Category Archives: Reflections

At the Edge of the Sea

It poured all night, large raindrops clanking on the metal roof. It was soothing, at times frustrating when I couldn’t fall asleep. The next day started gloomy but there was a freshness in the air, even Charlie the dog was excited with the new smells in the forest.

We walked the road, poking our heads here and there to check on hidden corners along the water’s edge. A few words were exchanged but we were mostly happy to be there. The place renewed us…if temporarily, but still….

At water's edge, Washington Park, Anacortes | WA

At water’s edge, Washington Park, Anacortes | WA

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2015 in Review: Of Aspens & Wildflowers

Looking back to April, we were headed to a somewhat remote cabin at the end of a canyon in the Lake Chelan region of Washington State. To our surprise things were blooming earlier than usual due to a general lack of winter precipitation and warmer than usual temperatures. I like surprises like that, especially in a new to me area.

As we were getting closer to our destination the sun dipped below the rim of the canyon and the landscape was in deep blue shade, but the opposite rim was lit with warm light, casting some of it onto the landscape below. As we found this young aspen grove I was immediately stopped by the delicate beauty of the boles with glowing spring growth. Note the blueness on the trees from the sky…I got very excited.

Glowing spring aspens, Lake Chelan | Washington

Glowing spring aspens, Lake Chelan | Washington

We arrived at the cabin with plenty of daylight remaining, of course to Stan’s incredible happiness: all the new smells to discover, all the space to romp around in and squirrels.  Did anyone say squirrels?!

The night was fantastic.  Crisp, with some crickets performing a little concert, and even an occasional owl call, all below a gorgeously vast sky sprinkled with an infinite multitude of stars….

There was much to explore over the next couple days, but at a relaxed pace. We walked the trails, listened to the birds, admired the wildflowers, felt the furrowed bark of pine trees, and of course filled our lungs with the sweetness of life. Stan gave a few squirrels a good run and just enjoyed himself to the fullest. Moments like these are unforgettable and will forever be cherished.

I leave you with a composition from our canyon of balsamroot wildflowers blooming among striking sage shrubs.

Balsamroot flowers among sage, Lake Chelan | Washington

Balsamroot flowers among sage, Lake Chelan | Washington

2015 in Review: Snohomish River Alders in Fog

In many ways 2015 was a real tough year. Despite all the hardships there is a lot to be thankful for. From the photo side of things, I’m going to look at 2015 in a series of posts called “2015 in Review”. Instead of a “best of” selection, which for some reason was one of those things I never got into, I’m going to simply go thru my images from the year and one by one choose 10 or 12 or 15 that are significant to me or simply strike my fancy.

This first one, “Snohomish River Alders in Fog” was made on a chilly January day. The thick fog that descended on our neighborhood got me excited and so Stan (our beautiful four-legged family member) and I quickly grabbed some gear, some biscuits, our coats and drove down to a nice little place by the river. I particularly enjoyed these alders, with their catkins, growing just at the edge of the river. The fog was so thick one can barely make out the river just beyond the graphic design of the trees.

Once we had our fill here, we drove a bit further and enjoyed a quiet walk in the fading light, embraced by the fingers of the fog.

Snohomish River Alders in Fog, January | Washington

Snohomish River Alders in Fog, January | Washington

Old Chevy Farm Truck

You just never know what you will find in the Palouse of eastern Washington State.  A farming landscape of beautiful rolling hills, old towns, abandoned homesteads, lone trees, barns just barely standing, and other relics of a bygone era such as this old Chevrolet truck.  Then there is the light…love the light!

Our friends were showing us some of their favorite backroads in the region when we came upon this old beauty.  We all had fun making compositions, each adding their own vision to the scene.  I wondered about its past, back in its prime, before it became old and tired, as its owner put it to use daily around the farm.  I reflected on the days when I was a young kid in Poland helping my uncle on his farm during harvest time.  Often, I miss those days, forever gone….

This image is available as a print in various sizes in my shop, just a click away, here.  Thanks for checking it out!

Old Chevy farm truck, resting in the fields of the Palouse | Washington

Old Chevy farm truck, resting in the fields of the Palouse | Washington

Remembering Utah

With the limited time I’m faced with this season, autumn photography is mostly not happening.  We have had a great and long summer but this seems to have not been helpful to possible fall colors.  Bummed at first, I have turned to memories of great times on the road chasing color.  Included here are three compositions from a trip to Utah.

The first from Mt. Timpanogos Wilderness.  As I recollect:

“After many years since our last trip, we were able to return to Utah and revisit a few favorite locations. Although the colors were not as glorious as during our previous trips, this particular grove caught my attention. The soft sunlight was filtering through the canopy giving the leaves a beautiful glow…and I really liked how the branches appear to be reaching out from the glowing boles. I can still remember the sweet aspen aromas and the crisp autumn mountain air.”

Luminous aspens, Mt. Timpanogos Wilderness | Utah

Luminous aspens, Mt. Timpanogos Wilderness | Utah

The second photo is from the Fish Lake region.  A moment that stands out particularly vividly because as I was making this composition an older gentleman was walking by with his very old dog and we shared some good words.  He did reveal with sadness that this would probably be the last walk with his beloved pup….

“After departing from Capitol Reef National Park, Fish Lake was to be the last location to visit before heading back home. The area was mostly deserted and quiet. Although some color remained on a few of the numerous aspen groves, this leafless grove grabbed my attention. The brilliant white of the boles and electric clear blue sky made me actually think of the approaching winter, but I was pleased that the sun’s warmth could still be felt on this day.

I really like how the aspens on the left are almost mirrored on the right, with those on the right bathed in light but not those on the left….”

Aspen sky, Fish Lake | Utah

Aspen sky, Fish Lake | Utah

The final image was made late in the day in the Mt. Nebo Wilderness.  There was a warmth reflecting onto the landscape from the brilliant pink sunset clouds above.

Mt. Nebo aspen forest, early evening | Utah

Mt. Nebo aspen forest, early evening | Utah

I sure would love to be standing among these trees but since that isn’t possible at this point I will reflect on the time I did walk here and will hope to return someday.

Autumn Memories

Autumn is just around the corner and I’m excited.  I won’t be able to travel to the hot spots for aspens and maples in other states but hope to make a couple excursions to near-by locations.  If I will be blessed with a handful of stunning images I will call it a good season.

What is it about autumn that is so captivating?  So refreshing?  So peaceful?  Is it the gentle drizzle saturating the colors or perhaps the quiet whispers of a breeze among the leaves?  I know that as I walk among the trees and fill my lungs with the sweet aromas I come alive and quietly smile.

A sunburst on a crisp walk in October |Washington, D.C.

A sunburst on a crisp walk in October |Washington, D.C.

Is it a connection to life, the hope of a glorious season before the final chapter?    Perhaps.  I just know that for me, it is breathtakingly intoxicating.  I wish it lasted for months or that time slowed down….

The images illustrating this post bring back fantastic memories of my wife and I walking in Washington, D.C. admiring the trees and of course the stunning architecture and history.

Glorious autumn trees | Washington, D.C.

Glorious autumn trees | Washington, D.C.

I still plan to do a whole writeup on that experience, sometime, someday…maybe this autumn.

Autumn tree reaching for the brilliant blue sky | Washington, D.C.

Autumn tree reaching for the brilliant blue sky | Washington, D.C.

Yes, I’m truly looking forward to this season just around the next bend.  I can already hear the leaves rustling, inviting me to join them, camera in hand….