Autumn On a Rainy Day

This time of year is such a delight for photographers, and we bustle about in rain or sun to capture the changing seasons.  For me the smell of rain after a long dry summer filled with wildfires is a glorious treasure.  Watching mushrooms pop up out of the formerly dry ground, and mosses turn brilliant greet, is always a treat.

HemlockPark-Fall_1924

tiny dancing mushroom growing in moss along the Pacific Crest Trail near the Wind River in southern Washington

tiny dancing mushroom growing in moss along the Pacific Crest Trail near the Wind River in southern Washington

Panther Creek Road crosses the mountains between Wind River and Trout Lake

Panther Creek Road crosses the mountains between Wind River and Trout Lake

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No Fall in Orchards yet!

October 25, 2014 there was almost no color in the Hood River Valley Orchards. Guess I should get back out there this weekend and see if it is changing yet!

Hood River Valley orchards October 25, 2014.  No fall color at that time.

Hood River Valley orchards October 25, 2014. No fall color at that time.

Hood River Valley orchards October 25, 2014.  No fall color at that time.

Hood River Valley orchards October 25, 2014. No fall color at that time.

Hood River Valley orchards October 25, 2014.  No fall color at that time.

Hood River Valley orchards October 25, 2014. No fall color at that time.

I Be Lichen Today

I had a lovely day in the rain and forest from Wind River to Trout Lake!  My skin drank up the rain, and my camera wore out some batteries 🙂   I participated in a Lichen walk at Hemlock- Stabler near the Wind River and along a section of the Pacific Crest Trail.  Learned a few things, and had fun.  Then I drove the Panther Creek road to the 60 RD, on past Goose Lake and back to Trout Lake, and on down Highway 141 to White Salmon.  Today I made a huge loop since I started in White Salmon and drove first down Highway 14 to Carson then north to Stabler.
Click on a photo, and then use side arrows to scroll through the set.  The last three, fog on the lake, are taken with my old cell phone since that was all I had left to shoot with.

Rainy Day Beauty

Even in the midst of Rainy days there is beauty…  although at times I just stand there and watch the rain fall, in a bit of a trance.  The gentle or fierce sound of the rain, leaves blowing in the wet wind, the smell of fungi beginning to grow, it all washes over me like a cool bath of nourishment.  At times I can feel my skin drinking in the moisture like a thirsty summer day.

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However soon enough I feel inspired to move, and areas of blue sky return after the passing squall… the light calls my name and a rainbow waits for me somewhere north, so off I go to Husum, Washington.

Arriving in the tiny town known for agriculture and rafting companies, I received a text with the bad news… my cousin’s daughter had unexpectedly passed away in England.  Somewhat shell shocked, I wandered for awhile around my childhood hangouts along the river, in tears but trying to find positive things and beauty to hold me steady so I can send strength to my cousin Camille.

The White Salmon River is now brown with runoff and as light and shadow dance with fall leaves and clouds, and I feel the spiritual cleansing of heart this river always brings to me as it washes away the tears.

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The White Salmon River and Husum falls.

This is when I finally found a rainbow, and I felt it was a sign of hope in the darkness.

All around me the light danced, and plants and rocks glimmered in rain coated jewels. Through a doorway in the darkness I saw a soft and beautiful world

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Getting back in my little freshly repaired old truck, Ruby Red Rattle Rocket, I headed on north to Trout Lake as the light continued to dance on the fall leaves along the way. In a large clearcut along highway 141 the vine maples have been growing and carpeting the ground, and I realized just how many had grown when I saw the color as light burst through the clouds.

Following the light on uphill to Trout Lake, I found more pretty colors around Trout Creek by the bridge in town.

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Sunset was coming on, so next I drove out to the Lake for a refreshing sunset recharge, and This next photo made me think of a bird flying free, or in this case a spirit or soul flying free of this physical restraints.

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Flight of the Soul Trout Lake Sunset

After this the rain came back for awhile, and i went to visit my brother Roger and his wife Connie in their home in Trout Lake.

One last image… a friend just shared this photo with me of a mountain lake near Mount Adams.  How quickly it moves from fall to winter!

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Snow at Bird Lake October 27, 2014 photo by a friend

In Honor of Loved Ones

In Honor of Loved Ones

In Honor of Loved Ones

My heart cries as once again we lose another family member.  Sometimes there are no words left to describe or explain, except it was way too soon to lose this lovely 32 year old daughter of my special first cousin.  Christina Clarke passed away suddenly in England this weekend, of unknown causes.  Her mother Camille (my cousin) flies to England today to help her son in law with all the details.  Camille had just lost her husband in the spring this year, and lost her Mother just last spring. Her father is also gone, a few short years ago.  I do try hard to hold onto understanding and faith, to know that indeed they are in God’s hands and we will see them again, but sometimes my peace and understanding is shattered by the pain.  I love my Cousins so much and many prayers and heartfelt hugs are being sent to all the Bammes Family.

Meadow Rock Rainbow

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”
Dolly Parton

Meadow Rock Rainbow

Meadow Rock Rainbow

Some moments are just meant to be captured.  This rainbow was taken moments after I heard about my cousin Veldon passing away.  If you look close at the upper right end of the primary bow, there are supernumerary bows, or extra layers.  Moments earlier it was pouring down rain.

Sunset is still my favorite color, and rainbow is second.

Mattie Stepanek

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Graveside Services for Veldon Black

Our beloved cousin Veldon passed away last week, and family gathered from far and wide for the funeral in Fredonia, followed by the Interment in Kanab cemetery.

Cousin Veldon Black was buried in style in Kanab, Utah, after a funeral across the border in Fredonia, Arizona where he lived for many years raising his family (son Alan Black and daughter Kayleen Black Robinson ) and loving his grandkids. In fact the young man in this photo is one of Veldon’s grandsons!
He taught school for a long time, and was much loved by his community and family. Fishing was a large part of his life, especially fly fishing, and his dream was to come visit the Gorge again and go fishing with Boyce Black, but time got away from him. Working in the LDS temple in St. George, Utah was a frequent occurrence weekly in recent time, and it was while working there in a very spiritual setting that he slipped out of this life and into the next. I figured that Heavenly Father had taken his hand and pulled him through that veil because he needed help with something on the other side that would help others. That was just the kind of man he was. I forget how many missions he and his sweet wife Ida Lou had been on, at least 2 or 3. Always encouraging and helping others, he also had a marvelous way of making people laugh at life. Humor was a large part of our family, and it continues down the line
our bro Boyce and his wife Kathleen Black gave me the ride to the funeral, and bro Dennis Black and his wife Donetta also came from Iowa for the event. We got to stay with my Aunt Mary Stevens who must be in her mid 90’s now I suppose. Hurray for a wonderful man’s life well celebrated! Hurray for family!

Some of you remember me heading with Boyce to Utah last spring for a funeral also.. another cousin in the Black family line. Dan Bammes, JoAnn Blackburn,Camille Price and Bruce Bammes are more of my cousin network related through my Dad and their Mom. There are so many more! I feel like as we lose our elders it is all the more important to connect with our cousins and help to support one another and love one another.

Hyrum Stevens Homestead

The old homestead built by my Grandfather Hyrum Wallace Stevens in Mount Carmel, Utah is mostly gone now.    Not much left anymore but the old milk house/ grain storage building is still there and very solid, along with many terraced rock walls.  The foundation of the Milk house was a very thick stone wall, built to keep the milk cool in those hot summers of southern Utah.  Later, when I get the photos of the house taken back in the 1930’s from my brother, I will share that as well.   We stopped here briefly on our way to my cousin’s funeral, and got to meet the new owners who have the home to the right now.  Grandpa’s home was on the hill to the left, above  rock walls just out of the first photo.  There are photos below of the homesite as well.

I was so filled with emotion walking around on this land.. thinking of our Mom, Nina Stevens, and how she was raised here as the middle of 11 children.  Her first school bus was a horse drawn sleigh in winter, and wagon in summer.  When the family made a trip to Kanab it took half a day to get there, traveling down the river valley in a buggy or wagon pulled by horses.  They had to watch for some nasty patches of quicksand that could swallow horses and wagons!  Electricity was unheard of and lanterns provided light at night.  Mom took her turn milking cows before school, especially when Grandpa was gone for two years on a mission for the LDS church and Grandma was alone with the kids.  The older boys and girls helped run the farm, milk the cows and take care of the younger children.

So many stories Mom told us or wrote down, I cannot begin to mention them all here, but will try to share some from time to time.

The old homestead built by my Grandfather Hyrum Wallace Stevens in Mount Carmel, Utah.  Sis in law Donetta Black standing in the driveway on October 18, 2014.  Not much left anymore but the old milk house/ grain storage building is still there and very solid, along with many terraced rock walls.

Grandpa Steven’s old home stood here to the left. The old milk house is the only building still standing. Mount Carmel, Utah October 18, 2014.  My sister in law Donetta Black is standing in the driveway.