Tag Archives: photos

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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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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Can’t Get Enough Spring Blossoms?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

After the long wet winter we’ve had, the sight of Spring blooms seems more welcome than usual this year. After thirty long days of rain in December and the wettest month on record, I’m going to cut myself a little slack about being so excited.


This little crocus is huge with the macro lens.


Sunday while taking out the recycling to the garage I noticed the blooms and the perfect morning light. I grabbed the camera and took some shots using the macro lens on my little Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS. Luckily I have a fence so the neighbors didn’t see me running around in my pink poodle bathrobe and slippers while I grabbed the best light of the day.


One of my favorite first of Spring flowers, the saxifraga.


With the clouds whisking around and the sun peeking out, I only had a few minutes to capture some up close and personal posie pics. It was so much fun taking time to follow my bliss and enjoy the treasures of nature.

So here’s to more fun in the sun and taking photos. Get out there and click away people!



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Are You Ready To Take Spring Snapshots?

by Kimberly A. Cook          (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Last Tuesday Velda the hedgehog at the Oregon Zoo predicted an early Spring. Seems Phil the Groundhog said the same thing, but Velda has a better record than Phil, so hedgehogs rock! True to both their predictions, signs of the coming Spring abounded this past weekend.


Real live crocus. Yes!


On my way to my writer group, I stopped at my carpool buddy’s house. She needed to take her dog Amos, a Corgi, for a quick walk before we left. Amos was not too thrilled about the “quick” part of the walk, he wanted to mosey. I couldn’t blame him. So while they were off finding the perfect tree, I wandered in her front yard taking photos.


How is this for a pink beauty? I have no idea what it’s called besides pretty!


My carpool buddy is a member of the camellia society and you can see why. I could not resist the pictures. So here are a few of my favorites.


Another stunner. How gorgeous is this?

Not to be outdone, these red berry things looked gorgeous too. They felt like the holidays but looked like Spring. How do they do that?



Pretty to look at but I bet you shouldn’t eat them; whatever they’re named.


Then the next day on my way back from the grocery store Super Bowl morning, I took a wrong turn but ended up with a perfect view of Mt. Hood. We say “the mountain is out” around here when we can see it, so this gorgeous sunny Sunday was the perfect time to get a picture of her with all her snow.


Gorgeous Mt. Hood, no longer naked, but with a fresh coat of snow. She’s a beauty! 

So have camera will travel! Right around my own neighborhood. Are you ready to take Spring snapshots?




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Pink Clouds And Serendipity?

by Kimberly A. Cook            (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

On my way home from the day job last night I noticed how the sunset started filling the sky with pink. So when I got stuck in a traffic jam due to an accident, evasive maneuvers were required.

I turned off onto a road I rarely travel and came across a great open spot to view the pink clouds.

Doesn't this look like a Monet painting? It doesn't look real.

Doesn’t this look like a Monet painting? It doesn’t look real.

Drove past. Then I turned around and came back. One must never pass up the opportunity to take pictures of pink clouds.

Monet is one of my favorite artists and these were his kind of clouds. Snapping off several shots, the light quickly faded and dark began to descend.

With the hectic pace of life we all lead, taking the time to appreciate beauty and savor the gorgeous does wonders for our human spirit.

It’s also a nice pause in the middle of a hectic day. I find it helps ground me again when all the pressures of a normal day crowd in.

Losing the light and the scene becomes more dramatic. The tree top at the bottom right provides some scale to the photo.
Losing the light and the scene becomes more dramatic. The tree top at the bottom right provides some scale to the photo.

The leaves are turning here in Oregon to beautiful yellows and oranges and the golden light of Fall is painting everything with a glow, including pink clouds in the sunset.

Saw a cute sign at a shop this past weekend that said, “Do One Thing Every Day To Make Yourself Happy.” Done.

Now spread some happiness around; it’s a good thing to share. Like pink sunsets!


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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.


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Sun, Feta And Pasta – Happy Summer!

by Kimberly A Cook                 (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

With our wacky weather giving us early hot temperatures and then thunderstorms and humidity, the best thing to do is pace ourselves. Or in my case, be lazy. One way I accomplish that is to make salads I love which last for a week. I think calories don’t exist during heat waves, at least according to the ransacking the grocery store ice cream aisle took last Wednesday night.

If I had my way, this would be Feta Greek Salad with pasta, but I am watching my cheese intake. Kinda. Greek Pasta Salad ala Kim!

If I had my way, this would be Feta Cheese Greek Salad with pasta, but I am watching my cheese intake. Kinda. Greek Pasta Salad ala Kim!

Today I’m sharing two fabulous pasta salad recipes. All you have to know how to do is boil water and chop.

Out to dinner with a friend last Thursday night and we explored the joy of making food, knitting and jewelry items that look complicated but are easy. Not lazy, I prefer to call it efficient. These two salads fit the bill, just in time for the long holiday weekend!

The original Shrimp Pasta Salad recipe from a co-worker at the day job is second. I modified her recipe for a Greek Pasta Salad I adore right below. Perfect for hot weather and the coming Fourth of July picnics! Here goes:

Greek Pasta Salad ala Kim

1 package Orzo pasta, 16 oz. – I use Barilla

1 bottle Girard’s Greek Feta vinaigrette

1 Cup chopped celery

1 whole cucumber, chopped

3/4 pint of cherry tomatoes cut in half

6 to 8 ounces of Traditional Feta crumbled cheese

9 Kalamata olives cut in fourths (I found they have ones already halved and pitted, score!)

Bring 4 to 6 quarts of water to boil. (I used a 6-Quart pot, but a larger pot works better so you don’t have to watch it all the time.) Add dash of olive oil to boiling water. Cook pasta for 9 to 10 minutes. Drain in strainer using lukewarm water, not cold. Place in 4-Quart bowl. Pour entire bottle of salad dressing over pasta and stir. Cover and place in fridge overnight or for four hours. Chop everything else and mix well.

Original recipe – Shrimp Pasta Salad

1 package Orzo pasta, 16 oz.

1 bottle Girard’s Champagne dressing, lite

1 Cup Chopped celery

1 Cup Sliced green onion

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise (optional)

1 Tablespoon Mustard

1 tablespoon Dill Pickle Relish (I’m a sweet relish girl myself, do what you want)

1 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 to 3/4 pound Salad Shrimp

Same as above, marinate pasta overnight, then thrown all the ingredients in. Fabulous! This is so simple and looks great too.

Let’s raise a bowl to summer, cheese and pasta!

Photo Alert: To my photographer friends, tonight is the full Thunder Moon so get out there with your cameras between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. and get some great pictures. If you can see the moon, that is! Have fun!

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