WPC: Unusual

Pacific City, Oregon in October 2016

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The Daily Post’s Photo Challenge this week challenges us to publish a photo that is in someway unusual.  Photographer Lignum Draco challenges us to reach beyond our comfort zone of subject matter or technique, to feature a photo that is unique in some way.

I am sharing a series of previously discarded photos from my visit to the Oregon coast last October.  These were shot in the hours before a major storm hit the Pacific Northwest.

I was visiting Pacific City, Oregon, with my daughter and toddler granddaughter to enjoy some beach time together before the hurricane like storm socked us in for the next five days.  They were happily playing in the sand while I shot these images.

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My daughter, a trained pilot, always reads the sky.  She pointed out the approaching front drawing near hours ahead of schedule.  We gathered up little one, despite her howling protests, and got her back to the car and us back to my hotel just as the wind picked up and the first squall line of rain passed over us.

Weathering such a dangerous storm in a rented hotel room, perched high on a cliff above the crashing Pacific, reminds us of how fragile our lives can be.  Listening to the howling wind banging the dumpster lids of nearby hotels that night, wondering whether our power would stay on, and watching reports of flooding, tornadoes and wind damage to nearby communities made us grateful for our relative safety and comfort together.  We had heat, fresh coffee, hot water, and our internet connection throughout.

These photos speak to me of a greater fragility, however.  They demonstrate the fragility of our biosphere and the vulnerability of the thin layer of vegetation our planet supports.

Normally, I show you lush photos of gardens filled with plants.  My photos are filled with rich greens and vividly colored leaves or flowers.  I photograph pollinators and other garden wildlife sipping nectar or hiding out in the relative cool of our garden.

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Here, we see the truth of our life on this planet.  There is a thin strip of living green perched precariously on the underlying rock and soil of our Earth.  Once we destroy the vegetation, what is left won’t produce the oxygen we breathe or produce the crops which feed us.

Watching forests come down to make way for new shopping areas and town homes, vegetation ripped up for the inevitable widening of roads to make room for the growing population, and habitat destroyed for new power switching stations and pipelines has become a way of life in our country.  How short sighted the promise of profit can make us…..

I’m sharing an unusual subject, an unusual viewpoint, and an unusual mood through these photos today.  And I hope they will inspire us all to become fierce protectors of our planet Earth; our life-long mother and our larger home.

Woodland Gnome 2017
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For the Daily Post’s
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Unusual

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Siletz Bay, Lincoln City, Oregon October 2016

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Sunday Dinner: Persevere

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“To argue with a man who has renounced

the use and authority of reason,

and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt,

is like administering medicine to the dead,

or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.”

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Thomas Paine

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“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom,

must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”

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Thomas Paine

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These three photos from Siletz Bay, OR

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“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly;

it is dearness only that gives everything its value.

I love the man that can smile in trouble,

that can gather strength from distress and grow.”

.

Thomas Paine

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“Whatever is my right as a man

is also the right of another;

and it becomes my duty to guarantee

as well as to possess.”

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Thomas Paine

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

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“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day,

that my child may have peace.”

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Thomas Paine

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Thomas Paine ( 1737-1809) was an English-American political activist, author, political theorist and revolutionary.

As the author of two highly influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, he inspired the Patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Britain.

His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era rhetoric of transnational human rights.   more… (Source:  Goodreads.com)

 

Notes From the Oregon Coast

Siletz Bay, Oregon, along Route 101

Siletz Bay, Oregon, along Route 101

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Oregon’s central coast, along Route 101 near Lincoln City, is one of the most beautiful places I know. 

And one of my pleasures, while visiting there, remains taking photos of its magical beauty. 

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The Connie Hansen Garden in late April.

The Connie Hansen Garden in late April.

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I’ve just completed a series of note cards featuring some favorite photos from my trip in April, including a few photos taken at the Connie Hansen Garden Conservancy.

(One photo, of an Iris, was taken in our own Forest Garden.)

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The view from Cape Foulweather, on Route 101

The view from Cape Foulweather, on Route 101

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I made these cards as gifts for friends and family, but have a few sets left to offer to you, here, at Forest Garden.

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This set of 8 note cards, with matching envelopes, is available for purchase.

This set of 8 note cards, with envelopes, is now available for purchase.

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Eight different photos, each with a quotation from one of my favorite authors, make up this set.  These are 5.5″ x 4″ folded cards professionally printed on heavy stock, with envelopes. 

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 106

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Each set of 8 cards is offered for $15.00, which includes postage within the United States. 

Please write to me at woodlandgnome@zoho.com if you would like to order a set. 

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Native Azaleas blooming in the Connie Hansen Garden.

Native Azaleas blooming in the Connie Hansen Garden.

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If you would prefer a custom mixed set of some cards and not others, I will do my best to provide that for you.

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"D" River State Park at sunset

“D” River State Park at sunset

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Each of these photos holds a special memory for me.  I hope you will enjoy them as well.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 094

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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June 4, 2015 notecards 003

 

Five Photos, Five Stories: Perspective

April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 195

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It had been a long and intense day, and I was exhausted.  After all, I was only a visitor on the West coast.  My body clock told me it was nearly 11 PM, but the sun told me it was the golden hour.

It was still at least a half hour before sunset.  My daughter and her family had just left my beach condo after a rare family dinner, and I gathered my keys and camera to head out in search of photos.

With no clear destination in mind, I headed south down Highway 101, hoping for inspiration.  The sky was filled with bulbous, ominous clouds, and although the sun glinted through as it sunk towards the horizon, rain spattered across the windshield of my rental car.

I had waited all day for this time to wander the coast alone with my camera, and now rain.

I pulled in to a favorite wide spot just across the bridge at Siletz Bay, and gamely crawled out into the drizzle.  I’ve taken photographs in the rain so many times before; I stuck to my plan.

And found this….

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 189~

These are some of my favorite photos from my entire visit  in Oregon, this past April.  The sun’s last light felt like it lingered forever.

Perhaps it is a trick of the latitude which makes the sunsets here so languorous.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 218

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The back lighting made for dramatic images of these bits of Earth poking up from the bay.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 222

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The next morning, with my sleepy granddaughter, I returned for more photos of the bay while her mother was at work.  We stopped on the near side of the bridge this time, in a little area with restaurants and shops, a pier and a boardwalk.  The sun was as bright and warm as any day on my trip; the air crisp and fresh, blowing in from the Pacific.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 252

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I settled her into her jogging stroller, without waking her, and set off to explore.

This was one of those moments when I’m happy to be a novice photographer content with a tiny little Nikon camera which fits easily in my palm or pocket.  I can operate it easily with one hand, and did just that as I pushed her stroller from smooth sidewalk onto the bumpy old dock.

And what a different view I found in the morning light!  The Bay was completely transformed.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 254

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Low tide and clear morning light gave me a completely different perspective on the scene.

This is one of the great truths of life the unfolding decades have shown me.  Our notions of reality and truth are completely shaped by our perspective.  If we can somehow shift our perspective, we’ll see the same thing in a different light.  Not only will see see it differently, but our feelings about it will shift as well.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 251

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That is why it is wise to withhold judgement for a while when we encounter someone or something new.

Our first impressions may be lasting ones, but they may not be entirely accurate.  They are true, but may not be the entire truth. 

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 258

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It is wise to wait for the wind to shift and the light to change; for the tide to turn and ourselves to grow a bit wiser… or at least let ourselves rest a bit and have some caffeine … before making any important  judgements or commitments.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 269~

But I also learned that my initial impression of this little coastal community is still the one I treasure.

This  is one of the most beautiful spots on the continent.  And I look forward to returning here again and again as my little granddaughter grows up in this spectacular place.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 264~

Barbara, at  Silver in the Barn, invited me to join the Five Photos Five Stories challenge, and this is my third post in the series.

This is a simple challenge:  To participate, you simply post a photo each day for five consecutive days, and tell a story about each photo.  The story can be truth or fiction, poetry or prose.  Each day one must also nominate a fellow blogger to participate in the challenge.

And today, I am inviting another West Coast blogger, who takes amazing photos and tells wonderfully entertaining stories, to join the challenge.

Allan and I chat about the pros and cons of using different cameras from time to time, and so I always look forward to his interesting photos.  Please visit Allan at Ohm Sweet Ohm, and I hope he is game to take up the challenge!

Woodland Gnome 2015

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Five Photos, Five Stories: Dormant Isn’t Dead

Five Photos, Five Stories: Hot

Five Photos, Five Stories: Turtle Mama

Five Photos, Five Stories: Chocolate Cake

 

One Word Photo Challenge: Cloudy

Siletz Bay, Oregon

Siletz Bay, Oregon

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Thanks to Jennifer Nichole Wells

and her One Word Photo Challenge:  Cloudy

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

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York County, Virginia

York County, Virginia

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One Word Photo Challenge: Cerulean

Siletz Bay, Oregon

Siletz Bay, Oregon

Jennifer picked the perfect color for her photo challenge this week:  Cerulean. 

 

Wildflowers growing in the outdoor display at the Newport Aquarium.

Wildflowers growing in the outdoor display at the Newport Aquarium.

 

I am just back from my visit to the Oregon coast.  After a week of living on a Pacific Ocean beach, I’ve returned with a huge cache of photos showing cerulean skies and the cerulean tinted ocean.

We were blessed with perfect September weather. 

 

The beach below my hotel along the Oregon coast.

The beach below my hotel along the Oregon coast.

While it rained nearly every day back here in Virginia; we had warm, sunny days along the northern West Coast.  I didn’t even see fog until Monday morning!

Of course I was taking lots of photos of the beauty of coastal Oregon.  I’ll show you a few of the best ones over the next few days.

 

Deep water tanks at the Newport Aquarium.

Deep water tanks at the Newport Aquarium.

 

And I was so happy to enjoy gardens both on land and in the sea!  There is so much plant life living on the rocky Oregon coast and in the tidal shallows.

“Forest Garden” will temporarily morph into “Seaside Garden.”

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 363

And some of the most amazing photos come from Newport’s beautiful aquarium.  And that is where we are beginning, with a series of photos taken “under” the aquarium.

These deep water tanks feature tunnels for the human observers.  I felt like we were actually the entertainment, brought in to amuse the fish!

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 372

One literally walks “through” the aquarium, safe and dry, while watching the fish swimming around and over top of you.  Which was fine, until we reached the shark tanks….

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 365

These special tanks have openings to the sky above.  One sees the rays of sunlight shining down into the water, much as fish in the wild experience it.

The habitats are kept as natural as possible, and allow one to observe both the fish and plant life which live right along the coast.

I saw many of these same sea plants washed up on the beach during my daily walks.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 366

We enjoyed two visits to the Newport Aquarium during my time in Oregon, visiting with family.

The little one of the family had her first visit to the aquarium, and her first visit to the beach, while I was there!

What an honor to share that with her.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 381

And now,  there and back home again;  I am happy to share with you, Cerulean.

 

With appreciation to Jennifer Wells

For her One Word Photo Challenge:  Cerulean

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 289

 

All Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

 

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