Friday, March 24, 2017

Timberline Ski Adventure


Early spring is, for me, the prime time to hit the slopes here in the Pacific Northwest. It seems to be the time of year when such trips jive best with my life, and when the various ski areas are at their least crowded. However, the weather can be just as wintry in spring as it is in the deepest depths of winter, as we found out this past Tuesday at Timberline on Mt. Hood.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Rinsten Spring - Kickstarter Spotlight

Anyone who has ridden a bike down a rugged gravel road, or even a decent gravel road, will know that it can be an uncomfortable experience, to say the least. The Rinsten Spring aims to solve this issue and make your cycling experience more pleasant and comfortable. Rinsten is hoping to get this bicycle shock absorber onto the market via its new Kickstarter campaign.

Monday, March 20, 2017

UST ParaKnife FS 2.0 Review

The problem with a lot of knives I’ve used is their weight - a good pocket knife can have a real impact on the weight of your pack. The Paraknife FS 2.0 from Ultimate Survival Technologies changes all that with its barebones ultra-light design that also manages to fit in a wide array of useful tools such as might more often be found on a heavy, bulky multi-tool. It’s a marvelous device for anyone looking to shave a few ounces off their pack.

Dewdrops on Flowers - First day of Spring!

Spring is officially here! It was a chilly way for this green season to dawn, but the frosty dew only added to the splendor of the morning. I got as close as I could to capture the beauty of the jewel-like drops that adorned every verdant leaf and vivid blossom.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Trump's budget would gut funding for the environment, science, and public lands

For decades America has supported a plethora of vibrant programs and services that have benefited us all in uncountable ways. Through our tax dollars, we fund the scientific research that has vastly improved our quality of life and reduced our impact on our planet. We fund environmental protection that keeps our air and water clean, the ecosystems that sustain us healthy, and help fight the climate change that threatens our very existence. We fund our public lands - places everyone, regardless of personal wealth or social standing, has a stake in. They are a source of joy for hundreds of millions of Americans, and support a multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation economy.

 Today we're in danger of losing all this because of what Trump's budget would do to programs related to the environment. The budget cuts Trump has proposed would do so much damage to programs that improve every aspect of our society that it's difficult even to grasp the potential ramifications. Millions would suffer, many would die, and many decades of hard won progress would be lost. Not only the environment would suffer, but there would also be more funding for the arts, no more aid for the poor...... the list goes on. We must resist. We must stop Trump from implementing his devastating plans..

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Spring is almost here!

You can almost hear the sound of the flora of the world readying themselves for the sunshine. As the rain pounds down bulbs are bursting out of the earth, buds are swelling on the branches, and the air is filled with birdsong. These photos show that even before they have revealed their final forms, there is beauty to be found in green and growing things even before they wake from their long winters naps.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Fairy Lights and Winter Nights

As the season comes to a close we have the fourth and final installment in my winter photo series. As
I type, my cameras are busily snapping away, capturing the first surging signs of spring. Let us dive, one last time, before the dawning of the brighter months of the year, into the depths of the long nights filled with mysterious lights and the snow muffled rumble of distant rivers.

Monday, March 13, 2017

FeatherLite Survival Kit Review

I have a confession to make - I don’t always carry the ten essentials. Worse still, I often don’t even carry a large percentage of those essentials. I don’t carry a knife, I leave the compass at home, I forget the fire starting materials, I leave the flashlight on the kitchen counter, and the emergency shelter gathers dust in the closet. The fact is that I’ll sacrifice safety if it means fitting in an extra camera lens. However, the Featherlite Survival Kit 3.0 by Ultimate Survival Technologies might change that for me.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

I won the UST Freeze Frame photo contest!

The winning shot!

A few months back I entered the UST Freeze Frame photo contest, and won! I'd like to thank the folks at Ultimate Survival Technologies for picking my photo out of all the awesome entries they received.

This week the prize arrived - four boxes full of gear! Check out my unboxing video to see all of it, and be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel. I plan on making individual review videos for all this cool gear soon - stay tuned!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Never Ending Rain

This week has most definitely been a Western Washington week - constant pouring rain has drenched the landscape of the Pacific Northwest for days at a time, barely slowing for twenty minutes at a stretch.  If only the sky were  any more interesting than a leaden and uniform blanket blocking out the sun, but as it is there is no discernible dawn or sunrise or appreciable alteration in the clouds.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Comments on Marbled Murrelet plan due tomorrow at 5 PM!

 Tommorow 3/9/2017 at 5 PM is the deadline for comments on the Washington Department of Natural Resourses Draft Conservation Strategy for the Marbled Murrelet. It has its good points, but unfortunately all the alternatives would allow logging in Marbled Murrelet nesting habitat! Everyone needs to comment ASAP and let DNR know that they need to analyze and adopt a new conservation option.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Oshiro 60mm Super Macro Lens Review

We’ve all seen that interesting bug, that beautiful flower, that fascinating ice formation, and have likely tried to capture it through the lens our cameras. However, we quickly find that the closest we can get still leaves our subject as little more than a boring speck lost in the image. There are many ways to get a macro shot - reverse mounting your lens, using extension tubes, or a bellows for example.  All these options come with significant downsides. To get the best macro shooting experience you need a dedicated macro lens, but those don’t usually come cheap. They are a niche product and thus typically command a high price. However, the Oshiro 60mm F2.8 Super Macro lens is the exception to this rule.