It’s all about Kingfisher

It was 34 degree. The wind was blowing. A complete furnishing set of coat, scarf, stocking cap and glove is still not sufficient. I wondered where to find birds in this bleak weather and environment at first.

One red-tail Hawk perched on a distant tree and one Northern Harrier were digging something on the ground, but they were so distant that my longest lens could not do justice. On the way out, we spotted this Kingfisher on the limb (if you can find it in the picture) and Great Blue Heron down below. Apparently, they were aiming at the same target – fish. Far as it appears, this is probably the closest encounter I ever had with a Kingfisher. Closer but still not close enough. Considerable details are lost after cropping and zooming. Still, this is so far the best Kingfish picture I have. The quest for a BETTER bird picture continues…

However, if not for this picture, I would never notice the interesting white spots circled around its wing. And, do you know he raised his tail when he calls? (see the image below)

The weather was not encouraging. I expected nothing to begin, but now I have a closer look at my favorite bird, back, front and sides. How cool is that? I am a true believer of JUST DO IT and EXPECT UNEXPECTED.

Barely Fall Colors

Out chasing fall colors, but nothing but yellow and occasional orange and red.  Waterfalls are not one of my favorite subjects, but it is now my only option. Rarely I used my tripod but I did it this time except that the wind kept blowing and the dancing leaves appeared blurry…

Wanting some fall colors in the scene, but the gushing water was overpowering.

Not exactly what I came here for, but I accomplished one thing – took my tripod out of the trunk.

Early Fall In Montana

Ten years ago when I visited Montana, I was impressed by its majestic mountains and bold scenery. On the recent second visit, I found I am so in love of it.

The road to Logan Pass (from Avalanche to Jackson Glacier) was closed due to the freshly covered snow, we were just one day late. Fall colors inside the park have begun to pop on a big scale, beautiful, but not dramatic enough, a bit too early.  We missed out the drama, but no disappointment. It was misty and somewhat bleak; however, the view is no second to a sunshine and glorious day.

Due to weather condition, we decided not to hike any of the trails where I originally expected better photography opportunities. Particularly after my fall, I could manage to walk, but hiking was impossible.

The recent fire has taken away quite a bit of shine from MacDonald Lake. Without getting to the top viewpoints, this is the best I can get from the highway. The burn makes you sigh.

There are slight orange and red colors mixed in with the majority Yellow. Snow changed our itinerary; meanwhile, it provided us with stunning contrast colors. Nature simply knows how to present at its best in the different season and under various circumstances. Oh, Yellow, I have never been so attracted to the color, and so refreshed with its purity.

My dream shots around Lake Mcdonald cannot be fulfilled, instead, I snapped the one below that I love. Mountain, lake, cloud, snow, all colors, and reflection. In addition, this picture marks where I slipped and fell on the ice. I paid a fair price to take this picture. The outcome of my injury prevents me from sitting, but I am still anxious to share, at least some of them.

 

 

Joseph – a Jewel of Oregon

Walking down the street, I thought this fair lady is waiting to cross the street. I waited and waited, but she did not move…

I am afraid of mice since I was little. However, I cannot help not to photograph this cute guy. I have seen blackbirds and egrets on the back of a cow, but a mouse on the nose of a moose seems new. Their little chitchat is intimate and friendly.

Two simple traditional horseshoes plus a small coil of wire are turned into a cowboy roper who is furnished with a cowboy hat and bandana. A small piece of whimsical art like this makes me smile.

Joseph, one of my favorite destination, is located in northeastern Oregon, on the foot of Wallowa Mountains – the ‘Swiss Alps’ of Oregon. Aside from her picturesque landscape, this town is full of sculpture artisans who produce amazing copper sculptures.  No place is like Joseph where you are surrounded by beautiful copperworks and gorgeous landscape.

Hay Bales

‘Three Sisters’, Bend, Oregon

Mountains are beautiful, but I took the picture because of the sage green hay bales. Either they are squares, rolls or piles, I just like them to be my subject. Brown haybales are what I usually see and that makes these sage green ones special.

On a special project, I might not be as punctual as I used to.

 

Dahlias

Autumn is officially here. I am thrilled to see leaves gradually changing colors…. This might be my last flower picture of  the season.

Not a prolific photography season, but nothing is more precious than hanging out with good old friends this summer.

 

Rain and Cheer

We had an unexpectedly hot summer. I felt much relaxed when the temperature began to drop in the last ten days or so. And, YES, it finally rained. Even the rain lasted only ten minutes, the fresh and chilly air has cheered me up greatly.

Raindrops laced the flower and highlighted the edges of the pedals. Dahlia is beautiful that is out of the question. My joy is to pry in and explore the sudden charm completely unexpected.

Not diligently working to edit pictures lately. Just to show you couple random shots in the rain.

Renaissance Faire

Some improvement is made that I am not as intimidated to ask people for taking their pictures. And yet, in lots of cases, I don’t really care for posing shots or seconds of a made-up smile. I enjoyed more of people’s dressing styles, design details, and natural expressions.

Have never been to a Renaissance Faire, I was stunned by the exceptional environment. Gorgeous sky and rolling green hills with colorful patches here in Kings Valley.

The couple is properly dressed for the occasion. Their body gesture rhythmed and the paces flowed as they enjoyed themselves. The smile comes from within and I found it truly beautiful.

I followed this lady (upper left) wherever she went just for her beautiful hat with a blue feather. Though I have face-to-faced with all the characters here, I found their back or sides is more attractive than the front. All natural and all truthful.

Thought she is a deer with ‘antlers’, but she is a tree lady with ‘branches’.  She (middle) was photographed without knowing … I like her head adornment and the unique headband matching the pattern of her blouse. The man (right) posed for me, but he shows what he is, naturally.

If I want to choose the best costume at the fair, this man (below) is my pick. You don’t need to have a fit and slender body to look good in your apparel. He is simply the best man to wear that outfit, don’t you agree?

Understand they are just dressed for fun, but it is not ‘politically correct’. Maybe priests had girlfriends in Renaissance days?:-) Not sure who originated the idea for the priests and nuns to live their lives alone. We are human beings and should live a normal human life.

I like to photograph at the festival where there is a unique theme on its own and the setting is far more interesting than street photography.

Lost in Vegas

Las Vegas was not, is not, and won’t be my destination. It is, however, my convenient transit point to Utah national parks. Wrongly booked my return date, I ended up having to spend one more day here. I thought I would be overwhelmed by boredom, but not at all. You will see why.

I also dreamed of a jackpot, but I don’t even know how to use a modern slot machine. Besides I was overwhelmed by all sorts of the designs in my surroundings that I did not even consider to come close to the gambling table.

Looking around, I found my favorite flower vase,

Looking up, there are endless ceiling intererst:

Those glamourous casino hotels have characteristics of their own. My interest in architecture is my drive to visit them. However, the content of such hotels is too much for me. If not for a few eye-opening architectural designs, I would not want to stay indoors a bit longer.

Two white door frames welcome you into the restaurant; One hotel concierge is located at the bottom of a wood structure with a bar in the mid-level. I don’t even know how to describe the design.

In Vegas, the walk paths either lead you to a casino or a gift shop. I stayed away from the casino, but I love window browsing and enjoying the creative pieces of work. Chocolate dripping from the ceiling and down right in front of you. Simple fluorescent lights to showcase a fashion red and the whimsical bar stools…

Having hometown gourmet in a foreign place is like having fresh water in the desert. I was tired of expensive restaurants and buffets, so happy to enjoy a simple bowl of shrimp wonton noodle soup. 

Have steaming hot food in an outdoor cafe in Vegas, under 110 degree? Nop. These are cold water mist…

Too much to go on, I don’t want to get you lost either. Las Vegas is not my travel destination, but it is definitely a great place for street photography.