It’s been too long…

…since my last post. I’m very aware of it. In my defense, I took a job supporting FEMA’s hurricane recovery operations and I’ve been away from home for a while. While on the road, I limited myself to my Canon PowerShot point and shoot camera. I challenged myself to push its limitations and make good images.

On October 1, I boarded a plane and headed to the National Emergency Training Center in Emmittsburg MD. The NETC is home to the Emergency Management Institute and the National Fire Academy. The campus was a girl’s school before it assumed its present duties. Many of the buildings are historical and they are all beautiful. The campus is also home to the National Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial.

This is one of my interpretations of the Firefighter’s Memorial. The view is from the right side and includes one of the stunning sunrises we experienced during the 2 weeks there.

I made this image of the Memorial with my mobile phone the first evening I was there. I had to check in and get my credentials late in the evening and was crossing campus when I saw this. I loved the light on the Memorial.

This is one of the administration buildings, typical of the architectural style on campus. I posted pictures of other buildings on campus in my ‘view from the office’ series on Facebook.

Some of my friends and I took a drive to Hershey PA and the Gettysburg National Battlefield on our one free weekend. Hershey was busy with the Antique Auto Club of America show, but we were able to tour the chocolate factory and take a bus tour around the town. I visited Gettysburg in 1982 when my father was on a tour of duty at the Pentagon. This visit was more rewarding after reading several books on the Civil War in recent years.

If you haven’t been to Gettysburg, you really should go. The locals started preserving the battlefield immediately after the battle, so unit locations and gun emplacements are accurately documented.

The Robert E. Lee Memorial. I pray that all these beautiful memorials and the history they represent are preserved forever.

This is my only fall color picture for this year. The trees in MD and PA had just started turning, but this scene, near the Wheat Field, gave me a little color for the year.

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation – Volume 4…

Olympic National Park – holy cow! What a fun and beautiful place. My lovely bride and I visited two of the three ecosystems: the Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

We arrived at the road to Hurricane Ridge in the late afternoon, and the skies were less than cooperative. The scenery going up to the Ridge, however, was spectacular.

We hit the roadside flowers seemingly at their peak. This is one of my favorite images.

We saw several Black Tail Deer. This buck was on the hillside above the road. One has to wonder what happened to his antlers.

Our obligatory self portrait at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor’s Center. More wild flowers in the meadow behind us!

And my feeble attempt at a panorama. Despite my poor attempt to capture it, the view was gorgeous!

We tried to visit the Hoh Rain Forest, but construction caused us to save it for another trip. We drove down the Pacific Coast instead.

This is the view from the Kalaloch Lodge dining patio. Great lunch there and the cabins looked interesting. During our trip planning, we tried to get a room there but they were full. Oh well…

This is a view from US 101.

We stopped at Beach 1 and walked down to the shore. We saw a pod of whales apparently feeding off shore – lots of fins, backs, and blows. Here’s our selfie watching whales.

The view up the shore line. It goes on for a long time…

There you have it – fun at Olympic National Park. The whale pictures weren’t very exciting, so I hope you like the scenery shots.

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

PS Challenge – September 24, 2017

Today’s PS Challenge image comes from Sonora Pass, a little over 9,000 feet elevation. My friend, Larry Burton, and I drove CA 108 to check on the fall colors the day before the snow flew and closed the road. We were amazed by the number of waterfalls still flowing and how green the vegetation still was. We also found flowers a little higher in elevation!

I like this color version of the image…

…but I was feeling my inner Ansel Adams as I was editing…

This Stemless Goldenweed is under several feet of snow now. I’m glad we got there when we did!

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

How I Spent My Summer Vacation! Volume 3…

After we drove by Mt. Rainier and up the Olympic Peninsula, my lovely bride and I arrived at Port Angeles WA to prepare for our adventure to Canada. We rode the MV Coho across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria, British Columbia, for a fun day trip. I carried my Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II since we were going to be walking everywhere. You may have seen some of my Victoria images in my PS Challenge series.

The MV Coho in Victoria Harbor.

As the Coho entered Victoria Harbor, we were greeted by the beautiful Empress Hotel.

What a gorgeous building. I’d love to photograph it at night!

The Empress grounds were gorgeous and very well maintained. In this image, my lovely bride and frequent model stands near a pink Hydrangea at one of the corner gates.

We found an intimate little garden with these blue Hydrangeas. Hint – she loves Hydrangeas.

We walked around Victoria all morning. One stop was a knitting/yarn store Susan wanted to find. We found it, spent a little green (love the exchange rate!), and found a great place for lunch – Romeo’s! Great food! Here’s a few images from our walk.

This beautiful Totem Pole sits in front of the Parliament Building.

And here is the Parliament Building.

We came across this statue of an old sailor in front of a picture of Victoria Harbor circa 1905.

We saw several churches on our walk, one that had a wonderful cemetery with headstones that were very old. After walking 7 miles, we were both a little tired so we hopped a ride in one of the horse drawn carriages for a tour of the Victorian homes in the area.

Our driver took this picture for us. The horse’s name was Max and he did a great job. The driver explained the various commands she used and described the care of the horse, carriage and harnesses. The Parliament Building is in the background.

This is one of the many Victorian housed we passed on the tour. Owners can get government assistance in maintaining the exterior of these historic structures as long as they maintain the original appearance. Owners are free to do whatever they want to the interiors, but must maintain the integrity of the exterior. Max wouldn’t stop for pictures, so I shot this on the fly.

The carriage ride was only 30 minutes long, but the rest was welcome. We decided to rest a little more by taking a water taxi ride to Fisherman’s Wharf.

We saw many things that we don’t see here in Nevada…

…and we enjoyed sharing the Harbor with many Scenic tour float planes taking off and landing. Victoria Harbor is a very busy airport!

This image was featured in my PS challenge series. One of the many gorgeous views at Fisherman’s Wharf!

We saw very unusual sights among the house boats. My lovely bride thought it would be fun to live in one for a while.

Probably my most favorite image from the day. The MV Coho passing Fisherman’s Wharf on its way to Port Angeles.

We had a very fun day and saw so many beautiful things. We stopped by a visitor’s center and gathered information for our next trip. We’ve already picked a whale watching tour by boat with a trip to Buttchart Gardens!

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

PS Challenge – September 7, 2017

Round Top, above Winnemmucca Lake as seen from near Frog Lake, on the trail from Carson Pass.

I shot this image using bracketed exposure, merged in Adobe Camera Raw, processed further in PhotoShop with a filter from On1 Photo RAW.

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR

How I spent my summer vacation! Volume 2…

In my last post, I asked for discussion about the concept of vacations for people who are retired. One of my friends (thanks Tom!) suggested that for retirees, every day is Saturday and it’s not a vacation – it’s a lifestyle. Of course, my good friend has always been a profound individual. I like this idea very much and embrace it, but I’m not gonna change the title of this series. Sorry, my friend.

Volume 2 is sub-titled ‘the Mt. Rainier drive by.’ My lovely bride and I attended a very important birthday party that morning and didn’t get to Mt. Rainier National Park until very late in the afternoon. We didn’t stay very long, but will make more time on a future trip.¬†We approached the Park from Yakima WA and saw some beautiful views.

Taken from a view point on WA 12.

This was a popular spot. We took some pictures for a family in a big RV and they reciprocated. Thanks for not cutting our feet off!

Our objective was the Ohanapecosh Visitor’s Center at the Stevens Canyon Entrance (on WA 123, the southeast corner of Mt. Rainier National Park). We arrived just before closing and got the stamp in our U.S. Parks Passport. The views on the road were beautiful.

We knew we had found the right place!

I couldn’t pass up a sunburst shot through the trees! I’m just happy it came out as I envisioned it.

We continued to our stop for the night. The next morning we loaded up and got onto U.S. 101 on the east side of the Olympic Peninsula. This section of Highway 101 parallels a portion of the Hood Canal and Dabob Bay. Again, stunning views and a bonus for us!

Low tide in the Canal made for lots of beach, but the flowers along the Highway were beautiful!

Bonus! Whose heart doesn’t race when they encounter a Bald Eagle in the wild? This one was a little far off, but I tried for the shot anyway.

The engineer in me made me stop and make an image of this bridge. We had passed several of these and I decided to stop for this one. I love the textures from the moss or mold on the concrete.

Always remember: The best scenic turnouts are clearly designated by highway signs reading NO STOPPING ANYTIME.

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR