuge. A marked canoe trail is open year round and canoes may be rented nearby. 

Bear Valley Refuge was established in 1978 to protect a vital night roost site for wintering bald eagles. The refuge consists of 4,200 acres, primarily of old growth ponderosa pine, incense cedar, white and Douglas fir.  Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuge also serves as a nesting habitat for several bald eagle pairs. Bear Valley is also closed to public access.

Now that you’ve had your history lesson….
As I mentioned I live near Bear Valley. It is an amazing sight to see Bald Eagles flying over the top of the house, either coming into the area or flying away from. Most likely they’re flying to the Lower Klamath Refuge which is about a ½ hour drive from where we live.
My husband and I are learning the roads in and out of the Lower Klamath Refuge.

Along the state-line highway (Oregon and California) you can make a turn onto the “Willows” road. This road is a line of willow trees that the Eagles nest in. Why they chose this row of trees I will never know. You can see Eagles, both Golden and Bald, Hawks and Owls in these trees. It is a really cool spot to photograph. The trees just by themselves without the awesome Eagles are interesting. They would make for some awesome scary tree collages in Photoshop. (another story for another time)willow for blog 01

This is really my “first” year photographing the birds in this area.  I mean, I’ve walked around Discovery Marsh, which is located at the Tulelake NWR, and have photographed Egrets, Pelicans and Ducks.  But these past few months have been about the Eagles and Hawks.

The beginning of February, we were able to see the Bald Eagles on Township road, which is a way I go to and from work, and we use it to come home from town.  Sometimes along our route to town or to breakfast in Malin, we would count Hawks and Eagles and our numbers would be in the 20’s  for hawks and the Teens for the Eagles.  Now that it’s nesting season, they aren’t around as much. I also imagine it has a lot to do with the farmers flooding the fields, so the mice and whatever hang out in the fields, have moved to higher ground.

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On our weekly trek to Malin for breakfast, we pass the Willows Road and we wind through the Refuge on the gravel roads.

Where eagles nest blog

I have mentioned Malin Oregon before, but if I haven’t done so here, it is a farming community about 45 minutes from where we live.  My husband and I have been known to take a 6 hour round trip to and from Malin, via the way of the Refuge and Lava Beds National Monument.  All for the perfect “shot of the day”.   I never would have imagined we would spend such fun times most every weekend (weather depending) touring around. It’s awesome.  And I discovered that is makes sense to take two cameras out instead of one. We can both shoot to our hearts content.

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Shooting blog

I was saddened when we were headed out one weekend day and were getting ready to turn down the “Willows” road and it was CLOSED

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I totally understand though.  The eagles are nesting and the Refuge does this to reduce disturbances for the Eagles and other nesting birds.  I did so love that drive to see them all. In hopes of a great photo op!  The best were when the eagles were on the closer side of the road.

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Bald and Goldens in Tree blog

If you haven’t experienced your local Wildlife Refuge, I encourage you to do so.  Take a little time away from the rat race of the city noise and your electronic devices,  find a refuge, or even a park,  just to unplug. Listen to the sounds of the nature.

Eagle and Shasta Blog

There is more to see on our  refuge than Eagles.  We have many migrating birds, Snow Geese, Tundra Swans,  Canada Geese, Greater White Fronted and lots of ducks. Right now the Coots are abundant and not so bright, but you can see  Northern Shovelers that look like a Mallard but they’re bills are black and shaped different, Buffleheads, Golden Eye, Ruddy Ducks, Pintail Ducks and a host of other ducks!  We were lucky enough to see Sandhill Cranes, a bit off the Refuge, but they are here as well. Soon we’ll have the White Pelicans, and other summer type birds, more Herons, Egrets, and Raptors.

Tundra Swans blog

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I am learning a lot more than I ever thought I would about birds.   It’s fun to ID a bird once you’ve seen it.  I am fortunate to work where most of the men hunt, so they can ID a duck or goose for me.

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I hope to visit a couple different Wildlife Refuges while the husband and I explore different areas this summer.

Even if you don’t have a camera, take a day trip.  Use your cell phone camera,  find a path to hike, a dirt road to drive down, something that gets you out of the house after a long winter!

Best of all.. Record your trips, and Have Fun.

The End Blog

Be Good Humans

T Lynn