Readers’ wildlife photos

March 2, 2023 • 8:15 am

Like Tony Eales the other day, Jim Blilie sent photos celebrating a recent move. Jim’s captions are indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them.

These photos celebrate our moving home to Washington state.  I retired in March 2022 and embarked on an intensive ten months. (I am just now starting to feel retired!)  We worked dawn to dusk all of March 2022 preparing to sell our Minnesota home the first week of April.  Jamie graduated high school in early June.  Then began the move which wasn’t done until July 2022 (we still aren’t fully unpacked!).  We were lucky to already own our retirement home in Klickitat County Washington, above the Columbia River Gorge, which we bought in 2001.  Then were many intense start-up activities.  We still need to build a planned new home, that will take better advantage of the views of Mount Adams and Mount Hood.  Maybe in Q3/Q4 2023.

These are all photos from our local area here in southern Washington (some are in the part of Oregon very near our home).  All photos are reduced in size (dumbed down some) in Photoshop Elements for emailing and posting.

First are some taken on our usual morning walk, right out of our front door.  This is a short 2-mile walk my wife and I do almost every day (even in winter, with light duty crampons on our hiking boots!).

A walk in the clouds.  Sun breaking through thin ground-level clouds.  We frequently get low-lying clouds, I think because or our very close proximity to the Columbia River Gorge itself.  This is a photo from my iphone 11:

Lupine flowers (Lupinus sp.) in morning sunshine:

Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) on Columbia Lily (Lilium columbianum):

Ice on my barbeque grill on a cold winter morning (iphone 11 photo).  The frozen droplets (they were dew drops) are as large as an inch (2.5 cm) across:

Our local mountains are Mount Adams and Mount Hood.  Mount Adams is due north of us.  Mount Hood is to our southwest.  These images are taken from our driveway.  I take frequent photos of these, especially Mount Adams.  The photos are almost a calendar of our changing seasons.

Mount Adams at sunrise (on two different mornings):

Mount Adams early on the morning of January 1, 2023:  A nice New Years’ present to have a clear morning:

Mount Hood at a misty dawn:

The next batch are all from (relatively) local hikes.

Mount AdamsMount Rainier, and the Goat Rock Wilderness with the gorge of the Klickitat River in the foreground.  Taken from a local eminence called Stacker Butte on January 19, 2023:  Our first “proper” hike of 2023.  November and December were very cold and snowy (December) here:

Our son, Jamie, on top of Chinidere Mountain, with Mount Hood in the background: 

A view of Mount Hood from Lookout Mountain, Oregon:

Old growth forest on the trail up to Sleeping Beauty:

Mount Saint Helens from Johnston Ridge in the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument:

Finally, a ringer:  Me, harvesting chardonnay grapes in my friend and neighbor’s vineyard.  iphone 12 photo:


Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Body, micro-4/3 format, mirrorless (crop factor = 2.0)
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario Lens, 12-35mm, F2.8 ASPH.
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario Lens, 35-100mm, F2.8 ASPH.
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 MEGA O.I.S.
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14MM, F4.0 ASPH.
iphone 12
iphone 11

18 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Very nice. We moved from Washington last year and your photos brought back many memories of how wonderful that part of the country can be.

  2. Aren’t all these mountains ‘sleeping’ (or not so sleeping) volcanos? That would explain the fertility of the soils there.
    Very nice photos.

  3. Greetings from western Washington. You’ve moved to some beautiful country! Thank you for the photographs.

  4. Gorgeous photos! I especially like the last one. Looks so wonderful to make your own wine. Happy retirement!

    1. Thanks! I am helping my friend make his wine. He is no longer a professional winemaker, so he just makes wine now off his own vines. It’s fun to see the process from spring green shoots to wine in the glass!

      I’ve been making wine since I helped my Dad in the late 1970s. Though I haven’t made my own wine the early 2000s due to living in Minnesota (too far from good vinifera grapes!). It’s fun to be involved again.

      I used to be a member of the Boeing winemaker’s club, which spawned numerous professional wineries and wine makers.

  5. What a beautiful retirement setting! Please enjoy and continue to favor us with photos from time to time.

  6. You picked a nice spot, Jim. It looks like you and the family are taking full advantage of the new environs and enjoying it. Again, congratulations and thanks for the superb photos.

    I wish my neighbor was a vintner! And since you helped with the harvest, you’re owed some of the fruits of your labor, no? 🙂

    1. Thanks Mark. Yes, we will share in the final product. Much wine sharing around here.

      He used to be a professional winemaker* and only retired a few years ago: He makes good stuff! The vineyard (about 2 acres, I’d guess, several varieties of grape; but mainly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, given our elevation and latitude) is right in their yard. 🙂

      * Major Creek Cellars

      1. Wow! Neighbors with winemaking creds to boot. Talk about a bonus. Lucky you!

        Nice to be able to grow those two stellar grape varieties. That area is perfect grape growing country, depending on the grape, of course. Thanks Volcanoes!

  7. “Lupine flowers”? Really? Maybe “Lupin flowers” would be a bit less predatory?
    (Thus ends a post consisting of only questions.)

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