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Occasional Fog Valley Photo

June 27, 2006

ofvp: soar like a turkey vulture...

Occasional fog valley photos are an homage to Farmgirl's Daily Farm Photo, offering a glimpse into a fog valley that fingers up off of the lower Columbia River in Washington State.

Turkeyvulture01
This turkey vulture spent a good part of the day just hanging around on a post across the way. He probably stayed there for three hours, and every 15-20 minutes he'd fly a little loop, fairly close to me and land on another fencepost. I really appreciate that since it allowed me to get good pictures with a handheld Nikon D70 using the kit lens which is nice but not exactly a telephoto. The wing coloration is very nice, I hadn't seen one flying overhead before this so it was sort of a surprise.

March 27, 2006

Happy spring!

Yeah, I know I am a few days late, but after all the gorgeous daffodils, I was waiting for something else to bloom. That and the writing project that's got me somewhat snowed under at the moment. I think that means the blog is on largely Occasional Fog Valley Photo rations for a week or two...maybe even three. Luckily for me, it's spring; makes it much easier to find things to photogenic things around the garden.

StarmagnoliaToday, I offer you my spring garden's first magnolia blossoms, on a remarkably healthy and robust little tree considering that it wsa found languishing bare and forgotten in the corner of a Fred Meyer late last fall. We snagged it for ten bucks with the knowledge that it was a gamble. It really was a spindly little thing and we weren't at all sure that it was going to make it, but it certainly seems to have done well.

Much as daffodils denote a certain aspect of spring — often the equinox —  my star magnolias herald the emergence of soft perennial herbs like lovage. I checked and, sure enough, the tightly furled asparagus-like stalks are poking through the moss patch in the shadow of the big rosemary bush. But that's another picture and I've got three weeks of writing to go...must save some for later.

March 08, 2006

occasional fog valley photo: sunset

'tis a night not fit for human or beast out there, with great gouts of hail punctuating the unceasing rain and finally driving a mouse-hunting River inside to indignantly shake icy paws at me as if I personally conjured the weather to spoil her game. Clearer skies spring eternal, however, in the ever-growing mess (and I do mean that literally) of photos on my hard drive. Enjoy.

Sunsetinthevalley

December 24, 2005

...seen over my valley

After the shortest day faded into the not-quite-longest night, there was a powerful noise in the sky and this swarm appeared. At least one person has, upon seeing this image, offered that perhaps this is proof that we are in the Matrix, with the veil of virtuality drawn thin as the seasons cycle.
Alienjellyfishinvasion

In any case, I hope this passage in our annual  journey from darkness to light finds you safe in the company of those you love, gazing at something in wonder. (Should there be cookies involved, so much the better.)

Speaking of cookies, I have to be a proud kitchenMage for just a moment. theKid spent a day recently baking twelve pounds of cookies to mail across the country to some kids who were going without any holiday treats this year. Twelve pounds! That's a lot of cookies...and a lot of work. It's nice to know that the cookie elves live. Nice job! applause   cheers

November 11, 2005

fog valley photo and a happy mage

Ahem, I'd just like to respectfully say, "Neener, neener! I'm going to the Herbfarm for dinner tomorrow night and you're not!"  (Unless of course you are, in which case we should meet!)

And today's occasional fog valley photo.

Palepinksunset

October 21, 2005

OFVP: last rays of a sinking sun...

...or is that a rising earth?
102105sunset1

October 07, 2005

This is why I call it a fog valley

Just back from a few days doing a lot of driving in and around biggerThanILikeCity and  I have determined two things:

  • I really love it out here in my quiet little corner of the world.
  • I need new stops for road food along I-5 in Washington state. Particularly between Centralia and Tacoma. The floor is open to suggestions.

In honor of my newly refreshed appreciation for my fog valley, I offer the following.
Smfoggyhills1
Smfoggyhills2
I like to say that we have our own private weather systems, and in many ways we do. Tucked in a long finger of a valley that undulates up from a large river, banked with multi-layered hills, and etched with dozens of streams, the valley floor exudes fog at the cusps of the day. A friend, who recently got his pilot's license and thus has related facts handy, explained one day that it's advection fog--coming up from the ground rather than down from the sky. (who says food blogs aren't educational?)

You know that saying about waiting a minute for the weather to change? Well, here you actually can watch it. I love to wander outside at dusk with a cup of tea and watch the last shards of sunlight peeking through the trees while baby cloudlets coalesce to scamper and dance before dissolving into mist and vanishing. It's not an every night affair in summer, but once we hit fall it's a nightly thing. I like fall.

Dusk has other magical aspects, the deer, especially does with young, come out to snack before dark. One such pair spent the year in our woods and we got the delight of watching this tiny fawn with a spotted butt who never left mommy's side, grow into a half-sized, and maturely unspotted, deer who only occasionally looks up to see how far away mom has wandered and almost never follows. In winter it is so quiet that you can hear the deer eating the grass, even when it's not frozen. It's amazing! On starless nights, when it is too dark to see anything, a small crunch, crunch from the seemingly empty yard is often the only sign there are such animals mere feet from where I stand.

What does this have to do with food? Not much. Except that, for me, food is all about connections: to people, to place, to personal rituals, and, ultimately, to home--however you define it. This is part of mine.

September 28, 2005

Pretty, and you can drink it too!

Smsumacfall
My frst serious fall color, a staghorn sumac that's still in its pot and tucked away in a back corner of the yard. This was going to be just a pretty picture to celebrate the turning of the seasons, but then I found a recipe for Sumac wine!

Sumac wine? Who knew! (and why didn't they tell me?) I don't have a significant amount of berries this year, so I can't try it now, but I bet I can turn up enough to try this next year. There's the kind of project I can get behind--one with a deadline that's an entire year away.

September 24, 2005

Leveraging is the sincerest form of flattery

Once upon a time I worked for a bigCompany where people were encouraged to "leverage" other people's good work rather than constantly recreating the wheel. This was great within the company, because it helped the good data to rise to the top and stay there--of course, so did some of the bad but oh well... This also meant that, if you happened to be someone who came up with a good idea or write something useful, you recognized things--your things--when they came around on the guitar, again and again. Sort of flattering...mostly.

Within the industry that said bigCompany tended to, err, what's the word I am looking for, oh yeah, dominate there was lots of leveraging. In fact, sometimes it seemed that the entire industry was one big leveraging party; every time one company came up with a great idea, a bunch of other companies came up with something an awful lot like that first thing. Just a little bit different, just enough to attract another slice of the market. And then the leveraging and the leveraged would fight it out in the public marketplace until someone (usually not the leveraged) would win the battle for consumer dollars.

It's not like anyone was doing anything they shouldn't have been doing, in fact it's pretty much a normal marketing thing; see something new that's selling and try to snatch the market--like cupcakes, ten years ago they were just for kids, now they are leveraged near-to-death. Think of it as a big corporate meme, except they make money at it.

All of this is the long way around to introducing a new feature, heavily leveraged...and meant as the sincerest form of flattery. Without further ado, I bring you...

Continue reading "Leveraging is the sincerest form of flattery" »

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