MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018: Blog en-us (C) MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018 (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Sun, 22 Jul 2018 23:22:00 GMT Sun, 22 Jul 2018 23:22:00 GMT How Can Summer Be This Far Gone Oh yeah because I've been horridly busy with work and the new puppy and my Mom anda getting out to take photos anywhere hasn't happened.  So I'm taking a new approach to my photography right now and just finished another class on Flower Photography.  I love love doing flowers and close up stuff but I really just SUCK at it.   So with the equipment I have as I went through the class I attempted to get a start at it.   I like doing this as it tests my technical ability with my equipment and honestly I don't have to GO anywhere (or not far anyway).These are all from my yard/gardens and I already have learned that my eyesight and my hands  are not steady enough to do close work and get the focus  points I want without  blur -- and we all know how I hate my tripod!   I can autofocus  with my lens and the smallest extension tube I have but  the bigger ones it just can't handle.   I also  need mucho more practice on manual settings!   That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Sun, 22 Jul 2018 17:58:04 GMT
The Rains and Gardens Although we haven't made the national news there is a boatload of flooding going on in these parts.   Last week we had 5 straight days of rain and then thunderstorms.  The rivers were already at peak with the snow melt and May rains and people were trying to just get their feet back under them.   I have friends in the valley that have been pumping basements for over a month now and we have a number of small towns north of here that are completely under water.

None the less the gardens and the wildflowers are loving it.  I have a bumper crop of bitterroot up in the back acreage which was a big surprise to me.   In 25 years I've never seen that many so when the sun came out I started shooting some of the early bloomers.    My gardens are also loving it and weeding and thinning are in order as things are popping up where I have never seen them - including green ash trees everywhere.   

So enjoy the photos and a few of the puppy as she grows.   She is keeping us busy busy busy as she is busy busy busy and starting to sow her oats a bit with opinions, voices and experiments!

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Sat, 23 Jun 2018 03:19:57 GMT
A Tracking Weekend Our most recent camping trip was a few hours from home.  I had volunteered to help many of my dog friends that put on a Dog Tracking Test every June.  A big job and the more help the better.   One of the club members went up early to make sure that those of us camping would have places to park at one of the fishing access campgrounds by the tracking areas we use.  FABULOUS picks she made and this was the view from my least Friday and Saturday it was, Sunday, it rained, snow pelleted, was cold and windy and gray most of the day.   

There are two small lakes right nearby and the river is also right nearby.  You can see the river up towards the top of the picture above if you look closely.   There are also mosquitoes the size  of trucks!   So here was the choice, nice  weather Saturday to plot tracks (very time consuming but interesting) and many mosquito bites (which didn't bother me till I got home as I was having to overdose on allergy medicine to keep my asthma at bay - bonus no itching.  OR cold rainy windy Sunday for the test and actually laying the tracks and cross tracks.  Actually we lucked out and the really CRAPPY weather missed "most"  of the times people were out putting in track or taking their tests.

The wildflowers up on the mountain (where we put in the TDX tracks) were fabulous and of course Saturday when it was calm and I had tons of great chances to take close ups - I forgot the cameras in the trailer, Sunday I took them and it was nothing but wind so these are from Sunday with no closeups because the wind was blowing  everything too much.

One last shot, this was one of the lakes as you pull into camp - fed  by the river.

It was a fun weekend with great people to work with and camp with and catch up with.  Some I  see maybe once ayear if I am lucky.   Other than  the tail end crappy weather (it rained all Saturday night but who cared we were snug in the trailer) where I was loading up pens in pelting snow pellets and 30 mph winds it was a nice weekend as well.  My first dry camping in the trailer and was happy that even  though I had to run a fan Friday afternoon  and Saturday afternoon, then run the furnace both  nights  (it was down in the 30s) I still didn't have to break out the generator to charge  the battery.  We came home with it still 1/2 charged (was very careful with usage) and we didn't even use 1/2 of a propane tank of LPG which included the furnace, running the fridge full time and yup the water heater.  I cannot tell you how nice that hot shower was after being on the mountain 1/2 the day in the hot sun and skeeters.    The drive over was great and home - well except for 30 miles of nasty 40 mph cross winds was okay with the tail wind (glad I was going east not west).   Dogs were all glad to get home and have space to run though!  I am happy to be home now for some time to catch up with all the chores and a goal of getting EVERYthing out of the trailer and washed/cleaned.  I am a happy camper but also a happy home body.

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Sun, 17 Jun 2018 03:00:00 GMT
Our Other Surprise Chinese Crested Powderpuff - her name is Josie, she is just over 3 months old and a firecracker to be sure!   This household is on its toes no doubt about it both the 2 footed and 4 footed variety.   Don't mistake that innocent look in photo 1.

Her first massage from Auntie Adele.

My heart skipped a beat with joy when these two girls started actually playing together.  Tinker has wanted someone to play with forever and well my old fart boys won't do it (and I won't let the poodles play with the littles as they are too rough). 

She is pretty sure she "could" get over the little dog barrier to the back 40!

Getting used to the grooming table and she wasn't thrilled with the combing out so well, sometimes a girl has to express her displeasure with the grooming tools!   Her ears are taped up because we want them to stand and this is just to help them do that  especially while she is teething.  Her ears were up when she came home but the tops started flipping over backwards and we really don't want that! 

2 weeks here and already has her first camping trip under her belt.    She didn't take long to figure out how to get on the bed and then see out the window (shown here) much to the chagrin of the other dogs who have NO escape from her unless she is in her crate or pen.  She has also mastered the couch at home so "safe time" there is also in limited supply.

I also found I had a couple of nice shots of Tinker (pre-puppy) that I had to include here.

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Sat, 16 Jun 2018 02:45:00 GMT
Blooming Smiles My flowers do make me smile and I have some firsts this year from things that I've had for 2-3 years.   The weeds - well not so much.    This first is a grape iris that I got from a friend 3 years ago.  I was worried when all the other iris she gave me bloomed year one and she remembered hers also took about 3 years.   Well ta-da!   And guess what?  It DOES smell like grape!  It also has these lovely varigated striped leaves.

This was one of only 2 of my tulips that ever bloom, the rest I am going to dig up and toss.

My allium are doing well and actually increased this year.  I just think they are so architecturally cool.

Another first this year is that my pink pussytoes are blooming on the back slope along the steps in the rocks.  They are in the same area as my sedum which is also doing well.  The pussytoes are found in the wild as well and I "think" I may have some white ones growing wild up back that I saw when I mowed (and probably mowed them off).

Both of my lilac bushes (they are actually minature versions) are also showing REAL flowers this year and that thrills me.

Last in the first timers is a purple and white columbine that we put in 2 years ago.  All my columbine (which are freaking taking over the front garden) are the pink/yellow variety so I was happy to see this one for some new color.

Of course I have my standby purple iris which bloom like mad and quit just as quickly.  They did give me an opportunity to practice some of my flower macro work that I took the online course for this winter.  I did the one in b/w just because it was really similar to the first one (different f-stop though).

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Thu, 14 Jun 2018 02:30:00 GMT
Feathered Surprises After being in my home now over 25 years and watching the wildlife, especially the birds for all that time I'm always amazed when something new pops in for a visit.  Now this little bird isn't new as I marked in my bird book that I had a visit in 2005.  Now 13 years later another sighting.  The first photo isn't very clear but was to make sure to see the bars on the wings.  This is a lazuli bunting which I mistook early in the season for one of the 3 types of bluebirds we have around!  Go figure!

A few weeks ago in the evening I was headed out to do something in the travel trailer and saw a gigantic bird of some sorts land in the neighbors pine tree oh probably 50 yards from my driveway.   As you know earlier in the spring I had a big ol' rough legged hawk land on the top of one of my trees so I thought that was what  it was.  In for the big camera to be able to see what it was (anyone else use their giant camera zoom lens as a spotting scope?).   I was SHOCKED to see....

Did you see the Mom in the first picture?   This dude or dudette was learning the ropes and honestly I had to laugh because s/he was having a heck of a time with the landing in branches!   Then I came back in the house, went out to the back and closed off the gate to the back acreage.   I have had too many friends with stories of small dogs being snatched by owls (and their cats too).   Till I could fix up a barricade that allowed the poodles up there but none of the small dogs.    I will for the summer keep an eye on the little dogs and the trees around the house.   The birds of prey in general right now are feeding babies and really hanging out - due to the over abundance of freaking gophers that the idiot across the road didn't take care of in his horse pasture.   

Still I have whined for years that I was never going to get any owl pictures and boom!  Great Horned Owls right out my front door!  :0)

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Tue, 12 Jun 2018 02:15:09 GMT
Kayak Scenes and of course More Birds My lovely kayak buddy was able to go along (it has warmed up) and although it was a bit choppy when we put in by the time the sun came up the lake turned to glass and there was hardly anyone around.    So off we went to take pictures and just relax (as you can tell Teddy did just that).   The best part of the morning was waiting (and waiting and waiting) for the fisherman that was putting his boat in to get himself out of the way so I could get my kayak out.  OH MY GAWD....these guys are the most unorganized group ever, anyway up drove a friend of mine to headed out for her walk.  She always wants to go paddle with us so we put her in the boat and went out for a second spin!  It was truly destiny.   

Also saw the most fabulous dive of an osprey going for a fish.   Of course I didn't have the camera and of course she was like 50 feet off the boat launch.   It was amazing and no she was not successful (a tough job for sure) but WOW, then to see the struggle for that bird to get out of the water and the cool little "shiver" she did once up in the sky.   The other thing I noticed is she was hanging out wherever the pelican was that had been there, as the pelican went across the lake so did she.  Interesting.

There were 2 or 3 pair of geese with their cute little yellow babies.   Of course they get ugly quickly so I took advantage of the chance to get some photos.   Amazing how the parents blend into the shoreline though!

There were a lot of pelicans hanging about.  Lots of grooming going on and just hanging around fishing.   They look so crazy with their breeding horns on their bills for sure.  Another prehistoric ancestor, like the herons.  You really can see those remnants of the velociraptors can't you?   I was really happy with the close up shot (cropped from a full flight one).   Pelican babies are another thing I have not been able to find or see.   I need to do some research on where/how they have their young I guess.

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Fri, 08 Jun 2018 16:00:00 GMT
Gone to the Birds Now that you are caught up on our vacation gloom photos here are some birds from a kayak morning I did a few weekends ago.   I was surprised to come across coots so close to shore and honestly we don't usually have many stay out here so I was glad to have decent light to get this one (of 4 that were there).

You know me and ducks - little freaks they are.  This lady's man was not as easy to capture but I loved her pose and that this turned out at least somewhat clear before they took off.

This baldy flew over me a couple times before I got out farther in the lake.  We always have at least one that hangs around along with the osprey and the red tail hawk that is over on the other side of the reservoir (need to get over there and see if they are nesting there again).   I was somewhat surprised to see this beauty over on heron island - although maybe not, there are lots of fish up towards the top of the water right now and I wonder if they also hang out looking for baby anythings that are hatching.   Note the amount of bugs hanging around it....

Just one heron picture, they are hard to see right now as most are tight on their nests and the trees have leafed out.  I saw one nest with active babies and am guessing the others are still on eggs.

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Wed, 06 Jun 2018 15:45:00 GMT
Trip End As with the horse headed to the barn, when I get ready to head home I want to GET HOME!   I was however glad I decided not to push  it to do in one day.  We had an 8 hour day headed across to Potholes State Park south of Moses Lake.   There was a lot of traffic on Highway 12 which made it even harder (all 2 lane) but I had figured out a new routine for our driving days, loading up early and on the road by 6:30 I waited to feed the dogs until we got back to a spot I had mentally marked on the way over by Mossyrock Dam.  Was perfect, got everyone fed and all pottied during our 1/2 hour break.   My dogs often have trouble deciding to poop when on leash and while we are in en route.    It was a pretty spot and big enough I could get entirely off the road with truck and trailer.

I headed up I82 from Yakima to Ellensburg and then over to Vantage on the Columbia River.  From there I detoured off track a bit to get to Potholes.   It has been a spot on my radar  for a few years in my treks back and forth to Oregon so wanted to see what it was about.  The last 14 miles while across some really cool orchard farms, had horribly sucky paved road.  Definitely tested my trailer packing!   The closer we got the more fragrant it became  as the cottonwoods  and the russian olive trees were all in bloom.  Guess what?   It totally set off my asthma during the night to boot.   It was miserable.   Now the park itself is nice but this was Saturday night and although I had what the ranger said was a lovely spot - it was, except for the constant foot traffic cutting through  my campsite.  It was like a freaking freeway - not good for a girl that has driven  8 hours, 30 minutes bounced around on crappy road and then suffering allergy and asthma!

It is cool that they have full hookup sites and I think if you can get one earlier in the season when it is more quiet and not the site I was in it would be okay.  Really this is a fairly large reservoir and I think all of Moses Lake moves out here on the weekends.  Kind of an oasis  in the farmlands.   Far enough out of the way I won't use that as a stopover again I don't think.   It  would be great if you wanted a group stopover with friends for more than just a night or two.

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Sun, 03 Jun 2018 15:30:00 GMT
Olympic Flora and Fauna

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Sat, 02 Jun 2018 15:30:00 GMT
Lake Quinault Scenic Drive

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Thu, 31 May 2018 15:30:00 GMT
Quinault Rainforest

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Tue, 29 May 2018 15:27:02 GMT
Beach Art

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Mon, 28 May 2018 22:16:35 GMT
Our Favorite Beach

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Sun, 27 May 2018 02:06:19 GMT
Cape Flattery After a seriously LONG drive (140 miles took almost 5 hours - that is how slow and curvy the roads are) we made it to the Cape only to see that it was a 3/4 mile hike to  the tip.   I didn't want to leave the poodles in the back of the truck as it was so busy there and dogs were allowed on the trail.  So on with their harnesses and the waist leash as I also had my camera and an extra lens to haul.   Oh and some dog cookies.   I was really thrilled how well behaved the poodles were and got many comments on their behavior.  I also was glad I had at least ONE (Sterling the good child) that could remember what "behind" means as we traversed these board walks that were single lane.

The tip is pretty (gray again but at least the fog lifted enough to see things) and I am happy to report we made it in one piece.  Sterling had to be dragged back up the last 1/2 mile of the hill but he survived as well.

I apologize if these photos all look dark, as I view them on my big monitor (I am still editing and figuring out my laptop) it appears to me they are too dark.  I'll have to adjust how I'm doing that on my laptop!  In fairness, it was pretty dark gray but not THIS dark gray!  


Not the best shot of the poodles but still proof they were with  me - haha!

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Thu, 24 May 2018 16:32:49 GMT
Ruby Beach After a lovely day off on day 3 and a wonderful visit from a friend I took off on Tuesday without much of a plan except to head north.   I was gray and drizzling (surprise) but not enough to stop me.   By the time I got going I decided that I really should make the effort to get up to Cape Flattery but first a stop at a couple of beaches.

First was our  favorite beach  10 minutes from the campground where the poodles where THRILLED to go run and I was able to find whole amazing sand dollars.  A throw back to my childhood when  I would go with my family to the OR coast and we'd get up super early to go look for them.  I've not seen them on the OR coast in many years (my OR friend said that the building of the jetty changed that).   I did bring home a few as well.

The next stop and potty break for the littles was Ruby Beach where you walk down a short trail to the beach and the stacks.   It was really cool but Teddy wasn't keen on trying to climb  over all the driftwood to get to the beach area (me either) and we needed to press on to the Cape.

I don't think this just "washed up".


]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Wed, 23 May 2018 16:56:24 GMT
Back After Vacation After a week or so of pause, otherwise known as vacation we are home and getting back into  some normal (not sure if that is good or bad).   I loaded up and went to the Olympic National Park or rather to that area.  It was somewhere I'd not been before and now it is checked off the list.  The best part was of course the beach but the rainforest, Cape Flattery and most of all getting to visit with some friends was totally up there!   I will say that the drive is one long haul though and by the time we got home I was pretty toasted.   I did it in two days both directions - thank goodness.  That drive across eastern WA doesn't get any shorter that is for sure.

On the way out I stayed just south of Ellensburg for and overnighter at Yakima River RV.  It was a nice enough park and once all the trees mature it will be nice.  Really strict and rather small but okay.  I would not make it a "destination" campground especially for me and the pups but it was fine for an overnight.   There  just isn't much around eastern/central WA as far as campgrounds.    This appears to still be or was part of a working ranch/farm at some point.   It is nice that it is along the Yakima River Scenic Byway which I HIGHLY recommend.   Honestly, given a choice  I'd do that drive  again rather than taking I82 between Ellensburg  and Yakima given the choice.  Way less hilly and much prettier.

This was the barn at the RV park. How can I resist a barn with a quilt motif on it!

My trips are never without hiccups and this was no exception as I got ready to pull out day 2 and my battery gauge showed 0.  My heart skipped a beat or 12 and the truck started right up.  Of course it didn't stop me from worrying about the whole deal every time I turned the truck off.   I couldn't convince myself to turn around for home and decided what happens happens and I'd be out where I have lots of Seattle friends that I was sure would help if needed.  I am happy to report it was unnecessary and the truck will go in here at home to get the gauge replaced as I "think" that is the issue.  Honestly the truck electrical could use a going over anyway as can the trailer wiring if they will check it.

I drove Highway 12 from Yakima across to the coast and to our spot at Driftwood RV.  I give this little park in Copalis Beach a 10+ as the people were amazing and the place was really nice.  On the river and just a short drive from a couple of nice big beaches.   I snagged what I thought was the best spot and was right!  Nice big deep spots and they are actively adding to the park and doing improvements.   Lots of month  to month renters there and very dog friendly with the only loose dogs being ones we saw show up from over at the craptastic trailer park next door.   Will suggest in my review that they might consider fencing through  the hedges at least part way.   You know me though when I saw the two large dogs with no collars I took off for them and scrammed them home.   Cannot beat dog friendly when you see numerous dog bag and poop can posts around the park.   The landscaping was also awesome and you'll see some of that in later posts.

Out behind the park is the Copalis River and we could sneak through the trees right behind the camper and have great scenery and some somewhat tricky but still fun space to explore.   Epic adventured back there a few times and Sterling did a bit as well.   Oh and as you can see, the gray skies reigned except for a few rays the day we arrived.   Didn't stop us though but most of what you see here on out will be the typical Seattle gray!


]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Tue, 22 May 2018 00:37:54 GMT
Out My Office Window I do cherish my work from home days and when I sat down this morning at the computer I looked out and found this HUGE fat beauty sitting in my big pine tree out front.


]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Wed, 09 May 2018 16:56:02 GMT
More Herons Hopefully I won't repeat what I've already shared!

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Tue, 08 May 2018 14:47:12 GMT
Poodle Paddle Yes I said I was never taking him on the water again and I didn't stick with it.  It was so cold when we put in (35F) that I knew my real paddle buddy Teddy couldn't come and Epic needed some time outside.   New rule, he can come but only if I am NOT going to take photos.   That boy is the most fidgety dog ever!   He would not sit still, just like a toddler.   Always looking over the edge to see what was in the water (bubbles mostly) and when we were stopped, whining to get off and go to shore.  GAH!

So here are some  shots of him and the scenery.  Will post some more heron shots  (since I have so many) in the next post.

]]> (MTWaggin Photos & Blog 2018) Mon, 07 May 2018 15:13:45 GMT