Five Beautiful Waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest

Photofocus (old site)

Before I moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2011, I had never seen a waterfall. I suppose you wouldn’t expect to see one in the middle of Brooklyn or Manhattan, where I grew up. So, you could imagine my incredulous amazement when one of my colleagues from my former employer, onOne Software, took me to see my first waterfall. Since then, I’ve had the fortune of visiting many more waterfalls in Oregon and Washington, each offering its own charm and varying degrees of distance and difficulty to get to. So, I’d like to share five beautiful waterfalls that I’ve photographed with the hope that you check them out for yourselves when you find yourself in the area.

#1 – Big Spring Creek Falls – Skamania County, Washington

I’ve only been to Big Spring Creek Falls twice and I fell in love with it the second I saw it. Sure, the…

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Large Crowds Rally Against Terrorism in Paris After Attacks

Tom Brady Breaks NFL Postseason Yardage, Touchdown Records

Northern Cardinal Calls

Derrick Rose sat out Saturday with sore knee. Gulp.


Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau has been careful to manage Derrick Rose’s minutes — in the last 11 games he had played about 30 minutes a night (compare that to 35 for Pau Gasol and 40 for Jimmy Butler). And Saturday was the second night of a back-to-back for the Bulls after falling to Washington on Friday.

Still, this is a little concerning.

Derrick Rose sat out Saturday night’s Bulls win because of soreness in his knee. You know, the reason he missed eight of the Bulls first 13 games (not to mention much of the past two seasons). From Mike Singer of

He didn’t participate in shootaround prior to the Bucks game and will see Bulls team physician Dr. Cole later on Saturday. No MRI is scheduled as of now, but coach Tom Thibodeau said that could change depending on the examination.

“He had a little bit of…

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Two injured in Affton house explosion and fire

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AFFTON, MO (KTVI)-Two people were injured when a house caught fire early Sunday, possibly after some type of explosion. A father and son were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The father was reportedly injured when he went back in to try to save the family dog. There is no word on if he was successful.

According to the Affton Fire Department, the fire broke out around 3:40am on Terri Lynn Drive, but exactly what caused the fire is in question. The garage door was blown off the house. It was discovered some fifty feet away.

Because of the debris at the scene, St. Louis County’s Bomb and Arson Squad was called to the scene to investigate. Their presence does not imply that a crime was committed, but that fire crews want to determine the exact cause of the fire.

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The Poitou – The Donkey with Dreadlocks

A look at the Poitou donkey from South West France.

Only thirty years ago, less than thirty of these beautiful and friendly animals were left.

Now, thanks to a conservation programme, it looks as if the dreadlocked donkey is set to stay awhile on Planet Earth.

The beautiful Poitou region of France, three hundred miles south-west of the French capital Paris, has been harboring a secret. Some secrets are dark and deadly: this one, however, is cute and cuddly. The Poitou species of Donkey, as adorable as a donkey can be without being something else entirely, has a remarkable story to tell. As a species it has teetered at the edge of extinction but thanks to some extremely hard work on the part of conservationists, it looks as if its future may be finally assured.

The Poitou comes from the Equus asinus species and is – basically – a donkey with dreadlocks. It looks as if it could have been genetically engineered to satisfy the faddish longings of a billionaire’s daughter but has in fact been living and working in this region of France for hundreds of years. The Poitou was bred exclusively to be used in the breeding of mules (one of the traditional activities of the region) and as such was exported throughout the world in numbers.

It is believed locally that the tradition of mule breeding was introduced in to the region by the Romans, meaning that the Poitou possibly has a lineage of over two thousand years. As the means to producing a mule, it was mated with the Mulassier species of horse to produce about the largest species of mule in Europe. The only other mule near to it in size is the breed from Andalucía.

However, the success story of the Poitou was destined no to last. With the advent of industry and mechanized farming, the call for the Poitou declined and as demand fell, so did the numbers of this amazing looking beast. The species went in to what looked like a terminal decline with many local farmers either selling their herds – fate unknown but use your imagination – or exterminating the animals themselves. The Poitou was, it seemed, history.

Then, in 1977 a survey revealed that there were only twelve stallions (the locals call them baudets) and thirteen mares (likewise, known as anesses) left. If something was not done quickly the Poitou would be no more. Local authorities, keen to retain this unique but vestigial remnant of local history, together with the French National Parks, breeders and scientists, joined together to create a studbook. This would list all known full and part bred examples of the species so that liaisons between stallions and mares could be arranged and – after the donkeys had played their part – the species could be raised almost from the dead.

Thanks to this programme there are now over one hundred Poitous of each gender in their native region alive and well and ready to breed some more. Worldwide there are around a thousand. With resolve and organization the Poitou has shown the rest of the world that highly endangered species can be brought back from the brink. Most prized are the animals with the most distinct dreadlocks – the trademark of the Poitou. The species is gaining popularity because of its highly docile nature. Unlike many species of donkeys, this one is fun loving and is able to form loving relationships with its owners.

True, it is only for the wealthy – each Poitou can cost up to five thousand dollars. And don’t expect to be able to keep one in your back yard, either! The beast can grown up to sixteen hands in height, which is around one and a half meters, making it quite a statuesque example of donkeyness in the donkeyworld!