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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 22,692

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Night photo preps and shots - the whole thing

Tonight was a good night to shoot the setting, crescent moon (waxing at 6.7%). Tomorrow night might be better. But ya' never know!

I started getting ready an hour before sunset (7:30 pm). I got off duty at 7:00 pm, had a long swig from my 10-Barrell growler (Apocolypse IPA - still great after four days), ate a piece of corn, and went to the ground to set up the cameras.

This is the photo record:

Getting ready for the night shoot (notice the blue horn and the yellow whistle). I'm not really keen on getting a face-to-face with the cougar that we all know lives here.

The waxing crescent moon through some snags (more tomorrow, perhaps)

The lookout tower: home sweet home!

Strange, somber view that I watched as I heard the news on BBC this morning (B&W PHOTO)

I was up early (first light, as usual) in the fire lookout tower. I tuned in BBC World News as I scanned the lightning areas for fires (we have had a few lightning fires in the past couple of days). As the BBC read the news - on and on - about Aurora, Colorado, I was scanning through the Crater Buttes to my west. By that time, I was sick at my stomach at the hints of another - yet another - gun massacre. I haven't even gotten over Gabby Giffords, and that has been almost eighteen months.

I watched low clouds spill in from ultra-flat Ft. Rock Valley, and break - like waves at the beach - over the Crater Buttes of the Newberry Volcano. On-and-on it went as on-and-on I listened. It could not have been more metaphorical in a Hieronymus Bosch nightmare-scape.

The waves of "breaking" clouds became the unending assault (pardon the well-chosen word) of gun massacres in our culture. What a hell-of-a-scene on such an apocalyptic morning.

About 0600 PDT on Friday 7/20/12

Low hanging fruit, easily picked, should be shared (so here 'ya go!) ..

Sunday's post-storm light bonanza was bodacious! Some of the best light I've seen here in four fire seasons. Enjoy.

(All photos taken from the fire lookout tower at N 43 40' 1.5" W 120 59' 44.7" with a Canon 5D M-II camera and a 70-200IS f2.8 lens)

Fire at the Last Chance Opal Mine today (PICS)

I spotted the smoke on the lower eastern aspect of Sixteen Butte - 6.125 miles from my lookout tower - at about 12:45 today. The wispy white smoke billowed up quickly as the fire grew in size, creeping through light fuels. By the time the first fire crew arrived - about 30 minutes later - the fire was sized at 1/2 acre.

The wind picked up speed, and the fire was soon spotting (with trees torching) and grew to about three acres. We ended up with four fire engines, a water tender, a hand crew, a fuels unit, and a USFS law enforcement unit on the fire. Arson is suspected. Evidently the mine, which has operated the last three years, is now defunct.

It is totally dark now. The last engines just left the fire for quarters in Bend, the fire contained-controlled-mopped and bedded down for the night.
All in all, a gratifying day. I was able to nail the fire position at the opal mine, which meant the crews wasted no time looking for the fire.

At 1 PM PDT the fire was about 1/2 acre

At 2 PM PDT the fire was estimated to be at three acres and growing with spotting and individual tree torching (visible here)

Flag Day at the lookout tower (with a fire)

Today is flag day, and the U.S. flag is flying high on the lookout's Lodgepole pine flagpole. The wind is really whipping it now (8 PM PDT).

We had a near-acre fire today (0.8), about 23 miles from me on an azimuth of 329-degrees. Another lookout tower crossed with me on the difficult-to-see smoke (looked like dust), and we nailed it!

I was just on the phone with yet another lookout, and a small bobcat ran through the manzanita about 100 yards east of me. Of course, my camera has the wide-angle lens attached.

Flag Day at the lookout

A big campfire about four miles away last Sunday morning

The Three Sisters (left), Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Hood (right)

Wicked and dangerous winter weather at the lookout tower

I'll start here in GD. But from now on I'll post news-type photos here and artsy photos in the photo group.

Below are photos of the hell winter weather that hit me the first three days in the fire lookout (5/23 - 5/26). It really sucked.

I'm in Bend thawing out.

Ice feathers

The Ice Palace

So .. you think your bathroom is cold in the the morning?

Late afternoon on Friday 5/25 - 4-inch ice feathers

Storm-tested i-APP:

Childress, Texas
On the road to Oregon

In the last three days I have driven through some hellacious weather. But my iPhone's "RadarScope" made it like flying a Boeing 737 with sophisticated on-board weather radar. It is the coolest "APP" I've encountered - so far.

In a nutshell, I plug the iPhone into the DC receptacle (cigarette lighter hole) and ride with the iPhone in a cup-holder cradle. I go to "SETTINGS - GENERAL" and disable the screen time-out. Then, I select the RadarScope icon.

I can then click on a small blue icon to mark and track my truck's position (through the GPS function of the iPhone). That overlays on the radar weather map AND a highway map. Another button allows you to pick the radar site feeding the "RadarScope." So you can actually look at weather ahead to plan your trip in near-time.

It was tested to the max today as I left Dallas - in severe weather - headed to Childress, Texas (short of Amarillo). I watched the weather ahead in anticipation (at least in a B-737, I could turn). I could see the heavy areas, and the red boxes for tornadoes. If a red box (Tornado Warning) had overlayed my route, I could have stopped or sought shelter. That is worth the price of the APP.

What a great advantage on the road! Given the higher than normal levels of severe weather nationwide, I'd recommend setting this app for your own use.

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