Morning Light

The finest hour that I have seen is the one that comes between

The edge of night and the break of day

It’s when the darkness rolls away” Nancy Griffith

From yesterday morning near the top of Gillespie Butte here in Eugene. Certainly was a nice way to start the day.

Waiting for Autumn

With these last days of Summer one can almost hear the increasing heart rate of landscape photographers in anticipation of the coming of Color Season. I went out this morning to a couple of my favorite local spots just to check on how things were progressing what with the ongoing drought we have. Lots of dry leaves and not much color yet. I did stop over to an old Horse Chestnut orchard that I have photographed before and found some lovely early morning light peeking thru the tree tops with a bit of haze thrown in. This place may really have great color in the next few weeks and I will be back on some morning. Pray for rain.

ATAR

Another Tree, Another Rock and in my case AW – Another Waterfall. My friend John once humorously said that it was not possible for me to drive past a waterfall and not stop to photograph. Probably true.

The ATAR comment came from a few years ago and I think was meant to be rather derogatory toward Landscape photographers – a HO HUM sort of observation. I think we are probably guilty to some extent but I also think that there are images of trees and rocks that are creative and offer a story of how the natural world works and progresses. The image below is from the Owen Rose garden here in Eugene and I believe is not just Another Tree – there is a history contained in those branches and it takes time to sit and look to see it.

I welcome your comments and if you are local perhaps go down for a visit to this tree..

White Branch Solitude

Have to admit that I was pretty down after following the news that permeated much of the airways this past week and while I did not watch all that much what I did left me both angry and sad. My standard remedy for those sorts of conditions is to go to the mountains and that is what I did this morning. Solitude leading to renewal and rejuvenation.

I went up White Branch Creek a tributary to the Mckenzie River planning to re-photograph White Branch Falls which tumbles out of a rock grotto about 3/4 of a mile from a parking area. Easy walk for the most part – that is until you reach the grotto itself and then the path is very steep and muddy. As I went along I came across a fork in the trail which wound its way thru a beautiful old growth stand.

After carefully climbing up the wet trail I got to the base of what I think is a lovely small Cascade waterfall – White Branch Falls. The negative ions where raining down on me and I immediately felt better. (Waterfalls produce negative ions from the water falling onto stone. The water is ionized and sent into the air to be breathed in and absorbed into the cells of the skin. That is why a nice shower helps you to wake up and feel rejuvenated.)

Slip sliding back down the route I noticed a forest pool formed up from the run-out of the waterfall and surrounded by Devil’s club. It is little pools/scenes like this that make being on the west side of the Cascades so special for a landscape photographer.

You can click on any of these images for a larger full screen view and as always I welcome your comments.

Both sides burnt

Went up the South Fork of the McKenzie River this morning. Major fires have burned in the main stem and this fork of the river over the last couple of years. Last year it was the Holiday Farm fire. The main road, Forest Hwy. 19, is closed along the west side of Cougar Reservoir from the dam to the top of the lake. There is an optional route along the east side that connects with Hwy. 19 where is crosses the river. It is a bit longer and is partially gravel and a bit rough in spots. I continued up the river and came across an area in the older burn that was starting to recover – at least some vine maple. The sun was breaking thru the smoke, I think from the current California fires which blanketed the area. It managed to set off the yellow in the vine maple against the burned surroundings.

It was a nice morning to get out of town and experience some cool air but the remains of the fires left me sad and hoping that this summer does not produce more of the same. Click for a larger view and I sure do welcome your comments.

Across the State

In the last couple of weeks I have traveled from one side of the State – Ontario on the way to Jackson, Wyoming – to the other side of the State – Coos Bay – am a bit road weary. I spent last evening in Coos Bay after visiting a show of photographic images by Susan Dimock at the Coos Art Center. Her images are beautiful and they were so beautifully presented. Nice turnout of art lovers as well. I got a chance to visit with both Susan and her husband Steve and that was a treat as I had not seen them in some time.

Following a horrible night in a local motel – loud noises and running, yelling children – I left early with a less than full energy tank and headed out to town. Fog hung in along the slough and I quickly stopped for this shot after only a couple of blocks.

Just north of the town of North Bend there is a Veterans Memorial overlook and I stopped when I saw the full moon breaking thru the cloud layer. This scene did not last long as the moving clouds rolled over the moon in short order.

I welcome you comments and as always you can click on an image to get a larger screen view.

Time in the Tetons

Just returned from a few days with family in Grand Tetons Nation Park and Jackson Hole, Wy. I have to say I will never return to Jackson in summer. Smoke filled the valley and that combined with the heat and masses of visitors just made for a very uncomfortable time save the chance to visit and catch up with relatives and to do a little photography in the morning and evening.

I started the second day of the trip shooting at the Mormon Barn in the park – this site that has been ‘shot to death’ over the years and I am sure will continue to be. So iconic of the the Tetons. There were a number of other photographers lined up to shoot what little sunrise we got and they were mostly focused (pun intended) on placing the barn in front of the silhouette of mountains – standard view. After doing that a while I started looking for another view and found the one below.

The day was spent in the town of Jackson and we hit some really spectacular galleries and fun shops. My favorite photographic gallery in Jackson is the Brookover Gallery displaying some of the best traditionally produced images I have ever seen. (brookovergallery.com) My wonderful sister and brother-in-law purchased for me a copy David’s book The Road which I will treasure. David was in the gallery so my copy is signed and he said it is one of the last four remaining.

The evening was spent at an wetland overlook just outside of Moose Junction and I was fortunate enough to witness a adult and I think a yearling enter the pond and work their thru it. I have an image or two of them that I will post later.

Leaving the moose and the junction behind I headed over to see if a sunset over the Tetons from the old barn mite work and while it is not spectacular it was a nice evening. Darkness settled in as I packed up and headed for my motel.

As always you can click on a image for a larger screen view and I certainly do welcome your comments.

New home

This image will find a new home this afternoon at Sapient Wealth Management here in Eugene. It was printed, matted and framed by Eric and Kristina Rust at Framin Art Works framinartworks.com. They always do such a wonderful job and I highly recommend them for framing any of your art work. Plus they are awfully nice.

The Lavender fields

I got a return message from Pamela at Camille’s Black Dog Lavender Farm near the town of Halsey north of Eugene telling me the lavender were in bloom. This farm is simply idyllic. With morning light, cooler temps (after living in an oven for three days) almost no wind and great color the rows of blooms just made for what I think are beautiful images. The setting for these fields is just wonderful – big old white farmhouse, rustic barns and some metal sculpture in the fields and I could not help but wonder how many painters had taken canvas, brush and paint out there and created images that captured the beauty that was presented this morning.

The images are a bit less than random and I tried to work closer to wide angle.

Love your comments and as always you can click on an image to get a larger screen view.