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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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

 

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

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.

Eagle 04 Blog

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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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