Canned Butter

Category: Nature

Sleep When You Die #17 – Mount Jefferson

Mount Jefferson image

Despite a torrential downpour upon the Mount Hood National Forest, when the pavement ended I rolled the dice. I’ve always had horrible luck with cars… I don’t even own one these days because of it. Perhaps my bad luck is simply bad decision-making : )


The Artisan Cup

The Artisan Cup Tree image
Trees and Herman Hesse image

The epic Bonsai tournament was this weekend at the Portland Art Museum. Christopher Guest could have easily gone this direction rather than the canine direction for his film, “Best in Show.” It was an interesting scene to say the least. A large room filled with 40 manicured mini-trees. I want a Bonsai to cultivate and shape! The more interesting works were the ones that brought forth the essence of what the craft entails: the improvement of natural beauty using the tools of composition, scale, contrast, and balance.

As unharmonious it will come off as, the thing that astounds me about us humans is how our natural sense of observation is inclined towards getting as close to something as possible to see it. As if being able to observe each individual leaf or needle of a branch will bring us closer to seeing the essence. Much like a Van Gogh or a Monet, the art of Bonsai is best observed at a slight distance, taking in the entirety of the plant. Therein lies the better chance to grasp the horticulturist’s intentions.

How much is a trillion?

A new friend turned me onto Carl Sagan’s television series “Cosmos” recently, and slowly but surely I’m making my way through the 13-part series. Along with being the driving creative force behind the series, Sagan himself narrates each episode, and I’ve found his delivery to be hypnotic.

When dealing with distance in universe the problem is always being able to relate massive distances to our own uman experience, and Sagan’s use of imagery and earthly concepts ignite the imagination throughout. For example, we’ve all seen images of the rings of Saturn, but what the hell are they? Imagine a trillion snowballs all grouped by graivity in the form of massive rings. This leads to the initial question: How much is a trillion? Furthermore, is there any grasping the immensity that our own Milky Way Galaxy contains anywhere from 100 – 400 billion stars? Side note: The Milky Way is one of atleast 100 billion galaxies according to Think about how many stars that is!!! Damn. You see the problem of relativity. Problem as it may be, Sagan does a great job of turning the problem into an adventure and a great exercise of imagination. Cheers to that.

Check out the 1st episode if that’s your kind of thing.

Flower power.

At more than a century old, The Conservatory of Flowers is a gem of Victorian architecture nestled in the east side of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Cheap to visit and priceless fun with a camera of any quality. Visually there’s plenty to take in, but there’s also scents of tropical vegetation throughout that can really draw you away and allow for forgetfulness of the hustle and bustle awaiting you on the outside.

Beneath the Redwoods

I’ve been blessed with the supreme opportunity to spend the summer months in wanderlust. Last weekend I found myself camping beneath the Redwood forest of Humboldt County, California. Two bear sightings during a single hike and skinny-dipping in the brisk new day sunlight. Only one bare bear caught on film here. Enjoy and get out and do some camping!

Sleep When You Die #3

Sleep When You Die photo

Sleep when you die!

The Eel River in the new day light snaking through the Redwoods of Humboldt County.

Face to face with the king.


Think of your favorite park. You take a car or a bike there. You park and go into the park for free, look around, have fun, and enjoy the sun. That’s what I found the Lincoln Park Zoo to be like during a recent summer retreat to Chicago. A free zoo! What a novel idea. The place was packed. You can’t even go to church for free. Suppose you can go to the beach… but it’s a short free list. Anyhoo- the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago! Give them your money if you have extra and visit them if you’re ever broke in Chicago.

Ombience sounds better

This is fun for a second or longer if needed. Waste time on facebook in comfort and with serenity at


The colours have been great this autumn in case you’ve failed to notice, and everything always looks better at dawn so for the last couple of mornings I’ve been out of the house at the crack to take my tea with the great blue herons as they migrate toward the south for the winter. It gets serene enough out there that you can hear bird wings flapping in flight. The herons fly in from over the trees, land, and either bury their heads in the crisp morning air or they have a go at the local fish cuisine for breakfast. Granted not the most socially stimulating crowd I’ve ever hung out with but definitely one of the most majestic. I think 12 is the most I could get in a single frame in these shots. What fun.
Perhaps an obvious statement, but I’ll say it anyway for the sake of rhetoric…Nature is the great escape.

And here’s the online portfolio with a few others:

Blue heron migration 2012

The Blanket Octopus

Crazy nature break-time. Tremocotpus violaceous has quite an air of elegance and luxury as it drifts through the crystal blue. Like velvet under the sea. Apparently it sheds this blanket skin when threatened. Think newspaper on the windscreen of this mollusc’s attacker. Crazy stuff.
Pierce Brosnan on the bit of narration. haha