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Coldwater Lake at Mt St Helens

By: BriarCraft , 9:44 PM GMT on July 22, 2014

As the crow flies, I live about 35 miles from Mt. St. Helens. Driving, it is 55 miles to the end of the road at Johnston Ridge Observatory on the west side — close enough to go there on a whim for an evening photo shoot. Recently, I have been toying with the play of light and shadow when the sun is low in the sky and it seemed like a fun idea to go up the mountain and see what the shadows might reveal.

I have visited the volcano, both east and west sides, on several occasions over the years, but always when the sun was high in the sky, between the hours of 11:00am and 4:00pm, in May, June, and July. The mountain and the lahar field at its base, when the sun is high, are bright. You see harsh shades of gray that are dramatic, without a doubt, and well worth the trip to the mountain.

In the evening, however, I discovered to my joy and amazement, that there are colors in the crater and shapes that I never saw before and the ravines carved by streams of meltwater are deeper than I imagined.

The lava dome is better-defined with the help of shadows

Notice the rusty streaks near the top and dark red lower down

See how the shadows give definition to the ravines

Coldwater Lake is a magnet for me. I can never come to the mountain without stopping to pay tribute to Mother Nature at this beautiful spot. Watching the transformation from devastation to beauty is endlessly fascinating for me. For a little background, I gleaned the following information and photo from the USGS website:

On May 18, 1980, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake was accompanied by a debris avalanche, which in turn unloaded the confining pressure at the top of the volcano by removing the cryptodome. This abrupt pressure release allowed hot water in the system to flash to steam, which expanded explosively, initiating a hydrothermal blast directed laterally through the landslide scar.

The top 1000 feet of the summit was gone. Traveling at least 300 miles per hour, the hot material in the blast overtook and merged with the debris avalanche. Water from melted snow and ice then mixed with loose rock debris to form lahars.

Approximately 6 miles from the peak, part of the debris avalanche blocked the flow of Coldwater Creek, forming Coldwater Lake. This new lake would have overtopped the blockage in late 1981 or early 1982, which probably would have resulted in serious flooding downstream. Therefore, a spillway was constructed in 1981 to stabilize the lake level and prevent an uncontrolled breach. Lake level monitoring stopped following the 1998 water year because the lake blockage was considered stable and catastrophic breakout was determined to no longer be a significant threat.

Coldwater Lake 34 years later

Wild Foxgloves and greenery reflected in Coldwater Lake

Hiking trails and paths, a boat ramp, restrooms, a fish cleaning station, and pet area make Coldwater Lake an inviting place for all nature-lovers. Birth of a Lake Interpretive Trail is a 0.6 mile wheelchair accessible paved pathway that gives visitors up-close views of Coldwater Lake. For boating, combustion engines are prohibited on the lake, but anglers reach trophy trout by electric motors, rowing, or kicking. Coldwater Lake is managed as a quality trout fishery. There is a one fish, 16″ minimum limit. Wild rainbow and cutthroat are in the lake. Fishing is open year-round. Artificial, single, barbless hooks are required.

For the full story, including wildflowers and YouTube videos, please visit my WordPress blog at http://briarcraft.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/coldwa ter-lake-at-mt-st-helens/#more-187

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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71. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
8:39 PM GMT on August 10, 2014
BriarCraft has created a new entry.
70. BriarCraft
6:49 PM GMT on August 10, 2014
Prose: No. Unfortunately, the moles have developed quite an attitude. The last time I moved a trap, the next morning, it was centered between three new hills.

Ylee: The only redeeming thing in Caddy Shack is the war waged against that cheeky gopher. Thanks for finding that video clip -- that is what I have been imagining in my current War of the Moles.

Sandi: You are right that it is difficult to take a decent photo when holding the camera as far as you can reach over your head. No way to hold it steady, so you definitely need a fast shutter speed.

WTS: I am trying a new variety of tomato hybrid this year, Momotaro, and was worried that the leaves were rolling, even though they are getting the exact same treatment as my other tomatoes. What a relief to see that is normal for some. Momotaro is a main season slicing tomato that is supposed to be ready in 70 days, 5 days earlier than any other variety I have tried. I have picked 3 tomatoes from it so far and nothing yet from any other plants.

GG: Too much eastern Washington smoke obscured moonrise for me last night, so I went out again around 11:00. My initial result was a white glare that might as well have been a lightbulb. Then I started playing with ISO settings with the camera set on Shutter priority and got some good results. Think I'll start a discussion thread about that in Compositionally Challenged.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
69. GardenGrrl
10:22 AM GMT on August 10, 2014
How goes the battle? Very bright moon out right now. Am really hoping there are not any clouds (unless they have rain!) obscuring a quick shot when I get home from work tonight.
The other day while driving we saw during the early moon rise a real neat sight. Picture a very blue sky with low hanging puffy clouds shaped like grazing sheep. A big waxing to full moon was just above them and a rainbow came out of the higher clouds to the right. Gorgeous! Only had the phone camera so couldn't get on it. Was wishing I had my Fuji to do a panarama that would get both entities in the shot.
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68. BriarCraft
5:20 AM GMT on August 10, 2014
Last week, the challenge was to avoid holding the camera at face height, pointed straight ahead. We went in search of Another Point Of View.

See more at Flickr group Compositionally Challenged.
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67. WatchinTheSky
2:46 AM GMT on August 10, 2014
'Fair Settlement'? Take no prisoners!!

Nice info on tomatoes, especially since this year, my garden is mostly tomato! That 75 degrees for ripening is a problem for me at the moment ;D
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66. sandiquiz
11:27 AM GMT on August 09, 2014
You've got moles in your garden, I have got wasps in my roof!
My neighbour saw them on Friday, so I tried to take a photo. Have you every tried to hold the camera up above your head at arms length and zoom to the end of the range? I captured some dubious shots, but it confirmed they were wasps and not bees. Called out the exterminator who will come Monday and deal with them!! ARGH!!

Hoe you and Wally finally outwit the evolved "clever" moles!

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65. Ylee
2:58 AM GMT on August 09, 2014
Although this video is for gophers, you may be able to use it with moles, too! And remember: Safety First! :' )

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64. Proserpina
11:30 PM GMT on August 08, 2014
Hi! I read about the moles and your declaration of war. Have you and they reached a fair settlement?
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63. BriarCraft
10:17 PM GMT on August 08, 2014
The Oregon State Extension Service sent me an informative email about tomatoes. Even people who don't have vegetable gardens sometimes have a tomato plant in on their patio, so I thought this might be of interest:

Are your tomatoes struggling? Brooke Edmunds, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service, troubleshoots the following common problems that might be afflicting them:

Blossom drop – It's usually caused by dry soil and dry winds, but also may be caused by a sudden cold spell, heavy rain or too much nitrogen. Usually not all blossoms will fall off, so be patient for the next set of flowers.

Blossom-end rot­ ­­– The end of the fruit farthest away from the stem turns brown or black – a condition caused by irregular watering practices and calcium deficiency. It is most common in western Oregon. Water deeply and regularly. Add lime to the soil in the fall to increase the calcium level for next year’s crop.

Leaf roll – A physiological problem that is most often the result of heavy pruning or root injury. Some tomato cultivars display leaf rolling as a normal growth habit. Plants may lose leaves but will recover. Learn more in this guide on leaf roll from OSU Extension's online catalog: http://bit.ly/1omQ24c.

Sunscald – Green tomatoes can get sunburned if exposed. There is no cure, only prevention by reducing foliage diseases that can cause leaf loss. Take care when pruning to protect the developing fruit.

Early and late blight – These are fungal diseases, characterized by spots on lower leaves and stems that appear water-soaked. Avoid overhead watering, and remove diseased leaves.

Slow-ripening fruit – Temperatures above 85 degrees can slow the ripening of tomatoes, which ripen quickest at 70 degrees to 75 degrees. Wait for cooler weather to allow for vine-ripening to occur. Fruit just showing color changes can be picked and stored at room temperature to ripen.

For more information, photos and control methods for these and other tomato maladies, consult OSU Extension’s Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Management Handbook at http://bit.ly/UXunbt. Or call or visit your local OSU Extension office.

A couple of illustrative photos can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/oregonstateuniversit y/14852371711/in/photostream/
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62. BriarCraft
10:10 PM GMT on August 08, 2014
Poppy: Wise decision not to have a cat. Sure, some people manage to have their dogs and cats get along, but I have heard more than one sad ending to that story. Cat and dog may curl up and sleep together, but if cat mistakenly does something that causes dog's chase/kill instinct to kick in and, well, end of story.

Definitely the downside of summer. My mother and I both noticed the season turn on July 25. That night was a bit cooler than it had been and since then, it feels like fall. The daytime highs may be the same, but it cools off faster in the evening and the nighttime lows are a few degrees cooler and the sun just doesn't feel as intense, even in the afternoon.

Ylee: I'm glad you have a tabby supervisor to discuss your projects with.

GG: I'm glad you'll see about helping the Ginger Cat find a loving home. You're right that he deserves better. If he is healthy, the right shelter will feed him and "fix" him and put him up for adoption.

The mole wars continue unabated. :(
My brother has a theory that this is evolution at work. Wally and I have killed off all the dumb moles. Those that remain are the smart ones.
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61. GardenGrrl
6:10 PM GMT on August 08, 2014
Hi Briar, you are right, damnyouautocorrect is freakin hilarious. I know many have to be true after the "fun" I have had with the tablet. Had a skinny but friendly tomcat show up here. I call him Ginger Cat. If he shows up on my day off I'm going to take mister skin and bones to a no kill shelter to get re-homed. Very sweet cat he does not deserve neglect.
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60. Ylee
8:06 PM GMT on August 06, 2014
We have a tabby that "supervises" everything that I do outside, and sometimes, we "discuss". :' )

Shame it wasn't before the 4th of July; you could probably get some smoke bombs for the mole tunnels, just a thought.
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59. calpoppy
1:39 PM GMT on August 06, 2014
Siamese were always my favorite cat, though for some reason I never had but one of them. Mostly persians and Himalayans and of course domestic short and longhairs, LOL! Both the purebreds were a lot of work with all that hair! I do miss having a cat, they are good listeners, but for the sake of the cat we will not have one :)

Weather has cooled off some after our rain, more monsoooooons are coming in the future. August is still hot for us but now we are on the downward side of summer.
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58. BriarCraft
3:11 AM GMT on August 06, 2014
WTS: Torties are very strong-willed, so if you could teach Theia about forward thinking, she would be sure to get your co-workers straightened out. Young as she is, I bet she's got you trained to do pretty much what she wants.

GG: Never trust those little red squiggles and turn off auto-correct if you can. It will get you in trouble sooner or later. If you doubt my words, just check out this website full of auto-correct bloopers: http://www.damnyouautocorrect.com/. Warning: don't try to drink anything when you are reading that stuff.

If memory serves, I believe David Brin wrote about talking cats with opposable thumbs in one of his Uplift Wars novels.

Sandi: I'm sure Max and Wally could and would exchange a lot of valuable information. And if Max understands about doorknobs, he might well understand about iPhones, too. Just think of the trouble he could stir up....

The mole wars continue. Three traps in the ground, one of which got moved to a new location this morning. New hills today: 2 small, 1 medium, 1 large, and 1 ginormous. And I mean ginormous in that I filled a 5-gallon bucket from just that one. Wally half-heartedly dug into the large one, but didn't catch that dang mole. It's probably a good thing I couldn't buy dynamite without a special permit these days. Otherwise, one corner of the house would be in jeopardy.

To end on a positive note, I picked another 1.5 gallons of blueberries yesterday. Haven't cleaned them yet. Maybe tomorrow.
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57. sandiquiz
6:22 PM GMT on August 05, 2014
I smiled as I read about DH and Wally. I wonder what DH, Wally and Max could actually achieve if they put their heads together, as Mad Max always has a lot to say for himself!
I am eternally grateful that he does not have opposable thumbs, because if he did, he would never be contained. The internal doors have knobs not levers, and he often pats them, knowing that is how I open the door!!

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56. GardenGrrl
10:02 AM GMT on August 05, 2014
Good Morning, the amazing thing is some how I have no doubt Wally does understand the concept of forward thinking and conceptualization. He is after all a cat. It is probably for the best they do not have opposable thumbs or a need for large organized social groups.

As an aside here, the site spell checker continues to underline in red squiggles opposable . Having now asked Auntie Google how to spell it I am wondering what else I have spelled right only to misspell it because of the red squiggles demanding another incantation. Perhaps I should ask Wally.
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55. WatchinTheSky
2:04 AM GMT on August 05, 2014
Sounds like we could use Wally at work!! Now if I could get Theia to get on board ;)
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54. BriarCraft
11:33 PM GMT on August 04, 2014
Hi Dave! Nice to see you here.

Sandi: You paint a vivid picture of scone-baking class, but no student bedlam could ever have gotten their intrepid teacher down. I'm certain of it.

That took forward planning and some just couldn't grasp the idea!
Ah! We should DH and/or Wally to explain about that.

On more than one occasion, I have seen DH taking a break on the deck with our cat, Wally, who DH says is the very smartest cat he has ever known. The two of them are buddies and, since Siamese are rather talkative by nature, they share some serious discussions at times.

DH likes to utilize his break time by "conceptualizing" the next few steps in whatever project he has going. One day, I happened by and overheard him explaining to Wally the meaning of conceptualizing. Another day, I overheard a discussion about the value of advance planning, which was followed by an explanation of how conceptualization is an aid to planning. Wally, being attentive and inquisitive as well as talkative, is sure to ask appropriate questions, which encourages further explanation from DH.

As I said, the two have quite lengthy conversations. So having thoroughly explored the concepts of advance planning and conceptualizing, DH now confers with Wally on a regular basis about appropriate next actions. Not only that, but when I ask for DH's opinion, he is just as likely to refer me to Wally as he is to render an opinion.

So if you ever have need to explain the idea of forward planning to someone in future, let me know in advance, and I'll send Wally over to help.
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53. BriarCraft
9:18 PM GMT on August 04, 2014
Last week, we learned a little about Still Life photography. This is just a sample of some of the awesome photos our members posted.

See more at Flickr group Compositionally Challenged.
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52. sandiquiz
1:39 PM GMT on August 04, 2014
"C clean up"??? If Only!!

It is not intended to be an exact science.

That's what I tried to teach the kids at school when making scones or muffins.
Try to imagine a class of 20 excited 12 year olds as they enter a class room, ready to make their scones.
There is just 55 minutes before the end of the lesson. They have to prepare themselves, "jumper off, hands washed, apron on", then get out their ingredients. Those who have supportive mothers, (or fathers), have weighed out their ingredients at home, and arrive with everything set to go. The remaining kids have been handed a couple of pounds on the way out of the door and told to "buy" what they need in the shop as they passed on their way to school! They arrive with a small bag of flour, a half pound block of margarine, a whole bag of sugar ... plus mixed fruit if they are making fruit scones! The waste made by this method used to really irritate me, as I always tried to have the ingredients in, so they could buy from me exactly what they needed, but had to order 24 hours in advance. That took forward planning and some just couldn't grasp the idea!

As to the "exact science" - with the clock ticking down to the end of the lesson, they were taught to measure using table spoons, not scales... it was much quicker, although the ones who were heavy handed, did end up with heavy scones!

I sometimes look back and wonder how I stayed sane.... that dratted clock was always ticking... and which idiot thought you could teach a class of twenty kids any food skills in only a lesson of 55 minutes.... but I did!
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51. Cloudyinthewest
6:43 AM GMT on August 02, 2014
Hello Briar Craft,

Those are wonderful pictures of Mt. St. Helens.

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50. BriarCraft
12:51 AM GMT on August 02, 2014
Sandi: We wouldn't want your brain to explode -- what a mess that would make for C to clean up! You are over-thinking our measurements. It is really quite simple. Take a 1-quart or 1-liter measure -- the kind used for liquids -- and simply fill it with blueberries or whatever. Don't smush the berries. Leave the air pockets as they are. A quart of blueberries will certainly weigh differently than a quart of shredded carrots, but no matter. What we are interested in is the volume, not the weight, and even though the quart is intended for liquid measurement, it also works to put a certain quantity or volume of blueberries into a batch of muffins. It is not intended to be an exact science.

Prose: Happy August to you, too, Maria.

GG: Moles bypassed the traps overnight and rerouted tunnels around them, leaving two huge hills behind for their efforts. :(

YOR: At various times, I have given thought to taking up rabbit hunting, though I imagine the our cottontails are probably tough and stringy.
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49. YelloworangeRose
3:47 PM GMT on August 01, 2014
i found and old book with a nice rabbit recipe and i took a picture of the page going to copy them and one day post it here. Hope you have a nice week end.
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48. GardenGrrl
2:51 PM GMT on August 01, 2014

Hi, we are with the Mole Incineration service
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47. Proserpina
1:54 PM GMT on August 01, 2014
@Maria photo 015f_edited-1August_zps9d6c135f.jpg
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46. sandiquiz
8:18 AM GMT on August 01, 2014
According to metric-conversions.org, 1 quart = 0.94635 liter......

lol - that still is in a liquid measurement, so I checked to see if you could work out the weight of a litre.

One litre of water weighs one kilo... but that is a full weight, how can you weight fruit that is round? You will have air pockets between the fruit, so how much does air weigh! LOL Better stop before my brain explodes!

White Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit
Wishing you a very happy month of August :)

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45. BriarCraft
11:09 PM GMT on July 31, 2014
WTS: Another way to keep bunnies from munching where they are not wanted is to put down blood meal, an organic fertilizer. That can become a bit expensive though, because it needs to be replenished once a week.

Poppy: 90° here at the moment and the hottest part of the day isn't for another hour or so. I have taken to setting my alarm to get up earlier than usual, just so I can get some yardening in before it gets too hot. Yesterday's marine layer clouds kept things comfortable until 11:00. Today started off sunny, and I was over-heated at 10:30 and had to come in.

Ylee: The dryness here is the cause of my current mole problem. They really appreciate that I water my flowerbeds and have healthy soil that attracts worms. As soon as the fall rains arrive the moles will head for the cow pasture next door.

WW: Yes, the garden centers like to congratulate people who have mole problems because it means you have healthy soil. Moles' favorite food is worms. Worms need organic material to thrive and there is no better fertilizer than worm poop.

Sandi: According to metric-conversions.org, 1 quart = 0.94635 liter. I agree that measuring many ingredients would be more accurate done by weight than volume. I have problems with some recipe measurements, especially when a recipe calls for a small potato or a medium onion. How big is a small potato? The answer can vary widely, depending on who you ask.

I collect mole hills, too. It is nicely broken up and easy to spread anywhere it is wanted.
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44. sandiquiz
8:34 AM GMT on July 31, 2014
Moles and still life? Well, my mind boggles!!

When I was little my dad would take me out into the field behind the house with a spade and a wheel barrow. The moles enjoyed freedom in the field, the only thing that would stamp on them was a herd of heifers.

Dad would collect all the soil pushed up by the moles and take it back home to use as top dressing on his flower beds. He said it was the best free soil going!

I still, after almost ten years, can't get my head around the American measurement of foods! How much is a quart of soft fruit??

We measure our fruit by by weight, not volume. It used to be by pounds, but now it is silly European kilos! I still measure in pounds and ounces and not kilos and grams, and use feet and inches, not centimetres! lol
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43. WeatherWise
3:14 AM GMT on July 31, 2014
Hi Briar, Wow! I did not know moles made mole hills. I always see where the mole has worked tunnels all around the yard or flower beds but never seen where they broke the ground like that. Down on the farm, my mother used to put out a trap as they would work up the whole yard if you let them and yes destroy the roots of your plants. Now that I think about it I might recall some holes like that but did not know was mole hill....I probably was afraid it was a snakey's hole.

That is a beautiful photo of your finch.

I am not sure if using the blow torch to defrost the fridge was a show of impatience or just one up of a bright idea - or used the blow torch because he could. Most of us would not have a blow torch in the first place but definitley would not think to use it for defrosting the fridge.

Have a great rest of the week. Once Wednesday is gone the week is almost gone.

My Bee Balm

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42. Ylee
2:44 AM GMT on July 31, 2014
Are your moles making mountains? ;' ) It was bad like that here too, but since it's been dry, they've moved on either lower below ground, or somewhere there's moisture!
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41. calpoppy
10:11 PM GMT on July 30, 2014
Luckily my blueberries bloom and bear again and again, so I have a new batch ripening. Not like the initial batch (which didn't get pollinated) but enough to munch on.

I have never done much indoor photography and that is one of the reasons I picked still life. It would make me figure out lighting and include design. I try to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone, LOL! I will always carry my flashlight about when I have camera in hand ;)

You temps are still warm, so like me you are probably spending mornings doing outside chores and afternoons inside. One day for for Llano I know the heat will end and we will be back to liking where we live, LOL!
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40. WatchinTheSky
8:34 PM GMT on July 30, 2014
Oh No!! Return of the Mole Wars.... That's interesting, leaving the corpse (do only people turn into corpses, otherwise carcases?) to deter further interlopers. We had a mysteriously deceased rabbit a week ago and instead of bagging and dumping it was , ahem, donated to the coyotes/vultures just past the back fence. A day later it was gone and no live bunnies seen snacking on the greenery for several days.

14 quarts and still weighted down with green ones! Ah, the advantages of actually getting rain! And living in blueberry country ;D
I'll bet the senior center likes to see you visit!
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39. BriarCraft
7:53 PM GMT on July 30, 2014
Ylee: Still life? Most definitely.

GG: I have been learning a lot, too. Before we started with the weekly photo challenges, I somehow never got around to messing with all those buttons and menus on my camera. Now, the challenges are twisting my arm, making me actually try different things. I've had the camera almost 4 years and in the last 4 weeks I have discovered several "new" settings.

WTS: Looking back at my garden journal, the total harvest so far is 14 quarts of blueberries. I gave away 2 quarts of fresh ones to my parents, another quart to my brother. And, of course, we have munched a lot of fresh ones. After I freeze enough for family to enjoy through the winter, there should be some extra to go to the senior center. I like to take fresh produce to the senior center in the mornings. Sometimes the cook will use it for the senior nutrition lunch program. Other times, when I put things on the "free" table, the seniors forget their crafts or games and go for the produce with great big smiles on their faces.

So this morning, when I got up and looked out the window, this is the sight that started my day:

5 mole hills in a 5 foot square area (plus a couple small ones from yesterday)

I counter-attacked by setting 2 mole traps and stomping down numerous runs, some of which uplifted my flowers.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I caught 2 moles in this same area and left their carcasses in the mole holes. That usually deters any other moles from entering an area for quite some time. Maybe these are cousins out for revenge. Come on ahead, mole cousins, I'm ready for you now! This is war.
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38. WatchinTheSky
3:57 PM GMT on July 30, 2014
6 quarts! Very nice, I think I got 2 cups for my first crop this year - hoping for a lot more as they mature, if they survive the summer! I may have gotten more blueberries than plums by weight this year, I think it was too warm last winter.

Nice save of the cassins, hopefully it is older and wiser ;D

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37. GardenGrrl
2:40 PM GMT on July 30, 2014
Bad Ylee! lol. Glad the finch recovered enough to leave.
We have some rain here today, YAY! Am thinking of going to fabric store and getting some non reflective black felt to line a light box for still life pictures. Want to play with the long shutter functions and see what happens.
Have been learning a lot from these challenges about both of my cameras by playing with all the settings for the shots.

Okay, now about those fresh blueberries, YUM!!!! Must be so fun to see a bumper crop like that.
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36. Ylee
1:26 AM GMT on July 30, 2014
The finch was literally still life, wasn't it? :' ) Glad it's OK!
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35. BriarCraft
12:04 AM GMT on July 30, 2014
WW: Oh my! Mr. W must have been really impatient to defrost with a blowtorch.

Sandi: Pardon the abbreviations. As you discovered NWR is National Wildlife Refuge and, though you didn't ask, Nisqually is a branch of the Southern Coast Salish people.

Poppy: Enjoy your your landscape design job up in the cooler mountains. I hope it's cool enough to be comfortable.

Ylee: With those water temps, maybe you start to see why the woman was a bit hesitant to give paddle-boarding a try. Our well water comes out of the ground at 42 degrees, though running through a hundred feet of pipe, it's a bit warmer than that when it arrives at the house this time of year.

Poppy is making us work hard for the photo challenge this week. We're doing Still Life photos. That really threw me for a loop at first. Sometimes, it takes me awhile to figure out all that I can do instead of inventorying all the things I can't. Once I remembered that, I started coming up with ideas of what to shoot.

It took me 2 hours to pick blueberries this morning and I came in the house with about 6 quarts of berries. That's a lot of berries and the bushes are still drooping under the load of green ones. At least they are easy to take care off -- wash, compost any with a white cocoon in the blossom end, drain, spread on a cookie sheet to freeze, then bag and stow away in the freezer.

As I stepped outside this morning, I noticed a Cassins Finch on the concrete below the feeder. He was gasping for breath with his beak open and he didn't move as I slowly appoached. If I left him there, one of the cats would have him in no time, so on a whim, I gently picked him up. That I was able to pick him up tells you what bad shape he was in. My thoughts were to put him someplace safe, where he could die in peace, I set him on the tool shelf in the woodshed. Amazingly, he was gone by the time I finished picking blueberries, so he must have been stunned from flying into one of the shop windows or maybe he choked on a seed.

This is what a Cassins Finch looks like:
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34. Ylee
8:30 PM GMT on July 29, 2014
50-55 degree water? What are they, nuts? Around here, that's prime well water drinking temperature! :' ) Back in my Florida days, I didn't get into the ocean until the surf temp passed 80!

What's the new challenge?
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33. BriarCraft
10:52 PM GMT on July 28, 2014
Here's a sampling of what we learned about Point Of View last week.

See more at Flickr group Compositionally Challenged.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
32. calpoppy
3:58 PM GMT on July 28, 2014
Where can you find wildflowers in July in the mountains as you said! It is so neat when I go hiking up at the 8300' level to find Mariposa lilies amongst other flowers.

Speaking of the mountains, I am off this afternoon to see a client about a landscape design in the mountains. Will be cooler up there.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
31. sandiquiz
8:28 PM GMT on July 27, 2014
Nisqually Reach (the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge)

This answers the question I asked on Poppy's blog :-)
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30. WeatherWise
7:42 PM GMT on July 27, 2014

Hi Briar, I remember the days of defrosting freezers. Just don't let Mr. Briar get any bright ideas of defrosting with a blow torch! The first year I was married had one of those types of fridge freezers. Mr. W was so proud of himself one day when I got home from work. He had defrosted the freezer for me and, YES, with a blow torch. The method I had been using was to set a bowl or pan of hot water in there but not quite fast enough for Mr. W. Noticed the milk not really chilled that night and by morn, it was clear that the fridge was no longer chilling at all. SO, off we went to get a new fridge with a self defrosting freezer. In all fairness to Mr. W he really could fix just about anything - there was very little he could not fix/

Such is life!

A bluebird fledgling that I keep seeing down my street a ways:

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
29. BriarCraft
7:03 PM GMT on July 27, 2014
Yesterday, the pantry was nearly bare of catfood and the nearest Petsmart is in Lacey, just 4 miles the other side of Olympia. No need to twist my arm to make a trip to Olympia at this time of year, so I put a big cooler in the car, grabbed my camera, and headed north. First stop, Target, where I bought a lunch tote to use on photo shoots, just like GG blogged about recently. Then over to Petsmart, where I spent the longest time reading ingredient labels, as Gracie and Charley are now on fish-free diets. You can not trust the product name -- even "Poultry Platter" contains fish. I spotted a Hallmark store across the parking lot, so popped in to pick up anniversary cards for my parents and also DH's parents, both in August. At the Olympia Farmers Market, one of the vendors had trucked in peaches from Yakima in eastern Washington. There were several varieties to choose from and an employee was busy slicing into different ones, handing out samples. Another vendor had new potatoes. With my shopping done and perishables safely tucked away in the cooler, I went in search of a photo op.

I found Luhr "Beach" on Puget Sound. Not exactly a place to spread a beach towel and relax. In fact, walking is a challenge on this surface. The docent at the nature center there informed me that the tidal range is 18 feet and that there is no beach at all during high tide. The pier is fenced off as it has been declared unsafe to walk on, but barn swallows and purple martins find it a great nesting place.

After returning to the parking area, I sat on a concrete barrier to enjoy the view and watch boaters come and go at the boat ramp. There was a good mix of motorized and non-motorized boats. Two couples returned from exploring Nisqually Reach (the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is just the other side of this arm of water) in their kayaks and paddle boards. When they came ashore, one paddle boarder talked a kayaker into trying the paddle board there in shallow water. After some hesitancy, she did try it out, but I could tell she was suspicious that he just wanted to see her tipped into the cold water (50-55°).

While I was watching the paddle boarding lesson, someone else drove up and parked behind me. I heard a car door shut, saw a black blur go streaking past me, over the concrete barrier, across the beach, and splash into the water. The black labrador was so thrilled to have water to play in that he didn't think to check out the water temperature before diving in. He swam out about 10 feet, by which time the water probably penetrated his coat to reach his skin. Then he turned around, shook the water from his ears, and swam for shore as quickly as possible.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
28. BriarCraft
6:34 PM GMT on July 27, 2014
YOR: You are so right. There is a feeling when you view something in person. I think the biggest challenge of photography is to find a way to convey that feeling while focusing on only a part of the total landscape. Sometimes, we succeed, but most often, the effort falls short.

GG: One of the fun things about going to the mountains is that spring comes later, so spring flowers bloom in June and July. Such a beautiful new eco system to watch develop. How cool is that? Oh yeah! It is nice scenery, but that is the main reason I keep going back.

Prose: After my trek to Olympia, I stopped by here briefly last night, read your comment, popped over to your blog, and got the recipe. And, by the way, peaches and berries are a great combination, even though I rushed it and skipped the refrigerator time. I'll do it right today.

Sandi: Now you can buy an aerosol that you spray inside which does the job for you! No kidding? Must be magic. I used to used GG's method until my mother clued me in to the fan technique. I wouldn't be able to sop up meltwater any faster than that.
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27. GardenGrrl
9:55 AM GMT on July 27, 2014
A spray to quick melt the ice? I usually use pans of hot water to set inside (mine has multiple shelves) and a hair blow dryer.
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26. sandiquiz
12:57 PM GMT on July 26, 2014
Ah, the annual defrost of the freezer!

Years ago I used to put a bowl of hot water in the empty freezer, and wait for it to melt. Now you can buy an aerosol that you spray inside which does the job for you!

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25. Proserpina
12:11 PM GMT on July 26, 2014
Hi, I posted a recipe for you on my blog, I think you would be interested in taking a look at it. I am rushing this morning to get ready for Mimi's class. Take care.
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24. GardenGrrl
12:07 PM GMT on July 26, 2014
Hi, finally got over to your WP blog. Very nice. The flowers are amazing. July lupine and the yellow orchid like plant would be early spring flowers here. Lot's of good info too. Really like that the powers that be have kept the lake natural by not allowing gasoline powered boats. All but one lake in Texas are man made reservoirs from which we get drinking water. Gas powered boats are the rule rather than the exception. Go figure.

Such a beautiful new eco system to watch develop. How cool is that?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
23. YelloworangeRose
3:23 AM GMT on July 26, 2014
I love all the photos you posted. lovely how nature paints the area. Thanks for letting me see the wonderful view there but i think it is a different feeling to be actually seeing those in person. I love the birds too. Hi everyone.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
22. BriarCraft
11:59 PM GMT on July 25, 2014
Mike: It is not surprising, really, that Hawaii has come up with a volcanic counterpart to the CA Earthquake Authority. Both are probably insurance pools where companies co-insure each other to limit losses. A quick search reveals that lahar insurance is available in Orting and other towns in the path of a Mt. Rainier lahar. If one is willing to pay the premiums in an area with a particular high risk, insurance is available for just about anything.

WW: After watching jays just gobble sunflower seeds, hull and all, it was nice to watch how the chickadee opens the seed and eats the meat inside. And I know you are right. I have taken hundreds of photos of birds to get just a few that were worth keeping. Heck, I shoot multiple landscapes before I'm happy with the exposure and the composition. It does make a difference that we don't have to buy film and pay for developing, doesn't it?

GG: Any excuse to go off to the pond is a good one. There is always so much to see in and around ponds. Too bad Roxie couldn't tag along, but you'll make it up to her later, won't you? So Syd has come close to getting his neck wrung??? There must be a story or two behind that...?

After I finished fooling around with that stupid video, I did get something done yesterday. I defrosted the freezer, which only happens once a year and was due in May. Wouldn't want to rush into anything, right? Actually, it's not so bad since my mother clued me in a few years ago. No more chipping ice. Instead, just set up a fan to blow room-temperature air into the open freezer. The ice melts so fast it becomes a race. Can I sop up meltwater with the sponge as fast as the fan can melt the ice? And after half an hour of frantic activity, the freezer is de-iced and dry. I spend as much time transferring frozen food into coolers and then putting it back on the shelves. And this time, I only discovered one bag of 3-year-old frozen blueberries to dump in the compost bin. An hour after I started, I was done. And wet and half-frozen myself. Despite rubber gloves, my hands were icy. And meltwater had splashed and dripped onto my jeans to the point that I stepped into the laundry room and tossed the jeans into the dryer for 20 minutes to get them dry again.

And the good news is I don't have to defrost the freezer again until next May. Or June. Or July.
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21. GardenGrrl
12:25 PM GMT on July 25, 2014
Good morning, it is off to the pond to see if I can get some nice challenge shots. Poor Roxie will have to stay home. She is a bit like Prose's Mimi only much stockier. I think the Universe deemed it okay to give us the problem pets because we won't kill them. Syd, however, has come close ;>)
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