Tag Archives: trees

2015 in Review: Mt. Rainier Dreams

Slowly but surely I keep revisiting places of 2015.  Mt. Rainier National Park is a special destination for me and has been since I moved to Washington State over 20 years ago.  A place that always provides much inspiration.  This time around I was heading out to meet up with my good friend Ross (have a look at his work here) visiting from Florida.  Over the years we’ve enjoyed many great photographic excursions, and this was no different.

Due to extreme heat, at least for our area, and lack of adequate precipitation the previous winter and spring, flowers came and went early.  Despite this, the landscape remains glorious.  To get “warmed up” we spent some time in Paradise Valley, enjoying the glowing firs and meadow.  I particularly enjoyed working this scene with the mountain ash berries in the foreground.

Paradise Valley Meadow, Mt. Rainier NP | Washington

Paradise Valley Meadow, Mt. Rainier NP | Washington

One can find various gems throughout the park, some hidden in plain sight, others truly off the beaten path.  Following a good start at Paradise Valley, we spent quite a bit of time photographing Paradise River rapids before seriously focusing on Ruby Falls.  With its many strands of falling water, various rock surfaces and dappled light, this can be a magnificent place to enjoy for a while.

Ruby Falls, Mt. Rainier NP | Washington

Ruby Falls, Mt. Rainier NP | Washington

Feeling quite pleased with the day’s work, we decided to take a quick spin up to Reflection Lakes.  No matter how many times one views the Mountain from here, the landscape is simply glorious.  We had the place to ourselves, and that is a big bonus at this spot.  And we were even treated to stunning sunset light.

Mt. Rainier Sunset | Washington

Mt. Rainier Sunset | Washington

Returning to camp, we stirred up some grub, good drink, and good conversation.  It was a grand time with a great friend in a magnificent location.

 

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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: 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

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)