Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Wreck of Peter Iredale

The Peter Iredale sits along the beach at Fort Stevens; a reminder of the force the ocean holds and time passing. This ship wrecked exactly 103 years ago on October 25, 1906 en route to Portland through the Columbia River. They were so close when the ship was swept in and grounded just west of Astoria, OR, but luckily everyone survived.

When the ship first shored itself, the plan was to tow it back to sea since it was not damaged too bad. The beach had other plans for the ship however, and it was too "stuck" for removal. The ship was sold for scraps and what remains is what was not taken for money, or by time. Just the bow, a few ribs and a couple of masts remain. Luckily that is all that is needed for some nice photos and an exploration into history.

The Peter Iredale allows images of nature and metal to come together and create beauty. I was mesmerized by the amazing assortment of photos I could take of this ship and the ocean which surrounds it with the ever changing ocean waves, colors, barnacles and reflections.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Beach Patterns

I enjoyed a fantastic end of the summer trip to the beach in September.  The weather could not have been more perfect with sunshine galore, but not too high of heat.  There were brown pelicans, bunny rabbits, deer, sea lions, racoons, chipmunks, squirrels, birds of all sorts, sky full of stars, vegan marshmallow roasting, beach strolling, shipwreck exploring, history learning and good conversations with a good friend.  What more could I ask for? 

Since I took so many photos, I decided to split them up.  Without my camera, I probably would have never really seen all the patterns the beach has to offer.  You may see the beauty in the sand and the uniqueness of the ocean water foam, but these snapshots gave me a new perspective.  

A different view of the beach, allowed for a prime spot to witness waves forming.

This pattern in the sand is so amazing, especially since no one has stomped on it yet.

The meeting of water and sand is a beautiful thing.

The contrast of beach colors captures my attention.

Oops, I guess I stomped all over the beautiful patterns.  Thank you beach.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Visit the Rhododendron Gardens!

Every year I get sad when the summer is ending. Adapting to the colder weather is not very fun and the weather is not as inviting to play outside. Then I remember my walks through the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens during fall and get so happy! In the fall there are less people in the park, making for a more peaceful experience. The people may be sparse, but the wildlife is not! This is the time of the year when more of the migrating water birds are visiting the park and sometimes you get to see unique ones. Wood ducks, wigeons, buffleheads, coots and cormorants are all sure to be there at some point. I have even been lucky enough to see hooded and regular mergansers, northern shovelers and the oh-so-exciting ruddy ducks! What a beautiful bird!

The gates to the park are now open and admission is free. Donations are still gladly accepted and goes towards maintaining the park. This is my favorite place to visit in Portland since I always get great photos and it is so accessible.
A comorant trying to dry his wings after diving for food.

A ruddy duck! I jumped up quite a few times and probably squeeled when I saw this bird. I had dreampt about seeing this bird in person since their blue beak is so unique.

Bufflehead ducks are so tiny and adorable. This is a male bufflehead. The females are a little smaller and mostly grey with black.

Some fall color in the park. Not sure what I did to get the photo, but I like it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Welcome to AnimalKind!

I am so excited to announce my new blog where I can share my photos and excitement for the natural world with others.

AnimalKind is about connecting to nature and animals through the lens of the camera. It comes from respect and love for all things wild. It comes from protection for creatures who are not so wild. It is about lessons from the unexpected that the world lends us.

It is the surprise connection to a tiny spider, a deer stepping into the sunlight, spotting a lizard in the distance, a bird flying a dance around you, a family of baby rats trusting you to say hello, seeing a unique bird in the water, watching moments between chipmunks, the depth of ancient trees around you, the majestic swim of an orca, a mesmerizing pattern in the sand, and lots of squirrel fun.

It is about coming alive and filling your heart with excitement by sharing the planet with a world so beautiful. We are so lucky to experience it all if only we pay attention enough to notice. I think when we do take that time and fill the air with our appreciation; we will become aware of more encounters with our wondrous surroundings.