Friday, December 1, 2017

Talus Rocks - #SaturdaySnapshots


Another senior center hike -- this one in the Talus Rocks area of Tiger Mountain.

Definition of talus
1 :a slope formed especially by an accumulation of rock debris. 
2 :rock debris at the base of a cliff. 

The aptly named Talus Rocks Trail took us to this accumulation of huge boulders. For scale: the wooden barricade is about four feet tall. Also, check out a few of the senior center hikers in the background.
(Click on photos to enlarge.)



A tight squeeze between those giant-sized rocks!

Taking a few minutes to grab a drink of water in a beautiful setting.

Altogether we covered seven miles with an overall elevation gain of 1,000 feet. Whew! My only complaint (besides being tired at the end) is that the trails were covered with a layer of wet leaves which hid slippery rocks. It would have been easy to turn an ankle on a hidden obstacle. It might be better to explore these trails in spring or summer when rocks on the path would be visible. 

We started at the hiking symbol on the map below (Tradition Plateau) and meandered along the trails in this order (as best I can remember): 

Bus Trail (there's an abandoned, rusty school bus by the trail - wish I'd paused to take a picture!)
Nook Trail
Talus Rocks Trail
Section Line Trail
High School Trail
Adventure Trail
Brink Trail (overlooks a deep ravine)
Bonneville Trail
Swamp Trail (alongside a boggy area)
Around the Lake Trail

FYI: The Swamp Trail (a 1/3-mile-long self-guided trail) features "Zoe and the Swamp Monster" with placards along the path that tell a story. My granddaughter would love it! (Link: Swamp Trail)






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Friday, November 24, 2017

Granbury, Texas - #SaturdaySnapshots

Inspired by a Southwest Airlines fare sale and a kind invitation from my life-long friend (and co-author) Sandra Allen (plus a reunion with high school friends), I recently made a quick trip back to my home state of Texas. During my visit, one of our adventures took us to the town of Granbury. According to the National Register of Historic Places, Granbury's town square is one of the most complete 19th century courthouse squares in Texas.* 
(Click on photos to enlarge.)

The centerpiece of the square is the Hood County Courthouse.





The beautifully renovated Granbury Opera House faces the courthouse entrance. We had a great time at the "Salute to Opry" concert.



There are certain foods I must have every time I go back to Texas: Tex-Mex (preferably tamales and enchiladas), chicken fried steak, and fried okra.  I had all those. But this time I had a bonus meal of delicious German food: pork schnitzel, red cabbage with apples, and hot German potato salad. Along with a warm dark-bread roll and a glass of pilsner, my meal at Ketzlers Schnitzel Haus and Biergarten was heaven. (FYI: Many German immigrants settled in Texas's Hill Country.)



I also had a fantastic reuben sandwich at The Fillin' station (also on Granbury's town square). A glass of local beer-- Revolver Brewing's "Blood and Honey" (American wheat ale) -- and freshly cooked potato chips made the meal complete. Forget dieting!



Back in Sherman, TX, we ate at MG's. Great burgers and car-themed decor.

Pegasus (AKA The Flying Red Horse) was a landmark in the Dallas skyline for many years and the symbol of Mobil Oil Company, atop its downtown headquarters.



How do you know you're in Texas? Longhorn cattle alongside the road!


Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!







Sources: 
Hood County Courthouse, TX
Ketzler's Schnitzel Haus, Granbury, TX


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Friday, November 17, 2017

More #Photo Tips - #SaturdaySnapshots

Want to know more about lighting in your photography? Recently I posted info from a YouTube video by photographer Peter McKinnon (HERE) with a couple of tips for improving our photos. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz left a comment and suggested I put together a post featuring more suggestions from McKinnon. So today's post is about lighting. 

In Tip #4 McKinnon suggests, "Move to a window."

I took this first photo using a flash.



I think the Rainier cherries look yummier in natural light from a nearby window.


McKinnon also advises, "Wait for the golden hour." According to Wikipedia: "In photography, the golden hour is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is soft and even with a warmer color temperature."

Maybe this is what he had in mind.


I wish I could say that I'd worked hard to create these photos. Actually, I take lots of pictures, and sometimes I'm just lucky.




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Friday, November 3, 2017

Water Drums - Snoqualmie Valley Trail - #SaturdaySnapshots

Although my hikes and walks often feature similar scenery, there always seems to be one "something" that sets each adventure apart from the others. Recently, our group hiked five miles on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. What made it memorable? The "rain drums" at the Cedar River Watershed Education Center.
[Click on photos to enlarge.]





After our hike on that rainy, windy day, we stopped at the shelter of the education center to eat our brown-bagged lunches. We didn't expect a symphony! Rain runoff from the center's roof had been directed into tubes and splashed down onto the drums. The rhythms created a delightful musical accompaniment to our meals.

Link for More Info:  Cedar River Watershed Education Center
Click on "Water Drum Video" on that page for a six-minute talk by the artist who created the water drums.





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