Backyard Perseid

We watched what we could, but since the Perseid’s were on school nights, we had to let the camera do the work while we slept.

Here’s a quick grab of one, with the Milky Way behind, shot from our back deck.

Backyard Perseid
Backyard Perseid

Red, White and Blue

Goddess and I just returned from an eight day trip around the western US.

It was a trip of contrasts, from the garishness of Las Vegas to the pure silence of Death Valley.

From the heat of Death Valley to the relative frigidness of the north coast of California.

From the demoralizing crush of humanity in Yosemite to the blissful isolation in a Redwood grove.

But each experience was worthy of reflection.

Red, White & Blue

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Miniature

Perusing the archives last night after I found the pic for last night’s post, I saw this one.  It made me smile.  And then made me wonder why I never did anything with it.

So I processed it and filed it away.

Then kept thinking about it today, as I was out on my bicycle ride.  Climbing a twisty, steep mountain road.

I could relate to the young lady.

Miniature

Faces

This image flashed across my monitor today as part of my screensaver. I had not seen it in a while, since it was taken on November 11, 2004.  The image made me smile at a moment that I needed it, a harried 45 minutes where I could not find my favorite lens.

A lens that has taken just under 30% of my 50,000 digital photos that I have taken that are in my database.

A lens, that if I had to replace it, would cost me a bicycle.

And I don’t buy cheap bicycles.

Long story made longer, the lens was right where I left it, although it had slipped behind a flap in my camera bag that never gets moved.

Except once recently.

Apparently.

I’m still trying to work on detaching from objects, but for something that has brought me so much enjoyment…

So back to November 11, 2004.

The progression of expressions makes me smile.

Faces

And no, this was not an image taken with my favorite lens.

Some train station on the Tokaido line, Tokyo, Japan.

Shorebreak

I was going to follow up last night’s California poppy post with another view of the same bunch.  But that will have to wait.

The purple iris’ bloomed today.

I happened to notice with just a few minutes of sunlight left.

Good thing they make external flashes, since I was able to extend my shooting to past sunset and actually create the light that I wanted.

Shorebreak

Why the name?  I learned to surf at an early age and have been able to, off and on, over the decades.  It never leaves me, especially when I’m near water, mentally surfing waves and ripples of all sizes.  So seeing shapes like this take me back to those moments, looking at a wave as it curls over, rushing to the shore.  Also, the tones are reminiscent of sunsets and beaches and the tropics.

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And for those of you interested in the lighting (Strobist) info: A single Canon 580EX II set on the ground ~24″ directly below, triggered by a Pocketwizard MiniTT1/AC3 combo on the camera and TT5 on the flash, using the AC3 to manually dial the flash down to 1/64th power.  There may have been a bit of natural light bleedover from the right, but it’s not apparent.  Sunset had been about 10 minutes prior, so the only available light was cool and failing rapidly.

Early Morning

We’re still getting settled into our new home, spending a significant portion of our days outside, working the lawn and our large raised bed garden.  Last frost isn’t typically for another six weeks, but we’re doing everything we can now to make sure that we have a bountiful harvest this year.  It’s good fun.

Plus, chasing after all of the dandelions is addictive.  We call it our “crack addiction”.  It seems like every time we walk out the front or the back, there are 2 or 3 new blooms.  Which leads to the discovery of 20-30 new plants that we’ve walked over.  We’ve got ~40lbs of dandelions in our green bin, which goes to the landfill to make compost.  We keep the weeds out of our own compost bin, since we just won’t have the volume to generate the heat we’d need to kill off the seeds.

But I digress.

We are quite pleased with the house we found to rent, as it is within walking and cycling distance of all of the shops in town.  That means we are now on track to only need to fill the car up once a month.  If that.  Plus, since the front door faces due south and the back doors and deck face due north, we have great views of the mountains and hills in all directions.

In the morning, as I sip on my coffee and watch the professional cycling races in Europe, I can lean a bit to one side, look out the window and see this, looking towards the northeast.

Cloudy MorningCloudy morning

That was this (Thursday) morning.  This past Monday, there was a fresh blanket of snow on the furthest mountains, deep enough that it didn’t melt off until yesterday afternoon.

Luckily it’s still the cool season.  I am not looking forward to the leaves filling in that out of focus tree in the foreground.  It will block a fine view.

When that happens, I’ll just walk to the living room.  From there I can see the sun caressing the mountain peaks to the south, including the local ski mountain.  This time of year the mountain is only open a few days a week, but I can at least look and dream about carving turns.  And once the spring warmth melts the snow on the trails, I will look forward to riding my bicycle up to the summit.  And loving the payoff of the descent.

Wherever you are, hopefully the weather is comfortable and the views are good.

Ashland Trails

One of our favorite parts about this new town?

This is only 10 minutes from the house.

Ashland Trails

OK, 10 minutes by car.

More like 30 minutes by bike, since this spot is about 800′ above the town center.  But only four miles as the crow flies.

I’m looking forward to racing here, since they have both running and biking races up the mountain this summer.

Until then, these trails sure wipe out Skinny!

Cracked

Even though the ice layer on Lake of the Woods was quite stable, there were still cracks in it.

When I was about 100 feet from shore, I straddled this crack and looked both directions.  It stretched all the way to shore and as far out into the middle of the lake as I could follow it.

This view was from shore.

Cracked

Sprung

From the look of things this morning, apparently everyone here in the United States had a clock had sprung.  At least, sprung something negative inside them.  All because the clocks moved forward an hour overnight.

Honestly, it’s not that big of a deal.  Except for the fact that there’s an “extra” hour of sunlight in the evening now.

That’s a good thing.

It was a gorgeous day here in Southern Oregon, with the afternoon temperatures expected to hit +20C (68F).  Not too shabby. It was almost if spring had sprung.

So we did the sensible thing.  We headed for the hills to see the snow.

Skinny sure liked this location.  It’s Lake of the Woods, nestled in the Cascades, not far from the Pacific Crest Trail.

We are actually out on the lake, some 50-60 meters from shore.  Yep, the lake is frozen.

Skinny McLoughlin

It’s funny to consider that Skinny has very low body fat, but was the one that decided he was going to sprawl out on the ice.

Skinny is the one that drags us out onto the ice.  Into the snow,  Into the rain.  Not that we mind any of them, but he sure likes it.

A few minutes after lying down like this on the ice, he started licking the soft snow on top.

He is hilarious.

By the way, that is Mt McLoughlin in the background, a lava cone on top of  a dormant volcano.  This is the only angle, from the south, that shows its imperfection.  If you view it from the west, north or east, its outline is perfectly smooth, coming to a sharp peak.  It is a beautiful mountain.

We sure are glad that this is just a 30 minute drive up the road.