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!

 

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2019 The Year of Pollen and Pretty Flowers: Week 13

If you’ve ever tried to complete a year-long photo project you know each week brings a new challenge and today’s post is my answer to the seasonally specific question “what do I share when the focus of my blog is an outdoor PNW lifestyle but the arrival of spring means I can’t be outside because of the sneezing?” This is the third time I’ve set myself up to share a year’s worth of daily photos and while I might want to say I’ll only take and share pics from indoors until allergy season passes the truth is I need better choices or you’ll all leave me for more interesting reading.  Plus, the inside of my house is boring and spring in the Pacific Northwest is really lovely.  It would be a shame to not share.

This year I decided to risk the pollen induced sneezing and in one fast-snapping tour of the yard collected 6 images of what’s blooming now to create a fresh post all about flowers.  Our late start to spring meant the morning I made my flower dash there weren’t 7 interesting plants blooming so the begonia close up is from last summer. I like to think of the final result as a digital, sneeze free, bouquet.

All images were taken with my iPhone and edited in VSCO.  If you’re interested in more detail please click through each image individually as I’ve captioned them with the specific filter presets used within the app.

2019 The Year of Mountain Tops and Flowers: Week 9

It’s sunday afternoon and the sun is shining but the air is still too cold for comfort and I am really ready for winter to be over.  I know the calendar says we’re a few days into March and warmer days are coming soon so I’m pinning new PNW hikes to my Pinterest page and when some of the mountain snow melts we’ll be off to new adventures and happy trails.

If you’re interested in PNW hiking, west coast road trips, easy but tasty recipes and plenty of fresh new cocktails there’s plenty to see on my Northwest Frame of Mind Pinterest page. Is anyone here on Pinterest?  I’m looking for new boards to follow and would love to join some like-minded pinners!

Since I didn’t travel to a beautiful mountainside this week I’ve resorted to perusing photos from last summer and editing my favorites in this vintage-look combination from Hipstamatic.  If you’re interested in which processes I used just ask in the comments, I’m happy to share my steps.

What do you do when the weather is too cold to enjoy being outside but you’ve got a bad case of cabin fever.  I turn up the heat, look through favorite pictures and make plans for our eventual return to outdoor living.

 

2019 The Year of Comfort: Week 5

If you’ve read a few of these 2019 posts you’ve probably noticed each title begins with the same “2019 The Year of” then changes to a short descriptive phrase from the past week.  In the past I’ve tried to keep yearly project titles more consistent but my objective with this new year of photos and weekly recaps is to explore how many times my point of view changes in a year.  I may start a January project with the intention to focus on one motivation but it inevitable slips and adjusts as life happens and months change.  This time around I decided trust and record my first instinct as I began typing each new post.  Some titles may seem a bit odd but it’s been a good exercise to acknowledge what I actually thought of the past week instead of simply noting what I’d planned for it.

The comfort aspect to this week’s photos reflects my last week of quiet rest at home.  I was feeling better but still needed to conserve my energy so you see a focus on soft colors and comfort surroundings.  I went out for short walks and enjoyed some pretty winter sunsets, icy blue water, pretty flowers, boats all in a row and a wintry shot of Finn comfortable in his fleece bed.

Editing choices this week are all from Hipstamatic.  If you like the lens/filter/flash combinations above I usually try to list them in each Instagram post but you can also ask me a question in the comments and I’ll be happy to share the details.

As with past year-long photo challenges I don’t plan to post here every day, I’ll save that for my Instagram and Twitter accounts, but you faithful blog readers will get one weekly recap every Sunday.

 

Nightime at the Edmonds Fishing Pier

2019 The Year of a New Daily Photo Project: Week 1

Will 2019 be my year of living dangerously?  No that’s not it… a year of self-control, or reckoning, discovery, relaxation?  Sigh, I’m terrible with resolutions.  Honestly whenever I try to think of a theme or title for the new year all I come up with are overused movie quotes and sad memes.

In the end though while this leaves me with a descriptive problem it’s not really a feeling problem.  I always have an idea of where I want a new year to go even if part way through something turns in an unexpected direction.  Would a pre-selected 2019 theme effect any of this? Doubtful.

Why am I talking about this?  Well, if you follow me on Instagram I just posted my best 9 grid from 2018 and even though I spent the year sharing a variety of images the landscape and scenery photos were by far your favorites.  Which made me think, even though I felt overworked and tired all year-long there were plenty of beautiful days to remember.  Maybe I should look back and name the year at the end instead of trying before it’s even started…

Instagram BestNine

So I spent some time thinking about two year-long photo projects I shared in 2016 and 2017 and am now ready to give it another try.  My hope is that every week or month or season I can identify a theme among the shots to give me more of a picture of what really happened and where the year is going…  Are you up for watching my life unfold 365  images at a time?  There will be some fun times ahead, Ryan is graduating from High School and planning a gap year before diving in to college. We’re taking a family trip to Iceland and I have a big list of PNW hikes I want to explore so I know parts of the year will be pretty fun.  What else I’ll have to share, well we’ll just have to wait and see.

As with past year-long photo challenges I don’t plan to post here every day, I’ll save that for my Instagram and Twitter accounts, but you faithful blog readers will get one weekly recap every Sunday.  My week in all its glory. 🙂

After a long introduction, this weeks recap will be short and sweet.  We always start our new year on the beach and even though I had to work this year we made it to the waterfront before sunset.  There were several more early evening walks to enjoy as we continue a warmer than usual winter and my week ended with the company of a great friend and a nice glass (or two) of wine.  How was your first week of 2019?

I know my blogging has been light in the past year so many of you aren’t used to seeing much activity here but I’ve missed you all! If you feel like reconnecting and would like to follow along, or even post your own weekly images with a chatty recap feel free to share and link here.  I’ll update each post to include mention of your lovely photos.

Textures and Elemental Sounds

The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.  Henry Beston

Regular readers know I like to start these WordPress photo challenges with a quote that leads to a small story related to a favorite photo and I build the post from there.  It usually takes me a few days to find a quote that both catches my interest and matches a picture but 9 times out of 10 it all comes together.

Every once in a while though I start the process at the end deciding on a picture first and sometimes I don’t quite make it through the full circle of quote with challenge word, story and images.  Today’s post is one of those exceptions where I hit 2 of the three marks but that elusive third is not quite complete.  Oh well.  I feel a connection to the quote, it works with my photos and it’s a good intro to this weeks story.  The fact that the word prompt, textures, isn’t in the quote will just have to be ok because this primeval wood is full of texture.

I started nodding my head as I read this quote for the first time and when I called Ryan in to read it he looked over and said “Mom, you say those things all the time.”  My words don’t quite match Henry Beston’s but these are indeed the three natural things I enjoy most about this part of our country.  I pick remote hiking and camping locations just so I can hear the uninterrupted sound of wind through the trees and the mesmerizing rhythm of waves rolling onto an otherwise quiet beach is something I seek out often as possible.  I even find ways to enjoy the sound of rain and find comfort in the pitter patter of wet drops on the roof while trying to fall asleep.

As luck would have it Ryan and I found all three of these elemental sound textures during our latest hiking trips through the islands and forests of Washington state.  I’ve included a photo of a small waterfall to illustrate the rain because we’re in the middle of what may turn into the longest rain-free stretch in Seattle area history but take my word for it, a small trickling waterfall sounds a lot like rain.

 

Transient

In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds.  

Robert Green Ingersoll

I don’t know about you but the question “what do you want for your birthday/Christmas/Mother’s Day?” always makes me a little uncomfortable.  I know the asker means well but I don’t like telling people they have to give me something and then there’s the chance that my lack of an answer means I might be a little disappointed on the big day when I receive a gift that comes from a place of love but isn’t really something I want or need.   Third world problems indeed…

As a way around this I’ve started asking for things I know John and Ryan won’t say no to if I present it as my gift.  Things like waking up at 6am on a Sunday morning so we can hike to a quiet riverbank for lunch.

This year I tried to think of an object they could give me but what I truly wanted was quiet.  A peaceful stretch of time away from noise, news, social media, politics, bills; you name it, I wanted a break.  We can’t leave home for a big trip now but I do have a list of hikes I want to try this summer and this one along the Stillaguamish River looked like a good way to start the season.  Sure enough, an hour down the trail I asked everyone to stop and we stood together in the forest unable to hear a single man-made sound.  It was wonderful.

So, how do I tie this experience into a post about transience?  By using the quote above and substituting a few words to match current experiences.   For me the day served as a reminder that in the presence of nature external pressures fade away.  We made it to the river in time to eat our picnic lunch and enjoy this pretty little cairn on the beach.  Mini mountains tumbled to smoothness by time, preparing for their next adventure.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Transient.

 

Reading, Good Company and Reflection

 

Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him. John Locke

 

We live in a house full of books.  Stacks and shelves of printed pages line our walls, our phones and Kindles have digital titles for break time and the cars usually have an audio book ready to play.  Interestingly enough while we are all readers our preferences rarely cross and I’m pretty sure that someone who didn’t know us could tell after a quick walk around that three quite different people live here.

I prefer fiction, John enjoys design, art and architecture while Ryan has always been drawn to natural science.  He’s grown up with access to plenty of books and from the earliest days it’s been clear where his interest was.  He’ll happily listen to a great story and enjoys fiction and poetry at school but when he sits down with free time and a book of his choice it’s usually non-fiction.

His first picture books were all about animals and his early readers were filled with sea monsters, dragons and mythical beasts.  Soon books about astronomy, bones, archeology and medicine joined the stacks.

Each of these photos are from Ryan’s collection and many of them are books he’s chosen for himself at book stores and second-hand sales.  I’ve had to give up pretending I know all the answers to his constant questions about life, the universe and everything.  Now I just sit back and enjoy the discussions that come from each new chapter.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Reflecting

 

 

Wanderlust

You don’t even know where I’m going. I don’t care. I’d like to go anywhere.

John Steinbeck

While the word wanderlust brings to mind images of grand vacations and months long backpacking adventures I have the Merriam-Webster Dictionary to thank for a definition that makes sense to those of us who work more than one job and rarely have time for vacations.

strong longing for or impulse toward wandering

Merriam-Webster

I may not be on vacation but I do get the urge to wander and last week I wasn’t alone on my ramble…

My real destination was the gym for an early morning workout but after a week of rain and clouds the sun was finally out and at the last-minute I turned right instead of left.  I know I’m lucky to belong to a gym where I can see the water but there are times when the proximity tests my resolve for a good sweaty hour in the weight room.

On this particular day I had company on my ramble and this little bird followed me over the bridge and out to the pier.  We walked together to the end when it flew away and I turned my thoughts to the rest of the day.

Eventually I did make it to the gym and smiled during my warm up cycle while I scrolled through pictures of my detour ramble.

Side note – @MerriamWebster is one of my favorite twitter feeds.  If you’re not already following them take a look.  They make words fun!

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Wanderlust.

The Road Taken

The parks do not belong to one state or to one section…. The Yosemite, the Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon are national properties in which every citizen has a vested interest; they belong as much to the man of Massachusetts, of Michigan, of Florida, as they do to the people of California, of Wyoming, and of Arizona.”

“Who will gainsay that the parks contain the highest potentialities of national pride, national contentment, and national health? A visit inspires love of country; begets contentment; engenders pride of possession; contains the antidote for national restlessness…. He is a better citizen with a keener appreciation of the privilege of living here who has toured the national parks. Stephen T. Mather, NPS Director, 1917-1929 

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On March 2nd, 1899 President William McKinley signed legislation creating Mount Rainier National Park.  This week marks the 118th birthday of our fifth National Park and though I’m fortunate enough to see the lovely mountain almost every day from a car this photo was taken during my first visit inside the park in 2008.

Some my happiest days have been spent in our National Parks but while most of us have grown up with an awareness of the National Park Service we can’t take its existence for granted.  The political road our country has taken is placing these pristine treasures directly in harm’s way with a new bill introduced in Congress that encourages drilling in National Parks as well as orders to roll back the Waters of the U.S. rule protecting wetlands and headwaters and effecting 60% of the water bodies in our country.  Combined with dramatic budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, relaxing limits on greenhouse gas emissions and lifting the moratorium on federal coal leasing across 570 million publicly owned acres means the direction of our land management and the health of  our natural public treasures will be forever changed.

I’ve been posting a series of my favorite National Park photos on the NW Frame of Mind Instagram account and on my personal Twitter account using the hashtags #ProtectOurParks and #NationalParks. If you’d like to see more Parks photos please feel free to follow along and then post yours on your favorite social media platform.  Let me know if you do so I can see and share your work!  Together we can make a difference.

The American way of life consists of something that goes greatly beyond the mere obtaining of the necessities of existence. If it means anything, it means that America presents to its citizens an opportunity to grow mentally and spiritually, as well as physically. The National Park System and the work of the National Park Service constitute one of the Federal Government’s important contributions to that opportunity. Together they make it possible for all Americans–millions of them at first-hand–to enjoy unspoiled the great scenic places of the Nation…. The National Park System also provides, through areas that are significant in history and prehistory, a physical as well as spiritual linking of present-day Americans with the past of their country.  Newton B. Drury, NPS Director, 1940-1951

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  The Road Taken.

A Good Match

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…

John Muir

a-good-match

So many interpretations of a good match are running through my mind tonight – father and son, mountain hiking and stress relief, nature and escape, family time and growth.  You name it and I’ll find a way to match it with a quote and a shot of the Pacific Northwest.

This weeks image is a look back to our 2008 day at Artist Point in the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and one of my favorite shots of John and Ryan together.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  A Good Match.

Against the Odds

I had always enjoyed the title of Commander-in-Chief until I was informed … that the only forces that cannot be transferred from Washington without my express permission are the members of the Marine Corps Band. Those are the only forces I have. I want it announced that we propose to hold the White House against all odds at least for some time to come.

John F. Kennedy

 

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As we celebrate Presidents Day Weekend I found this quote from our 35th, John F. Kennedy, about holding the White House “against all odds” with the help of the Marine Corps Band.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Against the Odds.