Goddess and I got rid of our Christmas tree last week. We hadn’t put it up in years and found someone who needed one.
So it’s set up in another home this season and is decorated beautifully.
So, unbeknownst to Goddess at the time, the other day I adopted this tree when we were out at one of the mountain lakes, hoping for a break in the snow and clouds for some late afternoon mountain pictures.
A bit of a Charlie Brown tree, but that’s OK. Considering the amount of downed trees around it, it’s doing quite well.
Once again, thanks goes to Goddess, my ever-patient VALS, providing the lighting from camera right.
Late afternoon light over the Rogue Valley, helping burn off the fog for a few hours.
Nope, this was not today, but a few weeks back. The passengers in the car might recognize it now, but I know they were wondering why we pulled off the road so quickly that afternoon.
Today was cloudy and snowy on this same stretch of road. Still nice, since it meant that Goddess and I were able to get out in the forest with the snow gently falling through the trees.
Nice and quiet.
That was a great thing, especially with our experiences in town today, both leaving and coming back. I joked with Goddess that I was pretty sure that we were just characters in some video game and that we had a big marker floating over our car that prompted drivers to pull out in front of us, without clearance, and win a prize.
The early morning session featured in the Mount Thielsen Stars post was a bit of redemption for what I had considered a poorly executed star shooting session a couple of weeks earlier. During that earlier session, I did quite a bit of experimentation, which is good, but came back with very little that I considered worthy of sharing.
Twenty-five years at this game and I’m still learning.
I like that.
I was hoping to get some more late night images this weekend. I was down in California doing some work for the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA). It was trail work in the mountains during the day, but I’d have free time after dinner to get out and shoot the stars some more. Since we were in the area, I was really looking forward to getting this tree in the foreground.
Instead, it was cloudy and rainy. Snow had fallen in the area the night before we set up camp.
That made for poor photography options, but made for a memorable trail work weekend.
It was great to see so many people out enjoying the mountains, regardless of the weather. It was the second weekend in the deer hunting season, although none of the hunters we talked to spotted anything other than does and a few fawn. In other words, no luck.
There were also plenty of hikers, including a father and his young (7-8 year old?) daughter, out for her first backpack trip. We talked to them on Saturday, then again on Sunday as they returned to the car, no worse for wear after a rainy and cold night at their back-country campsite. She was all grins. There just might be a lifetime of adventure for that young lady.
Anyway, what does any of that have to do with this photo? Well, I had some time to let it set after giving up on it a couple of weeks back. That was plenty of time to remove any notions of what I wanted to get out of it, which let me experiment. Considering it’s the result of a night of experimentation, that was perfect.
Shot a little bit after the moon rose in Fish Lake Moonrise, I turned my attention to the south in the direction of the Milky Way. There was also a single Quaking Aspen on the hillside which had, luckily enough, already popped to its full autumn color.
The moon lit the ground and I used an LED flashlight to paint the aspen. Meanwhile the stars and Milky Way did their thing, occasionally masked by cirrus drifting across the sky.
Well, we got the rain that we desperately need. It started early this morning and continues here at midnight.
Early on I was expecting showers and thunderstorms, but luckily we just got a steady, soaking rain.
Exactly what we need.
At first I was disappointed, hoping to get some good valley shots with the showers and thunderstorms. I needed another point of view.
Sitting with Goddess today at a local winery, looking at the countryside and reminiscing about living in Europe, the image I wanted popped into mind. So it was just a matter of making the trip to see if it would happen.
We’re surrounded by these interesting Manzanita trees. They appear barkless, with a gorgeous red covering offset by deep green leaves.
But for me, it is not the colors, but their shapes and lines.
If you are a long time reader/follower, you would not be surprised by that.
Goddess, Skinny and I spent the long Memorial Day weekend camping in the forest to our east. It was the first time that Skinny has ever camped with us, complete with a tent; our backyard camps don’t count. It was only the second time that Goddess has camped, ever; her first time was when we spent the weekend at Rock am Ring festival in Germany, so that doesn’t really count.
I did not spend any time taking pictures, instead reacquainting my arm with the process of casting a fly to (hopefully) taking trout. Other than an odd day here or there, it’s been 20 years since I’ve been in a place where I could consistently fish for trout.
As far as I’m concerned, any day fishing for trout is better than any other day fishing, period. Although any day fishing is better than a day of not fishing.
There is a hierarchy to keep in mind, you know.
While not all of the cobwebs are swept free, casting a fly is a lot like riding a bicycle. The muscle memory was there, as were the fine motor movements of tying knots on #12 hook (think smaller than your thumbnail long, with the eye covering a very small portion of that). So there was success.
A few small (4-6″) brook trout, a nice 9″ brown trout and a nice 10″ rainbow trout. The last two were kind enough to join us for dinner over a campfire and under the stars. That meal was another first for Goddess.
And Skinny approved, giving both the brown and rainbow the sniff of approval.
All-in-all, an enjoyable weekend. We’re looking forward to more.
You might recognize this view from March of last year, when the lake was frozen solid, which allowed me to approach the downed tree more closely. That day there were folks out in the middle of the lake ice fishing and there were tracks in all directions left by snowmobiles.
If you’ve been following, you’ll recall that we haven’t had much of a winter here this past year. So everything looks like it’s ready for a summer of frolicking, even though the water is still too cold for that.
Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who took advantage of my spring sale on photographs. I do appreciate your support and encouragement!
A gorgeous day here in Germany. The perfect way to greet spring.
We stopped off at the Schwetzingen Castle Gardens to see if the cherry blossoms has started. They had. The trees still have a few days, if not another week, before they’ll be in full bloom, but we had a nice viewing today.
Not the same as a hanami (sakura viewing) in Japan, but this will definitely do.
Plus it gave me a chance to stretch my legs with the new toy.
Quite an impressive little package this camera is. Even at pixel-peeping levels, I’d venture to say that in the same situation, with the same settings, this camera gives my 20D with either a 100/2.8 or 200/2.8L some stiff competition.
I won’t go out on a limb and say that it’s better, but it’s quickly approaching the quality.