Sunday, July 31, 2011


I've been away from the Blogosphere for about ten days. Actually, I've been exceptionally busy living my life, rather than just writing about it, but more on that later...

More than a week ago, I promised my niece and nephew that I would post these pictures with my aunt's horse Yoyot (Strong). We took a few dozen pictures that day, but these were my favorites.

Patrick got to be the expert horseman for a day.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Remedy

A few weeks ago, my friend Tony said something quite profound.

I happened to mention that I've recently felt a vague sense of depression creeping back into my life. Tony listened to my worries and reminded me that several days before, he observed me photographing wild flowers. He then said, "I know you sometimes struggle with depression, but I was happy to see you taking pictures of the flowers. When people are trapped inside a deep depression, they can't even see the flowers. But you see them, and that lets me know you're going to be okay."

Yes, beauty is a remedy for sadness.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


A few months ago, I had a dream that affected me deeply.

In my dream, I attended a family gathering where several people were fighting with one another. I spoke to them about forgiveness, but nothing seemed to change their anger. One of my deceased relatives observed the argument, along with my attempt to make peace. She took me aside and said, "Sometimes what looks like anger is really a broken heart."

Since my dream, I've reflected on those words as they apply to real life. They most certainly apply to the actual relationships from my dream, but they also apply to other areas of life. This dream reminds me that things aren't always as they appear.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dakota Sunset

Nothing profound to blog this evening,
just a few cool pictures from Dakota and yesterday's sunset.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Time Capsule

As I was going through some old things, I found a disposable camera from 2003 - like a miniature time capsule. These pictures were my favorites.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dakota's Got Talent

Dakota was a finalist in CYT's Got Talent as part of this year's national HYPE conference in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Once again, he performed Feeling Good and the judges gave some awesome feedback. One judge even called Dakota "Frank Sinatra reincarnated."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Three of us left work at the same time - Carole, Pamm, and I. Just as we opened the front door of the school, a burst of golden light greeted us from the sunset. Pamm said to Carole and me, "You guys should take a picture," and without missing a beat, we both reached for our cameras and did just that. Pamm laughed and said, "I was only joking!" But what did she expect? I carry a camera almost everywhere specifically for moments like this. 

And then Pamm said, "I expect to see these pictures on Facebook."  Of course, I have to agree.

This tree seemed to divide the heat of the sunset from the cool rain clouds that had begun to cover the sky. 

The same tree from a different angle.

The sunset rainbow was the finale and certainly the best part of the amazing nature light show from yesterday evening.

Monday, July 11, 2011


When I was a kid, I remember seeing double exposure film that created an otherworldly effect where the people looked like ghosts. I always wanted to create my own "ghost" images, but we could never get my camera to expose the film twice. All these many years later, my daughter and I visited the cemetery on a whim to attempt a similar effect, but instead of double exposed film, we took multiple shots of the same location using a tripod. I then edited the photographs using Gimp.

"Show No Fear..."

At the cemetery...

My daughter is a big fan of the "Ghost Whisperer," so she thoroughly enjoyed being a ghost-model for a day.

Click on images to enlarge.


A view of downtown Spokane at sunset,
taken from the ridge above Indian Canyon.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Indian Canyon is like a world unto itself, especially near the waterfall. The land above the canyon is like any other place in the Spokane area, mostly dry or semi-arid, with ponderosa pine growing like over-sized weeds. However, the canyon itself shelters an abundance of flowers, green shrubs, and aquatic plants. In some places, the trail resembled a tunnel beneath a living canopy of branches and leaves. As we explored the trail nearest the stream, Dakota said, "This place looks like a jungle in Peru." I almost have to agree.

The most amazing part about Indian Canyon is its proximity to downtown Spokane. It's like an oasis hidden just beyond the city's view.

In the jungle...

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Chief Garry Campsite

We went back to Indian Canyon a second day to find the Chief Spokane Garry campsite. As it turns out, we stopped only a few yards away when we turned back before.

A large sign is clearly visible from the main road. It reads:

Spokan Garry
Born to a chief and orphaned at 11, Garry was taught by missionaries to aid in fur trading. He was a teacher, a leader, a hunter, and a peacemaker. Always the white man's friend, he was refused citizenship, burned off his land, deprived of his earthly goods, and finally his dignity by the white man. He died here a lonely unwanted person in the land of his birth and the land he loved. Garry and his wife Nina are buried in Greenwood cemetery.

The second sign marks the actual campsite, but it was a little more difficult to find. The sign was hidden in the trees, away from the trail.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Indian Canyon

My daughter and I visited Indian Canyon where Chief Spokane Garry was said to have camped until his death in 1892. We looked for some historical marker to indicate the camp site, but found none. Perhaps we looked in the wrong the location. In any case, the site is now maintained in a mostly natural state, with equestrian access, hiking trails, and scenic overlooks. 

As we arrived, Whitney stopped to admire a fireweed plant (epilobium angustifolium) growing near the trailhead.

We hiked only a few hundred yards until we saw the waterfall flowing within a small canyon. Several small trails lead to the base of the falls. We enjoyed the walk, but in the future, I will remember to wear shoes with better traction. The trails are very steep, with a fair amount of loose dirt and gravel.

But the area near the base of falls is like another world, beautiful and green.

Whitney standing beneath the falls.

Several small caves create openings in the basalt cliff.

Whitney overlooking the canyon.

As we left Indian Canyon, Whitney paused to photograph a bachelor's button (Centaurea cyanus); she is my daughter, after all. This particular flower is a non-native species, but it's quite beautiful and is my mom's favorite.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


This is the second year we went to Stevens County for the 4th of July - a place where fireworks are still legal, and where my friend John purchased over $400 worth of rockets, fountains, and other exploding things. I suppose it's worth the trip to hang out with friends, eat barbecued hamburgers, and watch someone else burn their money.

Almost equally entertaining, I got to experiment with taking pictures of the fireworks with different shutter speeds. A few of the pictures turned out with some interesting effects.

The first picture is actually one of my favorites, though it's certainly less exciting from the standpoint of the light show. The exposure time was 15 seconds, but John had a hard time lighting the rocket, so the picture looks like him sitting still by a small campfire. It reminds me of the primal fascination with fire we most certainly inherited from our first ancestors.

This picture reminds me of a lightning blast hitting the earth.

In this picture, multiple strikes hit the same spot at once.

In this picture, I can almost picture a fire breathing dragon just below the field of vision.

Roman candles...

This one reminds me of a volcano.

Monday, July 04, 2011


Summer has finally arrived, bringing the welcome return of hot, sunny days. My only regret is that all the spring flowers are withering in the heat - gone to sleep for another year.


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