As The Days Shorten

My goodness here it is 8:18 AM and barely a hint of distant morning light yet outside here in Anchor Point, Alaska. The days are getting shorter so fast now, and the sun barely times the distant trees at noon. There is a gentle misty rain today, and it has warmed up to 37° already.  Here are a few fun details to make you smile on a rainy day. It’s too dark to take these now, I actually took them yesterday when there was a little bit of sunlight. 

Alaska, Brilliant and Serene

Alaska, land of wildness and hardy people. Volcano country with innumerable small quakes so common they are seldom noticed. Skies so big you can get lost in them, with auroras that make you fall over backwards trying to take it all in. 

Deep Creek Beach aurora


Aurora seen from beside the trailer i am staying in for a few weeks


Visiting here on the southern Kenai Peninsula has expanded all the spaces of my soul, and fed my hungry heart.  Air so fresh and crisp my lungs ask for more, and grand vistas that my eyes drink in thirstily. 

Tern Lake Reflections Panorama

Sunset behind Mount Illiamna across Cook Inlet from Happy Valley

Twilight and Mount Douglas, with a pinch of Aurora. Ninilchik, Alaska


Even the wildlife here are grand, and although i have not yet seen bear, i have gotten photos of moose and caribou. Hmmm, i will save those for another post. 

Kasilof Special use area, Sunset Gold on Cook Inlet

Large jellyfish on the beach near Kasilof river mouth.

September frost on autumn leaves

Sunset over Mount Douglas and Cook Inlet


I hope you enjoyed the show!  There will be more in a few days. 

Thanks to all who stop and visit, and i will be making prints available of many of these images!

With love

Darlisa

June Sunset in the Gorge

Recently I was treated to an amazing sunset over the Columbia River Gorge in White Salmon, Washington.  I drove to the top of a hill, met some new friends, and fell in love all over again with clouds and wind in my hair on a hill top as day deepened into twilight.  Do you know that feeling?  If not, find yourself out there somewhere, by a river, on a hilltop, in a desert.  Watch past the sunset, watch for the fading light, the appearance of first planets and stars… and just breathe it all in with Gratitude.

For anyone who misses my more regular posts, I have no internet at home and it has been challenging to get somewhere with everything to post, when I do pop on internet, I have so many things to catch up on I get very little done!

Anyone want to help with that? I have a Tip Jar, a donate button on my wordpress website here, on the right sidebar down aways. Working my way back into the world again slowly, it has been a slow process this year, and have not been able to really work much lately. Things are looking up however! I will be an intern this summer at the museum in Bingen on weekends… you should pop in there and check out the displays, make a small donation to the museum, or even become a member for $20 a year for individuals!

Flooding on the White Salmon River

So much rain, so fast; following a snowfall in the mountains and a pineapple express.  Rivers in the Pacific Northwest are as overwhelmingly full and destructive as the fires of summer this year.  Exacerbated by the erosion caused by the fires, the rivers are full of debri from upriver run off and landslides.

December 9, 2015, I took an afternoon drive up to Trout Lake, with stops in Husum to see the flooded Husum Falls.  Sure enough, with the wild waters and occasional big log, a group of kayaks were running these temporary chocolate milk colored class 5 rapids.

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In Trout Lake, parts of town had flooded as well, although downtown did not get hit with floodwaters as bad as the 1996 floods had caused.  The water level was actually higher this time, but ditches had been improved and there were no piles of snow this time blocking off drainage.

There is a cabin in these photos, home of Perry Stephens.  He said his house is fine so far, although water surrounded it up to the deck level due to a big log jam just above his house that is diverting the flow of the river.

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Last but not least, Here is a rainbow I saw along highway 141 as I traveled up the White Salmon River!

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Chasing Raindrops to Glenwood

oooh boy.. I had fun today, sunday afternoon February 8, 2015; chasing light that turned into raindrops and smelled refreshing. Took off north, caught the storm clouds from our place in White Salmon (Mammatus clouds)

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and stopped in Husum to get some shots of the Husum Falls on the White Salmon River, which were raging with high water; at the 6 ft mark on the measuring stick near the bridge.

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Leaving the river, I saw what looked like a Sasquatch track in the road!

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Continuing north on Highway 141, I turned right in BZ Corners on the BZ-Glenwood highway wandering up the curvy canyon road to the Gilmer flats where the Kreps Ranch lives, and there i saw some wild turkeys.

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From there up the next curvy road, through a marshy area at the lower end of the Glenwood Valley and Camas Prairie,

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Somewhere along the journey I caught a photo of a Ponderosa Pine tree trunk… their bark is very distinct and easy to recognize.  The bark gets so thick that the older trees often survive forest fires because the fire seldom burns all the way through into the cambium layer where the sap runs to keep the tree alive.

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After leveling off again on a new level terrain, I turned left on Laurel Rd and sat for awhile listening to the rain and watching the raindrops hit the flooded marsh.  While here i also discovered how to take movies with my camera!

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Turning right on Kreps Lane, I found some cows, and by then it was getting too dark for more images, so I headed on over to visit some friends and family for awhile before heading home.

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Be sure if you travel to Glenwood to explore the area (including Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge) to take time to visit the one little store in town for a snack or some hot pizza. They have some handy supplies in the store, and the owner of the Glenwood General Store is a kind man who has helped out local schools and community functions a great deal.  They even have an awesome Sasquatch carved statue in front of the store!  By the way, they also carry my photo cards 😉

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Currently the town is starting a tourism group in hopes of encouraging visitors to come explore their amazing beautiful high altitude valley near Mount Adams; part of an attempt at reviving the community that has really struggled to survive.
In fact, I encourage you when visiting ANY area that is small and rural, spend some money locally to help the communities.  You can make a difference helping families to stay in their homes, and businesses staying open!

Autumn in Idaho October 20, 2014

I am home again from a fast trip to Fredonia, Arizona and other points in Utah, and with so many photos I hardly know where to start!  These are just a few from Monday, when the sweet folks we stayed with in Idaho took us for a lovely drive through nearby valleys and canyons.  There are many more, but bed is calling my name now!

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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!

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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.

NEW LINKS ADDED HERE AT THE TOP ARE UPDATES:  

The Other Side of the Story:

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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:

LET’S ALL TAKE A BREATH AND STEP AWAY FROM THE LEDGE

“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

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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

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Moose Death Prompts Crackdown on Wildlife Photographers

Grand Teton incident spurs park to start new ranger patrols

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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.

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ORIGINAL POST BELOW:

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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.”

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From the Oregonian:  

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

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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.”

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

THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE WANTS TO FINE YOU $1,000 FOR TAKING PICTURES IN THE FOREST

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.”

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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.”

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FROM THE FEDERAL REGISTER, THE RULES THEMSELVES:

Proposed Directive for Commercial Filming in Wilderness; Special Uses Administration

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

“Glory Above”
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

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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.”

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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!

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

LINK TO PAGE SET UP FOR COMMENTS:

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO GO TO THE COMMENT PAGE

“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 http://www.regulation.gov 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: reply_lands@fs.fed.us. 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.”

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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.”

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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 

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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!

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