Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Up next: see you in Bothell

On the heels of getting back to work upon returning from my trip, I'll be presenting the third of my series of talks at various King County Libraries tomorrow night, October 29th. I hope to see a few of you there at the Bothell Regional Library tomorrow evening! Please come up to introduce yourselves to me if you are a new friend so I have a chance to meet you.
Next up to attract interested people in the South Puget Sound region? Des Moines KCLS Library next Wednesday evening, November 4th! You can always see my current schedule of upcoming presentations and shows on the "upcoming events" panel on the right side of this blog :)
(photo: American Three-toed Woodpecker on a burned snag on Crow Hill in the Entiat Mountains, while working on Day Hiking-Central Cascades!)

Aloha, well that was fun

Aloha from my office space needing to be heated and I sitting here no longer wearing shorts and sandals! The silence from me for more than the past week is due to having been away at a family Hawaii of all places :) In short, I'll have some fun stories to share of enjoyable days out and about on Maui over the course of my next few entries here! I'll save you from the wedding details - I'm sure my brother-in-law's wedding isn't the type of thing you care much about seeing here!! Now it's time for me to regroup my brain, get caught up this week around here, and then start sharing some of the things I had the pleasure to enjoy on my first ever trip to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In the mean time, you can pretend you are relaxing on that sailboat in this photo as you sail between Maui and Molokai.... (photo: one of many sunsets from the western most area of Maui at Ka'anapali)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More fun at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

Each of my past three trips to do presentations in Portland I have used as a means to stop in at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, west of the Battle Ground area in the community of (surprise) Ridgefield, Washington. Yesterday as I headed south to get ready for my evening presentation to The Mazamas club in Portland yet again I took the detour off the freeway. Each time there, things start off with "well, looks like I'm not seeing much here. Oh well....". Each time there, how wrong I am and end up spending a long time there photographing different birds and other things than any previous visit!

This trip I thought it would be pouring, but rains stopped just south of Kelso and I proceeded in to the refuge. The wind was blowing very hard and I figured that was the reason I'd see virtually nothing. The first marsh I went by where I photographed my first ever seen Great Egret last year? Not even a duck in the howling winds and almost white-caps! I kept going and then about 1/2 way around the long loop, things changed dramatically. I was pleased to photograph a Western Painted Turtle enjoying a sun break on a log, even sitting there with a freshly fallen yellow leaf on its back - fun! Right after that the fun really began as I notice far off through the trees in a field a flock of 75-80 Sandhill Cranes feeding and coming in for landings. What a joy it was to watch them for the next 30 minutes as they fuel up for their journey south! Once I was out in the open ponds and prairie lands I was entertained for well more than an hour with numerous female Northern Harriers seemingly having a soaring party in the warm winds. Sometimes they would be gliding...and not moving as they just paused in mid-air against the wind. Very enjoyable!

And of course, the throngs of Great Blue Herons

are assured here every visit and each time I have returned with very different heron photos than previous visits. I'm already eager to stop in again at yet another month of the year - I'm 3-for-3 with different months, different experiences!

Monday, October 12, 2009

So how did I get tied to infectious diseases?

One of the things that will always amuse me as a photographer is how many different ways my photographs can end up being used. In particular it is so much fun to see just how many unique clients might find value in my work - even if the image doesn't seem to have anything in common with the subject! Case in point is another photo usage that will happening in December 2009 for the 25th Annual Infectious Disease Conference. Last year my Christmas time image of the Space Needle was used as part of the program cover for this annual conference held by Providence Hospital-Everett Medical Center. While I'd love to have the ability to get a microscope and start photographing the cool looking blob of germs that I'm tied to, I'll enjoy another photo use like last year as part of their conference in 2009 coming up. And maybe someday I'll learn about micro-photography at the REALLY tiny level!
(photo: cover of the 2008 conference program)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A free flowing Rogue River

Yesterday marked a milestone for Southern Oregon's Rogue River as the Savage Rapids Dam was compromised after 88 years of holding back water to divert it for irrigation. The last part of a temporary earthen dam was removed and for the first time since 1921 this portion of the Rogue River flowed freely. It certainly is a new age of things in some areas where inefficient dams are being removed - just as will the Elwah Dam come down in 2012 here in Western Washington. Let's hope the Howard Hanson Dam holding back the Green River won't come down on it's own however!

Rogue River news:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Glowing gold of alpine larch trees

This time of year an annual march to the high country by avid hikers is going at a frantic pace. Larch tree lovers are roaming for a fix of the golden glow of fall larch trees everywhere and the current nice weather has them really in a fit over where to go this coming weekend! Sad to say, most alpine larch trees are turning color later than the typical first week or two of October this year and what I have seen shows that we are a good week away from the prime showing of these magical golden autumn trees. But with the weather forecast turning wet and gray next week I went on with a personal wish to enjoy the hike to Ingalls Lake yesterday and was a little bit surprised and lucky! I expected mostly green needle larch trees but found that a few areas are quite nice if you look hard enough.

A great day to enjoy not only good company of a friend, golden larch trees trying to encourage the masses of other larch trees to hurry up and give up the green color, but also seeing well over 50 wild turkeys driving to/from the trailhead, three coyotes, and then two mountain goats in Headlight Basin before Ingalls Lake! See? If Alan leaves his big lens at home to save weight, the wildlife will come!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What's red with a top on it?

A mountain with a fire lookout of course! Especially a mountain property named Red Top Mountain! This week I took a short hike to this southern peak along Teanaway Ridge. What a great location and easy to get to if you can drive to the upper trailhead location at 5000'. Raptors were migrating and soaring southward, views were grand, and especially the view from the outhouse below the lookout tower! I then roamed north along Teanway Ridge some to the agate beds area.

Fall is sure in the air!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Will "The Kid" return?

A great day at the ballpark! Months ago I got tickets to be at Safeco Field for the last game of the season. It is such an excellent event to be there as the season winds down as the players take their time leaving the stadium. But this year was extra special as it "might" have been the last day of Ken Griffey Jr.'s hall-of-fame career, and what a day it was! Standing ovations for every at-bat, a last at-bat base hit for him, massive ovations for him, massive ovations as Felix Hernandez pitched his last effort to prove himself worthy of Cy Young Award consideration with a 19-5 record and 2.49 ERA, and then the after-game party.

The players proceeded to circle the stadium thanking the fans for a great year, tossing everything from batting gloves to helmets to even socks up to the fans. Then players hoisted Griffey and Ichiro up and carried them off the field like riding a chariot. It was special seeing a good 15,000 fans still in the fun of things some 30 minutes after the last pitch of the game was tossed.

Best thing yet? Only a little over four months until Spring Training 2010 baby!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bring on October

Welcome to October! Ah, finally, the month long having been on my radar screen as "the month I'll be very busy!" is here! October brings with it annual things of nature that I appreciate and never tire of photographing. Stellar golden larch trees in the high country await my hopeful visits in the coming two weeks, and maybe another crimson red ridge roam through huckleberry meadows. Throw in birthdays happening, other family events, and it's already a full slate! What is bringing October into the "busy and even more fun" stage is a long list of program presentations that I have scheduled to start off my fall-spring busy time doing presentations. I'm eager to get started in particular with a new set of programs which is being sponsored by King County Library System in coordination with the PBS special on National Parks by Ken Burns. KCTS Channel 9 here near Seattle is teamed with many areas such as the KCLS to promote this time frame with subjects tied to the parks, and I'm honored to have my work with the Day Hiking series I've worked on with The Mountaineers Books the past 5 years be utilized by being asked to present!

I'm only one week away from the first of many presentations, the first being next Thursday 10/8 (see my events calendar on this blog, or view the photos part of this posting). Guess I had better start thinking about creating this presentation that I'll be using all month!