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!
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.
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.
BREATH OF LIFE
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.
I love the way these trees turn golden, then drop all their needles very quickly. Also called Western Larch, these are among the rare needle bearing conifers that are deciduous , or completely lose all their needles every fall.
Winter is nipping at our heels already… with nearby mountain passes already white with snow.
I am working on the 2014 calendar, and hope to have that finished soon. At that point I will once again create a page on this website showing all the pages of the calendar, and be able to take orders via email, check, paypal or cash. stay tuned!
Meanwhile check out all the links and information in the sidebar to see my books and image gallery.
This is such a colorful month! Here are some moments from the month so far that I enjoyed tremendously and want to share. There will be more in future pages! Thank you for coming to see, and please send your friends.
If you CLICK on the images, most of them will link you to the corresponding image on my Smugmug storefront. Enjoy!!!
For paper prints alone, you can order many different images in many sizes here by clicking on this image.
For information on any of my photo books, look in the sidebar of this page, and you will find links to albums showing what is in each book. The calendars will be coming along soon also for 2014 and I will be doing presales, so let me know if you are interested. I can take checks, cash, PayPal and debit/credit cards, so begin with an email and I will guide you along.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
Water is the staff of life… without fresh drinking water we would all die fairly quickly and painfully, and yet our world is busily polluting and otherwise destroying water at an alarming rate.
Did you know the large majority of our body mass is water? We come from water in the mother’s womb, and the water leaves us after we die…
Many cultures and religions have prayer ceremonies that revolve around water… often praying as a group over water that everyone drinks in order to obtain the wondrous blessings. I personally believe that prayers put into the water with all your heart will indeed bring blessings to all who drink. Water used this way can also be Medicine. I also believe that as the waters of this earth are entirely connected Globally through oceans, evaporation, rainfall, snow melt, and spring runoff into streams and rivers back to the Ocean. As I put my hand into a cold mountain stream and say a prayer for those I love or for the world at large, that prayer can benefit others far away as they take a drink of water or wade in a stream or even a shower.
I live in a land that seems to have lots of water everywhere… waterfalls, rivers, lakes, and not far away from here the Columbia River runs into the Ocean… we have rain, and snow that melts providing water for the summer..
Nevertheless, I often hear speak of running short on our water supply each summer due to less snow pack and rainfall, more residents, greater drainage and usage. We should have a system pulling irrigation water from the local rivers for all the farms and gardens… but instead we water our lawns and gardens with the good drinking water. One thing that always intrigued me is the fact that we even use good precious drinking water in our toilets to pee into! There is much knowledge out there about Gray water reclaiming, and yet it is not used. The water from showers and laundry can be filtered and channeled into toilets and out into gardens and especially orchards… but it is not done. My deceased husband David Reel did a great deal of design work utilizing gray water reclamation, but we could not actually install all of his ideas at the house we built in Port Townsend back in 1991 because of laws restricting gray water use.
Water… a many faceted subject.. did you ever think of how water, H2O, consists of 2 hydrogen molecules and one Oxygen molecule combined. Certain conditions can split these molecules apart, and they can recombine to form other substances… including part of our own cells. 2 free oxygen molecules combine to make the oxygen we breathe (O2), and later combine with one Carbon molecule within our body to become Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which we breathe out. Trees and many plants absorb CO2, and put off Oxygen that benefit us. The Oxygen combines again with Hydrogen and becomes water once more.
Water… so complex, so necessary to life in its many forms. Spiritually and physically sustaining, water is critical to our health… how do you treat your water?