You can capture winter with your mobile device.

We all know from the previous blogs that living in the Southern Pacific Northwest requires seasons.  Something we really didn’t have much of in Southern California.

Some also might remember, I am not a fan of the fluffy white stuff called snow.  Well, driving in it.  I think it’s beautiful.  And it is a much needed evil for everyone!  It allows our rivers, lakes, streams, refuges, and ground water to replenish.  As of today we are above our 100%  snow pack.   For this, I give thanks!

The pictures I will post were all taken with my smart phone. To show that you can have awesome winter photographs with your phone!

Honestly it seems that winter has been 7 months long, when in reality, it only started the end of November. The first blast of winter arrived over night on November 30. Just in time for the December 1st (and the first) craft fair of the season! 12 1 01

It wasn’t really as bad as it could have been, it snowed Friday night, and the roads to work were clear on Monday morning. Just the way I prefer.

12 01 02

The day after the snow storm is one of my favorites, if the sun comes out! 12 02 01

Off and on the month of December it wasn’t as bad as previous years.  And then someone decided to start dreaming of a White Christmas and that seems to be the beginning of the long winter! We all know that January will be colder, and then February will bring much hope for spring. Maybe an early spring if the little groundhog is correct.

01 18 01                                                                January 18, 2019

Well, the rodent lied.  Making February the snowiest on record for most of the United States.  Breaking records over and over again.

02 04 01                                                          My drive on February 4, 2019

Winter at work can be challenging, meaning the drive can just really get you down. But there is an understanding to just go slow and make it to work safely.  Thanks Boss!

The cool thing about being one of the first ones at work, is you get to hear and see pretty cool things.  Many of which won’t be found in the hustle and bustle of a city.  I for one choose nature over the city.

I was walking up the sidewalk and noticed deer tracks and…. Cat Tracks.  These cat tracks were not from your house cat!  I got into work showed the boss after she got there, and she suggested I follow them to see where they came from. So I reversed the way the cat walked across the sidewalk and found that it had come from across the street. Sat down, so it could jump a 3 foot retaining wall, and most likely headed to a den to nap the chilly snowy day away, and avoid us humans.

Snow Tracks

The other nifty thing February brought us was cold.  It was freezing fog cold, which gave us some hoar frost.  So beautiful. Even if it was cold!

The day before Valentines day however was an adventure.  It was indeed a “snow day” a good day to stay at home from work.

02 13 01

02 13 02                      2/13/2019, the hubby and his pile of plowed snow. It’s  still growing.

Dearest February just did not want to let go.   On the 26th it was an adventure driving to work.  We did not have near the snow at home as we did at work.

When snow falls _signed

Yet, two days later we had a totally different view.

02 28 1

We are now into March and yes, it still keeps snowing off and on.  I prefer the days when there are just a few random snow flakes fluttering around and accumulating into nothing.  March brings hope of spring and warmer days!  This past week it warmed up enough to rain, a lot.

When I look out the window, all I still see is white and mud.  But spring is going to be here soon, I can just feel it. Or is this wishful thinking?

At time of writing this, I have layers of clothes, socks and slippers and a blanket on me, because of the cooties the hubby brought home from where ever he was.  Do I really need to get sick on my three day weekend?  I will lay low for a couple days and hope Sunday is the better day.

I have many family and friends in the other cold tundra of America.  I wish them warmth and sunshine and blooming flowers soon.

So, March, do us a favor and LET GO…  We all know, In Like a Lion  Out Like A Lamb… Please.

Stay warm and healthy!

Blessings to you all.

Tracy Lynn

03 04 01

The Ones That Got Away

When we moved to the southern pacific northwest, never did I imagine I would start photographing birds.  Then, someone gave me a bird book, and I have been learning how to identify them.  How did this happen? This just wasn’t me.  Where we lived in the high desert of Southern California, there would be ravens, pigeons, sparrows, finches, and an occasional hawk.  It was cool when the hawk would land on the tree.  But it wasn’t often.  Nothing super exciting to take pictures of.  I did the hummingbirds and the house birds, but that was simply because there wasn’t anything else to shoot at. (with the camera)

Fast forward, moving where the Pacific Flyway is.  I remember researching what it was.  I didn’t know there was such a thing. I knew birds migrated.  I remember as a kid in Montana, being outside and hearing the Canada Geese before you could see them high in the sky heading for the warmer climate!

Geese in flight 02

Such great memories!

Now here we are,  we love to do our Saturday drives on the Refuge and Sunday drives on the side roads.  You never know what you will see.

Last week we were driving the side roads and there were hundreds of White Fronted Geese in the fields and canals.  This week, no more geese.  It’s interesting how one species leaves and another comes in.

White Fronted 02

      White Fronted Geese

The last couple weeks the White Face Ibis started coming in, and this week  by the hundreds.  A very unique bird.  They are colorful in the sunshine and have a crooked beak.   They are pretty good formation flyers too!

Ibis 01

  White Faced Ibis

As you all know, I have a great love for the eagles and hawks.  I think it’s just that they are so majestic.  We are noticing less eagles and hawks this time of year.  They are hopefully sitting on their nests!  Every now and then they can be seen sitting on the power poles, or in the fields.  Hubby will stop the truck if they are on the poles, and I will sneak out (like you can sneak up on an eagle) and then I will start photographing them, inching closer and closer.  I can shoot the same bird 20-30 times, with the chance of getting close enough to get the  detail on the beaks, talons, or feathers.  And eventually they will take flight because of the annoying red-headed lady holding up something and pointing it at them.  So I smile, thank the bird (honestly I do) and happily walk back to the truck.

But not every photo turns out.  That’s just a part of learning.  Yep, I have tried flight pictures and they aren’t pretty.  I get half of something, or the whole thing is blurry.  I am still trying to be more patient with the in flight birds.

All that said,I wanted to share with you, the get aways….  Yes they are blurry and I am not ashamed to share that with you!  It happens to all of us!  Some more than others I am sure.  Ducks 01

Ducks 02

Ducks are one of the flightiest birds I have seen.  They must still be shell shocked from hunting season.

Egret 01

Heron 01

Blue Herons and White Egrets aren’t easy either.  They can be so still, and as soon as you get up on them whoosh….  they’re gone!

Hawk 02

     Hawks are fun.  They keep me on my toes.

hawk 04

   At least the feet are in focus!

Eagle 06

   Hello Majestic Eagle

Eagle 01

    Good bye Majestic Eagle

Eagle 05

Not quite sure what this was. I think it was an eagle. but its a nice foot and wing!

eagle 03

This is by far, the stuff that bad dreams are made of!  Kind of eerie if you ask me!!!

While you are viewing these photos, you are wondering… WHY do I keep these blurry photos?  Well, of course to share with all of you!  I guess maybe someday I will go through the files and delete them.  Or Not.  What if I need that perfect get away blurry shot?  Well, it could happen!

Enjoy your day!  Go outside and enjoy spring!  Shoot some pictures, try new things and don’t be afraid of the blurry ones!  I’m not!

Happy Shooting

T Lynn

The Ends

12 Months 12 Photos

Season’s Greetings to you all!  I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and I wish the best for you in the coming year!

The 12th month of 2017 is nearing its end.  So hard to believe another year has gone.

What were your favorite parts of 2017?  Did you accomplish all that you set out to?  As for me, I don’t make resolutions.  Mainly because I don’t want to set myself up for failure, so to speak.  I don’t want to tell everyone my resolutions and then come February 1st I get asked about my resolutions.  I don’t need that stress! (ha) So I merely make a mental list of things I would like to accomplish in the new year.  Some I do, some I don’t.

One thing I do though, is take more pictures than the previous year.  Not sure my computer is happy with that.  Guess that is why there are two external hard drives attached plus a reliable back up system.  I am trying to teach myself that it’s okay to delete a photo that didn’t work!  It’s not an easy task!  Baby steps I guess!

I decided this month to share with you 12 months of  iPhone pictures.  I almost always have my phone with me, because you just never know when you might need it.  Besides, what if I saw someone famous and no one would believe me if I wasn’t able to get a picture right?   Doubtful there would be anyone famous where I live, but hey, one can dream!

01 Jan                                             This is January.  January wasn’t very nice.

January brought about one heck of a snow storm. I think we had more than one good storm, but this one was volumes.  We even got a snow day from work.  For which I was thankful.  I don’t remember when I last experienced the joy of a heavy snow fall like this. I am thinking 1982 or 83 in Eastern Montana.  Either way, once the skies cleared, and we were able to make paths outside, it was beautiful to photograph!  May as well turn it into a photographic event!

02 Feb                                            Something new for me to learn in February

With the first experience of seeing the bald eagles up close this year, hubby and I decided it was time for that new lens.  I was ecstatic!  I still am!  But it’s been a learning curve.  It is an amazing lens.  One that only lets you shoot manual focus if you put the doubler on it.  I learned two important things.  I need to practice patience, and I needed an eye exam.  I am still working on the patience! There are still things to learn and I need to sit down and read about the lens and let it teach me.  I’ll get back to you on that!  I am learning little things.  I know that between my lens and my camera it weighs over 10 pounds and walking over a mile hurts my arms!  And I am learning the tripod is my new best friend.

03 Mar copy                                                       A hope for spring in March!

I did’t know there was such a thing as miniature daffodils, but there is. Either that, or my soil is bad enough that they decide to stay small.  March brought about hopes of spring and warmer days.  The new beginnings after a long cold winter.  Flowers, birds, deer, bugs, all those things you love about spring.  Searching for warmer days and nights!

 

04 Apr copy

April kind of reminded us that March was only kidding.  We had various snow storms through out April.  Winter just did not want to go away.  It actually started to get a little old.  However on the plus side, some of the spring flowers looked quite nice with snow capped buds.  But by the end of April, we were out of the snow zone.

 

05-May-copy

May brought about new hopes of a nice calm spring, green grass and new planters. One thing I love to do is get my hands dirty with flowers and plants.  I have learned that things don’t bloom as early on the mountain as they do on the lower lands.  The first year we moved up here, I was reminded that it still freezes at the end of April and those pretty geraniums you bought for the back deck? Ya, they would die… I should have really remembered that from growing up in Western Montana. But I didn’t.  And now I think it’s more fun to plant the seeds than it is to buy the flowers. Unless of course, it’s a basket full of petunias!  Our spring lasted maybe 3 weeks before the heat of summer began to creep in and steal the season!

06 Jun copy

Hello June, hello summer.  Hello summer skies.  June was beautiful.  The thunderstorms, the rainbows, the beautiful clouds.  Time to plan the rest of the summer.  Plan a vacation, go fishing, take a road trip.  Of which we did one of those.  We planned our vacation.  Most of my cloud scenes were again, taken while driving to and from work.  I really need to take the good camera with me more often.  Guess I would also need to leave for work earlier and plan to get home later!  There are just so many cool things to shoot most days. From calves to birds to clouds!  The sky is literally the limit!

07 Jul copy                                                               My Montana Sky!

July brought us home.  Vacation from here to South Dakota and back.  Time to see family and friends.  Hubby and I hadn’t been on a vacation since 2013.  It was time.  We did a lot of miles in a short time and realized we didn’t give ourselves enough time to decompress after each travel day.  We were going all the time.  We were able to see a few things we wanted, but mostly we were just on the go to our next destination.  There were still many pictures taken.  Not all were out of the front windshield like the above one was!

 

08 Aug copy

August brought about the hint that fall wasn’t  far behind.  I had some amazing sunrises on the way to work.  I wasn’t even late!  We enjoyed what summer has to bring us on the mountain.  Long evenings on the deck, BBQ’s in the front yard,  watching the baby deer run around.  And enjoying those seeds I planted that bloomed into pretty summer flowers!

09 Sep copy

September was a busy Monarch Butterfly time at work.   We had a late start to our season this year, by about a full month. The weather wasn’t cooperating at all this spring.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a lot of butterfly pictures with the big camera.  Mainly because I was at work and we were moving caterpillars, and chrysalis, and observing our butterfly season.  I do love this majestic Monarch.  And we are doing our little part to help them along.  Incidentally this is a male Monarch.  And if I remember right, the day this was taken, was his birthday.

10 Oct copy

October brought us fall, the end of our butterfly season at work, and our first snow.  At work we were able to enjoy nice fall day walks.  The days were warm enough you didn’t need  a sweater.  The deer were abundant and the way they were always bunched up you would think they really did know something we didn’t.  Like snow was on the way.   Walking at work is always a plus anyway, and the phone is most always with me.  These deer were enjoying the shade of the warm day. They didn’t want to move along to fast either!  So we slowed down and enjoyed them.

11 Nov copy

November brought us more snow and cold weather, and awesome sunsets and sunrises.  I will admit, I was later than normal getting home a few days.  This stretch of road I travel is a straight 7 miles of agriculture fields.  Potatoes, alfalfa, wheat, and I don’t know what else they plant.  But after the harvest, the fields are flooded and the migrating water fowl start enjoying the seeds and water.  This was one of the last fields that hadn’t iced over yet.  Tundra Swan, Canada Geese and lots of ducks I couldn’t identify were taking in the last rays of Gods light!  The skies were changing so fast I couldn’t keep up.  I did safely pull over the truck to take the pictures.  If you call stopping in the middle of the road safe.  I made sure no one was around.  Remember I don’t live in a city!  Traffic is sparse on this road!

12 Dec copy

December is always a busy month for most.  The hustle and bustle of the holidays, getting together with family and friends, and a shopping day with a friend.

Last year I had done a few craft fairs and sold mostly ornaments, centerpieces and my photo coasters.  This year I focused on my photography.  I was pleased with the success.  I met many wonderful people and heard a lot of encouraging words about my work.  I was happy.  I am still happy.  I have a great cheering section. My husband and my co-worker, who did the craft fair as well.  Between the two of them I branched out.  The greeting cards were a good fit.  My coasters sold faster than I thought, and we’ve come up with some ideas for next year.  I can’t wait to get started.  But first I must clean up all my messes from the garage so the husband can have his work bench back.  I hear rumblings.

My thoughts about next year for you.  Take pictures.  And at the end of each month, pick your favorites.  Print them out or put them in a special folder on your computer or tablet.  At the end of the year you will have a wonderful re-cap of your year.  There are so many affordable sources for photo books and memory type books that you could print a nice book out for yourself!  Of all those favorite photos, pick 12 and make a calendar for the next year!!!

Enjoy every day.  Capture it on your camera.  Don’t be upset that every picture doesn’t turn out.  And delete the bad ones!  (A note to myself)

There is something to take a picture of every day.  I would love to do a photo challenge but I am not sure I would post every day. (Just being honest)  Step out of the box!  Learn something new!

Do what makes you Happy!!

Blessings to you all in the coming new year!

Happy Shooting

T Lynnb916768ded54f754f422869425ee65ee

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!

1234 His

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