Monday, 29 December 2014

The Moon and The Mountain ..

This evening's partial moon. Taken with my Canon SX50 ... I was really surprised how well it turned out as it was a hand held shot at full zoom..
“The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.” ― Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me
Mt Rainier, peeking over the trees at the end of my road, bathed in the rays of the setting sun. Mt Rainier is an active stratovolcano and is probably overdue for a major eruption. Standing at 14,410 ft, it is the 3rd tallest mountain in the US (from memory). It is a dangerous mountain to climb, but people see it as a challenge. 2014 has seen at least 8 deaths, if not more. The highest death toll was in 1946, when a plane carrying 32 US Marines, crashed into one of the glaciers. Mt Rainier became the last resting place for these men, as it was considered to dangerous to try and retrieve the bodies. A beautiful mountain, but deadly in many ways.
Shared with Skywatch Friday and Our World Tuesday
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Monday, 22 December 2014

Our World Tuesday - My Neighbourhood

A misty morning in rural Yelm, WA ... my little part of the world :-)
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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Centralia Canal - Sky Watch Friday

Taken at the Centralia Canal in Yelm on a beautiful winter day. Storm clouds are rolling in though! Finally got my new camera ...a Canon Powershot SX50. Not a DSLR as yet, but certainly a step up from my camera phone. Am having fun learning it.
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Friday, 17 October 2014

Sky Watch Friday - Beautiful Autumn Day

I live in a rural area, however I am about a 40 minute walk (at my present pace) from town. I love the walk, especially when you can stop and take in scenes like this :-) They are all taken with my less than satisfactory cell phone camera. Am looking forward to getting my new Canon SX50 in a few weeks. It's getting harder and harder, locally, to find film for my old SLR camera and the cost of developing is getting expensive in a number of ways. I am thinking that the Canon is going to be a good substitute until I can afford a DSLR :-)
Looking across a field with cattle ... Mt Ranier in the distance.
Zooming in on Mt Rainier ...unfortunately it makes the photo a bit grainy. I caught the flick of the tail as the cow swatted away an annoying insect :-)
Peacefully grazing on an idyllic Autumn day...
Mt Rainier peeking through the trees and shrubs along the bike and walking trail..

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Monday, 6 October 2014

Peaceful Day :-)

Young Mandy is having a peaceful day, snoozing in the warmth on the back of the couch. No rata-tat-tat-tats or Boom Booms or KABOOMS to scare the bejeebas out of her. We live on the boundary of Joint Base Lewis Mchord, the 86,000 acre Army/Air Force Base up here in WA. Unfortunately we also live at the end that is close to the 115 or so firing ranges for the base. When the training rotations start it can sound like WW3 is about to break out !! Regarding my previous post, even though we have deep, thick forest out the back of us, I really don't think I need to worry too much about a Big Foot infestation. The booming of the big guns has probably scared off any that are considering taking up residence in these parts...not to mention the unexploded ordnance lying around :-)

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Sky watch Friday - Big Foot and Mist

This weeks photos are from the same area that I snapped last weeks - right outside my front door. However there is a story with them :-) Morning mist to set the scene..
The first night I arrived in WA, I had this vivid dream that Big Foot was trying to break into the house. Not sure why ...perhaps it was the large billboard above a local bar, offering a reward for the capture of Big Foot. Or maybe it was the series of Big Foot films that were showing on the Sci Fi channel. Or it could be rooted in the tall fir trees that dominate our landscape. Whatever the reason, Big Foot seems to be a dream obsession of mine. Across the street from me, is a ramshackle house, that has a lawn littered with vehicles and junk, backed by a bank of tall trees. A scene that seems almost perfect for a horror movie...
Can't you just see the glowing eyes of a dozen Big Foots , from the 2006 B-grade Big Foot movie 'Abdominable' peering at you through those trees ?

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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Skywatch Friday - Sunset

Had some really beautiful sunsets lately and I am really loving the sight of them framed by all the tall trees. Unfortunately they are taken with my cellphone camera, which tends to be a little frustrating as it is rather limited. I so need a decent camera!! :-)

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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Camera Critters - Young Mandy

Meet my other baby ... my 10 pound, Italian Greyhound/Jack Russell Terrier minx. She is also affectionately known as the 'California Diva Dog' and she has the personality to match :-)

She can be found, almost every evening, anxiously peering out the window, waiting for Daddy to come home from work. She seems to be able to sense when he should be arriving ..


Ok, Mum ...enough with poking that thing in my face...I'm trying to sleep here!!!!


Camera Critters

Friday, 19 September 2014

You Speak English, I Speak English ...with a different accent..

I have come to the conclusion that Americans, when listening to me speak, do not listen for context. If they did, then surely they would understand what I was trying to say, as we all speak the English language, correct ?

Apparently though, that is not the case, as I have this pesky thing called an accent. It makes my vowels sound a little different. I causes frustrating conversations like this, which took place in a local store around Christmas time...

Me ..... 'Hi, do you have any cake tins?'
Them ..'Sorry, what is it you are looking for?'
Me ..... ' A cake tin for keeping a cake in.'

(At this point, if they were listening for context one would think they would have understood that I wanted a tin to keep a cake in. But no..)

Them ..'I'm sorry, I don't know what a cake ten is!'
Me ......'I don't want a cake ten ... I want a cake tin, one that has a lid and I can keep my Christmas cake in.'
Them ..'Could you spell it please'
Me ......'T_I_N !'
Them ..'Oh, you mean tins..yes, they are over there.'


Then there was the time I went looking for a tin to cook my cake in. I did remember that here in the US, they are called 'cake pans'. Simple, right? Noooooooo ...because when I inquired where the cake pans were in, I was directed to the aisle that had the gel pens that you could use to decorate cakes with. Apparently they heard 'Cake Pen'...

I need to do another post on having my English corrected and being told that since I am in America I need to speak American...LOL

Monday, 15 September 2014

Monday Mellow Yellows - Garden Yellow

Now that I am back to blogging, I was really excited to see that one of my favourite memes, has been continued :-)Thank you Gemma !! Monday is certainly brighter with a bit of yellow :-)
Morning harvest of yellow tomatoes, squash and pepper, from my garden. This growing year, in my part of WA, we have had lots of sun and only a little rain, so it's been a good year for tomatoes. I swear the darn things are procreating overnight, like rabbits, as this is my usual morning yield of yellows, plus the same of reds. Keeping busy freezing and preserving :-)


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Camera Critters - Water Fun

Camera Critters

Been a couple of years since I posted to Camera Critters, so glad to see it hasn't disappeared :-) Misty , our Lab/Blue Heeler cross, has been convinced for ages, that immersing herself in water is a VERY BAD THING !!! No amount of gentle persuasion on our part was going to change her mind. It was definitely a case of 'If us dogs were meant to swim, then we would have been given gills and webbed feet', as far as she was concerned. That was until we moved up to WA and took her to one of the salt water inlet parks in Olympia. The pictures say it better than words do :-)
Happy puppy = water + big stick + Mum & Dad getting exhausted throwing it :-) Also Saturday Critters

Friday, 12 September 2014

Skywatch - Life in WA

Moved up to Washington State just over a year ago. Feels very much like I moved home to New Zealand. I love the green, the trees and YES, even the rain !! It's lovely to have four distinct seasons again. Sure we do have more than our share of rainy and cloudy days, however it gives you an appreciation of the sun, when it decides to appear. Despite what many will tell you, the sun does makes it's appearance quite frequently :-) I love this time of the year, early Autumn, when you wake up to a foggy landscape, however by midmorning it has burnt off to reveal blue skies and soft sunshine. I need to get my SLR sorted out, because there are pictures just aching to be taken!!!
A little church in the small town of Roy, just a couple of miles from where I live. Love the green and the blue skies..
The local bar and dancehall in Roy ... it's only open a certain times of the year, such as the Roy Rodeo..
Mt Rainier on a clear day with blue sky and a couple of tiny clouds :-) Rainier is a active stratovolcano and is overdue for an eruption. It is also considered one of the world's most dangerous volcanoes, being one of the 17 volcanoes that are on the Decades Volcano list. I live fairly close to the mountain, however, from looking at the maps of where the lahars will go when the mountain erupts again, it looks as though I should be safe. One has to think positively, correct? :-)

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Monday, 8 September 2014


Well... I must say it's been a little while ...about two years since I've updated my blog. Made the big move up to Washington State in April 2013. Reminds me a lot of New Zealand... green .. trees... water and it rains a bit. Contrary to what they tell you, it doesn't rain all the time and the sunny days are absolutely gorgeous. Both of our furbabies are loving it up here. Misty, our Lab/Blue Heeler cross as decided that she likes the water after all. We took them out to Priest Point Park in Olympia and Misty did not want to come out of the water.
Mandy, our Minature Italian Greyhound/Jack Russell Terrier was not so keen on the wet stuff :-) I've been a little isolated, as we do live out in a rural area and our only car was a manual, which despite many lessons, I am unable to drive. However, we recently replaced it with an automatic, which I can drive. Of course, there is that little matter of figuring out what side of the road I should be on, but I'm getting the hang of that...LOL. There is quite a community of Kiwis, Aussies and Brits in the area, so I'm finding it easier to get food products from those countries. There is also a NZ group that meets a number of times a year for a Hangi and other activities. I've also found a Fish 'n Chip shop in Sequim (about a 1 1/2 hr drive from us, that is owned by a New Zealander you know that they are fish 'n chips like I'm used to back home. They also sell pies and sausage rolls :-) Planning om making a trip over there very soon!!
MmmmmmmmmMmmmmmm !!! I'm also told it's for sale. Cheers...