Photo: Little Crater Lake

Little Crater Lake

There's a short path leading from the parking area directly to this little gem of a lake. I'm not really sure why it's classified as a lake. It seems more like a pond to me. Is there some sort of official classification for bodies of water when naming them? Where is the defining line between a pond and and lake?

The "lake" is spring fed and this is believed to be the origin, not from volcanic processes as the name would suggest. That sounds like more misleading nomenclature to me. The lake is a LIE, I tell you. However, don't let that dissuade you from visiting if you are in the area. It's quite the package of pretty and easliy accessed for the less athletically inclined sightseers.

Photo: Northern Pygmy Owl

Northern Pygmy Owl Last weekend we met up with some friends at their cabin in the Mt. Hood National Forest.  It was a nice day out, so we had brought our bikes up to the mountain with us. Riding around the back roads, we found a trail that led up to a large rock formation. At the base of the rock, I spotted a little bird making some noise and sitting in one of the lower pine tree branches. Giving the little guy a second look I realized it was an owl. I pointed it out to everyone and we watched the owl as it looked back at us. As I attached my zoom lens, it hopped over to another branch, slightly further away. Everyone continued on the trail, while I hung behind to try to get a few shots before the owl flew off. As I crept a bit closer, the owl suddenly got very interested in something on the ground. Just after I took this shot, it zoomed down just ten feet away from me, catching a mouse nearly the same size as itself. I didn't have a good angle on it to get any good shots of the owl as it struggled to get the mouse airborne. However, I did get one fuzzy shot of a big orange eye staring at me though the underbrush. I also managed to get a few fuzzy shots after it managed to fly off with its huge dinner.

Nature in action!

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Technical Details Aperture Value: f/5.6 Focal Length: 300mm Exposure Program: Aperture Priority ISO: 400 Shutter Speed Value: 1/200 sec Location: Zigzag, Oregon

Orange

Fly Agaric

It was a crisp autumn day, and we had set out upon a mission to find and photograph the fall color in the mountains. Seeing as we hadn't really explored the south side of Mount St. Helens yet, we decided that would be a good place to begin our quest.

Alas, the leaves were just starting to turn so there wasn't very much in the way of brilliant warm tones in the trees. However, there seemed to be an over abundance of mushrooms.

This particular one I missed seeing on the way in, but it caught my eye on the way out. Bright, beautiful, and orange, just like a little forest jack-o-lantern.

I think the species is an orange variety Fly Agaric (Amanita Muscaria) which is quite poisonous.

Technical Details Aperture Value: f/7.1 Focal Length: 55mm Exposure Program: Aperture Priority ISO: 200 Shutter Speed Value: 1/100 sec Location: June Lake Trail, Mount St. Helens Volcanic National Park, Washington