Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mount View Orchards

Mt. View Orchards
Middle of summer means an abundant variety of summer fruits such as blueberries, cherries, nectarines, peaches and soon pears and apples. We decided to go to the Mt. View Orchards in Parkdale, some seventy miles to the east and thirteen miles south from Hood River. It was a warm day in the low 90s but dry. I really like the so called country store and it s honor system just in case the owners are not there managing the store, it is very rare these days.

Mt. View Orchards

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Exploring the Redwoods area

Along Avenue of the Giants
When we drove to this area many years ago, we did not stop to look around. Pokie always wanted to see the Redwood area, so this year we explored many of the sites. Since the area of redwood is spread about 150 miles long, we started by visiting the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Trees of Mystery and Avenue of the Giants (worth the drive), there are many more tourist trap such as one log house, Origin of Big Foot, but we do not bother to stop at those roadside attractions, one is enough.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Skunk Train

Skunk Train, Fort Bragg, California

I will always try to add a train-ride as a side trip; we drove about 100 miles further south from our main destination, which is the Redwood area. Here, we did not wait for another day for the steam train due to the time that we had, but I am as happy as I could be if I am able kick the bucket list of the trains I want to ride.

Home on the road

Redwood RV Park, Crescent City, California

A journey of a thousand miles begins with your first step. To be exact, we drove 1,171 miles or slightly less than 1,900 km. We headed south to California to explore the Redwood areas and of course a train ride for me. Redwood areas are scattered about 150 miles from California-Oregon border to the south, so we do not know where we stay every night, we just took it as it went. Here’s our first installment of “Home on the Road” with our Wanderlust.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Home on the Coast

Lincoln City, Oregon

Let’s call it a dry run. After almost two years we finally take the Wanderlust (our RV van) for a spin again to Lincoln City, Oregon. I have to say I was pretty rusty to the routine such as installing the water filter, but it came back quickly and I manage to get used to it again. We were supposed to meet our good RV friends from Spokane, but they have mechanical difficulty in the middle of the road with some kind of bad oil leaks in one of their motor home’s axle. We have made a reservation already and we have to go, plus the weather in Portland was rather warm, so going to the coast is a good remedy.

Home on the coast

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

San Francisco

Fishermans Wharf

A short visit to San Francisco – conquering the concrete jungle, we flew there and took all public transportation all over the city. Since we stayed in San Mateo about twenty miles to the south, we often took the trains to my delight, a short walk from our hotel to the train station.

We visited the usual touristy spots, at times; we were overwhelmed by the crowd. Nevertheless, we managed to visit the Palace of Fine Arts, Chinatown, Fort Mason, Ferry Building and  of course the Fisherman Wharf.  We explored the city for a full three days and that’s enough concrete for me. By the way Pokie found her favorite burger- “In-N-Out”. Overall, we had a good short visit, enjoy the website.

San Francisco
Public Transportation

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hoffman Farms Store

Hoffman Farms Store

I always wanted to make Strawberry Freezer Jam, but the store bought strawberry (usually comes from California) just don’t cut it, meaning – no flavor at all. When Hoffman Farms Store opens for Hood Strawberry for the first time this season, we jump to the opportunity and pick some. Come with us, we will take you there; it’s only a few miles down the road.

Hoffman Farms Store

Boise Tour Company

Capitol building, Boise, Idaho
One day is not enough to explore any city, but that’s the time we have and we’d better use it wisely. Exploring the Capitol building and its surrounding is all we can do, plus a bit more, such as Julia Davis Park, Pioneer Village and Lucky Peak Dam. Thank you to Budi and Mary Santoso for their time to take us around exploring their city.

Boise Tour Company

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Shoshone Falls, Idaho

Shoshone Falls, Idaho

I added one-day vacation to make this long weekend and a furlough day a mini vacation to visit our good friends in Nampa, Idaho. We drove about 430 miles east to Boise area and the next day our friends drove us another 130 miles to see this Shoshone Falls also known as The Niagara of the West. It is located near Twin Falls, Idaho. Some of the images are very similar other than the angles and the foreground. I do hope you enjoy our mini retreat.

Shoshone Falls

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

f 4.5 - Close Ups

Photography by Pokie

F 4.5 Close Up, well, I am not trying to be technical, but this is simply f stop that we always use for the close up photography. Recently I learned a new term call “bokeh” or simply the blurriness that make the picture more appealing. With f 4.5, we could achieve that “bokeh” but it is very hard to shoot a perfect picture, Pokie has to take a lot of pictures, and the focusing that close drains the battery really fast, something I learned while on this trip. If we have a ration 10 to 1, one being the images that we can use, we are considered lucky. On this trip, Pokie took some 200 images.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Schreiner's Iris Garden

Schreiner's Iris Garden

This could be the end of spring series flowers for this year. This morning we headed early to Schreiner’s Iris Garden in Salem, some forty miles to our south. We were here before about five years ago, so this place is no stranger to us, but I still have to look it up on the map on how to get here. The sun was a bit strong in the morning, but I used it to my advantages and take these flowers with the back lighting to bring out the colors. On the way to this garden, we made a detour and took the “red carpet” as you can see in the “bonus shot” at the end. As always, I hope you enjoy the journey.

Schreiner's Iris Garden

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rhododendron Up Close

Photography by Pokie

I think Pokie was getting tired in taking close-up photos, she was complaining that she was cold that Saturday morning, nonetheless she took more than 150 images and she chose to which ones would be show case on the web.  So, this is her work.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Rhododendron usually blooms during the month of May and it coincides during Mother’s Day celebration, so to all the mothers out there – Happy Mother’s Day (this year is May 13th). Originally I wanted to go to the Oregon Garden in Silverton about forty miles to our south, but when Pokie saw that these Rhododendrons were in full bloom on one of the television channel, we decided to come here instead. Nothing beats free admission if we come before 10:00 A.M. To help the matter, the weather cooperated with us, not too much sun, no rain, well almost. It was drizzling for about five minutes.

So come join us to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Friday, May 4, 2012

Hoyt Arboretum 2007 (Revisited)

Hoyt Aeboretum - Oct. 2007

I consider myself a purist when it comes to digital photography (no retouching within the image), but I almost always make some simple adjustments of the brightness and contrast to any digital images that I take.  It is a must since what the sensor sees and our eyes see are different. Lately I started perusing the post production software namely Photoshop CS and found some interesting tools that I can use but still within the “purist” limitation and boundary. I went back and look for some images that I think is worthy of these adjustments. Here is Hoyt Arboretum revisited.

Experimental nightshots

f 8.0 at 30 seconds
 I always wanted to try night shots with the digital camera, I did with film in the past and as far as I remember I always set it at f 8.0 for 15 seconds or 30 seconds with ISO 100 to record the streaks of the headlight and the tail light of the cars. This brought me back many years ago when I still shot B&W films. So I asked Pokie if she could drive me to where I thought I could get a shot of the freeway, but alas a fence was on the way, so we moved to a location where I thought I could get a shot or two, then we went to a place near where we live and got a shot of the pond. No composition is the main objective here, just the exposure.

Here are other images

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lilac Up Close

Photo by Pokie Lie
When we went to Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, I gave Pokie the other camera and I mounted the macro lens and gave her an assignment to take close-up of the Lilac and whatever flowers that she likes, here’s what she came up with, I hope you enjoy them. I only take one close up picture in this series as I concentrated with the overall gardens.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lilac Gardens

Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens
We drove for more than forty miles to see Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens in Woodland, Washington. We almost turned back because the promise of partially sunny by the local weather forecast did not materialize, instead it was misty and it was getting dark. But, the idea of going back is not an option either as these Lilacs have a short bloom period, so we pressed on and the weather cooperated with my intention of photographing this garden.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gliders - come fly with me

“Why don’t we stop and see the gliders?” I said to Pokie on the way back from the Salty Air Treatment. Plus, I have been driving from the beach, so it is a good idea to change driver. We stopped for half hour or so and see how these gliders operate.
Here’s the full photo essay

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Salty Air Treatment

Cannon Beach, Oregon
Come to the beach with me. This is our Salty Air Treatment after a long dreaded winter. We took our eighteen years old Honda for this short Sunday drive. We visited my co-worker’s castle and enjoy the weather and get a dose of salty air treatment.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Alberta District

Alberta District

The prospect of 70s degrees weather for the first time in 2012 bring many Portlanders out of the hibernation place, just like ants. The last 70s degrees weather was back in October of 2011, some six months ago. So, having said that, we started early to try the new bakery in Lake Oswego called Upper Crust Bakery (UCB) that turned out to be an old bakery but moved to the new area. We bought a few bake goods, and then proceeded to Lake Oswego for croissant and decaf cafĂ© mocha. Satisfied with breakfast we headed to the Alberta District and end up in our favorite food cart – Native Bowl for lunch.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Happy Spring.....

Do you know what flower this is?
Spring is here and spring is not here. Well, both statements are correct. If it is not raining and at least we can see the sun, we call it spring. But if we do not see the sun and it is raining and the temperature drops, then we call it winter again. In any rate spring is here for that day.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Unusual sky

Unusual sky over Beaverton

While I was looking for some digital images of Mount Rushmore, I came up with these unusual sky photographs that I did not put them on the web. These images are about seven years old but they are priceless.

Unusual sky

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad

Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad

When my colleague at work gave me the link for Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad first excursion of the year, I chiseled April 7th into my brain. This was about a month or so ago. Then about ten days ago, I started looking at the weather forecast for this particular date for the town of Elbe, Washington - the start of the Bunny Express. At the beginning, it was just cloudy with a chance of shower, but then about three days before the run date, the forecast is for partly sunny. It’s a GO! I made the reservation for two and we stayed in Tacoma, some forty miles away from Elbe. I hope you will enjoy the excursion with me. Happy Easter 2012! Spring is finally here in the Northwest. Is it?

Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pizza 101

Veggie pizza by Pokie
 I hope you are hungry, today we try to make some pizza at the Beaverton Culinary Institute. I will let the pictures do the talking.

Pizza 101

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fire !

Photo courtesy of Lisette Sage
I was just about to start my lunch at work when Pokie called, and with a higher tone that usual she said quickly that one of the neighbor’s houses was on fire.  I still could not grasp fully what she was saying and my brain wracked havoc on me trying to decipher what she just mentioned. I finally realize as to which house was on fire.  I tried to notify our neighbors in which the house was just in the back of where the house was on fire to no avail.

I finally called Pokie back to get inside the house as the air must be dirty with the stuff that are toxic to our health. When I came home that day, I could still smell of the charred woods and others. The smell follows us even inside the house. “Enough excitement for one day”, I said. 2/28/2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Yaquina Light House

Yaquina Light House
I am itching to go somewhere, someplace close to home; winter has taken a toll on me. I want to explore more, but the weather is less than perfect to go out and take more pictures. I looked back where I have been and relive the places that we visited. I am longing for “salty air treatment” in Oregon Coast. Next week, we have Monday off. So we hope that the weather will give some sunshine and I am ready to get some “salty air treatment”.
Here’s Yaquina Head Lighthouse we visited in 2010.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Snow Blizzard and Sun

First snow of 2012, January 15th.
Portlanders are still excited about the snow, especially if it comes down to the city level. As for me there’s element of excitement and danger, especially if you were out and caught in the middle of it just like the first snow of 2012. We were just wrapping up our lunches with friends when all of a sudden the snow was coming down hard with the wind and it came down with big flakes. Luckily, Pokie has her Point and Shoot camera in the purse. Here is the result.

The first snow of 2012
From Snow to Slush to Rain

Compare that with 2008:
Snow 1
Snow 2
Snow 3

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Year of the Dragon

Lansu Garden, January 7, 2012
Free is a good price, you can’t beat that! When Lan Su Garden offers fee free admission (January 2nd  to January 9th, 2012) and today is not raining, we go in a heart beat. This garden celebrates the coming of Chinese New Year on January 23rd. This is winter scene and this is the second time I visited this garden, the first being in late spring of 2008. Because it is free, the crowd is tremendous (more than 700 visitors at noon) and my focus today is to see more details with a few that I think it’s good to show how winter looks like in this garden.

The year of the Dragon
Lansu Garden in 2008
Zuzhou Garden 2009 China Trip