Redbuds, Blue Jays, and Joy

Spring is such a wondrous time of year. The sap begins to flow again in people as well as trees. Spirits lift, even spring storms become magnificent paintings instead of drudgery. I wake in the morning to the sounds of joyful birds and a smile on my face knowing that greens are returning via new leaves and buds; and colors will once again be painted into the landscape.

See more of my photography at starlisa.smugmug.com

Thank you!

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Onwards and Upwards

One day at a time…. onwards and upwards… and this is a good day full of beauty! If your head is hanging down and you are sitting in a dark room feeling down, step outside in the sun or rain, and take a deeeeeeep breath in, look up and around, study the spring signs popping out all over the place, and remind yourself whatever the problem is, does not have to consume you. You have a choice, you can embrace each little moment of beauty and it can help turn things around for you. I know this to be true from many ups and downs in this life.

Cloud Evolution

I’m sure you figured out by now that I’m fascinated by clouds, and how they change so quickly sometimes. These clouds in Glenwood yesterday had their own unique metamorphosis during the evening hours. I will be posting another series as well in a separate post.

Is it Spring?

While not entirely spring in Trout Lake, down the hill in Husum to White Salmon area flowers are popping. Here the upper valley we still have little spots of snow. However yesterday I woke up to the sound of birds singing loudly, birds I had not been hearing yet this year. That’s a good sign! How is spring progressing in your area?

Here are a few images from yesterday in the lower White Salmon River Valley.

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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Adventures on the Bickleton Highway

I had a sudden and rare opportunity to be gone overnight on May 27,  so I threw my bed in the truck with a cooler and other assorted necessities, grabbed all my camera gear and hit the road going east.  A sweet lady in Glenwood told me how beautiful the road to Bickleton from Goldendale, Washington was this time of year, and suggested  the east county should be in my repertoire (and sweetened the pot with some gas money!) so off I ran in the afternoon that day.  Coming home again by 10:30 pm on the 28th, my cards all full and my batteries all empty, I had around 40 GB of new images to download and process!  Here are a few, and for now I need to get back to some other projects for people, but you will be seeing more from here over time.  Enjoy!

To get to this area, head to Goldendale on Highway 97.  Coming north on 97 from the Columbia Gorge, go to the second main exit for Goldendale and turn left.  Go approximately 1-2 blocks and turn left on a small road with a green sign for Bickleton, right before Amy’s Attic on the left.  Gas up before you leave Goldendale though… it is 35 miles to Bickleton and the next gas station!

This batch of images is all from the 28th after I woke up in my truck off on some little side road.

Along the road I found masses of Lupines in hidden places off side roads

Along the road I found masses of Lupines in hidden places off side roads

As I drove along,  this big thunderhead began to build in the NE sky.

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You know me and my clouds… soon i was really looking around for special things to put under the clouds for photos!

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Coming around the corner suddenly the road drops off the plateau and switchbacks rapidly down into Rock Creek Canyon, crosses the creek, and just as rapidly climbs again back to the next plateau.

Coming around the corner suddenly the road drops off the plateau and switchbacks rapidly down into Rock Creek Canyon, crosses the creek, and just as rapidly climbs again back to the next plateau.

Through the Rock Creek Canyon on Bickleton Highway

Through the Rock Creek Canyon on Bickleton Highway

Eventually I made it to Bickleton itself, immediately after the rain and hail hit town leaving the roads wet and shiny.  I had a wonderful Salmon burger and salad at the Bluebird Inn, and Melba, the owner, was really fun to talk with.  I learned that this place is well known in the area for its Burgers especially… and while I was there a couple had lunch after driving over from Goldendale.  I also learned there is a great photographer who owns the Market and cafe across the street, but sadly for me it was closed on Wednesdays, so I shall have to return here another day!  There is a Carousel museum in town as well, and bluebird houses and bluebird trail maps AND bluebirds everywhere!

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Melba also told me about the lovely old church in town (more images of the outside will come along later), and about a driveway with lovely flowers further up the road.

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There are a good many more untold stories from this one day, and they will have to wait for another post another day, but I just could not wait to share these with you now!   Hope you enjoy as well.  This last image from Wednesday was taken along Dot road, which heads south from the Bickleton Highway out of Cleveland just west of Bickleton.  This is one of about 3 routes a person can take back down to the Columbia River, and it was a lovely drive through the windmill farms and then a drop down through a canyon to a section of Old Highway 8, which then takes you to Highway 14 near Roosevelt, Washington.

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Thank you for your time, and feel free to click on the images… many of the best ones will take you to my gallery page where the prints will be available for purchase, while the stuctural shots of the Bluebird and the church will simply take you to an attachment page on this blog.

I hope you take the time to check out my galleries, the link is also in the sidebar menu near the top.   Come find me on Facebook or Flickr, as well!

Dickey Farms Delight

Along with many other kids in town from my generation, my first summer job was picking beans at Dickey Farms in Bingen, Washington. Hard work, yes, but so rewarding to have a little of our own money for an occasional treat or to help buy our own clothes for school. Now, as a photographer whose notecards are sold by the counter at Dickey’s Farm Store, it can be a joy to be led by the light into the fields when all is quiet on the Farm. This week was one of those days, and I loved every minute of it as light danced through and around the Hot caps, looking like soldiers tents marching across the fields in an orderly fashion.

The images here are linked to my photo galleries, and clicking on most of them will take you to corresponding images in the galleries.

This first image is from a year ago up near the store at the west end of Bingen, right along Highway 14.

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These next couple images are from last November 2013

Road into Mystery

Road into Mystery

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And now we come to this week’s Hot Cap Adventures!   Starting out with a few shots of Dickey’s Farm Store.

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No Farm is complete without a Tractor!!

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In the spring when frost is still always a possibility here in the Gorge, armies of tender plants take refuge under the hot caps until danger is past.

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Gentle Splash of Spring

Look closely for the refraction of another flower in the raindrop on this Daffodil
Fruit trees burst into bloom in the orchards

Fruit trees burst into bloom in the orchards

Pause, look around you, breathe in the delicious smells swirling through the Spring air as flowers pop open faster and faster everyday.  Color begins to paint the countryside and city gardens, forgotten flowers untended suddenly make their age old appearance on a cycle all their own, catching us by surprise and bringing gasps of delight. Gloomy doldrums slip away for the time being and life emerges from its Chrysalis once more as last years leaves become nutrient for this years Delight.

 

If you click on these photos, they will take you to the corresponding images in my best gallery.  Please take a look at the previous post to see information on my current sale!

 

Like flames of Red, dainty tulips open among the Narcissus

Like flames of Red, dainty tulips open among the Narcissus

 

red tulip like flame under a moon

Magical lands of moons and softness

 

Look closely for the refraction of another flower in the raindrop on this Daffodil

Look closely for the refraction of another flower in the raindrop on this Daffodil

Random Bits of Pink

Fiery pink, orange and purple sunset over Sleeping Beauty and the Trout Lake Natural Area Preserve

I just felt like some COLOR was appropriate, rich vibrant color to counteract the Ice and bitter wind outside. A friend treated me tonight to an amazing day at Bonneville Hot Springs Resort, and tonight coming home was the coldest it has been in awhile. So, for all of you anxious for warmer and brighter weather, I present PINK!

Spring Beauty, an early spring pink low growing wildflower that grows in subalpine zones near Mount Adams, blooming as the snow melts

Spring Beauty, an early spring pink low growing wildflower that grows in subalpine zones near Mount Adams, blooming as the snow melts

 

Orange sunset clouds over green marshland along the Columbia River

Orange sunset clouds over green marshland along the Columbia River

 

Orange sunset clouds over green marshland along the Columbia River

Orange sunset clouds over green marshland along the Columbia River

 

Sailboats cross paths in the Port of Hood River, during a brilliant pink to purple sunset over the Columbia River.

Sailboats cross paths in the Port of Hood River, during a brilliant pink to purple sunset over the Columbia River.  CLICK IMAGE TO SEE MY BEST IMAGE GALLERIES OR TO BUY PRINTS

 

"Sunrise Glory above the Fog" is a mid December 2013 brilliant pink and orange image taken looking East over the Columbia River covered with a thick layer of fog. This Triptych has been printed on Metal, and each panel is 16x24" in size, giving a combined wall size of 50x24".    For the Months of February and March this will be on display at North Shore Cafe in White Salmon, Washington with many other of my images.    CLICK ON THIS IMAGE TO SEE LARGER IN MY BEST GALLERY

“Sunrise Glory above the Fog” is a mid December 2013 brilliant pink and orange image taken looking East over the Columbia River covered with a thick layer of fog.
This image has been printed as a three panel split on Metal, and each panel is 16×24″ in size, giving a combined wall size of 50×24″. For the Months of February and March this will be on display at North Shore Cafe in White Salmon, Washington with many other of my images.
CLICK ON THIS IMAGE TO SEE LARGER IN MY BEST GALLERY