What Inspires WU...

By: BriarCraft , 10:24 PM GMT on March 22, 2014

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... to break your routine and do something that makes you feel really alive?

In the past few years, I have experienced some very different sources of inspiration -- each as good as the next.

Frustration that worsening arthritis was limiting my activities, prompted me to think of something I could enjoy without frustration, and that lead to a mid-December, 2011, daytrip to a beach near Cape Kiwanda, Oregon.


During the spring and summer of 2012, while recovering from hip replacement surgery, boredom prompted several daytrips where I could enjoy Nature's beauty without too much physical effort. I rediscovered several beautiful spots in my own back yard, so to speak, including nearby Mt. St. Helens.



Frustration and boredom ultimately taught me the joys of inexpensive daytrips. Taking my camera along on those trips taught me to slow down and really look at what I was seeing. The end result? I vowed not to forget those lessons as I regained mobility and stamina.

When RenoSoHill organized the 2013 WU Photographers Gathering in Gold Beach, Oregon, I felt inspired to go. This was more than a daytrip and also the first time in a long time that I had taken a vacation by myself. And it seemed the perfect opportunity to learn from more experienced photographers. Though I had been to the Oregon Coast many times over the years, this was the first time I had really, really seen the beauty in views like this one of Heceta Head Lighthouse.


Over the course of shooting thousands of photos and enjoying the many wonderful photos in the WUblogs and WUgallery I somehow developed an appreciation of what makes some photos better than others. Over time, I found that I can fairly reliably pick out many of my favorite WUphotographers' photos just by looking over the thumbnail images in the WUgalleries. Some, I am drawn to because of subject matter, others, because of a certain composition style. Lots of reasons. Lots of favorites. They inspire me to try different techniques, different compositions.

When 2014 rolled around, I started thinking about what sort of photo shoots I would like to enjoy this year. It didn't take me long to get inspired. All it took was a series of Night Heron photos by Backwardguy near Umatilla, Oregon, and McNary Dam. I just had to make an opportunity to see these striking birds in person.



A little research taught me that it is mating season for Sandhill Cranes not far from Umatilla, OR, and Kennewick, WA in late March and early April. Now I was doubly inspired to have that photo shoot adventure. Soon, I will go explore a region that I have only seen while driving through, at 70+ mph, on my way somewhere else. I was amazed to learn there are 8 National Wildlife Refuges in the area, plus a whole lot of other natural areas and parks. And Backwardguy has even offered to show me where to find those intriguing Night Herons.

What inspires WU to break your routine? Is it something you read about or see on TV? Do you get inspired by what you see around WUville? What inspires you to pick up your camera and find something to point it at? What brings you that "Aha!" moment where you feel inspired to do something fun and/or creative?

Just WUndering.

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59. Proserpina
12:28 PM GMT on April 01, 2014
 photo 044x_edited-1framed_zpsb972618a.jpg
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 171 Comments: 18174
58. sandiquiz
8:37 AM GMT on April 01, 2014
Glad to see you are home safe....so am I.

My weekend trip was only half the distance of yours, but I spent many hours with friends and family, chatting, so not really travelling, or photo snapping.

So the blog became 'historical' :-)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 26214
57. BriarCraft
6:15 AM GMT on April 01, 2014
Hello Prose, WW, Skye, GG, WTS, Bug, Data! I got home yesterday evening. Today zipped by way too fast. I can't believe how long it took to sort through all the photos I shot, but I finally narrowed it down to 22 keepers that I posted this evening.

April Fools Day seems an appropriate time for me to tell all about my 3-day, 927 mile odyssey and then, if time doesn't run out on me again, I'll be around to catch up with WU friends and fiends.

Sweet dreams!
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 80 Comments: 4042
56. DataPilot
3:42 AM GMT on April 01, 2014
White rabbits x3, and Happy April Fools Day.

Looking at Kennewick weather, it appears that you may have gotten some clear skies.
Member Since: January 5, 2009 Posts: 11 Comments: 1285
55. WatchinTheSky
2:47 AM GMT on April 01, 2014
White rabbits x3! Sending some ex post facto good luck for your trip :)
Happy April
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 130 Comments: 1932
54. palmettobug53
2:59 PM GMT on March 29, 2014
Have a fun, and safe, trip, Briar!

I'm looking forward to hearing all about it. I know you'll get some great photos, too.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 233 Comments: 25079
53. WeatherWise
4:19 AM GMT on March 29, 2014
Okay, GardenGrrl, you were the one that told me about the weather station from Walmart. I was trying to tell BriarCraft but could not recall who had mentioned that to me! Thanks for refreshing my memory and telling BriarCraft the ins and outs of it. I might make a Walmart run to check on that.

Quoting 51. GardenGrrl:
We found a weather station at Walmart toy section a few years back with an anemometer, temp, humidity gauge for under $90 so we bought it. It's an ACCURITE. PWS were $200 and up back then that had all that stuff.
It still works.

Have fun and be safe on your trip. (I so wish I was going...would almost trade the pinball convention).

Member Since: February 28, 2003 Posts: 38 Comments: 1249
52. WatchinTheSky
8:28 PM GMT on March 28, 2014
Looks like rainy around Kennewick, but maybe not for long. Bring back lots of good photos :)
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 130 Comments: 1932
51. GardenGrrl
4:27 PM GMT on March 28, 2014
We found a weather station at Walmart toy section a few years back with an anemometer, temp, humidity gauge for under $90 so we bought it. It's an ACCURITE. PWS were $200 and up back then that had all that stuff.
It still works.

Have fun and be safe on your trip. (I so wish I was going...would almost trade the pinball convention).

Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 254 Comments: 9512
50. Skyepony (Mod)
3:55 AM GMT on March 28, 2014
What rich taste... You can get weather stations way cheaper than that.. Mine is over three years old.. A Tycon, I payed less than $200 for. This one would probably last atleast two years...$150 from Rainman.. La Crosse is pretty cheap.. Here's a nice low end but not total crap...$200, sold out but probably worth the wait.

If you are handy with lynux at all you can turn a RasberryPi ($35) into a 24hr uploader for your PWS. It only uses a few watts a day.


Hope y'all enjoyed the tunes..


Briar~ Safe travels!
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 37841
49. WeatherWise
12:33 AM GMT on March 28, 2014
Yes, I forgot about the high cost! We could have never had one at school had the tv station not awarded us as one of their Weather Schools. They furnished all equipment and software. We just had to have the dedicated phone line and the computer. Seems like recently I spoke with someone that had just a cheap one perhaps that they bought at Walmart. I don't have a clue who it was. Okay, will think on cost next and do the DO YOU REALLY NEED IT TEST.
Member Since: February 28, 2003 Posts: 38 Comments: 1249
48. Proserpina
12:08 AM GMT on March 28, 2014
I do not know if you have left for your photoshoot trip but I do wish you a safe trip and lots of fun. I am looking forward to your photos, which I am sure will be beautiful and exceptional.
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 171 Comments: 18174
47. BriarCraft
11:11 PM GMT on March 27, 2014
Ylee: Yes, it is an https site. Once Skye's link connects, it does switch over from http to https -- at least on my computer.

Data: I-84 or WA-4 through the Columbia Gorge is my alternate route. US-12 over White Pass is my preferred route, as US-12 is only about 5 miles from my house. I'll check the WA-DOT road report before leaving in the morning. Right now it is snowing lightly and the road is bare and wet with no restrictions.

WU's Road Trip Planner is nice, too. For example, put in Toledo, WA in Point A and Kennewick, WA in Point B with a departure time of 8:00AM tomorrow and it gives the forecast every few miles along the route AT THE EXACT TIME I should be at those spots. I will check that one last time, right before I leave in the morning.

BFH: Those are some good, informative links. The saddest part of this is that the area was surveyed by a geologist in 1996 and again in 1999 (dates subject to the accuracy of my memory). He reported that a major landslide would happen, but with no idea when That report got buried on some bureaucrat's desk and building permits were issued for new homes on Steelhead Drive after that date. Those homes are gone now, but they never should have been built in the first place. And the people who lived there had no clue there was any danger.

WW: I would love to have my own PWS, too, but the last time I checked, they cost over $1000 -- like this WU link on sale for only $1350! That is too rich for my blood.

Thanks Sandi and Poppy! See WU when I get back!
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 80 Comments: 4042
46. WeatherWise
7:08 PM GMT on March 27, 2014
Yes, having the weather station was really neat. The dedicated computer was in the Discovery Math Science Lab. My best friend ran the lab. Pretty much I was free to take my class in even when she had another small group in.

It was so funny - my friend and I would look at the computer to see if the wind was blowing or if it was raining or whatever! We would get so excited to see the wind signal on the computer whirling around. She would run out to look up on the roof to see the wind detector twirling round and round. She would say, "Yep, the wind is blowing!" We were silly over it!

I guess that is why I get so excited when someone uploads their weather station profile photo! I just have to send them a note of congratulations thus my story of WunderWilliam.

I would really like to get my own personal weather station. I need to talk to my son about it as I know he would install it for me. So I don't know what I am waiting for except that I am a do it myself person. I know I can not do it myself and hate to bother anyone else for help.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaing me a comment and commenting on my bluebird and red-bellied woodpecker.

I think it is about time for my walk as it is now up to 56 with pretty sunshine. Hope I hear and spot the pileated woodpecker today.

Have a great weekend!
Member Since: February 28, 2003 Posts: 38 Comments: 1249
45. BFH
6:47 PM GMT on March 27, 2014
On a sad note, but it may inspire you, to help. And it is "weather related"...

For those interested, some links to information about the recent slide in Oso, Washington:

Map showing extent of slide

Snohomish County website with Hwy 530 Slide news and resources. There is, as of this posting, an aerial video of the slide area.

Google Map of Slide area. If you zoom out, you can see the relationship to Seattle and other landmarks.


Hope all this works
Member Since: March 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 109
44. calpoppy
5:24 PM GMT on March 27, 2014
Enjoy!!!!! I am sure you will have fun and I hope the birds will cooperate with the lady and the camera, LOL!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 53 Comments: 3749
43. sandiquiz
5:09 PM GMT on March 27, 2014
Have a wonderful trip... I will see you on "our" return:)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 26214
42. DataPilot
5:05 PM GMT on March 27, 2014
Thanks for the link to Skye's flute recordings. What fun listening to her play!

Have a safe and pleasant trip to Eastern Washington, Briar. I hope you'll see less stormy weather once you're across the Cascades. Are you planning to take one of the Columbia Gorge highways? Our nearby mountain passes already have snow sticking on the road and more in the forecast, bad enough that I wouldn't voluntarily drive over them. I suspect that the passes up in Washington may be even worse.

I just hope they don't have any serious slides in the Gorge, or anywhere else, for that matter. Lots and lots of rain in the forecast for the next few days. No one wants a repeat of the heartbreaking scene in Oso.

Looking forward to seeing more photos from your trip!
Member Since: January 5, 2009 Posts: 11 Comments: 1285
41. Ylee
6:31 AM GMT on March 27, 2014
Quoting 38. Skyepony:
Ylee~ try here.


Work's web filtering software blocks it! :((

Briar, your http has an s at the end, Skye's doesn't.
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 94 Comments: 15631
40. BriarCraft
5:11 AM GMT on March 27, 2014
Mike: That canna is gorgeous! You know I love flowers and gardening, so I'm very glad you shared that here.

Ylee: I thought maybe you needed to be registered with soundcloud, so I logged out and the link still works for me. Don't know what the problem is. Then again, I wasn't able to click through on one of your links. Maybe it has something to do with Glitch-o-matic?

Skye: It looks like you've found a kindred spirit in Data! I'm glad you've got a "real" flute. Instrument quality does make a difference. My brother can make any organ sound good, but I've seen him move from one organ to another to another all in the same room, and the quality can really change a lot.

Then again, if you can make a bad instrument sound good, just think what you can do with a good instrument once you get used to the greater range.

WW: That is really kinda neat how you got onto WU to begin with. It must have been quite a fun experience for you and the kids to be involved with a new-to-the-school weather station. Fun story!
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 80 Comments: 4042
39. WeatherWise
4:25 AM GMT on March 27, 2014
Hi Briarcraft. You are probably right in summing me up

Quoting BC: WW: Judging by your latest blog that I visited earlier this evening, I think I've figured out at least part of what inspires you: afternoon walks with camera in hand, little children (no matter who they belong to), and your grandkids.

So I thought I would share my early days on WU.

How I got started on Wunderground was my school was chosen to be a weather school from local tv station - well, no local tv stations but a station out of Roanoke.

At that time the weather tools looked very much like those that I see uploading on WU now. However the tranfer of data was definitely pioneer days. The equipment was installed on the roof by the tv station and we had a computer dedicated to receiving data. To get the data, the tv station dialed up to our computer and transferred the data so many times a day.

On the evening news your school might be listed as the weather school of the day. The handsome tv weather guy even came down.





I also had the software on my computer at home and I could dial up the school computer and get the weather - the graphs and all are the same reporting graphs and charts that I see reporting data today from the PWS on WU.

I registered the school weather station with WU. That is how I began on WU on February 28, 2003. I did not immediately start posting photos.
Member Since: February 28, 2003 Posts: 38 Comments: 1249
38. Skyepony (Mod)
3:30 AM GMT on March 27, 2014
Ylee~ try here.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 37841
37. Skyepony (Mod)
3:27 AM GMT on March 27, 2014
Actually I've never wanted or tried to make a living with music. Seemed like too much travel without horses & questioned if there would be any time for horses. Where drawing & other things are almost effortless, music always took some effort & alot of practice. I have mostly left horses professionally to raise my kids. Could be riding several really expensive horses by next week if I wanted. Just doesn't fit right now. As the kids have gotten older I have gone back to it a little.

One true art I've done that pays well is murals. Usually you don't get to choose the subject but other than that it's yours. Guess dog portraits would pay enough but no...lol.

Did get free tickets to a theme park I preformed at in Orlando before Christmas. That was unexpected. Can totally relate to your brother making some on the instruments. On my sound cloud stuff, the Gemeinhardtt was a sound clip to sell it. It's gone. Got a great deal buying it & a professional one together. Kings, Kings, Kings is the new (to me) flute, all the ones before that are on a 1950's student flute that is a bit of an adventure to play & won't go too low or high. It's been interesting suddenly having a real flute after all these years.

Thanks for the fog pic tip..

Data~ Horses & a flute too? Haha~ Blood Brothers is far from concert music..I've been enslaved til summer by a band director, that's really great at teaching kids music.. Little jazz in the spring mix atleast.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 37841
36. Ylee
2:08 AM GMT on March 27, 2014
Briar, I might not be back here before you leave, so I wish you a fun and rewarding journey!

BTW, the link for Skye's fluteplaying doesn't work....:(
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 94 Comments: 15631
35. clearlakemike
2:00 AM GMT on March 27, 2014


Briar, Sandi was asking me how I garden on lava rock. I explained to her that I have to chisel into the rock with a large iron bar, called an O'o bar, and make a puka (hole). Then fill it with a mix of lava cinder and potting soil/compost.

I planted this Canna lily 7 1/2 years ago when I moved here. It only grew and bloomed the first Spring following the first autumn that I put it in. A long drought followed and I tried to keep it alive, just barely with some irrigation. We finally had normal rainfall again this past winter and it has grown back and bloomed!

The yellow bloom behind it is a wild orchid. They are amazing...survive the drought without much help and grow on and into the lava rocks. The Ti plant on the other side is thriving again now too with the natural rain water. On the ground you can see the black lava they are planted into.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 145 Comments: 1963
34. BriarCraft
10:42 PM GMT on March 26, 2014
GG: Photography in the mist has taught me two things: First, have a soft cloth to dry off the lens between shots. And second, be familiar with the cloning function of your photo editing software so that you can clone away the occasional water droplet in an otherwise good photo.

My mother taught me this trick: cut a hole smaller than your camera lens in a plastic bag, put the camera inside the bag and force the lens through the hole, then seal up the bag. That worked just fine when I took a film camera on my first Rogue River jet boat trip. I got drenched a couple of times, but only the camera's lens got wet. I don't think it'll be that wet on this trip.

Data: Thanks for sharing that bit of interesting history. You might get lucky finding bits of history in places like your horse paddock.

I spent my childhood near West Linn, south of Portland. When we tilled the garden, we sometimes found old square nails, glass bottles and jars, and the occasional arrowhead. We guessed it could have been a place where furtrappers and Indians met to trade, but nobody ever managed to research anything about it.

If you're interested in Skyepony's flute music, she's on Sound Cloud at https://soundcloud.com/skyepony
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 80 Comments: 4042
33. DataPilot
8:05 PM GMT on March 26, 2014
Data: Your talk about the Applegate Trail got me to thinking about the Applegate River down near Medford, and Applegate Road, too. I'm sure the Applegate Trail must have gone by there. Pretty country down that way, though it gets a bit hotter than I like in summer.

Yup, the Applegate Trail did indeed run through Medford as well. It connected the gold fields of Northern California with the Willamette Valley, and served as an alternate route for settlers coming west. Rather than having to choose between rafting down the Columbia River or crossing the Cascades over infamous Barlow Road, settlers could take the California Trail west, then travel north over the Calapooya Mountains. It's hard to know whether California/Applegate was a safer route, but it was believed to be back around 1850.

I see that Margaret Iman (the woman whose epitaph you mentioned) took the northerly route, braving the Columbia River. You have to wonder if that has something to do with the fact that she wound up settling on the other side of the river, in what is now Washington. I can't imagine that settlers crossed the wild Columbia very often.

Our land is part of what was one of the very first claims made under the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850. My research on the family that made the claim indicates that they started out in South Carolina around 1847(?), spent a year in Missouri, then headed over to the gold fields in California in 1849. The following year, they took the Applegate Trail north to the Willamette Valley, where they claimed a good-sized acreage right next to the trail. Our home sits on one corner of the old claim, and our barn is situated on what we believe is the original homesite. As a side note, the first marriage ever to be recorded in the county (actually, the entire south Willamette Valley) took place right on our property - probably in or around what is now my horses' paddock.

While researching the history of our property, I learned some interesting facts about our local area. When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, most of the locals hailed from southern states originally and sympathized with the South, even though Oregon was officially part of the North. The South's loss led to ongoing bitterness that split the church parish in half and continued until most of the original settlers died. Some families actually refused to bury their dead loved ones in the same cemeteries as other Northerners or Southerners, depending on their sympathies.


Oh I've been playing flute. Just haven't recorded anything. Spring concert is in about 2 months, so around then I'll get something else out.

I didn't know you played the flute, Skye. I'm an old flute player myself. Not concert material like you, though.
Member Since: January 5, 2009 Posts: 11 Comments: 1285
32. GardenGrrl
7:59 PM GMT on March 26, 2014
Hey, even if it rains it should be a neat trip. Bring plastic bags, hand towels and more plastic bags. I have found that wrapping my camera in a handtowel then covering with a plastic grocery bag makes me feel confident to shoot in mist. Would not try that in regular rain though.

Yo Bug, re-budget and doing things. I don't know your financial situation, but I used to be really really frugal before the cancer because I figured I would live into my 90's and should save every penny for retirement because we live a long time in our family and I didn't want to be old and homeless or something.

I've loosened up the purse strings a bit cause growing old really isn't guaranteed, but the present moment is.

Of course if the stress of spending outweighs the fun, don't do it. But if you can go out and do something fun that will not hurt your ability to pay your bills for the month or tap into the rainy day savings why not?
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 254 Comments: 9512
31. BriarCraft
7:40 PM GMT on March 26, 2014
Sandi: I'm glad you can breathe! Everything is easier when you can do that without a struggle. You and I will both be gone this coming weekend. Here's to good times and great photos!

Skye: Interesting link. Thanks.
I get the impression that you have something in common with my brother. He is a talented musician but can't make a comfortable, dependable living at it. Like you, he has found a way to make a living at something compatible and complementary to his love of music. He takes dead or malfunctioning organs, restores them into like-new condition, and sells them to good homes and churches. He also devised a way to turn a 400 pound Hammond B-3 into a portable organ for traveling musicians. He isn't performing as much as he would like, but he still manages to spend his days making music happen.

Mike: I did get curious from that 3-way conversation we had with Sandi here. It didn't take long to count. I would love to know the number of active photographers here, but can't figure out a way to count that.



I'm getting ready for my SE Washington photo shoot. The weather forecast has changed and Friday will be rainy. The difference in the detailed forecast is typical of the difference between western and eastern Washington weather. The Cascade Mountains split the state from north to south. On the west side of the mountains, where I live, annual rainfall averages 47 inches. Kennewick, on the east side, receives just 7.75 inches per year.

On Friday, Toledo has a 100% chance of rain and Kennewick has an 80% chance. Predicted rain for Toledo is about 8/10ths of an inch, while Kennewick might get 2/10ths of an inch. Once I cross the summit of the Cascades and start heading down the east side, I will be in a rain shadow area. It will be cloudy and I will see a few sprinkles, but it shouldn't be bad.

Saturday and Sunday will be partly sunny with only a 20% chance of rain. Highs around 60°, lows near 40°. I can deal with that just fine.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 80 Comments: 4042
30. clearlakemike
3:05 PM GMT on March 26, 2014
There are only about 140 active blogs (comments within the last 7 days) and I'd guess about that same number of active photographers.

Interesting and interesting to know statistic, Briar. Thank you for calculating that. I liked your analogy also.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 145 Comments: 1963
29. Skyepony (Mod)
2:51 PM GMT on March 26, 2014
CIMSS blog did a good write up on the slide.



Oh I've been playing flute. Just haven't recorded anything. Spring concert is in about 2 months, so around then I'll get something else out.

Yeah it's great for the youngins & they get more than their share, but overall it's near worthless for bringing in a living. Consider the traditional art pieces.. That stuff will be nearly worthless cash wise til after I die & then may still be near worthless. It's just the way it is. Art projects like making a solar panel, clothes or soap just pays me so much more...maybe not in that happy creative way you all might inspire that brings smiles & such but certainly does when it comes to bank.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 37841
28. sandiquiz
6:28 AM GMT on March 26, 2014
Hey, I awoke this morning and I can BREATHE!!!
It looks like I shall live! Hehe

Got a couple of busy days ahead, and then I am away for the weekend, so I might not be around much until Monday. I have a nasty habit of wandering around all my WUfriends blogs dropping pearls of wisdom, but then forget to go to mine. So for the next few days I will post in my blog, then at the beginning of next week come up with some new blog idea!

Hope you are totally better, too:-)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 26214
27. BriarCraft
6:03 PM GMT on March 25, 2014
Certainly not inspiring, but a good slideshow of the Saturday landslide up north:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-26728886

Also, Jeff Masters' current blog has good info and weather maps relating to the slide:
http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/show .html

FEMA is on the job now, providing support for local and state rescue efforts, though it seems unlikely that any more survivors will be found.

My sympathy goes out to those whose lives and loves are directly impacted by this disaster.

For those wishing to help, money is needed more than anything else:
Snohomish Chapter, American Red Cross
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 80 Comments: 4042
26. palmettobug53
5:17 PM GMT on March 25, 2014
I'm just going to have to make more of an effort to find the free/cheap things to see and do, with the occasional splurge for a special occasion.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 233 Comments: 25079
25. BriarCraft
4:37 AM GMT on March 25, 2014
Data: Your talk about the Applegate Trail got me to thinking about the Applegate River down near Medford, and Applegate Road, too. I'm sure the Applegate Trail must have gone by there. Pretty country down that way, though it gets a bit hotter than I like in summer.

Mike:
"Yes, I think there is more of smaller community feel here, Briar. You can create that on Flickr although it takes much more time and work to set it up. Or you can go very global there as well."

and

Sandi:
"WU isn't really a smaller community, but the fact you can chose to only see your "favourites" makes it feel like a much smaller, friendlier group."

I get lost on WordPress, unless I simply follow a link posted by someone here, like Ylee or Thoughtsteader. Before Flickr got so slow to load, I only ever looked at photos of WUfolk, like Sandi, because it was simply overwhelming to browse through the gazillions of photos there.

To me, those places are like L.A. or New York, and WUville is more like a small town. There are only about 140 active blogs (comments within the last 7 days) and I'd guess about that same number of active photographers.

Skye: "I don't draw as much as I should but I'd draw less if it wasn't for coming here. Briar because of you I entered something & won."
Yes! You were so surprised, though I don't know why. You are an artist, woman!
If memory serves, you commented about spending an afternoon with the kidlets, all doing art. You posted a drawing in your blog and I complimented it because it deserved praise.
Now, if you would just quit shoulding all over yourself and draw and play the flute more...
Well, maybe my asking "What inspires WU" will prompt you to let your creative muse out of that dusty box on the closet shelf.
You do know that music and art help kidlets grow into smarter, more creative adults. I'm just saying...
And don't forget to water the blog fodder a foot outside your door!

GG: I'm glad you have gotten some inspiration from WUville. It's the least we can do after the way you have inspired many of us. You've had a tough row to hoe these last few years. At times, you were down, but you were never out. And just like the Ever Ready Bunny, you just keep on keeping on until things get better.

And all those other things that inspire you:
"Plants, birds, critters, poems, stars, sky, weather, humor, crafts, photography, people that find these things to be what makes the world a wonderful place, this is what inspires me."
well, you put your own spin on them and make them fun for the rest of us, too.

Now just imagine what you could do with a remote-controlled Grim Reaper with a video camera under it's hood!

WW: Judging by your latest blog that I visited earlier this evening, I think I've figured out at least part of what inspires you: afternoon walks with camera in hand, little children (no matter who they belong to), and your grandkids.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 80 Comments: 4042
24. BriarCraft
9:22 PM GMT on March 24, 2014
I just wrassled the bubbler bird bath out of winter storage and back to its place in the sun. Easier said than done, but it is done.

Bug: The "pioneer" cemeteries that Data described often have more than just names and dates on the gravestones. Some are amusing; others tell a life story, such as this one on the gravestone of Margaret Iman buried in the Iman Cemetery in Stevenson, WA, literally told her life story after she was buried in 1924.

“Born in Tippecanoe County, Ind. 1852 Missouri to the Dalles on horseback carried motherless babe 500 miles. Took raft down river to Cascades. 1853 met and married Felix G. Iman. Survived Indian War of Mar. 26, 1856. Indians burned home. Had 16 children, nine boys, seven girls.” (from "Hey Darlin', Epitaphs of the Oregon Territory" by Johan Mathiesen)

I would imagine some of the old cemeteries in your area have some interesting epitaphs, too.

Data: Listening to dove calls, currying a horse, and loving kitties are just the things to set one's mind at ease before or after a hard day's IT work. It's been my experience, that creativity or inspiration can't happen without first bringing myself into the moment by clearing out the stresses and distractions. Those are peaceful actions that you do mostly by muscle memory, freeing your mind to think or not.

When I am loving a kitty, kneeling in the dirt, or making sawdust I frequently think, "This is as good as it gets." Peaceful times like that open me to little inspirations, such as the solution to a problem, a new idea of something to make or do, that sort of thing. Those great (to me) thoughts never come when I am stressed or swamped with busyness.

I admire you for taking care of 14 cats. I moved here with one. DH brought 3 with him. The most we had at any one time was 7. Like you, we do the spay/neuter/shots thing with all newcomers. Currently, all of the originals have crossed the rainbow bridge and we have four -- all former strays. Three adopted us. The last one was live-trapped after DH spotted that she had a broken leg, which had to be amputated. Not exactly inspirational, but definitely satisfying.

Poppy: The quest to see what is on the other side of the hill is an example of the quintessential quests that have driven mankinds advancement. Without that spark of curiosity, there would be no inventions, except by accident.

So, while your wanderlust and curiosity may not seem like much to you, without them, you would be hard-pressed to get inspired by anything. You said it more succinctly than I, but it is what I was trying to say in the header -- that when I get down, the best way I know to pick myself up is to go explore and the camera has helped me to realize how essential that is to my inner well-being.

I think that is what struck me by your recent photo, "The New York Road" because everything in that photo made me want to follow that road and discover what might lie behind and between those hills.



Break time is over now. I got some mowing done yesterday and want to finish up today with all that is mowable. Rain is coming tonight.

And by "mowable" I mean that when I see the mower's tires going into water, it's time to change directions and go around that soggy area.

BBL!
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 80 Comments: 4042
23. WeatherWise
6:23 PM GMT on March 24, 2014
Hi Briar, I am still lurking and mulling your question over as to what inspires WU and like you could have banged out a response. However I am still thinking on it and will pick a time when I can just sit down and have time to respond my true thoughts.

I will be back. Have a great afternoon!
Member Since: February 28, 2003 Posts: 38 Comments: 1249
22. clearlakemike
6:03 PM GMT on March 24, 2014
oh, and the weather info, of course...WU layer maps are great, the best I think. I like to see where the clouds and rain are where I live and the real time maps here are excellent.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 145 Comments: 1963
21. clearlakemike
5:50 PM GMT on March 24, 2014
lol, Sandi...(yes, I was able to see it! I think they used it for a BBC Worldwide Promo,) ...and now you have ruined my cemetery angel gazing forever, thank you :-) (Actually, it will make it more fun.)

Another note about Flickr that I like is that I can also restrict who views and theoretically uses my photos. But having said that, I do enjoy WU very much. Unfortunately, it doesn't work with my photos in my current locale (except for a few volcano ones for Barb, as she is a fan of volcanoes, lol.) But I still do enjoy looking around the country and the world via other's member's photos. And of course, the blogs are interesting and fun.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 145 Comments: 1963
20. sandiquiz
11:38 AM GMT on March 24, 2014
Mike - I can't see a statue of an angel without thinking it is one of the Doctor Who "Weeping Angels"** and it will kill me if I look away!! lol

** It is a BBC Youtube, so I am not sure whether you will see it or not. The BBC is funny about letting non-licence payers see their productions...:)


Briar - my head is easing, but I have a silly cough left... How long before that goes?? lol

Is it the smaller community here that makes it feel so much more personal than Wordpress or Flickr or YouTube?

WU isn't really a smaller community, but the fact you can chose to only see your "favourites" makes it feel like a much smaller, friendlier group.
Mike is right about Flickr, too. It has a huge membership, but if you are selective about your contacts, you can become friends with them.
For instance, I have met several of the folk I make regular contact with, and through one of those friends, who ran an invite only group of UK members, many in this area, who could meet up for a day or weekend photo shoot, we now have an honoured American member, who is known as "Loves Butterflies" - better known to you as Proserpina!
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 26214
19. GardenGrrl
10:05 AM GMT on March 24, 2014
Good morning, real quick cause it's a work day...I think I have gotten a lot of inspiration from WUville. Since moving to Texas I haven't found many artistic or outdoors people and it is natural beauty that inspires me to embrace life.
Plants, birds, critters, poems, stars, sky, weather, humor, crafts, photography, people that find these things to be what makes the world a wonderful place, this is what inspires me.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 254 Comments: 9512
18. BriarCraft
6:27 AM GMT on March 24, 2014
I'm back. I could have banged out a couple of sentences to each of WU, but there is so much good stuff in you're comments, that I don't want to give anyone short shrift. WU deserve better.



Sandi: Your initial blogging experience is not that different from mine. Though I, too, have been a member since 2004, I only got around to lurking in 2007. It wasn't until late 2010 that I made my first lame attempt at blogging and it took quite awhile for me to learn to post blogs that grabbed anyone's interest.

I very much enjoy the times when you revert to virtual British Tour Guide mode. Or British Chef mode, for that matter. Quite often, the initial draw to someone's blog is an interesting topic, especially something pertinent to where the blogger lives. What is it like to live in (fill in the location)? What keeps us coming back, however, is that friendships are built.

When you say, "But what inspires me? My own inimitable sense of curiosity and the need to know!" I have to think there is a flip-side to that coin, which is your willingness to feed others' curiosity and need to know. You spend a lot of time and effort coming up with interesting topics, researching history, explaining Britishisms, and generally sharing what life is like in Milton-Keynes.

Hopefully, all of us, who drive on the wrong side of the road and don't know a biscuit from a scone, manage to feed your curiosity from time to time.

Cloudy: My photo selection was an attempt to illustrate the diversity of things that inspire me to want to go exploring with camera in hand. Glad you like them.

Ylee: Your time will come to travel. Or not. I think the important things are to make the most of what you do have, don't forget to tell those you love that you do love them, and make your own happiness.

Since I have been around a bit longer than you, I can tell you that sometimes, when I look back and recall happy memories, I am frequently surprised to discover that I didn't think I was particularly happy during several of those times. I think someday you will look back to these times, when you are giving your creative muse room to stretch, you will remember some of them as happy times. Internal exploring is not a bad thing.

TS: You are in a rare and special situation. Yes, there are some constraints on how you order your days. After all, you do have customers to satisfy. But even they can't complain too loudly if the weather isn't conducive to refinishing their yacht.

In some respects, your life seems very spontaneous. You check the weather forecast, then decide what to do that day. You can plan ahead a bit, but the vagueries of weather forecasting make that a sometimes iffy thing.

So you alternate thinking and writing with going outside and doing. A balanced life with a lot of non-routine routine. No wonder you frequently feel inspired.



Okay, it's bedtime. I'll have to catch up with the rest of WU tomorrow. Sweet dreams...
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 80 Comments: 4042
17. Skyepony (Mod)
3:29 AM GMT on March 24, 2014
I'm inspired in alot of things here. There is that blog fodder from a plant a foot outside the door to fire chasing. Storms of all sorts. Pictures. The kids..there are some here that give hope for the future, really a great lot over all. I don't' draw as much as I should but I'd draw less if it wasn't for coming here. Briar because of you I entered something & won. It's amazing how I think we have influenced each other's path from the climate to overwhelming thanks from people that have left or prepared, didn't go to the super dome or changed plans because of what they read here to the everyday sharing that helps & brings a smile.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 37841
16. clearlakemike
2:54 AM GMT on March 24, 2014
btw, the Heceta Head lighthouse photo I enjoyed seeing again. The couple of times or so that I saw the view of the lighthouse while driving up the Oregon coast was always exciting.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 145 Comments: 1963
15. clearlakemike
2:46 AM GMT on March 24, 2014


Angels in a Middletown, CA cemetery Sunday June 19, 2005 — Middletown, CA

I use to enjoy visiting the very old colonial era cemeteries on the east coast. It was sort of creepy but in a fun way. I have a friend back there that is obsessed about his dead descendents and he has taken me to visit them in a very old cemetery back there. Bug, I would like to visit the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil cemetery sometime.

Yes, I think there is more of smaller community feel here, Briar. You can create that on Flickr although it takes much more time and work to set it up. Or you can go very global there as well.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 145 Comments: 1963
14. DataPilot
10:04 PM GMT on March 23, 2014
Bug, you're not the only person that loves to visit old cemeteries. We have a number of small "pioneer" cemeteries located very near by. The Applegate Trail (part of the old Oregon/California trail system) was this area's main highway until the turn of 20th century, so if you consider the limitations of horse drawn wagons, it should come as no surprise that there are old cemeteries located every few miles along the road. Many are now on private land, but I've found that most of the landowners don't mind visitors so long as you make arrangements ahead of time.

Isn't it paradoxical that visiting other people's final resting place can make one feel so alive?



Member Since: January 5, 2009 Posts: 11 Comments: 1285
13. BriarCraft
9:59 PM GMT on March 23, 2014
WU inspire me!

Bug: You list lots of great places to see, but gosh, most of them are expensive, even the cemeteries. And I know you do not have expensive tastes any more than I do.

I'm used to paying a few dollars here and there to get into national parks or refuges and I buy an annual pass to the state parks that gains entry for whoever is in your car. Or I might drop $3-5 into a donation box at museums and such.

That said, your links lead to a lot of really interesting places. If I lived where you do, I might just have to figure a way to fit in an admission cost here and there. Of all the links you supplied, I'd still have to go with Cypress Gardens as my first choice to explore.

Mike: I think it is easy for a person to become blasé about home, wherever that is. And it takes a conscious effort to think like a tourist, look at things with fresh eyes at a slower pace and more in the moment.

I agree 100% that being part of the WUville has definitely enhanced such experiences. I get motivated to really look at what is around me if for no other reason than to come up with blog-fodder. Is it the smaller community here that makes it feel so much more personal than Wordpress or Flickr or YouTube? I think it must be and I certainly cannot envision getting to know members of those mega-communities.

--------------

out of time for now
be back later to respond to Sandi, Cloudy, Ylee, TS, and Data
and Poppy, who popped in while I was typing
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 80 Comments: 4042
12. calpoppy
9:50 PM GMT on March 23, 2014
Since I was a kid I used to hike or hang out in the woods mostly by myself. And what always motivated me to walk further and further was what is out there that I don't see. What is over that hill or across that valley, maybe behind that stand of trees. There may be a wonder that I have never seen.

I still do that as an adult, I still hike and wonder what is over that hill, when we travel, it is always what is across that lake or over that ridge.

Now that I am getting a tad older, it is getting a bit tiring to go over that ridge or hill or walk through that stand of trees, but I still do. And probably will until I can't anymore. It is part of me.

I guess you would call it curiosity or just plain wonderlust that get me inspired.
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 53 Comments: 3749
11. DataPilot
9:29 PM GMT on March 23, 2014
Briar, you come up with some great topics.

What motivates Data? I had to think about that one for a while. I thought about it as I petted and fed the kitties, as I scooped the kitty boxes, as I fitted my fat mare Vicki with her grazing muzzle, as I put ointment on my other mare, Zelda, as I scraped loose winter hair off of both horses. I thought about it as I listened to hawk and mourning dove calls, as I watched other birds gliding through the sky. I was scrubbing out the horses' water tanks, thinking, "Gosh, nothing seems to motivate me. I'm too busy taking care of everyday stuff that has to get done."

Then it hit me. I don't *have* to have 14 cats. Or 2 horses. When my elderly mare, Trudy, died last year, no one made me go out and get Zelda. I chose to do so. When stray cats show up on our doorstep - which happens a LOT - Hubby and I don't turn them away. We feed them and arrange for veterinary care (including spay or neuter and vaccinations). If the situation is hopeless, we have them humanely euthanized. We try to be part of the solution to our local cat overpopulation problem.

What energizes me, what makes me feel alive, is being around critters.

Now I need to make time to visit Cascade Raptor Center.
Member Since: January 5, 2009 Posts: 11 Comments: 1285
10. palmettobug53
4:11 PM GMT on March 23, 2014
I'll be saving my pennies to visit a cemetery I never knew existed in downtown Charleston until I read about it this week in a book I got from the library, Charleston's Historic Cemeteries.

It is the original Beth Elohim cemetery on Coming St. It's not open to the public except by appointment, due to problems with vandalism. The 'donation' is $18.00, which goes towards preservation of the headstones, tombs and the wall surrounding the cemetery. A worthy cause and I really would like to see it. I love old cemeteries and this is one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the U.S., dating back to 1764.

BTW, check out your local library for the Arcadia Publishing books. I've bought several as gifts and I love reading about local history and seeing all those old photographs. They're great books!

I'd like to go visit Magnolia Cemetery but Hubby freaks, if I mention going alone. The area is a bit isolated and he's afraid I'll get mugged. Or worse. It's free, though. Maybe I can work on him some and get him to go with me.

It's over 130 acres and you could easily spend weeks in there and not see it all. It dates back to 1850 and was a popular spot for family outings and picnics.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 233 Comments: 25079
9. Thoughtsteader
3:39 PM GMT on March 23, 2014
I'm not saying this as a joke or to be a smart-aleck. Your question up top made me realize something that's been true for a while now: my routine is what makes me feel alive.

That may be due to the fact that there's very little "routine" in my routine. With weather-dependent work, there's no telling for sure what I'll be doing each day until I know what the weather is. And even in the stretches of settled weather, the environment around me changes daily.

Beyond that, there aren't enough hours in the day for all the research, writing and thinking I want to do. One thing I've been able to do through my blog (that is, through The Task at Hand) is to affirm the truth of Anaïs Nin's words: "We write to taste life twice: in the moment and in retrospect."

Travel writing's a great way to extend travel!
Member Since: January 16, 2014 Posts: 35 Comments: 512

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