Tag Archives: weekly photo challenge

Juxtaposition

I know I don’t have the highest vocabulary but I don’t usually have to look up the word for the Weekly Photo Challenge…until today.

It’s juxtaposition.  So here’s my photo:

juxtaposition
out of tiny cones grow mighty trees

I was stuck at the computer for most of the day; keeping an eye out for any wildlife to chase after with my camera.  There was an eagle but he flew by too fast.

Common Merganser
Common Merganser

When I finally walked outside I couldn’t come back in!  It was almost 60 degrees today!  I heard it was 70 on the beach!

Merganser Patterns
Merganser Patterns

The patterns this merganser is making in the water match the patterns on his back.

I went for a walk but the only wildlife I saw were people working in their yards.  Everyone seems to be taking advantage of the June-like weather we’re having in the northwest this month.  We’ll pay for it somehow I’m sure.  Some already are: http://koin.com/2014/01/24/2-wildland-fires-burning-on-oregon-coast/

It’s unusual for the humidity to be this low too.  My gage says 66% but it was lower earlier in the day.

Please be extra cautious with your campfires.

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Beginnings

The weekly photo challenge is: Beginnings

Bald Eagle - 1st year
Bald Eagle – juvenile

This bald eagle is at the beginning of his life; probably 2+ years old based on the amount of white on his head.  His parents have taught him how to hunt and now he (or she) is surviving on his own.

I imagine he still sees his parents as they remain in the same general area.  But they cannot continue to feed their young or they would put themselves in peril.  So, whether he was a quick-study or a slow learner, he’ll eat what he can find on his own.  He was eyeing a dead fish carcass in the Alsea River today.  But he didn’t see it until after the tide came in and it was under water.  If he doesn’t find something else to eat, he knows he can come back here at a lower tide.

A bald eagle’s head and tail feathers aren’t solid white until about the 4th year.  I wonder if that is so adult eagles cut them some slack until they are full adults?

Hhmm – so there IS a lesson here for us humans – both for parents and for children establishing their independence

having no joy, for they knew no misery

The Weekly Photo Challenge this week was Joy.  I looked at other posts and saw faces of children, nature photos and descriptions of the joy that Christ brings.  I wondered what photo I could post that would exemplify what is joy to me.  I thought of the baby girl looking at her daddy with awe.  Then I thought of the photo our son-in-law sent us when our daughter delivered their stillborn son.  Mama was holding her child tighter than I’ve ever seen her hold anything; staring into his face as she wanted to memorize it forever.  Their joy in their other children was certainly amplified from that experience.  Heaven now holds more joy than we might have imagined it would.

It got me thinking about what joy really is.  Dallin H. Oaks said, “Joy is more than happiness. Joy is the ultimate sensation of well-being.”  I don’t know if that is an uncommon definition but I think a lot of Christians describe it that way because of the peace Christ brings when we focus on Him.  Elder Oaks added, “The opposite of joy is misery.”  Opposition helps me to appreciate the good in my life.  Contrast certainly helps to define whatever it is that is opposite.  I’m just glad that it doesn’t take much misery for me recognize joy.

Green Flash at Yaquina Bay
Green Flash at Yaquina Bay

I’ve said before, I’ve never appreciated the sun so much as I have after living in Oregon where I can go for weeks without seeing it.  Even when it is not cloudy, a mountain (mostly) hides it from my home during the winter months.  While that may not be pleasant, it is a far cry from true misery.  I’m not saying I want to experience true misery so I can experience true joy.   I’m satisfied with the trials I’ve had and I trust that I won’t be given anything I can’t handle.

We happened to be driving down Hwy 101 this evening just before sunset.  So we (and about 30 other people) pulled into Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.  In typical meerkat fashion, we lined the edge of the parking lot watching the colors change, wondering if we’d be rewarded with a green flash.  Some silently watched alone, others were arm-in-arm with a loved one.  Parents tried to help children hold their attention on the slow-moving sun.  We were rewarded even though I didn’t capture the best of the green flash on camera.

sunset at Yaquina Bay
After the sunset

But once the sun set, the real show began.  Colors slowly changed from yellow, orange and blue to pink and purple and it lasted and lasted.

So there it was; a few moments of peace and tranquility.  It lasted as long as I was still and watched and took it all in.  And now I have the memory to reflect on and to contrast.  “men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Ne. 2:25.)    He created us to have joy!   I think this is one area where balance is not required.  It only takes a short burst of pain to help me appreciate feeling good for a long time.

References:  2 Nephi 2:23-25;   Dallin H Oaks article:  October 1991 General Conference

Wow – I hope the next photo challenge isn’t as thought-provoking!

Happy New Year!

Sea Lion mom focuses on her ONE pup

The weekly photo challenge is: ONE

Heceta Lighthouse Overlook near Sea Lion Caves
Heceta Lighthouse Overlook near Sea Lion Caves

Aside from the beautiful view of the lone lighthouse on the point, we stop here to listen and watch the sea lions (at the bottom of the photo).  By the way, this is on Highway ONE-oh-ONE on the Oregon Coast.

Sea Lion branded: 412Y
Sea Lion branded: 412Y

I love how they lay all over each other.  They look so comfortable in spite of the rough, hard, rocks they use for nap-matts.

2 branded Sea Lions: 440R and 364Y
2 branded Sea Lions: 440R and 364Y

Although the large number of sea lions in the group amazes me, I like to look at each ONE.  I’ll find the history on the 3 brands I found.  I saw 3 or 4 more but couldn’t get the whole brand.  I like the expression on the one at the top of the above photo.  It makes me think of the sound that Scooby-Doo makes when someone says something silly.

Sea Lion pup kissing mommy
Sea Lion pup kissing mommy

Of course the sea lion mom has to focus on the ONE; after all, she IS a mom!  But for the pup, she is the only ONE that matters.

Community is for the birds

My first thought about “community” was church because wherever we travel to workamp, we feel so at home when we attend church.

Ordinances are the same, lessons are the same, the spirit is the same.  But I don’t have a current photo and it’s a “photo challenge”.   Soooo….

These ducks live in a community on Eckman Lake, near Waldport, Oregon.

Ring-necked Ducks, Coots
Ring-necked Ducks, Coots

There were at least 4 or 5 different kinds of ducks that we could identify on this icy day.

Hundreds feeding keep the ice open
Hundreds feeding keep the ice open

By working together, they keep the ice from freezing over the whole lake.

American Wigeon, Gadwalls
American Wigeon, Gadwalls

There were smaller groups in different places and they’d fly or walk from one place to another.  It reminded me of going to Crystal Hot Springs, Utah, in the winter 🙂  We’d walk quickly from the dressing room to the hot pool.

Wood Duck
Wood Duck on the fringe

This duck seemed to be a loner.  But then suddenly he joined the group.  He decided to go see what all the fuss was about.

Let it snow! Isn’t it grand!

I got together yesterday with a few Relief Society ladies to put together some Christmas swags for the Samaritan House.

We have so much fun when we get together!   The feeling is grand!

Spruce, fir, hemlock, holly and salal – the spruce smell the best.

Door Swags
Door Swags

We got about an inch of snow on the Alsea River last night!

Alsea River Snow
Alsea River Snow

And now the whole river looks like Christmas!

Watch out Utah – it’s coming your way!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Light

How fitting!  I’ve been struggling with light settings on my camera because I know nothing about how a camera works and I mostly use the autofocus setting.

Plus… I like to photograph waterfowl and if the sun is bright, it adds another light challenge of reflecting off the water.

Female common Merganser
Female common Merganser

I asked a friend why the white parts of so many of my photos looked so bright and lacked detail.

He said that photos taken in low light will make white surfaces whiter and you get a washed out look.

Female Hooded Merganser
Female Hooded Merganser

Even if I tweak the photo in some photo software, I can’t completely compensate for my lack of knowledge of how to use a camera.

Mating Ritual of the Hooded Mergansers
Mating Ritual of the Hooded Mergansers

My friend did give me some tips though so I’ll keep learning and trying to apply it to get better pix.

The hooded mergansers were fun to watch.  I assume it was a mating ritual.  The female stretched out flat in the water as the male swam away from her; stretching his neck forward, then retracting it.  Then he’d swim back toward her doing the same thing.  When another female came toward her, she chased her off.  At that point I think her coyness was busted.

2 youth and 1 adult Goldeneye
2 youth and 1 adult Goldeneye

Today the Goldeneyes spent a lot of time feeding in front of our house.  I think these are Common Goldeneyes instead of the Barrow’s Goldeneyes.

Adult Goldeneye
Adult Goldeneye

I presume the autofocus camera can compensate for lack of light by slowing the shutter speed.  I think that’s why these photos aren’t focused perfectly.  If it were film I could see that slowing the shutter speed would let in more light due to the time it is exposed.  But I wonder how a camera over-exposes a digital image?

duck dive
Dive! Dive!

I do know that a slower shutter speed doesn’t stop action as well as a quick snap.  That’s a Goldeneye-side-flip.