Painting is just another way of keeping a diary ~Pablo Picasso

Friday, January 5, 2018

Fresh Start

Much as I love the holiday season, I'm always so glad when the new year comes.
I'm not big on resolutions, but I do love the idea of a fresh start...
reassessing, cleaning out, adjusting, and moving forward. 
2018, full of possibilities! 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Year in Review

My 'Top 10' personal favorites for 2017,
plus my usual New Year's blog resolution:
Get out more and take more photos in 2018!

1. Lucky Shot
My favorite of the year because it has so many interesting elements to it, and especially because the heron took flight just as I clicked the shutter release.  I'm not a patient photographer; this was shear luck, and made me very happy!

2. Origami
I obsessed over this old Witch Hazel tree once I stumbled upon it in bloom at a park near my house.  So much so that I bought one of my own (a much newer cultivar) and planted it in my front yard last spring.  I still plan to try to root a branch off this lovely old Japanese variety (Hamamelis japonica). So beautiful that it can bloom in the snow, and I'm currently on watch for when it will start blooming this winter.  

3. Some Snow
One of the beautiful Oregon Oak trees behind my house during our big snow storm last winter. 
I love the fractal patterns in all these branches. Why didn't I use this photo in my 2018 calendar? Maybe I thought it was too abstract? Today I'm really loving it, and I think I'll add it to the short list for 2019.

 4. Creekside
For a babbling brook in Gifford Pinchot, which is a pretty rugged place, this one was especially idyllic. And I love the butterscotchy shade of orange on the trees. 

5. Bandon Sunset 
I like how the light is filtering through the rocks.
Plus this one reminds me of my favorite vacation spot from 2017.
I think Bandon will be an annual trip for us!

6. The Bright Side 
The best shade of moss green I've found.  Electric, almost.


7. On the Horizon
I don't have a lot of opportunity to photograph Mt. Adams, so I was happy to find it in such a pretty vista (and happened to be in search of yellow flowers that day anyway). This was taken close to noon, which is not an ideal time to photograph, and there was a lot of glare, so I used a polarizer. I'm happy overall with how it came out given the harsh lighting I had to work with.

8. Good Girl
My favorite photo of Clover, taken during an early morning hike at Columbia Hills. She paused on a hilltop, just after sunrise, and made that great profile pose. She's so happy to keep me company on photo shoots, and proud to wait patiently as I photograph.  


 9.San Juan Island
 Our other vacation in 2017. I guess I like the composition of this one. And just that it captures the feel of the San Juans so well, from the extra blue light to the lighthouse, to the sailboat and kayaks in the distance. 


10. Field of Dreams
 This slightly windy abstract from Catherine Creek has such a dream like quality to it. And I absolutely love the shade of blue/purple on the Bachelor's Buttons!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Snow

What a great surprise! We actually got some snow over Christmas!
It started snowing Christmas Eve, and turned a bit icy overnight.  
Luckily we were all home safe and sound, and didn't need to be out driving.
Christmas morning Clover and I went for a walk along our usual route.
Here's my favorite view, frosted with an inch of snow.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Winter Palette

Nature never hurries, yet everything is accomplished. ~Lao Tzu
This quote showed up on my herbal tea tag this week and it seemed like a good reminder for me,
as I was rushing around finishing up Christmas gifts.
Today (even though I was hurrying), I finally got all the gifts in the mail!
And one frosty morning earlier this week, we almost had a beautiful sunrise.  
The sky had a little band of pink, nothing fabulous, 
but it reflected nicely in Salmon Creek.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Waterfall Season

It's that time of year when waterfalls start springing up everywhere.
This unnamed waterfall at the edge of Gifford Pinchot drains into Canyon Creek,
and originates south of Merwin, but we were so close to Merwin at this point
 that it doesn't seem possible for all this water to keep pouring over the edge.  
Where is it all coming from? 
Never ceases to amaze me.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Over the River and Through the Woods

Back when I was a kid (before smart phones and video players in the car) we amused ourselves on long car rides in 'old fashioned' ways, like singing old songs that my mom taught us. 'Over the River' could be sung anytime of year, but of course it got special attention on Thanksgiving Day, as we drove to both sets of grandparents' houses to celebrate.

Over the river and through the woods,
To Grandmother's house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh,
Through the white a drifted snow.

Over the river and through the woods,
Oh how the wind does blow! 
It stings the toes and bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the woods,
Trot fast my dapple-gray.
Spring over the ground like a hunting hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the woods,
Now Grandfather's face I spy.
Hooray for the fun! Is the turkey done?
Hooray for the pumpkin pie.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Before The Drop

I liked this maple in my neighbor's yard walking Clover the other day, partly because the woods behind it were such a pretty yellow.  But also because just the right amount of branches were showing.  Really the tree was pretty full of leaves still, but I focused in on the trunk and branches.  The next day when I walked by, all the leaves had dropped!  Funny how some trees lose their leaves so slowly and others drop all at once!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Bread and Jam

I happened to stop along Dog Creek Trail on my way down from Mt. Hood a few weeks ago,
and found it a really lovely little trail!  It's just outside of Mt. Hood National Forest, and the trail is maintained by a mountain bike group.  Not too surprising once you start on the trail; I imagine it would be fun to ride on with lots of good hills and turns for mountain bikers. I of course did most of my photography at the creek. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Mountain River

I just watched this really great Oregon Experience on PBS titled "The River They Saw...", featuring the works of late-19th and early-20th Century photographers as a way to show how the Columbia used to look, especially before the dams, but also just before so many people were here.  It was absolutely mesmerizing for a photographer, and I know I will watch it a few more times (at least!) Several of the photographers worked in a style popular back then called 'painterly', and this photo of Trout Creek on a misty early morning sort of lent itself to that style. I admit it's a little weak on reflection, other than that great painterly light on the water!
Nevertheless, linking to Weekend Reflections.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Subtle Sign

It's not the strongest rainbow ever, 
but all signs point to a pot of gold in that old barn.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Good Day

 ...for staying inside and getting things done.
And if you must go out, don't forget your rain boots!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Red Leaf

I've commented in previous posts about the fall Vine Maple color in Gifford Pinchot.  I couldn't help noticing that the leaves deep in the forest were a bright yellow,  while the leaves at the edge of the forest or in clearings turned red.  Of course for every rule, there is an exception, and this red leaf (Big Leaf Maple?) was pretty exceptional in my opinion!  Yellow leaves as far as you could look in any direction, and then this one red show off! Just doing his own thing. A true nonconformist.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

It Was November

It was November,
the month of crimson sunsets,
parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea,
passionate wind-songs in the pines.
-Anne of Green Gables

Linking to Skywatch.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Big Leaf Maple

Big Leaf  Maple leaves hamgimg on
in a little Poplar grove in Gifford Pinchot.
And another bonus image for reference...
my hiking boots (ehem) women's size US10.