Trail Summer

Hello everyone! It’s time to dust this thing off before we get into the woods.

This week was our opportunity to help the local Washington Trails Association chapter fix some erosion and drainage issues on a trail. The hope was for the trail to endure many more seasons before we would have to touch it up. Locally, we had a long, hard winter. Two months of record-setting rainfall served as bookends to a winter of top-5 recorded snowfall. That meant five months of moisture running across this trail, quickly built last fall to replace a social trail following an old lumber skid road that went straight up the hill.

Here’s Goddess repairing the back slope after the rain and snow melt pushed dirt down and across the trail. That narrows the trail, which leads to other problems later. So it’s best to clear the dirt and keep the trail wide.

Two days later I was back, finishing some drainage issues that I couldn’t finish the other day, then helped reroute more of the trail to give it better drainage. To be sure, the building of new trail is significantly harder than repairing existing trail. One tree is still upright in the middle of the new tread, closely guarding its roots from our digging, prying, and cutting. But the next crew will clear it, I have no doubt.

So this week was a great opportunity to dust off the cobwebs and get the brain rethinking how gravity works and water flows. All in all, a good warm-up to a summer of trail work throughout the region.

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Same Procedure as Every Year

Unlike last year, where we had a front row seat to the shenanigans in Cologne, Germany, Goddess and I will be sitting in a quiet house, watching as the next round of 4-6″ of snow falls. No riot police for us this year.

While we lived in Germany, we were introduced to a curious NYE tradition, the annual showing of a TV skit from 1963 called  “Dinner for One“, or more accurately Der 90. Geburtstag. Starting at around dinner time, the skit gets 20 or more showings on various TV channels until midnight.

It’s a fun tradition. Just not one where you should try to keep up with James.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Upheld

This photo has become a tradition for this blog on each Christmas Eve since 2010. This ornament is appropriate, as it was spied that year hanging in a vendor’s booth at the Christmas Market in Vienna, Austria.

I do believe I missed last year, but we were busy traveling the world. Goddess and I spent the first half of this year continuing those travels, spending time with friends and family all over the world.  We’ve settled down for a spell to see how that suits us.

Know that our wish for you is to have a peaceful end of the calendar year adhering to whatever practices bring you comfort and joy.

Hopefully you will find a bit of relaxation in there too.

Christmas Eve Globe Lights Ornament by Bill Anders Photography

White Sands Moonset

We’ve been quite busy here at the homestead.

But not so busy that I couldn’t chisel out some time to catch opening day, a powder day, at one of the local ski resorts. Less than an hour, door to door. A brilliant day of rediscovering my boarding legs for the season.

This isn’t a picture of that day.

Moonset, White Sands National Monument

Hopefully the last weeks of autumn (for those of us here in the Northern Hemisphere) are treating you well.

Shasta Flare

Mount Shasta, California, on a crisp autumn afternoon last month.

I had already captured quite a few images of the mountain a few miles back on the highway.  Then I caught a glimpse of this plane as I was driving.  Luckily there was a pull-out up ahead and we’re glad that we have functional anti-lock brakes.  Most importantly, I’m glad that I have an understanding Goddess.

Pink Peak

“Hi, I’m Bill and I don’t have much patience.”

Except when there’s a camera in front of me and I’m waiting for the right light.  Then I’ll find something deep inside that keeps me rooted, long past the time when most others would give up.

This was a morning of waking up hours before sunrise, covered in frost, then walking the next dune over to get into position.  The full moon dropping towards the western horizon, the skies to the east gradually turning pink.

Then the hope of direct sunlight.

Ignoring the view over the mountains to the east, focused on the dune top to the north.

Catching one of those very few seconds where the light hit everything just right.  Not too much, not too little.

Just right.

Perfect.

Patience.  I should really try it more often.


With the holidays upon us, regardless of which holidays you observe, it has been a long time since I have run a special on my photographs.

If you are looking for new art to adorn your walls, might I recommend a metallic finished photo?  The finish really makes those photographs pop off the paper.  Goddess and I have everything from 4×6″ to 24×36″ prints of this finish and it continues to amaze us.

Just use the coupon code HOLIDAYS2016 at Bill Anders Photo and receive 20% off your pre-shipping order total.  No limits to the number of orders, but this is only valid through December 31, 2016.

Thank you for your constant viewing and comments.  I do appreciate each and every one of you.

Thankee-sai

Enjoying the post-sunset colors at White Sands National Monument, New Mexico.

Taken a year ago, returning to that spot where she said yes so many years before that have led to many days like today.  And she still puts up with me, including waking up the next morning with a heavy layer of frost coating our sleeping bags.

We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thank you, my Goddess!

Pre-Sunrise Exposure Check

Waiting for sunrise on a cold morning on the night of the full moon.   Looking east towards Alamagordo, with the National Solar Observatory near Sunspot, New Mexico on the distant peak.

A perfect night and a perfect view for us while we camped at White Sands National Monument.

Yes, you can camp at White Sands!  We highly recommend it, although there are some significant considerations.

Things like, being in the desert, it can be hotter than Hades during the day, then freezing at night.  No water, no facilities, you have to navigate and hike in to your spot, which are non-reservable, first-come, first-served. Your spot gets reserved only after you sign in at the front desk and they give you a serious shakedown on your abilities, equipment, and water supplies.*

Perfect!

You don’t actually camp on the dunes, but in the hollows between the dunes, on the hard-pan desert floor.  One campsite per flat, so you don’t even know if there are others camping out there, until you climb to the top of a dune and they happen to be on top of a dune near their spot.

Like I said – perfect!

Not knowing how the spot was going to be, we carried in our free-standing tent.  With the crisp, clear night, we opted to go without the rain fly, so we had a fantastic view of all of the stars.  When we woke up in the morning, we had a nice layer of frost all over us.

Perfect!

If you are in the area, especially now, we highly recommend it.  This picture was taken last year, on November 6.  This would be the time of year that I would make return trips, as the crowd is almost non-existent, the temperatures are manageable and the views are outstanding.  More to come.

* For more details on the camping in White Sands National Monument, click here.

Homework

I don’t particularly mind that the school work is completely destroying me in a metaphysical sense.

Because the truth is that it really isn’t destroying me.

Just sapping most of my mental and physical energy.

That is not a bad thing.

But I am thankful for a few moments where I can break away and exercise my creative brain for some school work.
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This is a Mokugyo, a piece that we have had in our house for ten years now, in six different homes in three different countries.  I had never given it too much thought, other than the memories that it brought forth.

After spending the weekend learning more about it, the memories mean so much more.