Stronger than Cancer part 2

UPDATE 5/10/18:

Last night Erica and her mother were interviewed for KGW Channel 8 by Christine Pitawanich/KGW. The interview was aired on the late evening news.

Meanwhile on another front, our local Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce executive director had emailed her connection with the Seahawks, Mike Flood. Mike replied saying they can’t really send a player out to take Erica to prom, but he is offering some other perks such as some tickets to a game. He is also coming this way later this month for other business and plans to bring Erica some official Seahawks swag.

– Darlisa

News Story from KGW channel 8 aired late evening on 5/09/2018,

following interview with Christine Pitawanich/KGW.

Original story below on the blog post, at this link:

“Stronger than Cancer”

Also Erica and her mom Elsa Spence could really use some financial assistance. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to:

(Make checks out to Elsa Spence. )

“Stronger than Cancer”

Donations For Erica Kuneki

Umpqua Bank

PO Box 67

White Salmon, WA

98672

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To the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, esp. Earl Thomas the third:

“I Am Erica Kuneki:

I am Stronger than Cancer! I Will Survive!

Will you go to Prom with me on June 2, 2018 at 8:00 PM?

Columbia High School, White Salmon, Washington. Please?”

Erica just turned 18. She also just had a total knee replacement as a result of bone cancer. She is a fighter, and her motto has become “Stronger than Cancer”.

She also has a dream, for a gift of time from the Seahawks. Senior prom is June 2 and she has no date. Can you help us reach out to Earl Thomas and the other Seahawks to see if any of them could help by escorting Erica to her prom?

Also Erica and her mom Elsa Spence could really use some financial assistance. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to

“Stronger than Cancer”

Donations For Erica Kuneki

Umpqua Bank

PO Box 67

White Salmon, WA

98672

The full story of Erica Kuneki and her battle with Cancer is posted on my blog along with a lot more pictures.

https://starlisablackphotography.com/2018/05/08/stronger-than-cancer

Thank you!

Darlisa Black

Stronger than Cancer

UPDATE 5/10/18:

Last night Erica and her mother were interviewed for KGW Channel 8 by Christine Pitawanich/KGW. The interview was aired on the late evening news.

Meanwhile on another front, our local Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce executive director had emailed her connection with the Seahawks, Mike Flood. Mike replied saying they can’t really send a player out to take Erica to prom, but he is offering some other perks such as some tickets to a game. He is also coming this way later this month for other business and plans to bring Erica some official Seahawks swag.

– Darlisa

Original story below:

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I would like to tell you a story about a girl named Erica Kuneki. She’s a very special girl, one that has always watched out for others. And she LOVES the SEAHAWKS! More on that soon ❤️😀. Erica and her parents are from the Klickitat tribe, part of the Yakama Nation. Their family is from the Husum, WA area, and her grandmother Elsie Thomas used to make the traditional split cedar root huckleberry baskets that are so prized in museums now.

Erica at her 8th grade graduation

Erica with her uncle

Erica at school

And in Drama, she was in a play in Hood river.

Last November, 2017, Erica started having severe pain in one leg. She was very athletic, involved in several sports. After much testing, she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, A cancerous tumor in the bone below the knee. She was very quickly started on aggressive chemotherapy, which took a toll on her body. Often very nauseous, she lost weight and had a very tough time keeping up in school. With the help of teachers at the Cancer Hospital in Portland, she kept up with her schoolwork as best she could. Early this year, they did a total knee replacement including a length of bone from the leg below the knee. For a while there was a break from chemo while she recovered from surgery, and during that time Erica was able to go back to school here in White Salmon. One of her coaches was very supportive, as he himself was a cancer survivor, and when Erica returned to school he and the team honored Erica in an assembly, making her an honorary team leader.

Erica with her Coach Don

Recently chemo started back up again, along with the struggle to keep eating and hold food down. Occasionally the weekly hospital stay lasts longer when her body isn’t ready to get up and go home. Chemotherapy will likely continue up to a year total, perhaps less if all goes well.

Mom and Daughter at sports event

Through this whole experience her amazing mother Elsa Spence has been right by her side most of the time, and if she has to be working then generally Erica’s father Leon Kuneki spends the time with his daughter at the hospital. They never leave her in Portland at the hospital alone.

Dad and Daughter times

Elsa is a caregiver by trade, working for Klickitat County Seniors. She helped take care of my sister Nora for several years. Her boss Norma Pickett has been so good with her, scheduling work around Erica’s medical appointments, as much as possible. Norma also helped run a fundraiser to get Elsa a working car after her old one broke down. Various bills are still a struggle, between lost work hours and the long drives to Portland. Elsa is the primary wage earner of the household, and I know from personal experience that caregiving in rural areas is a low paying job.

Through all the struggles with cancer, these Gals have done an amazing job of keeping their chin up and moving forward with a positive attitude.

Erica has frequently cheered up and encouraged others in the cancer ward and at home. Erica has a wise old soul, while also young and silly. She and her mom laugh together over so many things, and their laughter is contagious.

At the same time, both of them can be very serious, have a great deal of respect for their elders, and often reach out to help others. Both Elsa and Erica are very empathic, often sensing when those around them are troubled or in pain. Recently, A young patient at the cancer center passed away in a nearby room. The mother’s cries of loss carried through several wings, and Erica left her own room to go out and give hugs to the family. She brought them tissues and encouragement.

A year earlier, after I had lost my own sister, Erica would often stop by my house after school to check on me and make me laugh.

She never fails to brighten my day when I see her. Tonight i was on the phone with Elsa, and I could hear Erica in the background making us both crack up with laughter, and she had just come home from the hospital after more chemo.

Recently on two separate occasions, Elsa and Erica ran into KGW Channel 8 newscasters out on a mission. They talked each of the reporters into a photo, never even mentioning the cancer to the reporters!

Erica is really rocking all this!

TO THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: One thing that Erica is sad about is that no one has invited her to her senior prom which is June 2, at 8:00 pm. . Her cousin Shaneeta Bly came up with the idea of trying to reach out to the Seahawks, especially to Erica’s favorite player Earl Thomas, to see if he or any of the team would be willing to help fulfill the dream of a cancer patient. Erica just turned 18, and will hopefully be graduating soon from Columbia High School where she has participated in several sports including her personal favorite, basketball. She and her family are long time hard core Seahawks fans, with the Seahawk emblem painted on her father‘s truck and several birthday cakes that have had the Seahawks written on the cake.

Dad and Daughter, on Erica’s 18th birthday in April. There was no money or energy for a birthday party this year, but great hopes and plans to save money and have a combined birthday/ graduation/ end of chemo party in a few months.

Seahawks thru and thru!

Any acknowledgement from the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS team would be bound to uplift Erica and her family unimaginably, and an actual escort to prom, especially from Earl Thomas, would bring over the top joy for Erica. She also loves wrestling, her favorite wrestler is Dean Ambomore, and her favorite singer is Lil Pimp.

Please share this and help bring joy to this amazing young lady and her family!

My Erika Kuneki: I am Stronger than Cancer! I Will Survive! Will you go to Prom with me on June 2, 2018 at 8:00 PM? Columbia High School, White Salmon, Washington. Please?

To the SEAHAWKS:

I Am Erica Kuneki:

I am Stronger than Cancer! I Will Survive!

Will you go to Prom with me on June 2, 2018 at 8:00 PM?

Columbia High School, White Salmon, Washington. Please?

DONATIONS: if you would like to help Erica fix her car (est cost $4,000); help her family pay their monthly bills, and help them plan the celebration party, here is how:

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Drop by or send a check to

“Stronger than Cancer”

(Donations for Erica Kuneki)

Umpqua Bank

PO Box 67

White Salmon, WA

98672

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This way the money all goes to the family and not to one of the online fundraisers.

Thank you,

Darlisa Black

Starlisa.com

BIDDING AUCTION FOR RECOVERY EFFORTS FOLLOWING WASHINGTON WILDFIRES, ONLY 2 HOURS LEFT!

ALL of these photos are part of a BIDDING AUCTION TO HELP WITH RECOVERY EFFORTS FOLLOWING WASHINGTON WILDFIRES…. The auction ends today, September 20, Sunday… at 7:00 pm PST

Here is a link to the Facebook page the auction is on, you do have to have a Facebook account to join in, and you must join the group to bid:

Auction for Survivors of WA Wildfires

after joining, go to THIS ALBUM PAGE to see all the photos available for bidding!

Auction Items Album Page to help those who lost homes to the fires

and join in the fun!   There is only a very short time left however… less than THREE HOURS!

Here are samples of all photos  #Auction4Wildfires

Julia’s Rainbow

Another young much loved woman has passed away this last week, and my heart is so sad.  Trying to continue forward with photography and life, and stay positive.   Julia Little Brave was my stepdaughter by a former marriage, and although I am estranged from her father I have kept track of his daughter as she married and had children.  I followed from a distance, not wanting to interfere, and kept her in my heart.  This is not about me… this is about an amazing young woman and her family.
Julia had  cancer.  She fought hard, and was in remission for some few years while she returned to college and developed a career in hospital lab work. This in itself was impressive in her large Native American family, where education was often a struggle.   All this while being a great mother, and constantly cheering up others, and praying for others in her Native American Church.  Her positive attitude was amazing.  This last couple years the cancer came back, and though she fought with all she had, this weekend she slipped into that dark night and into the spirit world leaving behind her supportive loving husband Matt and their three beautiful children, along with a heartbroken sister/ best friend and brothers and Father, Mother, and a huge extended clan.

Julia’s sister in law has created a GoFundMe donation site to raise money to help the family with burial costs and huge hospital bills left behind.  Any amount you might be able to donate would be gratefully appreciated, even $1. You can find that site here along with her photo and more information.  Just click on that previous sentence in blue and the page will open up in a new tab.

This is the Rainbow I saw soon after I learned of Julia’s passing.. so I have named this Julia’s Rainbow.

Double Rainbow, Taken from Hood River Oregon, looking over the Hood River Bridge into White Salmon and Bingen, Washington on November 9, 2014

Julia’s Rainbow

Three Prints for the Show spoken for!

So far these three images have been spoken for at the 50% off sale, they will all be in the Gallery Show at the White Salmon Library for the month of September and then shipped out to the people buying them at the end of that show.  Hurray!~  Still could use a few more for this show or for the next show at Mugs Coffee in Bingen so if you are interested in a half price Metal print (or thin wrap or canvas) check out this previous post with the details.

By the way the featured image of Lower Falls on the Lewis River is also available on the sale 🙂

Click on this blue link for more information

Opportunity for GREAT savings on Large Prints!

Here are the three images spoken for at this point

Big Spring Creek Falls

Big Spring Creek Falls This image spoken for by Sheila Moore Reynolds, and it will be a 20 x 30″ Metal print and I am excited about this one! Thank you Sheila

 

Glory_Above2_2036

Glory Above This image will be on Metal as well, at a size of 16 x 24″ inches, and big thanks to Marion Wyman who will be the new owner of this lovely image of a scene full of memories for this wonderful retired teacher.

 

sunset-3333-3

Naturally Framed ALso going to be a Metal print, size 24 x 36″! How exciting to have one so big for the show! Thank you to Greta Dayley, who will be the new owner of this image!

Successful Art For Oso Photography Auction Fundraiser

Art For Oso photography auction on Facebook

 

ROUND 2 CLOSED. ROUND #3 COMING SOON!  Successful Facebook based Photography Auction Fundraiser to benefit the mudslide recovery process in Oso and Darrington, Washington.  This fast growing grassroots event started by Justin Kraemer on Facebook, has grown to a group of over 1500 in just over a week, with other volunteers stepping up to the plate very quickly to help organize and do behind the scenes data entry.  Round one started as a Facebook event, with 170 photos donated by many people in the area, and accumulated bids of $8,500. 100% of proceeds were donated directly into the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation fund set up for mudslide relief in the local Arlington Bank. (link below).

Round two was a  Group based fundraising effort on Facebook for better tracking and control,  a new Group called Art For Oso was set up just for the Fundraiser, and can be found in a link below called Art For Oso Group page.  Many  local Pros such as Aaron Reed in round 1 auction), and Gary Randall, Kevin McNeal, and Darren White (in round 2),  as well as many very talented hobbyists from around the PNW, donated 1-2 prints, (some on metal or canvas, some as prints,)  and we auctioned 146  prints of great quality.  Round 2 ran from APRIL 4 AT 6 PM PST through APRIL 7 at 9 PM PST  and raised over  $13,580 in addition to previous $8,500

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* LINKS:      “Art For Oso”   Group page on Facebook set up for the fundraiser auctions.  Link:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/artforoso/

Art for Oso Facebook page, click on photo to go to group in a new tab

Art for Oso Facebook page, click on photo to go to group in a new tab

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This link is for the youcaring.com website link for the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation emergency fund for Oso, Washington

Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation Fundraiser website.  People will pay directly into this fund, not through this group or administrators.

youcaring.com website link for the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation emergency fund for Oso, Washington

click on the photo for the youcaring.com website link for the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation emergency fund for Oso, Washington

 

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Facebook link for the Photo Album from the Round 2 Auction in Art For Oso

This link is for the Facebook photo album from Round 2, and can still be viewed to give you an idea of how this works.  Bidding however has been closed.

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Below are images snipped from the album of 146 images, for those who are not on Facebook and yet are curious what images are being auctioned!

Click on any image to see it larger.  To see the album itself you need to be on Facebook and click on the links above

Click on any image to see it larger. To see the album itself you need to be on Facebook and click on the links above

Round2_page2-Album

Round2_page3-Album

Round2_page4-Album

Round2_page5-Album

Round2_page6-Album

Round2_page7-Album

Round2_page8-Album

Round2_page9-Album

Round2_page10-Album

Round2_page11-Album

Round2_page12-Album

 
#530slidephotographyauction  #artforoso  #osostrong
 

Thank you,  volunteer staff member Darlisa Black  www.starlisa.net

 

A WILD RIDE! Art For Oso photography auction fundraiser,

Fruit trees burst into bloom in the orchards

Art For Oso photography auction fundraiser

#530slidephotographyauction

We are on round 2 of a Facebook based Photography Auction Fundraiser to benefit the mudslide recovery process in Oso and Darrington, Washington.  This fast growing grassroots event started by Justin Kraemer on Facebook, has grown to a group of over 850 in a few days with other volunteers stepping up to the plate very quickly to help organize and do behind the scenes data entry.  Round one started as a Facebook event, with 170 photos donated by many people in the area, and accumulated bids of $8,500. 100% of proceeds were donated directly into the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation fund set up for mudslide relief in the local Arlington Bank. (link below)

Round two is Group based fundraising effort on Facebook for better tracking and control, called Art For Oso,and can be found in a link below called Art For Oso Group page.  We now have many high end Pro Photographers from the Pacific Northwest that have been donating to both rounds, like Aaron Reed in the first round, and Gary Randall and Kevin McNeal in this round.  and myself of course 😉  and about 140 prints to sell of great quality.

BIDDING STARTS TONIGHT APRIL 4 AT 7 PM PST,  AND RUNS THROUGH MONDAY APRIL 7 UNTIL 9 PM PST

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*LINKS:

This post in the group will give you more information, and is good for sharing on your facebook page to reach out to othersFacebook group "Art For Oso" creating fundraisers for #OsoStrong to help with mudslide relief efforts in Oso and Darrington in the state of Washington~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*Group page Link:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/artforoso/

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*This link is for the youcaring.com website link for the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation emergency fund for Oso, Washington

This link is now set up for donations, and people paying for their winning photos will pay directly into this fund, not even through this group or administrators.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*If you are already IN the Art for Oso group and just want an easy LINK TO THE GROUP PHOTO ALBUM TO GET DOWN TO THE BUSINESS OF BIDDING, just CLICK on this sentence in blue to go directly to photo album full of  Treasures of great beauty!!!  

CLICK TO SEE THE FACEBOOK PHOTO ALBUM!  This is a small number of over 140 images being bidded on in the #artforoso photography auction fundraiser on Facebook.

CLICK TO SEE THE FACEBOOK PHOTO ALBUM! This is a small number of over 140 images being bidded on in the #artforoso photography auction fundraiser on Facebook.

Thank you,  volunteer staff member Darlisa Black  darlisa.may@gmail.com

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~       Below are my two images that I have donated to the Auction with the financial and encouragement help of my friend James Massey of Trout Lake, Washington.  They are posted, with over 130 other amazing images by many amazing photographers,  in this Art For Oso Photography Auction.

 

This image of the Perseid meteor and Milky way was taken in early August, 2013.  Click on the image to see it in the AUCTION album

Perseid Meteor and Milky Way over a very ghostly Locust Grove Church near Wasco,

Perseid Meteor and Milky Way over a very ghostly Locust Grove Church near Wasco, Oregon

You can also see this one of the Meteor and church in my photo galleries in this link

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Or this Aurora image taken June 1, 2013  Click ON the image to see it in the Auction Gallery.  Bidding starts at 7:00 pm PST in the group Art For Oso

Northern Light Bliss over Mount Adams, reflected in Trout Lake, Washington

Northern Light Bliss over Mount Adams, reflected in Trout Lake, Washington

This Aurora image can be seen in my photo galleries on SmugMug by clicking on this link

Thank you all for coming!  maybe we will see you over at Art For Oso this week!

Darlisa Black,     Starlisa Black Photography

Meandering Visions of Joyous Solidarity, and Appreciation for Helpful Hints.

large rainbow seen over the Columbia River from White Salmon, with one end touching the stone outcropping near Hood River called Guardian of the Gorge.

NOW if you just want to skip to the stuff about where is the Art For Oso fundraiser auction and gorgeous photos you can bid on, slide on down the page to the link section.  🙂  I won’t be offended if you skip my ramblings

This has been an incredible grassroots explosion of caring, thanks to the dream of Justin Kramer and his wife.   Along the way they collected volunteers so saw the dream and wanted to help.  We are all learning as we go!  As of April 4,2014,  Photos for the Auction for Oso have been reviewed to be sure they are of printing quality suitable for an Art auction. Getting that balance between quality art and community spirit is a big challenge! I am plum worn out from soothing ruffled feathers and making decisions. (Wednesday night) and then Rejuvenated Thursday watching it all come back together with a Joyful dance as artists met each other and discovered beauty everywhere aimed at helping make life a little bit easier for the folks in Oso and Darrington area. Along the way came many lessons.

Having been an artist of one form or another all my life, I learned long ago to have a thick skin about constructive criticism… but I slip now and then 😉 However there are many people who take it VERY personally… and if you are one of those, submitting in an event like this is not always easy or even wise unless you learn to NOT take it personally. The pointers from the review committees can be extremely valuable learning tools if you listen instead of react. Photographers who have been doing this a long time don’t always have patience for an obviously or even slightly crooked horizon for example, when that can be so easily fixed even with Picasa or Lightroom. Learning to deal with rejection and criticism is something artists and writers have always had to deal with as well… but a writer who is passionate about their dream learns to bite their tongue, stack up those rejection slips and keep on writing, improving as they go. Passionate Photographers grab their cameras and head back out there in the rain and try a different angle and catch a rainbow, or learn something about a program that will help them process photos more effectively to bring out the beauty the camera seldom captures all alone. I don’t get it when someone tells me “but I can’t do what you do”, because I wasn’t able to either, but I kept trying and trying. My Dad used to say “I Can’t is a slugger too lazy to try”. He also said, “Show me someone who never made a mistake and I will show you someone who never did a darn thing!”. DON’T let not knowing stop you! You can weave together a miracle out of moonlight and spider webs, with enough passion and hard work! I studied popular photos on Flickr and other places to train my eye to see what works visually and grabs people’s attention, and I STILL consider myself to be a rank amateur in comparison to some of the amazing photographers out there I admire so much.

Ok, that was my download rant after this remarkable couple days. Never give up. never just get hurt at someones opinion… see if there is something in there that can benefit you and then throw the rest out. Your value does not depend on someone elses opinion, but you might be able to learn something because of that opinion. It is up to each of us how we take such things, what we do with them.

For myself, today made it all worthwhile, watching the coalescence of stars form into galaxies of great beauty that will become treasured Prints upon an appreciative new owner’s wall… even while hope becomes a strand in a rope built of caring and sharing that will become mightier than we even know. A rope that will pull the dreams back out of the mud in Oso and put education back into lives and feed the hard-working souls working to rebuild.
Yes, I am grateful to be here right now. Thank you for sharing it all with me.

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This auction is the second  Facebook fundraiser by Justin in two weeks , all of it for the rebuilding and recovery efforts taking place in Oso and Darrington area of Washington State following a terrifying mudslide that has left way too many homes and lives destroyed.  The first fundraiser, ending less that a week ago, collected $8,500 in bids!   ALL money, 100% of what is gathered, is going into the Cascade Valley Hospital Fund set up in a bank in Arlington, where it all will be going right back into the communities ravaged by the 530 mudslide that buried Oso, Washington.  These links will open  in a new tab

 This link is now set up for donations, and people paying for their winning photos will pay directly into this fund, not even through this group or administrators. 

This link is for the youcaring.com website link for the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation emergency fund for Oso, Washington

This link is for the youcaring.com website link for the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation emergency fund for Oso, Washington

 

ALSO if you are wanting to skip the whole Auction bidding thing, don’t want a picture anyway… you can donate DIRECTLY to that fund via the link just above.  It is all about donating to our Washington neighbors in need! 

#OsoStrong #530slide #530slidephotographyauction

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Bidding at the online Auction on Facebook will begin Friday April 4th @ 7:00 pm PST and will continue for a week.  An incredible collection of images, many from some of the Pacific Northwest stars among photographers, will be available for your bidding pleasure!  Click on either of the following images to see them in the album available, OR:

click on this link to go directly to the group page where you can JOIN the group and be able to bid on the images. 

Facebook group "Art For Oso" creating fundraisers for #OsoStrong to help with mudslide relief efforts in Oso and Darrington in the state of Washington

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If you are already IN the Art for Oso group and just want an easy LINK TO THE GROUP PHOTO ALBUM TO GET DOWN TO THE BUSINESS OF BIDDING, just CLICK on this sentence in blue to go directly to photo album full of  Treasures of great beauty!!!  

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Below are my two images that I have donated to the Auction with the financial and encouragement help of my friend James Massey of Trout Lake, Washington.  They are posted, with over 130 other amazing images by many amazing photographers,  in this Art For Oso Photography Auction.

 

This image of the Perseid meteor and Milky way was taken in early August, 2013.  Click on the image to see it in the AUCTION album

Perseid Meteor and Milky Way over a very ghostly Locust Grove Church near Wasco,

Perseid Meteor and Milky Way over a very ghostly Locust Grove Church near Wasco, Oregon

You can also see this one of the Meteor and church in my photo galleries in this link

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Or this Aurora image taken June 1, 2013  Click ON the image to see it in the Auction Gallery.  Bidding starts at 7:00 pm PST in the group Art For Oso

Northern Light Bliss over Mount Adams, reflected in Trout Lake, Washington

Northern Light Bliss over Mount Adams, reflected in Trout Lake, Washington

This Aurora image can be seen in my photo galleries on SmugMug by clicking on this link

 

Thank you all for coming!  maybe we will see you over at Art For Oso this week!

Darlisa Black

Starlisa Black Photography