Posted in astronomy, full moon, Oregon, photography, Super Blood Moon

Super Blood Moon – September 27, 2015

SO. I had all these grand plans of driving up a local mountain to watch the eclipsed moon rise behind Mount Hood across the valley, and this was the view:

Mount Hood through haze????????????????????????????????????

Grrr. Argh.

Unbelievable haze. It was kind of a circus up there, too. I passed one area that must have had 100 cars parked in a field. I went much further up, by the substation, which wasn’t nearly as crowded. The only thing I objected to were the two teen boys kicking a soccer ball around all the people who had cameras up on tripods. But what did they care? And dogs. Oh my god, people. Leave your dogs at home when there are going to be crowds.

Anyway, eventually, close to 7:30 local time, we were able to barely make out one side of the moon. Here it is at 7:27

Super Blood Moon september 27 2015

Moon over Hood

Yeah, pretty disappointing. Darker moon over Hood

I gave up around 8:00 or so and drove home. Naturally by then it had cleared the trees, and the sky was crystal clear.

Super Blood Moon 9-27-15

And here are some shots of it setting this morning and one of Venus, aka Lucifer, star of the morning. Hail Lucifer.

(Venus) Lucifer, the Morning Star
(Venus) Lucifer, the Morning Star
Posted in Oregon, photography, self-publishing, Vampires, writing

Interested in Reviewing “Revenants Abroad”?

I should have posted this long ago, but wanted to say if you’re a book reviewer interested in reviewing Revenants Abroad please contact me for a complimentary copy in your choice of electronic formats. There’s no obligation. You can also check out the first 20% of the book at Smashwords (anyone can do this) to see if it piques your interest. Amazon doesn’t give you quite as much to preview, I don’t think. You can contact me through the “Contact” form (see above in the menu) or email me at fillingspaces (at) gmail (dot) com.

And some recent pics. I saw something on the way home a couple nights ago I’m dying to get a pic of as soon as I get the road to myself and don’t have to worry about some tailgater trying to kill me if I slow down for 2 seconds.

Also, I have a huge bouquet of lilacs on my desk this morning stinking up the place.

4-14-15 lilacs at work

Posted in cherry blossoms, daffodils, flowers, photography, Revenants Abroad, spring, sunrise, Vampires, writing

Oregon Spring

I’ve been taking loads of pictures lately, just no time to post. Here’s a selection the last week or so. Some of the dates are wrong, typos, ya know. But just in case spring is late in your part of the world, enjoy these pictures.

Not much else going on. Still working with CreateSpace to try to get the cover image for Revenants Abroad printed right. They’ve sent me two proof copies and both were so dark you could hardly see the details and colors in the background. I’m very frustrated. It’s not brain surgery, it shouldn’t be this hard. Let’s hope third time’s the charm.

Posted in ebooks, Oregon, photography, Vampires, writing

News and Changes

So, things are progressing with the book. The proof copy is on its way to me, and if all looks good the paper copy should be available on Amazon in another week! The ebook of Revenants Abroad is also now available via Kindle on Amazon, and will remain available via Smashwords, Kobo and Barnes and Noble as well, all at the same price of course. I’m also probably going to be resurrecting my other website that I let slide,, and take all the book talk over there so you guys who don’t care about it don’t have to listen to it here. Having my own site again will allow me to do things I can’t do here.

In the meantime, here are a few recent shots. I swear the rainbow one, while only showing a short section of it, was the widest rainbow I’ve ever seen.

Posted in writing

Pictures from the road

Not much going on, but wanted to share some views from my morning commute, which can be quite stunning. I tried to get some shots of the ribbons of fog that linger in the fields, but from a moving car it’s tricky. Basically I hold the camera up in the general direction and hit the button, and hope for the best.

fog ribbons River Rd

Funny how this road looks longer from this angle. I ride my bike out here, which as you can see can get a little dicey if you have some impatient carhead behind you.

Mt Hood and fog

That little peak in the back there is Mt. Hood.

farm silo

I have no idea what this structure is, it’s part of someone’s farm and house. It can’t be a silo, there are windows all the way up. Weird. Just one of the farms I pass on the way. They have a store and fresh berries during the summer season, although I’ve never stopped in there.


I love this house, reminds me a bit of the old farmhouse I grew up in in Massachusetts. I need to get a better photo of it. I was hardly moving at this point, creeping up to a strange intersection that is usually backed up. It’s been for sale but I don’t think it sold. It looks deserted, but I’m pretty sure someone still lives there. The bushes right along the front there are red roses, very pretty when blooming. It probably dates to the late 1800s, there’s another house across the road with a sign “Rosemound Farm, c. 1860”.

Posted in Portland, random thoughts, writing

Mount Saint Helens – 30 Years Later

May 18 is the 30th anniversary of the eruption of Washington State’s Mount Saint Helens. I was no where near it at the time, serving in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Puerto Rico, but I recall the incident nonetheless. My neighbors here in Oregon tell me about the ash that covered their roofs and cars and fell on the neighborhoods, even where we are, roughly two hours drive south of the actual volcano. It feels a little odd to refer to it as a ‘volcano’ rather than a ‘mountain.’ We tend not to think of it that way most of the time, or at least I don’t.

Before the eruption, the mountain stood 9,677 ft (2,950 m), but it literally blew the top off, and the summit is now at 8,365 ft (2,550 m). Periodically, it puffs out some steam and ash, but there have been no real serious eruptions in the thirty years since the big explosion.

(Photos are courtesy of USGS/Cascades Volcano Observatory and many more images can be found on their pages.)

I haven’t been up to the mountain in many years. My first trip there was the summer I moved here to Oregon, and we hiked part of the way down from the visitors’ center at Johnston Ridge to Spirit Lake, but my children were small at the time and got tired long before we made it all the way down. It was also a very hot day, as I recall. The road up is generally closed from October through May when snow blocks the roads. The visitor center just reopened this past weekend. There are some spectacular views from virtually any route up. My other blog, The Wandering Mind, has a widget on the right of the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument’s VolcanoCam, with live views of the dome.

MSH is not the only volcano in the area. Much nearer to home is Mt. Hood, just east of the city of Portland. If that one blew, it could wreak some major havoc on Portland. Saint Helens is farther away from any major population centers, but Hood is like our backyard, less than an hour by car to the ski areas at Mt. Hood Meadows, Timberline Lodge, and SkiBowl. And there’s Mt. Adams. Seattle has its own volcano in Mt. Rainier. That would be some serious chaos if Rainier decided to wake up. Luckily, one of the things that came out of the eruption of 1980 was improved monitoring of volcanoes, thereby (we hope) preventing the worst. When St. Helens blew, there was only one seismometer set up on the mountain to record the earthquake activity. Now they’re using GPS and satellites to help monitor seismic activity.

There will be a commemoration of the event tomorrow, I believe at the Johnston Ridge Observatory for anyone who can make it. If you can’t the Web site invites you to join in online tomorrow. There is no link yet for a live broadcast that I could find. If anyone else knows more about it, please let me know.

I think it’s time I planned another trip up there.