I was watching the forecast last evening on The Weather Channel and they predicted a mix of rain and snow for the upper end of valley so I decided to load up the camera gear this morning following my workout and head up the Middle Fork of the Willamette River to the Salt Creek area.

I had just passed through the town of Oakridge and started up the hill when it began snowing in earnest.  Big, fat fluffy flakes.  I love fresh snow except when it is piling up in my front lawn and triggering big tree branches to come crashing down taking power lines with them.  Not an issue today up on Salt Creek.  It was lovely.

The roads were getting slushy as I drove to the first stop which was a small pond.  I believe it is called Wicopee Pond but anyway it is on the road that is so named.  Dave and Paula and I started one of our photographic odysseys a year or more ago at this same pond and it held nice views then and I think nice ones this morning as well.

The first couple of images below are of the whole pond with the trees adorned with fresh snow.  The 1st image is a panorama (5 portrait shots combined) and the 2nd just a single shot with a wide angle lens.  Just click on any of these images to get a larger view.

Wicopee_pond_panoWicopee_pond_single_HDRI then spent some time just focusing – pun intended – on the cattails that were left over from last year – capped with snow and looking rather ragged.   More snow dropping down on them as I shot.

Cattail_snow_capI moved on and the snow got deeper on the highway but driving was not all that bad.  I found a bridge that crossed Salt Creek and it was just what I was looking for.  The leafless brush was loaded with fresh snow making for a canopy over the stream.  The first shot was a set of 8 exposures combined/stacked into one – thus bringing out the detail in the flow.

Salt_Cr_bridge_stackedI then put on a 10 ND filter just to slow down the flow and try to get that ribbon/silky effect that can be so nice with fast running streams

Salt_Cr_bridgeIt kept snowing and I kept driving until I came to a chain up stop – mostly trucks but a few cars – some with ID written on the side and lights on the top that seemed quite official.  I turned around as I did not have chains and probably would not have put them on if I did.  What a great place to turn around.  Right down the hill from me was a old alluvial debris deposit that now was covered in fresh snow and had teenaged alder growing on it – occupied since the debris flow.  The scene was just what I was looking for.

Stand_snow_HDRI made a quick stop in Oakridge on my way back looking in vain for a watercolor show that a friend of mine has up and after a few stares into windows with no luck I decided to treat myself to a chocolate chip cookie at the Lion Mountain Bakery.  I walked in and was surprised to run into fellow local photographer Tim Giraudier.  We had a very nice chat and hopefully can find some time in the future to spend a day together behind the lens.  His web site is http://www.headwatersphoto.com if you have time to go over for a look.  I am sure you will enjoy it.

T’was a beautiful day in the snow.


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