Looking Down the Grays Harbor Lighthouse

Looking Down

Looking down the stairs that lead to the top of the Grays Harbor Lighthouse

When the subject of a lighthouse comes up most people think of the large tower type lighthouse, and if you are on the east coast of the United States that would fit the bill perfectly. What most people might not realize is that on the west coast most of the lighthouses are generally much shorter and not always even a tower. I love the tower style lighthouses and even though I live on the west coast I am fortunate to have one of the best within an hour of my house. I am speaking of the Grays Harbor Lighthouse.

The Grays Harbor Lighthouse, which is located in Westport, WA is the tallest lighthouse in the Pacific Northwest, and at 107 feet tall it is the third tallest on the west coast.  It has been in continuous operation since 1898 and the original third order Fresnel Lens was used until 1992 when it was replaced with a more modern and more powerful light.  You might remember a recent image / blog post where I shared an image of original lens being lit, they do it a few times each year.

You probably won’t remember, but back in 2013 I shared an image looking up through the spiral staircase towards the top of the lighthouse.  Today I am sharing an image of the opposite perspective, this is taken from the top of the 135 steps shooting back down towards the ground.

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Old Faithful

Old Faithful

Tourists enjoying an eruption of the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park

Summer is officially over, the leaves are just starting to turn and there is a definite chill in the air every morning. Sadly, I still have a lot of images from our early summer vacation to Yellowstone National Park that I haven’t had time to process and share, and this image of Old Faithful is one of them.

We visited the Old Faithful area twice on our trip, the first visit was very early in the vacation and the skies were overcast that day, and while it was still enjoyable to watch the geysers in the basin do their thing, it wasn’t very dramatic looking when you had the water and steam with a gray sky background.  We decided to stop by for one more show on the day we left the park, and were treated to blue skies and a nice eruption.

It’s no wonder that so many people visit Yellowstone, and it is also no wonder that the most visited area in the park is Old Faithful.

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Summers End

Summers End

Kids playing in the fountain in downtown Olympia before summer comes to an end

I have never been a big summer person, I have always preferred both fall and winter, perhaps it has something to do with having red hair and blue eyes, I joke about getting sunburns from fluorescent lights. Maybe it is because I lived in Arizona for over 20 years and I am still a bit “shell shocked” from the extreme heat, but I have always looked forward to summers end.

With that said, this has been an interesting summer.  Ann and I took our first real vacation in over 8 years, so that is good.  I have been dealing with a number of dental issues, so that is bad.  All in all though it was a pretty good summer but I am looking forward to my favorite season when there gets to be a bit of a chill in the air in the evenings and the leaves start turning colors.

Good buy summer, hello fall.

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The Texture of Yellowstone

The Texture of Mammoth Hot Springs

The texture of travertine at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park

Earlier this summer I blogged about the contrasts that I found in Yellowstone during a family vacation there in June.  Today I want to talk a little about the texture of Yellowstone.

You can find amazing textures all through the park, but for me it really jumped out for me at Mammoth Hot Springs near the north entrance to the park.  While hard pressed to pick a favorite place in such an amazing park, Mammoth is certainly at the top of my list.

As I said, Mammoth Hot Springs is near the north entrance of the park, which is generally considered the “main” entrance as it is one of the oldest and also features the famous Roosevelt Arch.  Mammoth is also not only the location of the park headquarters but features what might be one of the most dramatic scenic wonders on the planet, the travertine terraces.  These “steps” are dramatic from any angle, but for me were absolutely fascinating up close and looked at from a more abstract point of view, such as I am sharing today.

Odds are that I will be sharing more of the travertine terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs, but I wanted to start today with this abstract that I hope highlights the texture that you find in the area.

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And the winner is – Thurston Co Fair 2016

Earlier this week I posed a gallery highlighting the 6 images that I entered into the 2016 Thurston County Fair.  Today I wanted to take a few minutes to show off the results and talk a little about the competition.  Based on the title of this post, just take a peek at the attached images to find out who the winner was :-)

This year marked a change in the rules for the fair.  Up until this year you were limited to a total of 6 images entered, this year you could enter up to a total of 8 but you will notice that I entered a total of 6.  I had 8 images selected and ready to go but as I was finalizing the submission I decided that I would have had to many images in one particular competition lot and decided to pull out what I thought were two of the weaker images leaving me with the 6 you see above.

On hindsight I might have pulled the wrong two as the ones that I decided to leave in the competition did a little worse than I anticipated while some of the ones that I was unsure of did quite well.  All in all this was my most successful year ever at the fair.

Back in 2014 I had one image that didn’t get a ribbon of any color, in 2015 I had a couple that only got honorable mentions but in 2016 I got 2 blue, 2 red and 2 white with no honorable mentions, everything placed either 1st, 2nd or 3rd.  The highlight for me though was that my Carnival Horse image got a best in lot, which was the best any of my images have done at the fair.


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