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My Last Art Show

October 18, 2016

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I’ve had a long and wonderful journey with art from painting to fiber to glass with photography along every step of the way.  A year or two ago I announced my retirement from teaching and selling art supplies.  My announcement this year is the end of weekend art shows.  Yes.  This is the last one.  I’ve sold my work at weekend art shows since I was sixteen years old.  This. Is. The. Last.  If you’re in the region I hope you’ll come out & snap up the last of my glasswork.  I’ll be at the first spot on the map below:

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200 SW Edgecliff, at my friend Ann Fleming’s studio.  I’ll still play with art but just for myself, just for fun, and when I’m in the mood…probably only on rainy days.  I’ll still be out in the field trying to capture wildlife with my camera, and will print on demand instead of speculation.  Most of my images will always be available for you to order on paper, canvas or metal in most standard sizes.

This weekend, October 21 – 23; Friday – Sunday from 11am until 5pm.  Come say hello, support our local artists!

Camping at Goose Lake

October 9, 2016

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This summer I invited myself along on a friend’s camping trip to Goose Lake in the Mt Adams Wilderness, with her two grandsons.

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This was my first camping experience (that I remember ~ my mom tells me we camped when I was a toddler) and I couldn’t wait to see sunset and sunrise over the lake without having to get up or get home at an ungodly hour.

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The boys brought fishing poles to catch our food, a BB gun to fend off wild animals in the wilderness, and a machete…I presume to clear a nice space for our comfort.  All but the fishing poles were abandoned as soon as they saw the lake!

steider-studios-fishing-goose-lake-8-26-16-11While waiting for sunset we watched a ‘mist’ of dust rise and fall as travelers drove the gravel road next to the lake.

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When sunset arrived in front of our campsite, it was pretty nice!

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Sunrise the following morning was quite beautiful as light overtook shadow.

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I was hoping to see a ton of wildlife, and made sure I was the first one on the lake after a brutally cold and nervous night’s sleep.  Between my husband’s 30-year-old worn out sleeping bag and a twig or branch crackling seemingly every few minutes I think I got 3 hours sleep max.

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Surrounded with golden light and a sweet little Sandpiper to entertain me in early morning solitude.

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As the sun rose higher I could hear campers stirring and looked for more photo opportunities before anglers or boats disturbed the lake.

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I found a family of Mergansers beginning their day.

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They chased each other back and forth…..

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…and did a bit of their own fishing while humans launched boats into the lake.

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A little Junco serenaded me from a branch behind  my spot on the beach…

steider-studios-fishing-goose-lake-8-26-16-23…as did an American Dipper on the next rock over from where I sat.

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Did I already say the morning light was Golden?  Breathtakingly so!

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As I headed toward sounds of the boys talking, a pair of Bald Eagles flew overhead.

steider-studios-goose-lake-logs-8-26-16I had to climb over a series of logs to get to where my friends were fishing for breakfast.

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As I began my climb, I stumbled upon a pair of Crossbills!  Good reason to stop!!

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Finally, I made it across the logs only to find we had no fish for our breakfast.  Luckily we brought a camp stove and eggs!!

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Goose Lake is so beautiful and a perfect place for little boys to fish and dream about all the wilderness has to offer ~ hopefully they’ll take their children one day.

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It’s also a pretty nice place for a photographer to catch some lovely reflections!  I even heard a PIKA speak!!!  I must tell you, I didn’t like the part about no showers and the lake too cold to take a dip ~ but I loved being there at dusk, dawn, and every moment between.

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I went to BirdFest at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge to celebrate the end of September and beginning of October.

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Thrilled to be there, I was in a small group that watched Sandhill Cranes fly into their roost on Friday night.  Lucky me, I went back the following morning to watch them fly out.

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We stood as silently as possible in a blind, after finding ‘the best spot’ for viewing.  As the lights dimmed the cranes began to fly in.  I zoomed in to isolate a few here and there.

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While waiting for the next group to fly in, I watched a Snowy Egret working the shoreline.

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‘Wheels’ down.  Coming in for a landing.

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The sky changed color as the sun went down and family after family of cranes arrived for the night.  The sound was breath-taking.

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A couple of times ALL the birds in this area swarmed up and out, then resettled.  Awesome. Incredible. Fantastic. Amazing.  None of these words fully express the feeling or sounds.

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Sandhill Cranes like this marshy area, surrounded by water that keeps them safe from predators.  A few of us saw a coyote walk by the blind when we arrived the next morning.  Sorry, too dark, my camera would not cooperate in spite of my pleading for that shot!

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Each family unit ~ 2 adults and 1 to 3 colts ~ flies in and out together.  Here comes another!

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As the night got darker, my ISO turned higher, but my shutter speed couldn’t keep up with all the activity.  I like this shot anyway ~ shall we call it ‘artsy’?

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Between incoming groups of cranes it was fun watching other birds like this Yellowlegs foraging for an evening meal.

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A Great Egret also flew over, joining his tribe behind the cranes.

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Saturday morning we woke early and headed back to watch the Sandhills leave their roost.

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Again in a small group, we huddled quietly in a blind and waited for the show to begin.  The birds began taking off before the sun came up.

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Watching the cranes fly against this magical sky while listening to their song….I felt as though we could be in a PBS nature show.

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Except we WERE there, right in the midst of a cinematic show filled with beautiful birds taking off in glorious light!

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High ISO = grainy shot, but this is one portion of our morning view just after the first few groups of cranes flew out.  I hope to make a panorama of the entire lagoon filled with 500 or more Sandhill Cranes.

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As the light changed I had a clearer view of the cranes and their flight patterns.

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Did I already say they were amazing to watch?  They were A-mazing!! You can sense the power in their wings.

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Young Sandhill Cranes remain with parents for 9-10 months, accompanying them in migration.

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One of my favorite birds, they mate for life.

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As it got lighter, the background landscape became prettier too.

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Last little family left.  Two adults, two colts.  What a fabulous experience.

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Cranes live an average of 20 years in the wild, and generally have 1 to 2 colts per year.  Photo above is at Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge where I was lucky to observe their courting dance.  You can distinguish adults from juveniles by the red on an adult’s head.

Sandhill Cranes nest in freshwater wetlands and are the oldest known bird species in the world.  They have an average weight of 10 pounds, a wingspan of 5 to 7 feet and are approximately 4 feet tall.  Omnivorous, their diet varies with location and season. They eat insects, roots of aquatic plants, rodents, snails, frogs, lizards, snakes, nestling birds, berries, seeds, and cultivated grains like corn.

Sources if you’re interested in reading more about my favorite bird:  Audubon, Nature Conservancy, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Wikipedia, and National Wildlife Federation.  Oh there’s more, but I don’t want to overwhelm you!

 

 

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