Tag Archives: Oregon

Got Secret Sea Lions In Your Camera?

by Kimberly A. Cook             (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Sun fever. That’s my excuse for no posts the last two weeks. The bright orb came out for three days in a row, so I grabbed Mom and we bugged out for the beach. The Friday traffic was light, the sun kept shining; we were sure we’d get struck by lightning, but nada. Yeah!

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This is one of the coves on the North Point at Depoe Bay. You can see the city in the background along the sea wall.

 

Took my almost new Canon PowerShot SX530 HS with me to put it through its paces. This beauty has focal length from 24-1200mm with a 50x zoom and 16 megapixels for about $250.00. It’s my first foray back into larger body cameras after leaving my metal 35mm Minolta’s behind in 2006 to go digital with the Canon ELPHs. Sometimes you just need a bigger lens. Smirk.

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When I went full zoom from the same spot above, look who showed up? A faithful seagull subject. Thank heavens the clouds came in so his colors show up nicely and he/she is not bleached out.

 

Anyway, a big perk is the plastic body so it doesn’t weigh a ton like my vintage 35mms. When I worked on the newspaper I carried a 28 wide and a 100-250 zoom on two camera bodies and tried not to break my neck. Weighs less than a pound. This seems the best of both worlds, plus no film!

Of course, the manual has so many gadget settings it may take me years to figure them out, but I was out stalking marine wildlife and taking shots to test it. Much fun. Mom is working on her photo skills too, so we were girls on a mission.

One thing I did was make like a human tripod, since I didn’t bring one along on our walk. Both tripods were safe in the car back at the condo. I ended up leaning against a post and bracing my legs and then my elbows on my chest. It helps, really.

The clouds came over as a bonus since we were out at 2 p.m., not the best time for getting photos. But you take what you can get and go with it. When the wind picked up we scuttled back to the condo. Upon perusal of my many pics, I cracked up when I saw the ones of the buoy.

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One photo trick is to get the path to take the viewer into the picture. This one I used both the rope and posts on the left side and the path on the far right. Between trees three and four from the left, is where the buoy is in the next pic.  It’s a ways out there, trust me.

 

Surprise sea lions! The 50x was at its max zoom, I was concentrating on being a tripod and just trying to get the buoy in the frame, so imagine my delight to find sleeping sea lions in my picture, lounging on the buoy. You never know what might show up in your pictures.

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A tripod would have helped this exposure. As the “marine mammal editor” on the paper I was always mixing up the harbor seals with the sea lions. Harbor seals are like fat sausages and sea lions have the big flippers and small ears.  Sea lion on the right, I’m holding judgment on the other two.  Next time I’m taking both tripods!

 

So keep taking pics and being surprised. It’s part of the adventure!

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Water Safety Weekend Everybody, Even For River Otters

by Kimberly A. Cook                      (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

We might get two actual days of sun in a row this weekend, it’s a miracle! With all that hope and cabin-fever induced crazy going to happen, make sure you wear your SPF 50 sunscreen and practice water safety.

Our new youngster Tucker at the Oregon Zoo is getting taught to swim whether he wants to or not by his Mom. This reminds me of swimming lessons in grade school. Yikes! But he’ll be cruising around making waves in no time.

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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Have Butterfly Garden Dreams?

by Kimberly A. Cook                  (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

The birds are singing, tulips are blooming and I’m back on allergy meds; it must be Spring! Walked into my bedroom Sunday and heard a noise like a cross between a mini-jackhammer and a tiny steel drum band. Yup, the woodpecker is back and still in love with my gutter. The sounds of the season.

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Plant arrangement outside my sister’s house to celebrate Spring. Finally!

 

Last Tuesday when I was playing wood nymph outside instead of writing a blog post, I made a momentous decision about my backyard garden. Okay, garden is a bit overrated, it’s an assortment of garden pots. But it is my garden. Since I water it and don’t eat the limited produce and herbs, I’m giving serious thought to replacing it with a butterfly garden.

Not only can I help out the butterflies, but I can extend the Fairy Rock Garden closer to the patio. Given the amount of Fairy Rock Garden booty I’ve picked up over the long, damp, wet, gray winter, I’m need to annex some lots anyway.

The idea occurred to me surfing the web when I came upon a native plants nursery in West Linn, Oregon when looking for huckleberry plants. Not that I’m going to plant those, but I LOVE huckleberries. The nursery had a web page about butterfly garden plants. It looks like an amazing place to take my camera. Road trip!

What better neighbor for a Fairy Rock Garden than a butterfly garden? When I took Mom over to my favorite trail in Camp Sherman last May, a butterfly even landed on me. Think that is a big hint.

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Butterflies chowing down on plants by the river in June 2012 at Camp Sherman.

 

I’ve always loved butterflies, so this will be an adventure.  Everyone knows fairies ride butterflies for transportation, so I need to set up their transit hub. Stay tuned for updates on the butterfly garden transformation.

Got garden plans?  Got room for plants to feed butterflies? Dig in!

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Spring Cleaning Choices?

by Kimberly A. Cook                          (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

The sun came out last Friday and I played hooky from my blog. It was SO exciting. People were nice to each other in the stores, it got warm inside Subie with passive solar and folks were speeding like maniacs; until they hit a killer pothole. The rain poured again Saturday, but it popped out on Sunday and I played in my yard and garage.

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How fabulous does this display look at Monticello Antiques? The light coming in from the right was actual sun on Friday.

 

With apologies to the folks in the Northeast getting pounded by snow today, the rest of us are having Spring dreams while the rain settles in again in Oregon. Rumors of sun breaks on Thursday and Sunday have us all giddy with expectation.

My goal is to get all the inside chores done so when the good weather shows up, I can move outside to play. My new acronym is C.O.D. – clean, organized and decluttered. Noticed one of my declutter books in a pile of books on the floor of my bedroom the other day. Think that might be defeating its purpose.

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How cute is this sign at Monticello’s? Truer words were never spoken. Not the best shot due to low light, since I hate flash, but you get the idea! 

 

While I gear up to attack my closet for a brutal purge which requires empty garage sale boxes, chocolate and tissues to survive, I wanted to share one of my favorite shopping spots again. Some folks have such a knack for displaying items not only for sale, but in their homes too. My goal is to clear the floors.

Spec Ops Cat is always helping out with the housework by supervising. This photo was him working hard in the office yesterday while I was editing my fiction book. He strives for nap perfection. Pretty sure he had the ten thousand hours for mastery before he turned four. He’s always practicing, like right now in the exact same spot while I write this blog. So dedicated to his job.

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Words of wisdom from Spec Ops Cat for the folks back East in the snowstorm; nap hard, nap deep. He’s a Ninja Nap Master.   

Spring officially arrives Monday, so hope they can dig out of the snow in time to celebrate back East. We have flood warnings the end of this week. The ground refuses to take more water and even Idaho is dumping its rain water into our Columbia River.  Grab the sandbags, it must be Spring!

Are you Spring cleaning?  Or napping like Spec Ops Cat?

 

 

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Ready For Any Sun Break?

by Kimberly A. Cook              (Twitter@    WarriorTales)

It’s March. It’s still raining. In buckets. There’ve been some limited reports of seeing sun breaks, but they are few, like leprechaun sightings. Gray is the current outside color. So besides buying bright spring color clothes I can’t wear due to the cold and wet, thought we might all like to be reminded of what the sun looks like.

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Sun on Suttle Lake.

 

There is also a request from my gardenia bush. I moved it into the garage to protect it from the cold for about a month, then finally put it back outside. It’s requesting to go back in the garage; it’s accusing me of waterboarding. Not me, Mother Nature!

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How cute is this sleeping baby alpaca in the sun? Cuddles!

So to give us all a perk up, here are a few favorite past photos which actually contain sun. Try to identify it!

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Heading out on the road again to the thunderegg beds! Luckily I’d just put new tires on Subie. Gorgeous scenery.

Sun in Eastern Oregon above, outside of Madras. They are under a Winter Storm warning right now. Sigh.

And last but not least!

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Sugar Beach, Maui, Hawaii. A vacation favorite.

Sun on my favorite beach in Maui. I checked and they have sun right now. With showers. But it’s 81 degrees! Let’s go to Maui. If only in our minds.

Might be time to start looking for some green beer. St. Patrick’s Day isn’t far away! Happy almost Spring?

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California Dreaming?

by Kimberly A. Cook                    (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

It’s raining. Again. It’s official, this is the wettest February on record in Oregon. Since before the pioneers. This time of year we should be looking forward to Spring break, posies popping out of the ground and humming vintage Beach Boys songs.

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This plaque set next to the squad of bunnies in the store. Beach trips! 

 

Instead I took a couple pictures of the first pink saxafrasia blooms yesterday and they blurred. Not enough light. It was 2 p.m. in the afternoon! But there are some soggy buds on the trees and the brave daffodils are trying to rise into the air once again. I need to get them life vests.

Of course, it’s pouring in California too. Good news for them, their drought is over. Bad news, Mother Nature is still pouring on the water. Just to be sure I guess. Maybe she’s been chatting with Smokey Bear. (I call him Smokey the Bear but it appears he’s changed his name. Hard to keep up.)

Since I prefer to live in denial these days, I am going to assume the sun will come out again and we will have a fabulous Spring. Plans for planting my garden pots, more development in the Fairy Rock Garden and wearing less than four layers of clothes fill my mind. Naked painted toes! Shorts! No parkas! I get excited so easily.

We can do this. We can plan for sun. Warm breezes. Farmer’s markets. It will happen. Raspberries. Visiting alpacas. Fresh pears. Gliding back and forth in the lawn swing on a warm summer’s eve smelling neighbor’s BBQ and hearing the birdies sing.

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Farmer’s Market bounty. Everything comes back to food…..

 

In the meantime I guess we can take a hint from Spec Ops Cat and spend some time like he did yesterday. Find a cushy bed and a fuzzy blanket. Proceed to tunnel, twist and turn into a cat burrito. Cats are so smart.

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Yes, Spec Ops Cat is inside that lump. Cats rule! 

 

Wake me when it’s Spring!

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Can Warm Memories Fight Snowmares?

by Kimberly A. Cook                  (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Mother Nature is cranky. We just got a Special Weather Statement predicting another snowstorm and possible freezing rain. Weather Service says small accumulation, tv stations say two to four inches; last time they both predicted that we got a foot of snow followed by ice. Sigh.

I’m sure the ice cream and chip rush is on at the grocery stores, especially with Super Bowl this weekend. Snacks rule! Since December when this weird weather started, I’ve cleaned out my bathroom cabinets and drawers, my pantry, three stacks of old newspapers and started my taxes. At this rate my house will be spotless by May, a rare occurrence.

So to perk us all up, I’ve decided to recycle some of my favorite photos. I need to remind myself there is a warm season when my toes can run naked in sandals, I don’t have to wear four layers of clothes and there are actual rose blooms in my backyard. Note to self, must get busy on more Fairy Rock Garden building plans….

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My favorite place on the planet, my lawn swing. Nap heaven.

 

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The Double Delight. A favorite rose in my back yard.

 

 

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Chipmunk hijinks! This Batman and Robin pair in Eastern Oregon gave me a run for my money to catch their pic.

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Let’s not forget the berry bounty! Before baking it looks fabulous. After, not so much. More practice needed.

 

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And a sunny summer day at Depoe Bay, Oregon. Break out the flip flops!

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