2019 The Year of Small Surprises and Second Chances: Weeks 14 & 15

The year of small surprises and second chances… To be honest I think this might be how I approach the rest of 2019.  Embracing those sneaky, small surprises and allowing for second chances.

The first set of images is a throwback to my 2016 photo project when I took one image per day using Hipstamatic’s “shake to randomize” feature.  I chose the subject, shook my iPhone to activate “randomize” mode and let the app make the editing choices before I could see the final results.  I committed to posting what came out of the camera and in the spirit of fun came back to give it another try in 2019.  This time around though I made one small change and decided to keep shooting in the randomly chosen combination if I liked the settings.  The end result being I had several new photos from each day but could only use one for the post…

So, I was consistent with my photo taking but daily life was a little more time-consuming than I had planned for and my final, wrap up post just didn’t happen.

Faced with this I decided I had two choices:  skip the week or give myself a second chance and write a longer post by the end of the next week including all 14 images.  Since I liked the photos and didn’t want to pass over them just because I was too busy I decided to pick the second chance option.  One thing led to another and my entire next week was structured around second chances.

I started with a favorite 2014 Washington coast shot reimagined in soft pastel Hipstamatic.  The second image came about after a customer asked if I had a color version of my popular black and white forest trail poster.  I went back to the original 2017 photo and worked with colors until I found a combination that made me happy.  You might recognize the next shot of Finn, it’s a re-work of the black and white photo from the first set of images and the rest are all additional photos left over from my “shake to randomize” week.  I hope you like them!

As with previous weeks all photos were taken with my iPhone and edited on my phone or iPad.  If you have specific questions about the editing choices ask a question in the comments.  I’m happy to share!


Nature in the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve

The summer of 2015 continues to be a season of extremes and while several parts of the country are experiencing floods and record rainfall the west coast is in the middle of a drought.  The entire Pacific Northwest is now under extreme fire watch and Seattle had the hottest 4th of July ever.  Last year we saw rain on the 4th but this year many communities cancelled firework celebrations and urged residents to save their “safe and sane” purchases for New Year’s Eve 2016.  With more than 60 fires burning across British Columbia and Washington state fires stretching from the Olympic Peninsula to the eastern border the air is full of smoky haze and the sun has taken on an eerie red glow.  I miss our blue skies.

Looking for a break from the heat and smoke we spent a lovely Sunday afternoon hiking through the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve in Bellingham and I took shot after shot of deep green moss, old and second-growth trees and acres of ferns.

iPhone Wednesday 7-8 Nature

Welcome to the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve.  This reserve protects wildlife, water, and a rich forest eco-system.  Please enjoy this opportunity to learn about nature and to care for the land that we share.

The Reserve includes the 138-acre Lake Louise Natural Resources Conservation Area owned by the Department of Natural Resources, 196 acres owned by Whatcom Land Trust and 34 acres jointly owned by the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County.  Whatcom County Parks & Recreation manages the Reserve, and Whatcom Land Trust maintains a permanent stewardship endowment for its upkeep.

The core of the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve was donated to Whatcom Land Trust in 2000 in memory of Edward K. and Catharine C. Stimpson by their seven children.  This donation continues the family legacy of giving generously to our community.

From the welcome sign at the entrance to the Reserve.

Posted today as part of Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge:  Nature.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Converge

Converge:  to come together and have one interest, purpose, or goal.


Thanksgiving in my family is a logistical puzzle but any of us who can be in the same place come together for a meal and between our various groups we share phone calls and goofy texted photos of turkey dinners and happy tables. This year John, Ryan and I joined my parents at their house while my youngest brother hosted his in-laws and sent us pictures of their perfect turkey wrapped in bacon.  Ours was still in the bag…  My sister filled her home with friends, cookies and plenty of food, my oldest brother spent the day with new friends and a house full of dogs while we took it easy with a traditional meal and enjoyed dessert with a side of Seahawk football.

Last year I took a favorite black and white photo of my Dad and Ryan walking on Thanksgiving afternoon and as luck would have it I have a new image of them together before dinner this year.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Converge.

Sunday Stills: Graffiti

Sunday Stills Graffiti

I always enjoy reading posts linked to Ed’s Sunday Stills challenges and today’s prompt fit perfectly with a fall photo I’ve wanted to share.  My dad is focusing on an urban waterfall while Ryan snaps a picture of him and I am behind both of them watching their choices.  With graffiti on the side…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light

Take a look around you. Choose one of the light sources you see, and make it the focus of your challenge entry.

Ben – The Daily Post


This week Ben asks us to focus on a point of light and feature it in a post for the Weekly Photo Challenge.  I wish we had our Christmas lights up and ready for the season but since we just got home from a wonderful Thanksgiving visit with family our lights are still in storage waiting for another day.

This photo is from our walk yesterday afternoon while the turkey and trimmings roasted in the oven.  My dad, Ryan and I thought it would be fun to see the spawning salmon in Bellingham, WA and just as we walked across the creek the setting sun broke free from the clouds and lit up the rushing water below.

Travel Theme: Brown


Growing up in Bellingham, WA a trip to Tony’s Coffee in the Fairhaven District was a huge treat.  My favorite thing on the menu was hot chocolate and if we were lucky Mom also ordered a dinner plate sized cinnamon roll for everyone to split.  By High School my mug of hot chocolate switched to coffee and when I moved out-of-town after college I was relieved to find I could still buy their freshly roasted coffee beans in a few select grocery stores.  Tony’s Coffee and Teas opened their doors in 1971 and they are still drawing crowds and roasting beans 42 years later.

A few months ago John, Ryan and I stopped at Tony’s for a coffee break before spending the afternoon with family and Ryan happily relaxed at our cozy, corner table with his first order of Tony’s hot chocolate.  I don’t remember such a pretty leaf pattern from my childhood days but it sure tasted the same.

Posted as part of Alisa’s Weekly Travel Theme:  Brown

Weekly Travel Theme: Benches

Alisa’s weekly travel theme is all about benches and the unique stories each location has to share. I knew immediately which bench I wanted to show you but had to wait a day to make the trip to Bellingham, WA to capture the image. The weather switched between snow and rain (in April!) but there was a break in the clouds and I quickly snapped these photos.

Dirty Dan Harris

Dirty Dan Harris 2

This bench is outside of one of my favorite book stores, Village Books in the Fairhaven district of Bellingham, WA.  Dirty Dan Harris led a colorful, adventure filled life as a whaler, Indian trader, smuggler, fighter in the Yakima Indian War, packer on the Caribou Trail, and then hotel owner and founder of the town of Fairhaven.  For more information please read this fun post about his life and history.

If you would like to participate in this Where’s my Backpack travel theme please follow Alisa’s directions below:

Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Benches

Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too

Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday

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