Tuesday, April 27, 2010

not-so-creepy crawlies

Anybody recognize the subject of this picture?

When I was little, I had an obsession with these not-so-creepy crawlies. I never found out what they ended up turning into (moths? butterflies?) but in their stages as fuzzy caterpillars or "woolly bears," I loved them. I'd ask Mom to take me out in the stroller for the sole purpose of collecting them and keeping them as pets.

(There is also one tale where two of my captive caterpillars found their way into my brother's bed. . . . Another story!)

Even when I was older I liked to seek them out. Hannah and I would spend hours plucking them from the swamp grass. On one occasion in late spring when I was probably seven or eight years old, we collected over 500--enough to fill a large peanut butter jar to the top.

(No, I didn't keep them captive that time. They were all granted freedom by the end of the afternoon.)

This morning during my expedition, I was reunited with the woolly bears. Only this time, I had my camera with me.

Caterpillars weren't my only subject this morning, however. In fact, this post will be full of miscellaneous pictures. That's my fault for not posting since Saturday.
The pink flowers above are each about the diameter of a dime. Thanks to the macro setting on my point-and-shoot camera I can get incredibly detailed shots!

 A taste of a cloudy and blustery spring morning on our place:
That's the field my sister and I change irrigation sets on daily in the summertime.
Above--two horses rarely lie down at the same time. Splash is keeping a watchful eye for predators while Drem rests. In awhile, they'll trade shifts.
I love the blurring of Splash's coat pattern in the back of this one. Drem (below) also has beautiful eyes.
Photography is never boring! From caterpillars to flowers to landscapes to horses, it's a dynamic hobby that changes with the seasons, the weather, even moods. You have no idea what agony I went through to pare down today's pictures to the few I have posted here! This is only a fraction of the 360-ish that I took. . . .

So it's April 27th today. Three more days in April, and my April 2010 folder is at 5.99 GB. Is it possible to go three days without clicking the shutter?

We'll find out.

Friday, April 23, 2010

back the other way

I find it amazing how different things look when you make a simple change to your viewpoint. My morning walks around the Loop are always counter-clockwise, starting out going east. Just for the heck of it, yesterday morning I decided to go clockwise instead.

There's so much out there I didn't notice before. A different angle on the trees, the mountains, the fields. It was pretty cool.

 It's shameful how few pictures I've posted of Mt. Adams. I love this mountain. We have a perfect view of it from our living room window. It graces the northwest corner of the horizon, and Mt. Hood officiates on the southwest corner. My brothers and my dad have climbed Mt. Adams several times, and my oldest brother is hoping to climb Mt. Hood in a couple of weeks (help!!!).

<< A view of our house that I didn't even know was there! I love the leaning tree. Trees are often welcome additions to landscape pictures--at least I think so. :)

Another fun tree!
Like I said . . . I love tree pictures.

After a crazy photo-attempt, I decided that you all need to meet Turbo. He's an indoor Bengal kitten that lives at the house across the road where my horse boards. And he definitely lives up to his name!
Look at those claws! He's scheming about something. You can see it in his evil eyes. . . .

Check this out--the flash turned his eyes green. He seems to think he's very intimidating. I changed the last picture to regular black eye pupils just for fun. Which one do you like better?
I love cat pictures!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

the color of springtime

It's one of the most exciting weeks of the year in Goldendale--that one seven-day stretch in April, usually between the 13th and the 20th, when the tulips are in bloom, the tiniest hints of green are showing up on tree branches, and the hummingbirds are back!

Springtime borne on the tips of their wings, the avian helicopters we call hummingbirds are some of my very favorite birds. The greens, reds, oranges, blues, and purples that zing off their feathers are the colors of spring. (I'm praying that April 20 is late enough to safely say "spring" without bringing in a snowstorm.)

I spent my "lens time" this morning experimenting with not only these tiny beasts but also our explosion of blooming tulips. I even tried something I rarely do: practiced using manual focus. Not an easy technique to use on hummingbirds!

(And I've decided to blame this blog for the enormous amount of pictures on my hard drive. In other years, April was one of my less-photographed months, but my April 2010 folder currently contains 4.29 GB of pictures. That's over 2,000 individual photos this month alone. . . . Yikes!!)

I'm terribly proud of the following picture. I have no idea how I did it, but somehow, I manually focused it correctly in the half-second I was given before the hummingbird ducked out of the frame.

This was also a manual focus from a greater distance. It's not quite needle-sharp. >>


I like the hummingbird above, but the blurred out twig in the foreground drives me crazy. If I was proficient at Photoshop clone-stamping, I'd get rid of it, but I'm not.

<< This yellow tulip is one of my favorites. I focused the camera on the partially-unfurled petal on the left side of the flower.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


"He's of the colour of the nutmeg.  And of the heat of the ginger.... he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him; he is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts."  ~William Shakespeare, Henry V

Horses are my favorite animals. How I came to choose a passion for photography to go alongside my affinity for cats and horses (two of the most difficult-to-photograph animals) I have no idea. . . .

After my ill-fated attempts at getting swamp bird pictures yesterday, I stopped to visit my horse, Drem (short for Dreamer). She winters with the neighbors' horse, Splash, across the road and I walk up to work with her daily. Since I had my camera with me I decided to take some pictures--hoping they'd turn out more successfully than the rest of my afternoon attempts. I think they did.

It's said that a horse is poetry in motion. With a still camera, it's hard to capture the motion, but I can always capture the poetry.

This is Drem--11 year old Quarter Horse mare, 14.3 hands tall. I love her to death! Below, Drem is grazing with Splash, her stablemate.


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