February 20, 2015
Two weeks from tonight ‘Fine Feathered Friends’ opens at Columbia Arts in Hood River, Oregon. The artists reception is from 6 until 9pm on First Friday, March 6th. Hope you’ll join us to see the work of 15 artists inspired by our theme ‘Fine Feathered Friends’.
My favorite bird shots will be on display and for sale at the show. My other favorites (because I have too many) are available to purchase as soon as I get them listed in my shop! Or if you can’t wait, you can always let me know what you like and I’ll order it for you!!
Until then I’m entertaining & inspiring myself by getting outdoors. I love nature and the Columbia River Gorge has been ever so beautiful lately.
Here are a few of my favorites from this last week or so. Went back to find the leucistic Great Blue Heron just after sunrise.
Saw my first Hummingbird of the year at Bingen Marina!
Also watched a little Swan action at Bingen Marina.
Parked under this Red-tailed Hawk in Glenwood.
Gazed at Conboy Lake on the refuge for a while on a beautiful blue-sky day.
Followed a herd of Robins at Conboy National Wildlife Refuge. Yep, it was a herd.
More Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge gazing on a misty morning.
Watched an American White Pelican bathing in the Deschutes River.
And more…..but that’s enough for now. Don’t forget, come to my opening, First Friday at Columbia Arts in Hood River!!
February 8, 2015
February opened with a wonderful opportunity to see this leucistic Great Blue Heron along the Columbia River!!!
Bald eagles are still here, and as I said on my Facebook. Page, “Why YES officer, I DO consider it an emergency when I see a Bald Eagle on a snag next to the highway. My car always pulls over for this type of ‘emergency parking only’ situation!!”
February 1st began with a small group of us meeting in Biggs and traversing the Columbia River to Maryhill State Park. One of the first birds we saw was a Northern Flicker.
I was looking for an owl said to be there, but didn’t find it. To my delight we found many little birds, like the Bewick’s Wren above.
It was a rainy gray day, but the little birds like this Fox Sparrow didn’t notice. I did. I left my camera’s raincoat in the car! Had to cover it with a plastic bag that was loaned to me.
I managed to catch a Spotted Towhee between thicket branches.
A golden-crowned Sparrow posed for me framed by branches.
A few of us drove down the highway looking for a Long-eared owl that was seen another day, but instead we watched this Townsend’s Solitaire watching us.
I think this is a juvenile White-crowned Sparrow, but I get many of my sparrows mixed up!
Yesterday I went to Sauvie Island with my friend Nancy for an Audubon event. Most of the birds were too far away, but fortunately Audubon had their birds there for us to see up close and personal! Love the little American Kestrels even more now!!
Mesmerized by this little Peregrine Falcon, I learned so much about him and other raptors from the volunteers staffing the many booths and bird-watching stations.
This is Ruby, the Audubon’s Turkey Vulture. My appreciation for this scavenger bird has grown since learning more about them last spring.
Since we couldn’t get close enough to photograph the Sandhill Cranes and Swans, we headed out to Crystal Springs in Portland.
It was raining and once again I left my camera raincoat behind! I used my rain pants, which was a great substitute! You can see raindrops on the Wood Duck’s back while we experienced a moment of clearing.
This American Wigeon and other waterfowl came running at the sound of children’s voices. Apparently they know when kids are around they get treats!
I tend to look for the unusual ducks, but this Mallard was begging to have his portrait taken.
I can’t figure out what the waterfowl behind the Mallard is. Canvasback maybe? Not exactly.
I have many more photos to process but will stop here so I can deliver a print today, ordered by a friend.
Don’t forget, “Fine Feathered Friends” opens at Columbia Art Gallery First Friday, March 6th and runs through March 30th. Co-curator Robin Panzer and I have put together a fabulous month of events for your enjoyment in addition to 16 artists presenting their artwork! Many of our artists will demonstrate their process during the month and we’ll have an interactive display on loan from Conboy National Wildlife Refuge. On Mar 7th come see Raptors, live in the theater at Columbia Arts! Mar 14 you can paint a birdhouse in the studio. Mar 21st, enjoy a fashion show of feathery tattoos and a tattoo demonstration. Mar 28 join us for a short hike up the Hood River stairs into an older neighborhood to see and learn about our resident birds with field biologist, Cathy Flick.
January 26, 2015
January has been crazy busy driving up and down the Columbia River chasing Eagles and Herons with an occasional foray to Conboy and Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuges. Today I drove above the cloud/haze/inversion to grab some vitamin D in the form of SUNSHINE at Lost Lake!
What a special surprise to capture this lone Otter fishing. The lake had a layer of ice, so the Otter had to break through the ice to surface with his prize. In this photo, you can see chunks of ice near his ‘elbow’ as he munches on his catch.
With each ‘catch’, he climbed onto the ice and ate, then dove back for more.
Is this a crawfish he’s eating? It was so quiet on the lake, he didn’t notice us until we went crashing through the brush, trying to keep up with him as he swam away.
I’m making a big effort to really learn my camera better and use it to its fullest potential. In that light, I had a little fun with some experimental ‘blurred motion’ shots of the gorgeous surrounding forest before we left.
The pictures I haven’t shown you between my last post and this one (because I’ve run from one adventure to the next with no stops between) are on my Facebook Page, ‘Steider Studios’. I try to post a daily photo of what I am lucky to see here in the Gorge, or regionally on the occasions when I leave my mountain top.
Many more fun events are coming up.
Sunday, Feb 1st is the group ‘bird walk’. We may go to the Maryhill or Columbia Hills area – let me know if you want to join us & I’ll let you know where & when to meet.
Feb 12 – 15 I’ll be in Klamath Falls for Winter Wings Festival, photographing everything I see while I’m there!
Sunday, March 1st is another group bird walk.
First Friday, March 6th my show, “Fine Feathered Friends” opens at Columbia Arts and runs through March 30th. Co-curator Robin Panzer and I have put together a fabulous month of events for your enjoyment in addition to 16 artists presenting their artwork! Many of our artists will demonstrate their process during the month and we’ll have an interactive display on loan from Conboy National Wildlife Refuge. On Mar 7th come see Raptors, live in the theater at Columbia Arts! Mar 14 you can paint a birdhouse in the studio. Mar 21st, enjoy a fashion show of feathery tattoos and a tattoo demonstration. Mar 28 join us for a short hike up the Hood River stairs into an older neighborhood to see and learn about our resident birds with field biologist, Cathy Flick.
I keep thinking I’ll have plenty of time to tell you everything, but when the sun is out or eagles are flying, or an opportunity for fun presents itself….I’m going out to play! Maybe I’ll see you out there!!
January 4, 2015
A long-time friend and I decided to take the scenic route into Portland on Friday for our ‘Girls Day Lunch Adventure’ and we were rewarded with a magical winter wonderland.
Our first stop was Horsetail Falls and it was spectacular. The walkway was very icy but worth the risk of slipping to see the sparkly ice up close.
Icicles hung off all the cliffs and each of the big iconic waterfalls along the old highway majestically roared against icy canyon walls.
Our next stop was Multnomah Falls and it was stuffed with photographers. We bundled up and walked up to the bridge but did not hike any of the trails beyond.
It was more of a fun girlfriend day out filled with laughter and memories along with a little awe, rather than a photographer’s holiday. No tripod, no hiking boots, no rain gear just my camera and a semi-steady hand.
Our last stop was Latourell Falls and again we were mesmerized by sparkly white ice, the roar and majesty of these frozen waterfalls.
For scale, the red splash in the lower left corner in the photo above is another photographer who braved the icy trail.
We finished our drive through the Columbia River Gorge and had a lovely lunch in Troutdale, then decided we’ll have to make this outing a regular occurrence!
January 3, 2015
As in years past I took a New Year’s Day hike to enjoy nature & see what interesting critters I could find outside, in spite of the cold 13º when I left the house.
It was a gorgeous sunny clear day and a friend was willing to brave the cold with me. We started at Bingen Marina, looking for swans at the Pond.
There wasn’t a swan in site, but we found a flurry of activity from Quails scavenging for food under the fallen leaves near the picnic tables.
Usually they manage to hide in brush before I can grab my camera so I was happy to catch them. I should’ve counted, but I think there were at least a dozen!
We made a quick stop at Rowland Lake where we watched two pair of Lewis’s Woodpeckers.
I love these gorgeous birds and am always thrilled to see them. Other than the woodpeckers, it was fairly quiet at the lake.
A couple dozen waterfowl swam on the south side of Rowland Lake. Until they heard my car stop.
This time of year, the main event is Bald Eagles! This juvenile was pretty close to the road, but camouflaged by all the branches.
No wonder he stayed and let me photograph, he didn’t want to leave his breakfast!
Another Bald Eagle juvenile near the beach let me get pretty close. He seemed just as curious about me as I was about him.
Balfour was our next stop as that’s where many Eagles congregate. I counted close to two dozen eagles, mostly soaring high overhead. It’s difficult to get close enough for great photography at Balfour.
This juvenile at was pretty close to the hiking path and I love the contrast of blue sky.
My biggest surprise at Balfour was finding my first Acorn Woodpecker. I sure hope he’s still there when I return so I can get a better picture. He was so fast, I just took what I could get of him!
Our last stop of the day was the Hood River Marina where a flock of sweet little Goldfinches were lunching on a tree by the river.
Our last bird of the day, was a Great Blue Heron who let us take his portrait. We crept as close as we dared, then left him in peace.
Happy New Year everyone! I think my goal for this year is to inspire you to get out and enjoy nature more!! xoxoxo
December 26, 2014
I love how this Great Blue Heron photo-bombed my Swan shot.
Today I went back to the Bingen Marina hoping for a couple of do-overs because my camera settings got skewed a couple of days ago and of course I didn’t notice.
But you know there are never do-overs in photography or life – only new opportunities!
New opportunities are always on my horizon. In one way or another.
Wasn’t it just 20 days ago I spoke of wanting more time.
I should have remembered that saying “Be careful what you wish for”.
Due to a family emergency, I cancelled all upcoming art shows and put my online shops on vacation.
I spent 10 days at Providence-Portland Medical-Center with a loved one.
I am full of gratitude that we are all on the road to recovery now, but what a nightmare it was.
I left thank you notes all over that hospital.
The RNs, CNAs, Docs, Food Service people, Cleaning Crew – even the Cafeteria Staff were enormously compassionate and kind to me and my family.
They are the ‘Earthly Angels’ among us.
Many heartfelt thanks also went out to family and friends who held us up in prayer and good thoughts. Sent daily (sometimes hourly) messages. Brought me food. Sent us a Christmas tree! I love you all!!
Back at the ‘Ranch’, I am trying to do nothing but enjoy precious time with my loved ones.
I’m thinking 2015 will be quite different from my usual mach speed, ‘say yes to everything’ way of working.
Not sure yet how I’ll accomplish that, but I look forward to giving it a try.
And it felt REALLY good to take a deep breath, get out in fresh air and back to nature with my camera just two days ago.
Wishing you & yours a 2015 that is everything you hope for.
December 6, 2014
I can’t believe a month has gone by since my last post!
Where has time gone?
Where is my Rocking Chair – will sitting in one make time slow down?
I need more time. More time to just breathe.
Life has been crazy busy and today I am forced into having that extra time to breathe.
And to catch up.
Because for the first time EVER I had to cancel my appearance at an art show.
Even if I COULD carry my heavy boxes of glass across the ice to my car…
If you were planning to shop for holiday gifts from me you can still see my work online.
If you want to see my work in person, go to Columbia Arts in Hood River…
J D Smith Jewelers in The Dalles has a selection of my jewelry….
…and don’t forget the Hood River Holiday Pop Up Gift Store at Gallery 301 in Hood River!
Back at ‘The Ranch”, there is half to one inch of ice covering everything.
That includes my car, trash barrel, mailbox, garden and driveway.
This morning I took my camera out to capture some of it.
In a way it was pretty … and I AM catching up … and even breathing today!
My bird sculptures are pretty in ice (made by Sherm Rouse).
At least I’ll be toasty ‘weather’ I get out or not! Hope you enjoy our winter wonderland and don’t get ‘stuck’ anywhere.