Memorial Weekend Road Trip

Okay, I finally got together some photos from my weekend. Some of these are snapshot quality, which I try to avoid in my blog, but I’ll get over it.

Early Friday morning, my friend Katrina and I headed south. This is just a typical Oregon scene.

I think Katrina actually took this one while I drove. This is how it looked over the pass. The roads were fine, though, thankfully.

I had to show a photo of Katrina to prove she was with me. 🙂 This is when we stopped for lunch at a Subway in Weed, CA. There was some snow on the ground here, which was also surprising.

Rainbowy semis.

We arrived in Yuba City around 2:30 and went our separate ways. I was so tired that I was very lazy at my parents’ house that night.

For dinner, my dad nicely cut the corn off the cob. He does it because I’m whiny about eating corn on the cob (too messy!), but I think he and my mom probably enjoy it off the cob too. 🙂 Come on, admit it.

Sorry if raw meat bothers you. I had specifically requested these steaks that my dad used to buy at Costco–they are all twirled up with stuff inside. But I didn’t realize my dad no longer has a Costco membership, so he made them himself! I just thought the fresh/uncooked version might be interesting to see.

And here they are cooked up. Deeeeeeeelicious.

Saturday morning. After asking my dad about whether he had purchased any new koi recently, he suggested we check out a koi farm about 30 minutes away (outside of Lincoln). These are all the pools with koi of various prices.

The man who owns the farm (a very nice and friendly guy who obviously loves koi) would scoop out our selections and other suggestions so we could examine them more closely before choosing what to buy. We bought two of these fish–the solid white one at the top we named Dovey. At the bottom there we bought that small yellow-headed one next to the larger orange one. I loved him so much! I named him Billy Idol. Aren’t all the fish so pretty? It’s especially apparent when you’re just focused on them in this blue bowl. Some have glittery backs and others almost look fake they’re so perfect and healthy.

We also bought two others–Creamsicle and Mexico–from a different pool, and I have a photo of at least one of them later on.

The scene near the koi farm.

After picking out fish, we went to lunch at Cilantro’s. I had the chicken sopaipilla. SO GOOD.

I like to go around taking photos of my parents’ yard, since they often have various flowers blooming.

One of their dogs, Rocky, likes to think this grass was planted specifically for him.

There were lots of hummingbirds.

Sorry for some of these repeats from the Instagram post!

There are lots of pond pictures because I was trying different times of day and angles. It’s very hard to photograph into water when you’re outside!

No, that’s not koi! It’s salmon, squash and more of that pinwheel steak. This was Saturday’s dinner.

You can feed koi several times per day in the summer.

Sometimes the birds use the pond for a bath.

This was a pretty shade of dragonfly!

Here’s one of the new fish, Mexico.

He’s the only one in the pond with blue on him (I think).

No, that’s not koi! It’s pork, green beans and cauliflower (my dad grilled it.. it was good!).

The jasmine smelled soooooooooooooooo good.

Thanks for looking through these! 🙂 Happy June!



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!

Project 52 (39) + a little about my week

On Easter evening, I went out in hopes of seeing some beavers, but just saw a bunch of salamanders instead. There are lots of them at the edge of the lake. For some reason, I don’t think I’d ever seen a salamander until a year or two ago. I’m sure they are in California, but I don’t remember seeing any growing up. We were more likely to find pollywogs and crawdads.

For funzies, here’s a bit about how the rest of my week went.

I took Monday off work (I really think it should be a holiday anyway), and used part of the time to go back to Deepwood Estate and try out one of the work cameras/lenses. I have become so used to bringing my own [Canon] camera for work purposes that I feel like I’m re-learning Nikon. It’s worth it, though, because we now have some equipment that’s better than mine (even if it is Nikon ;)). It’s fun to use some fancier stuff, and I’m hoping to take it out for practice regularly over the next several months.

I was happy that a male hummingbird was flying around and showing his nice coloring, but I wasn’t super happy with my resulting images. I need some practice with that heavy lens.

Tuesday, I went out to do some practice shots for a work photo session I had the following day. Hollie helped me out with light tests, because she’s very cooperative about stuff like that.  (NOTE: I’m really looking forward to doing another portrait session with her soon–we’ll take advantage of her old prom dresses!)

It was such a nice day, that on our way down the path we saw this little guy sunning himself. Hollie was not thrilled, but I count it a lucky day when I manage to get a snake photo at work. I think that’s only happened about 4 times in the past 6.5 years of working there. Someday I’ll actually get a decent photo.

Friday morning, I had a creepy dream and woke up early, so I headed back out to see if there were any beavers. Typically I watch beavers from my deck, but I’m more determined to get a photo of them up close. My ultimate goal is a good photo while they’re fully out of the water.

I did end up seeing three beavers swimming around, and even getting slightly up on shore, but the photos aren’t so hot. I love my camera (although, yes, I’d like to upgrade), but I’m not exactly set up to photograph distant moving objects in a darkish setting (R, you might be able to relate ;)). I’m going to use the work camera and try again soon. Fingers crossed!

Every spring I get the renewed urge to travel. I took a month-long road trip around the US when I was 19, and so often I wish I could repeat it now that I’m into photography. Back then we just had a few film point-and-shoots. My daydream is to travel around taking tons of pictures, blogging regularly, and also stopping to see friends around the country to do portraits of them. I have several friends all over, due to moving, friends moving, online interaction, and college. It would be so fun. How can I make that happen?

Well, this is probably the most I’ve typed here in awhile. How are you? What are your traveling daydreams? (PS I also want to travel more outside of the US, but that’s another post.)

NM Trip

Here’s a smattering of NM trip photos. I took several others, but not many were very blog-worthy.

Nieces! Yes, I have beautiful nieces.

N made “chocolate pie” for my pretend birthday. Here she’s blowing out a candle.

My mom patched up these pants for her and they’re adorable!

Some of us headed down to Bosque del Apache one evening to see the cranes. Unfortunately, we were a bit late and there were no cranes this trip (my sister has photographed them on previous trips–R, if you had a post about them, I’d link to it!), but I still enjoyed the scenery.

Some cormorants gathered on a branch. With the reflection, it looked like a nice sculpture.

I still had the lens I rented for the wedding–a Canon 17-55/2.8 from LensGiant (I had a good experience with them)–and was able to test it out for landscapes. I think I was more impressed in this setting than at the wedding. Check out how sharp it is on the edges where it normally blurs a bit on cheaper lenses. (Still, I wasn’t super crazy about the lens overall, but it served its purpose.)

After the refuge, we ate at Buckhorn to try out their famous Green Chile Cheeseburger. Here’s C waiting for his dinner. The burger was good, but I wouldn’t say it was incredible or worthy of winning a Throwdown, necessarily (not that I’ve ever seen that show). But I’m glad we went!

Before dropping me off at the airport the next day, I had the nephieces gather up for a photo (outside of Taco Bell–great place for portraits!). This is all but one. Aren’t they cute? Cousins! I was really sad to leave them.

From the plane window on the way home.

It was a great trip. Now it feels like forever ago, though.

Wedding: Holly and Keidrick

Holly was one of (if not the very first) my first friends when I moved to Oregon, and later we were roommates for a little over a year before she moved to Colorado. She is a godly, beautiful and caring woman who I am blessed to know. I was honored to be her wedding photographer, and it renewed my respect for the excellent wedding photographers out there. It’s way harder than it looks!

Holly and Keidrick were introduced by a mutual friend. I had not met Keidrick before this visit, but he seems like a great guy. I’m very happy for Holly, and of course Keidrick is a lucky man. Here is a small sampling from the many photos of the day.

Getting ready…

I don’t know about you, but I like seeing how wedding hair is done.

Holly and Keidrick opted to see each other before the ceremony so we could do some of the portraits beforehand. This is when they saw each other for the first time that day.

They were married in the unique and lovely Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel in Colorado Springs.

We had a few minutes for some outdoor portraits after the ceremony. Oh how I love natural light!

I had to include this photo since I spotted these deer on the Academy grounds on my way to the reception. 😀 You know how I love deer sightings.

Time for the reception!

It was a beautiful wedding and day (even the weather cooperated!). Congratulations, Holly and Keidrick!

Christmas vacation pictures

Hi there. Happy New Year! That exclamation point is really fake, because let’s just put it this way: today was not an exclamation point kind of day. But now it’s my favorite time (evenings at home) and everything is going to be okay. 🙂 <–Also somewhat fake.

I spent New Year’s Eve with friends. I happened to take only one photo with my cell phone, and it’s definitely not worth sharing. I guess I wasn’t feeling the whole photography thing that night, but it’s nice to put the camera aside sometimes. I enjoyed playing games and hanging out with awesome girls. The evening seemed to go pretty quickly. One minute we’re playing Balderdash, then suddenly it was time to watch Lady Gaga in Times Square and toast in the new year over peach sparkling cider.

But enough about that. I actually have some Christmas photos to show you. Nothing amazing. I kind of forgot them. I also owe this blog my Project 52 photos, but that’ll be later.

My mom set out this picture in the guest room for when I arrived. 😛 She’s funny. As you can read, it’s a picture I made when I was 10, and because my name was on it, it made it safely home after a dramatic kidnapping. Man, that would’ve made an awesome episode of COPS!

This was hilarious–these finches were drinking from my mom’s hummingbird feeders!

My mom and I took a drive near the Sutter Buttes to get some pictures. It was a really nice evening and great weather for December.

At sunset everything was vibrant.

I forgot to share a recipe here, but maybe I’ll link you to a few recipes in a later post. Ooooooooooooooooooookay bye.

Silver Falls

During my parents’ visit we went to Silver Falls State Park. I like taking visitors there because it’s nearby (about 30-40 minutes from Salem) and has beautiful sights year round. There are clean bathrooms, safe trails, a nice visitor’s center, and a few different hiking options depending on your time frame and energy level. It’s the perfect blend of civilization and nature. And that’s my plug for Silver Falls!

The most popular waterfall there is called South Falls (boring name). I had to take a photo of my mom photographing it because she so rarely takes pictures. 🙂 This is an odd sight. She’s good with her iPhone, though–nice composition, Mom!

The coolest feature of South Falls is the trail that goes behind it.

I didn’t take a ton of waterfall photos since I have so many on my computer already (some are here). This time I think I enjoyed the natural setting more.

I don’t think I’ve ever gone up here to the stream that leads into South Falls. There are some really pretty scenes, and the water is surprisingly calm and shallow up there.

The fall color was looking nice up there. I kind of want to go back this season when it’s at its peak.

You know me and path photos! We arrived early enough on a cloudy day that it wasn’t very crowded, as you can see.

I thought this looked more like the house from Hansel and Gretel than a bathroom. It seemed to be locked, but isn’t it quaint?

I think this is North Falls, but I’m not positive. There is a lookout for this view, and a trail that takes you a bit closer (we didn’t go on it).

I think that little curving trail is very picturesque.

We took another trail that had some nice colors. My parents were very cooperative when I kept requesting their photo. I need more pictures of them, plus it gives some perspective.

One of many stalker photos.

Here’s the waterfall we came to on this trail. What is this.. Twin Falls? I really can’t remember.

My cute mom.

Have you been to Silver Falls?

Bellevue Botanical Garden

I mentioned that I was in the Seattle area over the weekend. One of my outings while there was to the Bellevue Botanical Garden (I’m sorry to say it, but that site needs work). I’d been once before and was anxious to go back. The awesomest part about it is that it’s free!

WARNING: There are bees in several of the following photos. I know that bothers some people, for whatever reason. I promise they won’t sting you.

Aren’t these images so fall-like? 😉

On the left is an interesting bush I’ve never seen. Brownish black?

There are lots of paths through wooded areas.

This part of it is styled as a Japanese garden.

I’d love to take someone’s portraits here!

A guy pointed out a woodpecker that had flown by. It was really hard to get a decent shot of him–this was the best I could do. I appreciated the heads up, though. I love when strangers alert me to cool photo ops.

Thanks for looking!

Travel: Vancouver Island

Lately I’ve had traveling on the brain, so you might hear from me about it from time to time. While I consider myself a homebody for the most part, I do love to travel a bit, and I daydream about the places I’d like to go and take pictures.

Before I got into photography, I went a lot of nice places that I wish I could revisit. Then there are places I’ve been since I’ve gotten into photography, but before this blog. Here’s one:

I’ve been to Vancouver Island twice, but the first time was back in 2000 when I just had a small film camera. Those photos are in albums in the storage closet. The second time was in 2007. My friend Dania and I drove up to the ferry that leaves from Port Angeles, WA and spent a couple of nights in Victoria.

The trip started off a little iffy when we happened to arrive on Canada Day amidst crowds and pub crawls. But things got better by the next day, and we visited the popular spots like the parliament buildings, Craigdarroch Castle, Butchart Gardens and the butterfly garden.

I’d really like to spend more time up there–it’s beautiful and there’s a lot to see. I have a lot more pictures to take. The above are just a selection from that trip (hint: so-so photos look better when put together in a collage with other so-so photos).

Later I might tell you about some other trips. We’ll see.

NM Trip

I’m all behind on commenting back to your comments on my blog! I will catch up, but in the meantime, thank you for the comments. I love them!

I’m also having issues with Google Reader–anyone else? It’s showing me old entries from July and it won’t remove them from the Unread list. It’s very difficult to follow any blogs with that issue, so I’m slightly behind on that as well.

Last weekend I went to New Mexico to visit my family. I have portraits to show you over the next week, but for now here are some general snapshotty photos from the few days I was there.

This cute bunny was in my sister’s yard.

After church, we all hung around my sister’s place doing Sundayish things, like eating homemade (by my brother-in-law) blueberry muffins. This is my nephew Z.

My sister, nieces and I played Scrabble.

K looks thoughtful. My dad is cooking dinner in the background.

Dinner was barbecued ribs and chicken along with corn, potatoes and watermelon. Delish! I love having meals cooked for me–something I took for granted growing up. I guess we all do.

The next day, my parents were headed to Santa Fe and looking cutely coordinated. My sister has some beautiful paint on her walls, so I snapped a few photos.

My sister and I took four of her kids to the Albuquerque BioPark, which has a Botanic Garden and Aquarium, among other things. We mainly went to get out of the house and take kid portraits, but it was really pretty there and I could’ve walked around taking non-portraits for awhile (except it was pretty hot). Last time I was there was during February when it’s not exactly lush.

WARNING: The rest of this post will contain a few spider and bug photos. If that grosses you out, just stop reading here.

This interesting spider was webbing it up near the doorway to the Botanic Garden. I’ve never seen one like it! UPDATE: It’s called a Black and Yellow Garden Spider.

I was excited that they had a butterfly garden there. I have been craving to go to one for awhile now.

There’s a man in the butterfly garden who will tell you about and let you hold a millipede and roaches. My nephews were all over it. I’ll just watch, thanks.

Next, we headed into the aquarium where there was blessed air conditioning.

Overall, it was a good trip with great weather and a fun chance to spend time with the family. And now I’ve seen the Albuquerque area in three seasons (Feb, Oct, Aug)! I guess I need to visit in the spring next–I bet it’s really pretty.