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.

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2019 The Year of Seeing Green: Week 12

The year of seeing green?  Living green?  Sharing green?  We try for all three here but I still had a hard time settling on one for this post so after a day spent typing and deleting variations I finally acknowledged my best days happen when I can see something green so “seeing” it is.  Of course time with family, a good book, meal etc will brighten any day but everything just feels easier for me to enjoy when surrounded by pretty shades of fresh green life.

Is there a color that makes you happy every time you see it?  Or does the absence of a certain shade make joy harder to find?  I’d love to hear your favorites,  or maybe even a little story about what color means in  your life!

This set of seven photos were all taken with my iPhone and edited using the following apps: 3/17 & 18 – Stackables, 3/19 – VSCO + Word Swag, 3/20-23 – VSCO.

Lake Crescent Lodge

2019 The Year of Lakeside Dreaming in January: Week 2

As I type this on Saturday afternoon the sun is shining, birds are chirping and if I close my eyes I can almost pretend I’m sitting in the lovely sun room at the Lake Crescent Lodge in the Olympic National Park.  I’ve already written a few posts about our strange, warm winter here in the PNW and it looks like the trend will continue a little while longer.  In fact Friday’s 61 degrees set a record for the warmest January 11th in Seattle history.  Wow.

Looking through my picture gallery above you might wonder why you’re seeing images from September instead of views from last week.  Well, there were two main reasons I decided to take on another 365 photo challenge, one was to finally share some of the thousands of new images hiding out in my photo roll and the other was to push myself to start writing again.  Even if it was just little, chatty updates from my week the practice would be good so here we are looking back on a warm September afternoon while I type a post in January.

As for my week it was a busy one filled with extra work hours and long afternoons trapped in rush hour slowdowns.  Audiobooks are my lifeline in the car and thanks to our local library I can usually work my way through an author’s catalog from beginning to end.  This season I’ve been listening to a lot of Christopher Moore and by friday afternoon I’d finished The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove. There wasn’t a lot of opportunity for photography although I did take a few new images for use later and when I had a free minute I thought back to this trip with Ryan when we were beginning to practice portrait photography for his Senior Pictures.

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.

Ascend to a Higher Development

One can ascend to a higher development only by bringing rhythm and repetition into one’s life. Rhythm holds sway in all nature.

Rudolf Steiner

August hiking in the PNW.  Pack your layers!

We can find Nature outside us only if we have first learned to know her within us. What is akin to her within us must be our guide. This marks out our path of enquiry.

Rudolf Steiner

Hiking the Klahhane Ridge Trail in Olympic National Park

What the human being sees, what is poured into his environment, becomes a force in him. In accordance with it, he forms himself.

Rudolf Steiner

Hiking the Klahhane Ridge Trail in Olympic National ParkAs the winter solstice approaches and the holiday season is in full swing John, Ryan, Finn and I wish everyone a happy and peaceful end to 2017.  Even though our December days are fuller than ever we’ve been careful to protect time for family and in the evenings we are studying hiking guides and making plans to spend more long summer hours exploring nature and marking out our own paths of enquiry.

XOXO Lisa, John, Ryan and Finn

Misty mountain views in the Pacific Northwest.

A Serene and Settled Majesty

There is a serene and settled majesty to woodland scenery that enters into the soul and delights and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations.
Washington Irving

When the stresses and sounds of daily life are just too much my go-to escapes for some peace and quiet are the gym (during off-hours) and the mountains.  I’m usually a fair weather hiker so  you won’t find me in the woods during a snowstorm however our corner of the PNW has plenty of mountain hikes where you can enjoy both snow and flowers in the middle of August.  Pack a few extra layers for changing conditions and you can throw snowballs in short sleeves then enjoy a picnic lunch next to wildflowers on the edge of an alpine forest.  I leave home with my head full of problems to solve but by the time I’ve driven away from the city and up a winding tree-lined road the buzz starts to fade and after a few hours wandering through fields and forests they seem very far away.

We left Bellingham on a warm August morning for the Mount Baker Highway and Artist Point but by the time we reached our destination the mountains were surrounded by fog and our trailhead was still covered by a few feet of winter snow.  Instead we turned to pathways I usually overlook in my haste to find famous mountain vistas and the misty alpine air added a new layer of peace and quiet.

If you’d like to explore, hike or snowshoe at Artist Point the Washington Trails Associaton website is full of information, maps and trail reports.

If you like these lovely alpine flowers they are a small patch of avalanche lily (Erythronium montanum) native to coastal British Columbia and the alpine and subalpine Olympic and Cascade Ranges of the Pacific Northwest of Washington and Oregon.  Erythronium montanum flowers shortly after the snow melts in late spring, in damp subalpine woodlands and alpine meadows, often in extensive patches. Blooming plants may persist into midsummer about the edges of snowfields.  – Wikipedia

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Serene

Shades of Blue: Part 1

If you’ve been with me for a while you might know I take all my photos with my iPhone and if you are a details person you’ve noticed I typically tag each photo or post with the editing app used in case a reader wants to try something new with their own work.  I’ve got more apps than I want to count and each has at least one unique feature that inspired me to download but when it comes time to edit images and post my results I skip over all of them and open one of these favorite three every single time.

In no particular order my favorites are Snapseed, VSCO & Hipstamatic.  Sometimes Oggl substitutes for Hipstamatic if I want to process a straight out of the camera shot into something with a Hipstamatic filter but really I like the immediacy of shooting and finishing all in one.

Snapseed is a great easy-to-learn app that quickly offers subtle balance corrections, straightening, cropping and some fun filter effects if you want a more dramatic change.

VSCO also offers corrective features, a large library of soft and pretty filters that mimic film photography and has a vibrant online community full of like-minded photographers.

While Snapseed and VSCO are my apps for subtle changes Hipstamatic is where I go to explore small moments in time.  When I’m overwhelmed and tired of the chaos that comes with a busy life I like how the square format directs my focus to just one or perhaps two things.  It’s a photographic chance to slow down and take a breath while tuning out distractions.  I know some people find the editing heavy-handed but I like it for just that reason because when I use Hipstamatic I’m not trying to capture a realistic image of the moment, instead I’m exploring how each little square is a work of art hidden in the day.  The lens/film/flash combinations add a painterly quality that transforms something easy to overlook into something that makes me think.

All of this is a long-winded way of introducing my next series of posts.  For months I’ve wanted to post more regularly but I was out of new pictures to share and as a result out of anything interesting to say.  Now I’ve got a series of Hipstamatic images ready to go and I thought I should give you a little behind-the-scenes insight into why they were shot this way.  Over the next week or so I’ll have several posts full of images from my daily escapes outside but instead of big, beautiful PNW vistas these are small in scale and more personal. Now you’ll see the one element in a big space that drew me in instead of a panoramic shot with something for everyone.  I have those too and will share them another day but this week will be all about Hipstamatic and shades of blue.

All photos shot with my iPhone 7+ using Hipstamatic and the Elijah/Love 81 combination.

 

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

 

Processed with VSCO with 3 preset

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.

 

My Year In Pictures: January Week 4

Wow, after 2 years and 730 daily photos I can finally say this project is finished!  I’ve enjoyed the practice of taking and posting one photo for every day of the year but now that it’s over I’ll admit to feeling a little overwhelmed by the pace of creating 30 new photos every single month.  Scaling back to a few per week seems a lot more realistic and I’m looking forward to a lighter schedule, posting when I want and jumping back into some of the challenges I’ve missed.

Instead of 7 images and 1 full week we’ve got a super-sized gallery of 11 to finish out the year and I like the stories that they tell.  We start with a street performer in Seattle, a sleepy Finn and a beautiful sunset.  Ryan and I sat together in the car on a clear, cold night unable to leave this view while the radio played an acoustic version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity.  My last 7 shots are an exploration of the soft blues and grays that make up so much of our Pacific Northwest winters.  For editing I reached back to some tried and true favorites so you see one shot processed with Oggl and the rest were finished with VSCO.  All images were shot with my iPhone 7+.

If you’d like to see the whole year again I’ll have a dedicated page posted soon to join my previous years recaps from the 1 Day 1 World Project and A Surprise Every Day with Hipstamatic.