Tuesday, January 16, 2007


It is very cold here in The Dalles. Incredibly Portland is warmer but has more snow then we do right now. That is usually the other way around. We can get several feet of snow, unlike Portland. So far it's just a light dusting. This leaf was outside after a small ice storm we had. I used my flash to capture it like this the wind blew it over and froze it solid before it bent back. Be sure to click on these for a better view--to come back to my website, use your Browser arrow in the top left hand side of your screen or this window.

Even though the most difficult times outside, my grandma and even my dad can keep orchids blooming. My grandma should be given an honorary PhD. If we could get her to the moon, she could grow a garden on it.

The lighting plays awesome effects out here I have shown many times before. But I still never get used to it. Countless landscape views change the view from the same spot in incredible ways. I am sure I have not seen them all yet. I have made several DVD movies done with time lapse pictures showing the weather change over an entire half day or so in just a couple of minuets but I have not yet found a way to put my movies on my website.

Ice was all over everything that had started to turn green. We had about three days after new years that felt like April. It was getting well into the 50s if not higher. Then--after I got a nice lawn growing, everything froze solid.
These leaves were caught in the cold wind. Every bit of watter in the air froze and it dropped below 12 degrees. It took nearly a ski-outfit to get these shots. I was glad to see my new digital SLR could put up with the temperature and wind-chill. My fingers even with gloves eventually forced me back inside.

More shots of the growing ice. It reminds me of crystals I grew when I was a kid with a chemistry set.
Frozen water clings to the rock cliffs that line the Columbia Gorge. This cliff is one of the tallest and closest to the road here.
My neighbor's fence post collected moisture and grew tiny ice crystals in the serious windchill.

If you click on this picture to zoom in, you might see the ridge line better. This is one of several versions and tries in this unique shot. Very thick clouds let me shoot the sun behind the clouds. I warn people not to directly target the sun as it can damage the CCD in your camera. The ridge line has trees on it and can just be seen. Some of the most expensive homes here are up there.

Things are not quite what they seem in this picture. Can you figure out how I did it?

Here is another copy of the ridge line sun taken at a slightly different time. The clouds now cover the sky. I played with the white balance to get this frighting color.

A very high aperture setting at a very high ISO with my new EOS DSLR let me see near and far in this shot. It's real--not Photo shop add-in background or something. I can't remember but this shot was probably done around F22. My new lens can shoot to f36 so smaller bugs are going to look better when it warms up. Spider and insect hunting is just fun! This shot brings back memories of myself as a kid when I had rows of jars on our deck in Hawaii. Most of them time it was catch and release even when I was a kid. I caught this guy and put him in jail for running around in my house. A wandering male sheet web spider, he would die in here eventually so I let him go after I took some pictures.

This tiny spider has survived in my bathroom for nearly six months now. She lives under the synk and if it were not for me looking I'd never have seen her. She's a tiny thing, only about 4mm. She has done well being able to catch the occasional silverfish or fly that comes into the bathroom. She may live through the winter as some of my Daddy long legs in the basement can do. If left un-disturbed spiders can go for a long time without food. She's harmless and her web is so small that if it were not for my eye she would never have been seen at all.
I got this shot with my first DSLR and it's excellent 150mm lens (300mm 35mm equiv.). I had to stand in the cold and not move for a long while to get this close because these birds are truly bread to be terrified of people. Years of BB gun shooting has made them flock and you really need a 600mm scope to get a good enough closeup unless you hide or move very carefully. They will fly off even if I approach from over 30ft away.

The same is true for the Blue bird. Birds that are otherwise in other places very easy to photograph are very hard here. I was lucky even though this one was about 40ft from me.

Finally he flies off--showing at a zoom out once again with my "full frame" DSLR (120 style frame) I was able to get an interesting bird I have not seen here before. It's in front of the bluebird in the background. I have no idea what kind of bird it is but there is allot of them. They may be here for the winter.

This is important because I told everybody to look for "all pictures" to see my entire site. Now that it is converted it is easy to see how you can view my website and it's pictures they are in the archives, easy to see now. It is self-explanatory now--don't forget to take a look there-you won't regret it.

I can only put about 100 pictures in the "front page" after that--all those pictures from months and years back have to go to the Archives. This has nothing to do with how good they are or anything. This site works like a diary with new additions over old every time.

I have recently made some serious changes to my website. Using the automatic template system I finally got my e-mail me button and my site meter setup with my uncle Ron's help. I have gone for a while without adding pictures, I know. I can only put up pictures when I have the time and energy. Don't think I forgot my website! My trip to Guam and probably Bali will be one of a lifetime. I am very afraid of for my gear, but it will take a while.

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