Tag Archives: Central 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

Basalt Landscape

We were returning from a great few days in Idaho via the Palouse lands, looking for compositions.  I wasn’t optimistic for much photographic work on the return journey due to temperatures hovering around 100F and the sky being completely clear.  If there were gorgeous cumulous or cirrus clouds gracing the sky it would have been a different story.

As we crossed the Columbia River, with about two hours till sunset, it was time to stretch our legs, feed Stan, and just enjoy some views in the cooler temperatures (94F)!  And I wanted to also wait a bit for the sun to get lower so I could have a look at  an ancient basalt landscape I photographed many years earlier on my Pentax 67 film camera.  With no diffusion of the sun from particulates or thin clouds I figured having direct sunlight would be too harsh.

After enjoying our quiet break we piled back into the car and took off to look for this spot.  Memory and time shrink distances and it turned out the place was a bit farther than we remembered.  But there it was and I was happy to see it again. I didn’t know if I would see anything new to photograph but I was just excited to glimpse the place again.  As soon as we found the location I immediately saw it completely differently than years ago.  The composition formed in my mind and I was very pleased.

In the past I saw the huge columns, an impressive 6-8 feet in diameter, and focused on them.  Today was about a more relaxed landscape, giving a glimpse of the surrounding environment.  It was a blessing indeed to see the place in new light.

As the crickets and birds chirped I mounted the camera on the tripod and put on a wide-angle lens and with joy of a kid got to work.  I made three variations of the scene and this one, the last, moved me the most.  I would like to return here again…there is another idea I have but it will depend on the light.  As we left, the sense of quiet joy was overwhelming….

Basalt Landscape | Central Washington

Basalt Landscape | Central Washington