Archive for September 2011
Other than finding only a couple of trees that were changing colors, my nerves suddenly became a little frayed. I noticed one of the buttons on my camera was a tad bit jacked out of place. When I’m out shooting, I try to get the best pictures that I can, and with some of the pics I’ll have to jump over a log or half scale a tree, or this or that. My camera can sometimes get banged around, and I really hate it when that happens, but it’s gonna happen and that’s that. Today I finally realized just how much I’ll go through for some shots, which for the viewer they look totally normal, but some of the positions are anything but normal.
On another side note, I had great company to keep me wired. Verve coffee. It’s really good stuff. When Rachel came to visit, she brought me two bags of coffee, and one of them was Verve, straight from Santa Cruz. How awesome is that? She brings me coffee. What more could I ask for? Such a sweet girl. I’ve had a handful of girls that have made an impact on me, and she’s definitely in my Top 3 for women who I really admire. And that’s not just because of the coffee thing.
Overall, it was a peaceful day. Weather was perfect, with great overcast skies, and I spent a majority of it talking to God.
Zane and I spent the day with a couple of guns.
Out with pops, and captured a few pics along the way.
No flowers or frogs were disturbed.
Guess what? The Trail Of Ten, up at Silver Creek Falls, was completed. Rachel (Santa Cruz Babe) came up, and we both hiked the entire loop. It was awesome. She pretty much kept ahead of me the whole time, and she even let me capture a few shots of her. Beautiful weather, beautiful girl, beautiful hike. I couldn’t complain.
Last weekend, I received this text from my dad, “Went out by Ray’s the hawks are all perched in a shady spot out in the trees.”
So this evening I took a drive and sure enough, they were there.
Buteo jamaicensis. That’s Red-Tailed hawk to you. With over a dozen immature birds roaming the fields out by Ray’s, some overhead circling on invisible drafts, and some on the ground wondering where the voles were. I could almost make out curious expressions on their faces. Heads cocked to the side, slightly tilted forward, eyes open wide, almost as if wondering if they’ll ever get this hunting thing down. Bird of prey, being a raptor, a genuine predator, it’s a big name that they’ll be carrying around.
Heres to the next generation of Red-Tails, those beautiful raptors that adorn lone power poles and giant oaks. Best of wishes for this upcoming year dealing with voles. Ray’s Harriers are your only competition. Bi-Boy excluded, last seen heading south, for the bay area.
Well, my loop hike, the trail of ten, aimed at each of the falls in the Silver Creek Falls park area (“He is always up there”) was once again sidetracked. Guess I kind of found some lingering trout, a couple here and a couple there, and for some reason I felt like a kid again, searching different pools for different fins. I know, and I know, never with me. Most of you that know me would know that such things just never happen. Small clear pools in a small clear stream, that’d never interest me, just never.
From the Trail Of Ten to the Trail Of Fins. That’s more like it, more of a fit.
He touched the cold earth beneath him. He then rolled onto his side, cradling his arms and let the first yawn escape him. He wiped moist eyes, and a shiver fell through him. He felt for the wool, pulling the blanket up to his shoulders while adjusting the jacket beneath his head acting as a firm pillow. A few stars poked through the blackness in the heavens above, and off in the distance the horizon gave way to blurs of pink and purple while dawn felt for the skies.
When he stood, orange skies pushed the blackness away, and a western meadowlark gave chorus in song and blessing. He caught the whiff of sage and stretched while gathering the blanket and jacket. He felt the hard earth beneath his boots and started for his vehicle. Coyotes began off in the distant range, they laughed something horrid while deep shadows from the high plateaus kept them from being sought after.
Early sunlight reflected off the windshield, dew began to evaporate off the hood. He felt for the handle, opening the door while his eyes squinted, searching the large hills off to the east, where deep draws caused even deeper shadows. He tossed the jacket and blanket onto the passengers side, then grabbed a wash cloth from the small bridled twill bag from behind his seat. He then shut the door.
He found water in a rusted trough not far from his Trooper, along a barbed wire fence where a corner post stood adorned with patches of chartreuse lichens. The mirrored surface within the trough caught ahold of his reflection. A blackened figure with deep blue as its backdrop staring back, lacking detail other than that of a dark image from some other world. He dipped his hands below the surface, shattering the silhouette with ripples that felt for the walls then fell back on themselves. He cupped his hands and brought up the chilled water and splashed his face. He repeated the process a few more times, then wiped his face dry with the checkered cloth.
Orange skies turned to blue, clear and unobstructed, and he thought they had a curious way about them in the early hours. Off in the distance he could make out a dozen head of cattle, slowly shifting through a maze of sage and coming to a patch of rye some half mile away. Over to the far south lay the desolate highway, where reptilian creatures slithered and crawled over a bed of cracked asphalt.
Returning to his Trooper, he opened the door and climbed inside. He looked out his windshield at the vastness of the land, and he felt whole, felt blessed.
That was me, some years ago, and I honestly believe that my freedom is nothing short of a miracle. There are times when I take life for granted, I often think of the things going on around me, and I’m always thankful for those who serve and protect, and those who are there but go on unseen, hidden in a world cloaked in layers of secrecy. My many different trips, they couldn’t have been granted without God and those making them possible by protecting me and everyone else for that matter against some crazed lunatic with a dirty bomb in a bag or briefcase. One of my mentors had once said, “One dirty bomb can ruin your entire day.” How true that is.
Our country is in a fight for its life. I truly believe that. I think that we’ve been turned against each by the powers that be, and that by design we are faulted and a mess, but then my mind goes back to those who take freedom seriously, who take patriotism to a whole new level, and who would die for you. People like that I respect, I hold high. Some are remembered, names adorned on plaques, and some are never mentioned.
While I type this, shivers go through me, thinking of those who died for my freedoms, those whose names I witnessed at the River Front, and for those whose names will never be made public, only a star at Langley, one of the 87 signifying that they too bore their blood for my freedom.
Never are they to be forgotten. Never.
Here are a few from yesterday.
Updated, and added another page: Seasons Best (Favs). Basically covering my top favorite photo from each season that passes. How they fly by. Check them out.
Also added a few more pics in Waterways.
Couple at Silver Creek, from Portland. If you guys would like the original size, or the adjusted size, or both, just email me, Paulmiller777@hotmail.com, and I’ll send it.
Did a little updating, moving slowly, gradually. Created a new page, WaterWays. Added prices, and for the most part feeling motivated during my three day weekend.
I’m feeling good about fall, lots of great pics coming in the next couple of months. A big thanks to my family for motivating me, and a great big thanks to Barbara Castleman for being my first customer. You can visit her at LadyWebPro, where she has a clear vision and a God given gift (talent as a blessing), for creating wonderful websites.
Stay safe, get your laundry done, and enjoy the school busses ( yes, once again with dour faces, gloomy traffic, and black coffee on the lap from jittery stops) this next week.