Portland & Salem Oregon

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10 photos from 2020

8 bengal kittens
Line ’em up

Here are my 10 favorite photos from 2020

2020 definitely looked different in 2020, but I still had fun taking photos once the lock-down was lifted. Some of my favorites have been bengal kittens. They have been so much fun. Well, kittens… of course they were fun.

weim/dane cross posing

The auction winner

Gracie is the recipient of an auction for Oregon Weimaraner Rescue that I gifted a certificate to. She came with her little sisters, a dachshund and terrier mix and they were so stinking cute together.

Gracie is a Great Dane and Weimaraner cross and she was drop dead gorgeous. She totally rocked the goofy personalities of a dane and a weimie even though she looks so stately here.

portrait of a borzoi

My new co-worker

Since March the college where I do my day job went to remote working. It’s been such a joy to be home with the dogs and goats and chickens. Zip will forever be a constant companion.

And yes, I do find his eyes swoon-worthy.

Portrait of a golden doodle

Old friends

I’ve been taking photos of Daisy for a really long time, but this was her first time in my studio. Daisy is one of the those dogs that is more human than dog.

We got many great photos of her that day and I loved this one because to me, she looks more human than dog.

French bulldog puppy

Puppies in a buggy

I always squeal with delight when I get a call for a puppy. At the very least, I get to pull out my antique buggies reserved for puppies and kittens. The best part of all is playing with puppies.

Two boxers on a park bench
Lillian and Cove

Hanging out in the garden

Cove and Lillian had a winter session in the garden and I really love the what the winter gardens has to offer. The stark beauty is so different from the fullness and color of the other seasons.

goat in a bucket
Bucket o’ Gravy

Gotta love the happy pills

The goats will forever be my happy pills. I love wandering down to the barnyard for a nudge and a nibble. Gravy is a very friendly boy and is quick to get in line for his daily carrot.

He’s not so little anymore and I don’t think he’d fit in their snack bucket anymore.

two dogs on antique settee
Sunny and Nikko hanging out in the studio

Ready for the holidays

We had a great time doing short holiday sessions in December. They were perfect for people that just wanted an 8 x 10″ portrait of their pets for the holidays. Sunny and Nikko graciously came with their own neckwear and it was perfect.

Dog running toward camera

Racing through the gardens

Cooder was one of my favorite sessions. A few weeks earlier he suffered a grand Mal seizure and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He came to my studio for a celebration session, to celebrate his spirit, his beauty and his love for life.

This happy boy racing across the acre is Cooder. His family held his paw as he crossed to the rainbow bridge a few weeks later.

Reflection of a puppy

My very favorite of photo of the year. There is just something about Piper’s look that brings me right in.

We printed this one large, 20 x 24″ with a two inch matte and a two inch frame and it is stunning.

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    A visit with Hey Cute Bird, part 2

    Read part 1, Meet Kari, Hey Cute Bird Rescue

    Incredibly sweet little quaker parrot that came into rescue

    What is your process for getting a bird ready for adoption?

    When looking for a bird for your family there’s a LOT to consider. Smaller birds like parakeets and canaries can live up to 15 years. Medium and large birds can live 25–60+. Are you willing to make that kind of permanent commitment?

    Regarding housing and care, birds require large cages, play areas, a variety of foods, specialized vet care (often harder to find) and many hours of attention. Here are a few of the concerns that come up: asthma, smoking habits, household cleaners, and types of cookware help determine whether or not your household is a good fit for a bird. Those are just the environmental, we have a complete checklist we go over.

    A good bird owner must have the patience of a saint! You can’t live in fear that the birds are going to bite you. Because they will. No question! Haha We try to talk people through the expectations and help them determine what species might suite them best. Just because you want a big loud cockatoo doesn’t mean you’re ready for one, trust me!

    African grey parrot

    How can we help you succeed?

    Rescues of course always need funds to aid what we do to cover the high costs of bird care, donations are always appreciated! My birthday is this month and I am doing a fundraiser on Facebook.

    Other ways to help a rescues are to become a foster parent, watch for volunteer opportunities, and to even share social media posts.

    To succeed as a bird rescue in the community we need to get people talking about birds. Know the resources in your area, just being aware even if you’re not a bird owner!


    What is one piece of advice for someone that wants their first parakeet?

    Educating is a big part of prevention! Lastly, I’d like to say that my biggest philosophy regarding birds is to keep your expectations reasonable, your heart open, and patience at the forefront of everything you do. It takes a certain kind person to keep birds. While they may have some things in common with cats and dogs, parrots are truly unlike any other pet and can share a deep meaningful connection with their owner for one of the longest lifespans of any pet. Consider a parrot to join your family! If you have questions talk to a rescue! Relinquishment to the rescue means you’re giving us the opportunity to get to know your bird, determine its long term needs, and help guide the bird into a knowledgeable new owners care. It sounds so simple when you write it down but a lot goes into adjusting a bird into a new environment. Some birds will pull their feathers in the wrong home out or even become terrified and try to bite. Finding the right fit can actually take a long time due to the special needs of some of the birds we take in.

    What would you tell someone wanting their first bird like a parakeet?

    Parakeets (actually should be called Budgerigar) are often considered a “starter bird” as they are small and easy to care for.

    Kari and Tyler, Hey Cute Bird Rescue

    What are five things to consider when getting a bird?

    1. Parakeets may be small but they can have lifespans up to 15 years. Be prepared for the commitment. They can also get lonely as single pets and may need a friend to keep them company.

    2. Parakeet cages at pet stores are way too small. Decades ago, tiny round cages hung from the ceiling were often how birds were contained. New knowledge has shown their lifespans dramatically decrease when they are unable to fly and interact socially!

    3. Vet care is expensive. (This is regarding all birds) But even a $25 parakeet from a pet store deserves the same vet care and attention of a bird that costs $2000.

    4. Their needs are the same of larger parrots. You can’t use candles, scented products, non stick pans, or chemicals in your home without the risk of poisoning their tiny lungs.

    5. Socializing parakeets takes time. You’re hands are 3x the size of their entire body! Offer them food and bribery to convince them to step up onto your hand. The more they trust you the more they will open up. A really well cared for parakeet can also learn to talk!

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      Meet Kari, Hey Cute Bird Rescue

      How one little bird is responsible for helping other birds.

      Did you know that January is “Adopt a Rescued Bird Month”

      It just so happens, we have a bird rescue here in Salem. Check out Hey Cute Bird on Facebook. I visited Kari in her home this week to meet her charming and delightful birds.

      Hey Cute Bird!

      How did you get involved rescuing birds?

      “We decided to rescue birds because not only are they in just as much need as other animals, but they require a specialized type of care that requires extra effort and education. Birds are commonly neglected due to their complex needs. There was no resource in Salem to help these guys out.”

      Quaker parrots, little birds with big personalities

      Which bird prompted you to start a bird rescue?

      “Our first Rescue was our bird Pickle! He is a green Quaker with quite the vocabulary, he was found in the woods in southern Oregon and had clearly been lost or let go. We fostered and eventually adopted him. He is namesake for our rescue. He will say “hey cute bird” over and over again, so the name just felt like it was meant to be!”

      Yes little bird, that’s your good side

      Tell us a little bit about your rescue

      Hey Cute Bird Rescue is a small family rescue. My husband and I are the sole proprietors and work with people in our community. This year we hope to be a resource and outlet for people needing to re-home birds safely. We plan to post, share and help screen applicants before the owners see the applications. It’s more work, but I truly believe it helps the owners, the birds, and it’s safer.”

      A day in the life

      “Everyday we wake up the household, feed fresh veggie breakfasts (usually better than what I eat) and make sure everyone gets social interaction time, training time, and flight time. Cleaning is a whole different story!”

      Here’s looking at you

      What types of birds do you rescue?

      “As for types of birds we rescue it’s pretty much all parrot species, as well as doves, pigeons, and small birds like canaries, finches. We have had tiny finches, all the way to a large blue and gold macaw come through our doors.”

      Kari’s new tattoo

      Tell us about your best experience

      “One of my best rescue experiences over all was our big macaw guy Titan. He kind of just dropped into our laps one day and he was quite a character. He was naked from his legs to his chest and needed a lot of socializing and care.

      Our community was hugely supportive of Titan and since we were not prepared for such a big guy we received big toys, big snacks and someone even helped us find a large cage. I love working with everyone in our bird community to support the birds.

      I am so happy I could be the person who helped guide Titan along to his new home. He now lives in Idaho as an only child and very spoiled!”

      Learn more about Kari and her birds

      Hey Cute Bird is an awesome resource for new bird owners, experienced bird owners or even if you just have a question.

      Kari is currently running a fundraiser for her rescue. Here’s the link to that. Hey Cute Bird Birthday Fundraiser.

      Check back for the second part of our visit with Hey Cute Bird Rescue.”

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        Measure twice, cut once

        Bella, Hal’s sidekick, is on the job

        The studio is getting a remodel

        We met Hal wandering through Saturday Market window shopping when we strolled passed his booth, stopping dead in our tracks when we saw his bird houses. Never a finer wood craftsman have we met.

        If you have been to our gardens, I’m sure you’ve seen the bird houses that grace every corner of the acre.

        Santa Paws and his best girl Abby

        When I decided Santa Paws just had to have a sleigh this year, Hal was my first call. He asked me how big and I said about two of his butts wide. He laughed took it from there and the sleigh is made to perfection.

        Exposed ceiling

        First step, unhide the ceiling

        The garage had a drop ceiling that was just this side of horrible and so unsightly. We hired another friend of ours that is a house painter by trade and he pulled the drop ceiling and sealed the boards. I am so in love with the lines of that roof.

        Once the ceiling was complete, Hal had the cedar paneling ordered and he and his side kick Bella moved in lock, stock and barrel. Who knew there was a tool for everything?

        He said he started on the hardest wall. I really hope the rest of the are easier.

        And he’s off

        Hal’s talent knows no end. In the past he has shared images of his delightful tiny homes and one day it occurred to me that it really was time for a studio makeover and with any luck, it could resemble the look of one of his tiny homes.

        Our house is nestled on an acre of gardens and was built in the mid 50s. I lovingly joke that they built the house one board and one nail as they could afford it, but truth be told, I love our little house. She’s has character and love and we feel her hugs every day.

        Looking like a tool shop

        True to the house, the garage is not without challenges. A cut-out here to accommodate something that doesn’t make sense, a build out there to cover-up other nonsensical wall pieces parts.

        The concentration… this was for a random cut-out piece.

        Hal is a master craftsman and takes it all in stride.

        I absolutely can’t imagine the mind that it takes to create and build like does. I must admit I admire his craftsmanship.

        Bella, always at Hal’s side.

        Bella is Hal’s side kick and boy oh boy does she love him. I am looking forward to having both of them around for a couple of days.

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        • William A ScottJanuary 3, 2021 - 9:27 pm

          Bella is beautiful! The remodel looks terrific! My studio shares space with our car. You can always tell when I’m shooting, because the car is outside.ReplyCancel

        2020 in hindsight

        Reflecting on this last year

        2020 began simply enough

        2020 was not supposed to be a remarkable year. We’d continue to have staycations, working diligently in the gardens. No new pets were planned for the year. Our goals were simple, but meant something to us.

        Critters of the gardens

        Resident squirrel just after we filled the bird feeders

        Our anticipation of catching local critters at the dining establishments we have provided is always high. I won’t admit to how many hours we have spent just watching. Nothing more, nothing less.

        Some guests surprised us

        Barred rock owl on a moonlit night

        We have been fortunate to see an occasional owl at night, but this one was sitting on a branch outside of the barn where we have our coffee. At 7:10 am on February 9 we headed out to the barn to see this owl hanging out on a branch. She waited for me to run back in and get the camera and she didn’t even mind when we directed the flashlight her way.

        Shortly after the owl

        Every where you look, you see masks

        In January the news released snippets of a novel virus which sometime thereafter became a pandemic. On March 21 we were sent home to work remotely. I started with day one on my Facebook page. As of this posting, December 27, it is Day 282.

        Since that point in time, all of my days have mushed together.

        I took this photo looking out our front window of the EMTs making a routine visit on April 4, 2020.

        At some point, we stopped eating in restaurants. We call them tail gate dates now. We do very little retail shopping. Dog food, goat supplies and the occasional stop at the nursery.

        We spend a whole lot more time reflecting

        Ingrid, the Icelandic hen

        Our conversations seem deeper and more meaningful now. We reflect more about how lucky we really are.

        Places we sit and just watch the world go by

        Relaxing feels so much more different now that hiding in our gardens is the thing to do.



        This little one really surprised me. We have created a bond I never saw coming. All of a sudden we’re attached at the hips. I will be the one with separation anxiety when I have to go back to the office.

        Photography never let me down

        Bucket ‘O Gravy

        Working from home or working remote has really been a wonderful thing. Some of my favorite photos happened mostly because I never felt any rush to do anything. So I would wait for the perfect moments.

        Two bengal kittens in a basket

        I photographed some of the funnest kittens on the planet.

        Pair of mallard ducks

        This pair of beauties hung out in the gardens for a couple of weeks.

        The garden owl

        We added more garden art when we found pieces we couldn’t live without.

        The flamingo burm

        We found great delight in adding solar lights everywhere. When the sun is bright, our gardens light up like Christmas lights. And I’ll add here that I spend hours chasing an elusive photo to do it justice.

        Just as we go comfortable

        Karen and Zip in the smoke-filled evening

        This was taken on September 8 at 4:30 in the afternoon. Wildfires raced through the canyon to the east of us leaving devastation in its path. The eerie darkness that covered the skies was not like anything we had seen before.

        Silhouette of the cherry tree in the smoke filled skies

        And yet there was some hope for peace and renewal. Riots were occurring all around us in support of Black Lives Matter.

        Santa Paws looked different

        Expect the unexpected

        Santa Paws and I went back and forth on whether or not we would be able to host Santa Paws. We did have it, it just looked different.

        Election season

        The Red Barn at twilight, complete with vapor trails

        Of course, what pandemic would be complete without a batshit crazy presidential election. As of Christmas Day, it’s a done deal… but it’s not.

        Some days I feel like the year has been so surreal that it really hasn’t happened. Other days it has dashed by and on others it is merely crawling.

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