Thursday, November 3, 2011


As I said before, I spent a bit of time with the protestors at the Nixyaawii Governance Center on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
I didn't spend the night, though I commend those who did. When I spoke with them Wednesday morning, my car temperature gauge read 18 degrees. I think it was about 10 degrees warmer the second morning.
Though it was a short occupation, about four days, it was still interesting to see people out and talking about what they are passionate about.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I spent much of last week visiting the protestors at the Umatilla Indian Reservation. I heartily respect the fact they spent some of the coldest nights this year with little shelter other than a sleeping bag or heavy blanket. They said they watched shooting stars and listened to coyotes sing.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I visited the Harris Jr. Academy Fall Festival on Saturday. Here are two photos — Spiderman vs. a storm trooper in a pillow fight and a witch riding a mechanical bull — I took in addition to the one that ran in Sunday's paper.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cogs on the prowl

At the risk of becoming one of 'those' people, I've posted these photos of our cat, Cogs, bravely exploring the front porch.
Cogs is an inside cat -- we've done this on purpose as we live on a busy street -- but we're starting to let him out every once in a while.
As shown in the bottom photo, he was very nervous at first. But by the middle and top photo he had carefully walked out to the edge of the porch.
This particular evening, sometime last week, had a brilliant sunset. The yellow, orange an pink light turned everything a nice summer color.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jumpin' Jack

Here are two of my more off-kilter shots of the Hacky Sack guy in Seattle. Of course, these could have been some of the best shots, if I had aimed right. But I still like how they turned out.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hacky Sack

I know it's been a while since my last post. I have been on vacation for part of this month, then in a manic rush to catch up at work after being on vacation. Apologies, apologies.
I spent last weekend in Seattle. At a park near Pike Place Market a guy was feverishly playing Hackey Sack in the afternoon sun. He was great to watch, especially because he kept flinging out his arms every time he did a difficult move.
My challenge was in aiming the camera just right to get his silhouette while holding the camera low to the ground. This meant I couldn't look in the viewfinder, so I was shooting blind. I do this pretty often, but it is still a haphazard technique. My post tomorrow will show a few of my less on-target shots.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Smoke screen

There has been a lot of field burning going on around Hermiston and Pendleton this past week. I spent some time on Saturday chasing smoke, until I realized it had to be a controlled burn because there were no sirens or lights.
This smoke stack is from Monday, when a field burned just of Interstate 84. This picture doesn't seem to give the sight justice. It seemed much larger when I drove by it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Learning lessons

OK, these are my last camp photos.
Though the above photo isn't the best shot, I like the look on the girls' faces as they laughed. As teacher Trisha Shell, the one holding up the thermometer in the lower photo, put it: the kids really got into the science when they split into their small groups. However goofy they may act as a pack, those who came to camp were focused, inquisitive and very interested in the world around them.

In the details

Sorry my posts haven't been up to date, but I still have camp photos I want to post!
These more photos of kids counting rings, with the help of Katy Gray, with the Umatilla National Forest.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Counting the years

I learned about an increment borer at science camp. This T-shaped tool drills into a tree and takes out a pencil-width cylinder. The kids can count the rings on that sample to find the tree's age.
This girl had great expressions. Above she works hard to drill into a dense Tamarck tree. Below, I like the look of intense concentration as this girl carefully counts the rings on the sample. The wooden piece was also delicate, and often fell apart as soon as she took it out of the device.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

An eye for the forest

Here two boys at the camp measured the slope a patch of ground using a kilometer. One boy held it up to his eye, while pointing it at the other boy, who was about the same height. The instrument told him the difference in slope between the two of them was 10 percent.

Then the boys drew the landscape around them in their camp journals.
I really like this photo, as both of them look so intense on what they're doing

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Off to camp

I had fun at a science camp with Milton-Freewater kids last week. Other than getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, it was a great day in the mountains.
I was only able to use one photo for my story over the weekend. But I took many more. Deciding on which photo to submit wasn't easy (I actually submitted four, but the editor only used one). Fortunately I have lots of room here to post many more science camp photos.
This was my best group shot. It has all the kids following their intrepid leader, Bob Chicken, with the Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council. In addition to running the camp, he also runs a science club during the school year.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Get 'em sheep

Another competitor at Caledonian Days — this one had four legs and not kilt.
I always enjoy watching dogs do what they love. This was no exception. Though some of the sheep dogs had trouble getting the sheep to comply, a few handled them masterfully.
We stood at the bottom of the bleachers, where dogs took the sheep through one gate and around another. It was a good spot to get them on the run, if my shutter is fast enough.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Another event at the Caledonian Days is the sheaf toss. It's a bit like the high jump, but with a bale of hay.
The competitors have to chuck the bale over a horizontal bar which is progressively moved higher and higher.
To the left, one of the finalists narrowly makes it over one of the highest settings.
Above, I found the Jolly Roger flags atop the bars humorous.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Over the weekend my husband and I visited Athena's Caledonain Games. It was the first year I went for fun, not for work.
The games were very busy with officials from Scottish-American Athletic Association running the competitions.

But it made for good fun, watching this guy, and others, throw stones.
This man seemed to have an advantage, as he was taller than his competitors. And he really gave the stone the old heave-ho when he threw!
I'll post a few more photos from the celebration, including a few of the animal competitors (sheep dogs).

Friday, July 8, 2011

New Sweet Home

Here is my last post about the bees' moving day.
After the beekeepers took the old stump apart (see the background of this photo) they put the bees into new colony boxes. These boxes, which the beekeeper is grabbing in the photo above, hold square plates where bees can build their new honeycomb. Then the beekeepers take the colony home where they can use it to harvest honey.

Here is the results of the beekeeper using the beevac - a vacuum modified to pull bees into this container. I really liked this photo, with all the bees inside as a mottled mess. But that mottled mess would not show up on newsprint.

To calm them down, one beekeeper sprayed honey on the bees.

The honey made them all stick together, like a thick bee ball. The other beekeeper rotated the container around a few times, turning it over and over. Once the bees were well stuck together, they opened the container and plopped the bee ball into the colony box. Then they quickly covered the colony box with a screen and duct tape.
Unfortunately I missed the moment when they dropped the bees into the box. That was right about when I got stung. And the photos I took of the new colony box are not worth showing here. So I'll leave it up to your imagination.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Shining in the sun

One of the beekeepers I tagged along with holds up a piece of honeycomb. The closed-off spots are the brood -- the baby bees.
I am amazed at the intricacy of what bees build, whether it's sweet honey or the architecture of their combs.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Though it wasn't the huge cartoon-like swarm I was expecting, when the beekeepers cut into the stump home of this bee colony, they flew out to defend.
These bees were relatively gentle. I only got stung once and the beekeepers didn't get stung at all.

Still, I was happy with how the camera was able to capture the tiny buzzing bees, even as they zipped from one place to another. A few hovered or sat on the stump, as shown below.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bee time

Last week I spent a morning with two men who moved a bee colony from an old stump to a new home.
I doubt I've mentioned this before, but I find bees fascinating and I love honey (I put it in my coffee every morning).
I have to admit, I did suffer an injury. I am slightly allergic to bees, but the last time I'd been stung was more than 1o years ago. On little guy got me Thursday, between my middle and ring finger on my right hand. As a result, my hand was swollen all weekend. It's back to its normal size now.
Considering the men were chain-sawing the stump apart, I count myself very lucky these bees were relatively docile.
I wore a mask during this operation, which made taking pictures very difficult. I couldn't bring the viewfinder to my eye. So I would take a photo, see how it turned out, adjust, and take another. The result was a LOT of photos.
A story did run on Saturday, but I'll post more bee photos this week here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

So long, cyclists

These are my last CROC photos.
I wanted to enter a one or both of these for the newspaper, but I worried the cyclists would be too small to show up in newsprint.
I had fun with perspectives on the first photo, making the sign for Missouri Gulch large, the cyclists small, and even smaller (squint!) a kite tied to the sign.
I'm sure that kite was a welcome sign to riders after 20-or-so miles cycling.
The second photo is from another boisterous volunteer, cheering a bicycle rider on as he left the rest area.
It was a fun weekend, for all involved, including myself.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A bad influence

What could this member of the "Bodine" family (the "white trash" name the volunteers give themselves at the rest area for the CROC ride) be pulling from her handy pocket?

Why, cigarettes, of course!
Just kidding. These are candy cigarettes.
I didn't know they even made them, or sold them anymore. I vaguely remember candy cigarettes from when I was a kid, but I thought government regulators pulled them for being a bad influence on children. I never understood that. I wanted the candy cigarettes because they were candy, not because they were cigarettes.

Nevertheless, someone had found them and brought them to the rest area. Even better, they were "Round Up" candy cigarettes. What could be more perfect for Pendleton?

I especially liked this shot for a to show a bad influence. The volunteers gave the candy cigarettes to the bike riders who, just like everyone did when they were kids, pretended to smoke them. It might be hard to see in this photo, but the volunteer is raising a candy cigarette right to the waiting lips of the cyclist.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fun atop Cabbage Hill

I visited the "white trash" rest area for the CROC last Sunday. This is the stop all the riders and volunteers were talking abut - the one they said I shouldn't miss.
There the volunteers dressed in their backwoods party best, though they had to layer up because the temperatures were in the 40s.
Last year's theme was a shotgun wedding, so this year they celebrated the "burf-day" of the new "baby." In case you can't tell, the baby is the red-haired doll in these photos.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Goofy stretch

Goofy is drawn to goofy, I guess.
Saturday morning Pendleton on Wheels member Chuck Wood, dressed in a CROC hat, showed some stretching moves to the five cereal guys.
Five guys from the Vancouver area (and one from Athena) dressed in cereal jerseys: Apply Jacks, Smacks, Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, and Pops. They were total hams, ready for a photo, or two, or 10. They even had me pose a photo with one of them.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

CROC: Century Ride of the Centuries

I spent the weekend with cyclists taking part in the Century Ride of the Centuries - a series of rides through Umatilla County covering land from the wheat fields to the Columbia River to the Blue Mountains.
In the photo above, Herb Bitting, my unofficial guide to the event, holds up one of the patches cyclists can earn. This one, conquering the Blues, is for riding all the way from Pendleton to the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center past Cabbage Hill. There's another one for conquering Cabbage Hill, and a third one that says, "I'm a weenie, I drove Cabbage Hill." That one is for riders who drive up to Deadman Pass, then bike to the interpretive center.
Below are a couple riders getting their start on Saturday at Tamastslikt Cultural Institute — the starting point for all the rides.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Here is another photo from the Helix Heart of the Country Rodeo. Seth Hopper, of Stanfield, won the prize for calf roping. I liked the way this shot included his horse, his prize (a framed rodeo poster) and the grain elevators in the background.
I turned the color to sepia just for the fun of it.