Monday, August 31, 2009

A Busy Month

IMG_1054IMG_1037August has been more or less flying by at a breakneck speed. We got to start off with a shindig for Jon's 62nd birthday over at Pat's. Suzanne cooked up a bird on the BBQ and the whole family gathered to celebrate Jon making it to the first social security check. Even with commercial cupcakes, it was a tasty event.

20090813IMG_036120090813IMG_0391The following week Eden and I went camping at Kulaloch, Washington. The campsite was absolutely beautiful, and it was just a short walk down to the beach, which was amazing in it's own right. The entry to said beach is nearly 20 feet deep in driftwood, making for treacherous footing. Silly me, I didn't even wait for the wood to take a tumble. Of course I took the fall in traditional photographer's fashion, making sure that none of the equipment impacted more than I could help, which meant that although the camera survived, I paid for it in skinned limbs. We got an even more impressive evening, with the sun lensing through the clouds in an interesting rainbow fashion in early afternoon and a pretty sunset to finish the day. Even better, it turned out by chance that that night was the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, so we spent the late evening watching fire streak across the sky together.

20090813IMG_051920090813IMG_0523We decided to take the long way home the following day, following highway 101 north and around to I-5. Of course with certain people's fascination for the Twilight series, we couldn't resist stopping in Forks to look around. In point of fact, it was a pretty sad sight - the entire town is glomming on to the popularity of the series, and obviously won't survive once that wanes. Honestly, the place didn't even bear a reasonable resemblance to the description in the books or movies. As we continued on to La Push, things got significantly better - the scenery was beautiful. We were planning to find another spot to camp for the night, but those plans were washed out with some impressively torrential rain along the way, so in the end we just headed home.

20090817IMG_068220090819IMG_0969Eden felt poorly most of the next week, so I was somewhat restricted in locations to shoot. It actually worked out fairly well, as I found a couple of places near the west end of Mill Plain that had some great birds, both lakes and rivers. For the most part, it was a nicely isolated situation, with just a little bit of company from time to time. It also gave me an excuse to get some time in on the bike, as there wasn't any access by car in several places.

20090822IMG_138220090822IMG_1742The weekend of the 22nd was another market weekend, actually the official opening of the new Bill Naito Legacy Fountain. Sales were slow, but it was still fun to see all the people enjoying the new waterworks. It's crazy how much fun kids can have getting wet.

20090825IMG_209820090825IMG_2165A friend of a friend turned out to need a pet sitter in the middle of the week, so we took advantage of the situation, both to get out of the house for a while and to make up some of the money from the previous weekend. Both of Sean's dogs are great, and it was hard to take a bad picture of either.

20090825IMG_232120090826IMG_2646As it turned out, Sean returned early from his trip, so we took a long loop around Mount Hood, stopping at Little Zigzag Falls and Lake Trillium along the way. Many, many good shots to be had here, which we of course took advantage of. It seemed as though the dragonflies on the lake were in mating season, as they zoomed back and forth crazily, sometimes banging into each other mid air with surprisingly loud impacts.

20090829IMG_281720090829IMG_2697Finally, we headed to a potluck after market this past Saturday. The theme for the event was Mexican cooking, giving me a chance to try out a recipe for Bolillos. They ended up a little plainer than I anticipated, but it seemed like people enjoyed them. Unfortunately, even though the event was supposed to be for marketers only, it ended up crashed by both beggars and general public, making for a fairly uncomfortable situation and less than adequate food, as of course those crashing did not bring their own contributions. Regardless, it was nice to spend some time with friends outside of having to mind respective booths.

2009-08-31 Picdump [Show images on map] [Fullscreen slideshow]

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Random bits and pieces

I've got a new project in process that has been distracting me from posting here for the last couple of weeks, which will be revealed shortly (Even Eden hasn't been filled in on it, yet). As part of that project and in line with trying to get my digital life in line, pretty much every photo I own has been thrown into Adobe Lightroom and has been geotagged and keyworded extensively, which in turn means that those of you that are interested have a few new toys to play with on the flickr stream.

Firstly, you'll notice that all of the image slideshows from here on out and on older posts now have a link to [Show these images on map], which does exactly what it says. If you like, you can also see the entire collection on a map here. It's a fun way to explore what's been going on and to see where we've been.

Secondly, you'll now be able to find our shots of friends and family (and whatever else) by tag. You can see a tag cloud of the 150 most populous terms here, or a complete list here. Note that the tag cloud gets rid of spaces and such, so your name might end up looking kind of strange.

A more detailed post as to what we've been up to will follow, but for now, here's a picdump that never got it's own post earlier in the month to tide you over.

Picdump 2009-08-13 [Show images on map] [Fullscreen slideshow]

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Friday, August 7, 2009

And now it's August

July was a fairly eventful month for us - of course we started it all with a bang on the 4th, after finding a number of very good deals at the various fireworks displays. Favorites were of course the various mortars and jumbo bees. It's amazing what can be done with a few chemicals and a cardboard tube.

IMG_0902IMG_0899We found a new (to us) swimming hole over near Stevenson, Washington, at Home Valley Park. It's been a fun retreat whenever the heat has risen, and we had fun introducing Cassie and Nick to the place. It's somewhat secluded and not too very popular, so we haven't had too much interruption while we've been there. The girls, especially, love playing along the river shore there for hours at a time.

20090714SANY0011I also got around to taking a picture of one of Eden's very favorite traffic signs that happens to be along the way. There are actually 3 or 4 of them in a row, and the curves in the road that they warn about are really not too severe, but the signs never fail to put a smile on her face. They're just so very comical, and any truck that found itself at such an angle would be in some pretty deep trouble... it's just something else.

20090719SANY001220090719SANY0004Pat had a block party/barbecue mid-month that was a lot of fun (and tasty). It gave us a nice chance to hang out with the family, and especially to see Sean's son Nicolas. A cute kid that's not self conscious in front of the camera is a lot of fun to play with. Libby's cat Lucy is also especially photogenic, as she's proven before.

20090721IMG_013020090721IMG_0261While I was waiting for my Canon Powershot 110IS to be repaired, I actually came across a wonderful deal on a fairly modern digital SLR, the Canon Rebel XS. My grandparents had actually given me a sizable amount of money recently, which let me take advantage of this. It's been a lot of fun to play with, but unfortunately after a week or so, the shutter started locking up every few shots, which is impressively annoying when you're sure you've locked down the perfect shot. So, to put it shortly, I bloody well love Canon cameras, but I've got to be a bit more picky about how sketchy my suppliers are. The good news is that the 110IS (which is an impressively capable camera for it's size) came back not too long after the SLR was returned, and a new copy of the SLR should arrive next week.

20090723IMG_050520090723IMG_0499On the 23rd, I went down to my parents in an effort to trim a few hours from my upcoming trip to OIT. The weather was nice, and I didn't have any real commitments that day, so I spent most of it meandering around as much as I liked, turning on a whim and just occasionally making sure that the GPS showed me trending south. It was a nice way to spend the day, and it even finished with a nice pasta salad outside with the family, just watching the birds play around the feeders.

20090724IMG_065320090724IMG_0666Unfortunately, the next day was not quite so kind. I left at 2:30am in order to make the event opening at 7am, and bumped into a curious stray dog along the way that found his breakfast in a trash bag along the road. For a while it looked like I was going to have enough time to try and take a few sunrise shots, but it was not to be. Turns out it's a lot harder to figure out exactly when the sun is going to actually pop over the horizon than I thought it was going to be, and I ended up without a clear east view when it finally happened. It was just as well though, as I made it to the parking lot at 6:56am. Bottom line, it was worth it, as I got a lot of things handled, but it cost. Final count, 12 hours on the road, 520 miles driven, and 7.5 hours at the event for the day. As a kind of bonus, I think I came across the only mountain with snow on it in July. Given the temperature spikes we've been having, that was interesting as well.

20090726IMG_094020090725IMG_1134I spent the following weekend at market with Eden, which is a change from our usual routine. With the heat setting in, it was nice to be able to give her a few breaks along the way. It's always remarkable, to me, to see Eden interacting with her vendor friends - they're an incredibly tight knit and supportive group, not to mention some very talented people. Beyond all that, the various buskers are always worth shooting, as many of them have great energy while they're performing.

20090801IMG_021520090801IMG_0223This past weekend was utterly amazing. We spent it camping with friends down at Cape Lookout, by Tillamook, for our friend Vash's 35th birthday. Temperatures in Vancouver and Portland had been topping 100 degrees all week, but at the coast we stayed in the comfortable 70 degree range, thanks to a permanent layer of mist that simply rose to just above the treetops during the day and came down to ground level at dark. It was great to watch it move in towards the end of the night. As Eden pointed out, it was exactly like the "Nothing" from the Never-Ending story, just eating away at the edges of our little contained world there. I had a lot of fun just hiking around in the morning to try to get some wildlife pictures before everyone else got to the trails.

20090801IMG_058720090801IMG_0529Of course, given Vash's Circled by Hounds affiliations, we couldn't get together without having the group play a few rousing tunes. Beyond the wonderful music, they're all a lot of fun to play with, photographically. Vash is a tricky one to get, as he very obviously gets absorbed by the music, making it a bit hard to catch him looking up, but it's worth it if you can manage the timing. Kathryn and Matthew, on the other hand, are hard to catch a bad photo with. They're so incredibly expressive, and obviously very in love with one another as well. It's kind of funny when they're actually playing, as they're very much in one another's personal space, making fiddle playing an exercise in constant anticipation, just waiting for the bow to finally collide. I haven't seen it happen yet, but I can't imagine it hasn't.

All in all, it's been a great month, and I can't wait to see what August will bring.

Picdump 2009-08-07 [Show image locations on map] [Fullscreen slideshow]

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.