September 05, 2017

Dang Gum Smoke

Whoa, da smoke!

My hair and clothes smell like I've been sitting around the campfire, which is not bad but it didn't come with Bailey's and coffee in the morning, charred hot dogs and cold beer at night!

We tried to dodge the smoke and ended up in even thicker clouds of it. We visited the Inter-Mountain Fair in McArthur. The folks there wanted Frank available for a couple of hours of Q & A about photography and why the photos that won, well, won!

Beautiful photography, super friendly people but high point of the fair (for me) is always the quilts. This year did not disappoint!  Such talent!

We drove to Tule Lake Refuge and tried to photograph birds.  The smoke proved to be an an enormous challenge, Visibility was probably just under a half mile.

Mountains virtually disappeared within half a mile of us.  The sun was actually red most of the late afternoon and evening.  In photo-speak that means color saturation is MIA.

I found some flowers along the edge of the lake that the butterflies were loving. I still have to identify the plant. If any of your recognize it, fill me in!

So that we were both on the side of the lake, Frank sat in the back seat of the car, I drove. I drove very, very slow so that we wouldn't scare off any birds, or other wildlife. Also a good idea because the roads through and around the lake are washboards...detrimental to kidneys at speeds higher than 2mph!

There were a flock of blackbirds (on the right side, of course). They seemed to be auditioning for Alfred Hitchcock photos. Who can resist scary?

We discovered a little family of Grebes. Two parents and three babies. When we first saw them two babies were riding on Mom and one was on Dad. The little ones were off and on, much like three year old humans!

After playtime, Mom dumped the babies off her back and took off to do some fishing.

It was so cool to watch as the parents took turns fishing, then returning with fish in bill (or beak?) to feed babes and partner.

Copyright Toni Tona 2017

Does this make you crave a sardine sandwich?

Sometimes the profile of Grebe made me think of Nessie in Scotland. Maybe she is just a big-ass Grebe!

Oops! Dinner just got away!

The geese started taking off in the later part of the evening. Was only 94 degrees so cool enough to make a couple of miles towards winter home. Had been 108 during the day.

As you can see, there was no blue in the sky, so no blue reflection in the water.  We can't wait to go back when the skies clear.

The sun started to set. In the two photos below, the sun is almost about to drop behind the mountains which are invisible through the smoke.  We took the last two photos and headed for Klamath Falls, and immediately got lost.

Getting lost is sometimes as much fun as photography!

How did you spend your three day weekend?


  1. I'm not a big flower expert, but I think that flower might be a wild Scottish thistle. We've had lots of smoke all summer here on the prairies too, thanks to the wildfires in British Columbia. It all depends which way the wind is blowing!

    1. My ex-husband was in British Columbia a month ago and said the fires were awful. I'm so sorry for all the suffering for so many people this summer.

    2. Looked it up. It is Scottish Thistle! Thanks.

  2. quietly at home, as my spouse is recovering from surgery.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! My husbands were, as usual, fantastic.

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you. We had so much fun taking them.

  5. That flower is magnificent!!!

    We hear little about the fires in the west because of all the other horrible news that has taken up the airwaves. . My daughter lives in CA so I am very interested in what is going on out there.

    1. Rain this morning will hopefully help extinguish the fires. I haven't seen the news, so I don't know how far spread the showers.

      Such a relief from the smoke and heat!

  6. I believe Debra is right about that flower being a Scottish Thistle.


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