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