Mountain wildflowers in Washington State's Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park: Colorful Mountains and Meadows Filled with Wildflowers

Mountain wildflowers in Washington State's Olympic National Park

It’s August in the PNW and that means every day we have available is spent outside enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds us.  This year our summery blue skies have been filled with a toxic mix of wildfire smoke from around the world ( Siberia, Canada, Washington, Idaho and California) but with some careful planning and a lucky stretch of wind we had a clear day to visit one of my favorite places in the Olympic National Park.

If you’re in the park I heartily recommend the drive up to Hurricane Ridge.  Views from parking lot are amazing, the lodge is filled with great information and knowledgable rangers and there are a variety of trails for all levels of hikers.  We spent our 20th anniversary hiking to the peak you see at the top of this image, whew, and this year we returned to enjoy the lower section of the trail while gazing up at the peaks, relieved we’d already climbed it so we could stop awhile and literally smell the flowers.

I’ll post more photos from the day soon but today I hope you enjoy our moment of zen in the meadow of flowers along the trail to Klahhanie Ridge.

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Blue pond at an Oregon farm.

Fresh Berries and Lazy Summer Days…

Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.  Wendell Berry

While I appreciate the sentiment behind this quote and am sure I’d thoroughly enjoy a summer dawn with fresh picked berries I can also vouch for the fact that they are great in the late morning straight from a farm stand and wonderful in my afternoon wine glass. 🙂

All photos are from a lovely long weekend in Oregon with my sister, her husband and my sweet niece, Sophia.  Sophia sipped her fresh grape juice while the rest of us tasted our way through fantastic wines from J. Christopher and Ponzi wineries.

 

Porthole view on a Washington State Ferry

I Knew Who I Was This Morning…

I knew who I was this morning, but I’ve changed a few times since then.” Lewis Carroll

A quick scroll through my posts makes it pretty clear my approach changes from day-to-day.  Sometimes I want as little to no change and other times I enjoy playing with color and shadow to create something new from my original photo.  There is a time and place for each view here and usually I know which look I want to go for but this morning I ran into a little dilemma. Too many choices.

I’ve gone back and forth with these six images all day trying to pick my favorite and finally decided to just give up and post them all.  If you have a chance to click inside the gallery to see each image full size I’d love to hear if you’ve got a favorite!  Each photo is labelled for easy voting and I’ve included a poll below so we can all see the results.

The final image is the original, unedited photo for a good before/after comparison.

Blue skies and sail boats in the Pacific Northwest

Summer Blues

There’s more than one kind of blue day…

Blue skies and sparkling water in the Pacific Northwest

My favorites are the ones filled with blue skies, fluffy clouds and sparkling water.

Blue skies and sail boats in the Pacific Northwest

“Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.” Dali Lama

All Time Favorites: Angular

I know I’m not alone in feeling sad the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenges have come to an end.  I’m not the most prolific blogger these days but this recurring event has been both my favorite online group activity and source of inspiration when my creative well is dry.  Not only did the prompts push me to new exploration but reading the varied responses in real-time was another eye-opener, there are so many ways to interpret one small word or idea and this international community never failed to deliver fresh perspectives.

Since the final prompt is All Time Favorites I went to my stats to find out your Photo Challenge favorite and was surprised to see the #1 post in both views and comments featured a photo that I re-worked and posted a second time just a few weeks ago.  I guess it was a favorite of mine too and the opening quote is a perfect fit for today’s message.

Below is the original post from November 2014 for your repeat enjoyment:

“Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.” Dali Lama

“Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.”

Dali Lama

Libraries have always seemed like magical places to me and the freedom to walk aisles full of stories and information is a luxury I never take for granted. Through my childhood, school years and now as an adult materials I’ve borrowed have opened my eyes to new possibilities and points of view prompting even more questions and the reward of yet another trip to the library.

This exterior walkway around the Seattle Public Library is a popular place for photographers as well as a meeting space for Library patrons and pedestrians hoping to duck out of the rain on a spring afternoon and I’m posting it today as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Angular.

Good-bye Weekly Photo Challenge, I promise I’ll keep my eyes open for new angles and situations.