How to Control Saturation in GIMP

Tuesday, May 31, 2011  at 6:58 AM
Learn to create vivid photographs with colors that pop!  Welcome to the third article in my Photography Editing in GIMP series.

Previous articles:

Article 1: Easy Photography Editing in GIMP
Article 2: How to Crop in GIMP

Control Your Color Saturation in GIMP

These tutorials use the free photo-editing program GIMP.  I am not being paid to endorse GIMP--I just really like it!

This tutorial will show you how to adjust the color saturation of a photo in GIMP.  This how-to guide will show you how to take a photo from this:

Grocer on a boat in Venice by Danalynn C

to this:

Grocer on a boat in Venice by Danalynn C

or even to this (a bit too much saturation for my tastes though!):
A lot of saturation by Danalynn C

Step 1: Open the photo in GIMP and click "Hue-Saturation" under the "Colors" heading.

Grocer on a boat in Venice by Danalynn C

Step 2: Slide the saturation slider to the left to decrease saturation, if desired.

Grocer on a boat in Venice by Danalynn C

Step 3: Slide the saturation slider to the right to increase saturation, if desired.

Grocer on a boat in Venice by Danalynn C

Step 4: Save once you have the desired saturation level.  Done!

Grocer on a boat in Venice by Danalynn C
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Thrift-Shopping Fiend to Minimalist Nomad

Monday, May 30, 2011  at 6:58 AM
I am not a minimalist at heart.  I am a thrift shopper--you know, the kind that finds crazy old lady cardigans, awesomely ridiculous belts in the shapes of elephants, and scarves, scarves, scarves.  I love how what you wear is like playing dress up, only now you're a grown up and can wear your concoction outside of your grandmother's attic!

Before being a nomad by Danalynn C
You thought I was joking about the elephant belt, weren't you?  This is a basic weekend outfit for me, before I become limited to only the items in my backpack...

As I have been preparing for my trip, it has been tricky to reconcile this love of mine with the necessity of carrying all of my possessions on my back for the next year(s).  I have been sloughing off my items, selling, consigning and donating them in waves.  It's scary, knowing that I will no longer have this comfort that I have relied on, and that my clothing choice will soon become zero (some items will go into storage--read more about it in my post on What We Did With All Our Stuff).

It's also rather relieving.  No need to hold onto those shoes, just in case I want to wear them.  No need to move that pile of sweaters from one apartment to the next, because they are so practical even though they are not appealing to wear.  It's also, frankly, appalling.  How many pairs of pants did I have?  How long have I had this shirt that I have never worn?  I feel like it should be harder to get rid of all of these clothes that I have collected, but it's surprisingly easy.  Almost everything would be effortless and cheap to replace.  Goodbye, clothing I am not attached to!  Hello, freedom to move about without being weighed down by stuff!  :D

Last week I was still frantically searching thrift shops for the perfect summer travel shirt--you know the one, cute but practical, brightly colored, a magical quick-dry fabric that does not scream 'I'm a traveler!'--when I decided to stop.  I do not need to have the perfect travel items in my backpack when I leave.  It will be much more fun to keep an eye out when I am traveling and find the perfect item on the road.  Besides, I am sure that in a month I will decide that my packing list is ridiculous, and what was I thinking?!  

When you are reading this blog, keep this in mind--I love the pretty, but I bow to practicality.  However, who says that I must choose between cute jeans and high-waisted baggy cargo travel pants?  I'll take my low-rise boot-cut pants in quick dry fabric, thank you very much!

Cross Country Ski Animation by Danalynn C
Apparently I have yet to grab a photo of my basic travel outfit!  Since Chris has the camera, this GIF of my cross-country ski outfit will have to suffice.  Same coat, similar pants, this is pretty much my wardrobe for the upcoming year(s)!
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Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Saturday, May 28, 2011  at 9:16 AM
Hello everyone!  I didn't realize that my email updates were not going through properly, but I think (hope!) I fixed the problem.  Have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend and enjoy the working email updates from now on!

Spring Cherry Blossom by Danalynn C

Beautiful spring cherry blossoms--I love springtime in the Pacific Northwest!
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A Nomad's Travel Philosophy

Friday, May 27, 2011  at 7:00 AM
In my last article about my first travel experiences, I told some stories about how I started travelingNow, as a traveling girl nomad, here is how I regard life in transit.

Cross Country Ski Tracks by Danalynn C
Beautiful cross country skiing weather this winter in Washington State.

How my first travels defined my travel philosophy

1. Be prepared for unexpected unhappy events, and then deal with them.  They will happen.  You can do your best to prevent them, but the only part you really have control over is how you react to them.

2. You can deal with unusual situations. This is similar to the first point, but is not necessarily referring to unhappy events.  Like it or not, if you are in an unfamiliar situation with no easy-out, you will have to find a way to deal because you can only depend on yourself. If you give yourself the power and resolve this issue, you will feel more confident next time you find yourself in an unusual position because you realize that you will be able to handle it (even if it is completely different than the last situation!).

3. Travel as cheaply as possible.  Not only will you save money (leading to more travel!), but you will create intensely vivid memories.  Telling stories about that time I stayed in a hotel in France?  Meh.  Not super exciting.  Telling stories about the time when I ran out of money and had to sleep outdoors in Switzerland, in the winter?  Better.

4. Stay with the locals, try to act as a local.  This experience marked my first time traveling with a Couchsurfing mentality as Chris and I stayed with an old French friend in France (a friend from my High School trip to France) who was able to host us and show us around as a local.  Acting as a local is cheaper, plus it gives a more authentic taste of the culture.

5. Novel is exciting.  New experiences force you to expand your brain to accommodate them, and you will discover ideas that you thought impossible.
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How to Crop in GIMP

Thursday, May 26, 2011  at 12:05 PM
Getting Started in GIMP: How to Crop

Welcome to the first article in my Photography Editing in GIMP series!  This first tutorial is meant both to introduce you to GIMP, if you are not already familiar with the program, as well as to reinforce the importance of cropping. Please click to read my introduction to the free software GIMP that will be used in all of my photo-editing tutorials.

The How to Crop in GIMP tutorial will explain how you can take a photo from this:

Grocer on a boat in Venice by Danalynn C

to this:

Grocer on a boat in Venice by Danalynn C

Step 1: Open up the file in GIMP.

Grocer on a boat in Venice by Danalynn C GIMP tutorial

Step 2: Click on the "Crop" tool in the toolbar.  It looks like a picture of a scalpel.  Then, click and drag a rectangle around the area that you want to keep.

Grocer on a boat in Venice by Danalynn C GIMP tutorial

Step 3: Hit the Enter key on your keyboard.  Enjoy your newly cropped photo!

Cropped image of Venice market on a boat by Danalynn C

Stay tuned for the next article, when I explain how to control color saturation in GIMP!
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Easy Photography Editing in GIMP

  at 7:00 AM
Discover if you know these unusual photo-editing techniques to create stunning photos!

Cherry Blossoms by Danalynn C

Often when I am traveling, I am moving too quickly to properly frame a scene and adjust camera settings before I take a photo.  These mistakes, luckily, can be fixed with my favorite photo-editing software, GIMP.

What Is GIMP?

GIMP is a free photo-editing software.  It is my favorite program to use when I edit my photos because even though you can be very technical with it, it's still easy to use.  It can be downloaded for every operating system and can be easily customized with optional plug-ins.  No, I am not being paid to recommend GIMP--I just love it that much!

Where can I get GIMP?  Is it actually free?

You can download GIMP for free from the GIMP website.  Yes, it's completely free, it does not have a trial period--it will always be free!

This GIMP Photography Editing Series

This photo-editing series will start off with a quick and easy introduction to GIMP through several basic photo-editing tutorials.  After these first few tutorials, I will move on to more unusual techniques that you can use to edit your photos with in GIMP.

I love knowing these techniques, especially for my travel photos, since I am always so distracted by all the new and exciting views in front of me that I usually fail to properly frame the photo or adjust my camera to get the best color.  Some techniques we will cover will include how to correct for a skewed perspective, how to blur backgrounds to create the look of a narrow depth of field (mimicking the look of SLR photos), and how to turn a color photo into a striking black and white image.

Article #1

The first article in this series will be posted this afternoon!  Keep an eye out! 
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A Nomad's First Travel Experiences (Flashback!)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011  at 7:00 AM
New Years in Paris by Danalynn C
In Paris for New Years as a Freshman in College (with Chris)

As my style of travel is a bit out of the norm, I thought I would share with everyone how it evolved!  I know it's a shock, but I did not spring forth into this world a fully formed nomadic-traveler.  Here are my first big travel experiences.

Travel as a kid with family

When I was a kid, my family went to Disneyland twice.  The first time we went, my mind was officially blown--I loved seeing the fantastic and creative lands, I loved the novel rides, I loved the lack of tourists (clearly, we went during the rainy season on an off-week).  The second time we went, it was like coming back to an old favorite book.  I remember you, my friend Indiana Jones ride!  We meet again, dastardly expensive in-park food!  However, at this point I just knew that I LOVED Disneyland, and thought nothing more of it (of course I loved Disneyland.  Duh, right?).

Travel with my High School French class

When I was a Junior in High School, I decided to go on a trip to France with my French class.  This bit of self-motivation led to staying for a week in Perpignan, living with a fantastic host family and gaining a taste of French life.  My French teacher was originally from the area, so we were able to avoid the tourist-traps and instead visit the local favorites.  I did not realize it at the time, but this was forming a very distinct idea of travel for me.  I emerged from this trip with a strengthened love of novel experiences and a definite love of France.

South of France near Perpignan by Danalynn C
In the South of France as a Freshman at College, traveling with Chris and staying with a French friend.

Travel my Freshman year in College

It was the third experience with travel that snapped everything into place.  As a Freshman in College, I decided to travel, by myself, to Switzerland to visit Chris (who was going to college there) for Christmas break.  Many people advised against it--it would take almost the entirety of my savings, Chris and I had no plans and nowhere to stay, I had never traveled alone before and this was a large trip to start on.  Luckily, I ignored all of this nonsense and left for an unforgettable trip across Switzerland and France.

Yes, we had difficulties.  We ended up sleeping outdoors because we did not have money for a hostel, we had our credit cards deactivated for a week by a bank error, we ate out of dumpsters in Paris (because of said bank error), we had half of our stuff stolen from us.  These are stories for another time!  The amazing part was that despite all of these problems (which could each lead to the trip of nightmares), we had a fantastic time.  On the return trip, after I had several items confiscated by airport security (this really wasn't a lucky trip...), I still felt energized.  These bad experiences did not define my travel attitude, they merely provided landmark memories for this particular trip.

On Friday I will talk about how I define my travel philosophy and how these earlier trips led to how I see travel today!
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Snapshots of Blue in Venice

Monday, May 23, 2011  at 7:00 AM
When I was in Venice, I was struck by how much color was everywhere.  Vibrant yellows, oranges, reds and teals popped out of every corner.  Growing up in a rainy gray and green city, this was unexpected and fun!  The color that grabbed at my attention the most, however, was this distinct robins-egg-blue that appeared time and time again throughout Venice.

Fierce Cat Sign in Venice by Danalynn C

 My favorite photo from Venice. I love the sign--Caution! Fierce cat!--and I love the colors.

Venice Green Door by Danalynn C

Everything is crumbling in Venice.  The buildings all lean against each other as bits and pieces flake off into the canals, the stone underfoot is worn smooth and the steps are eroding. 
Venice Blue Boat by Danalynn C

Every family has some sort of boat.  When I was there, often when wondering around I would end up in a dead end or cross a bridge that would go nowhere--I didn't have a boat, so automatically half of the streets were inaccessible to me! 

Blue House in Venice by Danalynn C
The houses were brightly colored, different colors for each house.

Venice Gondola by Danalynn C
The gondolas were fantastically ornate!
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What We Did With All Our Stuff

Friday, May 20, 2011  at 7:00 AM
Ivy on a Tree
A dewy morning in Seattle.

Stuff.  I collected it, I enjoyed it, I was given it as gifts, I stored it, I moved it, and now I'm dealing with it.

I never actually realized how much stuff I had!  I have moved at least once a year for the past five years, so I assumed that my belongings must be pared down at this point...but that was not the case.  Here is what we did with all of our worldly possessions in the months leading up to our departure dates:

Sold via Craiglist: All of our big-ticket items (plus anything we thought we could sell for a decent amount of money).  This includes our cars, motorcycle, computers and a few odds and ends.

Sold via consignment shop: As Chris has pointed out to me, time and time again, my fashion tastes tend to change from season to season, so I took the chance to clear out everything that I didn't think I would love after a year or more.  Anything that had a chance at being sold was brought to Plato's Closet in the effort to get at least a bit of money out of it.  (chances were that the items were originally from a thrift shop anyways)

Put in storage: We were lucky enough to get free storage from family, so we were able to store items that would either be impossible to replace, such as photo albums and homemade quilts, or that we would want eventually when settling into a fixed-location home, such as dishes, kitchen appliances and artwork.  Since we are planning on settling down eventually, we did not go whole-hog and get rid of everything as many starting nomads do.

Gave to friends: My house plants went to family and friends, our cat went to my mother, various items were given to people who could use them.

Donate to the Goodwill: Pretty much everything else.  This ended up being a LOT of stuff, mainly clothing and items I held on to 'in case it would be useful' (which of course it never was). 

It feels great to know that soon pretty much everything I own will be within arms reach and could be grabbed at a moment's notice!
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WWOOFing in Italy

Wednesday, May 18, 2011  at 7:00 AM
Welcome to Part 4 of my Travel Memories series as I prepare for my upcoming departure in June!  Click here to read other Travel Memories stories (including bungee jumping and staying on floating raft houses in Thailand)!

WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is an organization that connects organic farm hosts around the world and traveling workers, where a traveler can trade a few hours of labor a day in exchange for room and board at an organic farm.  Chris and I had heard fabulous reviews of the experience from friends and so we decided to give it a try in Italy, a few summers ago.  We worked at a farm in central Italy for a few weeks in the summer and it was fantastic.

Making homemade pasta in Italy
Helping out in the kitchen--my favorite job!

We ended up working at a horse training camp/agri-tourism farm at a small place outside of Forli.  The location was beautiful, nestled between vinyard fields on one side and wheat fields on the other.  We worked about three hours every morning and another two in the afternoon, and in exchange we were given a room to sleep in (the family actually had a small hotel, so we had one of the hotel rooms), three meals a day (the mom was a cook at their restaurant, so the food was amazing), horses to ride, internet to use sparingly, a ride to and from the train station and overwhelming kindness and welcome.

Riding horses through Italian countryside WWOOF
Riding the horses one afternoon on a small trail from the house, through the adjoining fields.

Chris and I will be using HelpX to find similar arrangements in the upcoming year, mainly because I like their interface better (it's easier to use and they have a review system), but I loved our WWOOF experience and I would be thrilled to do it again.

Making sausages in Italy with WWOOF host
At a celebration on the farm where a pig was slaughtered and the meat was processed in one day.  Homemade sausages, pork rinds and bacon, yum!

WWOOF host family in Italy
With our fabulous host family, thank you so much!
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How Can You Afford to Travel? Let's Talk Money

Tuesday, May 17, 2011  at 7:34 PM
 Tree in Basel Switzerland
Sadly, we do not have a money tree...

Whenever I tell people that I will be traveling indefinitely, I usually get one of two responses.

1. "Oh, you have loads of money saved up in the bank?  Lucky."

2. "What job do you have that lets you travel?  Don't tell me, you scored a job as a travel writer."

How Much Money We Have Now (and how we got it)

Let me address both of these assumptions right now.  I work in education and Chris worked in retail/at a hospital desk job.  We graduated college with a ton of student debt, we did not win the lottery, no one left us a surprise inheritance.  What we did do was work.  A lot.  We didn't kill ourselves working, but we both kept two jobs, working more than full-time, for between one and two years. However, almost all of this money went directly towards student loans.  The payments are all paid off until mid-2013 and, thankfully, they are no longer of mountain-like proportions. This means that we did not save up all of our money, putting every penny aside for travel for months and months.

What we also did was sell quite a bit of what we own.  Two cars, a motorcycle, our main computers, all of our big-ticket items are sold.  What this left us with was a little bit of money.  This is nowhere near a large chunk of change (not even close to $20,000, what many nomads estimate as the bare minimum for a year of travel for a single person), but with our estimates, what we have should be enough to keep us afloat for at least a year.

Finally, jobs.  Aside from HelpX and WWOOF, which we plan to use frequently, our only income will come in the form of a small online tutoring job that I will be keeping while we travel.  This is only a few hours a week, but hopefully will offset the cost of groceries and perhaps a bit of travel.

How Much We Plan to Spend When Traveling Nomadically

I can hear the questions already.  How will you live--how will you eat!--when earning practically no money and with little money in the bank?  Chris and I plan to work through HelpX and WWOOF (exchanging several hours of work a day for room and board at many places around the world), doing house-sitting and Couchsurfing when possible or necessary.  This already cuts out the cost of lodging, usually the bulk of travel expenses.

Food will be included when we work through HelpX or WWOOF, and when food is not provided Chris and I love shopping at local markets and grocery stores.  We go out to eat very occasionally, and we see it as an experience, not as a regular dining option.

Travel costs, of course, are hard to eliminate, but by using local or discounted transportation (buses, trains, bikes, our feet, discount plane tickets) we can bring those costs down to a minimum. 

Finally, the last sector of common costs: incidental, or entertainment.  We love interacting with the local culture, which usually means low- or no-cost entertainment.  Occasionally we will treat ourselves to something more exciting (elephant rides for the win!) but we always weigh the pros (exciting adventures!) with the cons (we are cheapies).  We are prepared for un-foreseen travel expenses, but we avoid or minimize them when we can!

In a nutshell, this is our financial plan for our upcoming life as nomads.  We have lived like this before, for short periods of time, and we think that it is sustainable on a longer scale.  After all, if it doesn't work then we can always apply like crazy to online jobs or find an actual, paying job wherever we are!
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Art in the Vatican Museum

Monday, May 16, 2011  at 7:00 AM
Welcome to Part 3 of my Travel Memories series as I prepare for my upcoming departure in June!  Click here to read other Travel Memories stories.

When I was in Rome, the hands down, no contest, most amazing experience I had was touring the Vatican Museum.  You may have noticed that I enjoy art (maybe), and the Vatican Museum was stuffed full of it.  The Sistine Chapel is the most famous area in the Vatican Museum, and while it was fun to look at, it definitely was not my favorite part--too many people, no photography allowed, and the art was fairly far away.

My favorite paintings in the museum were not framed or spotlighted, but were painted on the ceilings and walls of a specific long hallway in the Vatican Museum. This hallway is known for being covered top to bottom in beautiful paintings and it did not fail to impress.  I took the photos of the paintings below from the ceiling of this hallway!

Painting of Saint on ceiling of Vatican Museum

I have no idea of the artist, so if anyone has any ideas I would be happy to hear them!

Painting of Saint on ceiling of Vatican Museum #2

Painting of Saint on ceiling of Vatican Museum #3

Painting of Saint on ceiling of Vatican Museum #4
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Floating Raft Houses in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

Saturday, May 14, 2011  at 9:26 AM
Welcome to Part 2 of my Travel Memories series as I prepare for my departure in June!  To read Part 1, which tells about my Bungee Jumping experience in Switzerland, click here!

I am a proponent of research; there is nothing I like more than a fat pile of books on a subject, waiting to have notes taken from them (obviously I'm a sick, sick person).  This balances nicely with Chris's fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, plans-what-plans style of travel.  When I was researching our trip to Thailand, one phrase grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go: Floating Raft Houses.  Specifically, floating raft houses inside of Khao Sok National Park, on Chieow Laan Lake.

Floating Raft Houses in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
Our kayak and the view from the doorway of our 'house.'

A rickety old bus picked us up from the entrance of the National Park and drove us to the dock, where we were grabbed by a crew in a small motor boat.  We were zipped through a series of connected lakes, past towering cliffs and the occasional monkey, before arriving at our destination: Hello, Lake Houses!

Floating Raft Houses in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand #2
The floating 'houses' on Chieow Laan Lake were all connected together.

The houses were truly floating in the middle of the lake, strung together with rope and a small wooden pathway, connected at one end to land.  Opening our front door, instead of lawn, a hallway, or concrete, spread a beautiful expanse of warm teal water.  For lunch, a small restaurant served fish caught from the backdoor and local fruit.

Main Lodge for Floating Raft Houses in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
The main gathering area for the floating houses, where the meals were served.

One afternoon, Chris and I decided that we wanted to kayak into the rainforest through one of the small streams that fed into the lake.  A log lay over the entrance and to pass under it we leaned back, shoulder blades against the top of the kayak.  The small stream unfurled to become a hidden, still body of water, enclosed by the jungle.  Our boat glided to a stop and we rested.  As we remained still, the wildlife decided to ignore us and a troop of monkeys swung into view!  They played over our heads until, stomachs grumbling, we decided that it was time to head back for dinner.  As we started to move the monkeys froze, then startled and within seconds there was no sign of them.

Sunset over Ko Tao ocean,Thailand
Sunset on Ko Tao--another beautiful sight in Thailand!

Despite the fact that the rafts are marketed as a tourist attraction, they remain one of my best experiences in Thailand where I could both escape being seen as a tourist and feel peaceful.  Once again, research pays off!
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Bungee Jumping at Verzasca (Switzerland)

  at 7:34 AM
Chris has left for Europe and took the camera with him.  To help me battle my withdrawal symptoms (no camera=sad day), I will be working on photo-editing skills with GIMP on old photos.  This also ties in nicely as I will be focusing this month on old travel memories.  It is about one month out from my departure date and I am getting excited to go!

This series will start off with a bang: Two years ago, I jumped off of a dam.  No, I did not want to end my life as a puddle of liquidized person at the bottom of the dam--I was bungee jumping in Switzerland at the highest stationary bungee jump in the world, at Valley Verzasca.

Getting ready to bungee jump at Valley Verzasca, Switzerland
Getting suited up to go jump off of a bridge!  In addition to securing the bungee cord to my ankles, I wore a body harness on that the rope also secured to as an additional safety measure.

This thrilling experience was given to Chris and me as a wedding present by a large group of Chris's college friends and it remains one of my strongest memories of living in Europe.  I am afraid of heights (not debilitatingly so, but a bit) and it took all my willpower to step off the edge.  The wind was really strong--I thought I was going to be knocked off before I could jump!  I was convinced I was going to die, but I am so glad I went through this experience.

The fall took about 15 seconds total, then it was a long wait while a wench was slowly sent down to me, I fastened the wench to my harness, then the wench pulled me up.
The fall itself was not what I expected--it was long, the cord was very bouncy, and the rebound drop was very high as well.  I had intense tunnel vision towards the ground, and as soon as I felt the cord tightening against my ankles at the bottom of the fall an intense feeling of relief overpowered me.  All in all, a great experience but most likely not one I will be repeating anytime soon!
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Eastern Washington State

Friday, May 13, 2011  at 7:00 AM
I freely admit, I have a huge soft spot for Eastern Washington State.  The rolling hills, the patchwork fields knit together with rickety old fences, the clean, dry smell of dirt and wheat (no matter the season!), they all weave together and make me pretty happy.  This weekend, I was visiting family in Eastern Washington State and I was continually struck by how pretty everything was!  Of course, my judgement may have been skewed since it might have been the first time I saw sun in several months...

Spring Palouse Hills in Eastern Washington State
Rolling Palouse Hills on a sunny day!

This weekend I was able to play around with my MIL's DSLR camera, which was a ton of fun.  I amused myself by taking endless photos of weeds, the ground, and blurry birds (I'm never quite fast enough to snap the photo clearly when they're in flight).

Thorny Weed in Eastern Washington State
An awesome thorny weed!

An amusing conversation from this weekend, while I was showing photos on the camera to my little four-year-old brother-in-law

Me: Do you want to see the photos?

Him: What are they?

Me: Do you like to fingerpaint?

Him: (nods enthusiastically)

Me: Well, this is like fingerpainting for grown ups!

The other people at the table started laughing at me, but it satisfied the four year old!

Grass Closeup
Light hitting blades of grass.  Yes, I photographed grass close-up.  The previous picture is a weed, too!

Chris, laughing at something and enjoying his last few days in the US.

Spring Daffodils
Spring Daffodils!
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Exploring the Seattle Beaches

Wednesday, May 11, 2011  at 12:04 AM
I was raised on the rocky, kelp-strewn beaches of the Pacific Northwest and I love how interesting they are!  We forgo the endless stretches of silky sand in exchange for hidden tide pools, seaweed galore and pointy rocks (good for stabbing feet, hands and knees!).  I have been excited to revisit many of my favorite places as I am getting ready to leave the country. 

A small green crab who lives under the rocks in the intertidal zone.

I always get excited when I see the wildlife living in the tide pools--crabs, sea anemones, little fish, hermit crabs!  Best type of beach ever, yes/yes?

Believe it or not, this photo was not retouched to get this smooth, artsy look--this was how it actually looked!

I am enamored with the intricate lines in the rigging of sailboats.

A sailboat, anchored off of this beach of dark, smooth rocks.

People usually don't associate Seattle with the thought of beaches, but the beaches here are fantastic.  Cold, rainy, wet, yes, but they are fantastic for interesting walks!


A brightly colored scallop shell.
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