Saturday, April 28, 2012

Randomness

This past Monday Ian received his Wolf Badge in the Cub Scouts. It was a nice ceremony where all the Dads or Moms got to paint their child's face. I can't remember what the colors were supposed to symbolize, but we had fun nonetheless. This is my favorite photo of Ian that I managed to take outside once the Pack Meeting was over.


On a completely different, and probably random, topic, yesterday we had the stupidest robin in the world stalk the back of the house. That bird would fly at the kitchen window, pecking, squawking, and scratching at it. Then it would sit right outside of the deck door looking into the house. We scared it off many, many times, but it still kept coming back. It came around once or twice this morning, but has thankfully moved on.


Our solution to try to scare the robin away was to make a scarecrow. I tried first with a dress from Leah, but it didn't work. The robin kept coming back to the deck. Then Ian had the idea to use his Halloween costume! It didn't work either, but is was kind of funny to look at the Stormtrooper Scarecrow.

Have a nice day everybody!  Cheers,

Marc

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thor's Well at Sunset

This is probably my favorite photo from our trip to Oregon. I made my way to Cape Perpetua in time for both sunset and a low working to high tide. I had the place to myself, which was nice, as was the weather. My goal was to capture a nice photo of Thor's Well with the sunset in the distance, and I'd say I can mark that goal as complete. I'd love to go back and try again sometime, this time hoping for slightly calmer seas. 

Thor's Well is a cavern open to the Pacific Ocean that had its roof collapse at some point in time. Waves rush in and come flying out from the well, mixes with the water from the waves that came in over the top, and then they all rush back in to the bottom of Thor's Well. I took a short couple of videos, one of which I posted to this blog earlier this month if you want to get a feel for the action of the Ocean.


Anyways, I hope you all enjoy the photo. Have a great weekend everybody!

Cheers,

Marc

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Couple More Tulip Pics

It's been awhile since I've posted to the Sightings, but when I was going through my pictures of the tulip festival I found a nice one of Marc & the kids I wanted to share.



Somehow they all wound up in the row together & I actually managed to get them not "too" posed.


I liked this one with the shadow of the mountain in the background.  Ian loves the reds.

Leah's favorite part.  All of the pinks & purples; they were pretty even with part of the row gone.

Hope you all enjoy my simple pictures.  Happy Spring!
Catherine

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

The weatherman promised us a sunny weekend - and he didn't let us down!! After several days of rain, the weekend was (once again) in a word, phenomenal. We knew that April was the month for the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. The exact dates are a moving target, depending on when the tulips actually bloom. We were in luck, they were in bloom this weekend.

Skagit Valley is about an hour north of Seattle, so only about two hours from here. Not a bad drive. There are two main gardens that showcase the tulips and daffodils, with many fields spread out all over the place that are full of the flowers. The photo below is from the first one we went to, Roozengaarde.


Roozengaarde has a great garden area that is surrounded by fields of many different colors of tulips and daffodils. I liked this one with the Cascade foothills in the background.


There were so many different photogenic places to snap photos of the kids and flowers at Roozengaarde. We spent a good chunk of time here enjoying the sights and smells, not to mention ice cream.


While walking around and taking photos (along with a ton of other people armed with everything from iPhones to the Canon/Nikon monsters requiring a two-person lift), we ran into a gentleman that worked here that tried to tell us that Keukenhof (we had to supply the name!) bought 70% of their bulbs from Roozengaarde. Maybe they do, but we've actually been to Keukenhof and the surrounding fields, and I find 70% a bit of a stretch. Your mileage may vary. Anyways, Keukenhof had a great area where there were these blue flowers set amongst some trees that was reminiscent of a river. I like how the Roozengaarde people set up these flowers in that same undulating flow.


What photo session would be complete without a little bit of hamming around? The kids had done pretty good up to this point, and were ready to run and make some noise.


When we got back, there was plenty of time to mow the lawn, play some baseball, and clean up the house a bit. All in all, a busy but fun weekend. Have a great day everybody!

Cheers,

Marc

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

We had a great day today. The kids woke up a bit early (7-ish) to discover that the Easter Bunny had left them some treats. Then it was to church where there was another egg hunt. After church, we threw the baseball for a bit and practiced riding their bikes.

Catherine made a delicious Easter turkey dinner, after which Ian and Leah wanted to go outside in their bare feet. Don't ask, I don't know why - but they did. They blew bubbles for a while, and then it was time for showers and bed.


I had a bit of fun with the camera while they were running crazy with the bubbles. All in all, a nice Easter Sunday.


This is another photo from yesterday. There is a daffodil farm nearby. Since the weather and Mt. Rainier were cooperating, we all made our way out. Glad we did.


I hope you all had a great Easter - we did. Have a nice week. Cheers,

Marc

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Home again

We made our way back home today from a couple of days in Portland. We took in the Museum of Science and Industry - which the kids loved, as well as a couple of restaurants - which the bigger kids loved!

We awoke to a sunny day in Portland, and it kept it up the whole trip home. We did some unpacking, mowed the lawn, and Ian started to learn how to ride his bike. After that, there is a daffodil bulb farm nearby that I wanted to see, since the mountain was out.


It's about a 45 minute trip, but totally worth it. Catherine and the kids were complete champs as I waited FOREVER for the sunset. Only to have clouds move in from the west and totally ruin everything. Except for the glorious sunshine we had for the whole day prior to the final 20 minutes. I got the shots I wanted, minus the super color on Mt. Rainier, but what are you gonna do?

Have a wonderful Easter everybody!

Marc

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Video of Thor's Well

This video is less than a minute to watch, and the best part is the last 5-10 seconds. Thor's Well is the bubbling, frothing pit center left. The wave that soaked me later that evening came from the same place that produced the flying water far right, center.

video

Sorry for the long download. It's a 6 MB video (and that is the small setting!). I don't know how to compress video like I do photos. Guess I'm a work in progress.

Hopefully you find it worth the wait.

Enjoy!

Marc

Spring Break, Oregon

The kids have the week off from school for Spring Break. Since I have a bunch of leave time that I must start using, I took the week off too. We decided that a short break to Oregon would be a drivable, fun distraction from just staying at home. We kicked off the festivities with a camping trip for me and Ian on the weekend. Catherine and Leah had a roller skating party which kept them partially occupied while we were gone. 

On Monday we took a leisurely drive to Oregon, crossed the Coastal Range and made our way to little, sleepy Waldport, Oregon. We've rented a house that overlooks the Pacific, which has been wonderful! We've also completely lucked out weather-wise. Rain at night and in the mornings, followed by beautiful sunshine in the afternoons.

Tuesday we headed north into Newport to do some exploring. We were shut down by the Marine Museum (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays - fortunately open on Thursday which we'll hit on our way to Portland). It rained while we explored the downtown, then the rain stopped after lunch. 

We drove north about five to ten minutes to Yaquina Head to check out the lighthouse. The highlight for Ian was spotting the nesting Peregrine Falcons at the visitor's center. Someone had said there were Peregrine Falcons there. I told Ian to look for them and within a nanosecond he had spotted them - I wouldn't have found them without him!



We came back to home for dinner (fresh seafood). Since the weather was holding, I decided to make my way down to the Newport Marina for some photos. The light wasn't that good, and the marina wasn't quite full enough to make a compelling photograph, so I headed back to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. I had the park to myself.


With about 20 minutes of light remaining, it started to rain pretty hard. So I packed up and headed back to the house in time to sing goodnight to the kids. Wednesday we headed south to Yachats and the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. They have the highest point along the coast that one can drive up to, which we did. They have an observation bunker a very short hike away (about five minutes) from the parking lot with great views along the coast. The kids had a nice time running around the bunker and playing hide and seek.


On the coast are some very cool features - the Devil's Churn, the Spouting Horn, and this one below which is NOT advertised anywhere - Thor's Well. I have more photos of that one that will be posted sometime in the future that I took at sunset. Easily one of the most amazing sunset experiences I've ever had. The tide was coming in, the waves were smashing into shore shooting water high into the air with a colorful sun and storm in the distance. Good times.


Have a wonderful day everybody - we sure will!

Marc

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Camping with Ian

What a way to bring in the new camping season! Ian had been asking to go camping for a while. Since it is Spring Break, I figured we'd head up the coast a bit to get in a little bit of the beach and a bit of the rainforest. 

We lucked out weather-wise. Late March/early April is not known for it's pleasant weather conditions in the Pacific Northwest, and this was no different. But we still got lucky. We passed through a bit of snow on the way up, then rain on and off. When we got to the Mora campground, it was still raining, though not that hard. Ian and I set up our tent and then hopped back in the car for the short drive to Rialto Beach.

As you can see, the seas were angry that day, my friend. 


Ian loved watching the waves curl and break into the shoreline, as well as watching the water crash over some off-shore rocks. We walked a mile and a half up the beach to Hole in the Wall, which you can see in the left right-hand side of this photo below. When we first got there it was raining pretty hard. We waited about 5-10 minutes for it to slow down, and then not only did it stop raining, but the sun came out!


There was no sand, just tiny pebbles, which was actually pretty tiring. Here you can see Ian taking a break as we're headed back down the beach to the car.


The tide was out, which was a good thing. It had carried this massive tree pretty far up the beach. It wouldn't be fun to be here during a storm at high-tide!


We got back to our campsite, still no rain. We cooked and ate most of dinner before it started to rain again. It rained hard at night and was cold. I'm guessing in the mid-high 30's - but we managed to stay both dry and warm (yeah!!). We woke up, made pancakes,  and drove towards home making stops at the Hoh and Quinault rainforests in the Olympic National Park. Ian's favorite part were the many Roosevelt elk we saw just strolling down the road (Hoh). My favorite part was this unnamed waterfall that marks the boundary of the Olympic National Park and Forest in Quinault.


We're getting ready for a mini-Spring Break family vacation. Oregon of all places. Hopefully it is warmer and drier than it has been here. Guess it can't get wetter. Have a wonderful day everyone!

Marc