Frosty morning in Trout Lake

First time in awhile, i actually got up early before sunrise and ran out with my camera! Felt so good, too. ❤️😀❤️Although i sm sure my fingers wete on the edge of frostbite again. 🤪⛄️. Watched the moon setting, and the glorious new day shine on sparkly snow. Light shining into the darkest crevices of the soul cleaning out some winter cobwebs. Life is good!!

Here are a few phone pics for now. I am crossing my fingers that the camera card that suddenly told me i needed to format it will still be able to be downloaded. That moon over Trout Creek was soooo pretty.

Enjoy! Hope your day is full of happy moments of beauty and kindness.

Check out my Photo Galleries link in the blog menu to see some of my best images. I do not have a storefront, but you can contact me directly.


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!

Journey into Heart and Memories

A quick trip (with my brother Boyce and his sweet wife Kathy) to northern Utah for the funeral of a much loved older cousin became for me a journey full of memories from childhood mixed with meeting some amazing and wonderful new people.  I had been told there would be no time to stop for photos, so many of these were taken at full speed going down the road while my brother drove.  We saw some gorgeous fall colors, and I always love the red rock country.  At this point I just have time for a quick check in and wanted to leave you with some visuals from along the way.  More will come after I get home!


Into Idaho:

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and finally UTAH:


AND MOUNT CARMEL, where my mother grew up and saw this view every day!  the first one was driving by on the way down, the second and third were a sunrise climb up the hill behind Aunt Mary’s house.

We got to spend one night at my Aunt Mary’s who somehow got a lot older in the years since I saw her… and she lives in the tiny town of Mount Carmel, Utah, where my Mother grew up on the family farm along the highway.  The old home built by Grandpa Hyrum Stevens, where he and Grandma Mabel May  raised their 11 children.  Mom was the middle of the batch and was a good milker of cows, often borrowing her brothers overalls to ride the horse out to take lunch to her brothers watching the cattle.

The white cone in all three photos is Sugar Knoll, and mom talked about climbing that knob.

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Wind, Sun, and Gratitude


Wind, Sun, and Gratitude

Letting the winds of Life dance around me
like whirling Dervishes,
my roots reach deep into the
earth’s mysteries
and songs,
while my arms,
like branches,
reach with joy into the sun filled
heavens above.

Longing swims the same channels
through my veins
as Gratitude,
connecting the heavens above
and earth below.
Humbly I bow my head
and give thanks
For this day, this gift of life
and memory
and dreams.

~ Darlisa


Lewis River, famous for it green color, was a home every summer in my growing up years.  I can feel the presence of my loved ones in this magical place.

Lewis River, famous for it green color, was a home every summer in my growing up years. I can feel the presence of my loved ones in this magical place.


Breath of life, wash through my body

as I walk besides this sacred stream…

Father and Mother nearby,

I feel them in the smell of the forest,

in the dark of the deep cave…

they are in the water cascading down the mountainside,

in the fish that leap and glide…

their presence warms my heart

I lay upon the freshly wet forest duff..

Their love wraps itself around me like the softest blanket

as I give my tears to the earth…

and send my prayers on wings to the Creator.

Ancient Cedars carry my heart upwards

as the sap rises in the spring, and oh the smell!

Fresh pine gum fills my mouth with the tangy aroma of life,

as I sense my mother’s presence, she

who taught me to chew the delightful gum.

Sounds of the forest catch my attention,

and I remember my dad teaching me to track thru snow…

be alert, always scanning to the front and back

between quick glances at the ground.

A magical place, a sacred space,

not far from home,

yet in another world.

I follow the creek up over waterfalls

and around boulders and logs.

Rich yellow green mosses carpet rocks and soil

in an enticing paradise,

illuminated by spirit, refreshing the soul.

Sacred place,  mystical space….

the burdens of the heart melt deep

into accepting earth,

draining away with my tears into the ground.

Slowly, new life creeps up from the Mother,

infuses the cells of my body with vibrant life energy,

and replaces the pain with joy…

A prayer bursts forth with passion,

Crying to my Father above for release;

a prayer of hope,

a prayer of faith.

As I sit up, reborn from the water of the forest,

I give thanks with all my heart.

The Lord’s Prayer comes to my lips, not as a rote piece,

but full of meaning and life, color and depth…

… each phrase complete

each word from the heart.

I dip my hands into the blessed water

and wash my pain away.

A new life has begun.

~Darlisa~   3/21/05

Mother enjoying her favorite campground where we spent every summer deep in the mountains on the Lewis River ~ Nina Black, born May 18, 1913; died November 7, 2003

Mother enjoying her favorite campground where we spent every summer deep in the mountains on the Lewis River
~ Nina Black, born May 18, 1913; died November 7, 2003

Eternal Cycles

Freezing rain coats every needle on the fir trees one cold January week in 2010

Freezing rain coats every needle on the fir trees one cold January week in 2010

Eternal Cycles

Crystalline beauty
of individually frosted Ponderosa Pine needles,
glistening in the low-lying winter sunlight;
A shimmering halo of pure light evoking a brief flash of thankful joy.

The light that is love divine, pure unadulterated bliss…

At that wondrous moment, life makes sense.
Life and death~ part of the eternal cycle~
and never an ending
without a new beginning.

The morning sun kisses the earth, brings renewal daily.
It is left for us to see the blessings
and take them as our own.
The gift is here, do we have the eyes to see,
the ears to hear?

Descending into the fog once more
I remember the sadness,
but my load is lighter.
Heart brims with thankfulness,
for the memory of joy.

Fog thickens,
lays in wisps and heavy blankets
over the forested hills and tilled fields.
Darkness consumes,
yet a glimpse of the gold edged trees
in the high valley
bring a reminder of better days.

the light will return.
Light… pure love of Creator
for all creation…
and of all life for
it’s maker.
Be at peace.
~Darlisa 12/02/04


Thank you for your visit and likes


On a Roll with the January Sunsets!

Tonight January 4th we had another lovely sunset in the PNW, and again I caught just the tail end going into twilight from White Salmon, Washington.  Here are tonight’s images!  Click on the image to see it bigger on my photo sharing site.  The previous post was another sunset in the Gorge on January 2, 2014.  It is already a good year!


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also regarding my calendars this year… I am out of both Mount Adams and The Gorge, but I still have desk Calendar and Fire Calendars.  You can see more about those and my coffee table books here, just click on the photo below:

Fire Calendar January

Fire Calendar January

Support the Amazing Photographers who Bring you Joy!

It’s a beautiful world…

Sleeping Beauty with Cirrus uncinus clouds

Sleeping Beauty with Cirrus uncinus clouds

Thank you to all the amazing photographers out there on the internet these days who put themselves in challenging and awkward situations to bring you an amazing view of this beautiful world. It has been such a pleasure getting to know and often learn from so many incredible photographers here in the Pacific Northwest and around the world.  People like Rebecca Lynn Latson in Texas who writes articles for National Parks Magazine now, or Gary Randall near Mount Hood, Oregon,  Janice Lorentz  in Portland area,  Patricia Thomas of Clear Vision Photography,  Gregory Pepion in Portland , Don Briggs in Tacoma, Larry Andreasen in Tillamook, to name just a very few of the amazing photographers I know personally.  I would have to fill the whole page if I tried to list everyone!  Maybe someday I will try to make a post with all the photographers I love.

Thank you to those who take time to look and share the beautiful photos so many photographers work very hard to capture. Many of us photographers do have websites and sell our work and the purchase of even a small print or card from these photographers can make the difference in having gas to go get more images, and food to eat on the journey, and money to pay the bills. Some of us find our peace in Nature, and work hard to bring that back to share with you. Some have other jobs, some rely on the income they can earn from this talent and skill that has been developed over time. YOU CAN MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE in the lives of those whose work you admire by remembering to always give them credit when sharing their work on social media sites, and  by purchasing examples of their work. Remember photographers when you are shopping for presents for your loved ones, share the beauty of nature!

here are a few of the products I have created to sell


Trout Lake and Beyond photo book





2014 calendar

I am still working on the calendar for 2014 and watch here for a new link coming soon!  email me if you want on the list for the calendar, it will be similar to the 2013 but with photos from this year. I will also make some without the small images in the day squares.

2013 Calendar



Pacific Northwest photo book #1

Capture book cover


Moods of Mount Adams photo book

Moods of Mount Adams_cover


Recently I have been designing wall clusters of my best images, either in splits like this Maple leaf image, or in clusters of different images creating a theme.  They can be on Metal prints, Thinwrap or canvas, and can cover a large wall area for less money than a single print the same size.

Metal Prints have been the rage this last couple years, with more of my images being purchased on metal than any other medium.  They seem to glow with the light, are waterproof, scratch resistant, hold their color beautifully for years, and can last for generations.  I am hooked and so are many of my customers!



#17  Formal Four Split Autumn Vine Maple leafAutumnMaple FormalFourTriptych


For paper prints alone, you can order many different images in many sizes here by clicking on this image.



Handmade 5″ x 7″ Photo notecards can be purchased locally at Artisan’s Jewelry and Gallery, in White Salmon; and in Heavenly Grounds in Trout Lake; as well as Dickey Farms in Bingen,Washington.  In the summer I can often be found at the Trout Lake Saturday market with my new photo books, calendars, cards and prints.  Here is another link for a PDF brochure about Trout Lake, in Klickitat County, WA.

You can also request an assortment of cards by requesting a theme set such as Columbia Gorge, Mount Adams, Trout Lake and Beyond, Mount Hood, Flowers, Animals and Birds, Lenticular Clouds, Atmospheric Optics, Rainbows,  contact me  via email at

Notecard packs are  6 cards with envelopes for $20  or   10 cards for $30


Thank you!  be sure to go tell your favorite photographers thank you, there are so many of us!  We are all over Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, 500px, Smugmug, Pinterest and many more.  Remember to use share buttons that link back to the original photographer,  and encourage people to click on the photos and give credit to the photographers.  Holidays are coming, remember us for your shopping needs!

Dedication Memorial In Honor of Loving Parents

Nina Black at Lewis River

Our Mother, Nina Black, was born Nina Stevens on May 18, 1913 in Mt. Carmel, Utah; and died of a stroke, peacefully  in the  home of her son Boyce on November 7, 2003 in White Salmon, Washington, seven years after her husband, Claude Elias Black (May 8, 2008- Thanksgiving Day 1996).   Nina took her last breaths holding hands with Boyce and myself  and surrounded by three generations of her descendants singing her favorite hymns to her as she passed through that veil between worlds. Claude had a quick heart attack after a Thanksgiving Dinner with the large family, and passed away on his own bed with his boots still on, just the way he would have liked.  His last breaths went through me as I did CPR and I knew beyond doubt that he was ready to go, I could feel him so strongly.

As a young girl growing up in southern Utah, Nina remembered her first schoolbus was a horse drawn Sleigh in the winter. A trip to Kanab, 20 some miles away, took half a day travel time down the old creek bed, watching out for quicksand areas. Her Mother, Mabel May Stevens, always had flowers on their piano, and many of her 10 brothers and sisters loved to sing and play music.  Their Father, Hyrum Wallace Stevens was a hard working man with a farm, and several cows.  Life was hard but full of love, fresh garden produce and plenty of milk!

Nina grew into a lovely young woman

Nina as a young girl

Nina as a young girl

and she met a handsome young man

Dad on his Mission to North Carolina

Dad on his Mission to North Carolina

Claude was her School Bus Driver for awhile, and the day after Nina Graduated from High School they headed off to St. George to be married in the LDS Temple, Sadly, the car broke down on the way and by the time Claude got it fixed and they made it to St. George the Temple was closed.  Claude had to be at Sheep camp the next day, so they found the Bishop and some witnesses and arranged a civil marriage.  After the summer working at the camp (Mom cooked, Dad was a Sheep herder), they returned to the Temple and got sealed for eternity.

Claude and Nina on their wedding day April 15, 1932

Claude and Nina on their wedding day April 15, 1932

The next 18 years found them moving around following work during the depression, having each child in a different town and in 4 states.  After living in Utah (Dad was a mechanic in Glendale, Utah), California (Orange Orchards), Arizona, and Idaho, (Mechanic and driver on road construction),  The Depression was hard times, often with so very little food for the family.  One time about all they had was a little flour, and they found a 50 pound bag of onions laying by the road.  They had baked onions, fried onions, onion soup, and were grateful.    Claude brought  the family to Washington in 1950 to help his brother Clell Black with a Service Station in Husum, and it became the home they had been searching for.  Raising their teenage kids here was wonderful.  Dad worked at Hunsaker’s and then at Ford Garage in Bingen, and I am told the house was always full of kids.  Mom said she had to count the sleeping bags on the lawn or the living room floor depending on the season to know how many kids she had that day to cook for.  To this day there are many who call Claude and Nina Mom and Dad, kids who stayed with us or came over for meals often, kids with troubled homes that my folks took under their wings.

I was fortunate to be born and raised in White Salmon, and went with Mom and Dad everywhere.

Mother was the teacher in life who most taught me to “Love one Another” by example, by actions. Love of beauty in nature was her legacy, seeing the Divine in others was her trademark. Humor was a joy shared with Mom and Dad… laughter and hugs filled our home. This amazing woman raised 6 children, and always had time for a hug and love… or cookies and homemade rootbeer,  or homemade icecream.

Mom and me....

Mom and me….

Mom and me

Mom and me

Nina and Darlisa at Long Beach

Nina and Darlisa at Long Beach

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Daddy and Me

Daddy and Me.  Can you tell I was Daddy’s Girl?  I followed him everywhere, down cliffs, up waterfalls, and  across rivers in search of fish and rocks; and I followed him into the deep woods hunting deer.

Daddy taught me how to handle a gun properly at a young age, but I never did shoot a deer... when I finally got my first deer in the scope, I  put the rifle down and Dad asked what I was doing... I said "I'm really not hungry, Dad".  He laughed and said "you will be come winter!"

Daddy taught me how to handle a gun properly at a young age, but I never did shoot a deer… when I finally got my first deer in the scope, I put the rifle down and Dad asked what I was doing… I said “I’m really not hungry, Dad”. He laughed and said “you will be come winter!”

I don't remember many times I was at Mosquito Lake in snow, but here is proof it happened!

I don’t remember many times I was at Mosquito Lake in snow, but here is proof it happened!

Summers often found us going to Utah to see Grandma Black (Sarah Elizabeth Cox). These journeys were full of visits to amazing places and red rock parks, places my parents had not been to growing up in Utah.

Summers often found us going to Utah to see Grandma Black (Sarah Elizabeth Cox). These journeys were full of visits to amazing places and red rock parks, places my parents had not been to growing up in Utah.

My wonderful brothers sadly left home for Navy, Army and College by the time I was 4 and my sister had already gotten married, so at times it was like being an only child, but when they were around they spoiled me rotten.

Our Family after I came along

Our Family after I came along

Claude and Nina lost their oldest son Sheldon in a hunting accident…and then had me 1 1/2 years later. My growing up memories were of a happy mother full of love and joy… willing to wade with me in the creek, throw a snowball at age 75, and kiss away all the pains. I have often wondered in recent years how she did it… and then I know.  It was because of her absolute faith in God and in what comes after death. She knew she would see her son again, he was not really gone… and so the pain was less sharp.  Her faith nourished her Husband, and all her Children; Nora, Sheldon, Dennis, Roger, Boyce, and myself.

My brother I haven't met in this life, Sheldon, with my "adopted" brother Jimmy

My brother I haven’t met in this life, Sheldon (on the right)  with my “adopted” brother Jimmy.  Sheldon was killed in a freak hunting accident at age 20 in September 1956 by Jimmy, and as I grew up Jimmy was the other brother in our house… I remember him throwing me up in the air and laughing. Mother always said that she knew if she said one angry word to him about shooting Sheldon that he would have killed himself, so she simply took him in her arms.

I am always amazed at the strength of my parents… Not long before they lost Sheldon, Grandpa Alvin Black died of a heart attack in Husum where he had come to help his sons build a home for Clell and Allie.  In the spring after losing Sheldon,  Mom and Dad took their first EVER child free weekend trip to the coast, camping at Copalis Beach in Washington.  That is where I was conceived just when they thought they were nearly done raising children.  Mom was 45 and Dad was 50.  Then, while pregnant with me, Mom’s Mom passed away back in Utah and she made the journey for the funeral.  After all of this, still these amazing people said only kind things and raised me with joy and love.

Roger, Darlisa, Dennis, Boyce

Roger, Darlisa, Dennis, Boyce

Sister Nora and her son Gregory Jon

Sister Nora and her son Gregory Jon at the Beach with us


Nora and Nina were pregnant at the same time, and David and Darlisa were born exactly 2 months apart

Nora and Nina were pregnant at the same time, and David and Darlisa were born exactly 2 months apart

Mom and my Tippy Dog

Mom and my Tippy Dog

Nina loved this land.   Daily she would point out a lovely hat on Mount Hood or Mount Adams, or some lovely flowers blooming along the roads.  Summers were spent wading in the Lewis River, filling our pockets with rocks while Dad filled his bag with fish.  The smallest or largest moments of beauty around us were pointed out and appreciated.

Claude and Nina at Lower Falls

Claude and Nina at Lower Falls

Dad fishing under Upper Falls on the Lewis River

Dad fishing under Upper Falls on the Lewis River


Up until a week before her 90th birthday, Mom was still sewing patchwork quilts up on her old Singer Treadle sewing machine. Many of those quilts contained memories… as material salvaged from clothing was often used in her quilts.

50th Wedding Anniversary (I think, or 60th?) The Quilt on the wall may have been one of Mom's

50th Wedding Anniversary (I think, or 60th?) The Quilt on the wall may have been one of Mom’s

My friend Debbie, Mom and myself in around 1986

My friend Debbie, Mom and myself in around 1986.  It was during this time that I was a single mother, and Dad became Grandpa Dad to my daughter.

My dad and my daughter

My dad and my daughter


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Frosted Leaves and Mount Adams
Frosted Leaves and Mount Adams.  

Perfect Crystalline Frost on the early morning plants reminds me of my Mother, who taught me to always notice the moments of beauty in all seasons.  In the background on this photo, we see Mt. Adams, one of her favorites… and I see it now as her faith, enduring to the end.

Mother and Father, we love you!!!

Views along the Climber’s Trail on Mount Adams

Mount Adams Hellroaring Trail_0785

One of my favorite places on Earth is up on the South Eastern Alpine slopes of Mount Adams in Bird Creek Meadows.  Part of Tract D, this area was part of the original Mount Adams WIlderness that was returned to the Yakama Nation in 1972 as per original Treaty of 1855.  More information on that story can be found here on the website for the

Yakama Nation Mt. Adams Recreation Area

Also you can find DIRECTIONS to Bird Creek Meadows below in the comments.

Recently I made the hike up the Climber’s Trail from the parking lot for Bird Creek Meadows, about a mile past Mirror Lake.  This is a steep rocky trail, about a Mile up to Hellroaring Viewpoint where it becomes a crossroad where you can continue upwards on the Sunrise Trail to a high altitude camp on the East side of Mount Adams, on Yakama lands (which does require a back country camping permit from the pay station at the parking lot) .   Here are a few scenes from Climber’s Trail:

midday light through the forest can be inspiring and uplifting.


Coming through the woods I startled a Blue Grouse




Along the way in late summer are many brilliant blue  Mountain Bog Gentian wildflowers, mingled among mountain Huckleberries, Corn Lilies, and other plants that turn red, orange and yellow.  Hoverflies and Bees and Butterflies flit about in the meadows.

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Mountain Bog Gentian by Starlisa Black Photography

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Rock formations along the way can be fascinating


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Climbing further up out of the forest, the trail winds along the ridge to the southwest of Hellroaring Meadows and Bench Lake and opens up to increased views of the surrounding  land, and many fascinating tree skeletons that get ever more fanciful as a person hikes up the sunrise trail to treeline.


Mount Adams begins to show her face as the trees become sparse in this higher altitude.


while looking to the Northeast you can see the red rock Little Mount Adams


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in the distance you can see Bench Lake down below Little Mount Adams.

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Looking far below you can see Bench Lake shining like a jewel among trees that looks sadly damaged from the infestation of Pine Bark Beetle or Spruce Bud Worm.  Bench Lake has a 41 site campground and is favored among fishermen and boaters, with a 3 mile loop trail down into Hellroaring Creek from the Lake.

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This is a view on another day from Bench Lake towards Mount Adams


While from the Trail Mount Adams peeks through the trees


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And a DIstant view of Hellroaring Falls pouring down off the Mazama Glacier and a little hidden Tarn (lake)


Soon the trail winds out into the open on a ledge overlooking Mount Adams, the Sunrise Trail, Hellroaring Falls and Meadows, Glaciers, and sometimes herds of Mountain Goats.

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While I was hiking I could hear loud echoing SNAP and rumble of an avalanche or slide , or perhaps a crevasse opening up.  I can see several new cracks and such from this hot weather.

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This Rock formation is called the Castle

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At this Viewpoint you can also choose to take the trail  0.8 miles down through the meadows to connect with the top of a  loop trail through Bird Creek Meadows.  This Loop is just over a mile in total length,  connecting on the bottom end with the #9 Round the Mountain Trail.  Take a left turn to travel back to the Parking Lot.

Here are some scenes along that upper Meadows trail and the Viewpoint Trail

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Not long below this stream, you run into the #9 trail, and it is about 3/4 -1 mile back to the Parking Lot and downhill all the way.  If you want a longer hike, there are several more possibilities, that include Crooked Creek Falls on the 100 trail, or more waterfalls and a lake on Bluff Lake Trail, both of which end at Bird Lake and can be done as another loop.

I hope you enjoyed my presentation, and please take time to check out my links in the sidebar for my books and such… I am working on 2014 Calendars and will be doing some presales on those, so email me at if you are interested in knowing more.  When they are finished, I will post an album showing the pages of the calendars.

I also recently came out with the 3rd edition of my Trout Lake and Beyond Book, 12 x 12 with 4 new pages of this years Aurora photos and others. They would make wonderful Christmas Presents!