Portland & Salem Oregon

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Scenes from the 2021 ice storm in Salem

Resident crows catching some rays

Oregon gets a little cold in the winter and some years we even get snow. In my 30 years in Salem, I remember one other ice storm and it was nothing like this.

Corkscrew grass

They warned us, but as I looked at the temps in the weather forecast I thought they were out of their minds, the temps were not getting that cold.

Decorative art for the lawn chairs

Boy oh boy did they prove me wrong. I so desperately wanted to get more photos, but the branches falling from the trees was terrifying. We watched them fall from our 80 ft. cedar trees and crash to the ground, or the roof as the case may be. I spent a few moments catching what I could before I boogied inside.

Reporting to duty

The gardens

I’d be lying if I said the gardens didn’t take a beating. We have some carnage and as the quotes roll in, trust me when I tell you it ain’t pretty.

On the flip side of the coin, we have new canvases to create a few more unique gardens.

The ancient plum tree, she actually held up quite well

Our ancient plum tree

I love this tree, she went through menopause several years ago, but I love this tree. She actually held up pretty well. We had some breakage, but I think she’ll make it another season or hopefully 20.

The ice laid the bamboo forest right down to the ground. After the thaw, they stood right back up.

The ice laid that bamboo right down to the ground. So much so we couldn’t walk through it. The mountain willow just behind it took out two fences and is now resting on the shed.

Weighted down and still standing

Many of our tall grasses stood as long as they could before toppling to the weight of the ice. They needed to be trimmed this spring anyway.

Into the bamboo ice fields we go

The entry way into the bamboo forest.

Icy bamboo

I’m pretty sure this isn’t normal bamboo habitat. They look great now. Almost as if the ice never happened.

Around the gardens

Not your average flamenco

The ice was absolutely beautiful. In hind sight, I really wish I wasn’t such a coward and had stayed out longer.

The goats and chickens were all fine, thank goodness. They were mortified and we kept them in their covered areas for the next two days so that they couldn’t get hit by any falling ice.

The garden gazebo

We never see ice cycles in this part of the state. They were almost mesmerizing.

A chilly tropical look

The flamenco garden looks surreal hidden beneath the ice.

Home sweet chilly home

This bird house is clearly for alpine birds.

Who knows if the wind was really blowing that direction, it wasn’t moving

I was amazed how well the ice could build up on such a thin blade of metal.

Fence art

This is the fence into the vegetable gardens. The ice was even impressive on it.

The poor birds hardly got any food

The birds hardly came out during the storm. We didn’t see Rocky the Raccoon or Inca the stray cat for days. I was starting to worry about them. Rocky came by on Sunday and Inca finally showed up last night.

This little lady watched over the garden and despite the damage, she gets big kudos for taking as good of care as she did

Our garden angel held steadfast during the storm. Despite the damage we have, I can’t begin to tell you how lucky we feel. The animals are all safe, we are safe. Minimal damage to structures and fence considering what could have potentially happened.

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    Pet family session spanning 11 years

    young couple with puppy
    Circa 2008 when Autzen was just a pup

    In the beginning…

    They were just a young couple back then. Autzen was a pup and she was their first dog. They were starting their family and this is their first pet family session.

    And then they got married

    young couple on wedding day
    Wedding day, December 17, 2010

    Two years later their budding family became official on paper. They had no idea what adventures lay ahead for them.

    Emma joined the family

    family with two dogs
    Christmas Day, 2011. Emma is now part of the family

    Emma turned their family upside down when she joined them. A weimie personality always brings the best to a family and Emma was no different. To say she changed Holly’s world is an understatement.

    Couple with two dogs
    Circa 2012. Riverfront Park in Salem, OR

    Emma and Autzen loved their grand adventures together. As a family they took longs walks in the park, strolls on sandy beaches and hikes in the mountains. Autzen has always been just a great dog, so true to the Labrador breed. Emma was a ham. She brought the entertainment value to the family.

    Young couple with two dogs
    Circa 2013. Tualitin Community Park

    Over the next year, Emma’s hind-end became increasingly weak and the pink wheels gave her a whole new sense of mobility. Having wheels never slowed her down, but a lymphoma diagnosis did.

    pet family session beach
    June 2014. An impromptu session at the beach

    We took her to the beach for her pure enjoyment and maybe a beach session. She wore her wheels for a little bit and then she rallied and showed everyone that she could walk on the beach by herself. I think we all cried a few tears that day.

    Emma joined her rainbow bridge buddies just a few short weeks after this photo.

    Welcome Goldee

    Pet family session on antique settee
    Circa 2014. Goldee joined the family

    I’m not going to lie, losing a pet is beyond devastating. I truly believe that human hearts are made to love and I’m pretty sure Emma sent Goldee to heal Holly’s heart.

    Pet family session in the fall
    Circa 2015. Greenway path in Tualatin

    Goldee picked up right where Emma left off and Autzen welcomed her to pack just like she’d always been there.

    And then, there were three

    Pet family session in snow
    Circa 2016. A great informal session in the snow

    It’s official, weimaraners are like potato chips. You can’t have just one.

    For every opportunity that Emma had to turn their world upside down, Maverick accepted that challenge and made their world twist and turn. The first family portrait with Maverick was more of a fun session in the snow.

    Pet family session with three dogs
    Circa 2017. Back to the barn

    The next year, Maverick was still a crazy Weimaraner but we managed to get him to sit still for 1/200th of a second.

    Family pet session with Santa Paws
    Circa 2018. Family session with Santa Paws

    Dogs love to bring their family to Santa Paws and this was the family portrait for that year.

    They have new digs

    Pet family session with three dogs
    Circa 2019. First family session in their new home

    2019 completed a family dream. A new home in the country on a little bit of acreage was the best thing ever. The dogs have room to roam and smell and chase their tennis balls. Holly and Joe have a dreamy perfect place to share with their dogs.

    2020 threw us for a loop with the pandemic. Please hold, we hope to have the next pet family session when vaccines are available all around.

    multiple years of family photos
    Holly and Joe’s entry way.

    How they display them

    These are 11 x 14″ canvas wrapped prints. When we started doing family pet sessions, we really didn’t have any idea that it would become a yearly tradition. I would have planned a little differently. That being said, the fact that we have all of these years in photos is amazing.

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      Family sessions in the winter garden

      dog resting on bridge
      Cooder enjoyed the bridge in the bamboo forest.

      Celebrating Cooder

      Cooder joined me for a family session in the garden in mid-November. Not quite a winter garden, but pretty darn close. The sun gave us just a bit of warmth.

      Cooder was such a gentle and happy soul. His true aim in life was to make his humans happy…

      And happy he made them.

      dog loving his family
      Just a couple of smooches from Cooder in the garden

      In October he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and as part of his bucket list, they brought him to Salem for a Celebration Session. Cooder showed me all of the things that made him special. I saw devotion as he looked into Gabe’s eyes (a treat may or may not have been involved). I saw pure joy as he raced across the yard. I saw a boy looking for the go ahead to go after the squirrel. But most of all I saw this beautiful soul. I saw a kind heart with a whole lot of unconditional love.

      black and white dog running in the grass
      Cooder loved running across the open grass

      Racing through the gardens

      Cooder took to the open grassy area like a duck to water. Running between his two humans was the best game ever. I don’t think there is anything more joyful to watch than a dog that loves to run. Cooder is part saluki and that might explain his zest.

      His family was able to wander beside him as he checked out the gardens and smelled every blade of grass.

      Dog standing on pathway with golden canes
      Cooder looking over his shoulder against the golden miscanthus

      Squirrel and bird watch

      Cooder was beyond thrilled when the squirrel ran across the fence top. I’m pretty sure he’s looking back at his family thinking, “Wow, did you see that?”

      black and white dog laying in a bed of flowers
      Cooder found a cool patch of summer’s end flowers

      It’s always a privilege to photograph other people’s pets, but a Celebration Session is also an honor.

      Thank you for honoring me with your photos Cooder.

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        A rare snow day

        borzoi in the snow
        Glory in the snow. Jan. 26, 2021

        Magical, magical snow

        greyhound running in the snow
        Fergie came out just as the snow stopped falling

        I am that crazy person that loves the snow. I don’t necessarily want to move back to snow, but I find it magical on the rare day we get snow in Salem.

        Fergie managed on three legs just fine.

        A few scenes from the gardens

        bamboo in the snow
        Bamboo laying down from the the wait of the snow

        The bamboo on the other hand didn’t find the snow as magical and laid down from weight of it. I suspect the snow will be melted by morning so I’m really hoping it stands back up.

        red barn in snow
        The coffee barn

        If only this could be my scene when Santa Paws comes for a visit.

        borzoi in the snow
        Sage was sniffing snow. I can tell by the snowflake on his nose

        Sage and the barn quilt. I’m so happy I had a few minutes to go out and play in the snow. Photos of snow dogs is such a rare treat.

        borzoi in the snow
        Glory tip toeing in the snow

        I’m not sure any of the dogs wanted to play in the snow. They humored me for a few images and that was it.

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          My Model T, nine years later

          Red borzoi
          Our big red dawg in the studio

          Timber, My Model T

          I have always loved photographing this boy. He has incredibly expressive eyes that always tell a story.

          Timber and his brother Zipper turned 10 in October and officially joined the double-digit gang. For senior, large breed dogs they are doing remarkably well. Maybe a little stiffness here and there, but really pretty good.

          Last Tuesday, Jan. 12 Karen had just dropped him off at the groomers when he had a grand mal seizure. There wasn’t anything remarkable in his blood work and we’ll repeat in a month. He’s had seven good days so we’re hoping it was just a weird one-off thing, somehow related to the car ride because he gets so stinking car sick.

          The new studio is awesome

          This felt like one more perfect opportunity to play in our newly remodeled Rustic Studio.

          The bare cedar wall makes such beautiful and unique backdrop.

          Red borzoi in bamboo forest
          Timber on the trail

          Winter in the garden

          Winter really is an awesome time for outdoor pet photography. There is just something about the light that makes it special.

          After a quick few photos in the studio, we headed out to the bamboo forest. The bamboo forest is such a peaceful place to just hang. And I must admit, he looks pretty spectacular out there.

          I pulled just a couple of his first photos as my Model T. Enjoy!

          In the beginning

          Borzoi at sunset
          Timber at Sunset. circa 2012

          Timber started out as my Model T very early on after his arrival. He was so sick and so skinny, but still a most beautiful dog to me.

          Reflection of a red borzoi
          Reflections of Timber. circa 2012

          Going out to the beach at sunset was always my very favorite time to photograph Timber. He is a handsome specimen.

          Red borzoi with sunset behind
          The regal Timber in a beach sunset. circa 2013

          And my very favorite photo of the big red dawg. I’m so glad I have been diligent about taking photos all these years. I never really realized how snowy his face got.

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