Wine Tasting at Penner Ash, Newberg, Oregon
Wine snob or not touring Oregon’s countryside vineyards tasting their particular variate or blend of wine ensures a good time out and about and many scenic locations. With the rolling hills of the Willamette Valley, areas near Salem, and Portland nearly every winery owns or has their tasting room at the top of the hill overlooking fields upon fields of rolling hills spread out to look at in wonderment.
Oregon is host to many many wineries and even more varieties of grapes, each organized into regions, that get turned into wine. I believe that you could spend weeks and weeks trying to taste all of the wines that are created throughout even just a single year, though many are very well put together it does make me wonder what the wine that was created during the wedding that Jesus attened at the start of his ministry would have tasted like.
Though Katherine and I had previously been on a wine tasting tour in Oregon however we were unable to partake in the experience due to some health concerns. Penner and Ash was the only stop on this wine tasting trip, though I don’t know much about wine I am told that the tastes were very good, in fact many of the Penner Ash vintages are almost literally flying off of their shelves and out of their cellars for the fact of it’s great review. Though my favorite was the Shea blend We were only able to settle on the expense of 2 of their wines both very good tasting the first a blush blend, 2009 Oregon Viognier, and the second a 2007 Oregon Syrah.
Winery’s Tasting Rooms are really built to be places that you feel welcome to come and hang out, some people even bring their lunch to enjoy a bottle of wine and lunch at the vineyard overlooking its vista. Penner Ash Wine Cellar is definitely a place that I will be again in hopes to further train my pallet for each unique taste of wine.
Weekend Vacation in Cambria
A weekend in Cambria, California would be enough to slow anyone down, the small town atmosphere and late summer fog is exactly the reason that many people find themselves heading over to the coast to get a reprieve from the sometimes suffocating summer heat in the Valley. Cambria offers a small town in their downtown ready to cater to anyone looking for antiques or a couple of art shops. Just a short trip up scenic highway 1 you can see Hearst Castle former home of W.R. Hearst newspaper tycoon. My images from a prior visit to Hearst Castle can be seen here.
Day 6: Victoria, B.C. KOA to Burlington, Wa KOA
The day started off with a blessed amount of sleep and just the right amount of get up and go to get on the road after a late breakfast. It was with hesitation that I headed out of the Victoria West, KOA back towards the harbor at Sidney to head back into Washington state, we had on the plan to see Butchart Garden, a highlight of our trip but didn’t change the fact that we were as far from home as we were going to get and the next step was a return home to all of the normal things that life is built around.
Consistently today I attempted to take the time to remind Katherine and myself that we were on vacation and we should find a way to enjoy ourselves, even upon entering the garden I re-doubled my effort to provide that reminder.
Butchart Garden was, to me, more interesting than Disneyland and more beautiful as well, everything was green and manicured, with flowers nearly everywhere. The only negative to the garden was the simple fact that it was hot, and by hot I mean a hot in Canada that they haven’t seen in quite some time. It was as though Central California’s heat had followed us up the coast line and settled for our stent in Canada, welcoming us with it’s warmth. The gardens on any cooler day would have taken the entire day or afternoon to experience, we however nearly rushed through the entire garden to see the plants and had to relax at lunch and look through the plant identification booklet to see the things that we had missed and still wanted to see.
One of my remaining questions after seeing the Butchart Garden is, ‚ÄúDo they allow people to have their weddings here?‚Äù. The gardens have an amazing amount of open time to the public, their summer hours are from 9a.m. – 10 p.m. This is unlike any other garden that Katherine and I have ever seen, and on any cooler day than the day that we visited it would be a magical place to have a wedding ceremony performed.
Katherine and I spent every last moment that we could allow ourselves at the garden before heading back to the ferry port that would send us back home. Even spending as long as we had at the Gardens we still had some time before the ferry would arrive to take us home so we elected to spend it relaxing in one of the local, Sidney, Starbucks coffee houses enjoying a cool smothy.
When the time came to head to the ferry we did so with haste as to not be the last vehicles that would board, customs was a breeze, we again however didn’t receive a stamp stating that we were coming back to the United States, not so much as a welcome home or anything really. It is posible that according to the people at the border crossing figured that it’s just an every day thing for people to cross from Anacortes to Sidney, it was for Katherine and I the first of many such adventures to places outside the United States.
Onboard the ferry back to the United States, Katherine and I took time to ask a couple from Washington how hard it was to bring their dog’s with them to B.C. And found out that it was actually pretty simple. Fears about what it would talk to get our dogs across the border with us was almost the only reason that they hadn’t come with us on this trip. At least at the time that this post was written crossing the border with a canine took only proof of the standard vaccinations. Next time we decide to head to B.C. Our boxers may very well be going with use so that they have the attention that they are used to and don’t have to stay outside tearing up our yard for lack of attention.
Our return voyage to Washington started at just the right time for a photographer such as myself, the last two hours of any day are often the time to be out with a camera taking pictures, it was for this reason that I had booked this particular voyage. Not only was the time right for photographs we additionally we were very glad to find the heat of the day quickly melting away in the chill of the Alaskan waters, standing on the upper decks the boat we were warmed by the sun and cooled by the wind, a perfect combination.
Initially at least the photographs able to be taken aboard our return voyage weren’t as good as good as I had anticipated, we did however have quite a number of hours until the sun would set over the North Western horizon.
For those of you that have been with Kevin Ford photography for quite some time, you have been through a couple of site revisions and many other changes. I wanted to post concerning one of the newest changes to my photographs to smooth the change for those that may have questions.
Watermarks have now been added to all photographs when being previewed in my “Prints for Sale” area on my website. My print provider has had this option available for quite some time now, however I had not taken advantage of it. In addition to this change I have decided to allow access for people to link to photographs of themselves, for their myspace and facebook profile pages as many of my photographs have already found their way there.
Please note, for those interested in ordering prints, the “Watermarks” will not be imprinted in the delivered photographs and are only in place for those that wish to download my work and post it on their own website or profile. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.
Humming Birds and Camera’s
There are so many things that aren’t known about these little birds, humming birds with all their charm seem to never stop moving. Humming birds spend their days flying from here to there looking for the next flower that they can stick their beak in and use their long tongue to collect nectar. One of our recent purchases, to remind us to enjoy the small things in life was this humming bird feeder and what an enjoyable time I have been able to have with it. I looked up the recipe for the sweet nectar in from which this little fellow was dining.
With friends on their way to visit, one being just as much a photographer as myself I was only able to wait long enough for them to arrive to capture photographs of these frequent visitors to our front stoop. Though many photographs were taken I thought that these were some of the best the first showing the fast movement of the wings of a humming bird.
Most of the images seen here were photographed with a Canon 1D Mark IIn with remote flashes assisting in the stopping of the humming birds wings. When food is at stake humming birds accustom themselves to things added to their environment quickly, it took only 5 minutes for them to be completely fine with the presence and flashes of my equipment. A quick read over at strobist.com will help you with an appropriate setup, my flashes were placed at 90 degree angles to the feeders.
Day 3 Port Orford/Bandon, Or KOA to Astoria, Or KOA
It was with great sadness that I left the remains of our webber barbecue behind today, at the local trash repository, Katherine even asked if I wanted to take a photograph of the event as something of such great memory had seen its last day, last tri-tip from Glick’s Meat market. We drove away without such a photograph as there is more to life than a simple steak roasting barbecue.
We made our way as quickly as possible over the 16 miles from the KOA to Bandon for our breakfast, finding a nice place in downtown Bandon for breakfast we had some pancakes with our own syrup and Boysenberry Jam, and some eggs.
Upon completion of our morning meal we decided that we would spend some time looking around the local shops, especially at an art gallery that had been suggested we see. There at the Second Street Art Gallery we spent some time looking around at the local art, much of it very good and fun to look at, until we decided that we could delay the days travel and events any longer and got on the road.
With full stomachs and and full fuel tank the travel was pretty light and fast for the majority of the trip, planning for and keeping in contact with a couple of friends that we were going to see too most of our attention as we headed North on Highway 101, until we passed a Light House and a couple of other locations near Yacht, Oregon that we decide that we would want to see on a future trip, locations of which we made quick notes.
Jarrod and Jessica were very welcoming when we arrived at their house and though we were only able to stay for a few minutes we were able to catch up with their news and play a little with their newly adopted child.
Making haste of the trip away from visiting with Jarrod and Jessica we speed on to Tillamook, in hopes that the visiting hours at the factory would not have yet been completed for the day so that we could have a look around the factory and facility as well as try some of their new cheeses and purchase some to bring home from our vacation. The gift area of Tillamook offers cheeses that Californians and even Oregon residents don’t have ready access to, a garlic pepper jack, garlic extra sharp and a smoked cheese all in their refrigerated cases ready to be picked to take home. It’s not hard to understand why it is that they don’t mass produce these cheeses as they are somewhat an acquired taste.
The evening travels ended with lots and lots of fog looking for someplace that we could collect some food for the morning journey as well as sustenance for ourselves before we retired for the evening. The Astoria, Oregon KOA was as welcoming as we had always remembered it and though we arrived late their general store was still open. Finding our spot quickly we set ourselves to warming up our long traveled, previously frozen lasagna, some bread, and a cup of milk before heading off to bed for the night.
Day 2: Eureka, Ca to Bandon, Or
I am always amazed at the amount of beauty there is to enjoy while traveling the Northern California coast line, and it was for that very reason that we found ourseves late to our afternoon plans in Brookings, Or and lunch. I found a beach that I just couldn’t let pass me by near Trinidad, Ca after a quick breakfast at their local diner. Photo’s of the beach and it’s beauty should also soon be posted with this. After making ourselves late to Brookings Oregon we took off in that direction as quickly as the speed limits allowed us to go.
Stopping to see a couple of friends in Brookings we quickly found a late lunch at one of the local restaurants, enjoying a shrimp melt, and a cup of their clam chowder as well. After staying for a while and visiting one of the local shops owned by a friend, Creating Lasting Memories, we left Brookings Oregon in hopes that we might return again on our summer vacation next year.
We weren’t far out of town before we were stopped by the beauty of sunlight on an open beach. This time stopping at Whales Head beach we took many photographs of the beach, rocks beyond the water and other interesting things. The sun was wonderful to have and the opportunity to walk around a welcome change to travel in our vehicle.
Continuing on we enjoyed the scenery and redwood bordered coast line and road until reaching Gold Beach, at which we decided to take another break and look at a beached and partial sunken boat we had once enjoyed on a trip to see one of our friends married off and take photographs at their beautiful wedding. It was there that we learned the story of the boat and the reason that it had been beached at this location and though I now know the story of the boat and it’s beached location I want to encourage you to visit Gold Beach Oregon to find out for yourself.
Katherine and I both committed to Gold beach being our last stop for a while and for quite some time we watched the beautiful beaches between Gold Beach and Port Orford through the windows of our car pass us by for the commitment of the destination we had set for ourselves.
Just before the sun was to set, and just outside of Port Orford, Oregon we decided that we would stop to take in one last view of the ocean, the sun was low and the winds were pushing the breaking waves back, away from the shore. Arriving to also find that there was a Pod of whales not to far from the beach I attempted to find something more that simply just the bumpy barnacle covered back of a whale to photograph before retiring the cameras, tripods and all other equipment for the night.
It was time to move on and we did so as quickly as possible so as to arrive at our final destination before the sun left us with little light to prepare our evening meal and setup our site for the evening. Our destination for the day was the Bandon, Port Orford KOA.
Tonight was the final night of use for our Weber barbecue, the outside finally rusted through, it was actually the only spot that had rust on the entire thing and rather that keeping it and taking it home and deciding if it were possible to fix it after use since 1993 I decided that it was time that it be retired. It was a hard decision to make as it had been with me since fall of 2000, my sophomore year in college, and had seen many uses at Norcal and other Battalion events during my many years in Battalion.
I am currently on vacation and wanted to share some of the photographs that I have taken during our time away from home. Their are many more photographs on their way.
It’s not often that the Visalia area is rocked by a thunderstorm and it is even less often that I can make myself available to photograph the lighting. With the storm putting out lighting at a rate that I have long since only remembered I spent the better part of the evening behind the camera I came away with about 10 usable images from the thunderstorm that passed through this evening. Please enjoy them.
Memorial Day 2009
photograph above taken at the Kingsburg, Ca cemetery (quite possibly the best decorated small town cemetery I visited this Memorial Day)
Though people view Memorial day as the start of summer it is a day that may be forgotten if we don’t put forth the effort to remember. In Gardens of Stone throughout the world today under the heavy weight of sorrow never so long forgotten, half staff flags and playing of taps our Citizens of the United States who have loved ones who served in the military gathered together to honor the memory of our troops interned there. The Central Valley honors our fallen hero’s every Memorial day by placing flags at the grave markers of former U.S Military personnel.
photograph above also taken at the Kingsburg, Ca cemetery (quite possibly the best decorated small town cemetery I visited this Memorial Day)
Each flag represents a former soldier no longer able to come home to the comfort of their mother, spouse or joyful cries of their children, now lay for eternity buried in places much like this throughout the world. These soldiers often fought for truth, liberty, the advancement of the Juedo Christian ideas throughout the world, for the oppressed and against the tyrants who unjustly took the life of many in their own name. Whatever their drive it is these very reasons for service that comforts those now left behind, their loved ones cherish the differences made in the world and look forward to¬† opportunity to come together with others that understand.
Each year I feel as though I better understand the feelings of those that morn the death of their loved ones, celebrating the life that they had and the difference that they were able to make in the world. Years past I understood that my Grandfather on my mothers side had been in the military but it wasn’t until recently that I began to understand what role he had in the military. I simply knew him as grandpa but there were stories that I never knew only now starting to surface. Each year I am able to celebrate the difference that our troops have had throughout the world and honor those who still serve.