CLOUDLAND CABIN JOURNAL - June 2013 - PART B (part A here)



Cloudland Cabin Cam, June 29, 7:15am - cool and clear with long shadows

Journal updated June 29th


Print Of The Week - #26 - Moonset at Rush Ghost Town - ON SALE!

06/19/13 I'm neck-deep in book production mode this week. It is kind of funny - I won't be going ANYWHERE until the book is completed, so the only thing I see is the path between the cabin and my computer station over in the gallery, plus this view off the back deck that I share with you each morning. But at the same time I've been pouring through tens of thousands of photos I've taken this past couple of years - looking for images that will become part of the new picture book - so in a way I've been taking lots and lots of great adventures into the wilderness without ever leaving home! Which is kind of exactly what I'm hoping the new picture book will do for everyone else - allow you to go see wonderful wild places without the cold or hot temps or bugs or snakes...

06/20/13 I've been up since 3-something working on the picture book project over in the gallery, and just took a break to come back to the cabin for breakfast out on the back deck. The air is quite cool and sweet today - as it seems to be most summer mornings at dawn. The wilderness is so quiet and serene at this time, with muted pastel colors. A foreground of trees lining the meadow below partially hides soft, misty white clouds that float down in the canyons; behind them are hills and ridges of cool blue, stacked up for more than five miles - each one a little bluer; all of this back by a brighter but still muted pink sky that seems to just be hanging there waiting on something.

There is music - as there always is early - songs of dozens of unseen birds playing around and going about their daily chores. Many of the notes are high-pitched and fleeting, and I never know who the authors are. During mid-gulp of my raisin bran this morning, a tiny bird landed on a branch in the big red oak that grows up from our lower deck, so small and light that he hardly disturbed the branch at all. He was silhouetted against the bright landscape in the background. And then the little guy let out a scream that could wake a sleeping cat, and sang his heart out for about two seconds! Ahhhhhh, HE is the source of the high-pitched notes I've been hearing. And then he is off to sing elsewhere, and I haven't a clue of his identity. Tomorrow I will be ready with binocs in hand instead of spoon, and see if I can get a better look...

06/25/13 There is a cool breeze moving through the trees this morning, and what sounds like a thousand little birds out playing and enjoying the easy temps. These guys all have high-pitched voices, but there are larger birds in the background too, with more deep bass - mourning doves and hoot owls. The air is quite filled with music, and is a great way to start the day!

I'm in full zombie mode this week, scrambling to get the new picture book completed - already a few days late as I had hoped to get it finished by Sunday. I remain mostly locked away in the processing room over in the gallery, standing at the computer for hours on end. But do make frequent trips back to the cabin for a new bottle of cold water, or an ice cream bar - 'tis a trade secret that these sort of projects really run on ICE CREAM!

I have just posted the new Print Of The Week, and it is of a light painting that I did at the old ghost town downstream 114 miles from here, at Rush Historic Mining District. This includes the full moon setting in the predawn-twilight sky. I often prefer to photograph the moonset instead of the moonrise like everyone else is doing. I'm kind of weird that way, but then you probably already knew that! It was a little bit creepy hanging around these old buildings that date back to the late 1800s, and the fact that while as many as 5,000 miners and support folks lived in the valley and surrounding hillsides during World War I, I was the only person there. Or was I? It sure felt like there were others around...

06/29/13 I did a four-mile fitness backpack trip this morning and was back at the cabin by dawn. This was the first of many trips to try and get rid of the spare tire(s) I've built up! My goal is to work up to eventually hiking over to the Buffalo Fire Tower and back, which is about 15 miles - I would have to eat breakfast before I left the cabin, but would be back in time for lunch! As I sat on the back deck after my hike, sipping a fruit and Silk smoothie and trying to cool down, I got to watch a pair of little birds in Mom's meadow working. I was not sure if they were just trying to load up and pack on some body fat for the winter ahead, or were gathering food for babies - but they collected a lot of worms! It was interesting that they worked the entire time from a single, small, dead branch that was very low to the ground - or should I say low on the tree and just above the ground. I see birds doing this a lot - using a dead branch as a perch. Not sure why this is so, because you would think they might want a more hidden location to hunt from, but I guess hunting worms may not require such stealthiness.

The girls have been gone all week on their annual trip up north and just returned yesterday evening. Lucy and I have been holding down the fort, keeping the bears at bay, and the flowers watered. The highlight of the week (besides getting the girls back home - YIPPIE!), was the completion of the new book project on Wednesday. As you will discover if you attend one of the slide programs this fall, this project is one of those that has been near and dear to my heart - BUFFALO RIVER BEAUTY. We will eventually get an online gallery with all the images posted, and the books themselves will arrive and be available for purchase later in October - as usual I'll keep ya posted! Here is the entire front and back cover image, including the printer color bars and alignment marks (shhhh, don't tell anyone - it is a secret until October!):


I woke up Thursday morning well before daylight as usual, but with an empty and hollow feeling. For the past many, MANY months, about 95% of my mental energy has gone into "Where am I going to go shoot - where will there be great light - how can I take a picture unlike anything I've ever done before?" Many of the photographs I have taken for this new book project during the past year were the result of a great deal of thought, some of them requiring long hours - indeed days or even weeks - of thought and process and work in order to attain. And then all of a sudden, nothing - there was no other picture needing to be taken. This happens every year, but seems to have hit especially hard this year.

Of course, so many people are already saying - "So now that you have nothing to do, what are you going to DO?" I just have to laugh - they have no clue. While I've been spending so much time and effort on this book project (and the two calendar projects), I've been unable to do almost EVERYTHING else I've needed to do - so my list of things that are way, WAY behind schedule is lengthy, and even if I worked 24 hours a day it would take me years just to catch up. Fact is, I will never catch up - when you are self employed that is kind of the nature of the beast - there is ALWAYS something to do that is behind schedule.

Kind of a funny thing - right in the middle of the end of the two calendar projects and beginning of the new book project, my big, main printer broke - just as I was completing the match prints for the calendar projects (these are part of the package that are used together to produce the actual calendars, and books too). Turns out it was going to cost just as much to repair the big printer as it was to purchase a brand new one, so now I have a brand new HUGE printer in the print room to replace the old one. It is basically the exact same printer as before, just a little newer version. And while it took me an entire day to get it up and running and calibrated, I used it to make all the match prints for the new book project, and it worked perfectly (WOW, you should have seen those match prints!)

But now I have a HUGE printer (the old one) sitting right in the middle of the gallery that I need to do something with - it weights about 500 pounds. Anyone want a slightly used HUGE printer? It's yours for free if you want to come haul it off, ha, ha! (Canon ipf8300 - it needs two printheads, ink, and a maintenance tank).

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