Stepping gingerly over the domesticated sastrugi that makes up our deck after two weeks of winter, I unlatch the cover and open it. A moist comforting blanket of fog rises and surrounds me in the chill, dry wind. I slip in. The heat is as bracing as the cold I just left. Leaning back, the vastness of the sky unfolds above me.

Darkness that is the outlines of juniper and pine trees.

West coast air traffic coursing through the sky, navigational lights blinking.

A meteor falling north to south.

Cygnus has almost completed its flight over the western horizon, his beak almost touching the Cascades.

Jupiter shining brightly above China Hat Butte.

My brain soaks in the fact that some of the lights I’m seeing are in real-time, and others have spent billions of years traveling before landing.

Landing in my eyes here in a tub of hot water just west of the middle of nowhere Oregon after a journey across billions of years of space and time.

Makes one wonder.

Car Photo(s) of the Day: More of the ’32 Chrysler Indy racer.

Of all the spectacular machines present at the Art Center School of Design Car Show I attended in 2009, this one stuck out as my favorite. Not because of its provenance really, but because of it’s well-worn and comfy patina. Unlike the ultra-perfect collection shown on the grass around it, this car was not over-restored. It wore its age like a nice old leather jacket.

Upon researching the car’s history it appears to have been restored in the 80s, but at least the owners since then have allowed it to be used as its makers intended.

Winter Arrives

Winter has arrived in Central Oregon, and with it a new pastime.

Nick has been running Cross-Country competitively for many years, and the XC season ends as soon as the snow falls. But now that we live in the mountains instead of at their feet he’s taken up a new sport: XC Skiing.

His new High School has a Cross Country Skiing team and he’s decided to join, despite never having put on the skinny skis… ever. The team started practice, in the form of running and general exercise after school a few weeks ago, but yesterday was their first venture “on the snow.”

We drove up to Mt. Bachelor and they took to the Nordic Center courses en masse. I tagged along with my camera.

Wax on, wax off.

He's getting the hang of it.

Oregon Sky

The Oregon Sky tonight on my trip home from work.

The sunsets and sunrises here in Central Oregon are a real treat. This was my evening’s entertainment tonight on my way home on the Powell Butte Highway.

Shot with the Lumix G1 with the 20mmf/1.7 asph lens.

Car Photo of the Day: Still Life with Holley Carbs.

Still Life with Holley Carbs.

The CPotD returns! This car was my favorite machine on the field of the Art Center Car Show a couple of summer’s back. It wore a wonderful patina like an old leather jacket and a pair of faded jeans – relaxed and comfy compared to the over-restored straightjackets that surrounded it. Motivated by an old flathead straight-eight, that ultimate pre-war American machine, I bet it sounds wonderful when driven in anger.

Can you name the car?

Here is another view:

Central Oregon Skyscape

Central Oregon Skyscape

My commute has been radically transformed as part of this relocation from North Puget Sound to Central Oregon. Whereas before I slogged my way up and down the superslab of Interstate 5, along with a few million other motorists – now I wander a series of high desert backroads. I no longer risk being creamed by a inattentive dork yakking on a cell phone, but instead have to keep my eyes open for deer, and soon, elk. I miss the views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, and the waterways of Puget Sound, but now I have spectacular sunrises and sunsets almost every day. Last night it was a thin crescent moon. Last week though, on Friday evening the sky was lit up with brilliant orange glow as the sun fell behind the Cascades. I pulled over a few times and shot several images. I like these two the best. The top one is an unusual cloud formation in the southeast over the Horse Ridge area.

Another is this image of a dead juniper tree with the same eastern sky at twilight behind it.

Dead Juniper at Twilight

I originally stopped to shoot a hawk that was perched atop this dead tree, but it flew off as soon as I pulled the camera out of the car.

Stay tuned for more.

Meanwhile if you like these images, I’ve placed them up on my photo storefront where you can buy framed prints. (click the link, or the photo below for details)

Central Oregon skyscape.   Sunset near Alfalfa Oregon.