Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Colorado on Redscale

We love Colorado. Last year, 2012, we flew to Denver for a concert at Red Rocks, it was Yonder Mountain String Band, I believe, and rented a car we called "the pickle" - an ugly, ugly pickle-green, cheap compact that got us around not in style. It was brand new, had less than 100 miles on it, but ugh, it was ugly. It got us where we wanted to go though, which included Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park and Trail Ridge Road, Grand Lake, and Red Rocks. And Boulder the next morning for breakfast and a river walk.

I took along my Pentax K1000 and a roll of redscale film, which is regular color film rolled backwards into its canister. It ends up with these crazy red, yellow, orange, and purple tones, and since I always wanted to shoot a roll, I did. Now I never need to again. I like the results, but they are pretty wild. Stay tuned for some not-weird images from our Colorado trip from this year, also in August.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


I can't believe it's October. I can't believe it's October 12! The month is half over. We have been everywhere but outside enjoying the crisp fall weather and the colorful displays up in the mountains. The past few months, as usual, have been a whirlwind of busy. I haven't photographed one single leaf yet, and to be quite honest, I don't plan to. So how about a few Fuji instant photos from last fall? These were from a drive we took up Big Cottonwood Canyon and over Guardsman Pass. It was a Sunday. There was coffee. There was beer. I think we ended up at Squatter's that night for dinner. Either there or Porcupine Pub, which is where I'd like to end up tonight for beer cheese soup. Mmm. I can't believe it's October.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Yankee Fork & Custer

Yankee Fork is one of my favorite places in Idaho. It's just outside Stanley and very near the Sawtooth Mountains. It's got gorgeous mountain scenery, a crystal clear river, a dirt road, remarkable mining history, and a ghost town to boot. These photos are from last summer, in July of 2012, when I was photographing campgrounds in the Sawtooth National Forest for my second-to-last Forest Service trip. Soon after I left, lightning started the Halstead Fire, which forced the closure of Yankee Fork and the ghost town of Custer. And this year, other fires worked their way around the area, some forcing evacuations at Redfish Lake. Fire changes the landscape time and again, but it'll always be a place I love and want to visit.

On this trip to the Yankee Fork, I had no assignments and no time constraints. I drove up alongside the river (the Yankee Fork of the Salmon) and stopped wherever and whenever I wanted. I wandered down to one of the ponds left by the Yankee Fork Dredge (in the third photo) and saw a giant snake skin. I screamed (of course I did) and then quickly climbed back up to the road. Ugh. I wandered around the dredge a bit and really wished I'd gotten there in time for a tour. I drove a little further up to Custer for a self-guided walking tour. I was the only one there, and being in a ghost town in the Idaho backcountry, it was a little unsettling, but cool nonetheless. 

I headed back to Stanley for the night before the sun set, and caught a beautiful view of the Sawtooths (above). The first time I saw that little cabin, I wanted to stop for a photo but had no time. The second time it had about 6 feet of snow on it. The third time was in late spring and was pouring rain and throwing out an occasional wet snowflake. But fourth time proved to be a charm. The fifth time was so smoky it was barely visible. Good thing I stopped on the fourth visit!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

'Roid Week Offerings

Already a month ago, 'Roid Week 2013 was a big deal. It always is. It's a weeklong celebration of Edwin Land and his magical legacy of instant film. I meant to post these as the days went by, but it didn't happen. I have had good intentions with my blog this summer, but it's just been too busy. I've started posting over on my food/recipe blog, Budding Foodie, once a week and that has sort of gotten my blogging attention since I've had time to cook but not to play with my film cameras. It's been so long that I honestly thought of selling some of my cameras just recently, but then thought, "Don't be stupid, Stupid." So settle down. No one's going to get a steal deal on any of my cameras. Or my film.

So 'Roid Week. These were my offerings this year. Goodies from Oregon, Capitol Reef National Park, Mirror Lake in the Uintas, and cozy little Ogden Valley. All places I love. All shot with people I love. It's been a beautiful year so far.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Out Back

We had a long, cold, deep winter this year. A blanket of snow sometimes 2, 3, 4 feet deep covered everything in sight, and for months straight. The monochrome landscape had me dreaming of my garden, and as soon as the soil warmed enough, and the threat of a major frost subsided, we planted the hell out of our backyard. You know, to say "Take that, snow! And don't come back till November." So far, so good.
On a warm, bright mid-May day, my husband tilled our elevated bed so I could get in there. I bought starts from the local nursery, Rockin' E, which also happens to be where I pick up our CSA share (I'm sure you care.). I planted Brussels sprouts, two varieties of broccoli, red onions, celery, peppers galore (Anaheim, Big Bertha, orange bells, jalapeno, poblano, and Purple Beauty), San Marzano and Roma tomatoes, acorn squash, straightneck squash, zucchini, bush beans (Royal burgundy and Blue Lake), peas, and pumpkins. And that was just in the garden. I also potted basil (Italian, cinnamon, and lemon), Italian parsley, dill, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, chives, mint, and English thyme.
 The garden one month ago. Growing, but sparse and kind of sad.
The garden last week. Healthy and full. Quite a difference!
I've read so much about a decline in pollinators, and after a Memorial weekend visit to Capitol Reef National Park, which is full of historic fruit orchards but is suffering from a severe lack of bees, I was inspired to create a little mason bee house. Capitol Reef has man-made mason bee houses hanging from nearly every fruit tree in the park, each intended to encourage bees to nest and pollinate and keep the orchards viable. I made mine from a log from our cabin, and a 5/16" drill bit. I haven't noticed too much mason bee activity, but thanks in part to the bee- and butterfly-attracting perennials I've planted in the backyard, we've got pollinators a-plenty.
I harvested my first produce last Friday (on the left), and again this past Monday (on the right). I've been cutting herbs several times a week since I potted them, and to keep up with how much I'm using, I've had to plant additional Italian basil, cilantro, dill, and parsley seeds. It's a dream having fresh herbs to use in our meals. I have loved marching outside with kitchen shears and coming back with a handful of this or that. I'm going to be so sad when they die back in the fall. I'll be dehydrating and freezing like a fool, just to preserve that fresh flavor!
I've got another small head of broccoli to harvest over the weekend, a few onions maybe, and a handful of beans, but the unbearable heat wave (102-107˚!) that rolled through all of last week sort of slowed my garden down. It much prefers mid to upper 90s, which is what is forecasted for the next week, so I should have more beans, more squash, and maybe an orange bell!

Between our garden, our CSA, and the Salt Lake Farmers Market, we are eating extremely fresh and local, and that makes this girl incredibly happy. It's been a joy coming up with new recipes and perusing places like foodgawker for ideas. Cooking and gardening have become my two favorite hobbies lately. I actually enjoy meal planning, grocery shopping, all the prep work, and even working in a hot kitchen. Maybe I should have gone into the restaurant business. Or catering. Something.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some weeding to do...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Thanks Oregon

It's high time I shared some of my photos from my trip to the Oregon Coast back in April. My dad invited me and my niece Maggie on a vacation house-hunting adventure. We looked at probably a dozen homes from Cannon Beach to Pacific City, from cozy cottages to an all-out giant of a house. Most with ocean views, some ocean front, and one Nehalem State Park-front. All beautiful, all so much fun to see ourselves vacationing at as a family. In the end though, none spoke up to my dad and said, "Buy me!" so he'll continue the search, which for him, is sometimes more fun that the actual purchasing.

We flew to PDX on a Tuesday, stopped at Kenny & Zukes Bagelworks (of course) on our way out of town, and got to Cannon Beach and our usual little rental that afternoon. The sun was out and Haystack Rock gleamed in the misty sunshine. Maggie was in heaven - it was her first time at the ocean. She chased birds while the waves chased her. She touched kelp, threw rocks, tasted salt. I loved watching her explore her new environment.

The next morning, we meandered down the coast to Pacific City, where Vanessa met up with us. We all toured a monstrous, three-story oceanfront beauty (3,000+ square feet!), then my dad and Maggie headed back to Cannon, and Vanessa and I drove the Three Capes Scenic Drive and shot a whole lot of film along the way. We also stopped at Garibaldi's harbor, and wandered the docks. Vanessa stayed with us in Cannon that night, and we all toured homes in Manzanita, Nehalem, and Tolovana throughout the day, before she headed back to Portland.

On Friday, we took a leisurely drive through Arch Cape, where a few of these images are from. The weather was quintessential Oregon Coast weather - swirling mists, clouds, fog, heavy rain, spots of sunshine - and the trees in Arch Cape combined to create epic photo opportunities. I shot almost an entire pack of Polaroid 600 in five minutes there, several images from this roll in my Pentax K1000, a bunch of iPhone pics, and half a dozen Fuji instants too. It was a whirlwind, and so much fun. After that, we drove through Manzanita and on to Cape Meares so Maggie could see her first lighthouse, and she ended up seeing about 100 harbor seals too.

On our last day, we took the long way back to PDX, up through Astoria and into Portland via Highway 30, with a short detour across the Astoria-Megler Bridge and up to Dismal Nitch in Washington. That way, Mags got to add another state to her list of those visited, if only for a few minutes. It was a lovely drive, and a beautiful way to end such a nice, relaxing vacation. I have stacks of Polaroids to share, and I will eventually on my Flickr page. Head over there to see more from this roll. Thanks Oregon, for another beautiful visit.