• bible sitting next to a teapot

    Whitman Mission

    National Historic Site Washington

The Photographer's Eye

There is something to see in every season at Whitman Mission National Historic Site.
See what park staff and volunteers found as they explored the park with their cameras from December 2011 through early May 2012.

Click here for some photo tips from previous blogs.

Check out Nature Sightings April - May 2012 and Nature Sightings June - July 2012 for what's recently been seen in the park.


May 9, 2012 - Zach Schierl - Whitman Mission Through the Seasons

Below is a picture from April. One can see how the hillside greens up with the coming of spring. See additional photos taken from the same vantage point taken at different times of year to get a sense of how the park changes with the seasons. more...

hillside has green grass and trees have leafed out
Signs of spring, the hillside is turning green. But it won't stay that way, soon the heat of summer will arrive, and this green hillside will be just a memory.
NPS - Zach Schierl

May 1, 2012 - Renee Rusler - It's Turtle Time!
turtles on floating board
There are two types of turtles in this photo. Can you tell which is which? Read below for hints on how to tell them apart.
NPS - Renee Rusler

It's Turtle Time! When it gets warm the turtles clamber back onto the wooden platforms that float in the park's pond. These were seen this last weekend.

Two types of turtles live at Whitman Mission, the Western Painted Turtle and the Slider (an introduced turtle). Both kinds are in this photo. They can be challenging to tell apart since both have yellow stripes on their legs and head. Learn some ways to tell them apart or just sit back and enjoy watching them.


April 22, 2012 - Renee Rusler - Spring has Sprung!
close-up of white apple blossoms
NPS - Renee Rusler

After a vacation to visit family and friends in the Southwest. I returned to a park full of flowers, birds, and a few surprises... more


March 14, 2012 - Renee Rusler - Always Something to See

Even on gray days one can find interesting things, if one goes outside and looks. more...

Canada Geese floating on pond
Canada Geese floating on pond.
NPS - Renee Rusler

March 5, 2012 - Zach Schierl - A Preview of Spring?
The sun behind the monument creates a dramatic silhouette.
The mid-afternoon sun positioned behind the Whitman memorial creates a bright halo of light as it hits the sensor of my camera.
NPS - Zach Schierl

How do we know? Well, for one, the Sun appeared today and stuck around for the entire day for the first time in recent memory. I was able to get this shot of the "Bringer of Warmth" positioned right behind the pinnacle of the Whitman Memorial, beneath an almost cloudless sky. I was trying to think of an interesting angle for a picture when I noticed the long shadow of the monument extending off into the grass, providing me with the opportunity to create my own miniature solar eclipse.

Secondly, the park's resident painted turtles have emerged from their winter burrows and were sunning themselves on the millpond rafts most of the day. This one allowed me to get strangely close before it slithered off the raft back into the pond.

A turtle sitting on a wooden raft.
A painted turtle enjoys one of the first warm days of the season.
NPS - Zach Schierl

February 22, 2012 - Renee Rusler - Otter FAQs

A few of the more commonly asked questions are answered in Nature Sightings.
otter eating fish
Eating lunch
NPS - Renee Rusler

February 13, 2012 - Renee Rusler - More Otter Photos

Otters have been on the park's pond on-and-off for the last month. See more photos of them in Nature Sightings.

otter climbing onto floating board
NPS - Renee Rusler

February 4, 2012 - Zach Schierl - The Early Bird Gets the Worm (and a Few Photo Tips!)

...an early morning visit to Whitman Mission last week found this little guy travelling down the path... more...

translucent red worm
A semi-translucent earthworm explores Whitman Mission in the early morning hours
NPS - Zach Schierl

January 25, 2012 - Renee Rusler - Is Two Too Many?

One otter clambers onto the floating board in park's pond, but can it hold a second otter? Find out. more...

otter climbing onto floating board
The first otter clambers onto the board. Already the board is starting to sink.
NPS - Renee Rusler

January 24, 2012 - Zach Schierl - The Luck of the Light

...it is possible to predict when great lighting conditions are likely to occur so that you can have your camera at the ready more...

Memorial shaft makes striking silhouette against a dramatic sky.
Just one example of placing yourself at the right place at the right time to take advantage of dramatic lighting opportunities.
NPS - Zach Schierl

December 21, 2011 - Renee Rusler - Fiery Departure
sunset turns clouds fiery red
The long stretch of cloudy weather ended in fiery splendor last night. This was the view looking out of the Visitor Center at 4:30 PM. Using the "Beach" setting on the park's camera really brought out the bright colors of the sky.
NPS - Renee Rusler

December 12, 2011 - Renee Rusler & Zach Schierl - Snack Time
three mule deer in grassy area
Three mule deer venture into the grassy oval of the parking area looking for food.
NPS - Zach Schierl

Two species of deer can be found at Whitman Mission: Mule Deer and White-tailed Deer. The deer are most commonly seen in the early morning or evening, periods of low light when it is harder to be seen. Cloudy days are another time when light levels are low. Yesterday it was so cloudy and quiet at the park that these Mule Deer ventured into the parking oval during the middle of the day.

Some people mistake Mule Deer for White-taileds because Mule Deer have a white rump and tail. But the White-tailed Deer is named for the fluffy, white underside of its longer tail, which it raises and wags like a flag when startled.


December 10, 2011 - Renee Rusler - Frosty Cold! Frosty Pretty!
small ice crystals cover the red berries of a hawthorn tree
It was a cold day at Whitman Mission, with highs in the mid 20s. But the freezing fog of the day before created beautiful ice crystals like the ones on these hawthorn "berries."
NPS - Renee Rusler
hill with monument on top and frosted trees at base
The ice crystals gave a frosty look to the plants, especially the trees.
NPS - Renee Rusler

It can be fun to explore the same place in different weather conditions. Just remember to dress for the weather and to be careful, especially in potentially slippery conditions such as rain, snow, ice, or freezing fog.


Earlier Blog Entries

The Photographer's Eye 2010 - 2011

Previous posts about animals, plants, or weather can be found at Nature Sightings 2011.

Previous posts about park events can be found at Events 2011.


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