Toy Cars

Hot Wheels Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

Hot Wheels Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

It’s the end of spring and the start of summer.  It’s time to spiff up the car collection or in our case: the toy car collection.  These are cars, old and new, slowly dusted and brought back to life.  While not all these cars are Matchbox, that company still ranks number one in sales.  Matchbox brand was introduced by Lensey Productsin 1953 and later continued by Mattel, Inc. The brand was named ‘matchbox’ because its original toy packaging resembled match boxes because the original producer’s daughter could only bring toys that would fit in a matchbox to school. Mattel bought out the matchbox brand in 1997. Traditionally there are only 75 models in production at any one time. If they want to add a 76th model then one of the previous ones is discontinued and the number reallocated.



June 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment


Up and above at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

T’is spring and the tulip fields are in full bloom.  So is the tulip at our house that was replanted by a squirrel where it didn’t belong so many years ago.  It’s so beautiful and thriving, we’ve been afraid to move it.  We had a lot of fun at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (link).  Parking is difficult to find, but the tulips are worth it.  First thing in the morning it was pouring, by noon clear, and the tulip fields arrayed with surprising variety.  Of our favorites was one that didn’t belong where it was planted so reminiscent of our tulip at home.


May 1, 2013 at 8:34 am Leave a comment

Arches National Park: Balanced Rock

Delicate Arch from Delicate Arch Viewpoint

Delicate Arch from Delicate Arch Viewpoint, Arches National Park

During this hectic month we focus on a small snapshot of one of our favorite parks Arches National Park, specifically angles of Balanced Rock.  We even let the cats take a short, and well-deserved break from their endless photo shoots.


April 1, 2013 at 6:28 am Leave a comment

Seashells, Barnacles and Sand Dollars

This month we look to the sea for seashells, barnacles and sand dollars.  The world is full of diverse creatures and while some are similar, no two are quite the same.   This selection was both bought and found.  Some shots were discovered on casual strolls next to the surf. We highly recommend beaches as  prime spots for scenic getaways and prime photographic opportunities.  The Bengals didn’t understand our interest, but gamely tried to play along.

Seashells are defined as ” the shell of a marine animal, especially a mollusk”.  These are different than barnacles and sand dollars.  Barnacles are a marine crustacean with an external shell that attaches itself permanently to a variety of surfaces.  Sand Dollars on the other hand are flattened sea urchins that live partly buried in sand feeding on detritus. So a seashell is a more general term to cover pretty much any hard structure protecting a marine organism, barnacles are the actual animal living within a shell that attach themselves to pretty much anything and everything, and sand dollars are the rather pretty little animals living in the sand eating whatever is left.

First our favorite beach picture taken at Seaside Oregon.

Seaside through the seashell

[This was shot with the Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens  just a few inches from the shell.  With the wide angle, the beachhead and a little of Seaside is framed in the background.  The Canon 60D’s fold out viewfinder lets you put the camera on the sand w/o laying down in the water with it.] (more…)

March 1, 2013 at 2:50 pm 1 comment


Soaring with eagles, crossing oceans in the air, and zooming above clouds changed to the realm of possibility with the advent of first flight.  On that December day of 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright flew 12 seconds at Kitty Hawk.  The Wright brothers did not actually patent a flying machine, not even an airplane – they developed and patented the first three-axis control system because they believed that was the missing element in the “flight problem” encountered until that time.  Also on the topic of flight, hot air balloons were first recorded on November 21, 1783 (first manned, untethered flight), but hot air balloons are counted as balloon aircraft not proper airplane aircraft.

For this issue we pulled from two museums that specialize in the history and future of flight.  The National Museum of the United States Air Force (link) in Dayton Ohio and the Museum of Flight (link) located in Seattle, Washington.


February 1, 2013 at 9:30 am Leave a comment

Old Tech

121222-60D-6266Pickett Slide Rule

This issue is Old Technology and Alicia makes her debut as a photographer.  She and Paul had so much fun taking these pictures that I’m going to step aside and let them enjoy the telling of the tale. (more…)

January 1, 2013 at 8:02 pm 1 comment

Around the House I

This month we’re paying tribute to what makes our neighborhood home and gives us the glow of belonging to a larger picture of life.  Regrettably we have not yet captured the bald eagle in flight, but these are a few of the denizens and sights that bring us smiles.


December 1, 2012 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Mount Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier from the Sunrise Visitor CenterMt Rainier Gondola to Summit House at Crystal Mountain

Welcome.  Our theme for November is Mount Rainier National Park.  These pictures were taken the first day of fall 2012.  Alicia stayed home and herded cats while we based our camp at Crystal Mountain Resort.  Crystal Mountain Resort sits at the base of Rainier on the southwest side and was opened in December 1962.  A gondola (the only one in Washington state) to the summit opened in 2010 and takes you up to a beautiful view of Mount Rainier. (more…)

November 1, 2012 at 9:53 am 1 comment


We’re here!  We did it!  Welcome to Photocatography:  Photography with Bouts of Bengals.  This monthly blog is brought to you by Paul Hall, Alicia Hall and Lisa Kraft.  Paul takes the photos and provides the technical data and his insights into the pictures.  Alicia wrangles cats and researches the subjects of the pictures.  And Lisa writes around the edges.


September 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm 5 comments

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