fall: out with the old, in with the new … website that is!

fall is here, change is in the air. can you feel it? the lazy daze of summer seems long gone. i love summer. love the languidness, the looseness, the sense that these days will go on forever …

fall brings frenzy. somehow we are tuned in to be just little squirrels, scurrying around, busy busy busy, pulling in the loose ends of summer, tightening up the routine …

and here at eyechai, it has been a scene of work work work. culminating in a new website!

you see, wordpress has been very good to us. but. they dumped our “theme” (template) and popped in a new one, without even a peep in advance. one morning i woke up to see our site was all screwed up. i guess you get what you pay for. and we were using the free version of wordpress.

clearly it was time for eyechai to step it up, to get a bit more, shall we say, serious!

our new site is hosted by squarespace. we pay for it. so they won’t change it on us. and i love squarespace!

tell us what you think of our new digs.

we have many new images up in our shop, as prints and greeting cards.

and the galleries are fun to browse through … tell us which images you particularly like, or the ones that don’t speak to you. any and all feedback is welcome! mostly, it’s just so nice to hear from you.

this will be the last post here on wordpress. please visit us regularly at our new site: www.eyechai.com

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gardening gadget (hill)

does anyone else feel like lara croft with a leaf blower in hand, or is it just me?

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gal pals (hill)

my gal pals … what can i say? being with them is like being home in sweatpants, lying on the rug in front of the fireplace listening to jazz. oh yeah, maybe because we do that! but you know … total comfort and warmth with nostalgia and dreams mixed together in sweet thick living room air.

laura was my freshman roommate in college. we landed in a dreaded “quad” of four, but we loved it. she and i have remained fast friends since then, for 30 years now. she was super smart — didn’t have to study much — and beautiful, and she was willing to sing into her hairbrush with me.

meg was in a double upstairs from us … can’t even remember how we actually met (though i imagine she remembers). she was sexy and sophisticated — still is — and an amazing poet like her mother.

meg stayed at my house and watched my brood for me while i was away last week. laura lives in portland still, but her parents are here in norcal so she comes to visit often. together the three of us reminisce, eat, offer insight, drink, laugh … i wish we all lived in the same neighborhood!

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northern cali and southward home (hill)

road trip days 13-16: norcal coast – home (mill valley)

we finally slowed down the pace. instead of doing 6-8 hours of driving, we did 2 or 3 or 4. got to spend more time walking, shooting and on our starbucks sessions to upload our photos to picture summer. i remembered that i’m insanely in love with meadows. all those little grasses mixed together creating the perfect imaginary playland … just like when i was a young girl, i imagine i’m thumbelina-sized, walking through the forest of GIANT trees (of knee-high grasses). sublime. even in the presence of a whole herd of elk, i felt the tug to snuggle into the opposite meadow — sans elk — but with the most magnificent display of feathery grasses and plants … grasses, elk, grasses, elk … for me it was clear … grasses. but cynthia loved the elk. she wants to be a wildlife photographer in africa when she grows up.

my trusty van waited for us patiently (she finally got a name on this trip: mojo) between the meadows, grasses to the right, elk to the left.

later we found a great campsite on the banks of the klamath river close to its confluence with the pacific. the morning was deliciously foggy (home sweet home). cynthia REALLY wanted to see another bear, and in the morning we heard there had been one the previous evening playing on someone’s tent. we must’ve been making dinner … sheesh! but rumor had it there was a bear who swam across the river many mornings, so we sat in these chairs and waited, alas no bear.

our assignment that day was to photograph “wind”.

we eventually wound our way down the avenue of the giants and burst out to the coast above mendocino. the coast! getting closer to home!

no bears but a great hillside of goats.

you old goat! (what do you think they were saying to one another?)

ended up in sonoma for lunch. our assignment that day was “light”. this fork photo ended up being featured on the picture summer site! a lovely end to our trip.

cynthia flew back to australia after a few serious days of shopping: aveda, yoga mats, juicy, neoprene wine bags, etc etc etc. she is now officially my special shutter sister. it’s hard to believe she just started photographing during our road trip. she has the gift! our last assignment of july was to create a photo garland of all the picture summer photos.

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road trip epilogue:

all in all, we travelled over 3500 miles in 16 days!

we experienced: yosemite granite, a bear, photo galleries, a las vegas show, the inside of a helicopter inside the grand canyon, red rocks at zion, deer, geological history, stone arches, friends, sushi bars, organic grocery stores, rock shops, big skies, campgrounds, sweaty shirts, maps, snacks of blueberries and walnuts and carrots (ate primal — no gas station junk food — the whole way), too many gas station restrooms, starbucks in every state, family, lizards, brand new guest beds, poached eggs, microbrewed beer, bbqs, more friends, kids, rivers, dogs (we both missed ours tremendously so had to pet each and every dog we came across), dusty cameras, photoshop, oregon green, an old boyfriend, giant sequoias, goats, the pacific, seals, fine restaurants, finer wine.

and so much of road trips happen inside the car. we talked the entire time. had brought 7 books on tape which we did not even listen to. we had 7 years to catch up on! shared music, stories, tears, the love of photography, laughs, insights. we rekindled a deep friendship. cynthia is 10 years younger than me, and she’s like a sister, but not a younger sister. just a sister. i learned so much from her. strength. beauty. generosity. efficiency. love.

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portland people (hill)

road trip day 11: salt lake city – portland

i used to live in portland. went to college there. made lots of friends. fell in love. you know … life. and i love love love to go back and visit. my freshman year college roommate laura and i are still fast friends. she married college sweetheart phil (which i wrote about here). phil is HILARIOUS. and he’s the penultimate, loquacious tour guide. of course he took us somewhere that made us all happy … mcmenamin’s edgefield microbrewery and gardens in nearby troutdale for sunday brunch (and i got artsy fartsy with the beer)!

then we had a bbq with more friends … and all their cute kids …

next morning, it was goodbye to all the portland people. we headed south to the mckenzie river valley and paradise campground — which it was — and the magic of the oregon landscapes …

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the horny toad and the eggs (hill)

road trip day 8: boulder – salt lake city

got to visit my brother and family in their new home just south of salt lake city. a too short but very sweet visit. they are so happy in their new house, even bought new guest beds so cynthia and i could sleep well. i love my family! on their former 3 acres, they didn’t ever have to walk the dogs. now that they’re in a neighborhood, they walk their dogs just like the rest of us. but not all of us have these views!

and they have other creatures in their yard …

cynthia taught us all how to poach an egg without a special poacher pan. yum!

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national parks, here we come! (hill)

road trip day 4: zion np – moab/arches np

the hot utah desert inspired us to get up early (at “sparrow’s fart” in aussie speak) to beat the heat and hike around zion. after just a few days, we realized this was a photo safari, not really a strenuous hiking trip. hiking is great and all, but walking with a photographer’s eye slows everything down: walk, stop, shoot, this angle and that, this lens and that, walk back for different angle, until visual satisfaction is felt. walk, stop, you get the picture. not much walking but tons of great photos and the joy that brings. then drive during the hottest part of the day, loving the aircon!, to see 4th of july fireworks over zion.

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road trip day 5: arches np – boulder

arches in the am …

then, after driving the WRONG WAY for an hour in the am, chatty cathys that we were, making it an 8hr drive instead of a 6hr drive …

boulder is best! not only is my “sister” artist friend sue there, but she’s now married to an awesome aussie man, so he and cynthia could talk aussie all day long without us understanding what they were saying. sure, it’s all english, but those aussies, they change it all up and who knows WHAT they’re saying! fortunately i can understand sue, even though she speaks a mile a minute … all that energy cooped up in one being has to come out somehow. love ya sue! we picnic’d, joked through an entire outdoor concert (yeah, we were the annoying ones this time), shopped (boulder is GREAT for shopping), hiked a bit, visited naropa and c.u. so cynthia could see if she wanted to do grad work there (nope), did laundry, and generally had a great time. sue and cynthia think i should live in boulder …

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