Category Archives: Washington

2015 in Review: Winter Trees

What is it about trees that so many find fascinating, beautiful, powerful, humbling, breathtaking and magical? Throughout human history they have been used for everything, from fuel to hunting tools to subjects of paintings, poetry and of course photography. We seek shelter under them during storms, search out a perfect spot for a picnic, or a place to rest one’s tired back and daydream while listening to the wind whisper its song among the crowns. I love trees, always have. I climbed them as a kid, crashed into one while sledding with my younger brother, was left breathless upon witnessing the enormity of giant sequoias, to hardly being able to comprehend the age of bristlecone pines, many of which were thousands of years old when Jesus walked this earth. In trees I see God’s perfection.

On this particular day in April I was searching for solitude along the Stillaguamish River and I found it here along the river’s shores. I stood among stately cedars, on a forest floor covered with soft mosses, with the Stilly swiftly flowing below me, and I rested my eyes upon this scene of grandeur and perfection.

Winter trees along the Stillaguamish River | Washington

Winter trees along the Stillaguamish River | Washington

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

All is Quiet

It has been cold for a while, as could be expected in the winter in the Pacific Northwest, but we’ve enjoyed plenty of sun in the last several days. But today thick dark clouds rolled in unexpectedly following a crystal clear blue morning and some white flakes began falling – whoa! what’s that?! It came heavier and the flakes began resembling mid-sized flowers. Let’s get out for a walk and see the world turning quiet….

I especially liked these wild rose hips enjoying their snow hats. How was your weather today?

Rose hips and snow | Mill Creek, Washington

Rose hips and snow | Mill Creek, Washington

2015 in Review: Delicate Beauty

In March and April winter can still have quite a grip on our area but hints of delicate beauty begin to appear for the keen observer. I don’t always carry a camera with me, even though many would argue that the iPhone is good enough. We loaded up in the car, and Stan was beside himself loving both car rides and the adventures once we would arrive at our destination.

Just in case, some scaled down gear made it in the bag. It was still early in the season, being March, but little hints of greenery graced the branches of various plants. Heather got to this spot just beside the quietly flowing Mill Creek and began her photographic exploration. At first I didn’t see a whole lot that really grabbed me, but after looking, this salmonberry flower commanded my attention. Stan patiently sniffed some grasses and waited….

Salmonberry Flower, March | Mill Creek, Washington

Salmonberry Flower, March | Mill Creek, Washington

On another occasion, a month later, we returned to the park. By now, spring could be seen in full force and sound. The trees have greened up, as have the grasses and various creeping plants. Songbirds were calling their potential mates and filled the air with music. Mallards quietly maneuvered Mill Creek, hoping for handouts while being eyed by Stan. And the slopes along the trail were covered by gorgeous wild bleeding hearts. And so I enjoyed making some images of these flowers, with this one being one of my favorite compositions.

Bleeding Hearts, April | Mill Creek, Washington

Bleeding Hearts, April | Mill Creek, 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