Tag Archives: photography

After The Easter Bunny? Spring?

by Kimberly A. Cook                      (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Recovering from my chocolate Easter egg binge, so thought I would share some sights of the holiday celebration. All the candy seems to be gone; cannot figure out how that happened.


This year I decided to pull some of my favorite bunny figurines out of the china cabinet and mix them with some new Fairy Rock Garden items. Loved the look it gave the table.   


The day before Easter I met with my fabulous writing support group and my buddy Martha gave me a bouquet of her award-winning camellias. Then her husband gave me my very own bloom picked fresh from the plant. Gorgeous!


How gorgeous is this pink and white beauty? I’m drying the petals as they fall off to see if I can preserve them for resin jewelry.   


When I got back home from the writer group it was time for final preparation for family on Sunday. Got the items together for setting the table, put the flowers in a grand spot and made bunny candy bags.


The single picked bloom floating in water. Takes my breath away.


Hope you had a nice weekend and are making plans for when the sun returns for good and Spring really kicks in this year. In the meantime, it’s finally time to move the fuchsias out of the garage. I think.

Maybe if I put parkas on them just to be safe…… Happy almost gardening!


Spec Ops Cat helping with the table setting. Not. The bunny and flower wall did not keep him off the table. P.S. Got the bunny napkin ring holders at Goodwill for pennies. Bunny bargain!



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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….


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



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




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


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



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


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Winter Photo Wrap Up?

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Optimistic headline at best, but I can dream can’t I? With another potential snowstorm heading in to the Portland area tonight, wanted to share some more pics of the season. One of the few things I’ve been able to achieve these two months is taking photos.


Clear, crisp and sunny. East wind enough to rip your lips off. So pretty.  


A quick trip to Mom’s place on Jan. 7 featured clear views of both Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens. Besides the East wind blowing my skin off my face and my eyebrows turning to ice, it was lovely. Trees were in front of Mt. Hood, but got this shot of Mt. St. Helens across the farm lands.

She was such a pretty mountain before she blew her top off on May 18, 1980. She looked like a pile of sugar before, now she has a flat top. A volcanic buzz cut so to speak. But the snow still makes her shine.

The next day another snowstorm hit. I’d done my duty by refilling the birdie food, putting out the suet block and making sure the bird bath heater was keeping their water warm; a balmy 33 degrees. When it is 14 degrees out before the wind chill, bath water matters. This little feathered friend appears to be ready to throw himself in the middle of the pile of food. I do not judge.


Since this was taken through a window, not as clear, but the bird doesn’t care. If that was kettle corn popcorn, I’d throw myself in there too.  


Last but not least was this pic I took on Christmas Eve. Spec Ops Cat and I were watching the Hallmark Channel’s Yule Log presentation with Happy the Cat and Happy the Dog. SOC became quite interested in Happy the Cat. Think he thought there was an invasion.

When the kittens showed up for Happy the Cat to play with, SOC had to go investigate. He even went so far as to look behind the flat screen tv to find one of the kittens. Stealth kitten was not to be found. Once SOC was sure there were no additional felines in the house, he cuddled up for a long winter’s nap.


Spec Ops Cat always on perimeter patrol, in case Happy The Cat tries to invade from the tv.


No idea how long this crazy weather is going to last all over the country, but we can be sure Spring and Summer will come again; not soon enough for me!

Happy winter photo taking. Wear your mittens!


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Got Fun Snow Pics?

by Kimberly A. Cook                            (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

For the three people in the lower 48 states who don’t have snow at the moment, I wanted to send along some photos to get you in the holiday mood. For the rest of us who’ve about had it with the ice/sleet/freezing rain/snow debacles, maybe these will give you a smile.


This little hedgehog guy was a gift from a friend and graces one of the impatien pots in the backyard. Thought I’d rounded all the critters up and put them in the garage, but I missed this cutie. He appeared out of the melting snow. Got to love that smile!


Always on the job, farmer bunny is still hard at work trying to remove snow when he’s not pushing around posies during the summer. He’s got quite a good crop of snow in this picture. Bun also insists on wearing his overalls without a coat, even in this cold weather. Iron Bun!


Ever alert, the gnome guard at the Fairy Rock Garden stayed at his post and kept up surveillance during the storms. He must have gotten wind of the mouse family who invaded the garage and isn’t taking any chances. Even though the fairies have not yet moved into these cottages, they are still under construction, he is on the job keeping their future homes safe.


Of course the only things left behind by these invaders were their tiny footsteps. Or claw prints to be exact. They all seemed to be right around the pile of bird feed put out before the storms started. Not sure I can get an ID on these perps, but bet they have feathers.


This little guy doesn’t have any snow on his feet, but I bet he’s the lookout for the bigger gang. He found time to bask in the short sun spot, like I’ve done when it shows up.

If you’re up to your keister in snow and sick of it, try taking some fun snow pics or at least coming up with new swear words. I tried both yesterday while I was scraping ice off the front sidewalk. The ice won!

Wishing you all happy holidays, warm homes, holiday cookies, eggnog and may all your tv and tech devices stay on!



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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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Cranky Or Kind Seagull?

by Kimberly A. Cook                      (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Back to the beach! Looking at my pics from our early August beach trip, I’m always surprised with what I see afterwards. Take this normal seagull. I took five pictures of him doing his feather cleaning and then a couple of him/her looking out to sea.

Five. Looking closer at the pictures when I got them on my computer, I noticed one photo of a nice, normal kind of happy looking seagull. Fluffy, pretty, bright colors.


Normal seagull guy on the rocks. So to speak.


Then I looked at the other four and saw the feather cleaning shot, couldn’t see his/her face. Then when I looked closer at the final three, I spotted this. Cranky seagull. Or is that just my imagination?

Checked the rest of the photos and three of the five are cranky gull. It almost seems like he knows what I’m doing and he’s not happy being a victim of the paparazzi. Maybe he is a celebrity seagull?


Cranky seagull! It’s the mouth right?


The best advice when taking photos is take as many as you want; you never know what will show up. When I went on a Europe camping trip for three months in 1983, I took 70 rolls of film; one for each day of the trip. Ended up selling a few rolls to my Autotours EX57 buddies, but I used most of them. When in doubt, take the photo.

Then be prepared for something to happen you couldn’t have arranged in a million years. Like this crazy person walking out onto the sea cliff across the bay from me at the same time a small boat was headed toward the harbor. Imagine!


You cannot plan this stuff, so you have to be ready to take the photo.


If it had been earlier or later in the day, the lack of glaring sun would’ve made the colors deeper. But short of hiring people to stand out on rocks, we have to take what pops up in front of us. Literally.

So always be prepared with extra memory cards and backup batteries. There may be a cranky seagull in your future.

Photo on!



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You Wanted The Harbor Seal IN The Photo?

by Kimberly A. Cook                   (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Spent a wonderful weekend with family at the beach the first weekend in August. Went on a walk to enjoy the great weather and stalk snoozing harbor seals with the camera.


Mom getting out of the ocean on her own rock away from kid or suitor? I’m not sure which. 


Since we got a late start after sleeping in, the bright sun after 10 a.m. washes out colors but harbor seals don’t go by my preferred photo shoot schedule. They have naps to take.


Kid/suitor slips away into the ocean and this seal looks like it’s a challenge to get up on the rock. I know that feeling so well.  


Once again my trusty little Canon PowerShot ELPH340HS was up to the task. However, wearing a baseball cap would have helped keep the glare from the sun off the viewfinder frame. But patience and timing is everything when it comes to photos, plus taking good and bad photos too.


This is what happens when you are try to hold an ELPH camera by hand at full zoom and then breathe. The seal disappears and only the tail is found, far right. Cute tail!


Turns out I took about 180 photos over the course of the two hour walk, most of them of seals. Some photos had only parts of seals and some had no seals since I couldn’t see what I was shooting in the sun glare. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


Even a seal can’t seem to find peace from kids, suitors or rock crashers. Somebody always wants your rock. Sigh.


Had three groups to concentrate on; young pups playing in the ocean, the adults lazing on the rock and one intrepid seal who I think was trying to get away from the kids on her own rock. This series of photos were shot over thirteen minutes, with a bunch of other not so great ones.


And All’s Well That Ends Well as Shakespeare would say. I’m a sucker for a happy ending. Now I need to go find a warm rock to nap on myself.

Taking pictures of wildlife from harbor seals to birds and even Spec Ops Cat is similar to taking sports photos; you’ve got to be quick and keep clicking away. Sometimes the harbor seal escapes the photo and other times you get lucky with a gem of a shot.

Practice makes almost perfect when it comes to photos, besides that whole breathing problem thing trying to keep the camera level.

Get outside and start taking action pics today!





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