Monday, December 28, 2009

A visit from Jack Frost

Jack Frost visited Ashland on Christmas Day. I was down south visiting my Dad and snuck out for about 15 minutes to grab some photos before the sun melted all the ice away. I kept trying to get the small ice crystals in focus, while still having an interesting background. These two, at least, seemed to work.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Inner workings

This is the front of an old train in the Maxwell Siding Railroad Museum in Hermiston. Santa came for a visit Saturday, which brought me there as a reporter. Apparently the museum is open nearly every Saturday, run by two volunteers. The train cars and engines were filled with old machinery and train paraphernalia, a little more reminiscent of a ghost town than a straight-up museum. Interesting place, and great for kids who are into trains.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Warm thoughts ...

OK, I know it's December, but enough of this cold stuff!
After two weeks of cold weather and snow, it's warmed up. And after reviewing my blog, with lots of cold, cold and more cold, I decided to add something warm. When I thought of warm, I thought of this photo. It's in the apartment I first lived in when I moved to Pendleton more than three years ago. It was a nice cozy basement apartment with windows on one side and wood siding along most of the walls. Some people find wood siding cheesy, but I find the warm colors comforting. Adding to the warm colors of this photo is the table, the hot cup of tea, and the red in my violin bow. They blend together to remind me of slow afternoons in the small apartment, with simple pleasures like learning musical basics.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Winter's arrival

Even with the cold temperatures in early December, to me, winter didn't officially arrive until it snowed.
Before the freezing rain came in to ruin it all and threaten anyone driving or walking with imminent death from slipping, I went for a winter's walk on the river walkway in Pendleton.
These were taken on Monday, when temperatures started to climb and snow and ice in the Umatilla were starting to melt.
As you can see, I wasn't the only one out and about. I got a shot of this squirrel heading across the street.

Friday, December 11, 2009

More cold ...

While I'm posting, I'll add these shots of frozen circle pivots. As temperatures have stayed well below freezing this week, I've noticed these iced-over irrigators on my way to and past Athena.
As far as I can tell, they are the ones hooked to the city's wastewater treatment plant. The only reason I can think they are still running in these cold temperatures is because they must have to dispel some of the water to keep the system going.
These shots are taken from the highway, so I used a zoom and then cropped them, so the resolution won't be great. But since there's a discouraging "no trespassing" sign, these were the best I could do.

Feathers of cold

I know, I'm sorry it's been a LONG time since my last post. I can attributed it to many excuses ... such as the lack of sunlight and the cold.
Speaking of the cold, its the subject of today's photos. All week I've woken up to this odd assortment of frost on my car. I think because there's so little moisture in the air, the ice forms where it can, and only where it can. This leaves my car covered with little ice crystals as if it had been lightly covered in feathers.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Flippin' good fun

I went to Pilot Rock Junior/Senior High School Wednesday for their PE class, during which the National Guard brought all kinds of activities for the students.
Though I don't know if this made any students want to join up, they certainly had a great time. I took quite a few photos of kids flipping on the halo jumper, though I could only use one for the paper. This one didn't make the cut there, so I'm posting it here.
Below is another photo I almost submitted, but went with an indoor shot for the horizontal, which didn't get published anyway. But this photo seemed to offer a more complete shot of the different activities outside the school, plus it showed some of the National Guard guys as well.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Boise Zoo

My friend Katy took me to the Boise Zoo last weekend. Being a week before Halloween, the zoo sponsored a day for kids to come trick-or-treating inside the park's gates.
So I had just as much fun snapping photos of kids in costume as I did taking photos of the animals.
The peacock to the right is probably one of the most flamboyant examples of a costume at the zoo, and the kid's dad looks to be having a good time, too. He was one of the few who smiled for a photo.
Below is the most classic 'zoo' picture I could think of, other than a lion (my lion pictures didn't turn out so well). It turned out to be a challenge to get the camera not to focus on the cage, fence or glass between myself and the wildlife.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Which is which?

Here are some fun comparisons between costumes and actual animals. I think an adult, one working for the zoo, was in the giraffe costume.
I took a lot of photos, and it was just chance that some of the costumes matched some of the animals. There were far more kids dressed up as ninjas or wizardsor Hannah Montana.

These little penguins were making a run for it. Surprising how alike they look in these photos.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fall colors

Fall colors are pretty self-explanatory. The upper photo is a branch stretching over the Umatilla River on the Main Street bridge in downtown Pendleton, the lower is a shot of the hills behind Weston at sunset.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rise and shine

Saturday morning I saw the sun rise on my way to the White Eagle Grange's breakfast. To be fair, it wasn't that early. By the time I made it to the grange it was 7:30.
As I was driving down Highway 395 the sun just peaked over the mountains. I pulled off on the nearest frontage road and snapped a few photos.
At the grange I took photos for a wild art letting people know the grange needs members. I considered using this photo, but didn't think that wonderful steam coming off the biscuits and gravy would translate in black and white newsprint. So I saved it for the blog.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blue Mountain Wildlife

Blue Mountain Wildlife held its annual open house Saturday. I happened the be the reporter on that day, so I had an excuse to go, though I probably would have gone whether I'd been working or not.
Blue Mountain Wildlife is a raptor rehabilitation center just south of Pendleton. Lynn Tompkins, the director, works day and night to bring many hawks, eagles and even pelicans back to health. There are a number that don't make it, as is the nature of the job. She is an interesting person because her knowledge comes from experiences with the animals, rather than from books.
To the right, Marsha Flamm, who runs a rehab center in Yakima, brought her falconry skills to ooh and awe those visiting BMW. Her hawk, Black Jack, is a Harris's hawk.

This is Bob Tompkins, Lynn's husband. He is with her in every endeavor, though almost always working in the background. I was glad to get a photo of him. Here he is with Flame, the flammulated owl.

Lastly, of course, is Angus, my favorite raptor at the center. He's one of the education birds. The Tompkins take a number of birds that have been healed but are not releasable in the wild to schools, museums and events to teach people about them. He was imprinted to humans as a baby and so prefers our company to those of his own kind. He always seems ready to pose for a great photo.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nostalgic fall

With fall setting in, I grow nostalgic for last year, when Eric and I took a vacation to Southern Oregon. We spent two of those days on his property near Grants Pass, gold panning and camping.

We also took a chance to hike the entire property - most of which is made up of a huge hill. It's often hard to portray steepness in a photo, but this one below show's it perfectly. That tilt of the ground in the bottom corner is how steep it is. Eric's face also shows how steep it is.

It was just a nice relaxing time to spend with all the fall colors. It was even warm and sunny for the time we were down there.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

See Copper run

Went for a hike with a friend around the Anthony Lake area. While we hiked 8 miles, her dog, Copper, must have ran two or three times that.
He provided great entertainment during the journey. Every time Copper disappeared in one direction, he reappeared in the other.
He also struck his "pointer" pose many times, but as soon as I'd get my camera out, he'd be running off again. We kept him within site or sound the whole time, as he'd quickly run back to us once my friend whistled.

Friday, September 25, 2009

So long, Round-Up

I can't believe it's already been a week since Round-Up. My how times passes when you're not completely stressed out.
I took this crossing the train tracks on our way downtown to take part in festivities last week. It seems an appropriate way to say goodbye to Round-Up 2009, and keep in mind 2010 will be rising on the other horizon sooner than we think.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Let 'Er Buck!

Working at the paper, we toil all week, but on Saturday, some of us get to go to the rodeo — for fun. Of course, I took my camera with me and despite sitting about halfway up in the west grandstands, was still able to get some decent shots. It also kept me occupied and happy, snapping photos all afternoon.
The following posts are the other photos I took. I mostly went for the fast-paced events, and even then some events were too fast. Most all my pictures of the bucking bulls turned out blurry. But these ones came out OK.

Thrill of victory, agony of defeat

These two barrel races show the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat on their faces.
In the top photo, Linzie Walker was making her 28.52-second winning run. If you zoom in on her face, it's pure exaltation.
In the photo to the left, another racer tipped the barrel. You can see on her face, she knows it's over.

Lil Buckaroo

Round-Up isn't without its "aww" moments. This guy went out on the field at one point, absolutely adorable standing next to who I assume was his dad.

Indian Relay Races

The finals of the Indian Relay Races ran on Saturday. The camouflage team at the front took the win.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Junior Beauties

I spent Thursday morning at the Junior Indian Beauty Pageant. While these girls didn't win, I admired their spirit — especially the little ones!

Monday, August 31, 2009

We can see great sunsets from our front porch. I took these photos a few weeks ago, about when the rains hit Eastern Oregon and cooled things down for a bit. The only obstacle between our view and the sunset is a set of power lines, which can be annoying. I tried to use their geometry to my advantage on the top photo.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Sometimes you don't have to look farther than your doorstep for something interesting.
I came to work a week or so ago and found this guy (or gal, I'm not sure) hanging onto the brick wall by the EO's back door. 
Some insects are pretty cool, but I've always thought the praying mantis was one of the most fun to watch or study. Seeing this one, I of course reached for the camera. 
For those who don't like bugs, avert your eyes.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Dog show

I went to a 4-H dog show Saturday to cover for the Sunday paper. It was a fun little gig and I was surprised to see so many people out in 100+ degree weather. Despite the heat, the kids and dogs seemed to have a good time. As one of the judges said, it's great to see dogs so willing to please their handlers. It's almost as much fun as seeing the sheep dog trials or other working competitions.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Harvest time

It's harvest time in Eastern Oregon. You can smell it in the air and see it on the hillsides -- just another reminder what moves things in this part of the state. I took these photos on my way to Milton-Freewater on Monday. I love the contrasting geometries: the angles of the mountains and the circles made by the combines.

Monday, July 27, 2009

We headed to Portland for the Oregon Brewers Festival - a chance to taste the many grogs of our state. Some were bitter, some were sweet, some were just odd. I found a direct relationship between the length of the line and the taste of the brew: the longer the line, the better the taste.

I seemed to keep running into people I knew there. Perhaps the most amazing was finding Camille (to the left "Whooing!" out a toast). Camille and I were roommates in Alaska and she now lives in Seattle. Neither of us knew the other would be there, but I guess beer brings people together.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I was struggling a bit for inspiration this week -- all I could think of was summer. On recent hikes I took these photos of butterflies. When we walked into these ones drinking on the bottom, they all flew up around us like a little tornado of bright-colored wings.