Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Greetings 1992-2008.

I began making my own holiday cards in 1992 after spending a lot of time in Yosemite and wanting to make use of some of my favorite winter imgages. The project has now evolved into a once a year cottage industry. The photographs are now a reflection of where I am in my life, central Oregon being prominent. The only image where people are involved was in 1999 when I used a Nutcracker ballet with the inside greeting "dance with glee into the 21st century." I hope you will enjoy these photos and will be surrounded by those you love today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Squirrel's Tough Life.

Winter has arrived In central Oregon after a late start or what appeared to be late. What do I know about it? I watch the skies, feel the wind and temperature and look out the window. When it's snowing then it's winter. Fortunately the snow has been a light powder, easy for shoveling. Snow shoveling definitely falls in that activity where the law of diminishing returns applies, somewhat like beer drinking. The first one tastes great, the fourth not so much. The first 15 minutes of shoveling gets the heart rate up. An hour into the job is plain old work and not fun anymore. This morning I got to watch one of the gray squirrels that inhabits our backyard and is a constant presence around the base of the bird feeders eating the remains of what the birds drop. His efforts to get at the bird seed were
acrobatic and quite humorous. He made several attempts to shinny up the pole, stretch out and gain a foothold on the feeder. Unsuccessful, he would slide down the pole and hop over to a tree to regain his strength then return for another go at it. I think he's fairly well-fed because he does really well when the snow is not around and I suppose he's got a stash
somewhere in the yard. I haven't any doubt that he'll be back tomorrow. He's supposed to survive on his own which appears he's doing nicely. Maybe I'll sweeten the pot and sprinkle some seeds on the ground. I won't expect any help from him with the shoveling though.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It's December, where's the snow?

The days of fall linger on. A year ago there had been several snowstorms and winter was upon us and stayed until late March. This year is different and most everyone is pleased that winter is taking its sweet time getting here. The annual Metolius Tree Hunt sponsored by the Deschutes Land Trust was held in 50ยบ weather and one group of youngsters from a church youth group was heard singing carols as they carried out their tree.

I have yet to even start my holiday greeting cards although I have every intention of getting them done. After all I have a streak of 16 years going. I hung a few lights on the house, Diane found a nice tree and we decorated it, put up Allison's collection of Nutcrackers and called it done. Ho ho ho.

The Obama victory has given a little hope that the future will be better. I'm not one to go overboard and think that the ship of state will right itself any time soon. Mr. Lameduck Bush can't leave Washington fast enough.
There have been more layoffs in the newspaper industry, the Big 3 ask for bailouts, the stock market can't settle down, no one is buying anything and with Christmas a little more than two weeks away the spirit of the season is about as robust as the housing market.

I am not without some energy. In fact, I've completed a project that was long overdue. I began photographing Yosemite National Park in 1988 in advance of the 1990 centennial of this marvelous place. A book "Yosemite, A Landscape of Life" was published and I continued to shoot there for several more years. Yet, all the film, transparencies and digital files were not in a single location. A few of the best pictures had been digitally archived but the vast majority of the material was dormant. No longer. For the past month I've looked at every image and scanned the essence of a decade long project. It's a relief to know
where everything is. I've compiled a gallery on my website Viewing the images is about the same as reading a short story in a magazine or an in-depth article in your Sunday newspaper. People still read don't they?

Now, if I can just get excited about the holidays...