Devils Tower

"Devils Tower is an impressive rock formation that stands 867 feet high above the Black Hills of northeastern Wyoming and is considered sacred by Indigenous cultures. When settlers first arrived in this part of the country, the rock was labeled on maps as “Bear Lodge,” a translation for the common Lakota name Mato Tipila. However, the name changed when Colonel Richard Irving Dodge led a geology and mapmaking expedition to the site. Dodge wrote that the Indigenous people called the place “bad god’s tower,” which eventually led to the adoption of the name Devils Tower. However, this is believed to be a bad translation, as no records have ever shown that Native Americans considered the tower to be associated with evil spirits."
We did our jaunt to South Dakota at the end of May. On previous trips we saw other landmarks that draw tourists and interest. One is the famous Devils Tower.
How did Devils Tower get its name. The previous info should give you and Idea.


Flowers of Spring

In helping a client with some community cats in her neighborhood, I came across at her house a flower bed with lovely tulips and bluish ground cover plants. Taking photos while there created a beautiful art-like picture with the colors. Spring with the flowers just coming out and sunshine is wonderful.

spring tulips

Mt. Hood in Morning

We had an early drive up to Portland yesterday. We seem to be stuck in air stagnation and low clouds here yet it was clear skies from Salem north. It was the start of a pretty sunrise and I was able to take a photo with my phone camera out the window of Mt. Hood and the sunrise as we went down the freeway with traffic. A bit tricky yet quite worth it.

Friends For 40 Years

Dr. Mary Beth Rymer Temples has been a dear close friend for slightly over 40 years. We met at a veterinary conference in Santa Cruz when I was 7 months pregnant with Scott. We have practiced in the Diablo Valley area for 20 years in the vicinity. She now works at Civic Feline Clinic that I established on August 23, 1983. It has been a good friendship. Marybeth, Bob, and I went to the restored Elsinore Theatre in Salem 3 days ago to watch an uncut version of Home Alone on their big screen. What a lot of fun and enjoyment. Gets you in the holiday spirit.
Here is to Marybeth!

Sunset In Spring

We get the loveliest view of sunrises and sunsets here. The weather has been a mix of rain, hail, sleet, and sun through the days recently. I was able to catch this colorful sunset off to the West.
a spring sunset

Jupiter and Venus Conjunction

In the early evening just as the sky was darkening on March 3rd, Jupiter and Venus came together in conjunction over the west horizon. This was just for a short time and won't happen again for another 9 years. I was fortunate to sit out on our porch and view with strong binoculars. I also was able to capture a bright view of them together with my iPhone. Vada and Victoria joined me to get a view of the planets and then the bright moon more to the south.
Jupiter-Venus conjunction

Picture Postcard Scene

The snow yesterday offered me an opportunity to shoot some photos of the pristine snow early before it melted.

Here is a photo of a neighbor's home across the valley framed with snow covered maple and Douglas fir trees.
A picture postcard scene to me.

The Week Before Christmas

I have neglected adding to this blog. I missed sharing during the trip to South Dakota in mid-October and later to a meeting in Pittsburgh. Here I am a week before Christmas and I have not kept up to date with comments and photos.

I thought I would add some thoughts on a TV show I have enjoyed for the past 4 seasons, now on season 5. The show is Yellowstone where it is set in the Bitterroot Valley of SW Montana. The scenery is spectacular. The acting and actors draw you in. The writing is by Taylor Sheridan who is a former rodeo participant and a lover of the Old West, horses and the cowboy way of life. This has become a TV phenomenon. This series is being spun off into other series, one show is 1883/season 1, which shows how the Dutton family came to locate in Montana. At the end of this series, the location is picked by the 18 year old daughter, Elsa, who picks where she will die and be buried following being shot by an arrow that creates sepsis. The next spin-off is set at 1923 and we shall see how the family handles adversity in that day and age.

We drove on the way to South Dakota along I-90 which follows much of the Yellowstone River. We saw the beauty of some of the Yellowstone Country. I am adding here a photo of the Little Bighorn River near the Crow Agency and GaryOwen, MT where Custer's last stand and battle occurred for the 7th Cavalry - a story in itself.

Little Bighorn River sm

Sunset on Cloudy

May was pretty much a dry month for this area and June has been more wet (more rain inches) than average. We have had a lot of cloudy days and some with wind and thunderstorms. I did catch this intriguing sunset photo with color and clouds over the Berlin Ridge area. The sun was going down fast before I could make it on the back deck. I love how the Fire Station is muted in the foreground and the single trees stand out on the ridge. This can be a beautiful area to catch weather changes and how the countryside shows its imagery.


Sunset Today

The sky was very colorful off to the west tonight past the garden and trees. Very striking.

Rainbow Time after Storms

I was able to get some photos of the rainbows that came up when a thunder and rain storm moved through the valley around Las Vegas.

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The rainbow…


Thunderstorms in Vegas

While we were in Vegas, we had a number of thunderstorms that came during daytime, early evening daylight and also in the wee hours of the morning in the dark. I was able to get some pictures out our window of the weather. There was some reflection but still interesting.
thunderstorm-Vegas-top 7-7-16

View from the Ranch

I got some really nice photos of the area. It was a lovely area to visit and photograph. Here are the mountains and the valley that one would view every day from the porch of the Spring Valley Ranch.
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Spring Valley Ranch

Here is the Spring Valley Ranch house that is set up as a visitor's center at the State Park One can picnic and walk around close by. The area lives off of springs and a small lake to provide water to the fields and yard. Hay is grown and there are burros and beef cattle in the area. They hold outdoor movies in the area too.
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Red Rock Country

This afternoon, since all the work and stress is essentially over, we took Marybeth's rental car up west of the resort to the Red Rock country and driving loop. There are trails and overlooks there. They have a neat visitor's center there too. It was hot but lots of fun. We also made it to Spring Valley Ranch, a state park, that is what was a working ranch in this area and also once owned by Howard Hughes (though he never visited).
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Settling at Suttle

I caught this photo while at Suttle Lake of a family enjoying the water, the view of the lake and time together.

Suttle Lake

Went over to Bend today to see our attorney for the Estate. On the way home, we stopped to eat at a picnic table at Suttle Lake. It was peaceful and beautiful as always.

Rainbow in the Eve

While we had the thunderstorms going on near the mountains the other night, there was a short wide rainbow that cropped up over the hills and mountains to the east.

Trees At Twilight

Thunderstorms off in the mountains to the east. The sun streaming from the west. I caught the Douglas fir trees glowing in the twilight.

Analog vs Digital Pictures

Photography: analog versus digital. Photography has come a long way from when I got my first camera and especially the Olympus 1 which I loved. It is great to delete bad pictures versus printing poor ones yet one wondered if print film was a better quality. This article indicates the answer is No. We are still maintaining a good bit of quality, or even better.

Mt. Shasta in the Sun

On the road again….home. It is too soon since we needed the break from work and the same surroundings. It was a beautiful sunny day for a trip, at least on the northern California side. I just wish we could have gotten some pictures of the Castle Crags. The lighting on them was spectacular.

One the Road to California

After spending a cool night over in Bend, we were on the road to California for a quick trip.Going down Hwy. 97 through Klamath Falls and past Mt. Shasta to Weed, CA we past Mt. Shasta peering out from the clouds. There were some big thunderstorms to the west of Shasta over the Trinity mountains.

Fort Hoskins

As we drove up the valley toward Kings Valley we saw signs directing us a short distance on another road to Fort Hoskins historical park. I had not heard of it. It was a spot where a small army fort was located in the mid-1800s to over see the Kalapuya and Luckiamute natives. There were at one time about 200-300 soldiers located there. It is a pretty area overlooking the river valley. Lots of blooming apple trees around. One homestead is still there.

Out For A Drive

Having not done anything relaxing and fun plus today was a beautiful sunny day, we went for a drive through countryside we have not been before. West of Corvallis and in the Kings Valley area. The trip culminated in lunch at the Horseradish cafe in Carlton, OR. This is very much in the heart of Oregon wine country.
I did get a very nice photo of one of Oregon's covered bridges, the Ritner Creek bridge over Ritner Creek near Kings Valley.

Lovely Sunrsie

We had a striking sunrise this morning. I could not help but grab a photo. It really stood out!lovely-sunrise-2-9-16

People, Beach, and Sunset on Coast

Spending the night at Lincoln City. The sunset was pretty cool and I was able to capture it with the small Nikon camera.


Atomic Gardens

I came across an interesting article that seemed to take me back to being a child in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Much of the photos were in black and white. LIFE magazine was big in those days for capturing what happened in our world. This article describes how at one time people were encouraged to buy irradiated, "atomic-energised" seeds to plant for gardens in their own backyards. Read more here and look at these striking old photos from those days.

Sunset Anniversary Style

A sunset photo I took the evening of our anniversary. The sun was setting quite uniquely in the West. Lots of cloud shapes and color.

Dunnotter Castle Photo

My Dunnotter Castle photo that was submitted to Ceiva for their travel photo contest showed up on the revolving photo frame from Ceiva. It is always exciting to see one of my photos displayed. Here it is in all its glory.


A photo from this past spring up in the Cascades. Layering of brush, deciduous trees and evergreens. Unique coloring through the layers.

Adult Elk

The cow elk came through the camera zone just before the calf. Here is an example of a well fed elk from our nearby herd.

Elk Calf

We got the memory card from the trail camera. Unbelievably, we had 246 photos on it and almost all were just of the area in front of the camera with no wildlife. Must have been set off by wind or a moving branch near by caused by wind. How disappointing.
We did get some elk photos, one of a younger calf. It looks like a pony here.



Another assignment was to do motion. The bee from last week was also caught in motion between lavender sprigs. A bit of a fun picture.
thebeeweb 7-16-15

A Canal Reflection

Just a short walk from Linn Benton is the canal that runs through Lebanon. It is always a nice source of reflections on a sunny day.


One of the assignments for the photography class was to get a photo demonstrating reflections. I thought this one was different with the skeleton in the Linn Benton office next to the reflection of a truck aimed at the chest of the skeleton. Implied trauma.

Class Today

My photography class is being held tonight. I didn't get the assignment but went out and shot a few quick photos in our parterre garden. The bumblebees were out enjoying the nectar of the lavender.

Photography Again

I signed up for a creative photography class again. Something to do as a hobby and to get out of the house. I am getting burned out and need to push myself to other ventures. We did a quick photo shoot around the school.
I'm not sure I am really happy with how I did but am adding one with a long line shot down the side of the building and the sidewalk.

Beautiful Gorges

Look to see some of the most amazing and beautiful canyons and gorges in the world on this site.

Intense Rainbow

With a bright sun break through a heavy rain shower, we got a beautiful and bright rainbow showing up toward the mountains.
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Ready For The Closeup

We captured some more photos from our Trail Camera of the local deer herd. One seemed to be saying, "Ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMIlle".ready-closeup-4-6-15

Early Sunrise

We have been getting a number of lovely early morning sunrises again lately. This is from last week but lovely still to see and also to have some nice weather hanging around.

Picturesque Winter Towns

I came across this link showing 30 of the most picturesque winter towns. Beautiful photos and fun to look at.

Full Moon

We were fortunate to have a clear night and a rising full moon. This is a cell phone photo so not my favorite mode but the closest camera around. I love to watch the moon come up over the mountains. So striking.

What The Deer Think

Now I will show what the deer think and how they show off for the camera. Interesting how it gives the time and temperature. BRRRR for 34 degrees at around 6:40 in the morning.

Trail Camera

Scott and Melissa got us a motion detecting Trail Camera for the Christmas holiday. We finally got it put up about 10 days ago. Bob brought the memory card in to load anything on the computer. First we do have the main wildlife in this family checking out the camera to see how it is working.

Flaming Trees

The sunrise was quite unique this morning where the sun "peeked" through the edge of the cloud cover over the eastern hills and mountains. It created a flaming look to the sky and behind the Douglas fir trees. Quite spectacular.

Family Over 40 Years

I came across this interesting article about a man who photographed his wife and her 3 sisters every Christmas holiday for 40 years. Each picture with each year is chronicled in the article. We enjoy our families and photos are such memories. Many have shared these memories across the internet cloud through media like Facebook. It takes a lot of dedication and determination to maintain such a photo journal or history in such a manner. My hat is off to him for doing so. Check it out.

Those Sunrises in Berlin

A few weeks ago, we woke to one of those great winter sunrises with lots of color across the sky. I wish they could last longer since they are so wonderful and bright.

Scarred Landscapes

History still shows and bears the scars of what are scenes from our war time history. A photographer has made a project of taking a number of photos from above and from different perspectives of the battlefields of World War I. The images are beautifully photographed and haunting. In the long run they are downright amazing. Please view them here. People lived and died here. No wonder the British call it Remembrance to

Perfectly Round Cat

There is a picture someone took of their fluffy white cat which came out looking like the cat was perfectly round. Very cute photo. People have been having fun photoshopping the picture into many other scenes and photos. Which one can be the most outrageous round cat.
Check it all out here.

Creole Culture

I have enjoyed my trips to the city of New Orleans. It is an interesting place to visit and see a different life style. One photographer/writer has chronicled how the Creole culture that helped create part of New Orleans and its look can also be found in Cuba and other parts of decaying Latin America. A look at how that is through his lens.

“While it actually resembles no other city upon the face of the earth,” wrote Lafcadio Hearn of New Orleans, “it owns suggestions of towns in Italy, and in Spain, of cities in England and in Germany, of seaports in the Mediterranean, and of seaports in the tropics.” There’s no better illustration of this than the photographs of Richard Sexton. For four decades Sexton has been playing a transcontinental game of Concentration, pinballing between New Orleans and the cities of the Creole diaspora—Havana, Quito, Cartagena, Cap-Haïtien—documenting resonances in architecture and style. His photographs have now been collected in the gorgeous Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere, and are on display this fall in a free exhibition at the Historic New Orleans Collection.


Vicksburg's Fallen

There was a beautiful cemetery at the Vicksburg battlefield that held many of the fallen from that period of the war. The fallen were laid out amongst trees under rows of white headstones. Very quiet and solemn, along the Mississippi River. The cemetery is next to the Cairo Exhibit. I was able to get a number of photos from there, one showing the headstones while a hawk was taking off above them. Not as close as I would like but interesting.

Thayer's Approach at Vicksburg

Much to our surprise while traveling through Vicksburg and visiting the historical battlefield there was seeing the monument and stop for Thayer’s Approach. General John Thayer on the Union side had a critical piece and attack during the Vicksburg siege. His men had to attack the Confederate entrenchments up a steep slope. The following picture gives a description of the attack.
Thayer’s Approach

A Single Democrat

Here is a photo of one of the grabbier, aggressive “Democrats” of the group. This one made sure it got plenty of the bread from dinner the night before.

The Democrats

One should be able to detect that I am not a fan of the modern Democratic Party and what they stand for. I am very anti- when it comes down to it. Our friend Tim has labeled the six masked critters who come begging for handouts, “The Democrats”. How apt. They are looking for free dry pet kibble. I must admit they are cute to view but I am sure not too friendly if you got close. They stay hidden in the trees and shrubs until they can skulk out and grab their goodies.
BTW, we were headed home from the South today. Our plane trip was good and all on time.

Natchez on the Mississippi

After Vicksburg, we were off to the south to visit the city of Natchez along the Mississippi. We were able to drive the Natchez Trace in part on the way. It is a historical route from the late 1700s to early 1800s route from Nashville, TN to Natchez in Mississippi that Native Americans took, frontiersmen, commerce people, to move into the Spanish owned territory along the Mississippi. The road is beautiful in that it is limited access and highlights the natural aspects of the area geography and plant life. We did get to see one yearling deer along the road as we went.
Our destination was Natchez. The city has a big visitor’s center with a lot of information about the area. Natchez eventually went for the South in the Civil War though from their explanations, many of the business people at that time came from the North and had roots there. They did not favor secession. The city now is a tourist destination and it appears a big spot for many to have a travel destination wedding. It is also a center of antebellum homes that people can tour. We just viewed the outside. A lot of history to be found here.

Off to Mississippi

We headed off to Mississippi today about 10 a.m. after taking our leave of Karen and Tim. We hated to say goodbye since they are such good people. Our trek took us slightly west and then north into Mississippi to skirt the edge of Jackson, the state capitol. We could not see any of the state buildings. My impression of Mississippi is green, red soil, lots of small trees (evergreen and pine) with slightly rolling hills in places though overall flat land. Our destination was Vicksburg, one of the great Civil War battlefields and a spot we were told not to miss. Boy, was that comment right. It was so very well done and covered a lot of area. Bob and I got through about 80% of the tour by the end of the day. Food here is deep fried whatever. When Bob had batter covered fries, I could not believe it.
Union canon with the Illinois Monument (Union battle lines) at Vicksburg

Rare Old Photos

Every now and then, an internet site has an article that displays rare photos of past events. This article is an example and has a number of interesting photos ranging over the many decades photography has been available.

Andrew Breitbart Quote

I always enjoyed and admired the person and spirit of Andrew Breibart. He tackled life and people head on, fearlessly. He challenged the norm and yet with good spirits. He certainly gathered friends and foe alike. He wanted people to be warriors to the truth on their own. I believe we still miss his presence in this stressed out world, semi-nightmare world we live in currently.
I bring this up because it was a good news day yesterday. I re-certified for ABVP feline for another 10 years. The hard work to pursue it instead of letting it lapse paid off. I got my new 60mm macro Nikon lens for my Nikon camera so I can film closeups better. How exciting to pursue! Here is a great quote from Breitbart to stick on my wall and remember.

“Walk towards the fire, don’t worry about what they call you. All of those things are said because they want to stop you in your tracks. But if you keep going, you’re sending a message to people who are rooting for you, who are agreeing with you. The message is that they can do it.”


IPhoto on the IPad

I decided to play around with the IPhoto app on my IPad. It can do some photo editing so I figured it was worth a try and some manipulation. I took a recent photo of Ryan when he was here last. I cropped it down and adjusted the color a little. Here is is standing on his own doing his own, “What’s in the Bag?”

Technology and World War l

Most would consider World War l as the war that ended dreams of young people. A destroyer of the old order. A war to end all wars. It actually oversaw the birth of modern technology of warfare. Not necessarily a good thing though the technology was developed with the idea to save lives and end the war sooner. Yet, it didn’t work that way in the end. Take a look into this world and see photos from the era. This is the third part of a 10-part series on World War l in The Atlantic.

“Industrialization brought massive changes to warfare during the Great War. Newly-invented killing machines begat novel defense mechanisms, which, in turn spurred the development of even deadlier technologies. Nearly every aspect of what we would consider modern warfare debuted on World War I battlefields.”

Forgotten New York City Island

I came across a fascinating article about an island that is part of New York City yet it is abandoned and overgrown. It had been used in the past by the city as a way station/hospital for certain situations. Now it is tucked away and forgotten. Forgotten except by a photographer who spent a number of hours and days chronicling what the island is like now. The photos are haunting and buildings seem to sit wanting to speak out about their story, the tales they could tell of days gone by and people who came through. Composition is great in these photos and one can read about it all here.

“North Brother Island is a secret hiding in plain sight. Located in New York’s East River, it was once an important part of the city’s infrastructure. In the last 50 years, however, it’s descended into ruin: Buildings have crumbled, vegetation has grown wild, and its primary visitors are now migratory birds. But as photographer Christopher Payne found out in the course of creating his book, North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City, the island still has stories to tell.”

Photos from the Past Decade

As they start in this piece, “Welcome to the New Millennium”. There are many iconic photos here and some less known. It does give a taste of the history and feel of the 2000s. Thanks for the memories in photos. The original collection link was lost.

Face Painting

My fun while waiting for the weary runners to cross the finish line and the pirates to get their eye patch burnished is to take photos of what intrigues me. I enjoy catching children enjoying what life presents them. Some very cute young girls were getting their faces painted or waiting to do so while Nicolas was pirating. Here is a young lady being transformed into a very sweet bunny.

A Pinwheel

Well, in doing some goofy takes to get photos in a close up mode yesterday, I got one with a pinwheel held against Bob’s bright blue shirt. In cropping out the Adam’s apple and neck of the Bob, I got this colorful photo. Nothing super but a bit of fun.

Photography Class

Bob and I spent most of today at the Linn County Fairgrounds and Expo Center. The Ag Extension Office was holding a photography class related to the 4-H clubs in the area. It was interesting and one could pick up some tips along the way. I would like a macro lens for my camera. But until I do, I will have to try for photos like this one of a straw hat and flowers on a bench.

Springtime Creeks

Here is another view of a creek flowing into the South Santiam River. The run-off from the snow and excess rain has been pretty heavy. The contrast of the water with the green moss on the rocks is striking.

Tree Moss

At this time of year due to the rain, one sees a lot of moss covering the trees, rocks, and fallen stumps. It becomes a very colorful green. I was able to capture this moss-covered tree at the edge of the South Santiam River.

South Santiam Area

We left for Bend Oregon yesterday, stayed overnight, and returned today. It snowed in the mountains and on the passes overnight. I could not stop well for pictures of the area though did get some with the camera phone. We did stop on the side wood bridge at Fernview Campground next to the South Santiam River. I got some wonderful colorful photos of a creek nearby and the trees and rocks at this time of year.

Winterboer House Sunrise

I posted a photo yesterday of the brilliant and large sunrise. Today I will post a photo of how the sunrise extended even toward the north and colored the sky above Berlin Ridge and the Winterboer’s house. It was unusual and quite pretty to see the sky so pink at that time. It did not last long though so the photos had to be quick and without a tripod.

Surprising Sunrise

We have had fewer sunrises than usual so far this fall and winter. This morning it surprised us with a truly bright spectacular and large sunrise. Large in meaning because it extended along the eastern mountains toward the hills of Berlin Ridge Rd. The colors covered a large area of the horizon, more so than usual.

Above Cities by Photography

One type of composition in photography is to get a view that is spatial and repetitive. Repetition in the right manner can be colorful and intriguing. In this article, the photographer has photographed from above cities or parts of cities to capture a unique outline along a shore or the appearance of rows of buildings. We frequently don’t get to see our world from above. It is a totally different perspective. It certainly seemed to demonstrate that when Bob took photos of our home from above while flying in Mike Winterboer’s plane.

Winter Sunrise

A winter sunrise from January 26th. It has been a cloudy winter so we have not had the bright and spectacular sunrises of some past years. I was able to snap an early photo on a frosty morning of the most recent colorful sky.

Animal Photo Bombs

It is great to get a good laugh with animal photos. One of the big things shared on the internet are what are called “photo bombs”. Someone or something unexpectedly shows up in part of a photo that should be a normal photo that displays a “visitor” in the picture. Most of the photo bombs are with people. Someone put together a group of photos where animals are photo bombing the scenes. I suspect some are photo edited. They still are fun to view. Here is one where the cat steals the march on the dog from the background. The photo is an image saved down from this website.


Cat Photography

Now after seeing a few of the recent dog photos I have taken, I did come across this article of a man who describes how to photograph a cat. He has been performing this line of photography for years and is offering his advice or secrets on how to do it better here in this article.

Beach Dog Ball

Following up on the photo of the two dogs romping on the beach, I did get a photo of one of them running and playing with a yellow ball, much like the one Dervish has. It is fun to watch dogs have a great time at play. This was taken at the beach in the center part of Lincoln City.

Morning Sun Breaks Over Ocean

Before we left the Shearwater Inn early this morning, there was a beautiful break in the clouds where the sun burst through to highlight the sky, ocean, and beach. I was able to snap some photos from the room balcony. Here is just one of the several photos I took of this sight.

Nuclear Test Site Photos

I came across an interesting article that showed some of the “light glare” to the sky from the nuclear tests done in Nevada northwest of Las Vegas. A lot of this glare could be seen in the skies around Los Angeles. The photos bring back memories of “hiding under your desk”, fallout shelters, and emergency test ban radio. The article talks about the radiation cloud drifting in the direction of Utah. Certainly there was concern that St. George UT was affected and that some movie actors could have developed cancer later in life due to this exposure. The actors would include John Wayne and Susan Hayward as two of those mentioned. Take a gander here.


A Russian photographer has made a bit of a name for himself through the internet by posting photos of a unique style of his girlfriend facing a unique travel spot with his hand extended to her as if following. The photos are posed beautifully and in a style to set off his girlfriend in a wonderful light surrounded by the loveliness of the physical surroundings. He started this as a personal blog and it has grown due to the viral nature of the photos being shared by many. One can see more about this “Follow Me’’ series here.

Abandoned Places in This World

I caught an interesting page of photos and listings of 38 different abandoned sites around the world. The photos are quite striking. It is definitely an interesting piece to look through. One spot they listed was abandoned for many years though is now inhabited and available for viewing. That spot is Eileen Donan Castle in the Highlands of Scotland. It is one of the most photographed spots in Scotland, justifiably so. Bob and I visited there several years ago when we made a big tour of Scotland. We stayed at a B&B right across Loch Alsh from the Castle. It made a great view and we had a base for several excursions around the area. The town of Dornie had a nice little restaurant called Peggy’s which offered good Scottish food. Here is a lovely photo of Eileen Donan castle that I took on that trip with the Isle of Skye way in the background. Loch Duich starts to the left of the castle where it meets Loch Alsh. Loch Duich leads toward Shiel Bridge at the end and the Seven Sisters. A road off to the west from Shiel Bridge heads over the mountains to the small settlement of Glenn Elg, an interesting this community, resting at the edge of the Kyle of Lochalsh, across from Skye. There is a broch built nearby Glenn Elg from very early times of the people of that area.

Cats Take Precedent

One should always enjoy unique situations and the cleverness of other people’s methods. It was with pleasure that I noted today that someone had place a double-sided sign along Wheeler Street (a frequently used truck route) in Lebanon admonishing drivers to slow down since that location was a cat crossing. The two different signs were very cutely done and I had to get some pictures, especially with the snow in the background. I sincerely hope the cats in the area appreciate and take advantage of the care this cat lover and artist has shown by making these signs.





It was just a quiet cold day outside, though very clear and sunny. A day for reflections. I am including one of the photos I took for a photography class in Lebanon that demonstrates “reflections”.

Old New York City Photos

Someone had a lot of fun finding and putting together a number of photos from the Gilded Age in New York City. It is filled with photos of the Vanderbilts and their mansions plus other wealthy people from that time. 5th Avenue in New York must have been something to see in those days though most of the American people would not have had the stature to come close to these homes other than by imagination. One can check out the article here.

Brother's Photo Re-creations

Two brothers have given their mother a wonderful gift by re-creating photos by posing at their current older age in a similar place and manner to childhood photos. It is a hoot and would have been fun to do. Not only in the similar vein of posing but also in being able to visit the same locations as before. Some places have changed in exterior look, such as in the buildings. It just shows what a little fun and ingenuity can do.

Colorized Civil War Photos

Two individuals, one from Great Britain and the other from Denmark, have developed a method to colorize photos from the Civil War. They really have brought that part of history to life and made it even more enjoyable and interesting. The article that brought it to my attention is here. They have links to other articles where additional photos can be found.
Happy explorations! A photo of General USS Grant.

Coastal Symbiosis

After several visits to the various western states coastal sites, I don’t think I have seen such a gathering of seal types in one location like I did near Cape Arago and Sunset Bay west of Coos Bay, Oregon. It was amazingly noisy with all the “barking” that they do. Interspersed with the different types of seals are birds, such as pelicans. They seem to be at ease with each other and Mother Nature as the ocean waves break over the rocks they share.

River Delights

All the time we spent in Bandon, the daytime was lovely. Really fun to get some great photos of the ocean, rivers, and life around the area. I was able to get some good photos of the Coquille River pilings at low tide with a fishing boat in the background. Earlier morning with light from the east is a great help in doing this. Lovely reflections in the water.


Cape Arago and Coos Bay

On this day we headed north to Coos Bay to see the area west of that town and visit the state parks, beaches, and the lighthouse there. It was another warm day with sun. How spectacular can that be! We found the community west of North Bend very depressed economically with many abandoned buildings. The state parks and beaches were not crowded and were lovely to visit. Great to come back to with the rest of the family.
Cape Arago Lighthouse

Colorized Photos

What a pleasure to view old black and white photos from the past that have been colorized.It gives the scene and past another perspective. Maybe the colorization brings the scene more into reality versus a remoteness when viewed. Here is a post with some examples, one from the Civil War era. An extended look of the group of photos is also here.

Colorful Clouds

Last night as the sun was setting and the rain clouds were thinking of accumulating, I got this photo of color imprinted on a fluffy cloud above the Douglas Fir trees. It was a night of a colorful sunset.

Photo Contest

Ruralite Magazine is having their calendar photo contest again this summer. I thought I would try this year to send in some photos. I can hope that something may be picked. I did send in an offshoot of this photo scene. It is fun to watch kite flying at the beach. These were quite striking kites that day. Devil cats to us.

Memorial Day

The family all met down at the Lebanon IOOF cemetery yesterday to place flowers on the graves there. I have photos of the site that I will probably save to show in later years’ posts. Nicolas was curious about the headstones and who were the people associated with them. First Scott, then Grandpa Bob, and then I told him of his new found great and great-great grandparents he had acquired. The cemetery is always so beautiful yet solemn at this time of year.

Here are more photos from Washington D.C. and remembrances of honoring the dead and remembering the fallen.
From an Ace of Spades blog post………..

I have seen this ceremony more times than I can count. I never cease to be humbled by it, by the sentinels of the 3rd Infantry Regiment, US Army at Ft. Meyer. The Old Guard. 21 steps. Hurricanes. Snowstorms. Or the brutal summer heat in Virginia.
This tomb will always have a guard.

Vietnam War Memorial, 2007
“When I was a kid (1984 or so), we visited the Vietnam Memorial. I remember my dad searching for his fallen comrades. He looked in the book, found the panel, then I remember him tracing the names with his fingers, tears in his eyes.”
Read the full story here.

Nat Geo Photos

I enjoy learning about and using different photography skills to take photos. I won’t win contests most likely though I like to challenge myself to do better and be creative.
Nat Geo has recently sent out their early favorites for their annual photography contest. This list includes 42 photos and they are cool. You can find their list here at the Atlantic website. I will include a photo from around 2003, taken in eastern Nevada at Great Basin National Park with the snow capped mountain nicely framed by the trees.


Windmills on the Green

Just another shot of the powerful windmills in the Palouse Hills above a mix of green (new) and beige (old) wheat fields.

Windmill Country

While driving through the Palouse, there are stretches of open countryside with large swatches of windmills. They can be fascinating to watch and try to photograph. In this photo, I tried to see if I could get a decent picture with the light highlighting the windmills against a darker, cloudy sky.

Doggie Driver

Stopping in Colfax WA as we set out to leave the Palouse Hills, this canine (doggie) driver seemed to be settled in to say “Goodbye” to the Thayers. I hope he shares the controls with his owners or it will be a “dog fight”. I hope the owner of this vehicle can “CoExist” with this dog.

Palouse Farming

We headed up through the Columbia Gorge to stay overnight in Walla Walla. We enjoy this city and its good food and wine. Traveling around in the Southeast Washington fields and rolling hills, you can see the isolated homes and spots of agriculture. One example is this rake just off the road next to an early wheat field.

Spring Weather

A cold front that is circling from Northeast to Southwest weather patterns is moving through today. Some waves of rain, hail, and wind. The day ended up last night with the sun setting brilliantly and exposing waves of mist and clouds. This picture is when the clouds got colorful near the end.

Wonder Weekend

It is a beautiful spring weekend and this morning came with no clouds in the sky. A little mist to hug the valley and cling to the hills. It is sad to have a cold and be under the weather when such a day comes about. It should get up to 75 degrees today and what a day that will be. Here is a photo of what spring is like!

World War II Bunkers

If you want to see what can be made of long abandoned World War II bunkers in France, Holland, and Belgium, check out this article and the photographs taken of the bunkers in different lighting and in the winter. A lot of history and most likely the stories of men’s lives all wrapped up in these concrete “mansions”.



I came across this article in The Atlantic Magazine online. They posted 50 photos from the year 1963. A number of the photos were key influencers on issues of that day. One photos is of an older Buddhist monk who set himself ablaze in protest to the suppression of the monks in South Vietnam by the government. The photo helped to lead to the government’s downfall. Another was a police dog lunging a a black youth during marches in Alabama.This photo’s appearance got the Kennedy government more deeply involved in moving Civil Rights for African-Americans forward. Of course there are the photos of the time around President Kennedy’s assassination in November. An interesting read about this time in history is in Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Kennedy. A look at the world 50 years ago.

19th Century Germany

To look at some fascinating images/photos from 19th century Germany, the webpage can be found here. I have visited Germany and the city of Berlin. I will have to scan my slide of the Brandenburg Gate to compare to the photo of the Gate from that older time period.


More Family Beach

While at the Oregon coast I like to take a lot of photos. The ocean waves look great though photos also need interaction and activity, so getting photos of families or pets can add a bit. One set of photos I took the first day where of a family with two little boys who were enjoying running in the sand with their father (when they weren’t hanging close to mom). Enjoy!
family and beach-1-10-13

Fall Days

Not much to blog about today. It is a day of catch up email and small items while trying to also catch up on sleep and energy after work and travel yesterday. Eight hours of flying and changing planes. Today is one of our gray type of fall days with fog and rain on the horizon. It would be nice to have had a sunny day like I saw in Philadelphia and Minneapolis yesterday. It just brightens up the world a bit. Here is a photo demonstrating what a similar day last year looked like. We have a week ahead of rain and wind to look forward to for the holidays.


Fall Leaves

We are not New England though we do get a bit of fall leaf color in the Pacific Northwest. Many trees have some brilliant red color to the leaves. I caught this old fruit tree below our house that has an interesting golden contrast against the green trees.
fall color-11-5-12

World War II Remembered

There was a recent online article that reminded one of the action in World War II. The authors had photos where soldiers photo images were superimposed over locations past and present of action during the War in the European theatre. The superimposition gives the impression in a way of ghost soldiers, much like the sensation as you walk the Korean War Memorial in Washington DC.
My father joined the Army before the war started and was stationed in Central America on Trinidad Island and Panama. Dad was in Panama from what I understand when the war started. He spent the War stationed at the Pentagon where he claimed he was a clerk. I like to think he knew secrets that helped win the War for the Allies.


Fall is here since the days are warm and the nights are cool. The trees are starting to change colors. Some quickly, others less so. It has been dry and only 0.04 in. of rain this month so far which is low. The creeks and rivers are low on water. When we were out driving the covered bridge route the other day, I was able to capture this shot off the Larwood bridge of the river, changing tree color with reflection, and rocks.
Larwood area-9-28-12


How exciting to see one of our photos from our trip to the Atlantic Maritimes be used in a travel photo display in our local paper. The Albany Democrat Herald posted one of our photos of French Harbor on PEI. They requested people to send travel photos and a travel tip to the paper and they would show the best ones. Probably 12 photos were picked and ours was one. Our tip was to plan more time to visit Prince Edward Island………two days is not enough where two weeks would be better. This is the second photo I have had placed in this paper. It certainly makes my photography hobby a lot more fun and rewarding. Here is the photo they printed.
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