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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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

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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

BREATH OF LIFE

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

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

Tamaracks glow did you know?

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.

Thanks! Starlisa

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