Family History    Wines

Photography       Books

Amazon Bestsellers

Site Contents

Home Page

Book Resources

Family History



Wildlife Photos

Wine Tastings
 - Bottled Poetry

Other Pages

About Us

Contact Us

Privacy Policy


Site Map

Affiliate Sites

Deal of the Day

Powell's Books - Outdoor Gear

Additional Affiliate Programs

Wildlife photography, wine tasting, and great books

TheRagens Newsletter
January 1, 2004

Current Thoughts

It's a New Year with, I expect, all sorts of great things to come within the next twelve months. It's interesting that it has now been exactly one year since we've started writing these periodic notes. As I expected at that time, given that I still need a full-time job, it's a bit challenging to come up with new content that's interesting and relevant every couple of months. So, I guess we'll keep to the calendar of about every other month.

We're really looking forward to see what happens with our grapevines this year as this should be a year of significant growth in the vines. We still don't expect to get any fruit but they will hopefully grow really well. Similarly, it's an election year which will have all of its own growing pains. It's still early but, hopefully, the Democrats will come up with a respectable candidate who can bring the right issues for our country to the forefront and then have a good balanced discussion through the election process. This early, however, too many Democrats are chasing the nomination and it all just seems like background noise.

Note: This page is a little late in being published this month but we will hopefully get back onto a regular schedule.


In This Issue

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


New Wildlife Photos

We haven't had the opportunity to take new pictures but, at least over the holidays, I've had some time to select some photographs from last year that were worthy of adding to the site. Some of the highlights are listed below.

bullet Two Fawns, Waiting
bullet Curious Seal, At Sea

In the next year, we're planning to get up to the San Juans much more frequently and I expect that we will be adding a number of new photographs as I start to build out our virtual gallery.



Our recommendation for this month breaks the mold a little and, instead of books, focuses in on two of the best magazines that I've found on outdoor photography.

Featured Book

Each of these photography magazines provides great information on camera gear, photography tips, digital processing, and other information. Outdoor Photographer (pictured at left) is a US publication; while it certainly includes details and interviews of photographers, it is somewhat more focused on technology and techniques. Outdoor Photography (not pictured) is a UK publication. It feels a bit "softer" in its editorial design. One of its unique features is a series of articles by ordinary photographers that talk about their local sites and how they set up to shoot their favorite locations.

Check out our complete list of interesting Photography magazines.

I just saw that one of the best adventure/climbing/survival books I've read has just made it to the big screen. Touching the Void: The Harrowing First Person Account Of One Man's Miraculous Survival by Joe Simpson is one of those books where you can reread and reread sections of it. This book has won the Boardman Tasker Memorial Prize for climbing literature. You can read all of my rather short review here. If you're interested in this kind of book, check out the other books that I've reviewed on my book review page.


Wine Tasting and Vineyard Updates

Winter. Our vines are in hibernation mode as they get ready to break out into new growth next year. We've had an unusually cold winter in Seattle and I'm hopeful that my first year vines have made it through the coldest parts unscathed. I guess I'll find out more in 3-4 months.

We had our last wine tasting and it was unique. We didn't get any notes from this one (unlike the other tasting parties that we've held) as it was more of a social tasting. Our hosts selected a theme based on the book Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure by Donald and Petie Kladstrup. More specifically, the theme was for each couple to bring a bottle from one of the wineries that was featured in the book. We brought a Vouvray from the Huet family. As we opened and tasted each bottle, we each picked out a paragraph from the book that we thought would be interesting. This was a really unique way to go about this party and I think people really enjoyed it.


Websites Worth Visiting

Nature Photography Directories
 - Photography

This month, I found an interesting new website that acts as a directory of leading nature photography sites.

bullet Nature Photography: Top 100 Sites is an interesting site. Based on the number of incoming clicks, photographer's websites move up (or down) this directory of sites. I think it's an interesting way to promote sites and, generally, most of the top sites are actually pretty interesting. My website has typically been somewhere between #11-25 on the list. I do worry that it's not governed well and is open to some gaming of the system but not much can be done about that.


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!


TheRagens Home Page   Family History   Recommended Book Lists   Wine Tastings and Recommendations   Wildlife Photos   Feedback and
Site Registration


Amazon Logo


by title by author