Monthly Archives: May 2009

May 29, 2009 – Mt. Rainier from Crystal Mountain

Mt. Rainier from Crystal Mountain Ski Resort

Mt. Rainier from Crystal Mountain Ski Resort

Friday, May 29, 2009.

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Okay, I’m going to go ahead and get this one out of the way. Yes, you’ve seen it before, both on my profile page and on my artist page. I’ve been trying to toss out new ones that you guys haven’t seen yet, but I’ve got to use these ones up too. I’m telling you now: one day next week I’m going to use the Mt. Shuksan picture too.

This is a picture of Mt. Rainier, taken from right near the top of the Rainier Express chair at Crystal Mountain. For those of you who either don’t live in Washington or don’t ski, Crystal Mountain is *the* place to ski out here. It’s a fantastic mountain, albeit with ridiculously shitty service. Yes, it’s true, everyone who works for the mountain seems to go well out of their way to be an asshole, but they only do it because they can, because it’s far and away the best place to ski in the state.

Mt. Rainier is (obviously) the centerpiece of Mt. Rainier National Park, and Crystal Mountain is just outside the park boundary. It’s 14,410 feet tall (the only reason I know that is because I know that Pikes Peak is 14,110 feet tall, and I know that Rainier is exactly 300 feet taller), and it’s just a big ole’ volcano. Other noteworthy volcanoes in the same chain include Mt. St. Helens (yes, that one), Mt. Baker, Mt. Hood, Mt. Shasta, etc, etc, etc.

The cloud in the upper left hand corner may or may not be a “lenticular” cloud. I’ve heard that term a lot, and I think that’s what it means, but I’ll be honest: I really have no idea. Those clouds are caused by air being forced over the mountain, and usually indicate that there is moisture moving in to the area. Meaning, it’s sunny today, but it’ll be raining (or snowing, depending on your elevation) tomorrow.

That’s all I’ve got today. Have a great weekend!

Map: http://tinyurl.com/npohsv

Make sure you scroll down and to the left, to see Rainier itself.

Notes: Canon PowerShot S500. (Point and Shoot) 1/1000s, f/7.1.

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May 28, 2009 – Yellow Beach, Pinel Island

Yellow Beach, Pinel Island, St. Maarten

Yellow Beach, Pinel Island, St. Maarten

Thursday, May 28, 2009.

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This is Yellow Beach. It’s on Pinel Island, which is a tiny little dot of land just off the coast of St. Martin/St. Maarten. (I mean, it’s literally a few hundred yards off the coast.) St. Martin is an island in the Caribbean that’s owned half by the French (who call it St. Martin), and half by the Dutch (who call it St. Maarten). For the most part, this doesn’t really affect the lives of the locals too much, but according to our tour guide, there is an occasional inconvenience. For example: from the French half of the island, it’s cheaper to call mainland France than it is to call the Dutch half of the island. Huh, weird.

Julie and I were here on our honeymoon. We spent the first week or so on a Caribbean cruise, then we got off the boat in St. Thomas (U.S. owned), which was the last port call before the boat returned to Puerto Rico, and we spent several more nights there. We ended up on Yellow Beach as part of a snorkeling tour / bus trip around the island. The snorkeling from here was no better than “decent”, but any day spent on the beach is fantastic, so all in all it was a great time.

Map for this one: http://tinyurl.com/l52hrc

I was able to get pretty exact with the location on this one, google had some great satellite images.

I found some guy who also made it out to Pinel island.  Here’s his blog.  But he doesn’t like Bud Light, at least not as much as I do.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, 18-55 mm kit lens. 1/250s, f/10.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 21 mm.

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May 27, 2009 – Prairie Dog

Prairie Dog

Prairie Dog

Wednesday, May 27, 2009.

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Another super old one today. This one was taken at a rest area in I think it was Oregon, when I was in the process of moving out to Seattle. As in, I was literally driving the Uhaul out here, and stopped to pee. There were a bunch of prairie dogs at the rest stop, that were apparently used to people being around, because those guys were absolutely fearless. Normally, it’d be pretty tough to get close enough for a picture like this, but I was able to bribe this guy with a couple graham crackers. (I have another picture of him munching on an entire cracker that I gave him, pretty cute. Actually, “gave him” is not quite right, in reality I had it sitting on the ground in front of me when I was taking pictures of this guy, when his buddy snuck up between my legs and grabbed it. Whatever.

I took this one with my old 35mm SLR, using the big macro lens that I had for it. That lens could be tough to use, especially for animals, because it had such a small depth of field. (Meaning, it was really hard to get the part you wanted in focus.) Even in tihs picture, you can see that starting around his shoulder, it’s already getting fuzzy. So if either the subject moves, or you accidentally move forward or backward by half an inch, suddenly your picture is worthless. Plus, this was in the days before digital, so you wouldn’t know it until you got the roll developed. So then you’re faced with either wasting half of your roll to make sure you got a good one, or just crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. Man, I hated the 35mm days. Some purists try to claim that something was lost when we went to digital, that film is the only way to go. I think that’s stupid, no offense intended. Well, okay, a little bit of offense intended. Digital is amazing, I’m never going back.

Notes: Old Pentax 35mm, unknown lens, unknown details.

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May 26, 2009 – Whistler Mountain

View from Whistler Mountain

View from Whistler Mountain

Tuesday, May 26, 2009.

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This was taken up near the summit of Whistler Mountain, which, as the name kind of implies, is a fairly large portion of Whistler-Blackcomb, the ski resort. Since it’s one of the closest large destination resorts to Seattle (and definitely the largest), those of us in Seattle that call ourselves skiers tend to spend a fair amount of time up there.

The valley that you’re overlooking in this image is the valley that Highway 99 comes up through. It leaves Vancouver, heads up along Howe Sound to Squamish, then cuts into the mountains to Whistler, then it continues on to Pemberton further north-ish. The mountains in the area are all super-young and glacier carved, so they’re super rocky and steep. There’s a huge Provincial Park in the area too, Garibaldi. (Province = state, pretty much). Lots of cool stuff to explore. Sorry if this description seems composed more of random fragmented thoughts than a cohesive story, I’ve been interrupted about 6 times while writing it, and I’m not motivated enough to go back and rewrite it. That’s okay though, just look at the pretty picture and move on. :)

Map: http://tinyurl.com/ou2v67

Notes: Canon Powershot SD700 IS (Point and Shoot). 1/500s, f/8.0.

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May 22, 2009 – Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Friday, May 22, 2009.
This was taken up near La Connor, Washington, during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. There’s a bunch of tulip farms up there, so every April, there’s a ton of tulip fields to go check out. It’s kind of a trip, seeing whole fields of these really bright, bold colors. Each time you go, there are different varieties blooming, and thus totally different colors. This time around, we ended up in a tulip field with these pinks, some deep reds, and some purples. Since it’s the Seattle area in April, the weather of course can be hit or miss, but if you hit it on a nice day, it can be a lot of fun.

Because of the holiday weekend, this is going to be the last post until Tuesday. I haven’t decided for sure yet what my general policy will be on weekends. I’m leaning towards only putting up pics on weekdays, but if you have an opinion either way, let me know. Or don’t. Whatever. :)

Map: http://tinyurl.com/o3tmax

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300 mm VC lens. 1/400s, f/8.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 200mm.

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