mysteries Periscope picture video Washington

What was that out in the waters of Puget Sound?

What’s that in the water? Photo taken at Picnic Point Park in Edmonds, Washington on September 29, 2015.

(Edmonds, WA) On a late September day, I drove to Picnic Point Park in Edmonds to Periscope (broadcast) what was shaping-up to be a promising sunset from the beach.

I arrived just minutes prior to the sun’s sinking behind the Olympic Mountains.

No clouds in the sky.

No haze.

The distant peaks across Puget Sound seemed destined for tack sharp images in my Canon 7D, and for a visually pleasing Periscope broadcast, as well.

After walking over a narrow plank stretched two-or-three inches above the rising tide, I found a tiny spit of beach where upon I hurriedly set-up my tripod.

Next, I opened the Periscope app on my iPhone, entered a title for my broadcast, then secured that phone in the hot shoe directly atop my Canon.

But immediately prior to pressing Periscope’s red Start Broadcast button, I clicked-off three quick shots of the setting sun, now right atop the Olympics.

Once the broadcast began, my attention turned to my iPhone screen, where I welcomed viewers and responded to comments.

When I returned home later that night, I imported my photos in Adobe Lightroom on my PC.

And that’s when something caught my eye.

Something was making a bit of a splash out in the water.

Seagulls were overhead.

A look at the next photo revealed a bit more.

And a bigger splash.

Still, I wasn’t sure what creature had been out there, totally unbeknownst to me, during my time at the beach.

The mystery compelled me to re-visit my Periscope broadcast for a closer look.

In doing so, I believe I’ve been able to successfully identify the animal.

And while examining the video and photos, a sort of self-examination unfolded, extending the narrative of this story.

See it all unfold in the video below.

Prior to finishing the editing on this video, I shared the events of that September day at the beach with my friend, Christian Sasse.

Christian is a well-known bald eagle photographer, physicist, and amateur astronomer.

He reminded me that he often makes discoveries in his images that he did not see while taking them.

In an email, Christian also wrote the following:

That reminds me….Whilst driving to Penticton, I was listening to a radio station talking about mindfulness. It really struck and shook me. Most of the time we are mindless which means we do not make a conscious effort to observe new things because we are rushing around. So when I walk to work now I try and notice 5 new things I have not seen before. I was surprised what impact it made on me.  Same with people. Find something new in a person you know every day.”

Christian shared a link to that radio program, hosted on the website

That broadcast features an interview with social psychologist Ellen Langer.

Langer defines mindfulness as, “The simple act of actively noticing things, with the result of increased health, competence, and happiness.”

That audio interview now appears on this page, below the video.



Albuquerque interviews KRQE New Mexico Periscope Skype

Get ready Balloon Fiesta, here comes Periscope!

Screenshot taken from live Periscope broadcast featuring Skype interview with Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta spokesperson Tom Garrity. Broadcast aired on Friday, October 2, 2015. (Text later added to image.)

Expect to see a large number of wondrous Periscope broadcasts from New Mexico over the next nine days.

The 44th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta  gets underway at 6 A.M. Saturday with the Dawn Patrol.

In this new era of Periscope, I’ve been  thinking about all of the live streaming video that’s about to feature the magical skies and vibrant colors viewed from the balloon field, the city, and straight from the gondola.

When I worked as a reporter in Albuquerque (1995-2005), the #BalloonFiesta was touted as “the most-photographed event in the world.”

In the 90’s, KRQE-TV lugged around a clunky (by today’s standards), portable contraption affectionately called “the mule”.

The mule was a microwave broadcast unit that had to be pointed at a far-away tower atop the Sandia Mountains in order to achieve a live broadcast from the roving camera on the balloon field.

Now we can do all of that with technology held in the palm of our hand.

This year marks the first balloon fiesta since the Periscope launched earlier this year.

And it would seem that the hugely popular live streaming app could have a profound impact on the event.

At the very least, Periscope will introduce many around the globe to Albuquerque’s annual big-splash aimed at the early autumn skies.

People will will be watching the Periscope broadcasts on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.

Many people will get their first good look at a New Mexico sunrise, the winding Rio Grande, and the copper-colored leaves adorning cottonwoods along the river.

People will see and learn how mother nature’s “Albuquerque Box” is the engine fueling balloon voyages that go for miles, then land almost precisely where they began.

In addition to introductions and postcard-worthy views, Periscope will have at least one other impact, too.

The demand for bandwidth is likely to be greater than ever at this year’s balloon fiesta.

But that’s not all due to the arrival of Periscope, of course.

There will be more smartphones using more apps than ever before.

All of this contemplating about Periscope’s potential impact on the fast-arriving balloon fiesta is what, ultimately, compelled me to reach-out to the Balloon Fiesta’s spokesperson, Tom Garrity.

I well-remember Tom from my years spent in New Mexico.

It was gracious of him to agree to today’s interview featured in the video below.

We spoke via Skype, while streaming our conversation on…you guessed it…Periscope.

Snohomish Washington

Clouds formed over Chelan’s Wolverine Fire visible in western Washington

(Snohomish, WA) Large clouds borne from the heat and rising thermals of a central Washington wildfire were visible in the Puget Sound area on Tuesday afternoon and early evening.

While viewing a Beyond90Seconds Periscope broadcast of the clouds, viewer Brendan Magee commented that he was able to confirm that the clouds were coming from the Wolverine Fire in Chelan.

Magee is a volunteer firefighter with the Getchell Fire Department in Snohomish County.

The clouds rising over a specific area of the Cascade mountains on Tuesday proved to have a rather predictable behavior: A cloud would rise, then seemingly collapse.

That pattern repeated itself several times.

Might make one think of a fire-breathing dragon exhaling puffs of smoke.

Each “puff” would quickly build, then slowly dissipate before the next determined blow.

There’s a proper (and far more precise) name for this type of cloud.

Special thanks to @SnoCo_Scanner (real name is Daron Johnson) for informing me that my Periscope camera and Canon 7D were focused on pyrocumulonimbus clouds.

According to Wikipedia:

The pyrocumulonimbus cloud (pyroCb) is a type of cumulonimbus cloud that forms above a source of heat, such as a wildfire, and may sometimes even extinguish the fire that formed it. It is the most extreme manifestation of a pyrocumulus cloud. According to the American Meteorological Society’s Glossary of Meteorology, a pyrocumulus is “a cumulus cloud formed by a rising thermal from a fire, or enhanced by buoyant plume emissions from an industrial combustion process.”


The photos in this post featuring Tuesday’s pyrocumulonimbus clouds were taken at Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish.

Hot air balloons from nearby Harvey Field eventually appeared over the nearby valley.

As the balloons rode the winds southward, the fire-borne clouds over the Cascades could be seen in the distance beyond them.


DSLR picture Washington wildlife

Photos: Sun-splashed Edmonds, WA

(Edmonds, WA)  While working on a video project in Edmonds on Monday, I also had the opportunity to shoot some pictures.

I thought I’d share some of those photos here.

Earlier in the day, I’d actually wondered if I’d have any luck, at all, with the weather.

In Snohomish, it had been raining intermittently throughout the morning.

Edmonds delivered a beautiful—dare I say warm—mostly sunny afternoon and early evening.

And, at times, it felt as if I nearly had the beaches all to myself (I spent time at the beach south of the marina, then awaited sunset at another beach just north of the ferry dock).

One of the highlights was seeing a Bald Eagle atop a pole near the ferry dock.

My kind of day!


News video Washington

Darrington area woman shares insight, perspective on Oso mudslide response effort


Story updated at 8:30am PST to include copyrighted photographs taken Friday morning showing locally-owned heavy equipment at the Oso mudslide.  People featured in these photos are Bob DeYoung of Darrington who’s seen giving a “thumbs-up” in appreciation of the $100 Shell gas card he’s holding donated by reader @SnoCo_Scanner  (Daron Johnson). Jaimie Mason is also featured wearing wearing hard hat. All photographs in this series were taken by Mason for

(Darrington, WA) In a 13-minute video recorded on Thursday, Jaimie Mason begins by expressing her gratitude for the $360 in Shell gas cards donated by readers of this blog.

She goes on to say so much more.

Mason lives west of Darrington, closer to the Oso mudslide. readers donated $360 in Shell gas cards for fueling privately owned machinery at the Oso mudslide. The fundraiser was announced Thursday morning.  The gas cards were donated within 3 1/2 hours that same day, then delivered to Darrington early that evening. readers donated $360 in Shell gas cards for fueling privately owned machinery at the Oso mudslide. The fundraiser was announced Thursday morning. The gas cards were donated within 3 1/2 hours that same day, then delivered to Darrington early that evening.

First, about those gas cards.

Mason says many local residents assisting in the rescue and recovery effort are using their own machinery, and are also paying for the fuel to run it.

Thus, her appeal for the gas cards and this bulletin here on Thursday.

Mason goes on to share that she—like so many of her neighbors—are now spending days at the mudslide sifting through the debris, hoping to find missing neighbors and loved ones.

There are several powerful moments in this interview.

And while I’ve not confirmed Mason’s claims, she does strike me as quite sincere.

Mason is real people.

Real Darrington.

It shouldn’t be surprising to hear more words like these in the weeks and months to come.


Additional Reading:  Volunteers Recover Bodies Of Friends And Neighbors in Washington Landslide / (includes photo & interview featuring Bob DeYoung)

News video Washington

VIDEO: Interview with WSP Chief John Batiste


(Oso, WA)  This is unedited video of Washington State Police Chief John Batiste speaking with media members regarding the Oso mudslide.

The interview was recorded on March 26.

The location is the roadblock at SR 530 and Oso Loop Road.

Here are some time codes for topics that are addressed:

2:03  Trooper Oliphant (one of the first responders), helped rescue young child

3:59 Batiste’s initial reaction to the mudslide.  His flight with Governor over mudslide

4:36 Reminds Batiste of Mount St. Helens (which he responded to as a young Trooper)

5:12 Discussing this mudslide with spouse

6:02 First responders are working hard, taking risks, still hoping to make rescues.

6:37  Batiste is asked about clearing the road.  Debris field.

7:00  Says Department of Transportation is making plans for relocating debris

7:25  What’s next regarding the highway?  Alternative route(s)?

7:50 “A huge undertaking” (regarding removing debris)