She’s BACK!

January 24, 2018

I think I exhausted myself photo-documenting all those raptor nests in my last posts!  I enjoyed many adventures afterwards and took a lot of pictures but didn’t get around to posting….or sitting at my computer for much time the rest of 2017!!

Here’s a quick recap to catch up!

I led a bird walk at Conboy Lake NWR for Julee at Mt Adams Lodge in July.

Had family come to the Northwest for a visit and we hiked many of my favorite places….

…We picked cherries….

…and played with art projects.

I enjoyed hummingbirds in my garden…..

… and of course my garden flowers…

…as well as butterflies….

Enjoyed my 98% of the eclipse with old friends at their vineyard here on Burdoin Mountain!

I conducted my annual Pika surveys for Cascades Pika Watch.

…and even found juveniles this year!  I’ve said it before, the cutest little mammals on the planet!

Hired to shoot for Sail the Gorge Magazine, I spent a lot of time on the Columbia River!

Hiked around Mt Adams, enjoying lakes and waterfalls.

Love high places, but sadly this day another wildfire began, you can see smoke drifting over Mt. St. Helens.

Headed south to visit family and took them sailing with dolphins!

Found some interesting new birds like this Warbling Vireo near Horsethief State Park.

And interesting butterflies like a MONARCH also near Horsethief!

Sadly, the last of our summer days were clouded by the horrific Eagle Creek fire.  Started by a teen with fireworks in a steep dry canyon.  The Oregon hiking trails in the Columbia River Gorge are still closed and many will not reopen for several years.  I worry about the wildlife, especially our little Pika who lost their source of food.  Not even our expert scientists are allowed in yet to check on them.

That’s just summer!  I’ll be back tomorrow to share ‘how I spent Autumn’ with you!!

Steider Studios.Pileated Woodpecker in Snag.6.21.14

I woke to a gorgeous Summer Solstice in the Columbia River Gorge & decided to stay close to home today with a hike out my back door.  As I grabbed my gear I saw a Pileated Woodpecker in the snag across from my deck – a good omen!

Steider Studios.Rufous Sided Towhee with Baby

There’s a bird magnet in the form of a crippled old tree at the top of Burdoin Mountain that I like to watch.  The first birds I saw there this morning – a baby Rufous-sided Towhee and it’s parent screeching at him to take cover.

Steider Studios.Rufous Sided Towhee from Back

When the babe was safely tucked away the parent came back out to keep his eye on me.  I decided to take better cover & crept behind a wild rose bush.  I am loving my new Tamron 150 – 600 mm lens and how much closer I can zoom in on birds and wildlife!

Steider Studios.Baby Evening Grosbeak.6.21.14

Near the old tree I kept seeing a flash of brilliant yellow.  A baby Evening grosbeak!

Steider Studios.Lark Sparrow.6.21.14

Then this little Lark Sparrow showed up, a bird I’ve only seen a couple of times!  Instead of hauling my tripod with me I decided to convert it into a monopod since I hadn’t done that yet.  My camera with a long lens gets quite heavy & it’s easier for me to rest it on my tripod when a bird actually ‘poses’ for me.  The monopod worked out great once I got used to it!

Steider Studios.What is this caterpillar

I noticed this cocoon with emerging caterpillar type bugs on the rose bush I was using for a blind.   Anyone know what it is?

Steider Studios.Sleepy Squirrel

Decided I didn’t want those bugs to land on me, so I headed back into the forest & found this little guy looking like he was napping.  With his eyes open.

Steider Studios.Hairy Woodpecker.6.21.14

I love this section of Burdoin Mtn – I’m surrounded by tall trees that I can stand next to and watch for birds.  This is the area where wood-pecking birds hang out.  A hairy woodpecker flew from tree to tree, then landed on this snag & posed for a fraction of a second!

Steider Studios.Red-breasted Sapsucker on Snag.6.21.14

I love these colorful Red-breasted Sapsuckers – they’re quieter than the woodpeckers but easier to spot because of their red heads.  He came by later with a beak filled with bugs and I thought I heard the sounds of babies nearby, but did not see a nest.

Steider Studios.Yellow-rumped 'Audubon's' Warbler

This little bird was a first sighting for me – my best guess is Yellow-rumped ‘Audubon’s’ Warbler.  I don’t remember hearing his song, just that he swooped in on the snag where the woodpecker had just been.

Steider Studios.Pileated Woodpecker on Snag.6.21.14

I thought it fitting as I left the forest & headed up my path home, a Pileated Woodpecker appeared again!  He was halfway up the tree before I could get my camera ready.  I need to practice my ‘quick draw’ more!!

Yesterday I went to Conboy National Wildlife Refuge and posted my photos from that adventure on my Facebook Page if you’d like to take a look.

Monday I have a date with Columbia River birds and Tuesday I’ll be back up at Conboy.  I LOVE summer!!

Swan Song of Sweet Summer

September 30, 2012

As September draws to a close, I wistfully say goodbye to summer, my favorite season.  I love the long warm days and relish the time I’ve had to play in my garden.  My daily hikes were cut short this month due to high fire danger in my surrounding ‘neighborhood’.

Most days we can still see the river in spite of the smoke.

A wildfire on Mt. Adams broke out just after my last post and is still burning.  Called Cascade Creek it’s 60% contained entering its fourth week and has burned over 15,000 acres in the Mt. Adams wilderness north of Trout Lake.  Started by lightning on Saturday Sept. 8 from a storm that started over 200 wildfires across eastern Washington – Mt Adams wilderness, surrounding areas and trails are closed because of it.

Today we can’t see the river at all due to the smoke from two wildfires near us.

Yet another wildfire began September 25 across the Columbia River between Hood River and Mosier.  The smoke from both these fires surrounded us in the Columbia River Gorge for many days, keeping me inside the studio finishing up a commissioned project and starting a new series of earrings.

September is also my birthday month and I like to celebrate all month by catering to my every whim…which is mostly just being outdoors experiencing nature!  I received a new camera that has given me endless hours of joy while trying to capture butterflies, birds and flowers in my garden.

Can you see how much my photos have improved?

Soon enough I’ll prepare for fall shows, letting my energy level shift into high gear to get all the ideas from my head turned into glass.  Of course, I never get them all off the drawing table, but with so many ideas I don’t think I’ll ever have a day of boredom.  Until then, I’ll take advantage of these warm sunny days as long as I can because I’ll have all winter for studio time.

Here’s a quick shot of my recently finished commission.  The client wanted monochromatic cobalt blue triangles, specifically arranged in a textured 12″ – 14″ square.  A departure from my usual style, but it was fun and I think I’ll do a few more of these in multiple colors and sizes.

Field of sunflowers, north of Sacramento

My husband & I headed for Sacramento to see his folks and decided to take the scenic route home, turning an otherwise long tedious drive into a mini vacation.  Returning north on Hwy 97 we planned to stop at all the landmarks I remembered from my childhood family vacations driving from Southern California to visit relatives in the Pacific Northwest.

Mt. Shasta

Our family always traveled on Highway 97 and thrilled at many landmarks along our route.  We’d usually spend the night in Redding or Red Bluff, the halfway point – wow have those towns grown up & turned into big cities!    Doris was the last California city heading north and my mom loved Doris Day.  We’d  scream with delight as we reached her.  The Klamath River felt so much larger and longer when I was 9, 10 and 11 than it did this week.  It was exhilarating to see many white cranes and a couple of bald eagles along the river.

Crater Lake

Mom never stopped at Crater Lake because she wanted to reach her sister’s house (where we stayed) in South Central Washington by nightfall. Crater Lake was a ‘definite destination’ on this trip with my husband and it did not disappoint.  The lake was majestically beautiful and a stop I’d strongly recommend, with breathtaking views in every direction.

Vista from Crater Lake

Most of my childhood Highway 97 memories are a blurry monotony of pine forest seen from the back seat, eyes wide open watching for deer.  It was oh so lovely for my husband to stop at my every whim.

Heron at Grass Lake

There was one stop however that my sister and I could not, would not miss if we had anything to say about it.  Just beyond Crater Lake sat a destination that no kid of that era, driving along Highway 97 could resist.  We’d start working on Mom to stop there as soon as we piled into the car in the morning.  She rarely wanted to stop, but it was the only way she could get two road weary, whiny, needling kids to give her peace for the duration of our yearly trek.  Thunderbeast Park. 

My husband was primed and ready to stop, pay the entrance fee and maybe even spend ‘quality time’ in the tourist trap gift shop that I remember so fondly as a pre-teen.  Alas Thunderbeast Park is gone!  Replaced with a chrome shop for trucks!  There’s one lonely decrepit  Thunderbeast left along the highway beckoning truckers with the chrome shop sign.  I was very disappointed to say the least.

Compelled to find out what happened when we got home, I began my internet search.  The only information I could find, other than personal blogs just like mine asking what happened was this post on RoadsideAmerica.com:

Roadside America says Thunderbeast Park, built in 1962 closed sometime before 1996 when they visited.

I also found a bit of information about the cement beasts and their creator, Ernie Nelson (who also built Prehistoric Gardens on the Oregon Coast in 1953) here:

Littlest Sister at Thunderbeast Park, 1974

Then I searched my old photo albums and to my dismay, even though I remember many photos taken there, could only find these two taken when my two sisters and I drove back to California on our own in 1974.  Sheesh, was I old enough to drive that far?  With no adult supervision?!!

1974, one of the beasts and me

I’ve had a fun summer and hope you  have too, but it’s time to get back to work with fresh summer inspiration…

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Is it spring yet?

February 28, 2009

Or should I say summer, with a painting of cosmos!




One year my neighbor planted a wildflower garden by the road.  It was spectacular & I was mesmerized by the cosmos.  I later planted some for myself & have been painting them ever since.  And translating some paintings into glass.


Wild Cosmos Wave

Wild Cosmos Wave

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