Unleash Our Cameras For Spring

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This pic I took from the far right side of the falls, jostling around visitors. Trying to avoid the sun and get an angle. I hadn’t cleaned the water spray off the lens. Did not notice the cross in the water bottom left until I looked at this on the computer.  Water and sun? I don’t change my photos except to crop on occasion; it’s the photojournalist in me. And a surprise appears!

by Kimberly A. Cook

Monday I took a road trip with a friend up the Columbia River Gorge. Haven’t been through since the devastating wildfires last Fall. Wanted to check in with Mother Nature. Glorious weather this week, so the fruit blooms and the mountains were out.

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With zoom from the side of the road, fruit blooms in front and Mt. Hood up close.

Kathy volunteered to drive, which is such a treat for me. I gave her photo lessons in return. And lunch too. Excuse to eat at my favorite restaurant in Hood River, the Sixth Street Bistro. So I wanted to share with you some pics from our adventure.

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Exact same location as above photo, pulling back on zoom. Too much sun, but I’ll take it!

Stopped at Multnomah Falls which only allowed visitors recently. While the lodge gift shop is open, the parking lot is fenced off and the old highway too. So driving into the parking lot on I-84 is the only entrance. It was nice to not dodge crossing cars on the way to the Falls, but there were people everywhere anyway.

After doing some combat photography fighting the people, dogs, strollers, water spray and flying pollen in the wind, I got a few good pics. Shooting into the sun not the best, but I managed to worm my way on each side of the Falls to take photos.

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Mt. Adams in Washington had to get into the act too.  From the parking lot of Packers Orchards and Bakery – almost open for the season.

Then it was off to Hood River for lunch, then exploring the road up the mountain for some of my favorite picture-taking sites. The fruit blooms were opening up and the mountains were basking in the sun.

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These fruit blooms mean apples and pears and all sorts of goodies come this summer. Go bees!

 

We are having record temperatures right now, might be 86 today, and we broke a record yesterday. Rain back on Friday, but who cares, enjoy the sun!

Ready to unleash your cameras? Pics away!

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Big, Gray And Fabulous – Samson And The USS Portland

by Kimberly A. Cook

The sun came out this week and all of Oregon went crazy. Sun party! In addition, we got two huge gray presents to add to the celebration; Samson the new male elephant at the Oregon Zoo and our city’s very own Navy ship, the USS Portland.

Both huge, gray and beautiful, Samson is getting accustomed to his new digs before he meets the rest of the herd.

Likewise, the USS Portland has completed her sea trials, but gets commissioned here tomorrow to send her off on duty. She cruised 125 miles inland up the Columbia River to visit Portland. She brought Navy and Marine crew members with her. She needs staff. Next up? Anchors aweigh!

So have a great, safe, Quirky Friday and fabulous weekend! Go big! Go gray!

 

 

 

 

#USSPortland      #LPD27

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Run With The Big Horses?

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Bonus Friday photo! Because I found it on the web site of a Professor of Medieval Culture at The Citadel.

by Kimberly A. Cook

Spring fever is really hitting. I’ve been working on tech and writing issues all week. And @#$%^ tech is winning. Not in a good way. So I went looking for some horse porn to settle my nerves and found Frederik The Great! Again.

Sigh. Tried to get one of my fav clips from the movie “Ladyhawke” where Rutger Hauer rides into the church. YouTube only had the church fight scene, not their entrance. Entrances are everything! So the bonus photo instead. You’re welcome.

I first became aware of Friesian horses due to that movie. They were bred for battle way back in the day, believed from Friesland province, Netherlands in the 16th century.

When Hauer rides into the church on that gorgeous horse, real name Goliath, I melted. Completely. Hauer isn’t too shabby to look at either.

Yes, Frederick looks like the horse version of Fabio and that too is fabulous. I covet my personally autographed Fabio poster to this day. It’s framed. Two words. Naked biceps.

So in honor of all pets honored this week, here is Frederick The Great to help us all run free and get our minds off everything! Except “Ladyhawke” and Fabio that is.

Happy Quirky Friday and have a great, safe weekend!

If you want to check out the Professor’s armor review of the film, here:

https://www.tor.com/2017/11/08/history-fantasy-and-weird-armor-ladyhawke/

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Celebrate National Pet Day?

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This is how Spec Ops Cat trained for National Pet Day. This was grueling training on March 31st. Full on nap maneuvers. Very impressive skill level.

by Kimberly A. Cook

I’m behind in my writing duties since I was waiting on Spec Ops Cat hand and paw for yesterday’s National Pet Day. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Part of his present included me spending a long lunch with family having chai tea, chicken cranberry walnut salad on a croissant and a huge cookie.

Such sacrifice on my part. Leaving home so he could nap in silence was really his gift. (I write fiction for a reason.)

He celebrated his special day by waking me up with a 5:20 a.m. hairball. Always providing me with gifts. Such a giver. But he is my roommate, buddy and vice president of security operations, so he earns his keep.

Did you celebrate your pet yesterday? Feel free to do it today and every day. Make sure to ration those treats; no matter how much they beg.

Spec Ops Cat thinks he has a magic food bowl. Since he will chow down his wet gravy food too fast, I give him a tablespoon at a time in the morning to slow his gobbling. Works great.

But he tries to use “bowl patrol” during the rest of the day before dinner. If he stares at the bowl long enough, then looks at me, maybe more food will appear out of the heavens.

Know that feeling when you’re watching tv and you feel target lock? Turn my head into the kitchen and yup, bowl patrol. He’s giving me “the look.” He has plenty of dry food, but he’s a gravy guy.

Hug your pets and treasure them while you can. I’ve had four friends lose their loving buddies in the past five months.  Heart breaking. I’ve informed Spec Ops Cat he is not to go along with that crowd. As usual, he wasn’t listening to me, but napping in a sun spot.

Hug your fur babies today and every day!

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Spring, Cats And Chaos?

by Kimberly A. Cook

The blooms are coming! The blooms are coming! We are up to our eyeballs in buds, blooms and pollen here in the great state of Oregon. Sun breaks, rain storms, and buzzing bees. A big wind storm is on tap for tomorrow, so batten down your yard art!

It’s not just us humans who enjoy spring, felines get into the act too. Check out Simon’s Cat take on the joys of the season.

Have a great safe weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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Got Spring Fever Snoozies?

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Hugging trees time!

by Kimberly A. Cook

Napping. That is all I want to do right now. Between the wacky weather going from ice in the bird bath to rain then warm exploding buds then back to a windstorm this Saturday, my body thinks winter might be returning. Or the pollen is cutting off my air supply. Think both actually apply.

While I should be working on business projects, reviewing the beta readers comments on my fiction book and writing, I want to snooze. Seems this always happens when the season turns from winter to spring and fall to winter. Primitive cave wiring, hibernate time.

While driving on errands I see folks jogging along the side of the road and get jealous. Not that their jogging, hate that after doing it five days a week every morning in the Army, but the fact they seem to have energy. Where do they get that? Caffeine? Red Bull? No allergies? Maybe all of the above. Scary.

So sometimes you have to slow down and take the nap. Don’t fight it. Spec Ops Cat is a ninja nap master. I have much to learn from him. Of course he gets to sleep a minimum eighteen hours a day, so he has it down to a science; upstairs naps, downstairs naps and hiding in the closet naps.

My Army Battalion Commander used to take a thirty-minute power nap at lunch every day. As a troop you really don’t want your Battalion Commander recharged for the afternoon, but it worked for him.

On my way home from Office Depot today, I stopped to take some quick photos of the blooms. So pretty. Bees were everywhere doing their job. Very busy. I also practiced my spring ritual of reaching out and touching the blossoms. Love to cup them in my hand. So soft.

Spring blooms burst upon us then leave quickly. Savor the season. Slow down and touch the flowers. Inhale the fragrant air.

Then take a nap.

Enjoy!

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Ready For Bunny Romp?

by Kimberly A. Cook

Celebrated Spring Break this week by attending a private crochet camp. I flunked. Actually, it was two friends and my Mom with her friend teaching, but private crochet camp sounds so fancy. It confirmed I’m a knitter and got me back to a blanket project, so success.

Spring is my favorite time of year with the flowers blooming, more daylight and bunnies! I have been a huge bunny fan since I was young. We had a wild rabbit sighting in my backyard as a kid and I’ve been bunny bonkers ever since.

So while other folks might be dealing with basketball brackets, I’m enjoying bunny brackets. How about these seven-week-old Rex rabbits who have joined the Oregon Zoo family farm? So adorable!

Bet they are the star attractions for the Oregon Zoo’s Rabbit Romp tomorrow. Remember, don’t give rabbits as live gifts, but do eat your greens like these baby bunnies demonstrate. However, they are eating kale; good for them, but I think lettuce is fine too.

Have a great safe weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

 

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