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TheRagens Newsletter
March 1, 2004

Current Thoughts

Work has been really tough over the last couple of months and I haven't had time to update the site as much as possible. But, I've kept thoughts for the newsletter moving forward. We have been able to get enough time to get up to the islands a couple of times and have a few new photographs as a result. Without much more ado, here's our thoughts for the last couple of months.


In This Issue

bulletNew Wildlife Photos
bulletBookmarks - Booklists
bulletWine Tasting
bulletWeb Sites Worth Visiting


New Wildlife Photos

I invested in a new 100-400mm Canon zoom lens and it's a beauty! I now have some remarkable new photographs of eagles and have rounded out my album of harbor seals from the rocks of Kanaka Bay. Finally, the picture of the cat tail and alder is just a soothing still life that shows off the contrast between the two plants.

bulletFour Seals
bulletHarbor Seal at Alert
bulletCat Tail and Alder
bulletDriftwood Beach Sculpture

I've also reworked the navigation system through most of the albums including bald eagles, deer, seals, and our red foxes. Next, I need to have a few hours of uninterrupted time to finish the orca whales and the remainder of my bird photos. Come back and check out the new pages!

Talked with our friend Pepper Pogue -- over the last 8-12 months, she has converted several of our photographs into pen and ink drawings. We've posted some thumbnail versions of these drawings on our own little storefront. In just the last month, she has allowed us to offer several additional drawings and we've posted these new drawings on our website as well.



Our recommendation for this month is a historical book. Like Touching the Void by Joe Simpson, it's a book about a remarkable feat of endurance.

Featured Book

We Die Alone: WWII Epic of Escapes and Endurance
David Howarth

This book tells the remarkable story of one man's survival in the Norwegian winter after a World War II spy mission went awry. In 1943, in the northern part of Norway, a ship with twelve men is sunk. One man, literally only feet ahead of the Germans, shoots one and then manages to escape by swimming through an icy fjord and then travels from small town. Even with a disaster of a blizzard and snow blindness, with deep frostbite (he amputated nine toes) and an open air bivouac for almost a month through several blizzards, he maintained his spirits and was helped to Sweden by the Resistance. A remarkable read.


Wine Tasting and Vineyard Updates

It's early March as I write this and the vines are still dormant. I just started to work on the vineyard again in order to get ready for the new growing year. I pruned the vines last week and was pleased to see that all of the vines showed a nice green core at the center of the vine. According to the books, this means that they're healthy. This means that 44 of the 46 vines that I planted last May looked like they survived through the winter. I think a 4-5% mortality rate is just great given what I've heard is more typical!

We are gearing up for our next wine tasting party. I believe that we're the hosts and yet we haven't figured out the theme yet. I think we may go slightly traditional following the unusual theme of the last tasting.

We have tasted some lovely wines in the last couple of months. I think my favorite was a tossup between the 1990 Duckhorn cabernet sauvignon or the 1998 McCrea Syrah. One was elegant, smooth, but totally cabernet-like in taste while the Syrah was much wilder with more fruit exploding from the glass. Very different but both were really enjoyable.


Websites Worth Visiting

Nature Photography Directories
 - Nature Photography Top 100
 - Photography

This month, after poking around a bit on the web, I found a bunch of photography sites that have a number of topics in common with our site -- particularly a focus on wildlife and nature photography. I've added links to these websites from my photography links page but here they are from our newsletter:

bulletMason Vranish Photography by Mason Vranish
bullet Online Photo Galleries: Wildlife Photography by Laurenz Bobke
bulletSplit Seconds Photography by Peter Llewellyn
bulletWild Nature Images by Ron Niebrugge


2004 Index Newsletter Index
bulletJanuary 2004
bulletMarch 2004
bulletMay 2004
bulletJuly 2004
bulletSeptember 2004
bulletNovember 2004


About TheRagens is a family website that highlights our family history in addition to wildlife and nature photos, wine tasting notes, favorite book lists, and other interests. We are happy to share this with you and you may pass on this newsletter to friends as long as you don't change the content. If you are receiving this newsletter from a friend, you may sign up to receive it by by email by visiting our registration page. If you wish to be removed from the distribution list, simply reply to this message and replace the words in the subject line with REMOVE. We keep an index of our back issues on our site.

Thank you!


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