Lake Travis Water Level

Lake Travis Water Level

This is my first post for the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge.

Thanks to Terri at Perspectives On… for nominating me for this challenge. I had been planning to try some photo challenge blogging events recently, but hadn’t quite to started yet so this little nudge helps.


I live on the north shore of Lake Travis, which is a large reservoir lake that was created as part of a chain of seven Highland Lakes on the Colorado River in central Texas.

We have been in a drought for the past six years, and the lake is about 53 feet below full (37% full), and about 42 feet below monthly historical averages; of course, it will drop further during the summer months (maybe another 10 feet or so). Even though we have actually had quite a bit of rain recently, it has hardly raised the lakes much at all since the ground is so dry and everything gets absorbed rather than running off.

Recently, I took some photos with my iPhone 5 to capture what it looks like, especially since it’s fairly dramatic in places with high cliffs or large dry areas normally covered. For example, down by the Mansfield Dam there are the “Sometimes Islands” that have risen out of the water, or actually the water dropped and  shows them “sometimes” when the water gets very low.

When you walk down to the end of my street, you can look out over the lake where it bends around the Pace Bend Park peninsula visible across from my house. You can see how far on the left side in the brown area where the water used to be, with the limestone cliffs on the right side.

I went over to Arrowpoint Park, one of the many parks available to property owners, for some additional photos since the cliffs on the far side are closer and easier to see there. You can walk on the near side of the lake for quite a ways which used to covered with water, so you see a lot of interesting rocks, etc. Also, the marinas for boats have had to relocate multiple times further out into the lake so that they are still in the water.

Finally, I drove over to Cody Park, which is another park that we have often gone to swim in the lake, but it’s now much lower and you can walk way out further before coming to the water. It’s amazing how much stuff there was under the water, like tree stumps, etc and how much has already grown in since the drought.

The first several photos here who an inlet that really illustrates how low the water is now, and all that area was previously covered with water (including where I was standing and way up further). The other photos show how high some of the cliffs are on the other side.


The Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge rules require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph – it’s entirely up to you.

Then each day, nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge. Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command. And actually everyone can join in. So feel free to if you like the idea.


I would like to invite Julia at Julia’s Odyssey to join the party. She participated in Blogging 101 and Photo 101  with me, and I notice that she has been taking part in the Weekly Photo Challenges. Also, I appreciate that she mentioned that my blog gave her inspiration. As mentioned before, it is totally up to you to accept this challenge.

Photography 101 – Top Picks

Photography 101 – Top Picks

This photo grid represents my top 10 picks of photos posted for the Photography 101 course during November 2014. You can see all my photo posts in a calendar format on the Photography 101 menu tab under Photos.

 

It was fun sharing my photos with you during this workshop.

Photography 101: Triumph

Photography 101: Triumph

Our Day 20 assignment for Photography 101 was “Triumph”.

This was a photo taken after my son finished running the Austin Marathon last year. That was quite an accomplishment for him after training for months, and was very satisfying for him to actually complete it with a respectable time.

Austin Marathon

Austin Marathon

For me, on this last day of Photography 101, I feel a sense of triumph too. I had been interested in photography for a while, but hadn’t really done much about it until I decided to take this Blogging University course. The time seemed right after completing Blogging 101 and Blogging 201 where I had started and enhanced this blog. This was another great course and I learned a lot more about photography.

It has really get me interested in exploring photography further. It has enabled me to add photo blog posts all month, which broadens my blog into an another area that I wanted to include. Also, I thoroughly enjoyed viewing photos of my fellow bloggers participating in the class with me.

Photography 101: Double

Photography 101: Double

Our Day 19 assignment for Photography 101 was “Double”. I have included double photos of stadiums, tennis, palms, and bucks.

This photo shows double stadiums right next to each other taken from the 76th floor of Columbia Center in Seattle, Washington. They are used for the Seattle Mariners (baseball) and Seattle Seahawks (football). That night there was actually a Seattle Sounders soccer match being played. These are interesting shots when taken from so high up looking down on these stadiums.

Double Stadiums

Double Stadiums

Here we have a tennis doubles match being played in the main stadium at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for the BNP Baripas Open which is held for two weeks every year in Indian Wells, California.

Tennis Doubles

Tennis Doubles

This photos shows double palms in Thousand Palms near Palm Springs, California.

Double Palms

Double Palms

This last photo shows double bucks in our back yard. We have lots of white-tailed deer in our area, and we see them in our yard every day.

Double Bucks

Double Bucks

Photography 101: Edge

Photography 101: Edge

Our Day 18 assignment for Photography 101 was “Edge”. I have included photos of various edges from a wildflower field, view up/down a 76-story skyscraper, mountain ridge, and waterfall.

This photo highlights the edge of a country field filled with yellow wildflowers in the spring near Brenham, Texas. It also shows the edges of the horizontal fence slats in the foreground.

Edge of field

Edge of field

In this photo, I was looking up from the base of the 76-story Columbia Center in Seattle, Washington, where I was going to attend my niece’s wedding reception on the top floor. Seeing the edge of this skyscraper from this angle illustrates just how high it is.

Looking up

Looking up

From the 76th floor in the Columbia Tower Club, I took this photo looking straight down the edge of the building to the buildings, street, cars, and some people below. It really demonstrates how high it was, and complements the other photo I took looking up.

Looking down

Looking down

While hiking in the Olympic National Park, I took this photo of the edge of Hurricane Ridge with other sky-capped mountains in the background.

Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge

This photo shows Marymere Falls falling over the edge of the cliff into a pool below. This was taken on a hike near Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park, Washington.

Marymere Falls

Marymere Falls

Photography 101: Glass

Photography 101: Glass

Our Day 17 assignment for Photography 101 was “Glass”. I took photos of several colorful glass objects – yellow, red, green, blue, and clear.

They were taken as the sun was going down so it wasn’t very bright but cast some shadows, especially with the red one. The yellow one is a Tulipa vase from Kosta-Boda in Sweden.

I took quite a few shots and tried several angles, as well as experiments with different  focus and exposure settings to see what happened. That made quite a difference, but I didn’t really know what I was doing; I need to read some more about that topic so I have a better understanding. The wine glass was added for clear glass, and so I could drink it.

 

Photography 101: Treasure

Photography 101: Treasure

Our Day 16 assignment for Photography 101 was “Treasure”, so I decided to include a photo of a geocache.

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices, such as an iPhone or Android phone. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

The word Geocaching refers to GEO for geography, and to CACHING, the process of hiding a cache. A cache in computer terms usually refers to information stored in memory to make it faster to retrieve, but the term is also used in hiking/camping as a hiding place for concealing and preserving provisions.

While hiking up Martis Peak near Truckee, California, just north of Lake Tahoe, I stumbled upon a geocache, which I thought would be a good “Treasure” photo. Ammunition cans are commonly used for geocaches, like this one. The fire lookout near the summit offers panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains (except to the east because of the summit).

Even though it was summer, my brother-in-law got a little adventurous, went off where he shouldn’t have, and slipped on the snow and fell down a ways before being stopped by a tree; it was a very long way down, so he was really lucky.

Geocache

Geocache

Here’s a brief video about Geocaching.

 
I hope you find your treasure.

Photography 101: Landscape

Photography 101: Landscape

Our Day 15 assignment for Photography 101 was “Landscape”. I have included several photos which feature mountains, glaciers, desert, ocean coastline, and water reflections, with most of them taken at various national parks. I will present them in order from north to south.

I like this first photo taken in Denali National Park, Alaska, which shows reflections in the water from the mountains, trees, and clouds. This day was overcast, but the photo turned out nice anyway (maybe more interesting than if it were clear and sunny).  It’s interesting how the trees frame the photo across the upper middle, left side, and bottom right.  This photo highlights the peaceful remoteness of this beautiful area of the country.

Denali Reflections

Denali Reflections

This is one was taken from a cruise ship in Glacier National Park, Alaska, and it this shows reflections in the water of both the glacier and mountains. The glacier originates many miles inland and moves slowly down toward the water, where you can see remnant of icebergs that fell off the glacier.  It feels cold and looks quite impressive.

Glacier Reflections

Glacier Reflections

Here’s a photo taken while hiking Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park of Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula near Seattle. It’s interesting with the various shades of green in the closer mountains along with the snow-capped mountains in the distance (taken in July).

Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge

Here is a photo of the Pacific Ocean coastline at La Jolla, California, north of San Diego. The water looks so peaceful and inviting with such contrast to the imposing cliff which juts out into the water; the different blues of the water and sky is nice too.

La Jolla Coast

La Jolla Coast

This shows some of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park in far west Texas along the Rio Grande border with Mexico. We were hiking to a window opening between the rocks that looked out over the surrounding desert area. This is another very remote area which offers unique quiet beauty; the stars are supposed to be amazing at night for those staying in this area, but we didn’t get the opportunity to see them (it might have been overcast, or maybe we just forgot to look up).

Chisos Mountains

Chisos Mountains

I hope you have enjoyed viewing these landscape photos. These are all great places to visit, if you get the chance.