~ Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #194: Bokeh ~

For this week’s challenge, Sophie invites us to use the out of focus areas in our photos as the primary reason for selecting the shot. The first two and fourth photos in this series were taken at Long Beach, WA.

I open with a shot of a misty sunset behind stark spikes of dune grass. Photographing background with the focus on an image in the foreground is one of my favorite ways to achieve Bokeh.

Bald Eagle ~ Haliaeetus leucocephalus

As I crept through the dunes to get as close to this perching eagle as I could, I wondered if the out of focus grasses between us would detract from the image. To my eye, they add softness and context to the photograph.

San Diego Botanical Gardens

Bright red seed pods dangling in the foreground are given a frame of reference and a color pop by the unfocused tree branches, foliage and sky of the background.

Barn Swallow ~ Hirundo rustica

As marshes recede and return to meadows, gnats and mosquitos multiply, creating excellent foraging for swallows. The birds dart through the air so rapidly, it’s impossible for me to get a shot of them on the wing. For an instant this one settled on a branch, and I was able to get a photo in its natural habitat.

Crescent Creek Dawn – Oregon

One of my favorites, this ground level shot creates a lush misty mood with all the meadow greenery in the foreground and the creek gently flowing into a foggy distance.

Thanks to Sophie for stretching my understanding of photography to include the term Bokeh!

Wherever your camera takes you, please honor our earth, be kind and stay safe.🐾

Posted in Birding, birds, Lens-Artists, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, nature, nature photography, ornithology, pacific northwest, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

~ Wordless Wednesday + Cee’s FOTD ~ April Snow ~

Whatever the weather in “your neck of the woods,” please honor our earth, be kind and stay safe.🐾

Posted in Cee's Flower Of The Day, flowers, nature photography, pacific northwest, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

~ Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #193 ~ They Say It’s Your Birthday! ~

Today marks 8 weeks since Max and Daisy arrived at our home, so it’s time for our two month anniversary update!

Daisy

Both beagles are adapting to the rhythms and patterns of our daily life. They get a walk or a trip to the dog park every day, and have a doggie door for access to the back yard day and night. They are good with people and other dogs, and are very loving with us.

I must admit Daisy has been a challenge. She is a hunter, always after squirrels and rabbits in the yard yapping like a crazy dog. We have resorted to using a bark-collar to curb that behavior, which is helping. Tiny enough to get through holes only 3 to 4 inches in diameter, when a scent is on the other side of the fence, and if the integrity of the wood at the base of the plank is compromised, Daisy rips right through it and the chase is on.

On the other hand, Max is content to hang out in the sunshine, though he would go with Daisy if he wasn’t as stocky as he is! Protective of her, when Daisy escapes, Max starts whining – a sure sign to me to grab their harnesses and start the search.

Fortunately my neighbors are very helpful and sympathetic with my plight, as Max and I trail my little scamp Daisy around their yards, through their shrubs and flower beds until, with their help, we eventually catch her.

This morning it happened again. Dear neighbor Dennis helped me corral her, and when we got home I told Daisy she has to keep her harness and leash on until I can get out there and mend the fence.

She wasn’t at all happy with this, as dogs have a keen sense of fairness, and if Max doesn’t have to wear his harness inside, why should she?

Max delivers a camelia blossom to me as I set to repairing the fence!

Wherever you mend your fences, please honor our earth, continue to be kind and stay safe.🐾

Posted in Beagles, dogs, landscape gardening, Lens-Artists, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, nature photography | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

~ Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #192: Earth Story ~

This week, Amy invites us to share stories of the natural world on Earth through photos. I begin with a close up shot of a Bovista mushroom, about the size of my fist – 3″ (8 cm), as it emerged in a dirt field.

Tree roots exposed in this rocky shoreline exemplify the symbiotic relationship of Earth elements; water, soil and flora.

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish

At the edge of Orcas Island, rock emerges from boulders, as barnacle and seaweeds cling to the surfaces.

Humans use Earth’s resources, often to the detriment of the planet. Above wind turbines generate clean energy along the crest of the Columbia River Gorge, near Goldendale, Washington.

Which came first? Chicken or egg, flower or seed, summer or winter?

From mountain streams, to volcanic caldera lakes, to rivers and the oceans, water is essential to Earth’s Story.

Crater Lake, Oregon
Pacific Ocean Waves
Long-beaked Dowitcher – Limnodromus scolopaceus

“There’s no longer really any doubt that birds are a type of dinosaur. These days, the debate is about details. The strong evidence doesn’t just come from fossilized bones and similarities found across the skeleton, but from fossilized soft tissue – especially feathers.” Roger Benson

Wherever your camera takes you, please honor our earth, be kind and stay safe.🐾

Posted in Birding, Lens-Artists, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, nature, nature photography, pacific northwest, pacific ocean, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

~ Wordless Wednesday ~ A Walk in the Dogpark ~

Daisy and Max
Max, Creighton & Daisy

Wherever you walk, please honor our earth, continue to be kind and stay safe.🐾

Posted in Beagles, pacific northwest, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

~ Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #191: Curves ~

So many gorgeous curves in my archives, and everywhere I look in the gardens. Thank you Anne Christine for an opportunity to show a few.

Pacific Ocean storm swells wheel steadily toward the bulging berm in the shot above, taken from the deck of our condominium at Long Beach, Washington. A metal sculpture (bicycle rack) points the way up the slightly curved pathway to the beach, while dune grass bends in the strong wind.

After storms pass, often the beach is strewn with tangles of bull kelp and stranded jellyfish. This small Moon Jelly baby, surrounded by foam bubbles is a favorite image. Maybe eight inches in diameter, it has all kinds of crooks, twists and loops.

From surfs edge to the fringe to the dunes. Below another Dune Rune image etched into the sand by night-writer Alloniscus.

Pacific Ocean shoreline, dunes and sky give us curves that challenge us, ground us and elevate us. Below an immature Bald Eagle lifts off from the beach.

Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus

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

Posted in birds, Lens-Artists, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, nature, nature photography, pacific northwest, pacific ocean, photography, Report from the Edge of a Continent | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

~ Wordless Wednesday ~ Signs of the Season ~

Peter Cottontail
Daffodil Joy
Primroses & Raindrops
Posted in flowers, nature photography, photography, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

~ Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 190: Closer and Closer ~

A seagull, is a seagull is a seagull is a shorebird. Often raucous and bothersome to people, they are a welcome friend in flocks of other shorebirds, and are native gleaner-cleaners along the surf of the Long Beach Peninsula.

Laurus occidentalis

Determined not to just call them generic gulls, I took many shots of those I encountered, and then studied bird guidebooks to identify the specific species. What a journey in circles I entered! In the photo above there are four gulls that look similar, one that is smaller, and the two on the log have different feather colors and beaks. All are Western Seafulls.

Little did I know when I started this quest that, much like Bald Eagles, Western Seagulls transition to adult plumage (and beaks) over four years. The three above are all immature. They have the characteristic pink legs, large black beaks and mottled feathers with dark tails.

This bird is close to adulthood. Its black beak is gradually turning to the yellow-orange it will be when it matures.

A mature Western Seagull sporting its bright yellow-orange beak with a teardrop of red on the underside of the bill, dark eyes and pink legs. Its breast feathers are now almost pure white.

An adult pair of Western Seagulls, one with damage to its bill. “Seagulls live long lives, up to 30-40 years, and mate for life, but will rapidly re-mate if original mate is lost.” (Birds of the Puget Sound Region, Paulson et al.)

Closer and closer is Patti Moed’s challenge this week. Hope you enjoyed this birds-eye view of a common, yet unheralded member of our avian community.

Wherever your camera takes you, please honor our earth, be kind and stay safe.🐾

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

~ Wordless Wednesday ~ Sunrise – Sunset ~

Wherever you are under the sun, please honor our earth, be kind and stay safe.🐾

Posted in nature photography, pacific northwest, photography, Report from the Edge of a Continent, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

~ Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #189: Odds and Ends ~

Yippee! Tina offers us a chance to look through the archives at all those snaps taken along the way, that never quite made the cut for a post, and now have a chance to be seen.

Odell Lake, Oregon

How many mossy stumps have I photographed over the years?! There’s just something about the textures of bark, shrubbery and velvety moss that attracts me every time. So, today I open with a beauty taken near Princess Creek Campground in the Deschutes National Forest.

Lavender Lady Gardens

Cee Neuner got me started looking for and snapping photos of unusual signs along the pathways I wander. This one cracked me up, from the Lavender Lady’s Gardens near Ilwaco, WA.

Oxeye Daisy

Juxtaposing nature-made with man-made forms is another of my particular fetishes. These pretty little Oxeye Daisies reaching to the sun next to a hogwire fence is a prime example!

Priest Lake, ID

My family has a long history with Priest Lake, from when I was in high school, to the present. Before retiring and moving to Corvallis, OR, my parents had a vacation cabin at Priest Lake, which they sold when they moved. Though I visit the area rarely now, my niece and her family take summer vacation there yearly. It is a beautiful lake surrounded by woods coming right down to the shoreline. This bumper sticker shows the shape of Priest Lake from an aerial viewpoint.

leucistic Dark-eyed Junco

For two winters I have seen this bird and added it to my weekly Project FeederWatch count as a Snow Bunting. Although Vancouver is way out of its range, that was the only bird I could find in my field guides of this size and so white. This past February, I participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count and included this bird in my count. Subsequently I was contacted by a volunteer from Cornell, who informed me it actually is an albino Junco. I’m always learning, and love it!

Max & Daisy snooze cruising.

We are out at our condo in Long Beach, WA this week and next. Max and Daisy are adjusting well, and love my big purple barrel chair as much as I do!

Posted in Beagles, Birding, birds, Lens-Artists, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, nature photography, pacific northwest, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments