Tag Archives: nature

Can You Swim, Eat And Dry Your Hair?

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (twitter@  WarriorTales)

One reason I went into the Army is I can’t swim for beans. Do a mean dog paddle or glide? Yes. Breast stroke? No.  So when I saw this clip from the “Nature” television show with sea otters not only eating and swimming, but a momma otter blowing her baby’s hair dry and swimming, so impressive.

I can barely dry my hair standing on dry land, let alone swimming. Might be an electrical issue with the whole power cord thing too. That’s why those warning labels are on hair dryers because you know some idiot tried it. Once.

Watch these otters in action courtesy of the robot “Spy Otter” who snuck up and got these papparazi shots of the sea otters.

Have a great, safe, weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!



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Time To Explore Our National Parks In 2017

by Kimberly A. Cook                (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

This final Quirky Friday of 2016 calls for something good to start off the new year. I’m promoting visiting our National Parks. Since the National Park Service celebrated their 100th Anniversary in 2016, it’s time we get out there and enjoy the amazing lands owned by We The People. We also need to thank the wonderful National Park Service employees for their dedication and service.

I’ve visited the Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, Olympic, Pearl Harbor Memorial, Yosemite, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Wall, Arlington, Olympic, Fort Vancouver and The Capitol Mall for a quick list; only about 399 to go.

Thank you all for reading my blog this past year. Have a safe holiday weekend and a very Happy New Year! Let’s go hike in a National Park in 2017!

This link will help you find a National Park near you.


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Making A Thankful List?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Spending time with family and chowing down on turkey, stuffing and pie is always a winner. Each year I think about what I’m thankful for and make a mental list. The more vintage I get in age, the simpler the items on my list have become.


Nature views like this one by Suttle Lake Lodge.


  • A day off to relax.
  • Sleeping in.
  • Real whipped cream on the pies.
  • Mom’s famous lime Jell-O with pineapple and cream cheese.
  • Laughing with family.
  • Gravy.
  • Full tummy.
  • Stopping the rat race for a national holiday.
  • Kitty cuddles.
  • Nap time.
  • Claymation Christmas.
  • Leftovers.
  • Pumpkin pie.
  • Good health.
  • Cozy warm home protecting us from the rain.
  • Taking time to listen.
  • Grateful for the good fortune we have.
  • Remembering family members we have lost but reliving the fun memories.
  • Thankful for the military personnel around the globe protecting us while we relax.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • Hoping for peace and goodwill toward all women and men.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Let the competitive napping begin!

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Time To Wander In The Woods?

by Kimberly A. Cook                (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Since today is Election Day, I decided it was time for a mosey on one of my favorite trails along the Metolius River in Camp Sherman, Oregon. We can all do with a pause that refreshes given the past eighteen months.

Picked out five pictures I took the end of September to share the peace, quiet and beauty of a nice stroll through the woods along a fly fishing only river.


We started out late in the day and the golden light began to make an appearance. Smell the fresh air.


I love this simple path through the woods which runs alongside the river. It makes me calm down just by looking at it again.




The sound of the water moving along and the slight breeze of wind through the trees. 


Now we are headed back to the trailhead, but I can’t resist looking behind me and snapping another picture as the light continues to fade.


So when life gets a little crazy I can dream about relaxing in the little gazebo in the campground on the other side of the river.   

This calming interlude brought to you by Mother Nature, the State of Oregon, the town of Camp Sherman and the U.S. Forest Service. Relax and enjoy the views!




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A Walk In The Woods?

by Kimberly A. Cook                      (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Last week I headed out on an adventure with my Mom. Decided to take her to see my favorite places in Eastern Oregon, the town of Sisters to be exact. Showed her all the hot spots from the place where I get my bark pieces at Suttle Lake, to the Crescent Moon Alpaca Farm, the always great Camp Sherman and the Richardson’s Rock Ranch.


We both tried our hand at taking pictures of this cabin on the Metolius River by Camp Sherman. This one is for my Mom.


We had a good time and made memories. The weather was sunny and clear, while it rained back home. Somehow that made it even better. We both took pictures and had fun testing our photo skills. We had laughs, good food and slept a lot. Perfect vacation.

When I attended Elizabeth Gilbert’s author talk last Fall, someone in the audience asked her what was on her bucket list. She said she didn’t have places or things on her list, but people. That hit a very strong cord with me. She took her Mom on a walking trip in Ireland. We had fun in Eastern Oregon.

With the first great days of summer heading towards us, it can be easy to forget to slow down, enjoy friends and family and snooze. Must be time to break out the lawn swing.

Who is on your bucket list to visit with this summer?



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Up For An Urban Adventure?

by Kimberly A. Cook                     (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

While the East Coast hunkered down for snowstorm Jonas last Friday, those of us on the West Coast felt a little guilty. On my way back from grocery shopping that day I decided to take a detour and check out a park by the river. I drive by the road to the park each work day on my way to and from the day job, but I’d never taken the turn less travelled, so to speak.


A river, a boat and tranquility. Ah. 


I wound through an industrial area and continued around a few curves and then right there, a park! Motoring into the little gem, I found a nice parking lot with bleachers and restrooms, lots of grass and a boat launch. There were quite a few people out unloading fishing gear, vacant boat trailers and some people just watching the river from their vehicles.

Being close to water calms me down. Not necessarily in it, unless it’s a hot tub, but I love a bubbling brook, stream or the crash of the ocean. One of the books on my nightstand right now is “Writing Wild” by Tina Welling. It’s all about getting in touch with nature to increase your creativity.

In these days of hurry, rush, too much traffic, noise and digital everything its the perfect time to reconnect with nature and take a calm break. Now the folks back East got a little too much nature this past weekend, but some hardy souls enjoyed it if they had power and snacks.

Saw people on tv playing in the snow in Central Park and Times Square in New York and sledding down the “Rocky” steps at the art museum in Philadelphia. Definitely a one-of-a-kind urban snow adventure.

Do you have natural places close by you pass and never visit?  Do you take them for granted? Maybe it’s time to stop and smell the trees!



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Do You Have The Eye Of A Photographer?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

Spent part of last week on vacation at the beach, Depoe Bay, Oregon, one of my favorite spots on the planet. In the quest to get there we ended up in two traffic jams, so a stop at the Oregon State Park Van Duzer Corridor rest stop in the Coast Range was a great idea and a necessity.

Photo 1 - overall scene setting shot. Photojournalism rule - always make sure you get an overview picture.
Photo 1 – scene setting shot. Photojournalism rule – always make sure you get an overview picture.

I love to visit the stream which runs through the trees by the picnic tables, away from the rest stop building. The sound of the gurgling water is so relaxing. Even with low water at this time of year.

There are two rest stops, one North and on South. On on the way back we always check the river on the South side too, since it runs deeper than the North side stream.

I’ve been travelling this road for 35 plus years so I must have hundreds of photos of this stream. Thought it might be fun to show you the series of photos I took that day, in order. Kinda.

Photography, like writing, requires practice. What better fun for us shutter bugs than to take pictures outside by a forest brook? It was late in the afternoon so the light was still bright, so the green in the left side of photo one fades by being bleached out by the sun.

Next up I decided to zoom in and focus on the larger rock in the stream bed in photo three. Normally the water is deep here any other time of the year, so this was an opportunity to use the rock as a focal point in the lower left of the photo.

Photo 3 - yes I skipped two. I put the rock in the upper third on pic 2, then changed my mind and put it in the lower third to draw in the eye. Better.

Photo 3 – yes I skipped two. I put the rock in the upper third on pic 2, then changed my mind and put it in the lower third to draw in the eye. Better.

Close ups are good, but I also wanted to see what a mid-range photo would look like so I pulled back the zoom and framed shot five. Liked the filtered light coming through the trees and into the water and the better contrast between the water, rocks and trees.

So the last picture is my favorite of the five I shot in this series. I checked the times on the photos and I shot them all in two minutes.

The great thing about digital cameras is you’ve always got pixels to spare; as long as you carry an extra charged battery and memory card.

Spent part of the trip trying to use my new Canon PowerShot Elph 340  HS camera. Somehow managed to shoot video when I hadn’t planned on it, so more time is needed with that camera. It has a much longer zoom and greater pixels, the better to get harbor seal close-ups!

These stream photos were shot with my trusty old Canon PowerShot Elph SD800 IS. It’s so hard to give up an old reliable and move onto the next one. I’m talking about cameras here, by the way, just to be clear.

Have you played with your camera today?

Picture 5 and my favorite. I can count, I just skipped two other photos in between.
Picture 5 and my favorite. I can count, I just skipped one more photo in between.


Filed under Photography