Getting All My Ducks in a Row

All My Ducks in a Row

We got all our ducks in a row at Oxbow Regional Park in

Gresham, Oregon

Ducks and an easy hike awaits you just 7 miles east of Gresham, Oregon at Oxbow Regional Park. Using a National Forest Pass or paying a $5.00 day use fee affords easy access to the whitewater of the Sandy River, well marked hiking trails, picnic areas and campsites.

Riverbank restoration in process

The riverbank is under restoration because the river has undercut a wide path as it forms the oxbow curves. The exposed stumps on the shoreline have been carbon dated to 1780. At that time an eruption of Mt. Hood, a stratovolcano and now the highest mountain peak in Oregon, caused a mudflow to completely bury the forest.

The buzz of chain saws accompanied us on our “hike” until we rounded a bend and the trees muffled the sound. We learned that the Forest Service was grooming the tributary for salmon breeding by creating pools of still water with downed logs.

You only need a mild interest in spending time outdoors either walking in the forest, or hiking, or camping, or simply communing with nature to enjoy Oxbow Regional Park. But, for someone like me who has seemingly found a new lease on the outdoor life, this park is a jewel in the crown of the Mt. Hood National Forest.

NOTE:

Actually, the “duck” photo above is a family of Canadian Geese – adults and adolescents. But, you already knew that, if you’ve read this far, so there is no need to correct my “mistake”.

Location is a state of mind

Location is a state of mind

While contemplating the state of my existence today, I realized that location is a state of mind. We have owned our Pacific Northwest home for about seven years (as long as our youngest grandchild is old), and it just seems to get better the more we spend time here.

I am enjoying the river and deck from our home on the Sandy River in Oregon. It is approaching dusk. We have just enjoyed a meal that was prepared almost a year ago and frozen for a later date. Today was the later date. Damn, I am a good cook! The meal , Shepherd’s Pie, was probably made more enjoyable because I didn’t have to think about ingredients, grocery shopping, or food preparation. I simply had to thaw, throw a salad together, decant the wine, serve al fresco and simply enjoy the sound of the river and enjoy the sunset. The mosquitoes are not an issue tonight, thank goodness.

The desire to travel and explore foreign lands doesn’t go away. But, simply enjoying the simple life that we can sometimes take for granted, speaks volumes to my heart.

I’m listening…

 

Three Misconceptions About Travel

When thinking about traveling around the US or abroad, many people believe it’s very expensive and only rich people can do it.
This is only one of the most common misconceptions when it comes to traveling.
But believe me, as a person who works in the field, there are many more! This is the kind of belief that makes traveling impossible for so many people, who in fact would love to travel and see the world.
Here are three common misconceptions about travel.

# 1 Misconceptions – Traveling is Very Expensive and Not Anyone Can Afford It

Yes, traveling can be pretty expensive if you book a 5 stars hotel, dine out every day and all that. But traveling isn’t about spending all your year’s savings in a few days with caviar and Mumm’s champagne.
There are so many alternatives to expensive travel, from low cost flights, special travel offers, cheap accommodation (Airbnb) or even free hosting like Couchsurfing, free tour guides, WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms), Workaway and many other alternatives that will help you spend less and travel more. Personally, I have used Airbnb for lodging more than once and have been very satisfied.

Isn’t this the whole idea around travel? To see more of the world? Myth busted!

# 2 Misconceptions – Traveling isn’t Safe Especially when Traveling Alone

Yes, many of us have seen the movie Taken and it kind of invites us to stay at home, where at least we’re safe. And this applies if you’re traveling alone or if you’re a woman in particular.
But it’s a long road from being nervous and labeling traveling alone as unsafe. In fact, contrary to general opinion, if you follow a set of “rules” you should be relatively safe and sound.
It’s important to keep your valuables hidden, avoid unpopulated areas at night, make friends with your hostel/hotel staff, stay alert and look confident.
These simple guidelines will definitely make traveling safer for everyone!

# 3 Misconceptions – I Don’t Have Enough Time to Travel

Traveling is about seeing some other parts of the world, besides those you are already familiar with. It’s not about moving to someplace else and spending months on end there.
So, for those who believe they don’t have time to travel, let me tell you, this is pure a misconception. Travel isn’t just about going very far from home for a very long period of time.
It can be a short road trip over the weekend to a nearby city or Wild Park, a mini-vacation that you can definitely afford and have the time to enjoy without extensive drive time. You can even consider a stay-cation in your home town. See it like a visitor and you may be surprised at how much you learn and enjoy.
On my recent stay-cation, I discovered a macro world in my own backyard.

Travel Misconceptions stay-cation spider web with water and spider

Spider web, complete with spider, after watering the garden … On a stay-cation!

 

Freesia at the Flower Stall in Downtown Portland

The Flower Stall in Downtown Portland

On a recent photography trip to Portland, Oregon, the freesia was in bloom along with many other locally grown gems. There are the regular weekly customers, as well as tourists to enjoy this flower stall 365 days a year and in all kinds of weather.

The magical florist was creating spellbinding floral creations for all to enjoy. You can visit their website here.

flower stall in Downtown Portland Oregon

Spellbound Flowers in Downtown Portland Oregon

Rose from the Rose City

A locally grown rose from the Rose Capital City

florist arranging flowers

The magical florist creating spellbinding flower creations

Customer smells fragrant freesia

Customer smells fragrant freesia

Happy Thanksgiving from JDP and plans!

Happy Thanksgiving from JDP!

As we make our way through Thanksgiving turkey, shopping, and family and friends, let’s just….fill in the blank.

I want to hear from you…tell me what you just want from this holiday.

I am adding vegan recipes to the menu for this holiday. I am sure to include exercise (hiking, resistance, weight, walking). I am planning my photo education and excursion in April 2015…making final decisions now.

What are your travel plans in 2015? Care to share?

Use of Royalty-Free Photos, Video and Audio

Royalty-free photos, video, audioRoyalty-free music, audio, video and photo files are an integral part of hybrid photography.

Hybrid photography is a combination of still photos, video, and audio (music, sound effects, or the spoken word). It is critical when using any sound and photos/video, that one has the rights to use them. Thus, today’s topic of Roalty-Free.

Photographers today earn their living by selling the rights to their images. Whether it is a portrait print (not to be scanned and distributed) or a digital file, a user must have permission and rights to use the image before it can be used. Stock agencies have excellent systems set up to make royalty-free purchases online. You can buy rights to photos, videos, illustrations, etc. I am listed with several stock agencies – iStock, Dreamstime, Alamy, and several others. Royalty-free music and sound effects are also offered by online agencies. My favorite is Premium Beat.

Be sure to download and read the royalty-free rights you are purchasing. Keep the documents in a handy place because you may need it to prove your rights to use the digital files. For example, on several occasions with YouTube recently, my rights to use music have been challenged. When I can easily go back to the royalty-free release, copy and paste the important information to defend the dispute on YouTube, that makes life easier.

This week I was challenged again on some Chinese music that I purchased in 2009. There were three copyright holders on the music. Two have released the music for me to use, one did not. Rather than spend significant research time and effort locating the purchase document, I chose to take the hybrid photography project off YouTube, made it a simple video with no sound, and re-uploaded it to YouTube. I don’t know if this little project is worth any more effort, so I may just let it go now, and be more diligent on future projects.

Here’s a link to The Tao of Tea SILENT.