This is not the first time I mentioned Hazelnuts. Willamette Vally In Oregon harvests 3.5% of the world crop, 99% of the U.S. I’ve tasted the crops from a dozen of farms and walked down endless rows of filbert trees, but I have never seen how the nuts grow on the trees. October is the harvest month. I saw tons of nuts on the ground, but nothing still hanging on the trees until I was attracted to the strange-looking dried-out ‘leaves’ (I thought)… I am an Oregonian for over 25 years and I just made this ‘new’ discovery. How much more nature I’ve missed, I wonder.
Growing up in the tropical region with bugs and insects everywhere, I ran away from them as soon as possible. Now living in the northwest, a nature-inspired place, I began to like everything nature offers.
Either the colors from the creatures or that the earth provides, they are ‘naturally’ paired and visually delightful.
Air travel without pressure and hassles is still a luxury. Road trips are not practical either when lodging and eat-out are required. Going through old travel pictures for home-bound days rekindles some sweet memories.
Italy is charming wherever you go. We had the most enjoyable experience staying in one place in Tuscany and travel by car, bus plus walk to visit the neighboring area.
Communicating with an Italian bus driver isn’t always easy. Every once in a while, we got off a place without knowing where we were.
Wandering in a remote area in a foreign land is a daunting but exciting experience. The landscape is gorgeous. Viewing from various angles of the frames is amazing.
Italian cuisine is beyond delicious. Even the formal dining setting is inviting appetite and relaxation.
For this day, if dine-in is restricted, there are even more awesome places to dine outdoors in the delightful settings.
After 4-year recess, I am on the bike again. There are so many bike trails within a 30-40 minutes drive. The majority of the section is along the lake or the river, and some are under the canopy of the lofty and dense trees. A morning ride in the cool weather to kick off a day is wonderful.
Pandemic put me off many activities that I usually do. Volunteering to photograph at MS Bike in August is one thing I loved but have missed for a couple of years. Some registration fee for the participants to have fun and raise funds for MS patients is purposeful. Biking in the Oregon countryside is an utterly relaxing and rejuvenating experience. It’s the moment that you feel Nature is all yours and you are being pampered.
Pandemic seems not going away soon. Instead of stressing over it, I want to get back to old normal and be intimate with Nature again.
Backyard birds are our pets, friends, and entertainers. Wild birds seen in the woods are nice surprises on occasion; Birds surrounding us daily are the ones that enhance our lives, at least in my case.
My love for birds stemmed from observing their behavior. First, they inspire us to invent airplanes. The instinct stored in their tiny brain often reminds me that they are not merely creatures. Other than the juveniles which are still flapping their winds unsteadily and wondering how to fetch their food, in every single bird picture I took, the bird is always staring at me, cautiously. They are born with fear, just like us.
Spring is the bird’s birth season; however, there are late bloomers.
Mommy House Finch gives birth to the baby and Daddy does the feeding. I think it’s a fair trade, better than our human system. In front of the feeder, the baby still chased after Dad to be fed. I heard much of this baby whine during the spring season. Here is a short video I recorded: https://youtu.be/KyBToqNyet0
PS. House Finch is sparrow size. Gold Finch is smaller.
We have beautiful summer here in Northwest. Heat can be consuming at times, but trade-offs are the whole yard of lush blooms and colors. When the choices are abundant, I, on the contrary, don’t feel inspired to spend hours on my favorite close-up flower pictures.
Reality is truthful but not all beautiful. My passion for taking abstract flower pictures has pushed me to also ‘dream of’ sports and events. The pursuit of photographing slow movement and blur as well as expect the unexpected is very fun and satisfying.
Too many homebound days in the last year, I was happy to get away and go to Olympic Trials in town. New Hayward Stadium is a work of art, except that I could not walk around as freely as I used to and had to shoot from a distance.
The Victory Point
Due to the pandemic, the granddaughter’s ballet recital was performed outdoors at dusk. The light condition wasn’t great for photography, but the gradually dimming golden sunset light enhances the ambiance. It’s also in Oregon, where we have the wild and wide natural environment to make such presentation. I was completely impressed by the event produced by this local ballet school.
Pandemic is still here, but life goes on. I would live life as usual and continue to do whatever I love.
Joseph is located in NE Oregon, the gateway to Wallowa Mountains (‘little Switzerland in Oregon’). It is the kind of place where I go back to visit every once a while and never get tired of it. The town is surrounded by a breathtaking mountain range and inhabited by many talented artisans who make gorgeous copper statues. I snapped the shot walking down the street there a couple of years ago.
To appreciate the image further, I decided to give it a painting touch. I got rid of the clutters on the street and kept only the beautiful fall colors and my favorite mountain backdrop. I don’t know who is the artist for this statue but I certainly give him/her my best respect and gratitude.
“It is Ok to paint over a picture. There is still layer of creativity required to transform a picture to a painting.” This is the message I recently heard from a professional artist and teacher. What it does is to eliminate the sketching step and go right to the further creativity process. Now I am experimenting myself, I can really feel the truth behind the message. Most importantly, with the digital brush (the stylus) in hand to be able to create the strokes freely, the joy of creativity is very satisfying.