Saturday, June 27, 2015

I have a new home (I think)

With help, guidance and recommendations from several friends, this blog will continue at  Thank you, all.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Doing my heart good...

I truly value the comments that have been coming in.  Understand that I do not want to stop the blog. I made the decision I did because 1) Google screws with my photos, and 2) Google began charging me for photo space.  That made the blogging something that was a source of irritation and frustration, rather than being a joy shared.

If anyone knows of another blog host where I could resume my blog or begin a new one, please email me or, if you don't have my email, leave a comment, to steer me there.

I guess my real issue is that I am done with Google Blogspot.

OK, we're done here

I started this blog in 2008 to let family and friends stay aware of where I was, and to share with them the beauty I was seeing.  Well, no family member has been to this site in years.  That is blow number one.

Second, in the past 6 months, my blog has been visited a grand total of 19 times, or on average, about 3 visits per month.

Third, the purpose of the site evolved, becoming a site where I posted photos tied to a story.  That meant that the quality of the photos became very important.  And - Google alters the photos when I upload them.  Sometimes, often in fact, the alterations are not significant.  Sometimes it is a big deal. I have found myself not selecting my best photos because I know that Google's automatic processing will ruin the shot.  I have reached out to Google three times, asking that they at least provide us with the option of them "adjusting" the photo or posting it as is.  They have not had the courtesy to reply.

Finally, Google has started charging me for photo storage.

As Google alters my photos, I view those photos as becoming Google's, not mine.  I have decided to not pay for the storage.

So, for those few who still come in to look now and then, thanks.  I appreciate the interest you have shown.  This is my last blog post, and I wish you happy travels.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

These are a few of my favorite things...

Some people like pics of flowers.  For some, it is people.  My hiking buddy likes patterns and textures, and old, rusty agricultural equipment out in a field.  Me?  I like waterfalls and sunsets.  Sitting down in a valley where I am, flanked by mountains to the east and west, good sunsets here are unusual.  Today, I drove up to the southwest corner of Yellowstone to explore that area.  There, I found Cave Falls.

Leaving there, I drove a little further north to the Mesa Falls area.  Lower Mesa Falls is viewed from an overlook high above.

There is a trail there that gets one down to the falls, but I could find no info on it - where it started, how long it was, etc.  So, I left there and went to Upper Mesa Falls.


Driving back, I surrendered to iconic farm structure - crop field photography because of the colors.

Fooling around with black and white...

First, shapes

Second, Time lapse

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A bit of Idaho

For several weeks I have been wandering about Idaho, often with no internet service.  I began on the southwest part, driving Rt 55 from Emmett to McCall, then driving 95 from McCall to Grangeville.  Route 55 followed the Payette River.  Rt 95 near New Meadows followed the Little Salmon, a wild river with tons of rocks and a fast drop.  It joined the Salmon River, way over on the west side of the state near Hells Canyon.

When 95 left the Salmon River, it climbed to a plateau above a massive, green valley and wilderness to the southeast.

I joined Rt 12 and followed it across the state, first along the Clearwater River, then more northerly along the Lochsa River.  The Lochsa is known as a renowned white water stream.  It deserves that title. The calmer portions are simply iconically beautiful mountain river scenery.

The wilder stuff, well, a photo just won't do it justice.  I tried.  What I DID do, though, is take a short hike to Snowshoe Falls.  The trail begins in dense forest.

It turns, emerging from the forest, bordered now with wildflowers.

Finally, it drops to a stream crossing just below the falls.

Reaching Montana, I took 93 south into Idaho again, where I re-entered the Salmon River watershed.
The Salmon River begins in the Sawtooth Wilderness, south of Stanley.  Red Fish Lake, near the Salmon headwaters, is a salmon spawning area.  I can't imagine the energy expenditure involved in climbing the Columbia River to the Snake River, the Snake to the Salmon River, then the Salmon River east all the way across Idaho, through the River Of No Return Wilderness, climbing rapids most of the way, then turning south to continue climbing past Stanley to these spawning beds.  For me, I was tired driving a small part of that distance, with frequent rests.  The views, though, are magnificent, as in this shot of Red Fish Lake.

That brings me to a subject near and dear - photographers.  I have has people praise my work and compare me to professionals.  I know professionals.  Jan and James, Charles and MaryBeth, get up before dawn, travel to a spot they have scouted, and hunker down in damp and cold, waiting for perfect light.  They are professionals.  Me, I am lucky enough to be able to perch in a nice spot and, if fortune smiles on me, I grab my camera, walk outside, and snap a photo.  Such was the case at the Sawtooths.  I needed a place to sleep, and pulled into the Mountain View Campground near Red Fish Lake.  In the late afternoon, I was given this view.

When I awoke this morning, it was even better.
That's the key difference for me.  Hang something beautiful in front of me, and I often can capture it. The professionals go out and find the beauty, putting themselves through effort and discomfort to be in the right place at the right time, rather than depending on luck, like I do.  my hat is off to them.