03 August 2019

Mt Rainier: The wildflower meadows

Today was especially hot, and as soon as I opened the car door to a rush of hot air I immediately regretted wearing jeans. It's wildflower season in Mt Rainier, so my mom and I spent this Saturday driving around as a late birthday present for her. We had a couple stops on our list, albeit a little ambitious considering our track record of getting lost around the park. It doesn't hurt to try, though!

Despite the heat it was a beautiful blue afternoon, with not a cloud in sight. You could see the mountains so clearly, even from the Puget Sound.
Our first stop was Tipsoo Lake, which was easy to get to from the main road. By the parking lot and trail entrances (of which there are several!) were picnic benches where people could rest and eat. The lake is very family friendly, and was full of small kids running along the narrow path with their parents in toe. No wading or swimming in the lake!
Since the beginning of summer I've been waiting for the wildflowers to be in peak bloom. And admittedly that was nearly all that I photographed. One of the really great things about Mt Rainier National Park is their extensive online resources. Amongst a plethora of useful information and tips, they have a section just for identifying wildflowers throughout the park. I'd like to get better at IDing plants while I hike, so it was really fun finding the names of the flowers I saw along the path.
lupines and partridgefoot
a few magenta paintbrushes and broadleaf arnica mixed in. The taller white flowers are sitka valerian!
Closer look of the sitka valerian. They're pretty similar to gray's lovage but once you compare them side by side it's easier to see their differences.

The lupines were definitely my favorite at Tipsoo Lake. Can you tell? :)

20 June 2019

 Sometimes I forget that all an entry can be is a simple photo or two that I took of the day. Tonight's sunset was beautiful and (genuinely) didn't need any edits. I try so hard sometimes to show the world the way I see it. I'm thrilled that, at least tonight, I can truly do just that.
Thank you.

12 April 2019

the memories that pile up

A long time ago I bought a Konica Acom-1 and did a test roll of film but never took it out of my camera. Then I bought an Asahi Pentax Spotmatic on ebay for $24 back in 2017 and let both of those collect dust for a few more years. At the start of 2019 I had a dream that encouraged me to pick up film again, so I did. I'm a pretty simple person.
About 2 weeks ago I sent in 4 rolls of film (the 2 I shot, and 2 mystery ones my uncle gave me) to get developed. Unfortunately the Acom-1 roll didn’t develop any images. I have a vague memory of the photos that were in there, but it would’ve been nice to have seen them again. The good news is that the other 3 did, so I got my prints back today and wanted to share the ones shot with my pentax sp.
The transit center at sunset 
 A lot of the shots that turned out well are from my day trip to Ilwaco. I had to google the ideal settings for a sunny day by the sea, haha! And then I found out how to use the meter.
 The way that the sunlight was captured on the trail is breathtaking.
 I really love these shots — not all of the ones I got back are good because I was fiddling around with the settings but the last half really shows what I learned along the way. 
This one is my absolute favorite from the roll.
I accidentally forgot to press the release button while preparing to take out the film so the last couple of frames got ruined. I had taken about 3-4 more shots after this one at UW. I think the red streaks make it more beautiful, though — it's a memory imprinted forever.

09 April 2019

golden stars of spring

 Spring is here and with it the cherry blossoms have settled into their full bloom, with the tulips right around the corner. It's always exciting trying to chase the blooms of everything I want to see, and this year I'm hoping to try something new!

My memories from elementary school are relatively vivid, but I'd have to say the most prominent ones are of the fourth grade. That year I took up the harmonica and spent recess by the classroom door, learning how to play Danny Boy (one of my favorite songs). I begged my mom to let me take home our classroom hamster, but gave them to the girl who was sick the day we were supposed to give our parent notes of approval. My friend then gave me her hamster, Penny, who I loved dearly as my first pet. 

Most of all, though, is the memory of my fourth grade teacher, who loved daffodils. As often as she could, she would decorate our tables with fresh daffodils in a small vase. I remember learning how to make daffodil paper flowers out of colored tissue in her class, and would frequently find myself drawing daffodils whenever I could.
It's funny what you carry through to adulthood, and how much of an impact a teacher's love and passion makes. When I saw this bed of daffodils at Queen Elizabeth Park, I was reminded of her. She was definitely one of my favorite teachers - gentle but respected.

I usually go up to La Conner for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festivals, but they also host Daffodil and Lavender Festivals - something I've only found out recently! I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it in time, but I'd love to see the fields of daffodils before they go. 
I hope you're doing well!