March 5, 2014
I am way behind, so instead of panicking I’ll just relive the last sunset of February. I was cooped up all last week with my computer, CreativeLive and Photoshop trying to learn new tricks. At the end of the last session on Friday I had to… no, needed to hike down my mountain for fresh air, green forest and hopefully a sunset. So thrilled I caught the last sunset of February just before March stormed in.
On Sunday, in spite of the March storm I went to the Yard Garden & Patio show with my friend Kathy. We were so desperate for spring that we braved icy snowy conditions on Interstate 84. We cruised at a steady 35 to 40 mph & arrived in Portland in time for a fabulous Lebanese lunch and the show. Our trip home was not as pleasant with a 10-15 mph cruising speed crawling on bumpy washboard ice caused by semi trucks chained up. I confess that was better than the alternative – skating off the road like some of the abandoned cars we saw.
Now I’m back in the throes of getting ready for my annual studio sale. and working with Gorge Artists Open Studios for next month’s self-guided tour of 40 artist’s studios. I always wonder if people will venture way up here to my spot on top of Burdoin Mountain to see (and purchase!) my glass & photography. If you’re so inclined, you can download a pdf of our map from our website onto your iPad (I think it would work on other reading devices too)!
In preparation this year we have THREE venues showing a preview of our work!
Tomorrow night, Thursday March 6th is the opening reception for The Dalles Art Center Preview Show. From 5 until 7pm you will meet many of our artists – I hope you can make the opening.
We’ll also have a Preview Show in the lobby of Columbia Art Gallery with an opening First Friday, March 7th from 6 until 8 pm. Most of us will be there to talk about our work & we’d love to see you there.
I also have work in the gallery portion of Columbia Art Gallery for the Trash to Art Show during the month of March. I’ll be hanging out between the lobby area and the gallery for the reception of both shows on First Friday.
If that weren’t enough, the White Salmon Windows project is featuring participating studio tour artists downtown for the month of March. So, 40 artists have work spread throughout the gorge hoping to tempt you to come to our studios in April!
I’ll post more information about my studio sale closer to the event & hopefully will have something interesting to post between now & then!! As always, I’m ever so grateful that you took a moment to visit with me!!
February 11, 2014
Ever since hearing about Glass Beach in Fort Bragg California I’ve wanted to make a pilgrimage to see it for myself. Many friends and acquaintances told me I’d be disappointed because there was no glass left, but I was determined to go and find glass to photograph if there was any to be found.
I wanted to stay right on the beach but not in a dumpy old place so after researching chose the Ocean View Lodge - this is the view from my room. It was comfortable in spite of a few quirks and we didn’t plan to spend any time there other than sleeping. We arrived late and had a great meal at Mendo Bistro.
While waiting for low tide the following day, we took a whale watching excursion on the Trek II Charter boat where I had an interesting conversation with our captain & his brother. Their grandfather captained the first charter boat specifically for whale watching in the area. I snapped a few shots as we left the harbor and wish I’d grabbed a shot of our boat to show you.
My friends and I enjoyed our Starbucks in the warm dry cabin while the 4th grade class that we shared the boat with crowded the front deck. We traded places soon after the first whale sightings occurred and the kids had spent their early morning excitement and energy.
It was a blustery day but we were there to see whales. As the kids moved to the back deck we headed to the front where we mostly had the entire deck to ourselves.
See it? The blow spout from a gray whale.
We only saw a couple of whales and they didn’t show us much more than this, but it was fantastic to see them. Soaked from the rain in spite of our rain gear, we remained on deck so we wouldn’t miss any sightings.
Two hours later, back at Noyo Harbor I tried to dry out my camera so it would be ready to document Glass Beach.
Following the advice I was given from several sources we hiked along the cliffs in Fort Bragg. We were determined in spite of the weather so kept moving forward, closer to where we might find sea glass.
We had several trails to choose from and decided this looked the easiest to hike down the cliffs at Glass Beach.
How thrilled we were to find actual glass at the bottom of the cliffs! We couldn’t resist digging through it right there, even though we had a couple of coves to explore while the tide was out.
As we played in the glass we heard a melodic and peaceful continuous song that must have been a fog horn at this lighthouse.
As we left I snapped one more shot of the Glass Beach coastline then we grabbed a late lunch on the wharf.
We decided to see more of the coastline after lunch since we were already wet & didn’t want to spend the afternoon cooped up in a hotel room. My friends and I wanted more adventure!
Forgive the quality of this shot, it was almost sunset and we were wet and cold in the fog, wind and rain.
Back at our room we dried out, then found a fantastic pizza at Piaci Pizza, recommended by a local friend.
At dinner we couldn’t stop talking about how much fun we’d had on Glass Beach, so abandoned all other plans and returned the following day.
It was raining even harder so we drove down the coast to Mendocino while waiting for low tide, stopping at every little turn out.
Climbing down the cliffs was wet and muddy that second day but worth it. As we hit the beach the rain stopped and we frolicked in the glass one last time. I tried to get a classic shot of glass beach, but there was no glitter without sunshine to bring out the sparkle. Much of what appears to be dark rocks is actually very dark brown glass.
As I said earlier, several of my friends warned me of disappointment because there was no glass left. I think they were on the wrong beach! I hated leaving but had to catch a flight to the frozen Northwest the following afternoon.
Early in the morning we left to have one more half a play date together in Santa Cruz.
We started at the Santa Cruz wharf where sea lions were piled high. Several babies were snuggling in the group.
It was fun watching them swim and play in the water.
Loved this cute little baby sea lion.
I got a little practice photographing more birds while there! You knew I would!!
Found a few herons too! A remarkable and fabulous four days of adventure.
I must tell you it was mostly a remarkable trip because of the company I kept – two friends from long ago that I hadn’t seen in over twenty years. In addition to the excitement of seeing Glass Beach for the first time, most of my joy came from our reminiscing and planning for the next adventure together.
February 2, 2014
January was an incredible month for chasing eagles. I’ve been down by the river all month in spite of below freezing temperatures.
The best day was January 27th when my friend Nancy and I counted FORTY SIX eagles between Major Creek, Balfour Park, The Dalles Dam, Meyer Park and Mosier. Simply stated, it was a magical day.
Thousands of photos later, I’ve whittled down my image catalog to those I can’t bear to part with. Not all are that great, but remind me of what I saw, staring up in wonder at the magnificent Bald eagles.
January was a magical journey full of inspiration. We photographed many other birds, but mostly we chased eagles. Without further ado:
On the Klickitat River I caught an adult bald eagle taking his fish to a more private dining area.
Further up the Klickitat River eagles were harder to photograph due to camouflage of twigs and branches.
While we wait for photo opportunities the surrounding landscapes are breath-taking. This is an upper section of the Klickitat River on a frigid January morning. I can still hear it roar.
My heart soars with these magnificent birds. Am I lucky? Blessed? In the right place at the right time? Yes.
This is Balfour Park where eagles perch in trees along the Klickitat River. I’m still waiting for my new Tamron 150-600mm lens that will allow me to get much closer to these incredible birds.
This adult bald eagle perched right on the paved path at Balfour where numerous visitors including Yours Truly were able to photograph him endlessly.
At the Dalles Dam on the Columbia River dozens of bald eagles congregate daily. I will get much better shots of them with my new lens. If it arrives before the eagles leave!
A juvenile bald eagle surprised me when he took off directly overhead at Major Creek. I think I surprised him too!
Although not sharp, I like this photo because of the white feathers on his back and his tail feathers have brown tips. Near Lyle Point along Highway 14.
Many of my images have been printed on all occasion greeting cards and are available in my Zibbet shop and my ArtFire shop; and are also available as metal prints and canvas wraps to adorn your home or office walls. If you see something you like and it’s not in my shops, please send me a message to make it happen!
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January 4, 2014
What a magical start to 2014! I was giddy with excitement as I watched the colors in the sky changing on the second evening of January. Overlooking the Columbia River Gorge watching the mist hovering over the river as the mountains darkened and the skies turned into a painting.
No matter where I turned my camera an amazing array of color mixed with golden clouds. Cars were stopping on the road, all the neighbors were out staring at the sky in amazement.
Mt Hood with a brilliant red cloud curling over her snowy white cap was the last bit of color to fill my soul.
The day had a magical start when I found a Kingfisher & caught him in flight!
The last day of 2013 I caught this juvenile Red-tailed hawk in flight. Today I entered him in a Project FeederWatch contest. Do me a favor and vote for my photo: Simply click this link and vote for my hawk in flight. Thanks!! You only have until tomorrow night (Sunday, Jan 5th) to vote!!!
2014 is off to a wonderful start! I can’t wait to see what’s next!!
January 1, 2014
I had a glorious ending to 2013 and a fabulous beginning to 2014 chasing eagles along the Columbia River. They congregate where the Klickitat River meets the Columbia River.
Fog has covered the river most days with sun breaks from time to time. I’ve been traversing the Columbia near Lyle daily this last week and plan to continue until the eagles are gone.
Today, eagle expert Tim Pitz led a small group of us on an ‘Eagle Outing’ along the Balfour trail from the Memaloose Tasting Room in Lyle. To our astonishment, this juvenile stayed perched on the trail while our group carefully and quietly made our way around her. Tim pointed out the blood still on her talons and her swollen crop indicating she had just eaten.
Prior to the event I was at the water’s edge looking for a Kingfisher that I recently discovered. He didn’t disappoint. I was lucky to see him dive in the water twice just after his call that sounds like maniacal laughter.
Here’s another shot of him from a few days ago when I first discovered him.
After today’s event the river had filled up with people fishing so I headed home. Stopped at the Bingen Marina in time to catch some geese flying off, but I saw no more eagles.
Yesterday I was lucky to catch this hawk flying. I’m told it’s a juvenile Red tail.
A couple days ago a juvenile bald eagle graced me with his presence.
The same day I was lucky to have this bald eagle fly right in front of me.
And this motley juvenile was the only eagle on the beach while I searched for the Kingfisher.
Yesterday a friend and I missed this heron hiding in a tree as we hiked by. Fortunately her husband pointed him out to us as we hiked back out!
The last few days have been amazing. I’m so lucky to live here, in the Columbia River Gorge. I can’t wait to see what unfolds tomorrow! And I really can’t wait until my new Tamron 150-600mm lens arrives!
December 27, 2013
I’m thrilled to find a trio of these big birds in my back yard. They’ve been in my area for at least a year but are regularly seen with a flock of turkeys.
Yesterday two peahens and a peacock were in my back yard most of the afternoon. They were scratching the ground and preening in the sun.
I crept up to them oh so slowly and quietly until I was about five feet away.
Maybe they thought I was a turkey, or better yet one of them. Although they eyed me suspiciously, they did not seem disturbed by my presence.
They’re back this morning, hanging out near our chicken coop.
Our chickens are now eyeing them with suspicion, but so far the only one distressed is our dog. She is simply warning us of trespassers – not chasing them at all, simply barking to let us know of their presence.
They’re so pretty and colorful. And they keep snakes away. Can we keep them? Please??!!!
December 4, 2013
I’ve been barely breathing this last year without even realizing it. One week from today, December 11th is the anniversary of the Clackamas_Town_Center_shooting. I was there. Or I should say I was almost there. There but for the grace of God. Spirit. Guardian Angel. My own intuition. I was exiting the mall as the shooter began spraying bullets where I had stood three minutes before.
This is what I posted on my Facebook page: ”I cannot believe how lucky I am. Missed the Clackamas shooting by 5 minutes if that! If I had gone into the Made in OR store & browsed like I wanted to, instead of racing to Sports Authority for gift cards I would’ve been locked in! Feeling goose-bumpy……..”
Almost a year later I’m beginning to realize how my life has changed because of that event. At the time it was nothing more than a near miss – I was too busy to give it further thought. I didn’t think I was affected…yet I was…and still am. Not taking anything for granted. No longer planning my life a year in advance for show & teaching schedules. Not wasting time on things that don’t matter. Lately my thoughts have bubbled to the surface and I’m acknowledging how it altered my life.
When I walked into the food court that day I had a prickly fearful feeling that I wanted to get out of there. As I looked at two employees talking in front of their counter I had a strange thought that one of them could have a gun. I shook it off as a weird unwelcome thought, but it was all I could do to make myself go to the restroom so I could get out of there sooner rather than later. On my way out of the food court I started towards ‘Made in Oregon’, a regular stop for me but that nagging voice in my head insisted I keep moving forward with my Christmas shopping. GET OUT OF HERE is what reverberated in my head. “Don’t dally, get across the street to Sports Authority and finish your shopping”. GO HOME is what I wanted to do.
As I drove home after my last purchases and heard what happened on the radio, I started shaking so hard I had to pull over. I looked at my receipts and discovered I’d exited Clackamas Town Center about the same time a shooter began his rampage. I didn’t know how lucky I was to acknowledge my intuition and left a disaster unscathed. Mostly unscathed. I still feel a little shaky thinking about it, but I think I’m beginning to process it.
I’ve always had a joyful spirit, but now even more so. Looking forward to seeing where new adventures take me.
I hesitate to hit the ‘publish’ button for this post, yet feel compelled to share this as part of my catharsis. Here goes….