This is Spring? It’s March 31st for Goodness Sakes!!

Haven’t written anything for a couple of weeks because there hasn’t been much going on except rain. Which is rather unusual for this neck of the woods in Central Oregon. Almost similar to last year when winter hung around until May with lots of rain and snow up in the mountains.

Took the dog out around 8:30am and it was 42 degrees. Pleasant enough. Within an hour, the clouds opened up with rain, then slush, then a heavy blanket of snow. It’s still snowing three hours later!

I’m getting sort of sick and tired of taking photos with snow in them but what the heck, it’s supposed to be Springtime. I took this photo from the front porch.

And this photo was taken from my driveway looking at my “bird” tree. The face doesn’t seem to scare the birds away from the suet or feeder.

Well, not much more to say other than “Snow. Go Away”.  Talk with you all later.


P.S. It’s now 4 pm Pacific Daylight time. There is no evidence of snow around here whatsoever and the sun is out. You like crazy weather? Move to Central Oregon!!


Ahh. Springtime In The Cascades

Yes, today is the first day of spring. In the Midwest and East, flowers are blooming and people are getting tanned at the beachs. The beachs at Lake Michigan that is!

Here on the Eastern side of the Cascades, we woke up to nearly a foot of snow. It’s my wife’s birthday today and she gets to have a White one at that. Our Christmas wasn’t white this year but in celebration of my wife now being eligible for Medicare, Mother Nature gave her her favorite present- Snow!

She spent the morning shoveling snow off the decks in front and back saying it was good exercise. Me? I pushed around a snow blower and then jumped on the ATV with the plow in front and did the street that goes to our driveway.

Our Labradoodle, Scooter, was in seventh heaven with all the snow. We think he was a snow ball in his prior life what with his love of snow.

Here’s a couple of pictures I took earlier today when the snow was really coming down. Which explains some spots on the picture with the trees.

Looking down towards the road in front of my house.

Opposing view of my little road.

Even a 3 legged dog like Scooter loves snow.



Pelican Lodge

This photo was taken at Summer Lake, Oregon. The  Summer Lake Wildlife Area supports 40 mammal species, at least 280 species of birds, 15 reptile and amphibian species, and eight fish species. The wildlife area provides habitat for aquatic mammals like beaver and muskrats. There are also three bat species that live in the Summer Lake area.

The various Summer Lake habitats supports a diverse population of upland game birds, songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl, and birds of prey. There is also a small breeding population of ring-necked pheasants along with Greater sage grouse and Chukars. Songbirds common to that area include Bullock’s Orioles, Sage Thrashers, Canyon wrens, Rock wrens, and Sage Sparrows. Songbirds commonly found in the marshy areas of the lower Ana River include Brewer’s Sparrows, Lark Sparrows, Marsh wrens, Red-winged blackbirds, and Yellow-headed blackbirds. And numerous shorebirds nest in the Summer Lake Wildlife Area.

Summer Lake, for which the town is named, is one of the largest in Oregon at approximately 20 miles (32 km) long and 10 miles (16 km) wide. It was named by Captain John C. Frémont during his 1843 mapping expedition through Central Oregon.

Frémont and his Army Topographical team were mapping the Oregon Country as they traveled from The Dalles on Columbia River to Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento, California. On December 16, 1843, the expedition struggled down a steep cliff from a snow-covered plateau to reach a lake in the valley below. Frémont named them “Winter Ridge” and “Summer Lake.” From the rocky cliff overlooking the lake basin, Frémont described the discovery and naming of Summer Lake as follows:

“At our feet…more than a thousand feet below…we looked into a green prairie country, in which a beautiful lake, some twenty miles (32 km) in length, was spread along the foot of the mountain…Shivering on snow three feet deep, and stiffening in a cold north wind, we exclaimed at once that the names of Summer Lake and Winter Ridge should be applied to these proximate places of such sudden and violent contrast.” (Captain John C. Frémont, December 16, 1843, Report of the Second Frémont Expedition)

Nikon D5000, f5.6, 1/1250, 300mm, 400 ISO.



 St. Patrick Statute built December 1909

 Here’s a picture I took of a statute of St. Patrick in front of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny Town, Ireland, back in 1985 when my family and I went there. Apologize for the bad color but that was taken some time ago and my photos have aged, much like me.

The original St. Patrick's Cross

The is the original St. Patrick’s Cross located at the Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland. It’s in an area called St. Patrick’s Rock, Cashel within the castle. The castle itself is located on a very large rock cropping and is very striking.

The Rock of Cashel Cathedral, County Tipperary, Ireland

As the title on the photo says, this is the “Rock”. Get your hiking shoes on for this little climb.

Ah, yes. A pint of Guinness at the
oldest pub in Ireland, Durty Nelly’s.


Experimenting with Topaz Software

I got into using a lot of the various Topaz Labs software by chance. I saw a YouTube thing about it and fell in love with it. Sure, I still use Nik’s Viveza 2 and Silver Effects Pro 2 a lot as well, but for sheer adventure and fun, Topaz is the way to go. And it’s not that expensive either for all of their items. Because it’s rainy today, I thought I’d play around a little and post some examples. Let me know if you have any thoughts.

I used the infrared setting in Topaz B&W with some other slider adjustments to enhance to feel of infrared.

I took this color photo of an old dilapidated auto garage out in Antelope and used Topaz B&W with some coloring effects to produce a different look.

A bench in the gardens at Belknap Hot Springs. I used Topaz Simplify to render the photo into an artwork looking piece.

Like I say, Topaz is a lot of fun. It’s somewhat akin to being on drugs – you just don’t want to stop playing with it. (I’m not endorsing drugs. I’m a retired detective!!)

It’s More Like Portland than Central Oregon Around Here Lately

Colorful little Grosbeaks

Whatever snow was lying around here is now melted. Rained all night and raining today. Mid-40’s. Guess I shouldn’t complain. I could be out riding my ATV with the plow on it doing neighbors driveways. Neighbors? I don’t have any. One lives in Portland and the other lives a 150 miles west of here in a town called Stayton. Full time neighbors are few and inbetween here. I’ve got more elk here than neighbors. And here we left a small college town in So. Cal that had lots of people to talk with?  No elk, though.

My wife has a new appreciation for HGTV, the Food Channel, and CNN. That’s all that is ever on the boob tube around here. Oh, and Nate Berkus in the morning.

Oh well, back to looking at and categorizing my photos. Or I could just look out the window at the rain and birds!

The Ides of March

Late winter along the Deschutes River

Monday, March 5, 2010

Had about a foot of snow the other day around here. Something like a foot and a half up on Mt. Bachelor. Roads are all clear and most of it is melting. It’s been around 50 degrees the last couple of days but they say we might have some snow tonight. I won’t hold my breath!!

I’ve about had it with squirrels. Just replaced a bird suet feeder a week ago and I just saw where they’ve eaten away part of the lid again. I have a lifetime guarantee on it but I’m wondering if they’ll honor a second repair in such a short time. So it’s about time to get the BB gun out and keep those gray mongrels out of my feeders.

Not much going on with the photography hobby other than learning how to do a lot of post production work to photos. Gasoline is up to near $4.00 a gallon around here so driving around looking for photo shoots has to be shortened up a bit.

So I think I’ll just gaze out the window today and watch whats left of the snow melt!