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Western Conifer Seed Bug

October 17th, 2016

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Just had a not so little visitor to my home which turned out to be a Western Conifer Seed Bug - (Leptoglossus occidentalis). It flew away, and now that its identity has been established, feel bad for the trees. According to, the Western Conifer Seed Bug eats soft seeds of pine trees, Douglas Firs, other cone-bearing trees like Christmas Trees, buds of cones, and new needles. They pierce the tender plant parts and suck them dry which leads to diminished seed supplies in the forests. Western Conifer Seed Bugs are considered a harmful pest, yet their body coloring and design is intriguing.

What Causes Color In A Sunset?

October 17th, 2016

What Causes Color In A Sunset?

What Causes Color In A Sunset?

Many evenings I would be at a beach, Cape Meares Lighthouse, or Netarts Bay to watch the sun go down and get sunset pictures, but there would be no colorful sunset. So what makes a beautifully, vibrant sunset? To find the answer to this question, here are three resources with easy to understand explanations.

The Physics of Sunsets, Posted by Ethan on February 13, 2013

Ethan Siegel did a really good job explaining the colors we see in sunsets and its not too technical. Some sites I visited made the explanation hard to understand, so I recommend visiting his blog to read the whole thing because he uses charts and pictures for better understanding. Here are some statements from his blog, The Physics of Sunsets:

"The first and most obvious is the change in coloration of the Sun, as well as a severe drop in the Sun’s brightness. On an airless world like the Moon, the Sun at sunset would look no different than at any other time. But it’s the Earth’s atmosphere that makes sunsets so special.

When the Sun appears progressively lower and lower on the horizon, its light needs to pass through more and more of the atmosphere to reach our eyes. You might not think of the atmosphere as being a very good prism, but when you pass through around 1000 miles of it just before the Sun dips below the horizon, it starts to add up.

The bluer wavelengths of light get scattered away, leaving only the reddest wavelengths that reach your eye. As the sun drops towards the horizon, it progressively loses violets and blues, then greens and yellows, and finally even the oranges, leaving only the reds behind.

Also, despite its red appearance, there really still is blue and green light coming from the Sun, of course, while this is going on. But these shorter (i.e., bluer) wavelengths refract slightly more than the lower frequency ones, meaning that the reds come in at a different, shallower angle than the greens and blues, that come in at a slightly steeper angle.

Given a clear path to the horizon — such as over the ocean — this means that there’s a slight region of space just above the reddened Sun where only the shorter wavelength light is visible!

And when that happens, in addition to the normal color gradient that comes with a sunset, you can also get a small, separate region above the disk of the Sun that appears yellow, green, or even blue!"

Here is a paragraph from an article by Amanda Fiegl, National Geographic, PUBLISHED October 29, 2013

"So really, there's a good sunset every night; we just can't always see it from the ground. You may have noticed this if you've ever taken off in an airplane at sunset. It might not look like anything special from the ground, just a whitish-pink sky, because you're still within the atmosphere's "boundary layer." That's where all the large particles are trapped, things like dust and pollution. But as the plane gets above the boundary layer, into cleaner air, suddenly the sunset looks very vivid. It's all a matter of perspective."

November 15, 2007, Source: University of Wisconsin - Madison

"Scattering affects the color of light coming from the sky, but the details are determined by the wavelength of the light and the size of the particle. The short-wavelength blue and violet are scattered by molecules in the air much more than other colors of the spectrum. This is why blue and violet light reaches our eyes from all directions on a clear day. But because we can't see violet very well, the sky appears blue.

Scattering also explains the colors of the sunrise and sunset, Ackerman says.

“Because the sun is low on the horizon, sunlight passes through more air at sunset and sunrise than during the day, when the sun is higher in the sky. More atmosphere means more molecules to scatter the violet and blue light away from your eyes. If the path is long enough, all of the blue and violet light scatters out of your line of sight. The other colors continue on their way to your eyes. This is why sunsets are often yellow, orange, and red.”

And because red has the longest wavelength of any visible light, the sun is red when it’s on the horizon, where its extremely long path through the atmosphere blocks all other colors."

So on the clear evenings here at the Pacific Northwest with no vibrant sunsets, I'm assuming it's because more of the blue lights are still getting through the atmosphere instead of the yellow, orange, and red when the sun is setting. Once in a while there is slash burning smoke between Tillamook and Netarts creating spectacular sunsets. No matter what your evening sunset looks like, keep enjoying life and looking forward to the beautiful sunsets in your future.

My Unusual Story - How Gallery Of Hope Came To Be

October 16th, 2016

My Unusual Story - How Gallery Of Hope Came To Be

I'm not someone who likes sharing my private life with the world but thought that if I share my unusual story then it might in some way help others or maybe a specialist will see it and know how to possibly help me. Here is my long story made short:

In 2010 I had what doctors are calling a "complicated migraine" but to me it was closer to a mini stroke. It caused sharp pain in my right temple, some discomfort in the back right side of my head, very large grey zigzags, and colorful auras that remind me of space dust photos. After leaving work I had to sit out in the car for a long time because my head felt funny. Originally, my plan was to drive to the emergency room but it seemed further away than home, so home became my destination. With my head feeling weird, several times I had to pull over. Looking back now, it is easy to see the error in driving, but I'm not sure my brain was thinking clearly at the time. Then after finally getting home I had to sit out in the car for awhile because I couldn't remember how to turn it off. This "episode" started an intermittent motion sensitivity or visual vertigo where some days with or without a headache I would get up and the floor would move as I walked and fixtures at work would also move as I walked.

In 2012 at work again, I had a second "episode" similar to the first but this one didn't cause my head to feel as weird. My eyes couldn't focus to read letters, couldn't remember coworkers names, and after seeing my arm too close like in 3D knew I needed to leave work. This "episode" caused the motion sensitivity or visual vertigo to be constant, it has never gone away. I went through vestibular therapy, had to learn how to walk with the motion, refused to become disabled, and taught myself how to drive again with the motion sensitivity. Both of these episodes caused severe muscle tension in my neck and back for about three weeks, and arm tingling & shortness of breathe for a couple months afterward, but this second one also caused me to fall backwards for about six months. It was after having this episode, being off work for three months, and not having money for Christmas that I got a $99 Nikon Coolpix Camera that was featured in a Black Friday store advertisement. Originally, it was going to be a family gift but my kids didn't seem that thrilled with it and I became addicted to Nature Photography.

In 2014 I pulled into a local park and my car was attacked by another vehicle which rear-ended me 4 to 6 times causing my head to go forward and back with each impact causing a concussion, whiplash, severe soft tissue damage, and some how injuring my right ear. My headaches are different than before and the right ear is symptomatic to water, rain & lightning, people talking, and other noises which in turn makes my balance/equilibrium worse. In 2015 two weeks of daily muscular migraines caused problems with my perception so that the flat floor would be angled downhill or uphill and kitchen counters would be too tall or short. Thankfully this mostly subsided but it left my vision perception "off" where it's not normal anymore, so I don't feel comfortable in driving. Once in a while the counters still become too tall or short.

Nature Photography became my passion, strength, and hope. It helped me deal with my medical issue(s) and the depression that kept trying to tear me down from having a limited life. This hobby was/is my life saver along with my faith in God. I'm not able to get out there like before, so new pictures are limited but it's still healing for me to turn them into Apparel, Home Decor, and Electronic Accessories Items to help others with their situations. Even though this blog might sound like I've had to deal with a lot, there are many dealing with medical or mental issues much worse than this. Since taking Nature Photos is healing for me, I'm passing them on to others for Hope. My goal is to help as many as possible utilizing my photography.

If you have a balance problem or an unusual medical condition please share it.