Balloon Festival in Bend, Oregon



I just took these about 2 hours ago.  The majority of the balloons flew yesterday and there were only about 6 that flew today.

The top picture was taken on my way to the launch site.  The balloon suddenly appeared drifting quickly from right to left (and very, very low).  I grabbed my camera and was able to snag a picture while I was driving (sorry, Shawn.  I know you’re going to yell at me!).

I was able to find a perfect place to park with the sun behind me and the mountains in the distance.  Then I just waited for the right shot.  I really wish I would have been here yesterday morning, as my Airbnb hostess said it was the largest number of balloons she had seen in the air in all the years she has lived here.

Last night I went to a “night-glow” event (where the balloons stay on the ground and are illuminated from within the envelope).  For various reasons I didn’t get there until it was almost over and only saw two balloons lit up.  I am disappointed at how the pictures I took turned out and don’t feel they are blogworthy.  My friends Eric and Shawn went to a similar event in North Carolina a few years ago and took some awesome pictures.  Now I just need to talk them into starting a blog!

Go ahead, count ’em. I’ll wait.


Now multiply that number by about 12.  If I panned the camera from left to right, that is how many wind turbines were on this wind farm.  And there were more than that looking various directions off in the distance.

Or maybe they are really propellers which are causing the Earth to rotate…

Windy Flats

This is one small part of a huge wind farm in southern Washington.  I have seen more of these up here (and already in Oregon) than anywhere I have been in the US other than southern California.

When I was in Oklahoma City earlier this year I saw one of the plants which manufactures the blades.  I have passed trucks on the highway which were transporting them to their destination (one blade at a time).  The blades are almost long as two tractor trailers placed end to end (in North Carolina they call those transfer trucks).

Keep your maggots to yourself

I have seen these signs all over Washington State (the number 1 apple producer in the United States).  The funny thing is, if you walk a short ways up the road and look at the sign on the other side of the road which states you are leaving the quarantine area, it says exactly the same thing!

If I can’t bring my maggots in and I can’t take my maggots out, whatever shall I do with my maggots???

Flaming Geyser State Park – photos

If you are new to the blog and are scrolling down from the top, please go down a few posts to read the commentary about this State Park in Washington State before reading this explanation about the pictures.

The top picture is the “flaming geyser”.  The eternal flame on JFK’s gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery is more impressive.  But years ago, the flame allegedly reached heights ranging from 3 to 15 feet, and is how the Park got it’s name.

The bottom picture is the nearby “bubbling geyser”.  Methane and other gases coming up out of the ground interact with the water and rocks in the stream and create these ribbons of gray and white.  The bubbling is occurring in the upper left corner of the picture.

Well, they got my ten bucks…  And if you think P. T. Barnum is the one who said “There’s a sucker born every minute” you are mistaken.  Those words were actually uttered by David Hannum, a banker, who was referring to a hoax Barnum perpetrated on the public.  As Bill Weber of NBC Sports used to say during NASCAR races after he gave out a but of trivia, “We looked it up so you don’t have to”.

You’re welcome.