portland oregon

A Bed of Beauty and Thorns – Our Backyard Roses

When we moved here in February, one of the first things we noticed (after the fact that we have the tiniest backyard in the world) was that there were several rose bushes in our yard space. And by bushes I mean ten foot trees.

They were dormant back in February, but very obviously had not been cared properly in some time. We later found out from one of our neighbors that the bushes probably hadn’t been pruned in about 3 years.

Rose bushes are hearty, invasive plants that grow without much care, and will also grow as tall as you let them. When they began to bloom in April, the weight caused them to tip over. We were soon unable to maneuver the back yard thanks to the long, reaching arms of the bushes. Once the previously small green weeds surrounding them began to explode everywhere, we decided set aside a Saturday for yard work.

About $100 and 10 hours of fun with spiders, thorns, and snakes later, we’d removed the weeds, trimmed the bushes, removed dead shrubs, laid river rock, and planted some lilies. The yard is much more usable now, and the rose bushes were trimmed pretty drastically.

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The Budget Inn – Rawlins, WY

Being unemployed means that I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in my hometown. While Rawlins is a small enough place that I pretty much know every nook and cranny already from growing up here, I have noticed a few places I’ve never gotten to explore in detail. Namely, abandoned buildings that I vaguely remember being operational when I was younger.


There are a good number of abandoned buildings and run down places in town, but one that has caught my eye as of late is the Budget Inn motel near where I live. I remember seeing hotel guests here at least when I was in elementary/middle school, and remember it being a different color at one point. The front portion of the site used to be a gas station before being converted into a motel. From my understanding, the motel was originally shut down due to a serious need for major renovations. The front office has a building permit from 2012 on the door, but any efforts to remodel the place have apparently been halted awhile ago. Continue reading

Long Exposure Fireworks

One of the best things about small town life happens every Fourth of July. Where larger cities have bigger fireworks budgets and can even do shows coordinated to music à la Disney, small town fireworks offer the ability to stand practically right underneath the explosions. This means a great view and the unique experience of firework debris landing in your hair. And an opportunity for photography.

This year, myself, my boyfriend Kevin, and a few good friends watched the show at my boyfriend’s dad’s bar and restaurant, which was hosting a parking lot party. Their lot had a direct view of the fireworks, and gave us a great chance to play around with Kevin’s Canon Rebel T3i and try some long exposure photography. All of the shots are unedited, aside from the addition of the border. (click for larger versions)

Testing out our techniques on our drinks - and got a neat ghost bottle effect!

Testing out our techniques on our drinks. Ghost bottles! We achieved this by using a 25 second exposure, and removing the bottles one at a time.

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