Tag Archives: oaks

2015 in Review: Autumn Grace

Autumn arrived shortly following the loss of our amazing companion Stan.  Stricken with grief that comes from the departure of a dearly beloved, it was no easy task to get up and go…the fact that autumn is a cherished season meant very little at this time.

With much effort, we gathered ourselves and made it to Mt. Rainier, a place Stan got to visit just a few months earlier.  Despite the season being near its end, earlier than normal, we were blessed with color and light.  We followed a deer path to this wonderful spot.  With not very exciting overcast light I set up my medium format camera and composed…and then the heavens opened and a shaft of light graced the scene in front of me, putting a smile on my face.

Forest and pond in autumn, Mt. Rainier NP | Washington

Forest and pond in autumn, Mt. Rainier NP | Washington

A few weeks later we made a journey to Oregon’s scenic Columbia River Gorge.  We had many tough moments and many filled with joy recollecting memories of the area shared together with Stan.  With the extreme heat and drought of the year, colors were mostly lacking except for a few tiny pockets.  I loved this arrangement of oaks.

Autumn oaks, Rowena region | Oregon

Autumn oaks, Rowena region | Oregon

When most autumn places have become a memory, I took a quick trip to Seattle’s wonderful arboretum, despite the rain, to see about capturing the last of the season.  I was fortunate enough to make a handful of compositions, and particularly was attracted to this collage of leaves saturated from the rain.

Autumn leaves, Seattle arboretum | Washington

Autumn leaves, Seattle arboretum | Washington

 

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Mt. Diablo Oak Landscapes

Many years ago, while still residing in San Diego, I purchased a photo book on California with photography by one of my favorite landscape artists, Carr Clifton.  It is a beautiful volume overall but there were a few images that captivated my imagination and burned themselves into my memory.  They were oaks at Mt. Diablo State Park.

I often thought about this destination but after moving to Washington I got to exploring and turning over the stones in this state and California needed to wait for another day.  That day eventually came, some 20 years later, and we were simply overjoyed to put Mt. Diablo on our destination map.

Arriving early in the morning on a weekday, the place was mostly deserted.  The oaks and rolling hills were everywhere and I felt humbled and very blessed to be witnessing such glorious beauty.  The spring foliage was catching the sunlight and glowing radiantly; I didn’t have to wait long before the inspiration to make compositions overflowed.

Mt. Diablo oak forest glowing in brilliant backlight | Mt. Diablo State Park, CA

Mt. Diablo oak forest glowing in brilliant backlight | Mt. Diablo State Park, CA

Later in the day we secured a nice campground high in the hills, stirred up a good meal, and headed back out to witness more beauty and solitude.  In the evening we were treated to an amazingly brilliant starry sky and sounds of all the local critters, small and large.  We even woke up in the middle of the night to a raccoon rattling around in camp and later looking for something on top of our truck!

It was simply a tremendous couple days in this park, and we only barely scratched the surface.  The place is more glorious than I imagined, and we hope to return again.  For anyone fascinated by trees, this place is truly breathtaking.

Spring oak landscape in afternoon light | Mt. Diablo State Park, CA

Spring oak landscape in afternoon light | Mt. Diablo State Park, CA

As I was reading this morning, God’s words stirred me and I was prompted to write about trees…

“Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.”

Psalm 92:13 (NKJV)