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I got a bit behind on this again! This is a slightly long-exposure of my parents’ koi pond. I was holding the camera, so it’s not quite in focus, but it wasn’t meant to be technically perfect anyway. Feeding and watching the fish is a fun summertime activity for my parents (and me, when I visit!). The koi are very active in the warmer months and they provide plenty of entertainment. And yes, they all have names! I’ll talk more about this when I post about my trip.

Here’s something pretty fascinating: koi can live over 100 years in the right conditions. Apparently the Japanese refer to them as “living jewels” because they are passed down in families. Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia: One famous scarlet koi, named “Hanako” (c. 1751 – July 7, 1977) was owned by several individuals, the last of whom was Dr. Komei Koshihara. Hanako was supposedly 226 years old upon her death, based on examining one of her scales in 1966.

Can you imagine having a fish that was around in the 1700s?? That’s craze. Mom and Dad, which koi are you passing down to me? Maybe they’ll live long enough that in like 2118 they will be the old-fashioned fish surrounded by koi wearing space suits.


Happy (?) Memorial Day!

I have been in California visiting my parents. I have more photos to show you later, of course–this is just some dessert from tonight. It’s been a relaxing weekend of time outdoors, new koi for my parents’ pond, catching up on House Hunters episodes, eating delicious food, playing games and chatting it up.

Oh and tonight I said grace before dinner, and I accidentally ended my prayer with “Goodnight,” instead of “Amen.” And then I very reverently burst out laughing. I guess I was done talking to God for the day!

Portraits: Ashley and Courtney

Just a very small sampling of my favorites from a recent work-related portrait shoot. Ashley and Courtney were happy to cooperate as I asked them to climb on muddy/rocky terrain in their heels, crouch against wet bricks and try various poses in the wind and rain.

This is Ashley!


And here’s Courtney. 😀

I know her hair is all windblown here, but I think she looks great!

Thanks, ladies!


Well, it was cloudy today, so I couldn’t really see the eclipse. This was the best I could do. (It wasn’t actually that dark, I just had to turn down the exposure to get more definition in the sun’s shape.)

This is the most eclipsed I’ve seen the sun. I’ve only seen little bites out of it a couple of times over the years. But in 2017 there will be a total eclipse right over Salem! Hopefully I’ll get a good view, and it’ll be non-cloudy (it’s in August, so chances are good).

Did any of you see it?

ETA: My sister posted some photos from her vantage point down in Albuquerque, and they’re really cool!

Thankful Thursday

Yeah it’s been awhile blah blah blah.

1. Nice weather. I’m happy to put that on every one of my Thursday lists if it means its true! Loooooving the nice sunshine. Even if I don’t spend a lot of the day outdoors, just seeing it through the windows makes me a happier and more motivated person.

2. My car’s oil is changed. Glad to have that chore out of the way.

3. Free stuff. I got a set of nightstands for free the other day! How, you ask? From Freecycle. I’ve never even been on that site, but my coworker uses it and it was through him that I got the furniture. Possible photos to come, after I figure out how I want to use them.

4. Freezer burritos. I made this recipe (with some tweaking) the other day and am loving that these are easy and don’t seem to get soggy. I guess I always thought that would happen so I’d never made them for the freezer before.

5. Upcoming fun.  I’m driving down to visit my parents soon–did I tell you? My friend is even able to carpool with me (to visit friends in the area), so I won’t have to make the 8-hour drive alone.

6. Upcoming fun part 2. My niece is coming to visit me next month!!

7. Beaver season. No, not for hunting! Sheesh. I just like it when it’s light enough that I can watch the beaver buddies pretty much any evening.

8. Padington’s Pizza. I just suddenly had a craving for them so I figure I’ll add them to my list. They are THE BEST. And their personal pizzas are a really good deal.

That’s all I’ve got. Sorry, R, it’s just 8. I know 10 is a more comfortable number for you! I’m just feeling a little blank. Padington’s was really just tacked on.

Okay fine! More tacking:

 9. My Wii. I ❤ it.

10. Cherry Zero Coke. I love it too much.

Wow, this list is pretty shallow. Oh well.. I’m living in a material world and I am a material girl. So what made you happy this week?

Portraits: Hollie (part 2)

More Hollie! I wasn’t happy with many of the purple flower* shots from the first shoot, due to the lighting. When I was expressing this to Hollie, she happily volunteered to put her dress back on and let me try again! I was more successful this time, I think.

Of course I tried a couple more in other locations, before it got too dark.

Have a great week!

*Bluebells, I think, but we have been referring to them as “the purple flowers.” They grow outside our office every year.

Portraits – Hollie

The other day I was telling my coworker, Hollie (who I am always using for portrait practice), how I wanted try some experimental portraits in a particular location (on a nature trail), but that the scene seemed more appropriate for bridal portraits, not just someone in casual clothing. She said her prom dress was sort of like a wedding gown and she had been wanting to put it to use again, and tada!: This photo shoot was born.

I wanted to step outside my norm a bit, but I didn’t get all that crazy. (Baby steps.) I tried a lot of things that didn’t really work, but some did, and I had a lot of fun doing it.

Hollie is always so cooperative. Check her out! (And yes, she’s laying on a plastic mat.)

I love her expression here.

Some of these are more my norm.

Time for the purple prom dress! I actually ended up loving these the most, even though this dress was kind of an afterthought. I wish I had taken a photo of the scene here, because you probably wouldn’t know that we’re just on the side of a road (which is behind her) and next to a big wire and telephone pole. I found just the right spot up on a hill to stand and get a great angle on her.

She was actually taking her hair down in this one, and of course I’m snapping away like the
paparazzo that I am. But I think it’s cute and natural.

Thank you, Hollie!

Photo mix

Here are a few photos from the past month that I meant to post. This was a deer I saw at my place when I was really looking for beavers.

The next few are from work.

I’m a little obsessed with getting a good fern spiral photo. I think I’ll have to go to some old forest to find some really good ones.

I’m not usually into tilted photos, but I ended up liking this anyway.

Of course I had to use the rental camera on some hummingbirds.

A tad grainy, but that’s cropped down and the ISO is at 2500. It’s so nice being able to crank up the ISO!

Last hummingbird photo!

Switching gears (it always seems a little weird to mix nature and food photos, but I’m doing it anyway), here’s a crock pot dish I made the other day. It was fine and has potential, but there were various factors that hindered my enjoyment of it, most of them psychological (I was afraid I had left it out too long, that the salsa was too old, etc.). It’s a Thai peanut chicken dish, but I would like to try it again before I link you to the recipe.

And here were the Orange Creamsicle Cookies that I made for a couple of departments at work. I thought they were really good with a little tweaking. I added more orange zest, less white chocolate, and I let the dough hang out in the fridge for several hours so the flavors could marinate a bit. (Marie, I got this tip from that chocolate chip recipe you posted, which I still have yet to try.) Try them! They’d go well with tea. I wish I could make some right now.

Enjoy your week, everyone! Thanks for looking.

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The beavers and geese don’t seem to mind each other.

Still no decent beaver photos where they’re out of the water. That’s my summer goal, and I think I just need to be patient. It’s still getting dark a little too early to get crisp photos, and they so rarely get out of the water where I can see them.

The rental camera and lens are pretty heavy compared to my usual camera, and my right hand and arm is starting to feel the strain. But today is the event that the camera was rented for, so I need to suck it up and get some good photos. I’m actually kind of dreading it, as event photography isn’t my thing. I’m just glad to have a camera that can handle the poor lighting situation fairly well.

Have a great Saturday! It’s supposed to be pretty nice all weekend here. I wouldn’t mind if the clouds stuck around this afternoon, though, for the outdoor photography I need to do.

Do you have any fun plans this weekend? Maybe you’re busy doing them and not reading this post, which is fine. 😀