Tuesday, August 31, 2010


On a hike this weekend I got to pick (and eat) huckleberries for the first time. I didn't have a baggie or anything to put them in, so I picked a hand full and ate them as I walked down the trail.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blackened earth

Rushing around covering the Barnhart Fire last Thursday, I was only able to snap a few photos. I also found, later that evening, the dirt caked in my ears from the dust-filled winds.
I got a few photos of this firefighter lighting a backburn near Yoakum Grade Road. Another similar photo appeared in Friday's paper.
I found it exciting to be so close to the flames. There were other spots where it was burning just on the other side of the road.
I like this shot because it shows how black fire leaves the fields.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Indian head nickel

This is a detail shot of a saddle a woman was working on in preparing her Indian regalia for the upcoming Round-Up parades. She brought it to Tamastslikt Cultural Institute workshop on Tuesday. I thought it was neat she used Indian head nickels for decoration.
The antler just behind the beads is a hook-like device where travois latch onto the saddle. Travois are the long pole-like devices American Indians used to haul cargo across the plains. Resting it on this front pommel-like part of the saddle was easier on the horses than just resting the travois on the horses neck, Woodrow Star, a saddle repairman told me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


This is an Osborne Firefinder. It was invented by a forester in 1911 and patented in 1913. Since then it has been the primary tool for fire lookouts on forests.
When the lookout sees a plume of smoke, he zeros in on it with the sights seen here. On the round central face of the firefinder is a map, with the lookout in the center.
This firefinder is the one Clayton Weir uses at Table Rock Lookout. The lookout sits south of Dayton (just south of Bluewood ski area) and straight east of Walla Walla. Mr. Weir is spending the summer watching over our Blue Mountains, keeping a steady eye out for any blazes that could get out of hand.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


This is a photo from the field fire just southwest of Pendleton last week.
The helicopter that was dipping water out of the Umatilla River is just visible at the bottom of the frame.
Like many of my photos on this blog, this one wouldn't work for a newspaper, but I still like it. The billowing smoke promotes drama. The bright sun and deep blue sky shows contrast. The tiny helicopter battling it all portrays action.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Windmill sunset

This is another shot from my way home from Weston. These windmills stood starkly against the rosy sky. I like the wisps of clouds above and the thin outlines of mountains below.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fire monster

This is a chance shot I got when campfire flames licked especially high. Don't worry, it was only for an instant. The fire died down after that.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Amazing skies

As I left Weston last week the sun had just set. I looked over my shoulder to the east to see this spectacular cloud, colored by the sun's last rays. Even though its a colorful photo, it doesn't give the sight justice.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dog's eye view

I found this dog, relaxing in the evening shade and watching people walk by, an amiable pooch who didn't mind waiting for the parade.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Reflecting on the fair

Again, passing time before the fair parade, I took a photo of this cowboy-looking guy on Main Street. I liked the way the afternoon sun lit his reflection in the glass. He's admiring a display about the fair inside Hermiston Drug & Gift.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Prepped for parade, pardner

I went to the preparation area before the Umatilla County Fair Parade on Saturday. This gave me a nice opportunity to talk to those in the parade and get some photos of them setting up.
As I was headed back to Main Street, I snapped some photos of all the flag bearers lined up. Though this doesn't portray how many flags and horses were all in one spot -- there were A LOT -- it's a nice silhouette.
In case you can't quite make it out, these are flag bearers with Pendleton's famous rodeo. The flag says "Meet me at the Round-Up."

Monday, August 9, 2010


I attended the Umatilla County Fair Parade on Saturday evening. I planted myself on Main Street, where I figured there would be a lot of people watching - good for photos. Unfortunately that meant waiting about 45 minutes after the parade started before it came down the street.
In the mean time I hung out with this little guy, a boy named Oregon, and his father.
With his huge cowboy hat and excitement about the parade, he helped pass the time. This is a photo of him looking expectantly up the street, hoping the parade, and candy, was on the way.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fishing time

I helped out at a camp this past weekend. Much of our time was spent at Jubilee Lake fishing. Here is an odd shot I got. I like the detail. The trees look greener because it was overcast that day, which seemed to saturate all the colors.