Tag Archives: woodinville

The S4 Was A Beast

A while back I posted some shots of a Lancia Delta Integrale.  The Integrale was the road homologous on version of the rally car that came about when the Group B rally cars were closed out.  However, the Group B cars were the really crazy ones.  The S4 was the Lancia that competed in Group B.  It replaced the Lancia 037 and, at Chateau Ste. Michelle, the two were on show together.  Both were road versions for homologous on but they were both beasts.

The S4 was the pinnacle of crazy rally cars.  A huge engine and four wheel drive in what was really not a road car.  They built some to meet the rules and this was one of them.  It was surprisingly nicely finished on the interior given what type of car it was.  However, the way in which the body looked like it was different pieces bolted together made you know this was not a car designed for consumers.  I was designed with a single purpose in mind.  However, it looked like it could eat anything else on the road.  What as absolute monster.

Of All Of These, One Is My Favorite

The Avants event at Chateau Ste. Michelle had some very high end hypercars on display.  A Ferrari Enzo or a La Ferrari might seem like they are the best.  How about a McLaren Senna?  Seems like the best huh?  That might be true but the one next to them was the one I really was taken with.  I am not a big Porsche fan.  I don’t have a problem with Porsches but I have never been taken with them in the way some have.  However, I make an exception for the Carrera GT.  That is a car that seems to be special and the end of an era of car types.  I recall seeing one on the streets in Chicago and being blown away.  Consequently, when I saw this one next to the more recent high end creations, I was really excited.  It is a great looking car and something more traditional in the way it is designed.  It was also super expensive when it was new.  Of course, if you want one now, it is even more expensive!

The Supercar That Kind Of Wasn’t

One of the more interesting vehicles (among a ton of interesting vehicles) at the Avants event in Woodinville was a Jaguar XJ220.  This was something that was developed in the early 90s and was supposed to be a big impact in the super car world.  Intended to get to about 200mph (which it almost did), it was a huge vehicle with a twin turbocharged V6 engine (not the V12 which was originally considered).  It was long, wide and very fast.  It was also very expensive costing something like GBP400k at the time.

Unfortunately for it, the super car market took a bit of a dive at that time with the economy not being great.  Also, McLaren introduced the F1 which was fast and light.  (It also did not seem terribly well because of the same market conditions but did turn a small profit when the racing versions were sold.)  Production of the XJ220 never reached the intended numbers and the unsold vehicles at the end of the line ultimately were sold for some pretty low prices.  It just didn’t really arrive at the right time.

It is a hell of a car to see in person.  It is very big.  The width of the vehicle head on is impressive but the length of it is something else.  It also seems quite unusual compared to more modern cars in that the wheels are a long way in from each end of the car.  The wheels themselves are strange too with quite a small wheel compared to the tire unlike a modern super car with low profile tires.  It’s a shame that it never really had the impact that was intended but it was cool to see one out on display.

Crazy Single Tree – I Think

As we walked through the grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle after the Avants car event, we came across this tree.  As we looked at it we concluded that it was a single tree that was coming out of the ground in various places.  However, we are not arborists so could be completely wrong.  It just looks like it springs from a single source under ground and breaks the surface in various places.  If you know about trees and more specifically this tree, let me know.

Avants at Chateau Ste. Michelle

I was chatting with one of my neighbors and he mentioned a car event coming up at Chateau Ste. Michelle, a local winery.  This event was arranged by Avants and was a selection of exotic and unusual cars on display in the grounds of the winery along with wine and food to enjoy.  Sounded interesting and Nancy was keen to try it out so we got ourselves tickets.  On the day, the weather started out looking pretty bad but, since the event started in the afternoon, we decided to see how things turned out.  As it was, the day became overcast but basically dry so it worked out fine.  I’m not sure whether it actually reduced the number of people there or not but it felt busy but not crowded.

Exotics@RTC will provide a bunch of unusual cars but this had some very special vehicles and was definitely worth going to.  I am going to have some specific posts on some of the vehicles but this is more of a general overview of what we saw.  The cars were spread out across the lawns so were not crowded together.  Also, while there were people around most of the time, the cars were often clear of visitors if you were trying to get a shot – even when it came to some of the most unusual vehicles.

There was wine from the winery to purchase as you walked around (assuming you hadn’t bought the more expensive tickets with packages of wine and food) and you could order food.  However, the food options were not that impressive and didn’t seem to fit with the nature of the event.  That would be my only complaint with the event as a whole.  Whether you wanted race cars, hyper cars, vintage sports cars or even more unusual vehicles from Europe, there was something to see.  Nancy is not a car person but she certainly enjoyed looking at the beautiful styling of some of the vehicles (and the quirky styling of others).

Stalking the Rabbits

We get a lot of rabbits in the back garden.  They are a bit of a nuisance, but our yard is not good enough to justify the effort to do battle with them getting in.  Instead, I accept their presence and consider them a photographic subject instead.  Getting photos of them usually means subdued light.  During the brighter parts of the day, they stay out of the sun and then follow the shadows across the grass as they eat.

I have tried to stalk them to get shots from a lower angle where possible.  They are clearly a twitchy bunch and quite unwilling to hang around while I am moving about unless I stay far enough away.  Therefore, some cautious movements and picking a spot and hoping them come to you is in order.  Here are some more shots of the visitors.

Resting Rabbits Are Visiting

We get a ton of rabbits in our yard.  They happily eat our grass and spread the seeds of weeds amongst our grass.  We figure it is a battle we will lose so why fight it.  Instead, we watch out for them.  Most of the time they are chomping away on the grass.  Occasionally, if it is warm or they are feeling relaxed, we might see them stretch out and take a rest.  Here are some of the resting poses of rabbits.  If we appear, they instantly return to alert status.

Dead Railcar

A short distance from our house is an old railcar that is sitting on spare land gradually decaying.  It has been here as long as we have and I suspect a lot longer than that.  I’m not sure what it is resting on but it does seem to be listing a bit more these days than it was the first time I saw it.  I have driven past it on many occasions and often thought that I should take a picture of it.  I recently happened to be walking along the road rather than driving so figured I should stop and get a shot.  Since it is summer, the plants are grown up around the side of the road so it is a bit harder to get a clear shot of it.  I used the longer lens on the phone and stitched together some shots.  It would be better to shoot this later in the day when the light is nicer but we shall see if I make the effort to go back – and maybe take a better camera?

Hummers on Real Flowers

With the feeders in our backyard, I have been able to shoot plenty of photos and videos of the hummingbirds coming in to feed.  This has been a lot of fun but it has always lacked a little something because of the artificial nature of the environment.  Our recent acquisition of new hanging baskets for the backyard has changed this a bit.  They are plenty of tiny flowers in these baskets and these have appealed to some of the hummers.

Not all of them, though.  The majority still seem to prefer the sugar water in the feeders but some like to work their way around the flowers.  This requires a lot more flexibility from the hummingbird to get in to the flowers but they make it look so simple.  The flowers are only in sun for part of the day so some of the shots I have got have been in shade while others have been better lit.  What matters, though, is that a bird against a flower backdrop has a far more natural feel to it than when they are feeding from one of the artificial food suppliers.

I spent most of the time getting stills of them working around the flowers.  It all looks good when you are watching it but only certain angles make for good photos.  I did get some video too so a little edit of that is included below.

777X Through the Clouds

When planes are on a southerly flow into the Seattle airports, the traffic comes over our house all the time.  The SeaTac traffic is always a bit higher but the Boeing Field traffic can be lower and visible from the window.  If I notice something is coming, I can grab the camera and take some shots of the jets passing overhead.  This includes the 777X test aircraft.  On a clear day, things are pretty straightforward but a bit of cloud can really make for more interesting shots.