~ Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #210: Picking Favourites ~

Sundown on the Marsh

My opening photo is one taken from the deck of our condominium at the Breakers in Long Beach, Washington. From winter through spring rain floods the meadows forming ponds that attract resident and migratory birds. This shot is a quintessential capture of the sky at sundown with threatening storm clouds suffused with pastel tones, reflected in the marshes.

Their Majesties

In mid-March 2020, we were settled at the condo in Long Beach, at the start of the Covid 19 pandemic when the state government issued a decree to stay in place. For the ensuing two and a half months the beach was closed to automobiles and virtually deserted. During this time I was able to earn the trust of a pair of Bald Eagles, who came to recognize me and were not disturbed by my being there. Accordingly, I kept myself and my beagle at a respectable distance. I captured many excellent images of various Bald Eagles and created a collection of poems and photos from this experience. The above shot is a favorite because it shows the pair side by side, in a quiet moment and unruffled by my presence.

Jello in the garden.

I’ll finish with a favorite snapshot of Jello, our beagle who died in February. A rescue, Blue-tic girl, she was the sweetest, easiest beagle we’ve had (Max and Daisy are our 6th & 7th). To see other photos of Jello, just click the menu button – she was very photogenic and was my constant companion for 10 years. I selected this portrait because she is sitting in one of her favorite ‘observation’ perches in our back yard. At the base of the tree is a small angel figurine which reminds me of Jello’s mild nature. Though I scattered most of her ashes in the dunes at Long Beach where we loved to ramble, some of her ashes rest here, under the angel.

Wherever you find new favorites, please honor our earth, be kind and stay safe.🐾

Thanks to Sarah Wilkie at Travel with me, for this exercise in restraint and introspection. There were many other photos I might have selected that are more flashy, however I feel these express much about who I am and what I love to capture in photography. It is truly an honor to be asked to host the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, and also a big responsibility to view and comment on the posts followers contribute. Thank you again to all the guest hosts for giving our core leaders a bit of summer vacation!

Posted in Beagles, Birding, birds, jello, Lens-Artists, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, nature, nature photography, ornithology, pacific northwest, photography, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

~ Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #209: Surreal ~

As a student of the visual arts, I always found something alluring about Surrealism; the juxtaposition of absurd images, the venture to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality into an absolute reality, a super-reality….” André Breton

Shadow Dancer

My opening image is of a driftwood branch photographed on a foggy morning. In addition to cropping and changing its orientation, I used the process filter (in iPhoto) and reduced the light to achieve this image.

Above, a piece of flotsam on the beach covered in goose-neck barnacles. I put my camera on the sand to take this shot. With the sky above it appears to be large, and the juxtaposition of hard metal and shell with a soft feather adds to its surreal quality.

Through the Glass

This image conjures a dreamy convoluted path toward an opening of light. It is a shot of a window reflecting on a glass paperweight. The egg-shaped paperweight is colored by Mount Saint Helen’s Volcanic Ash, signed MSH – 82.

In the gallery above none of the images are enhanced. There is something mysterious in the opaque transparency of Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) close-up, and below it the grotesque skeletal remains of a seal. On the right, what looks like a shadow image of two people is caused by a growth of black lichen on a wooden post.

Here Today Gone Tomorrow ~ Driftwood & Alloniscus Track

Clouds (not smoke) provide a natural filter across the setting sun in this photo. Other than cropping and flipping it upside down, there is no augmentation to the image. It has many qualities associated with surreal; dreamlike, unusual, freakish, unearthly – yet it is our Sun tangled in our Earth’s vapor.

Whether or not you enjoy the surreal, please honor our real earth, be kind and stay safe.🐾

Thanks to Tracy at Reflections of An Untidy Mind for this provoking challenge. It is quite an honor to be asked to guest-host the Lens-Artists blog, and also a big responsibility to respond to the many of us who answer the challenge!

Posted in Art, Lens-Artists, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, nature photography, pacific northwest, pacific ocean, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

~ Wordless Wednesday ~ Stay Cool! ~

Wherever you find refreshment, please honor our earth, be kind and stay safe.🐾

Posted in bugs & critters, nature, nature photography, outdoors, pacific northwest, photography, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

~ Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #208: Summer Vibes ~

I just arrived back home in Vancouver, WA from my annual fishing trip at Odell Lake, with my older sister Diana, and brother-in-law Les. Although the fishing was not as good as usual, the setting in the Deschutes National Forest of Oregon, is magnificent. Our days started early – before sunup – as the fish weren’t biting much after 8:30 a.m.

Full Moon Setting

Diamond Peak (right), turned a lovely rose tone as the sun lifted above the mountains. The taller summit is 8,744′ (2665m) high.

We stay at a small campground on Crescent Creek. There are many trails to hike in the area, and my beagle companion, Daisy and I enjoyed one that started just beyond this bridge (above). If you are a fan of waterfalls, Salt Creek Falls in Willamette National Forest, is worth the short drive off Highway 58. It has a well constructed trail with rails that descend down near the bottom.

In addition to the joy of being out in a beautiful natural setting, I love this special time with Diana and Les, enjoying good food, campfires and life stories.

Wherever you find your Summer Vibes, please honor our earth, be kind and stay safe.🐾

Thanks to Andre of My Blog – solaner for this timely and fun challenge. It is indeed a privilege to be asked to host a Weekly Photo Challenge and also quite a responsibility to respond to the many followers who post to the challenge! https://solaner.wordpress.com/2022/07/16/lens-artists-photo-challenge-208-summer-vibes/

Posted in family, Lens-Artists, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, nature, nature photography, outdoors, pacific northwest, photography, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

~ Wordless Wednesday + Cee’s FOTD ~ Willamette National Park Wildflowers ~

In honor of Mother Earth, please be kind and stay safe.🐾

Posted in Cee's Flower Of The Day, flowers, nature, nature photography, outdoors, pacific northwest, photography, travel, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

~ Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #207: Seeing Double ~

For my opening shot I’ve selected a muted sundown at Long Beach, with the sun suspended in clouds and reflecting on the water in two areas – a triple sunset! Perusing my archives for this challenge, I found many of the photos that popped out at me are of two birds of the same species, either mirror images or echo’s of each other.

Below, a collage of a few of my favorite beautiful bird reflections, from upper left clockwise, Sanderling, Mallard Duck, Baird’s Sandpiper, Wilson’s Snipe and Canada Goose.

Since I spend much time in, on or around water, there are plenty of scenery reflections in my photo collection as well. Below are two taken while fishing with my family at Odell Lake, at the summit of Willamette Pass in central Oregon.

I have shown both of these photos in prior posts, and have no qualms about sharing them again. 🙂 Above, the clouds have a popcorn-like consistency and their reflection on the smooth water (this is a lake that often has whitecaps!) remains a favorite of mine. Below, the wavy reflection of the two dead-trees was what attracted me.

Serendipity is one of my best friends. As happy chance would have it, I was driving along the side of Lake Sacajawea in Longview, Washington on an autumn day, and was captured by the image below – too lovely to just cruise on by!

I’ll close with another sunset, this one reflecting on the winter-spring marshes at the Breakers in Long Beach, Washington, where I live part-time.

As you reflect upon life, please honor our earth, be kind and stay safe.🐾

Thanks to Jez for hosting this week. It is a distinction to be asked to host, and a big responsibility to create the challenge and even more to then acknowledge all of us who diligently post our responses. Being a water lover, this one was lots of fun for me!

Posted in Birding, birds, Lens-Artists, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, nature, nature photography, pacific northwest, pacific ocean, photography, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

~ Wordless Wednesday + Cee’s FOTD ~ Shades of Blue Hydrangea in my Gardens ~

Wishing you blue skies and lovely flowers. Please honor our earth, be kind and stay safe.🐾

Posted in Cee's Flower Of The Day, flowers, landscape gardening, nature photography, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

~ Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #206: Treasures ~

All week I have been contemplating the subject of our photo challenge – treasure – asking myself, “what do I treasure and why?” As I thought about it while sitting under a bower of vine maple leaves, surrounded by old growth Douglas Fir trees with the sound of water falling into my pond, and mourning doves cooing nearby, I realized that what I treasure is the immeasurable whole.

My Pond

Then I decided to narrow it down a bit and settled on water – a life source that I love, that feeds the whole of what I treasure. From calm and tranquil like Salmon Creek and Crescent Lake below…

…to roaring and powerful, like the Spokane River and Salt Creek Falls above, water always captivates me.

And then there’s the Pacific, which I often feature in my posts. Here are two moods of this incredible ocean:

Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Above, the quiet swish of waves advancing or receding along the beach, and below towering breakers as they crash into the shoreline at Long Beach, Washington!

“Just as we place a higher value on certain objects because they are scarce, we might value moments in time precisely because of their transience. We may not be able to commodify transience as we can rare objects, but there are other, more intimate ways to confer value.” – Sebastian Smee

Thanks go to Aletta of nowathome, for hosting this week’s challenge. It is quite a distinction to be asked, and a big responsibility to provide the challenge subject and then reply to all who offer their treasures!

Wherever you find your treasures, please honor our earth, be kind and stay safe.🐾

Posted in landscape gardening, Lens-Artists, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, nature, nature photography, outdoors, pacific northwest, pacific ocean, photography, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

~ Words of Wisdom ~ Trees ~

“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” –Alice Walker.

Wherever you are blessed to be with trees, please honor our earth, be kind and stay safe.🐾

Posted in nature, nature photography, pacific northwest, trees, WOW - Words of Wisdom | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

~ Wordless Wednesday + Cee’s FOTD ~ Roses in my Garden ~

Wherever you stop to smell the roses, please honor our earth, be kind and stay safe.🐾

Posted in Cee's Flower Of The Day, flowers, Gardening, photography, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments