Archive for May 2011

  Leave a comment

Heading out to the barn on my motorcycle I went by these cows for the umpteenth time.  But the calf was nursing and I glanced over and the scene just caught my eye.  I have no idea whether it is a good photo, just good to be able to turn around and take 5 minutes in the sunshine, a real surprise for the cow, who only sees cars go by with nobody stopping.  Our weather has continued its changeable and generally very cool, wet pattern.  I suppose it will be as usual, not really nice and warm until after Rose Festival is over.  The message for today is: “make that U-turn & pull over”.

Advertisements

Posted May 31, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

  Leave a comment

I went downtown to the opening night of the Portland Rose Festival last night, and got a few interesting shots.  The clouds parted for the evening’s entertainment, miraculously.  This was my first attempt to photograph fireworks, and I must say it changed my experience of fireworks.  It was similar to the two experiences of a total solar eclipse (though of course not as profound a difference).  That’s to say, the first solar eclipse I did not take photos (there was a pro photog there from whom I got some great ones).  The second eclipse I took photos and a video.  Although I now have my own nice record of that eclipse, and a framed picture on the wall I am now looking at, I much preferred the experience of the first eclipse, unencumbered by the responsibilities of a camera.  Fortunately fireworks come along often enough that you can make the choice of whether to take pictures without worrying that this might be your last opportunity.

Posted May 28, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

  Leave a comment

This spring has been wet wet wet!  So what that means for photography is that the camera has been, despite my best efforts, getting wet too.  But it might be worth it in some cases, as with this iris I found in a front yard in the Sellwood neighborhood, a pretty part of Portland.  Somehow, for me at least, the water droplets look much better if they fall from the sky, as opposed to out of a spray bottle (a common photographer’s trick).

Posted May 28, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

  Leave a comment

I thought I’d post an image of my two horses, Gold Dancer (GD) and Khallie, her filly.  GD is the grey arab mare, and Khallie (also a registered arab) is chestnut turning grey.  I love this image because unlike most horse photos, which strive to show them in action, or in hyper-alertness (understandably so; after all they show their power and grace), this captures them both in a very relaxed, happy state.  The meadow is filled with the sweet tall grass of springtime, and it’s a fairly big one, which adds to their sense of security (predators can’t sneak up).  Their heads are drooping in a way that says “thanks Mike for bringing us here, and we wouldn’t complain if we did this every day”.  After taking the picture, I laid down in the grass.  My favorite grass is head-high, but it’s hard to capture the feeling of being in grass like that through still photographs.  Also, it’s rare to find grass that high.

Posted May 26, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

  Leave a comment

Simply a photo of pretty clouds, just before sundown here in town.  I didn’t do anything special today, but the latter part of the afternoon had a pretty special looking sky.  Saw a nice full rainbow, unfortunately while driving with no safe way to pull off and photo it.  Nearly all afternoon there were dramatic clouds hanging around.  I love clouds when they seem to glow from within, as these do.  This was actually shot from the parking lot of the gym, just after my workout.  How prosaic, huh?

Posted May 24, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

  Leave a comment

The lupine and arrowleaf balsamroot are blooming at Rowena Plateau in the eastern Columbia River Gorge, Oregon.  I took a drive up there on Sunday right about sunset.  I love approaching it from Mosier, along the idylic stretch of quiet road that passes several houses but mostly meadows.  Oh to live here.  The wind is your constant companion, but the views!  I also saw quite a number of deer.  After at least 4 stops for pictures, I finally reached the crest, where Tom McCall Preserve is located.  This preserve protects the unique flora of the plateau.  This was after the sun went down.  I almost stepped on a snake, but I think it was a gopher snake not a rattler.  Got my attention.  I actually thought my leg was tangled around some barbed wire, but I looked back and it was tangled around a snake (or the other way around).

Posted May 23, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

  Leave a comment

A hike up Dog Mountain on Sunday afternoon, a steep climb, but so well known that you have plenty of company, and so many times hiked by me that it seems almost easy because of its predictability.  It was very cool, and windy.  I didn’t see too many wildflowers on the way up, and the huge meadow on top had only a few.   Usually by mid-May the top is covered with lupine and arrowleaf balsamroot.  But on the way back down, at a small meadow that overlooks the Columbia River, I got my reward, and the big heavy camera pack was suddenly no longer a wasted effort to carry.  The wind did play me for a fool though, trying to get crisp clear images of the flowers.  I went on to Rowena plateau, on the Oregon side east of Hood River, for sunset.  I may post a couple of those tomorrow morning.

Posted May 23, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

  Leave a comment

Took a walk around the neighborhood today and saw this stone house, which I’ve never noticed before.  The tulips in front made a nice foreground, even though the high-noon sunshine made the contrast a bit over the top.  No matter, we so deserve this little stretch of gorgeous weather.  I’ve seen too many clouds of late, and boring (photographically) blue skies is something I can accept in exchange for that sweet warmth of the sun.

Posted May 21, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

  Leave a comment

With my uncle (who’s 70 – go man!) I went hiking up on the Washington side of the Columbia, north of Carson (home of the famous hot springs).  It’s a relatively short but somewhat steep hike called Grassy Knoll.  I was hoping to see and photo many wildflowers, since like the name suggests, there are grassy meadows galore on that ridge.  But the snow was only just now melting off the ridge, and though patchy it slowed us down and made a push to Big Huckleberry Mtn. out of the question.  Also, the tardiness of the season meant the flowers were just getting started, with glacier lilies one of the only blooms in evidence.  Fortunately, I love glacier lilies. 

Also we had great views of Mt Adams, which lies just to the east of there, across a big valley partly filled in by a 300,000-year-old lava flow.  Adams is 12,307 feet tall, and holds more snow (and later) than Hood just across the Columbia.  We were wondering how Adams got its name, so here it is. 

Of course it is named after the 2nd president, John Adams, but here’s the kicker: The mountain now named St Helens was to be named Adams (and Hood originally was going to be Washington), but a mapmaker mistakenly plotted the name 40 miles east of St Helens, within 5 miles of the big mountain that was strangely missed by the whites up to that point (even by Lewis & Clark).  When the error was discovered, the plan to name all the Cascades after presidents had been abandoned, but the name Adams was applied to the massive 12,000-foot mountain that lies to the east of the main Cascade crest.  A funny thing: I just got the John Adams video on Netflix; you know, the one starring that guy from the movie about vinophiles.  What’s his name again?

Posted May 20, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

  Leave a comment

Wild flowers are blooming in the forests around my home town, Portland, Oregon.  And the yards in the neighborhood are a riot of colors and smells too.  Everything looks like late Spring, though it feels more like early season.  Cool and a lot wetter than normal, but enough sun to get things going in a big way.  I’ve also been hearing some familiar bird song lately, such as the yellow warbler, yellowthroat and goldfinch.  Sounds nice, like hearing the voices of a group of friends you haven’t seen for a long time.

This photo was grabbed as I did a quick hike out in the Columbia Gorge.  Angel’s Rest is an old standby, mainly because it is the closest hike to the east side of town where I live, and it doesn’t take too long to do.  And even though it’s only about 4 miles or so in length, a stiff climb is involved, with a grand view of the Columbia and its Gorge from the top.  I raced out there on my bike, hiked most of it in “exercise mode”, and wound my way back on the historic highway.  A fun ride, with tight curves engineered by the CCC, and in a time when cut and fill wasn’t done on such a massive scale as on modern roads.  Today as well, I got the three lenses I had repaired & cleaned at Canon.  I sure missed them, but being forced to shoot at only telephoto focal lengths inspired some creativity.  But it’s wide angle tomorrow baby!

Posted May 18, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

%d bloggers like this: