Mountains and Stars

Sunday drives go back a long way in our family, so on March 8, 2015 early evening I headed out up the hill toward Glenwood.  I remembered a road someone had told me about to a new viewpoint, and found a lovely little spot to view Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge and all of Camas Prairie from a new perspective. Here are  a couple shots from that spot of Mount Adams. I also took a few star shots from Trout Lake on my way home, after visiting my brother and sister-in-law.

MtAdams_0161 MtAdams_Conboy_0258 stars-Orion-0288 stars-Orion-0290


Aurora Glow on Mount Adams

Hint of Aurora Glow over Mount Adams and the half frozen lake

Hint of Aurora Glow over Mount Adams and the half frozen lake

This is from December 7, 2013, on a bitterly cold night in Trout Lake, Washington.  It was -3 deg F and about 10 pm.  The colors did not flare up as large as some I have seen, and no pillars and such, but I was delighted with the image because of the crystal clear night stars and the light glow of setting moon and the ice near shore.    I would love to hear what you think!

Settings for this image were

camera:  Canon 5D Mark ll

lens:  Canon 28-135 IS

shutter speed: 30 seconds

f-stop:  3.5

ISO:  2500

I do still have calendars left for 2014, with a new shipment coming in soon, and you can see more information on those here by clicking on this calendar image below.

Cover of the Columbia Gorge Area calendar.  Click on the image to see more information

Cover of the Columbia Gorge Area calendar. Click on the image to see more information

Cascade Creek Fire on Mount Adams

September 8, 2012 while the Highway 141 fire near White Salmon was beginning to wind down, a Lightning storm swept through the area and started at least 40 wildfires in Washington and another large amount in Oregon.  Some of the fires were put out quickly, but others like the one on the south side of Mount Adams 9 miles out of Trout Lake continues to grow. Smoke fills the valley making it hard on locals with allergies and asthma. 

Most of this fire is in the Wilderness area, and much of what is burning is dead diseased trees that have accumulated in recent years creating a dangerous situation.  In reality the fire, while deadly to slower moving wildlife, will in the long run provide a much needed cleansing in the forests.  When we thought we were saving the trees by stopping all forest fires and cutting in our wildernesses, we actually created a tinderbox waiting to burn!   In the natural scheme of things, fires caused by lightning provided an important function in the Wilderness, clearing out diseases and pests, opening up space for new growth, and in the case of Lodgepole Pine providing the catalyst needed to open the cones and prepare the seeds for growing.  Sadly, at this point things have gone too far and now a fire causes a great deal more harm on the way to creating good!

In any case, We have an awesome crew of Fire personnel at work in Trout Lake and the forest hard at work in containing the fire and keeping Trout Lake Valley safe.  I slept in my tent near the airfield for a couple days at my brother Roger’s place, and the sound of the helicopters coming and going was actually comforting, knowing they were working to protect us. 


This first image was on the first evening of the fire, in Trout Lake at the School.



ImageImaged on

The inciweb site below is updated daily, and an afternoon update today had some good news about the cars trapped by the fire.  Unfortunately a few days ago 2 of the cars left at Morrison Creek camp were torched… another one had melted paint and such and a 4th was untouched. 

todays update in part:

“1700 Hr Update: 10 cars were brought down from the South Climb trailhead to a safety zone where they will not be burned. Increased fire activity prevented moving them all the way down. Chances are good that they can be brought down to base camp tomorrow. The fire was active today, but no major runs.



Sunday, September 16, 2012

Acres Burned: 6,467

Cause: Lightning

Containment: 4%

Total Personnel: 578

Serious Injuries: None

Crews: 17

Engines: 7

Dozers: 6

Water Tenders: 14

Helicopters: 5″

Inciweb Link 


Magical Kingdom of Aurora

Magical Kingdom of Aurora

Last night I got transported into a magical Kingdome of the Far Away land of Aurora where silence fills the void, but the silence is rich with the deep eternal song of the universe…
a land where frozen snow is on the shady side of lake where I am but not on the side I am shooting… a land where peaceful bird and elk sounds weave a lullaby, where coyotes yap their nightly song, where Elk swim the lake to get to the good grazing, and Loons sing their haunting melody… a land where the cold air smells fresh and nourishing, where a person can sit in the snow for hours watching the skies until 3:00 am and see no one and feel safe and at peace.

Magical colors filled the air briefly behind the Moonlit Mount Adams, and under the massive Lenticular Clouds that have lingered for hours. Streaks of rising Aurora stemming from an ancient Sun dance beside the regal Volcano

Breathe deep of the mystery, take it all in through your pores to feed the cells of your body and nourish your soul…

Yes, I saw the Aurora Borealis on a small scale behind the Lenticular clouds swimming over Trout Lake, Washington and I was thrilled as I lounged on a frozen snowbank after midnight waiting for a long exposure shot… BLISS I tell ya!

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Midnight Lenticular with Mount Adams and Aurora