Thursday, June 30, 2011

Still Cleaning the Garage

I'm still working off and on getting the garage in useable form again. This morning I found a piece of interesting costume jewelry in one of the boxes. Later on I found a small bag of it. My niece April would love all this stuff for her jewelry business. The one piece I found was a crudely cut cameo brooch made by a company called Florenza. I discovered that they made costume jewelry from 1955 through 1981. So this piece is from sometime during that time period.

God's light and love to you,


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Humming Around the Backyard

I love photgraphing hummingbirds but first I started off with the mundane items of life the morning. I worked out at the gym and then I took a pickup load full of stuff to the recycling center. Doesn't it feel good to get rid of stuff? Afterwards I came home and cleaned the kitchen. A clean kitchen makes you feel good too. What I really wanted to do though was photograph some hummingbirds. Instead I researched buying some remote flash triggers for doing both studio and hummingbird photography. I think I found a type and style that fiits my budget that will be good for my indoor and outdoor photography.

Finally this afternnon I was able to photograph some stationary Anna's Hummingbirds. Mirabelle the cat joined me. Though she was more interested in being petted and laying in the sun than the hummer photography. I'll have to wait until next month when all my parts and pieces come in to do some images in flight. It will be nice to replace my old optical flash sensors that weren't all that reliable.

God's precious love to all,


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It Never Rains in California

We awoke to the sound of rain this morning. Which for being close to the end of June is fairly uncommon for California. I spent the day in the big city of Ukiah. I brought my Mom down for some minor eye surgery. It took forever for them to do it. I dropped her off at ten fifteen. They finally finished at four twenty. Mom wasn't a happy camper and I don't blame her. There were several delays during the day as she was supposed to have been out of outpatient surgery at twelve thirty. I just busied myself with little errands and shopping while I waited. In the end I was listening to Mozart in the parking lot while I dozed with the seat back.
On the ride home I spotted this lone Douglas Iris rising up from the forest floor on the side of the road. I couldn't resist stopping and creating an image of it.

Blessings to all,


Monday, June 27, 2011

Things Found in the Garage

I was still working on cleaning the garage today. I was spurred on by the fact that there is rain in forecast for tomorrow and most of the garage was spread out onto the driveway to make it easier to sort. You run across all kinds of archeological finds when you do a dig like this. There was stuff from circa 1950s and possibly some older all the way up to the present.

I found an old rusty lock. Heaven knows why we saved it. There were tins of spices from clearing out Lenore's mom's house and a couple of really old dusty negatives. An old black and white 4x5 from somewhere along the coast and a 35mm strip with a cute one of Jay and Annika walking in a field somewhere. From the appearance of the prints I pulled from them negatives don't hold up very well being stored in a damp garage.

God's precious love and blessings to all,


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lenore's Sunday Morning Roses

Lenore has seven or so rose bushes that she keeps in the yard. Three of them are pretty spectacular. They are just covered in blooms. This morning we were both out in the early morning sunshine and Lenore was dead heading some of her roses. This was the end result.

God's light and love to all,


Saturday, June 25, 2011


Saturday night I took Annika to the Frontier Days Dance to be with her friends. While waiting for the dance to end I kept looking for opportunites to photograph. At one point I saw this couple talking animatedly while the others danced and moved arond them. It was my image for the evening.

God's love and blessings for all,

Friday, June 24, 2011

Random Images

This morning we awoke bright and early and roused Jay from bed. We took him down to Ukiah to an oral surgeon to have his wisdom teeth removed. Not a fun experience for him. While we waited we went to the post office and mailed off a package to my niece in Afganistan and then hit the bakery for some lemon bars. Along the way a rose caught my attention with it's flaming orange colors outside the post office. The door handle with the dark interior offered up some intrigue for me at the bakery. Jay is feeling slowly better. We will see what tomorrows dawn brings.

God's love and blessings to all,


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hunting Dragon(fly)s Beside Still Waters

Summer is pushing in with a force. It seems like we only had a very short spring. This morning I got up late and was lazy so I missed my morning appointment to do a work out at the gym. Instead I loaded up the pickup and made a run to the dump and afterwards went out to the ranch to photograph some dragonflys.

There were a lot of late spring wildflowers out and I stopped to make a few images of them next to the pond. Following that I searched the shoreline of the pond for some sticks. One of the best ways to photograph dragonflies is to stab a stick in the ground next to the pond and plop yourself beside it. Get your camera focused on the top of the stick and wait.That is exactly what I did and here are the results. A nice way to spend part of my morning sitting on the bank of a pond

God's love and blessings to all,

Monday, June 20, 2011

Kathy's Image

This image is in memory of Kathyrn Rued. One of the kindest most wonderful people I worked with in my twenty years of teaching. My kids always called her the nice lady in the office at the middle school where I taught. She always had kind words to say to everyone. Not that she couldn't draw the line when she needed to with a troublesome student. She was just such a good natured person to be around and so generous to other people. Kathy and I both had a thing for dark chocolate and she always kept a piece set aside for me when I was feeling down. Every once in awhile I would return the favor by restocking the supply she kept in her desk. She also was one heck of a good cook and she would bring goodies into the office that she had made for the staff to eat.

When I retired from teaching I lost track of Kathy and only recently learned of her death. Now whenever I see the Willits Arch at night I think of her because one of my images of the arch at night was one of her favorites. She used to bug me to make some more of them because she wanted to send some to her daughter Emily.

Tonight I was driving by the arch and and I thought of Kathy. On the spur of the moment I decided what to do. Why not take an image of the arch and dedicate it to Kathy. So Kathy this one is for you.

God bless you,


A Look Back in Time

Last week I helped Lenore one afternoon cleaning up in her class room. While storing some boxes I was amazed to find a Sony Mavica 1.3 Megapixel digital camera. This model Mavica was made in the year 2000 and was the first digital camera that I ever used before graduating up to using Canon Digital SLRs. The Mavica used 3 inch floppy disks and could store 10 images on each 720 KB disk. When we went on vacation we brought along several boxes of disks to store our images on. My kids would fight to see who got to use the camera! Wow, have things changed in the digital realm of photography since then!

God's love and blessings to all,


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day or Flowers From Grandma's Garden

Today was Father's Day. My family treated me to some nice shirts to help improve my wardrobe. Next we went to a special sevice at church that highlighted our church's youth groups. Afterwards we had a church BBQ that was delicious. When we came home my Mom gave me a bouquet of Iris from her garden. Lenore put them in a vase for me and as usuual I couldn't resist photographing them.

God's love and blessings to all,


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Carnations: Before and After

This evening I photographed some Red Carnations we had in the kitchen. I photographed them in a pretty straightforward manner using a sweep for the back ground. Then I heavily processed the image using a textural image from my files. Let me know which one you like better.

God's light and love to all,

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mr. Mango

I have't done much photography over the past few days. Life has been filled with domestic responsibilities and fun. I haven't had much dedicated time to photograph just snatches here and there. Here is one instance where I saw Mr. Mango Annika's cat doing what he does best. He was dozing in the sunshine on the living room rug.

God's blessings and love to all,


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Playing With Rocks and Boats

Spent part of the day combining unlike things together. I was creating images using textures of weathered rocks from over by Clearlake with old fishing boats in the Noyo River Basin. The results surprised me. The two old things go rather well together.

God's love and blessings to all,


Monday, June 13, 2011

An Ultimate Day on the Noyo River

Today I went for a long paddle up the estuary of the Noyo River on the North Coast of California. Access was easy from the public launch and all I had to pay was three bucks for parking. If you have a boat and trailer it's ten. So having a kayak saves you a few dollars. I planned my paddle so I could catch the last of the incoming tide and make it easier on myself as I wanted to go upstream about three and a half miles or so to where the Skunk Train tracks cross the river. It worked out perfectly.

Right away I passed a California Seal Lion hauled out snoozing. I saw a lot of Osprey but none were close enough to photograph.The most amazing sight was watching a young Harbor Seal hunting for fish. It was swimming on it's back with its head downward so it could keep it's nostrils out of the shallow water as it swam. It was hunting the edges of fallen logs and brush along the sides of the river.

I saw a lot of waterfowl along the way. Mergansers, Canadian Geese and the usual Mallards along with a few Green Herons and one Night Heron. There was one Pond Turtle but it slipped away well from well over a hundred feet from me. With smaller bird life there were an amazing amount of Bandtail Pigeons moving in the trees as well as a few dove. One dove landed near me along the shoreline to have his portrait taken. I also got to see an leucistic or albino hummingbird. Though it was to far away to photograph well.

On the return trip down river I ran into Cate Hawthorne and Jeff Laxier. They were leading a group of clients upriver from where I had just come from. They own and run Liquid Fusion Kayaks and are really nice people. If you are interested in booking an ocean or river trip look them up if you are in the Fort Bragg, California area.

Down river from them a Blacktail Doe came down to the river for a drink. Near by a momma goose and her goslings were going up onto the bank looking for grass to eat.

It was a great day to be on the river photographing nature.

God's blessings to all,


Note: For my kayak photography I use a Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5 kayak

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Photographer's Year and an Incredible Day

Today marks a whole years worth of photoblog entries. It wasn't a calendar year but a photographer's leap year. Three hundred and sixty- six blog entries. None of this would have been possible without God or the support of my family. I want to thank them for all the little and big things they do for me.

Today was an incredible day both in experience and creating photos. I dropped off Annika and then went for a workout at the gym. When I came out of the gym the fog was clearing so I thought I'm going to go photograph Bluebirds this morning and then go grocery shopping afterwards. I never did make it grocery shopping.

The bluebird photography went well with the bluebirds boldly going after the mealworms I put out for them. They now know that my presence means food. As I was photographing I kept noticing there were a lot of vultures in the field next to the pasture. One of them was drying its wings while roosting on a fence post. I decided to see how close I could get to it before it took off. I worked my way closer and closer to it across the pasture until I was about fory feet from it. Then the mare and the colt came over to me to see what was going on as horses often do. The colt was really interested and edged nervously towards me until he was about three feet away. The mare then walked around me and the vulture took off. I walked back to my pick up and started off home.

I didn't make it very far. I stopped next to field where the vultures had been. I spied the head of a hawk sticking up out of the grass. The hawk took off and landed on a fence post ahead of me down the road.It was a Redtail Hawk! I pulled along side it and took some photographs of it. While I was watching it a Red Shouldered Hawk swooped down and slammed into the back of its head knocking it head first off of the post into the weeds!!! I was totallly shocked. I thought it was dead but it groggily got to its feet and finally managed to stand in the weeds next to the fence. It didn't seem to be in very good shape. I slowly slid a kayak oar under its talons and lifted it carefully upward. It was really cool! It spread its wings and opened its beak and looked at me as I lifted it back up to the fence post. It seemed a bit more composed by the time I finally left. Hopefully the Red Shouldered Hawks don't kill it. I'm going to check on it this evening.

It has been a good year and a great day.

God's love and blessings to everyone,
I checked late this afterboon and it was gone.