Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer

Friday, October 25, 2013

First in Series Following a Very Long Journey to the Northwest~


Everything seems larger, when you head West. 
This barn, the electrical towers, all done with HDRish editing, just because I thought it would be fun ;)

The husby and me and our 2 Long Coat German Shepherds returned Tuesday evening, after a 17 day journey to the Northwest.
We traveled through 9 states and drove 6,344 miles.
We had made plans for this journey some 11 months before and many of our reservations were made a month in advance and many of those could not be canceled, without a charge following 30 days.
These next few weeks, I will be sharing this journey with you. 
We had much joy, even though we were locked out of the National Parks. 
I had my dream of the past 43 years, of going to the Hoh Rain Forest blocked at the gates, and the SHUTDOWN made me weep, for it was all so stupid!
All that we could do, is move forward each day and challenge ourselves to look for the beauty on this side of the gates, whish was not at all difficult to do...oh such beauty!
We saw immense beauty every day, we witnessed tragedy at it's peak for ranchers, which I will also share later.

Remember to double click on the image, to view a larger slide show of the images shared
I am linking up with Mary for:
"Mosaic Monday"

I am linking up with Stewart at:

   Wild Bird Wednesday



We raced to get our expedited Passports in time for the journey, since we thought, well if we cannot get into Glacier, we can go to Waterton, Canada and the park there...along with getting all of the paperwork completed for traveling with the dogs there. 
It was a costly endeavor and even that venture failed, when we got into an awful snow storm, and headed back to our lodge. 
In the end, we said, just stay healthy, and we can plan for next year. 
I will never ask the husby to take us to Washington again though...for it was really far and too difficult a road for him. 
I guess that I shall never see the Hoh Rain Forest, yet I can continue to dream about what it might have been like to view it~


An Eastern Red-tailed Hawk, and the colours of Autumn as we head West, a bit different from the colours in Kentucky~

Two Eastern Red-tailed Hawks, almost seemed to be having a conversation~

The further West one drives, the closer the clouds seem to be to the earth...magnificent~

Common Grackles fly over us~

The grain fields were so amazing~

We had so far to go, around 500 miles per day, while on the road and I could not ask the husby to stop often. 
Thus said, most all of my photo images were taken through the passenger side, with window up, traveling from 70 to 75 mph. 
I am thankful to have a steady hand and excellent vision~
 White Pelicans over Iowa~

I love how many Raptors use different perches to hunt from. 
This one was on a Catholic church sign~

There is a special place that we stop every year, at the Iowa and South Dakota border. 
We love seeing the migrating Monarchs, but this year, even though we saw a few flying across the Interstates, they had already left the scene. 
They thrive on and near the Milkweed plants and so I used the beauty of their exploding pods to remember them by for this season~

OK and this was certainly a funny perch for this Red-tailed Hawk. 
 I said to the husby, wonder if this was a male, or a female on the OB/GYN sign...
Have a great day, a great week. 
We are so happy to be back home, just in time, for the freeze of the season to begin~



  1. i love all the textures in the skies and fields. glad you had a good trip - even with lock-outs and snows. i am dreading the report on the cattle ranchers... so tragic for them.

  2. That was a wonderful trip for you! The trees, the skies the farm-ground - all so diverse in nature. Loved all the colors you saw too!

  3. How beautiful, Mary! The hawks in the West even pose for you; they must know something.
    I love your fall colors, and the tapestry of birds in flight, and those amazing seed pods. I'll be looking forward to seeing more of your trip.

  4. You had a long and wonderful trip I'm sure. It's always so nice to get back home though and in one's own bed. Your photos are beautiful even if taken through the window of a speeding car! I do that very often too. :) I love your photos of the grain fields. They look like waves of sand. Enjoy your weekend.

  5. Wow! Such gorgeous scenery! I'd love to make a trip like that. Too bad you couldn't get into some of the places you wanted to see. Talk about bad timing on the government's part. I love all the hawks you photographed!

  6. Oh wow these are some absolutely breathtaking photographs.

  7. Lovely backgrounds, the Grackles and the Hawks.

  8. Wow - 6500 miles. That's some journey in one continent. Bit by bit. Those first two pictures work so weel and what a great inventive idea to get that result. Fabulous pictures of the grain fields - works of art. All those grackles are quite a sighting too and I bet you heard them coming over.Shame you missed the Monarchs it would indeed be a wonderful sight. I can't imagine doing 500 miles in a day Mary as i would never arrive at my destination with all those birds to investigate.

  9. Thank you for all of the swell comments.
    Phil Slade, it was not an easy journey, especially for the husby. He likes to get 450 to 500 miles in every day and it leaves little wiggle room for me to take the photographs that I would love to be able to grab along the way.
    Next year we will travel to Montana and Canada and stick there for a week. Now I am liking that idea already ;)

  10. Your photos are always amazing and these are no exception. I like your photo editing ... and the wheat fields were especially "wow." The closing of the national parks was bad timing for us as well this past month.

  11. Mary, your trip photos are beautiful. The parks shutting down was awful, sorry you missed the Hoh Rainforest. Love all the Hawks and the Pelicans! Looks like you still had a wonderful trip! Enjoy your week!

  12. Your photos are always amazing, Mary, and these are so full of color and texture and nature's wonderful design!

  13. You got some wonderful Pacific Northwest (and on further) pictures and it is hard to imagine that many of them were driveby shots -- you are really good. That's really a lot of miles each day. We just came across the country in what we thought was record time, but 400 was a long day for us. (We're older though!). I wonder someday if you could fly to Washington and book a tour of the Hoh.

  14. Your fields of grain made me think of "America the Beautiful " and such a travesty that some of it was closed to you as yes, the entire thing was stupid and there was no excuse for it :( However I know that we'll see many beautiful pictures and stories from your trip and I look forward to it :)

  15. Stopping by from Mosaic MOnday...what a great variety of pictures you have captured! Great shots!

  16. A trip with long days but wonderful photos taken through the window of a moving car - I'm impressed! It was terrible to read of the parks closed in the US on various blogs and I hope they never pull that here in Canada.

  17. It is very disappointing when something you are hoping to see does not pan out. It was a long trip but I can ses you got some wonderful photos of it. Valerie

  18. Beautiful place to see these lovely birds.

  19. wonderful images. It takes a while to go through travel photos when you get home, I know, I am still sorting out from our recent trip! I had to laugh when you said you often had to take photos while driving along because you can't keep asking hubby to stop - me too! I know about that very well LOL

  20. What a fantastic trip. Over 6,000 miles in 17 days...that is one whopper of a trip...but so beautiful. Your photos are a treasure trove of beauty. Loved seeing the grain fields and the skies filled with birds. Unbelievable vistas.

  21. Beautiful photos of a long trip. I'm amazed that you took so many of them through the car window. Wonderful job. Now you can rest up and settle into home life again.

  22. Great pictures / collages viewing. Wish you a good Tuesday :) Hanne Bente

  23. Wow...I'm nearly at a loss for words here. Beautiful colors, fantastic countryside...but the hawks!!! Wow.

  24. HI What a wonderful trip with fantastic photographs.

  25. It looks like a beautiful trip though. Such lovely scenery of land and sky.
    And what a way to bird watch at 70-75 miles an hour. :)
    Enjoyed your post very much.

  26. It sounds like an amazing trip and you got some great photos - even if you had to take most of them out of the car window. Beautiful autumn colors.

  27. Just one of the many things I love about blogging--being able to see parts of the US/world that may not get to visit--all through a fellow blogger's eyes/lens. Love your photographer's "eye".

  28. so many beautiful photos; I enjoyed viewing them. Those grain fields sure looked beautiful

  29. What a lovely series. I really like the sumac.

  30. Wonderful photos of the area around you and the birds and plants. I love your Mosaic or Collage with the seed. Amazing !
    Best regards, Synnöve

  31. Mary,

    Your long anticipated journey across the Northwest was definitely an adventure into Mother Nature's temperament! Your clear and beautifully detailed images, displaying her many moods, have given us a precise profile of her multi-faceted personality, which never ceases to amaze the human eye and humble heart.


  32. Beautiful series! I love the hawks and the milkweed seeds.

  33. Indeed, you made beautiful pictures!! love its.
    Interesting post.

  34. What incredible sights! We travelled from the East coast as far as new Mexico and it was a memorable journey. Your post makes me want to venture again!

  35. Beautiful are your photos!
    Greetings, RW & SK

  36. You see the world as I do ... patterns, colors, beauty and birds. Not necessarily in that order. I am amazed that the pictures you take are the pictures I would take if I were there ... so, naturally, I think they are wonderful. All the Red Tails ... everywhere. I am so glad that they are succeeding. Wondrful post, Mary ... again :)

    Andrea @ From The Sol

  37. beautiful birds and landscape and , well, everything. :)

  38. Wow! Truly a dream trip, and what fabulous images! I look forward to seeing more, Mary. xo

  39. The Landscapes are pure delight, what wonderful images.

  40. What a wonderful, if grueling, trek across the country for you! Fabulous photos. Great shots of the hawks on their unusual perches.

  41. What a great trip! It's encouraging that you were able to find the beauty in the midst of frustration. Says a lot about your character.

    All of the images are a fantastic reminder of what an interesting world it is in which we live!

  42. WOW! Another gorgeous series, Mary! What wonderful landscapes - those grain fields are spectacular!


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