Some years ago, I used to often ramble along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River, a mere 35 miles east of Seattle. The forest road running along parts of the river is dirt, often packed with brain-jarring potholes, dusty during dry times and slick and muddy during the famous Washington drizzle. I particularly enjoyed being there during stormy weather, when there were few others to be seen. And early and late in the year were times I found the place even more charming.
I looked not just for river scenes but for trees with character. During the winter months when the trees were bare and wet they provided much visual excitement to me. And when they were covered by lichens and mosses, wow, it was like candy.
After a few years of focusing on other destinations, my wife and I recently decided to go back and have a look at one of our favorite stomping grounds. It was actually a sunny day, which would normally not find me out looking for landscape images. But we wanted to get out. Once we got there we were surprised at the volume of vehicles rolling into this river valley. The road was super dusty so there was little point to pull over and get out to enjoy the scenery because we’d be eating dirt. Stan wasn’t too excited either not being able to get out and do some sniffing and exploring of the terrain….
The few years have given enough people time to discover this valley, which is of course great because they can enjoy the beauty but also a disappointment when one is looking for some quiet away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
But we eventually found our little quiet spot along the Taylor River (one of the rivers flowing into the Snoqualmie), through a stand of trees and mossy forest floor. The rapids drowned out any nearby human sounds and we were just pleased with that. And Stan was also able to ramble about without complaint!
I watched the light and the rapids as we enjoyed lunch and eventually made a few exposures. I decided to experiment a bit with various shutter speeds to see which would be most pleasing to my eye. And with no two photos being the same due to the dynamic nature of the rapids, it was a fun experiment that yielded some exciting results. I settled on the image enclosed in this post. The shapes of the rapids captivated me here as well as the play of blue light from the sky and golden/green reflections from trees on the opposite bank being bathed in direct sunlight. And the shutter speed used provided just the right amount of dramatic movement.
Even if there were no photos to show, it was simply peaceful to relax by the river for a while….
Taylor River, a tributary of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River | WA