This is definitely my kind of patterny scene, with those black pots sort of tesselating into the red branches. It had an m.c.escher feel to it. I'm going to update this post tomorrow with some more info. I wrote down the name of this nursery, but can't find the paper right now, so I'm not even sure what kind of trees these are. I'm guessing Sweet Gum, just because there is a young sweet gum right out my kitchen window with just this kind of thin red branches. This nursery is only a mile or so from my house, so I'll drive by it tomorrow, and see if I can find out. All our snow will be melted by then. We've finally warmed up above freezing. Not going to miss that cold weather, but I sure will miss the snow!
This was a lucky find, driving out past Woodland the other day. Too bad it's not closer to home; I think beaver dams are so pretty, and I love all the birch trees in the background. I'll have to stop back here again whenever I'm up this way.
In the Central Valley, when there is a danger of a hard freeze, orange growers will water their orange trees coating them in ice to protect them. It seems counter-intuitive, and yet it works. Well it turns out the same thing is true for the saplings at this reforestation farm along the Lewis River near Woodland, Washington. Fields with trees less than a year old received a heavy dose of ice this week, as did the two year old hemlock field that I photographed here. I guess hemlock saplings are just extra sensitive to the cold. After several years, these little saplings are sold to foresting companies to replant forests after logging. As far as the photography goes, this sure made for a surreal scene! I was imagining it like a forest in the clouds.
OK, I'll admit, I really like the ambiguity of the title. But the thing is, I was really noticing these horse coats yesterday. We have a lot of horse farms just out of town, and I was so interested in all the different colors the horses were wearing. It's not something I've paid attention to before; I'm sure it was the snow that drew my attention to the colorful clothing. I don't know how cold it needs to be for the horses to be decked out in their colorful coats (it is plenty cold here right now though with temps well below freezing all weekend!) I"m curious about this now, so I'm going to start paying more attention to all these horses.
We got snow today! We weren't supposed to, but we did!!! No snow day, which was a little surprising. I don't think they were expecting much accumulation. In our little river valley area I'd say we got four inches, which is a lot around here because they aren't really prepared to treat the roads quickly and it's awfully hilly. Of course I ventured out with my camera, so I'll have a few more days of photos to share. For today though, how do you like them apples?!
Indian Beach in Ecola State Park is a great rocky beach for exploring tide pools. This was the area where we saw the most tide pool life; as I mentioned in an earlier post, most of it was still under water because we came too close to high tide. I liked the ripply beach pattern in the foreground of this photo. The big rock outcropping near the center of the frame is just starting to get full morning sunlight. Along the horizon near the right is Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. I'm not sure how far off the coast it is, but not quite so far as it looks in this photo. My framing really diminished it, but I did like the idea of including it in the image.
Since moving to the West Coast four years ago we have a new holiday tradition, which is to get a Christmas Tree permit from the National Forest Service and find our Christmas tree in harvestable land in the nearby national forest. In California that was Tahoe National Forest. Here it's Gifford Pinchot National Forest. I had been wanting the check out the Lower Lewis River Falls, so we headed deep into road NF-90 and visited the falls before hiking around and finding our tree. Actually the woods were pretty thick around here, so I'm not sure this was our best location. Next year I think we'll try a different spot. But the National Forest is pretty huge so we have plenty of options. The idea behind the Christmas tree harvesting is actually to help the forest grow by thinning out areas where the trees are growing to close together. So an acceptable Christmas tree is growing within ten feet of another tree and has a base that is less than 6 inches in diameter. Plus whatever else you like in a Christmas tree. I like space between the branches so the ornaments can hang freely; this makes a woodland tree a perfect choice for us! And it's such a fun tradition!
One of the things I really wanted to see when we visited haystack rock a few days ago was tidal pool life. And since we showed up just after high tide, we were limited in the tide pools we could explore. Ecola State Park, just down the road from Cannon Beach, has a very rocky beach full of potential tide pool activity. I climbed precariously around on some of the rocks as the tide was slowly moving out. I did manage to find a few anemone hiding deep in the shadowy areas of a few tide pools, but no starfish which I was really hoping to see. This is why I really need to go back during low tide. I keep reading about these wonderful tide pools, and I really want to see them. For today, I've got some barnacles, which were the only tidal area life I found and photographed to my satisfaction.
Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach is an iconic Oregon landmark and tourist destination along the beautiful Oregon coastline. Everyone had the day off school, so we made a short day trip out to Cannon Beach earlier today. Such beautiful weather today too, calm and slightly foggy in the morning. The tide had just started to ebb, and there was a great wavy pattern in the sand which left these interesting tide pool patterns. If we had showed up later in the day, the tide might have been out past the monolithic haystack rock and we could have explored it closer up. Next visit here, I will pick a day when we can show up at low tide. Still, I was very thankful for such a beautiful day along the coast! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone tomorrow!
I'm getting used to seeing this frost each morning. We're in a pretty nice weather pattern right now. Morning starts out cold and clear, blanketed in frost, and the rest of the day is sunny and pretty mild for late November. Nothing like the weather reports I'm seeing on TV for the rest of the country. I wasn't out that early this morning; this is just a patch of ground cover in a parking lot near Anna's school. It was still in the shade around 10am or so, and the frost was softening up but hadn't completely melted yet. It was a contrasty scene, so I figured I'd try it in black and white.
Something is fishy here...I think these brown twining branches and their reflection work together to make a fish shape. And that dark spot in the middle reminds me a little of one of Eric's favorite childhood stories, "Swimmy," by Leo Leonni.
I was surprised to find this purple sidewalk glass earlier today when I was walking in downtown Vancouver. I first encountered it during the Underground Tour in Seattle's Pioneer Square District. In Seattle, the original street level was raised one floor, I believe to correct drainage issues. Anyway, the original ground floor found itself underground. And when the sidewalks were added, they included these purple prism lights, which funneled light down to the basement level understreet. This was all done in the late 1800s. I suppose these sidewalk skylights were installed at about the same time here in Vancouver. I wonder what is under this sidewalk! I think these squares are made with amethyst, but I"m not sure on that. They're awfully pretty in my opinion, and really I think they've held up pretty well.
I'm feeling under the weather this week, and trying to take it easy, but I have this photo from my trip along Historic Highway 30 in Oregon earlier this month. Horse Tail Falls is just one of many waterfalls between Portland and Bonneville Dam on this route. This particular waterfall lands in a round pond at the edge of the road, so the viewing area is surprisingly close to the falls.
I'm always anxious on these driving beaches when the tide comes in because sometimes the water gets awfully close to parked cars. I worry that the drivers won't notice that their cars are about to be under water, and so I have to scan the beach nervously, wondering if the car will drive away safely or be pulled out to sea. The driver always pulls away just about the time I start noticing the car. But this one was different. The tide actually washed up over the wheels before the car lights came on. I breathed a sigh of relief, and then to my surprise the car took off into the ocean and proceeded to drive very fast through the water! I hurried to take a photo, but I wasn't prepared with my camera settings to shoot into the sun like that. Still, the photo gives a pretty good idea of what was going on. A crazy driver for sure! I would NOT recommend doing this!!! When the car emerged and drove past us I noticed that it was a Land Rover. I suppose this could be in one of their commercials or something...but still!