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I joined Friends of Mt. Adams for a hike on Crofton Ridge via the Shorthorn Trail on Saturday.  Our group met at the Trout Lake School for an early start.

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Led by Darvel Lloyd, who grew up climbing and exploring Mt Adams, it was a very educational hike.

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Our group of twelve headed up the Shorthorn Trail through burned forest from the 2012 Cascade Creek fire.

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Fascinated with the charred forest remains, contrasting with new growth I stopped for many photos.

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Can we call this ‘Fall Color’?

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Although it is late in the season, many wildflowers are still in bloom.  I think this is a Pearly Everlasting.

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Looking back I was surprised to see Mt Hood.  We parked at an elevation about 4740 feet and would end up at 6227 feet after our 3 mile hike to the ridge.

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I believe this in the Lupine family.

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A beautiful bouquet of Asters.

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Crossing Shorthorn Creek.

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On the other side of the creek we found pink Monkeyflower.

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Another fork of Shorthorn Creek.

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Crofton Creek.  Looking up, I found a tiny waterfall!

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Looking down the creek I felt amazed and awed….

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When I looked UP from the creek I wondered if I could climb that hill.  See the tiny hikers at the top of the first switchback?  Hint…the dot of red.

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No, I’m not gasping for air….I’m stopping to take pictures!

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This is where we’re heading.

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A vast landscape that takes my breath away, I could stand here for hours.

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Almost there at Round the Mountain Trail #9.

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The last section of our hike, the crest on Crofton Ridge.

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A spectacular view of Mt Adams from the southwest side.

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Looking west at Mt. St. Helens.

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As we sat and enjoyed our lunch, four Clark’s Nutcrackers joined us!

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Zooming in on a waterfall from where we sat in the shade.

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Zoomed in on the almost uncovered lookout tower at the top of Mt Adams.  12,276′

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Rested, nourished and hydrated we began our three mile descent.

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Use caution when heading downhill on a rocky sandy path.  I landed on my cushy backpack twice, but yay my camera landed on my lap!  Might as well take a picture of the view!!  Don’t worry, I wasn’t hurt but even more cautious as I continued.

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Trudging back down I pretty much kept my eyes on my footing and tried to keep up!  Oh look, another pretty wildflower!!  Fireweed.

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Yes, out of breath again I stopped for another pretty picture.  You know I love rocks!

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I looked up from time to time (especially after we reached a gentler downhill section), still amazed at the charred remains of a once green forest.

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You know me, I can’t resist stopping for a ‘critter’.

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Darvel often stopped to discuss history, flora and fauna of the neighborhood.

Photo by Bob Squires

Photo by Bob Squires

I am so fortunate to have met and hiked with such an interesting and cohesive group of people.  Another wonderful September adventure!!!

 

 

Aurora Borealis

August 3, 2016

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Did you see it?  Aurora Borealis tonight!!

Worth It

July 28, 2016

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I decided to take myself to the top of Angel’s Rest on this hot summer day.  I’ve been on the trail, searching for Pika with Cascades Pika Watch, but for various reasons never got to the top.  Above is the view looking west toward Portland.

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I headed up the trail at 7:30am and arrived at the top just after 9.  I stopped here and there to catch my breath.  Watching for Pika along the way gave me ample reason for frequent stops.

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It’s only 2.3 miles up but with an elevation of 1600 feet, it felt steeper (to me) than it probably is.  Heading back down I stopped for a snack in a likely place to see Pika.

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They didn’t disappoint!  Unfortunately, I only had time for a couple of shots of this American Pika before a noisy trail-runner scared him off ~ I was hoping on a weekday I’d have a quieter hike, but alas it is summer and the trails were busy by mid morning.

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Heading down I decided to stop at the stream that feeds Coopey Falls and found some stacked rocks that someone kindly left me.

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A tiny bit further I followed a lesser trail to view the stream cascading over some rocks at the top of Coopey Falls.

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Just beyond that is the last part of the stream near the top of the falls.  Any further downstream, I’d be tumbling in the waterfall (which is only accessible via private property).  Steider Studios.AngelsRest Hike.7.28.16-7

Back down at the trailhead at 11:30, I grabbed a shot of the sign, a memento of another fine day in the Columbia River Gorge.  Such a beautiful place to live and play!  It was definitely worth it!

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Wishing you all a fabulous Thanksgiving!  I am so grateful for each of you who choose to follow me on this journey.  You inspire me.  I hope your day is filled with abundance.  xoxoxo

 

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The Aurora Borealis put on a fabulous show last night about midnight.  I was lucky enough to catch it but can’t decide which shot I like best.  I like them all for different reasons, but this is Photo #1 in the line-up, once the Aurora began her dance.

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She was already making herself known when I arrived and I caught a shooting star as I set up my composition and camera settings.

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And then she danced!  Just after midnight, behind my town of White Salmon the party started.  Photo #2.

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It was chilly and dark and difficult to manage at first, but with each check of my camera’s LCD my excitement grew.  Photo #3.

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While my eye saw a dark clear sky filled with stars, Aurora continued showing herself on the back of my camera.  Photo #4.

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My eyes could only see what looked like a whitish cloud or fog on the horizon line where you see a greenish glow; and I could see columns of ‘mist’ rising from that.  Photo #5.

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If it were a stronger Aurora, I might have actually seen the color my camera displayed.  Photo #6.

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The wind was blowing clouds overhead so I knew my time was limited.  Photo #7.

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As Aurora danced in the Columbia River Gorge, so did I ~ to keep warm!  And I drank coffee to stay awake.  Photo #8.

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My day started at 6 a.m., so this midnight hour was hard to keep.  Photo #9.

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The cold, the coffee and my excitement kept me shooting, dancing and laughing with delight!  Photo #10.

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I need your help!  ……  Photo #11.

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I need you to help me decide which of these images to print!  Photo #12.

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You can vote for your favorite simply by commenting which numbered photo you like best.  Photo #13.

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As you can see, they’re all numbered: #1 – 16 ~ plus the Shooting Star shot.  Photo #14.

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What a magical night it was!!  Only lasted for about an hour.  Photo #15.

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Just after 1 a.m. the clouds rolled in and covered the Aurora.  Otherwise, I’d still be there.  Photo #16.

Please let me know your favorite ~ in a comment here, via private message on Facebook, or via email ~ linda at steider studios dot com (all one word).

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I went to Portland yesterday to buy myself a new lens for my BIRTHDAY.  Yes, I buy myself birthday gifts…often and not necessarily on the actual day.  Usually I gift myself a little something every day in September.

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While in the city, I took a side trip up to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

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It was a quiet day with very few sightings and even fewer people.  It was, however a day filled with turtles!  And in this image a frog ~ can you see it?

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I found a couple of ducks and a grebe enjoying a swim.

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OH!  My new lens.  I bought a wide angle to get better pictures of the Aurora Borealis. You can read about my first adventure with Northern lights here.  It’ll be handy for landscapes too, but mostly I was thinking about colorful night skies.

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I almost missed this Pileated Woodpecker as I slowly drove through the refuge.  I heard him drilling in a section of densely shaded trees.  Lucky me, he made his way to the top of a snag near my car!

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Is he a juvenile?  His feathers are sort of spiky around his neck making me wonder if he had been in the creek.

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I only saw one pair of Wood Ducks.

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Back to turtles….this poor guy spent about 15 minutes climbing up to share a log.

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Unfortunately his friend wanted nothing to do with him & shoved him off!!

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I had a lovely lunch in the shade at this bend in the creek.  As I ate my sunflower seed honey butter sandwich, I desperately wanted the Kingfisher flying back and forth to land on the snag in front of me.  If he had, this is where his photo would go.

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I slowly finished the route, watching more herons, egrets, and Northern Harriers.

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Another gorgeous day of sun, rain, clouds and end of summer fun at Ridgefield NWR.

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Closing in on the end of June and I’ve started many posts for this month but have yet to stay at my computer long enough to finish one!  Instead of going in chronological order, I MUST share my exciting adventure from last night.  I shot my FIRST AURORA BOREALIS!!!  I am so excited I can’t stop thinking about it and don’t even care that Mt. Adams is blurry.

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Wednesday’s adventure began when my friend Darlisa invited me to a ‘Solar Storm’ event on Facebook.  I’d seen all the Monday posts (with photos!) about the gorgeous Northern Lights occurring this week but it didn’t occur to me to stay up all night myself to photograph this amazing light show.

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Wednesday morning I studied blogs and help forums about how to shoot an aurora, then spent the afternoon scouting locations.  I chose this view of Mt. Adams because it was clear and close  ~ easy to get to & a short drive home.  Then I reviewed my camera, remote, lenses and chose the best gear I had for the task while waiting for late night to arrive.

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In spite of careful preparation ~ my wireless remote wouldn’t work; I couldn’t find the infinity symbol on my camera; I was out in the middle of nowhere by myself far later than my comfort level (11:45 until 3:15); feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing; the LCD on the back of my camera showed a lot of nothing but BLACK ~ and then all my worries disintegrated when I first saw amazing color on the LCD!

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A little side note, after about 15 minutes I had to get back in my car and maneuver it so the headlights were illuminating the field next to me ~ to be sure the sound of crunching brush getting closer and closer, and slurping sounds were indeed the cows I’d seen earlier in the day! Fortunately there was a fence between me and the cows!

 

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I don’t know if this is part of the Aurora, and I really couldn’t see it with my naked eye.  I’d see what looked like mist or a thin veil far off behind the mountain.

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I played with the ISO and shutter speed.  The widest I could get my aperture was around 5.6 ~ this makes me want to buy a better lens for this type of work!!

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Instead of throwing away many of my ‘black’ images, after bringing up the exposure, I could still see some color in many of them.

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Alas, most of the black shots looked like this after editing.  So many technical issues I need to learn more about.

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Of course I didn’t take notes as I shot, so instead of repeating my best efforts, I will have more learning sessions!  When all is said and done, I must say it was a fabulous first learning experience.

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Just after 3 a.m. I felt myself fading into the night and had to get some sleep. I grabbed one last shot of the stars above, then headed home. It was a gorgeous and glorious experience!  I’m glad I went out to shoot the Aurora Borealis and can’t wait for the next opportunity!!

I’m learning more about Northern Lights while trying to wrap my head around all the information at Space Weather Enthusiasts Dashboard and http://www.ips.gov.au/Solar/1/4

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