Sunday, July 31, 2011

2011 AAW Symposium - Friday, June 24 part 1

The first day of the AAW symposium is always full of frenetic activity - especially at the registration area.  Everyone wants to pick up their packets before the start of the opening ceremony.  In previous years this was because you needed the schedule to determine which rotations to attend.  This year, however, the a preview version of the symposium book (edited by Sharon Bierman) was available online.  Still, the activity at the registration area was hopping all the way up and through the opening ceremony.

The AAW board of directors and the AAW headquarters staff all sat up on the stage at the beginning of the meeting so that introductions could be done.  Attendance this year was somewhere between 1700 and 1800 preregistrants.  There were likely additional registrations throughout the weekend.

David Ellsworth gave the opening remarks.  David is AAW member #001, was the first president of AAW, and the first recipient of a Lifetime Membership Award.  I think he may be the only member to have attended all 25 symposiums, too.

Tom Wirsing, current AAW president, then talked about the schedule and gave general comments.  You can see part of the large audience in the room.

I like this angle for the photo.  It puts the session in context with the large crowd.

Part of the celebration for the 25th anniversary symposium was the publication of "Woodturning today" edited by John Kelsey.  It's a marvelous record of the history of AAW with stories shared by members, beautiful photos of turnings representing the evolution of our art, and many interesting articles.  If you don't already have a copy, be sure to order one from the AAW website.  John Kelsey is to be congratulated on putting this all together for us.

After the opening ceremony, there's always a mad dash for seats in the demonstration rotation rooms.  Making his debut at the AAW symposium this year was Jerome Blanc from Switzerland.  Jerome participated in the International Turning Exchange program last year at the Wood Turning Center.  This demo was on sculptural woodturning.

There was one or more panel discussions offered during each rotation throughout the weekend.  This one featured David Ellsworth, Kevin Wallace, Terry Martin and Giles Gilson.  Giles couldn't attend the symposium, but checked in via a Skype connection.

Nick Cook demos are always worth seeing.  He was showing how to make lamp bases.  That's what that giant drill bit is for - drilling through the lamp to make room for the electrical wiring.

Jerry Kermode did a rotation on basic bowl turning techniques.

Some of the demonstrations were so popular that there was standing room only, and the audience spilled out into the hall.

Friday morning also sees the big rush through the trade show to find the best stuff to buy before someone else snags it.  Many of the trade show vendors have demonstrations going on continually throughout the day.  Nick Cook demonstrated in the trade show as well as doing rotations in the symposium itself.

Guilio Marcolongo was demonstrating for Vicmarc lathes.  It was great to see the Aussies here for the 25th anniversary symposium.

The Stuart Batty Woodturning booth was also continually busy with demonstrations.  This booth had the most impressive set-up from the technology standpoint of any booth I've seen at an AAW symposium.  He sure did draw in the crowds with his line-up of demonstrators, too.

For more pictures from Friday, June 24, 2011 of the AAW symposium check my FB albums: here and also here.

Other posts from the 2011 AAW symposium:

Preliminary report from the AAW symposium
2011 AAW symposium prelude
Thursday afternoon and early evening; June 23
Thursday - 23 June 2011 AAW: Conversations with Wood: Selections from the Waterbury Exhibit

Misty morning

Misty morning by andiwolfe
Misty morning, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

There's something magical about walking in a forest during a morning fog. The promise of sunshine peaks through the tips of the trees whilst the droplets cling to the ferns and understory layers. Jewels of mist gather on stray tendrils of hair around my face and it feels so mystical to see the muted shades of green and brown hidden in a veil of mist. One's senses become attuned to sounds rather than sights and the scents of the forest become more acute as well. Nature offers the best cathedrals, I think.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Banana slug

Banana slug by andiwolfe
Banana slug, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

The coastal redwood forest has a special relationship with banana slugs. These molluscs will eat everything in the forest except redwood seeds and seedlings. They're very large slugs, too - this one was about 8 inches long - so you certainly can't miss them as you are walking in the forest.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Spruce grove

Spruce grove by andiwolfe
Spruce grove, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

The coast range of the Pacific Northwest is home to Sitka Spruce. These trees can get very large and were heavily logged during the past century. This grove at Cape Perpetua on the Oregon coast is second growth forest. The area was likely logged in the 1940's - 1960's.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Weimarwiener by andiwolfe
Weimarwiener, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

Luna Pi - aka Moon Pie. One of my lovely dachshunds. Her coloring is called Isabella and Tan. We like to think of her as a weimar-wiener because of her coloring. She's very sweet.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"I am a rock, I am an island...."

Foggy morning series by andiwolfe
Foggy morning series, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

Simon and Garfunkel wrote so many songs I can identify with. The older I get, the more I reflect back on the music of my youth and how the lyrics described contemporary events and moods of the 60's and 70's. There are so many songwriters from that time period that were good at social commentary. Maybe I've just lost touch with modern culture, but it seems to me that we've lost that element of artistic expression in today's popular amusic. Perhaps it's my lack of understanding rap and hip hop, though. I suspect there is a lot of commentary in those forms if one could get past the misogynistic and foul-mouthed loudness.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Forgotten Microcosm

Forgotten Microcosm by andiwolfe
Forgotten Microcosm, a photo by andiwolfe on Flickr.

When I was a kid I used to walk the beach looking for interesting shells and rocks. I still do that, but more often than not, I'm inclined to leave the find where it is and just find a good photographic angle.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Cape Perpetua on the Oregon coast was a great place to take photos - even of the plants that most people would ignore. These large clover inflorescences are another reminder of my childhood. I well recall plucking the individual flowers to suck on the nectar at the base of the corolla. They are very pretty plants, I think, and worthy of attention.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Foggy morning series

Imagine the sound of gulls and other shorebirds - you can hear them, but not see them. The breakers are crashing, but you see only those closest to shore. The air is cool and moist, no one else is up and about, and half the world is off beyond an unseen horizon.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amongst the giants

Steve and Aaron in Stout Grove at Jedediah Smith State Park, Northern California. Aaron had never seen the redwoods before and since we were already in Southern Oregon for the American Penstemon Society Meeting, we took a side trip down to the redwoods before heading back to Portland to catch our planes back east.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Footprints in the mist

Spending a couple of days at the Oregon coast was so good for my soul. Steve and I really enjoyed our time on July 7, 2011 - starting with a predawn walk along the beach when the fog was thick and mystical.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Anything for a photo

Sometimes it's worth a little risk to get that magical moment frozen in time. We were at the tide pools near Devil's Churn at Cape Perpetua when Steve decided to go for the ultimate wave picture.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Newport Bridge over Yaquina Bay

The evening of July 6 made for some really interesting light and mood for photographing this iconic bridge. Here's another view from the evening.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

The stuff of nightmares

Steve and I hiked along a trail at Cape Perpetua after our long morning walk in the fog along the coast. This was a pretty entertaining millipede to watch as it explored a rotting stump of sitka spruce.

Oregon coast at dawn

I love walking the Oregon beach right after sunrise. The fog is still nestled into the hills and along the coast. The wind is generally calm, What one hears while walking along the beach is the sound of breakers crashing against the rocks, the gulls and shore birds calling to one another in the fog, and the occasional dog bark while passing one of the seaside residences. It's a very meditative time of day, and I thoroughly enjoy it every time I'm at the Oregon coast.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Newport Bridge

The fog the evening of July 6, 2011 in Newport, Oregon made the bridge such an interesting photographic subject. Steve and I walked all around the area to find interesting angles of the bridge with the fading light of sunset and dusk. The soft colors really appeal to me.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lady Slipper

This was a diminutive Lady Slipper seen along Whiskey Creek in the Siskiyous of Oregon. It was right on the edge of a bog that was chock full of Darlingtonia. It was a lovely place to botanize, but certainly a messy one from the perspective of photography. I'm not sure I will ever be able to get rid of the dirt stains from my jeans after getting down low to take photos. The color of this orchid blends in very well to the background colors of the bog, which I found to be intriguing.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Calochortus spp

It was an exercise in patience to photograph this Mariposa Lily in the Siskiyous of Oregon. This was spotted on the first stop of a field trip with the American Penstemon Society on July 9, 2011. There was a strong breeze, and these plants have very spindly stems, which make the flowers blow all around at the slightest whisper of a breeze. I've found, though, that if you just give it a bit of time, the wind will pause and you can click the shutter to capture a decent image, even in the most challenging conditions.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tiger Lily

Another Tiger Lily to remind me of Oregon. I'm finally done with this extended bit of travel, but I'll keep this memory of my childhood romp through the woods with me for quite a while.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A bug's eye view

Darlingtonia is a carnivorous plant common to the coastal mountain bogs and seeps in the Pacific northwest. The top of the pitcher has a pattern of window panes, which let in the light and probably serve to confuse insects that fly into the pitcher. I think this photo captures that interior view of the plant.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A long way up

A view into the canopy from the forest floor. Coastal redwoods at Stout Memorial Grove. July 10 was the last day of the American Penstemon Society meeting. Aaron, one of my grad students, is traveling with us right now and had never seen the redwoods. Because we were within a couple of hours drive time of the northernmost groves, we decided to do a side trip before heading back to Portland, Oregon, where we will be catching flights to St. Louis for the Botany 2011 meetings.

It was so awesome to be amidst these giants again, and it was a great introduction to this biome for Aaron. However, it made for an excessively long day of driving. We arrived at our hotel after 1 a.m. Steve had to be at the airport for his flight home at 6 a.m. Ouch. Well worth the discomfort, though.

Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily in southwestern Oregon. This brings back so many memories of my childhood - tromping through the woods on a Saturday morning with these beauties for company.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Friday, July 08, 2011

Foggy morning at the Oregon coast

Yesterday we did a long walk in the fog along the ocean. Fog on the beach makes for very minimalist images, which I'll eventually get around to processing. However, I also kept an eye out on the vegetation, hoping to find a lone tree to photograph. This one cooperated very nicely.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Newport Bridge

The Oregon coast is rather foggy right now, which makes for some interesting photography conditions. Add the high winds, and it's going to be a challenge to make interesting images. The Newport Bridge over Yaquina Bay was rather cool looking in the fog at dusk, though, so I'll be posting some pictures as I have time. It's a beautiful structure with lots of interesting angles to photograph.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Seattle Underground

Went on the Seattle Underground tour last weekend and saw some interesting debris tucked away in the tunnels. The tour is interesting from a historical perspective as well as the visual interest.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Friday - June 24, 2011 - AAW symposium; part 1

St. Paul's weather on the morning of June 24, 2011 was absolutely lovely.  I really enjoyed seeing the colorful flower baskets that lined the street from the Crowne Plaza to River Centre.  The walk to the symposium site was about five blocks altogether - a nice bit of exercise each day, especially by the time you walked it several times.

The first event of the symposium is the opening ceremony.  This is held in a large room that fits all the attendees.  The enrollment by the start of the symposium was more than 1700 people.  I have no idea what the daily numbers were or how many people were there just for the trade show and instant gallery.

Board members sit up on the stage at the beginning of the session.

The national anthem was sung by Pippa, a new staff member.  She has a lovely voice and I understand that she often sings the anthem for various sporting events and conventions.

Tom Wirsing, current president of the board of directors, introduced David Ellsworth.

David gave the opening remarks and talked about the history of AAW from the beginnings of 25 years ago.  David was the first president of AAW, and has membership number 001.  He was also the first recipient of the Lifetime Membership award, and he was this year's POP committee merit awardee.

Cindy Bowden is the current Executive Director of AAW, and this was her first AAW symposium.  She gave an overview of her vision for the future of AAW.

Tom Wirsing then took the stage to give an overview of the symposium, and to make some general announcements.  The demonstrators and their sessions were announced as well.

The crowd was huge for the opening ceremony - the largest attendance I've seen. 

Rapt attention to what is being displayed on the big screen.

I can't remember this gent's name, but I asked him if I could take his portrait as he was studying the program after the end of the opening ceremonies.  I love his colorful outfit.  He was pretty easy to spot throughout the weekend.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Dew drops and bokeh

Took a walk along Soos Creek Trail in Seattle this morning. This was one of the lovely things to see early in the morning sun.