Mount Adams From a different point of view

I was up in the hills west of Mount Adams Tuesday 8/21/2019 and it was cloudy but the mountain was visible. There were interesting textures to the clouds so I stuck around at a fewpoint until sunset. For some foolish reason I didn’t have my camera with me, but I did get a few Photos with my phone.

that rock to the right of the peak in the foreground is the head of sleeping beauty from a different angle.

You can check out my best pictures on Smugmug!

These links opens in a new window or tab.

I found an interesting native legend from old days about Great Spirit and the mountains in this area.

This link opens to a website called Gathering the Stories


Fun in the Sun, a Forest Visit.

Once again I had a chance to head for the hills overnight… here are a few shots from Gifford Pinchot Forest taken May 3-4, 2015.  Enjoy!  Think of this as the installment plan 🙂

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Journey into Paradise

May Day dawned with the decision to head to the hills again for the first time in far too long.
I finally achieved escape velocity after various errands.  A short stop in Trout Lake, a side trip to the Ice caves (with no ice left!!) and then on my way up the 23 road.  Thanks to my niece Kate I was able to stay overnight, which is rare these days.  I spent most of the time at Takhlakh Lake relaxing.  No snow left, and already several  campers.  Camping is free until the end of May, so it is a great time to be there.  No Mosquitoes yet either, thank heavens.   here are a few quick saves while I download a lot of photos… Most of these will get more attention later on, these are mostly all unprocessed, which means dust bunnies are rampant since I need to clean my camera badly!   Thanks for coming by!

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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.

Restriction of Photographic rights in National Forests, yes or no?

As many of you might realize, many of my images are taken on Federal or State lands, in Federal National Scenic Areas, Wildernesses, National Forests, even National Fish Hatcheries.  There has been a vague and loosely enforced law on the books for four years or more now limiting commercial photography within Federal lands.  Now they are planning to make those into Federal Laws.  The question has been just how clearly defined is commercial photography, and is it left up to Rangers in the field to interpret as desired?  Is this Ok if so?  I am updating this as new articles pop up and get shared with me so the links above the Original Post line are all newer.  This certainly got stirred up by media to create a frenzy, but it also brings to light several issues that need clarification.  One thing I am taking out of all this is that Common sense and common respect and courtesy are sadly lacking among too many people on both sides of this (and any) argument.  All visitors to the Forests whether photographers or not “should” be respectful to the land and appreciative of the work involved along the way that created these protected areas we can all enjoy.  Just as we should all be respectful of each other!  sigh… I can dream!


Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, both have beautiful waterfalls

There is a public outcry currently on this subject, Social media is buzzing with outrage at the phrasing of Federal laws about to be enforced.  Some of the interpretation indicates a strong 1st amendment rights violation, and too much power is left up to individual federal enforcers as to how they enforce the laws.   As my friend Pia Johnson pointed out:  “The actual language for photography reads: “Commercial photography is defined as the use of photographic equipment to capture still images on film, digital format, and other similar technologies found on National Forest System lands that: *takes place at a location where members of the public are generally not allowed* or where *additional administrative costs are likely*; or *uses models, sets, or props that are not part of the site’s natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities*. (Emphasis added.)”

On the other side of the coin…  it is always good to see both sides of a debate so big… it is never just one side that has good points. Sadly enough there are such a large number of humans that have never learned respect for all life and wilderness etiquette. Photographers among the masses… at times simply because they are so intent on getting the shot they forget basic caution and awareness. The Moose story in the updates illustrates this problem.  May we all learn better awareness!

I am providing a few links for more information on this subject, and sharing a few comments that have been made on Facebook .  These links will open in a new tab on your browser.


The Other Side of the Story:


This Blogpost on WordPress by Gary Hart is a well written post from the point of view of a photographer leading workshops in National Forests and Parks, who has had no issues with the current policies:


“After doing a little research, I’ve confirmed that this is yet one more example of the media whipping the public into a frenzy by selecting a few facts and presenting them in the most sensational way.”

“So. Would I support the kind of heavy-handed National Forest Service regulation that the media accounts imply is coming our way? Absolutely not. And while I don’t think something like that is imminent, I do wish photographers would do a better job of policing themselves, both by managing their own behavior, and by respectfully speaking up when another photographer behaves irresponsibly before we’re all affected by more restrictive policy and stricter enforcement.”

article by Gary Hart


Newer article in the Oregonian, whose articles whipped up the initial frenzy:

Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell backs off wilderness photo restrictions, says he values First Amendment


Moose Death Prompts Crackdown on Wildlife Photographers

Grand Teton incident spurs park to start new ranger patrols


UPDATE:   Forest Service Gutting 1st Amendment? Relax.

But I am not totally convinced, either… and still think that a $1500 permit for a small time local photographer is absurd.  That will put me out of business quick!

Reading this particular definition in the regulations ( quoted from  this article above ) is someone encouraging:

“So, how do the Forest Service regulations currently define “commercial filming” and “still photography”? That is the question that no one is asking. “Commercial filming” is defined as “use of motion picture, videotaping, sound recording, or any other moving image or audio recording equipment on National Forest System lands that involves the advertisement of a product or service, the creation of a product for sale, or the use of models, actors, sets, or props, but not including activities associated with broadcasting breaking news, as defined in FSH 2709.11, chapter 40.” The other key term, “still photography,” is defined as “use of still photographic equipment on National Forest System lands that takes place at a location where members of the public generally are not allowed or where additional administrative costs are likely, or uses models, sets, or props that are not a part of the site’s natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities.”

By their plain language, neither definition would apply to someone who was going in with a regular DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera or iPhone to take wildlife, nature or landscape photos, unless models or props were needed. It also would not apply to any media reporter using still photography – DSLR or iPhone – to simply capture images for editorial purposes.




Statesman Journal: 

Feds want to restrict filming in wilderness areas

a few quotes from the article:

“The U.S. Forest Service has proposed a set of rules that would strictly limit filming and photography in federal wilderness areas by media companies, commercial outfitters, nonprofit groups and even, potentially, members of the general public.”

“The Forest Service proposed directive on commercial filming in Wilderness has been in place for more than 4 years and is a good faith effort to ensure the fullest protection of America’s wild places. To ensure that all members of the public who have an interest in wilderness access have the opportunity to be heard, we are extending the comment period on the proposed directive to Dec. 3, 2014. In the coming weeks the Forest Service will be setting up public meetings to answer questions from the public, including journalists and members of wilderness groups.”


From the Oregonian:  

Forest Service says media needs photography permit in wilderness areas, alarming First Amendment advocates



From Oregon Live (the Oregonian) we have this article:  

7 things you should know about the Forest Service’s media restrictions in wilderness

and quotes from this article:

The U.S. Forest Service is cracking down on press coverage in federal wilderness areas.

As we reported, under rules being finalized, a reporter who shot a video or photo on an iPhone in 36 million acres of wilderness would first need to pay for a special permit.

Permits cost up to $1,500, says Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers, and reporters who don’t get them could face fines up to $1,000.

First Amendment advocates say the rules ignore press freedoms and are so vague they’d allow the Forest Service to grant permits only to favored reporters shooting videos for positive stories.

Our story drew swift outrage from across the country.

“What does the Forest Service plan to do next—monitor Instagram accounts and fine users that post pictures of our wilderness areas?” asked U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat. “I will organize and send the Forest Service a bipartisan letter telling them the current rule is unacceptable and that it needs to be fixed.”


and yeah, don’t believe everything you read in the Esquire, but they do have some good points as well.
In the Esquire:


quote from this article:

This week’s most profoundly wrongheaded display of nonviolent press infringement comes from an unlikely source: The U.S. Forest Service. New rules being finalized in November state that—across this country’s gloriously beautiful, endlessly photogenic, 193 million acres of designated wilderness area administered by the USFS—members of the press who happen upon it will need permits to photograph or shoot video.

And yes, it does sound like one of the dumbest things you’ve ever read.

“It’s pretty clearly unconstitutional,” said Gregg Leslie, legal defense director at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Alexandria, Va. “They would have to show an important need to justify these limits, and they just can’t.”

Wait! It gets better.

[Liz Close, the Forest Service’s acting wilderness director] didn’t cite any real-life examples of why the policy is needed or what problems it’s addressing. She didn’t know whether any media outlets had applied for permits in the last four years.”


Again from the Oregonian:  

Forest Service delaying media wilderness photography rules amid growing outcry about First Amendment

quote from this page:

“Amid growing public outcry, the U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday it will delay finalizing restrictive rules requiring media to get special permits to shoot photos or videos in wilderness areas.

The federal agency will allow public comment for an additional month, until Dec. 3, Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers said, and set up meetings to answer questions from journalists, wilderness groups and the public.

“The Forest Service proposed directive on commercial filming in wilderness has been in place for more than four years and is a good faith effort to ensure the fullest protection of America’s wild places,” Chambers said in a statement.

The delay comes as Oregon legislators, media and First Amendment advocates expressed alarm about the federal plan to require reporters and photographers to pay for a permit and get permission before shooting a photo or video in 36 million acres of federally designated wilderness managed by the Forest Service.”



Proposed Directive for Commercial Filming in Wilderness; Special Uses Administration


"Glory Above" Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Columbia River Gorge,

“Glory Above”
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area


USFS to Charge Photographers for Wilderness Shots

September 25, 2014

Quote from the Outside Magazine article:

“Temporary rules have been been in place since 2010, when the Forest Service denied an Idaho Public Television crew into a wilderness area to film student conservation workers. The reasoning was that the show sold DVDs of its episodes, but when the governor of Idaho stepped in, the Forest Service agreed to allow it. Close told the Oregonian that she didn’t know whether any media outlets had applied for permits in the past four years.

The Forest Service would make exceptions for breaking news that “arises suddenly, evolves quickly, and rapidly ceases to be newsworthy.”

Beyond the media, the rule would apply to anyone who might use the photos or video to make money while in a wilderness area, be it a documentary film crew, nonprofit, or private citizen.”


Any feedback?  More links that seem appropriate?
Gary Randall of Gary Randall Fine Art Photography   has been dealing with all of this for two years after getting fined on this law in the Mount Hood National Forest.  He is the only one I personally know of who has gone through all the permitting processes required to become a licensed workshop teacher and tour guide in the Federal Lands of the Columbia Gorge and the Mount Hood National Forests. It was incredibly time-consuming, frustrating and highly expensive, with one hand in the offices he had to work with not knowing what their other hand was doing.

Another thing I am not totally clear on.. they specify Wilderness area, of which there are several around  southern Washington where I live.  However often wilderness is used interchangeably with National forest, and so that needs to be clarified in my opinion.

And what about  what about the Forest Service running their contest every year for wilderness photos on the Forest passes!?!?!?! contradiction!


There is a way of making comments (Thank you to Rebecca Evans and Sheila Moore Reynolds who provided this info) :



“Comments must be received in writing on or before November 3, 2014 to be assured of consideration.

Submit comments electronically by following the instructions at the federal eRulemaking portal at or submit comments via fax to 703-605-5131 or 703-605-5106. Please identify faxed comments by including “Commercial Filming in Wilderness” on the cover sheet or first page. Comments may also be submitted via mail to Commercial Filming in Wilderness, USDA, Forest Service, Attn: Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers (WWSR), 201 14th Street SW., Mailstop Code: 1124, Washington, DC 20250-1124. Email comments may be sent to: If comments are submitted electronically, duplicate comments should not be sent by mail. Hand-delivered comments will not be accepted and receipt of comments cannot be confirmed. Please restrict comments to issues pertinent to the proposed directive, explain the reasons for any recommended changes, and, where possible, reference the specific section and wording being addressed.
All comments, including names and addresses when provided, will be placed in the record and be made available for public inspection and copying.”


This is an example of a comment from a friend Frank George III :

Landscape photography gives access to wilderness areas that many could never access due to physical limitations. Preventing amateur or professional landscape photographers from photographing, advertising those photographs for sale, or sharing and displaying them would infringe on the elderly, disabled, disabled veterans, the poor who can’t afford a trip from distant locations to those areas represented in the photograph from ever experiencing them. Also the landscape photograph often conveys a point of view from an otherwise untoured location or conveys elements of time that all Americans are not available to see or enjoy. In summary limiting landscape photography or distribution of landscape images would adversely prevent enjoyment every segment of the American public from their public lands on one level or another. Please exclude still motion landscape photography from this policy.”


and for a bit of ironic Comic Relief, a live intro by Utah Phillips that is appropriate!  YouTube video…

Natural Resources Utah Phillips Ani DiFranco 


although from one of the other links it appears that the finalization  has been delayed for comments until December 3, 2014.   Also the comments themselves are not being shown to the Public, and are reportedly being filtered and some parts denied or withheld (sounds like CENSORSHIP to me and many others!

Feel free to comment respectfully, and share this collection of links with others.

Thank you!


LIfe is an everchanging Process

No matter what life throws our way

we can overcome


and even move forward.  

At times the moments can be full of shadows

and hurt, 

but go around that next corner

and the LIght returns

to brighten your 


What we do with that light

is up to each of us.

We can hide it in our proverbial closets

and try to keep it all for ourselves…. 

but it slips away. 

We can shine the light out from 

our hearts

for others to find their way, 

and it returns 


Our choice.  Move

Forward into that LIght!  Let it fill the hearts of others

so that they may shine for you 

in dark times.

Together, spirits shining, move 

Forward into that Light, 


Give Thanks.

     ~darlisa black August 16, 2014

Road to Mount Rainer

Road to Mount Rainer

Waterfall: Which one do you like best?

I would love your feedback on the waterfalls… something I have not practiced as much as clouds 🙂  Your preference and why, and any tips you would like to share.

One is shot with a 1.3 sec,  shutter speed at f22 and processed softly, the second one is shot with shutter speed of 1/5 at f11 and processed with stronger contrasts.

shot at f22, 1.3 seconds at ISO 100

shot at f22, 1.3 seconds at ISO 100

shot at f11, 1/5 seconds at ISO 100

shot at f11, 1/5 seconds at ISO 100

Life on the Lewis River, Memories of Youth

Lower Falls on the Lewis River

Lower Falls on the Lewis River


Lower Falls on the Lewis River is a place full of happy childhood memories.  Where as most people who go there are most familiar with this viewpoint and the nearby campground, I remember a time this campground was brand new and small, and very few people came this way.  90 road did not go all the way through back then, and upriver aways there was another campground that is now inaccessible by car. The old Sheep Bridge Camp was our family hangout.  Mom was fond of saying that I camped there even BEFORE I was born.  To get to this falls we would have to climb and wade downriver on the other side, and it could only really be done safely in lower water times.   As an adolescent I was already wading across this river in many places, with a walking stick bracing me against the rugged current, and water up to my chest.  I proudly followed my Daddy everywhere, even places Mom did not go herself.  Of course my Mom was 45 when I was born, and now that I am dealing with arthritis myself I understand better why she did not rush into the icy water as quickly as I did!  Dad had it made… he just wore his chest waders.

Happy days, peaceful nights… sometimes we would camp for a couple of weeks at a time up in this paradise.  More often we hiked upriver to the Middle Falls, or across the old Sheep Bridge (before the ends were pulled off for supposed safety considerations), up the trail to the Lewis River trail to the Upper Falls. When the 90 road started getting built on through to connect the Lower Falls with the 23 road to make a big loop, it tore up this gorgeous deep forest trail, so we walked up the road part way and then down the hill through the trees to Lower Falls.  One time several of us found our way through the woods above the Upper Falls and discovered yet another waterfall which we simply dubbed the “Upper Upper Falls”.  We used a rope to climb down to the river to fish.  Dad and I wandered downriver to stand in the middle of the river leaning on the huge rock that has been at the top of Upper Falls for many years, where we could look over this lovely waterfall from the top, for the first time.  Things sure looked different from that point of view.

As the years went on, and my brothers and sisters had child after child, the camps grew bigger and bigger, until there would be wonderful times when the campground was full of the Black and Kyte families, and kids with bikes made trails through the woods and campground.  I miss those days so much… when our home was on the Lewis.

this was our wading pool and swimming hole when the water was higher.  We got water here for the campsite.  The green is heavily influenced by a smooth green shale on the river bottom.

this was our wading pool and swimming hole when the water was higher. We got water here for the campsite. The green is heavily influenced by a smooth green shale on the river bottom.

My brother Boyce fishing near the camp

My brother Boyce fishing near the camp

I love the emerald waters.

I love the emerald waters.

Lower Falls near the top

Lower Falls near the top


on a hike in return visit, I and my dog Rio sat on this rock in the middle of the river and played my flute.

on a hike in return visit, I and my dog Rio sat on this rock in the middle of the river and played my flute.

Lower Falls on the Lewis River  at Dusk, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington state

Lower Falls on the Lewis River at Dusk, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington state