Weekend Adventures

A few recent shots to share with you from last weekend. This first one of the helicopter dipping in the turtle pond is during the recent Memaloose #2 Fire on the Oregon hills along the Columbia River between Mosier and Rowena. The fire was in mop up the last few days which has been a slow process because of the steep terrain and cliffs. Evacuations have all been dropped and the fire was knocked down.

By the way there’s no smoke in the picture because I’m looking south away from the fire.

I started out the morning on top of the world. At least that was the name of the aid station along the route of marathon set up by the Columbia Gorge running club. I had the pleasure of running radio communications at aid station two. My view included a glimpse to the north of Underwood Mountain in Washington state.

The Marathon started here:

On my way up the hill to my station it was misting/raining lately which was so refreshing after a long dry spell. Did not amount to much but it sure felt good. It also provided me with a rainbow. A great start to a beautiful day.

Here comes one of the runners through the aid station.

The end of the 50k

it really was the top of the world, and this is even on the way back down

This next image was taken After the race, Clear across the valley. Looking across the Hood River Valley towards the west and Binn Hill from Fir hill area on the east side of Hood River Valley.

Driving up over the hills and down the valleys to Mosier and upstate road I stopped and took the first photo of the helicopter picking up water. Along the way I stopped to take the photo of the tree because it grabbed my attention.

Here was the view of the backside of Memaloose #2 fire, although this iPhone shot doesn’t capture much. To the far right of the red circle there is smoke and a burned area that has come up over the hill from the north. Fortunately it did not spread much more than this.

After I watch the helicopter I drove back down to the freeway and up to the Dalles and back down to the Lyle rest area where I took a few more photos.

I visited the Klickitat River which is very murky from the glacial run off.

I even found a place to park out of the way somewhere and slept in my car because I knew I was too tired to drive home.

The next morning I stopped and grabbed a couple more shots from the Lyle rest area, happy to see that the fire across the river had calmed down considerably

I chatted with some tourists at the rest area and gave them plenty of information on my way to work at the Mt. Adams Chamber visitor center in White Salmon, Washington. Just doing my job!

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It Takes a Village

Rotary Club of White Salmon-Bingen presents the first annual ‘It Takes A Village’ peace promotion and community awareness event on Tuesday September 11th from 3 – 7 pm at Rheingarten Park in White Salmon. This will be happening in conjunction with the Farmers Market.

We encourage you to bring your business to the Farmers Market for this date, as there will be additional draws bringing in a larger than normal crowd.

Would you like to help represent a country? We are seeking community members from diverse backgrounds to share their cultural foods, games and knowledge.

We are going to be seeking volunteers to help with setting up our tents and tables, as well as taking them down. Please let us know if you can assist.

Please contact one of the event coordinators for more details or to sign up!

Tammy Kaufman – 509-637-3340 / TamaraKaufman@gmail.com

Debi Budnick – DebiBudnick@skylinehospital.org

Tammara Tippel – 509-493-3630 / execdir@mtadamschamber.com

Sleeping Beauty Framed

On a freezing cold and brilliantly blue morning in Trout Lake, Washington.

I sure seem to be thinking about snow and cold a lot this week 🙂 while all around me it’s hot and dry and there are fires. Too many fires.

Loss of Baby Comstock

Help with Baby Comstock Funeral and Family expenses during this time.

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On July 18, 2018, little four month old Finlee Andrew Comstock died unexpectedly and suddenly, leaving his parents Derek and Palace in total shock and grief, with no money for funeral or burial.

Through Generous donations , so far enough money has been raised to cover funeral costs. The donation request continues to help the family deal with lost wages etc. during this time.

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https://www.gofundme.com/derek-and-palace-face-tradegy

Also an account has been setup at a local bank for those of you who do not like GoFundMe because of the fees they take out.

And for locals near Dallesport, WA, the local all volunteer Fire Department will be hosting a Spaghetti Dinner as a fundraiser. Little Finlee’s father Derek is a volunteer Firefighter in the Department in Dallesport. This will be Saturday, August 4, 5-9 PM

At the Dallesport Fire Department, 630 Central Blvd., Dallesport, WA, 98617

Fire Danger Conditions

When conditions are as dry as they are now, fires can be ignited extremely easily, from a surprisingly wide range of sources. Any metal-to-metal friction can create a spark; vehicle exhaust systems (especially the catalytic converters, which must be hot to work properly) can easily ignite dry brush; oily rags can spontaneously ignite; the heat generated by organic decomposition can make compost piles highly combustible; glass or metal objects can focus sunlight to a high enough temperature to burn a wide range of combustibles; and then of course there is human carelessness and irresponsible behavior. It pays to not only be careful, but also be keenly aware of the many things that can ignite fires. And to the extent we can, provide water to lawns, shrubs, and trees, so that they can be more resistant to fires and ignition sources.

Credit to Daniel West

Remember, if you think you see smoke and you’re not sure about it call 911 and tell dispatch.

  • Driving in dry grass
  • Glass bottle in dry grass in the sun
  • Chain hanging from vehicle hitting pavement
  • Oily rags in a hot location
  • Bad spark arrester on your motor.
  • And so much more!

Sunset in Glenwood

On my way back from the woods Wednesday evening, i witnessed this wonderful sunset over Mount Adams, from Glenwood, WA.

Shoreline Community College

Recently I was able to visit my daughter in Seattle, And spend a couple hours wandering around Shoreline community college while she was working. It was a lovely day!

22 degree Halo around the sun
22° halo around the sun

Campus flowers
Bees 🐝 covered the Ceanothus, i managed to catch one with my cell phone!

Bee flying among Ceanothus flowersBee flying among Ceanothus flowers

Bee 🐝 on Ceanothus flowers[/caption]

While I was there i came upon this Memorial day celebration with some local veterans in rememberance of those who lost their lives in service to our country. I was honored to shake their hands and tell them thank you.

Veterans on Memorial Day

There is a pretty fountain sculpture on campus as well.

One more thing that caught my eye, signs around campus showing their policy of acceptance for all.

Leave No Trace

I have come to realize that my heavy tagging on Flickr in early years has brought a lot more people to places I love. This can be good or bad depending on how they behave!

There are now numerous hiking guides and photos on the Internet and detailed maps for most any place you want to explore. People are very influenced by a photo. Many see a picture that shows them exactly where some beautiful spot is, and it goes on their bucket list.

I have seen a huge increase in the number of people coming to my little spot on Trout Lake which was always kind of a local place. I know that I have a lot to do with that because I always tagged everything on Flickr for years, and people tell me that’s why they’re there. There’s good and bad to this, tourism is important to many areas economically but some locations can’t handle the extra traffic, and can actually be damaged.

Spirit falls used to be another local treasure, made popular first by kayakers going over the falls, and now tons of photographers from far away have it on their bucket list. It’s a fragile little location, and a very dangerous unofficial non-trail.

Someone pointed out to me that on the Internet you can find pictures and Maps for all these places, not to mention hiking guides people have written with detailed information. Some of the hiking guides were created with no respect for private property, leading to problems in areas like Spirit Falls on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. The main access getting used down the boulder field was on private property and the owners finally cut off access so a new way in had to be found. Even the parking was on the private land, so burming and landscaping changes by the owners took that away. Now there’s not much more than a wide spot in the road now to park.

There is no real trail to Spirit Falls, just some boot tracks down a very steep dangerous slope. There are rattlesnakes and poison oak and rolling boulders to contend with, and the special little glen that contains spirit falls has a lot of moss that is damaged by heavy traffic.

It is sad to realize that our drive to get out in nature can also lead to the destruction of what we love. It’s one thing if the place has been developed to handle the extra visitors. It’s different if it’s a little known place that mostly just locals know about, and suddenly it gets flooded by people coming to get their picture and leaving again. Hopefully they at least interact with local businesses and help the economy while they’re there! In my opinion that is another responsibility of explorers in new territory. Be considerate of the locals who have in some situations created access to the special spots, and who have in many cases been taking care of them for years.

What I see is that better education about these facts is important. As photographers, I think we have a responsibility to pay attention to where we go and how we walk in fragile locations, as well as how we share locations and interact with new communities. Perhaps some places should be left undefined on social media.

Being responsible can be tricky though, since cell phones tend to automatically record GPS information, and make it so easy to snap a picture and upload it without even thinking. We get so excited to share what we found, but do we take time to consider the effect on fragile locations?

I know some landscape photographers that are switching focus because they are recognizing the impact they are having on those special spots, bringing other people there in droves.

The Internet has opened up the world. There’s no going back. Educating people about treading lightly on the land and respecting local communities and private property need to go hand in hand with the new easy availability of information.

I promote “Leave no Trace” both physical as well as virtual data ie: GPS data embedded in photos on the internet. Most people today take pictures with their phone and upload them to social media, often unaware that the photo includes GPS data automatically unless you tell your phone not to allow location info on photos.

Step back and look at the big picture. Look at the changes in your own life time in the wild zones you might love to visit. Places I went as a child that were wild and fragile have been irrevocably damaged after becoming well known. Our actions in how we share these things can have a lasting impact on the places we love.

Many photographers joke about all the people that come after them and try to use the same tripod holes. I like to encourage people to explore for themselves, find their own special spots, create their own tripod holes, and consider turning off their GPS on Photos. This can be done under settings/ location in most phones and cameras.

Leave no virtual trace to hidden, unique, fragile, and/or undeveloped locations. Once this information is out there on the Internet it can’t be taken back.

I would love any thoughts and discussion on the subject, please do share and comments your thoughts.

Stronger than Cancer part 2

UPDATE 5/10/18:

Last night Erica and her mother were interviewed for KGW Channel 8 by Christine Pitawanich/KGW. The interview was aired on the late evening news.

Meanwhile on another front, our local Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce executive director had emailed her connection with the Seahawks, Mike Flood. Mike replied saying they can’t really send a player out to take Erica to prom, but he is offering some other perks such as some tickets to a game. He is also coming this way later this month for other business and plans to bring Erica some official Seahawks swag.

– Darlisa

News Story from KGW channel 8 aired late evening on 5/09/2018,

following interview with Christine Pitawanich/KGW.

Original story below on the blog post, at this link:

“Stronger than Cancer”

Also Erica and her mom Elsa Spence could really use some financial assistance. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to:

(Make checks out to Elsa Spence. )

“Stronger than Cancer”

Donations For Erica Kuneki

Umpqua Bank

PO Box 67

White Salmon, WA

98672

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

To the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, esp. Earl Thomas the third:

“I Am Erica Kuneki:

I am Stronger than Cancer! I Will Survive!

Will you go to Prom with me on June 2, 2018 at 8:00 PM?

Columbia High School, White Salmon, Washington. Please?”

Erica just turned 18. She also just had a total knee replacement as a result of bone cancer. She is a fighter, and her motto has become “Stronger than Cancer”.

She also has a dream, for a gift of time from the Seahawks. Senior prom is June 2 and she has no date. Can you help us reach out to Earl Thomas and the other Seahawks to see if any of them could help by escorting Erica to her prom?

Also Erica and her mom Elsa Spence could really use some financial assistance. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to

“Stronger than Cancer”

Donations For Erica Kuneki

Umpqua Bank

PO Box 67

White Salmon, WA

98672

The full story of Erica Kuneki and her battle with Cancer is posted on my blog along with a lot more pictures.

https://starlisablackphotography.com/2018/05/08/stronger-than-cancer

Thank you!

Darlisa Black