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

Monday, February 26, 2018

Sunrise Moulton Falls

Another angle of the Lewis River (north fork) at Moulton Falls, taken on the snowier day. This one gives a better idea of how the river moves, swiftly through the small canyon it is carving. The river bend at the footbridge (90 degrees to my left) is a rather sharp S-shape, and a large portion of that S curve is fairly shallow, the river having cut more deeply on one side than the other. This allows for the outer bend to give off a nice glassy, reflective surface. I had a hard time with this shot. I think it comes at you a bit too much, but the canyon is narrow here, and I had to frame it that way to get the sunlight reflection on the tree tops. So it's a bit extreme, I think. But it's got a nice frosty feel to it.  When we get snow, it tends to be a warm, wet snow that clings to branches, with temperatures hovering around 32-33 or even slightly higher. So it wasn't really that cold of a day, even at sunrise. The frostiness is a bit deceptive; unless our temperature dips into the 20s (a rare event) it's always more damp than cold.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Moulton Falls, Version 2

So this is the other Moulton Falls photo, which was taken after our first snowfall. We got several inches, and so I headed out to Moulton Falls mid-morning thinking that the roads would be cleared. The driving was still pretty slow because Lucia Falls Rd. runs along the river so it's damp and shady. And even though the elevation is rising as you drive, for some reason (which I still can't figure out) the snow cover got lighter and lighter. And once I got to the falls there was hardly any snow on the ground! Still, the morning light was really nice. I've tried photographing here in the fall and the morning light is harsh and the fall color not great. This light was really ideal. Soft and clear. I love the glacial blue water on this day, and the softer, more painterly light. I redid the trip after our second snowfall because I heard that the snow was heaviest in this area, and because I didn't like where I had placed the little foreground tree. I thought it intersected awkwardly with the bridge. So when I went back on the snowy day, I moved further to the right (which required that I literally be a tree-hugger to get the composition for the snowier version). Now I'm not sure which composition I prefer. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Moulton Falls

Finally, we got some snow! And just when I was starting to think we weren't going to have a winter this year. I had two local spots I've been waiting to visit in the snow if it ever came. One was the Witch Hazel blooming in the park, but turns out it's done blooming already (it is practically spring here; crocuses blooming, daffodils about to bloom, the forsythia even starting to bloom), so that one was a strike out. The second was the foot bridge at Moulton Falls, which thank goodness was successful (bridges being a good bit more permanent than winter blossoms!). I have a few different versions of it, because we've had several little batches of snowfall this week. This one is the snowiest, and maybe the prettiest. I'll post another version tomorrow. Moulton Falls is northeast of Battle Ground, heading up the back side of Mount St. Helens. Falls is a bit of a stretch, but the river moves swiftly in the winter and spring. This is the north fork of the Lewis River.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Three Arches

Almost sunrise at Netarts Bay on the Oregon coast. In the distance, sunlight hits the top of Three Arches, and just to the left of the rocks my crabbing boat is visible. They were laying crabbing traps while I was photographing.  I wasn't intending to include the boat in my photo; I didn't even see it at the time. There were four different boats laying traps, and one of them was quite close to me, starting and stopping as they dropped the crab traps, and sending an interesting wake my way. That's what I was focusing on when I took this photo. I'm super happy that my boat got included though. Once the traps were set, then we spent the rest of the morning (slack tide time) checking one pot after another, keeping male crabs that were large enough, throwing back female crabs and crabs that were too small. (Small crabs were measured against a guide, and if their shells were wider than the notch in the guide we could keep them). Each licensed crabber can keep 12 crabs, and since I got a weekend license our boat of four could keep up to 48 crabs. We got 45. Not bad for a morning's work!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Netarts Bay

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go crabbing at Netarts Bay near Tillamook. The thing about crabbing is its dependent on the tides, and given the tidal conditions on this day I had to get up at 3:30 in the morning! At least that got us to Netarts before sunrise, so that gave me an opportunity to do a little photography while the traps got set. I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed in the uninspiring sunrise light (for the 3:30am effort!) but at least the water was calm, and it was nice to have some sunny weather on the boat.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Winter Lace

Just before sunrise at Netarts Bay near Tillamook, Oregon.  This was my first time out with my camera since before New Year's, and it felt good to get out.  I'll post more about this trip to Netarts in coming days. Today, I want to write about my dog, Clover.  If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that Clover has been my trusty companion on photo shoots. Well, her health began to fail just after the new year, and sadly we lost her this week.  She passed away peacefully, after twelve really great years with our family, and I'm sure going to miss her! If you don't know Clover, you can see her photo in the right-hand side bar (scroll a bit), and also in my top 10 shots of 2017.

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!