Showing posts from November, 2012


The term "macro" refers to photographing small things up close.  It seems to me it should really be "micro."  To add to my confusion, Canon calls their macro lenses "macro." while Nikon calls theirs "micro."  Apparently, I am not the only one confused by the term .  Perhaps the solution is to just call them "close-ups."  They were shot with the Canon 7D and the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens.  Those are Pacific Crabapples ( Malus fusca ) in the photo. This time of year, clear skies bring out photographers and chilly temperatures.  All of these photos were taken along the Upland Trail at the Breazeale Interpretive Center .  This is the headquarters location of the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve .  Fidalgo Island can be seen across Padilla Bay.  The visitors' center includes a museum and aquariums. Macro photography can create interesting images from mundane things.  Even in late November, Blackb

Nootka Rose Hips

The Wild Rose fruits of  Rosa nutkana  is a sign of autumn in the Pacific Northwest.  These were growing along the dike at Wiley Slough in the Skagit River delta .  The hips linger on the canes long after the leaves have dropped, providing a food source for lucky wildlife.  They are a favorite of Douglas Squirrels , but too bad for them, I have never seen any of those critters out there.

Thanksgiving Day

Visiting Deception Pass State Park seems to have become a Thanksgiving tradition for me.   Last year it was quite windy, but things were calmer this year.  The sky was overcast, but the day brought a lull between a series of storms rolling in off the Pacific.  Another storm with high winds and heavy rain is expected to arrive after midnight.  November is usually our rainiest month. The state park straddles both Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands with the iconic Deception Pass Bridge connecting the two.  More information about the bridge may be found in a previous post . Shades of gray and green are the colors of the season.  I am told that artists appreciate the winter light here because it lacks harsh shadows.  Of course we also enjoy those moments we call "sun breaks" when the clouds part, regardless how brief they may be. This visit also gave me a chance to try out a brand new Canon 7D camera.  It is a step up from the T3i Rebel I have been using.  The bridge provid


The Japanese Maple , Acer Palmatum , is a Pacific Northwest garden favorite.  Our climate, Asian heritage and design aesthetic make it a natural choice.  In summer, the leaves of ' Osakazuki ' are a rich green.  In the fall, they put on a spectacular crimson show during late October and early November.  The Sunset Western Garden Book  describes them as the variety "with the best fall color."  The brilliant red in the photos has been given a bit of shine by a rain shower.  I have not exaggerated the red color through editing.  In fact, it was necessary to tone down the red saturation a bit in these images. Japanese Maples are small scale trees available in many forms and leaf colors.  Sizes range from 4 foot (1.2 m) dwarfs to around 20-25 feet (6-8 m).  Osakazuki is one of the larger varieties.  They seem to like the same growing conditions as Rhododendrons and Azaleas.  Mine are thriving in the native glacial till soil which tends to be dry and packed hard in