The Army Corps of Engineers manages the reservoirs in the Willamette River system. For years I served on the Reservoir Management board and we carefully considered how to deal with abundant water years and those that were very dry. Each reservoir is generally operated on what is known as the Rule Curve. This time of year they are pulled down in anticipation of flooding but will start to refill shortly.
I went out to Fern Ridge reservoir last night hoping to find a sunset to photograph. The overcast and cold of the day broke off into clear sky with some clouds hanging over the distant Coast Range mountains. I was able to walk out onto the mudflats and to find an area that served both the sky and the land. After about 40 minutes even god-speak came along and I was delighted.
I waited another 20 minutes and the sun set into the far hills with a grand burst of light. Wandered back across the mud and found my way toward the car and home. Came upon two women headed out and they asked if they had missed the sunset and I assured them they had.
I know it has been a while since I posted anything I thought was very good so hopefully these will make up for that lackluster period. Thanks for looking and as always I sure do welcome your comments.
You may be saying “What is he talking about?? Ain’t happened here!” Probably true as you move across the State and gain and lose elevation. However this morning I went to Hendricks Park and there are signs that Spring will replace the Winter in the next few weeks. Love this park – seems that I can always find something to photograph. Also was delighted to have some energy back and feeling like I was really recovering.
Hendricks Park path lamps in the early morning light
Today is the first time in almost 2 weeks that I have awoken with an appetite – some coffee and dry toast may not sound like much it was a real step forward in healing and getting all this surgery and sickness behind me.
I actually did grocery shopping, went to the Home Show, and worked on an image (below) All of that felt good and I just thought I would share with you and thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I sure needed them at one point.
This morning light image is about 26×9 inches and was taken at the Buena Vista Overlook a couple of weeks ago when I was over there.
After checking into my motel in Burns I opted for finding a new location to shoot. Normally I would have gone out to the Refuge in search of wildlife and have been somewhat successful in the past doing that. However on this trip I went east from Burns down Highway 20. Just out of Burns there is a string straight stretch of highway 15 miles long and at the end are two very gentle curves. Once you navigate the curves you come straight against a very steep mountain pass, Stinkingwater Pass. The next one over is Drinkwater Pass – love it – conjures up wagon trains and settlers.
Chain signs and snow fences were up in anticipation of the coming winter storms but on the afternoon I was there it was very nice but you could see a weather front forming and headed toward the basin. I shot the image below near the top of the pass and about an hour before official sunset. The clouds came in and closed up the scene so I was happy to have found this image. Thanks for looking.
There are mountain communities that fill up with skiers etc. when the snow arrives, such is not the case with the far SE corner of Oregon adjacent to Nevada. While the cook at Fields prepared my breakfast she commented that even in January there were people around – mostly bird hunters but come February things got really empty. For me that meant no dueling tripods at overviews, empty roads (I met one car on the drive from Frenchglen to Fields about 65 miles), stands of aspen devoid of leaves and wonderful untracked views of mountains painted with snow.
I found this stand of Aspens about half-way along the drive south – not a leaf to be seen but pattern and texture seemed to just jump out at me. I drove past it at first and then just stopped in the middle of the highway and backed up to where I could find a place to pull over and park – not that it was all that necessary.
I spent almost an hour photographing this stand and with some serious work I am hoping for an even better composition but I do like this one.
There is a fairly steep pass that takes you over the ridge coming down from the SW foothills of Steens Mountain and at the top I got a wonderful view of the snow draped Pueblo Mountains to the south. In the distance is Nevada – a larger screen view is recommended.
For me this image defines the Empty Season in the Empty Country. Loved this trip and perhaps I will go back when it gets really empty over there. Love to have your comments but if not thanks for looking.
I drove from an overnight stop in Burns down the west side of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge – left early and in time to get to the Buena Vista Overlook about 40 miles south. My hope and intent was to shoot a sunrise over the refuge. It was about 30 degrees with a stiff breeze blowing and I had to wait about 45 minutes for the image below to come on. Morning sun and a coyote chorus. Needless to say I was frozen but charmed and felt very lucky to capture this morning.
This quote just seemed to work for this image: (from a song called When I Go)
And when the sun comes trumpets from his red house in the east
I kept driving south and enjoying the heat in the car and made my way down toward the Pueblo Mountains – stunning winter scene. Many more images to come – you have been warned. I then made my way up the east side of Steens Mountain after a quick stop at Fields for breakfast entertained by a 14 month old Hadley.
Stopped for a visit with John Simpkins at Andrews – such a gracious host and a wonderfully talented artist. Got to see the next step in his current painting and to share a cup of espresso. I feel blessed to call this man my friend.
Many more images to come – just thought I would share the one above and to invite your comments. Click for a larger view.
May we all drink a cup of Kindness as we move into this
New Year and New Decade
One of the fun things I noticed yesterday when driving out to Siuslaw Falls was the shapes of the various species of trees. I love the simple forms of trees and the textures and patterns that present themselves. I tried to form images that were not just razor sharp and perched in a meadow and that effort resulted in the following two rather ‘different’ images. One, a pattern from an ancient oak tree and the other a developed Black and White of 2nd growth fir that was party covered with fog. The B&W image reminds me of some of wonderful work I have seen by print maker friends but I have neither their talent or their eye for composition but I plan to keep trying this year to come up with creative images.
Thanks for looking and as always I welcome your comments.
Two reasons to head out this morning — one; to beat the predicted incoming rain which is supposed to be with us most of the week, and two; to collect a final end of the decade image. I wish all of you a Happy New Year and an Outstanding New Decade.
That said to accomplish the two above I drove thru the wine country south of town and ended up at Siuslaw River Falls. I shot this waterfall a number of years ago (in the current decade!) but it was at a much higher water level and the interesting parts of the drop were mostly blown out. Today seemed to be just right and I got there in time to capture the sunrise thru the trees across the river.
T’was a beautiful morning and I am so grateful to be out there still doing what I love. Thanks for looking and as always I welcome you comments.
Patchy fog filled portions of the Valley this morning. Sometimes those conditions can add interest to images so I gave it a go. I went out to the fields west of town and found a couple of images that I like and thought I would share. Frost and fog and a short walk in the woods then back to the car for some heat and more coffee.