WELCOME TO BergiesPlace, MY PHOTO JOURNAL….

…of commentary and images of places, things, or events that I’ve photographed or remembered. On the right are posts from the past few months; click on one and you’ll be taken to it.  ALL earlier posts can be found by clicking here for an alphabetical index..  if If you’d like to get an automatic email whenever I add a post, simply click under Email Subscription at the lower left. You can always unsubscribe.
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In addition to the photographs here in my posts I maintain galleries from nineteen years of shooting digitally.  They are organized by topic and can be seen by clicking here., and have enjoyed nearly 700,000 views 

 

Apertures and shutter speeds and composition guidelines are very specific and easily defined; vision, not so. It’s not a setting on your
camera; it’s a setting in your head.

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If you enjoy my photography, get some insight into how I’ve done it over my 70 years   of shooting.

Read my new eBook,

Shooting For Better Images

at  http://www.BetterPix.Net.

 

A SIGN OF SUMMER’S FADING?

When we think about shorebirds we think about seagulls, terns, great white egrets, great blue herons, and so on.  Rarely do we think about Purple Martins but they come here and enjoy the shore as do we.  They winter in Mexico and further south, and arrive back at Long Beach Island in April.  They spend a pleasant summer here, raise their chicks, and fly away in mid to late August.

Here’s part of their condos at nearby  Cotov’s Landing on Liberty Thorofare.

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After a day of insect catching, home to roost.

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What prompted this post, however, was their recent gathering on the electric wires of our neighborhood.  The image below is an eight shot panorama to try and convey the immensity of the gathering.  As I captured the scene I could also see that the wires on the next street and the street after that were also covered with the birds.  Unfortunately, the resolution of the web site doesn’t permit that but you can see a larger version by clicking on the picture.  You may then be able to see some on the distant wires behind the front wires.

 

Click on the image below to see a larger version.

I was struck by their number as it was far greater than just those from the end of our street.  Obviously there are others on the island but what in the world draws them all together and why?  We’re speculating that this preceded the departure of many of them on their way south.  As I’ve suggested in past posts maybe they’re comparing travel plans or checking with Orbitz.

Because of the hundreds and hundreds of birds I kept looking for Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor but no luck.

(For those of you too young to have seen it, watch for Hitchcock’s “The Birds” on Turner Classic Movies.)

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Here’s a closeup of the view out back (from Grampa’s deck).    I thought their lineup on the diagonal electric service cable (from the pole, down to the right) was pretty nifty.  Hope it can be seen against the houses.

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Finally, since the other wires were already taken, lots of them took over the wires on the front end of our house.

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I hope they have a great winter in Mexico, and I hope to see them again next summer.

Hasta luego y vaya con Dios.

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SUMMER SCENES

I noticed the heat wave followed by some drenching rain storms with sound effects.  Must be summer.  We’ve been enjoying it though I’m not getting around as much as usual.  We’ve been doing a lot of “Sunday” driving around the island and the nearby mainland but not getting out at destinations and checking things out like art or craft shows or antique shops.     One such recent visit was to a favorite, Viking Village at Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island.  Home to some quirky shops, the occasional weekend art or antique show, and the Larson family fishing fleet.

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The commercial fishing business was launched in the area in the 1920’s by Norwegian fishermen.  The focus early on was lobstering but expanded to scallop dredging and to gill-net and long-line fishing.   John Larson and his family members built a small fleet here as well as buying Viking Village with a partner in 1975 and continuing its development.   The boats of the Larson fleet all include “Larson” in their name.  Above we see the “Grand Larson”, in the distance is the “Karen L” (one of John’s daughters), and the red hull to the right also signals yet another  fleet member.  Mr. Larson is gone now but I feel privileged to have once sat and chatted with him in the village years ago.  He was an outgoing and pleasant person.  I like to think it’s a Scandinavian thing but his soft-spoken depths may also come from years of wresting a living in stormy waters.

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Summer is opened for us by the ceremonies at our one hundred and seven year old yacht club.  I posted last fall that my son-in-law, Bob Kiep had been elected as Rear Commodore meaning that he’ll move on to serve as Commodore in 2021.  It’s so good to have an inside connection.  Anyhow, here’s Rear Commodore and Mrs. Robert Kiep (my daughter, Sigrid) at their first official function, this year’s opening ceremonies.  It’s certainly a summer scene but the kind of image that happens when your father is an artsy photographer.  I’ll make up for that below.

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Summer can bring foggy mornings and we had a humdinger a couple of weeks ago.  I love foggy scenes as powerful mood creators.  (You’ll find eight fog posts listed in the index:  Look under Fog.  Please, no comments about foggy writing. ) Anyway, here’s the retired lobstering work boat, Sultan, struggling against both fog and foliage.

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I also made out Ozzie and Opel Osprey, fogged in along with their two chicks in the nest.

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But, the sun comes back eventually.  Here’s a sunny morning and the Miss Beach Haven is underway.  She’s a so-called head-boat meaning that customers buy their individual passage and ride her out to wherever the fish are biting.  Her first trip of the day departs at 8:00 AM, and another departs at 1:00.  I’m usually just finishing my morning coffee on Grampa’s deck and I look for her.  She didn’t go out on the morning of the fog.  Prudent.

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The next image is one from the 2015 files but still a summer scene.  It was made at Rockport, MA, on Cape Ann northeast of Boston.  The scene is a display window of a funky shop out on Rockport’s Bearskin Neck.  The image keeps haunting me.  I have regretfully ignored it because of what I saw as fuzziness.  Recently I realized that the fuzziness is only within the window and the rest of the scene is sharp.  So, the fuzziness was somehow created by the storekeeper to convey an underwater scene. They might have had a small fan in there stirring up the fronds.  Colleagues: the capture was tripod mounted and is a blend of three exposures ranging from 2-4 seconds.

Well, it took four years to make the cut but here it is (and I’m fond of it).

Click on the image for a larger view.

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Earlier I said I’d do justice to Sigrid and Bob after that artsy introductory image.  Here they are in the receiving line at the club opening.  Picture them saying “How was your winter?”

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SUMMER BEGINS

Appropriately the day before the summer solstice Sigrid packed me up and I relocated my flag to the shore for the summer.  It’s good to be back.  Here’s the customary scene of the marshes and the bay from Grampa’s (my) deck for morning coffee.  In the foreground is Liberty Thorofare which separates Mordecai Island from the farther Intra-Coastal Waterway.  The mainland in the distance is Tuckerton.

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Timing was excellent as this was the weekend for the U.S. Sailing U.S. Youth Championship Regatta.  Our Beach Haven club, The Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club (founded 1912) was honored to be the host to 123 sailors and their families from all over the country including the Virgin Islands and Hawaii.  As witness the stature of the event, the crew of the America’s Cup candidate, American Magic, came to help coach and inspire the young people.  My son-in-law, Rear Commodore Bob Kiep, spent the days (all day) roaming the sailing grounds as part of the thirteen boat security fleet.  Daughter Sigrid spent Friday registering arrivals and then four days of electronically checking out the sailors as they launched and then rechecking their returns to insure no one was missing.  The sailors stayed out all day having taken lunches and water with them.  Not a relaxed summer day.

Here was the scene in the launching area.  I wish I had recorded some video to capture the flapping of the sails in the 15-20 knot wind. It was colorful and exciting.  Most of the sailors being from other parts of the country had never sailed our waters, and they looked a bit apprehensively at the whitecaps out on the main bay.  There were knockdowns during the day but all returned safely.

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Here was another way to view the pre-launch activity.

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The observers below were Ozzie and Opel Osprey, and their chick, Ophelia, whose head can just barely be seen sticking up left of the nest center.  They’re admiring the three International 420’s heading out to the sailing grounds for the day’s competition. *

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Meanwhile, regatta or not, summer continues to work its magic.  This is the perennial bed along one side of my house.  The foreground hydrangeas are shaping up nicely  this year, followed by Shasta Daisies and Knockout Roses.  (Photoshop’s usefullness shows up again as I was able to easily remove a large, dead dandelion from the foreground.)

Growing up on Absecon Island (Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate and Longport) the hydrangeas were a big deal in the down-beach communities.  In fact there was a committee that promoted the annual Hydrangea Trail. I’m probably too far north to be included.

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* Tech Note to Colleagues:  The birds were 600′ from my camera.  I was using a 400mm Canon zoom plus a 1.4 Canon extender.  The camera was tripod mounted; mirror-up mode, and stabilizer off.

BERGIE AND HIS MANDEVILLA EMERGE FROM HIBERNATION

My last post was September.  It was the end of ten years of blogging and I’m very glad to have done them all because I and others can enjoy them again and again.  I am a Facebook fan but the postings there are limiting and ephemeral.  It doesn’t lend itself well to extensive treatment of a subject, nor is it easy to go back and review an earlier work.   My ten years of work is indexed and  readily at hand:  241 posts which included some 1600 images, six song tracks (e.g. Patti Page doing Old Cape Cod at the end of the post), and several miscellaneous videos.  It was fun but it was demanding and stressful.  Denise Bush got me started blogging and also somewhere along the way nudged me to think about poetry.  So, I started to do an occasional Haiku and one that I wrote was:
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To blog is hard work

And the results pay no bills

But the words will out.

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But the problem is that you can run out of words and that happened to me last fall.  I felt that I had emptied the hamper of both words and worthwhile images.  Also, I was finishing up my eBook, “Shooting For Better Images” and that took a lot of my words, and the technical tasks to publish it were a struggle for an old brain.  But I prevailed and the book is available at BetterPix.net for downloads or from Amazon’s Kindle Service.  Also my social life for the past year seemed to gravitate to doctors and labs as I continue to struggle with a medical issue. It is spring, however, and my Mandevilla just produced its first blossom for 2019.  In fact we’re two-thirds of the way through spring; maybe it’s time for me to get back to work, too.

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The plant was an $8.95 acquisition from Home Depot and wound up on Grampa’s shore deck for the summer.  I was pleased to come across it as most varieties are either pink or red, and the white appealed to me.

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The plant did well and threw off enough blooms to make me wonder if it could brighten my sun room for the winter.  It did.  On the left below we see it settling in last fall, sending runners up some twine to a ceiling hook while continuing to bloom below.  As late as December it featured seventeen blossoms but then it looked at its calendar and muttered something like “C’ya” and stopped blooming … but not growing.  On the right below we see the abundance as of this week including the first bloom, with the plant trying to escape through ceiling and windows.  I frequently cautioned visitors not to get too close to the vines.

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I’ve noticed a couple other spring scenes.  Here’s Mrs. Cardinal wondering where the snow went from her safe perch surrounded by Oriental Bittersweet.  She and her mate were around all winter along with eleven other bird species which I enjoyed from the sun room every morning.

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And only a couple nights ago (after the rains) I was taken by the twilight sun’s golden backing of the leafed-out trees.

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I wondered what had turned on the signs of spring.  Maybe they were motivated by my electric forsythia.

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SUMMER AMBLES AWAY

I’m back in my cave earlier than usual.  Sigrid and Gretchen moved me back in the week after Labor Day compared to my usual late September move.  A switch is thrown somewhere at the shore on the day after labor day.  Many stores close and await the weekends; the life guards are mostly gone back to school,  and people/cars traffic is way down.  It becomes lonely.

Back at the cave and on  a foggy morning I discovered that the spiders have enjoyed being undisturbed.  I can’t walk off of the sun deck because of these lovely barriers.

——————- My summer was pleasant as it always is, with family during the week, expanded family on weekends, and Barbara at her nearby summer rental which also overlooks the bay.  One new feature was the jungle on Grampa’s deck.  I started some Morning Glory seeds before I moved down, and I enjoyed seeing them work their way up the supporting strings I provided.  But they won’t be invited back as they never bloomed.  Fortunately the white-bloomed Mandevilla enjoyed the scene and provided lots of blooms. I’ve relocated it to my sun room.  I’m not optimistic about winter bloom but we’ll see. —————————– A summer highlight is the annual Downbay Regatta which our club hosts.  The weather didn’t cooperate and, in fact, although the boats headed for the sailing grounds on Saturday they returned without holding any races.  Sunday dawned with great clouds but WIND and no precip.  A glorious afternoon ensued.  Here’s Spy, one of the Barnegat Bay A-cat fleet which visited us to compete. ——————————- Now, please forgive me for a little pride and bragging.  Our most exciting event this summer was the selection and election of my favorite son-in-law, Bob Kiep as Rear Commodore of our summer club, the Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club  for next year.  In the normal course of events he will advance in rank and wind up as the 103rd Commodore for the club’s one hundred and ninth season in 2021.  I am moved by the great history of this club, and proud of Bob’s selection to help guide it over the next three years.  Here he is delivering his acceptance speech at the Labor Day annual meeting.

Left to right, Rear Commodore Laura Darling, Vice-Commodore Joseph Koerwer, Rear-Commodore-elect Robert Kiep, Commodore Bruce Van Saun, Secretary Denick Herrin

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Here’s the family at the annual Commodore’s Ball a couple of nights earlier.  In three years they’ll be holding this ball in his honor.

Left to right, Bob Kiep, Madeline Kiep, Sigrid Berglund Kiep, Gretchen Kiep

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As seen from the deck of the Commodore’s Ball, the A-cat, Ghost, at her summer mooring.  She is owned by the New Jersey Maritime Museum.  We note that the cormorant is observing the no-wake buoy.

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Well, that’s it folks.  The season’s over.  Here’s a farewell twilight after the ball.

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And for the third year I close with this image of Johnathan Livingston Seagull, just as sad as am I that the season and my summer time with the family are over.

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The season’s over.

Where’s my map to Florida?

Time to saddle up.

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SUMMER SCENES

Here’s how I knew it was August.  Our local “everything” store at the shore carries housewares to hardware to seasonal clothing.  As the season opens they advertise 20% off on the clothing; with July it becomes 30%, and when I drove by on August 1st, sure enough it was 40%.  So, got to get some summer scenes into a blog post.

The official opening, the summer solstice, offered a grand view of the Black Pearl returning from her evening cruise.  A good start.

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Although it was not officially summer at the time I enjoyed a Philadelphia street fair, the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.  Such fairs are wonderful for me.  I think it’s great to see so many people and families out enjoying the scenes and the activities.  When else would you find a pool and a bubbling fountain in the middle of south Broad Street?  Billy Penn remained sanguine above it all.

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Also above it all Yannick Nézet-Séguin, wind blown but unfazed outside of The Kimmel Center urged his players on to ever great glory.  Makes me wish the season had already begun especially since my season tickets arrived last week, another sign of August.

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From Broad Street back to the shore.  I photographed a couple of these at twilight.  In better light one was seen to be a yellow crowned night heron and the other, a juvenile heron of some sort.  I liked backing it up with the clouds, and the juxtaposition of the tree branches.

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I’ve lived seasonally on, over, or next to the bay (what the forecasters call the back bays) since I was about five.  In the early years that would have been in boat houses on pilings in Ventnor, NJ.  Later in life we enjoyed an Ocean City, NJ bay front condo for about twenty years.  In those years a summer highlight was the Night In Venice boat parade.  For most of its life the tradition was to decorate one’s boat with lights and anything else that fit the theme, and to add music or other entertainment.  I can recall one yacht that featured both the Eagles’ Cheerleaders and the Union League Mens’ Chorus.  Homeowners along the parade route would respond with their own elaborate decorations, and it was a happening.  Then there was a terrible boating accident one night and it was determined that thenceforth the parade would be conducted in daylight.  Safer, yes, but also the “light” was gone.

We were privileged to visit Night In Venice again this year, as guests of old friends.  A small group of other guests comprised grown-up Margaters and Longporters and the nostalgia was pretty thick.  The parade?  Oh, yeah, there was one but, you know, the “light” was gone.  I was, however, pleased with this scene of Miss Night In Venice waving at us as she passed by.  (It wasn’t dark yet;  about 7:30, but shooting into the sun’s reflection caused a high shutter speed and so the appearance of dark.)

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Then we and others awaited darkness as fireworks had been promised.  The fireworks barge can be seen anchored at left.

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Darkness did arrive and we were enchanted by the show.  Yes, some of the “light” had returned.

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From a Night In Venice we segue to a day in Beach Haven.  We’ve just celebrated the annual Downbay Regatta.  This is a summer event at which sailboats from the upper Jersey coast gather for competitive partying and racing at the Little Egg Harbor Yacht club and its adjacent sailing waters.  The classes include A-cats, B-cats, Lightnings, and E-scows.  Saturday was a washout because of the scattered storms.  They all sailed out but were recalled before even one race.  Sunday made up for it as a glorious day.

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Even for just watching it was…

“A Beautiful Day in Beach Haven” – Walter Smedley

Sailing enthusiast, Annapolis faculty member, naval architect, Past Commodore (1967) and club stalwart.*

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*Corrected:  Walter did not graduate from Annapolis as this post originally stated.  Rather, it was Princeton and he subsequently was commissioned into the U.S. Navy and served on the Annapolis faculty for the duration of W.W. II.

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CRUISING WITH LEWIS AND CLARK

Last spring Barbara and I joined our friends, Nancy and Bob D., on a delightful cruise on the Snake and Columbia Rivers in the Pacific Northwest.  After the usual difficult experiences in getting anywhere the last leg was a bus ride through the Palouse and I now appreciate its importance to photographers.  At Clarkston, Washington the bus brought us (Palouse hills in the background) to our home for the cruise, American Cruise Lines’ American Pride.  Can you hear the banjos and tambourines?

The ship and its crew were first class.  Can you imagine being smiley and nice to old people week after week?  They do it well.  (Come to think of it, so do the folks at Medford Leas where I live most of the year, and they’re not even a cruise ship.)

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The cruise began down the Snake River which flows into the Columbia River and we followed that to Astoria, Oregon beyond which is the Columbia Bar and the Great Pacific Ocean, over 400 miles from our boarding.  The weather tends to be cloudy and showery in that part of the world but the scenery en route was magnificent.

Along the Snake River, west of the Palouse.

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The Columbia River is a cargo river (to Portland, Or.) for cargo to-and-from the far east, and the railroad tracks that border it are carriers of grain and goods further to and from the continental U.S..

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There is also exciting scenery in the eight locks through which we descended the 735′ from Clarkston to sea level at Astoria.  Here’s a typical scene as we edged out of a lock after the descent.  The Mate (second to the Captain) was piloting from the port wing control station and, Yes! we were that close to the lock walls.  It took me back to piloting our rented 40′ houseboat through locks on the Rideau waterway on the way to Ottawa.  Yes, scary.

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The above lock was at the Dalles (said to be from the French dalle meaning a sluice or rapids).  As we exited the lock we looked back at the Dalles bridge (on U.S. 297) over the river, and the spillway from the dam which controls water flow and also generates electricity.  Its generators can produce roughly enough power for almost two million homes.  We later toured the generator room at Bonneville Dam and the aura of those machines, able to produce about a billion watts, made this old electrical engineer’s heart beat a little faster.

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You remember Lewis and Clark, don’t you?  We read in school about their exploration of the northwest as commissioned by President Jefferson after his Louisiana purchase.  Well, that’s about as much as I knew, too, but this trip changed that.  Jefferson believed that from the headwaters of the Missouri one could easily transit to the headwaters of the Columbia and thus achieve a northwest passage down the Columbia.  It took Lewis and Clark over two years from and back to St. Louis, an unprecedented expedition during which they lived off of the land, encountered hundreds of native American villages and peoples, wintered four miles from the Pacific beach (1805-1806), and lost only one man (to a ruptured appendix).  I hadn’t realized but learned that the Columbia had first been entered by Captain Robert Gray in 1792, who named the river after his ship.  So, Jefferson wanted to connect the dots.

We learned this and much, much more in our splendid morning briefings by a guide named Todd Weber who has made a career of historical guiding and does it wonderfully.

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When not listening to an entertaining lecture, reading a good book, napping, adjusting attitudes, dining and after-dinner entertainments we enjoyed shore trips.  One memorable visit was to Multnomah Falls, named from the Multnomah tribe of Native Americans.  The falls are in two segments for a total of 620′.  They are fed from underground streams from Larch Mountain, and are said to be some 15,000 years old which was older even than anybody aboard.

Click on the image to see a somewhat larger view.

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Days and nights along the river were pleasant and frequently beautiful.

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Eventually we reached Astoria which overlooks the infamous Columbia Bar.  Strong current, shoal waters and heavy swells from the Pacific can create storm waves of up to 60′.  The Coast Guard uses these situations regularly to train its rescue crews.  Here we also see the all too typical fog rolling in from the mysterious Pacific.

Click on the image for a larger view.

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Then our return to Portland followed by a farewell view of Mount Hood.

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A gallery of titled images from the trip can be viewed by clicking here.

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OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHER’S 2018 AMERICAN LANDSCAPE COMPETITION

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I am very pleased to have had one of my images selected as one of twenty-five finalists of

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The 2018 Outdoor Photographer Magazine

American Landscape Competition.

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I placed as a finalist in 2012 but haven’t entered since then.  With thousands of entries it’s intimidating but this year I decided to try again and submitted six images .  Looking at them later and trying to reason like a judge I guessed which one might make it and it did.  Here it is.  I love the image; I love the memory of the capture; and I’m immensely pleased.

We photographers sense a scene and we are driven to record it so as

“to offer an expanded awareness of the beauty in the world around us.”

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……Parish Kohanim, Canon Explorer of Light

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I was notified of my selection in late May.  They’re still in the process of selecting first, second and third.  I’m just happy to be a finalist.

The image was made at a place called Skaget Beach (rhymes with say-get) on Cape Cod Bay west of the town of Orleans at the elbow of the Cape .  A helpful proprietor of an art/print shop in Chatham had suggested the beach in response to my seeking a good sunset location.

I spent an afternoon there capturing families at fun on the beach.  On the next afternoon, however, the sky began to shape up for a smashing sunset.  I took lots of frames of differing compositions but this scene prevailed.  The techy stuff:  I composed in live view with my (then) Canon 7D on a tripod and using a Canon 24-105mm EF lens at f/14.  ISO was 400.    I took three exposures around 1/40″ with EV’s of +1, 0, and -1.  I developed them in Camera Raw in Photoshop CS6 and blended them with Nik’s HDR software.  From the look of the originals I probably heightened saturation.

I teach and preach that sunsets need to be more interesting; pretty pixels are not enough.  The things I love about this image are: the eye-occupying cloud structures, some in shadow but dappled, the array of colors, the ripples, and the foreground of wavelets, beach, and well defined grasses.  Sighhhh.

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I did a blog post after the Cape visit which includes other scenes on the Cape.  For the rest of you old folks it also includes an audio track of Patti Page’s 1957 gold recording, “Old Cape Cod.”  Sighhh.

See/hear it at https://bergiesplace.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/a-journey-to-a-distant-shore/

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The 2012 finalist image and back story can be seen at

https://bergiesplace.wordpress.com/outdoor-photographers-2012-american-landscape-finalist/

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The other winners and finalists in the 2018 competition can be seen at Outdoor Photographer Magazine and I salute them all.

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THE SEASON BEGINS

It begins with all that’s involved.  Onto the island (Long Beach) and I am slowed by the reactivated traffic lights. In all innocence I pull into the Acme to pick up some milk.  The checkout line is half the width of the wide store.  But folks are in a good mood and there is a guide moving us quickly to the next available register.

Eventually at the house, fully de-winterized by Sigrid and Bob and freshly cleaned.  I greet my beloved marshes and bay.

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Saturday brings some ticket punching …. bagels from the Bagel Shack, hello-ing on the deck in front of the club house, check out the logo shirts from the Ship’s Store and even buy one, and what-did-you-forget from Murphy’s Market.

Saturday night is to be the annual club opening ceremony and there is anxiety about the thunderstorm forecast.  The wind is whipping around and the clouds are thickening.  The flag and burgees for the opening ceremony are secured, ready to go.

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The flag officers make a command decision: order the tent, a budget-breaker but prudent.

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The members and guests arrive to greet each other and catch up and renew friendships and revel in the camaraderie.  The weather holds and the ceremonies go forth in sunlight while the rest of us are tent-protected just in case.  Trustees and officers lined up, Fleet Captain Tom Masterson welcomes us to

The ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTH Season !!!

Fleet Chaplain Bob Stevens gives the invocation; the bugler plays the call to colors….

 

and that goes well.

and then he plays the poignant, moving Navy Hymn,

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep,
Its own appointed limits keep.

Oh hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

 

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Commodore Van Saun makes welcome and interesting comments and the lineup of past Commodores is introduced — twenty-five present tonight representing all those years of dedication and service to the club.

They stand according to year of service, the oldest in service here being Commodore John Walton who presided in 1976, forty-two years ago.

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The Chaplain prays a blessing for the fleet and the season … apparently a good prayer as it kept the storm at bay.

 

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The next day, a warm feeling about the evening.  Good, because the day deteriorated to more of a traditional, chilly, overcast Memorial Day.  By afternoon the fog had descended and the island seemed to have drifted away and the gas logs were lit.

A great inaugural weekend.  Now, when does summer begin?

SPRING IN THE SUN ROOM

I enjoy my sun room all year long (except when I slip away to the shore for the summer).  I particularly enjoy it with my first coffee and wake-up music in the morning but also frequently for lunch and sometimes even breakfast.  I enjoy being closer to the world that surrounds my town house, the bird songs and the occasional passage of some of the deer that live nearby (three in the couple of days that I composed this post).  A paramount feature, however, is my house plants which I enjoy all year long (yes, they go to the beach, too).  With longer days the plants are responding and I’m seeing more color.

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Left to right I’m enjoying a hanging basket of Torenia, shelves of a Begonia and a couple of Philodendron, a spring present of  Jasmine from my daughter, a Geranium and another Begonia.  Then there’s the light stand with such goodies as a yellow Lantana, more Begonias and Geraniums, even a Sinningia and an Episcia and a couple of African Violets.  Above them another Geranium, an aggressive Spider Plant, and a blooming Abutilon (Flowering Maple).  To the right an Elephant Ears and a final Geranium.

Pearl is no long around to enjoy the morning with me but the plants are a pleasure.  Tours welcome.

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The lighted shelves and trays.

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There’s also a miniature rose.  I’ve always enjoyed them and always watched them never bloom again.  This one gave me another shot so I’m encouraged.  So far it’s taken three treatments for aphids and one for black spider.  It’s worth waiting a little longer.

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I have only two African Violets under lights; in the old days I had three 8′ x 4′ shelves under a dozen fluorescents, nurturing gloxinias, fragrant stock, marigolds, columnea, violets and begonias.  A business partner once said that when he passed he’d like to be laid out in my basement.  It was a delight to care for and to enjoy, particularly in a cold, dark winter but I eventually lost the war to thrips and mealy bugs.  One or two are manageable, but it’s tough love, baby.  One thrip and you’re outta here.

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Let’s go outside to close.  This scene is on the wall of the garden of my long time friends, the McCallums.  Tom had planted this Clematis a while back and it was doing well.  Jeanne asked me if I could photograph it as Tom has been on our nursing floor and hasn’t been able to enjoy the season.  The showery day had left raindrops on the leaves and that added to the appeal.  Good Job, Tom.

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Click here for a full sized view.

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