Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Almost Home: Random Thoughts

We're in Weed, CA, where you see signs like "Weed like to welcome you" or "Weed, A Natural High." I wonder what Abner Weed, the man for whom the town was named, would feel about these sentiments?

It's been an easy drive, but not necessarily the most interesting. Western Idaho was rather flat and bland, not to mention dry. Eastern Oregon was hillier, still dry but more interesting to look at. Still, the communities looked like they had died 30 years ago! We stayed in the tiny town of Vale, OR where the sidewalks were rolled up by 3:30 on a Saturday afternoon. We drove around the whole town (about 8 blocks long) and could not find much to recommend it. The campground however was clean and had all the services that we needed.

As we were driving through Burns, my cell phone rang. We were surprised to hear it, thinking that cell service in this remote corner of OR would be unavailable. Then, we looked at the top of a nearby hill, and there was a cell tower! It was a Verizon tower too!

Driving into Bend, we tried to follow the instructions delivered by Stu-y our "faithful" GPS, and once again, he earned his name (which is short for Stupid). He directed us to a 1 lane dirt road that would eventually link up to a road near our campground. We looked at the path and decided that Stu-y was wrong one more time. When I got to the campground I asked about the dirt road and the two clerks laughed saying that all the GPSs lead folks via the back road...and some folks even take the dirt road instead of driving 5 extra miles to the paved road that goes the same place. Whoever said that maps are not necessary when one has a GPS needs to do some rethinking.

When you see figures that tell about the population density of the US, you tend to think that there are large collections of people everywhere you go. Then you get to this corner of the US, and discover that there are far more trees than people. It's good to know that not everywhere looks like the SF Bay Area, LA, NY or Chicago!

Tonight in Weed we are enjoying a rainstorm. We hope it stays a rainstorm and does not become a snowstorm. When we arrived here this afternoon, we had a wonderful view of Mt. Shasta. All 14000+ feet of her was standing tall and proud without any cloud cover. Then, out of that blue cloudless sky came the rain (and we hope no snow) that we are having tonight!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Good Quote

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn."
--Elizabeth Lawrence,
garden designer and writer

Monday, September 21, 2009

Project Linus Update

I've done more than travel this summer, I've completed a Baker's Dozen of blankets for Project Linus too. Here are few of my summer creations.
Thank you Project Linus!

Click here to see a few more of my creations.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Almost Autumn

Today we went for a ride to look at the fall colors that are just starting. The bright red Mountain Mahogany dots the hillsides. The aspens have a tint of yellow in them.
Fall is definitely "in the air."

Along the way we saw a quiet stream reflecting the mountains;
a lonely farm basking in the late summer sun;

and snowberries.
If you look carefully, you can see the Tetons in the background! It does not get much better than this!

It's a magical time of year to see the colors change from green to gold.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Cousins

This weekend we had a reunion with 3 sets of cousins. What a grand time. We laughed, ate, talked, laughed and ate some more. I think the Belgian chocolate was a hit! I don't think we have ever been together before and we need to do it again! Go the my gallery to see more pictures!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sunset on Labor Day

As the nation celebrates Labor and the last weekend of the summer, we were treated with a beautiful sunset. For some strange reason, we do not have pretty sunsets in our little valley. Usually, the sun sneaks behind a mountain and goes away. Tonight was different.

There was a golden lingering light, that exploded into pink! I hope we were not saying good-bye to summer.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I did it!

I put together a website showcasing some of the 1500+ pictures I took on the Rhine/Mosel trip.
Go to http://web.me.com/l530/RhineMosel2009/On_a_River_Cruise.html and take a look.

You can also see the ABC slide show I made at http://gallery.me.com/l530#100388. Please send me feedback!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The right time?

Every trip has some "interesting moments" where you and your camera are in the right place. Here are few:
Chair with Shoes in Boppard

Proud Peacock in Basel

Chinese Lanterns with Guild Houses in Antwerp

Bridge Man in Koln

Bare Bottom Wine Label (Nacktarsch)

assorted pictures

Take a look at some of the amazing places we visited.

The Moselle River at Cochem

A Wedding at Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Amazing Stairway at Augustus Castle near Bonn

The Ancient Roman Gate, Porta Nigra, in Trier, Germany

Tarben-Trarbach, a village on the Moselle

Marksburg Castle, near Boppard

The Cathedral at Basel, thru the fancy tracery windows

The beautiful guild houses in Antwerp, Belgium

The Windmills at Kinderdijk

Bees Knees

With 16 gigs of pictures to view and edit from our recent trip, I’m cherry-picking the easy ones. This was the year of flowers, here and abroad. While in Germany, I was fortunate enough to capture some “wildlife” on the flowers. In the past, I’ve shared my pictures of bees, so here are few more to add to the repertoire.

I shared a couple of these pictures with friends, and one asked, what were my camera settings. I’m not using an SLR camera. These were taken with a Canon G-9 set on macro, no flash, and foliage. I did not even use a tripod to set up…just a very steady hand. A lot of good pictures can be taken with “point and shoot” cameras. Sometimes, you get a fun picture and I think these are fun pictures. Tell me what you think?