Painting is just another way of keeping a diary ~Pablo Picasso

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Early Bird

 Guess it's true what they say about the early bird getting the worm.
This little bird perched on a fence post just before sunrise at Dallas Mountain Ranch yesterday.
Which makes me an early bird too, although it was so very windy, windy at the ranch that I had to wonder if my early morning efforts were worth it. I drove into the gorge to photograph wildflowers. Not so easy in the wind. Reminding myself that getting up early and watching a beautiful sunrise is its own reward. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Avalanche Lily

 Avalanche Lily (Erthronium montanum), such a delicate little flower blooming 
deep in the woods at Lacamas Regional Park in Camas. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Good Girl

Clover on a hike, ready for her closeup.
She's been on enough photo shoot hikes to know to wait while I'm photographing.
So she gets a great sense of 'Mission Accomplished' standing guard for me.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Paper Pulse

Hybrid Cottonwoods leafing out at a tree farm in Clatskanie.  
It's a six year cycle from seedling to paper pulp.  
Trees as a renewable resource are big business in the Pacific Northwest.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Beautiful Spring Day

We've got some perfect spring weather today.  Our forecast calls for showers throughout the day.  That means sunglasses, and an umbrella, and probably a few rainbows. 
 A great day to celebrate the 7th Anniversary of 45 Journal!
Linking to Weekend Reflections.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

In Balance

Won't be long until these woods are covered in leaves,
but for now they look like an early spring barcode.

Sunday, March 26, 2017


 Grass Widows (Olsynium douglasii) blooming on the bluffs overlooking the Columbia Gorge. 

Friday, March 24, 2017


Drove through downpours the entire way into the gorge today.  We were dressed for the weather; rain boots, rain coats, camera cover.  But as often the case around Hood River, the weather changed.  Ah, sunshine!  I almost forgot what it felt like! (At least the rain boots came in handy!)
Linking to Weekend Reflections.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Bright Side

We've been blessed with an abundance of rain this year, and the moss is at its greenest. 
Hopefully this will mean a bumper crop of wildflowers this spring too. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Forest Veiled View

What an Interesting web of wispy green branches 
in the understory of this Douglas Fir-Big Leaf Maple forest.
 And so many of last year's maple leaves caught in the web, suspended mid-fall. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Snow yesterday! Hard to believe, but big flakes starting falling in the morning, and at the point that they started sticking, I figured that Clover and I should hurry to the park to photograph the witch hazel. I have a strong suspicion it was blooming during our January snows, branches in the bottom right of the image we're done blooming at the point I found the tree, and I was sorry to miss seeing the blooms covered in snow. Of course by the time I got to the park, the snow had ended and a drizzly rain began. I decided, based on my recent idea that this witch hazel is a Japanese variety (Hamamelis japonica), to try for an image that looks like a floral origami paper. So that's the theme today.

Monday, March 6, 2017


Thinking some more about the witch hazel plant I found in the park last week, in my post Witch Hazel (2-25-17). First, I did buy myself the Chinese Witch Hazel (Hamamelis mollis) plant for sale at Yard and Garden Land.  It's nice, and blooming beautifully, but I can tell that it's not the same as the witch hazel in the park.  My little plant has smaller blooms, downward facing, straighter branches, and is faster growing. It got me wondering if the tree in the park was a Japanese Witch Hazel (Hamamelis japonica), and that got me thinking about an old gate not too far from the witch hazel plant.  I think it's a Japanese torii, Shinto gate, and was part of the old homestead that used to be on this land.  I think the witch hazel, the gate, and a small dammed up pond are all that is left of the original home.  I searched around the area for a foundation but can't find anything or even guess where the home would have been located.  But given that the gate is Japanese, that also makes me think that the plant is Japanese.  One thing is for sure, Japanese or Chinese, it's a very old cultivar, and not one that can be purchased in nurseries these days.  I took a small cutting, and bought some rooting hormone, to try to propagate it.  Evidently witch hazels are not the easiest to grow from cuttings, but I'm following the instructions carefully, and I'll know in a few months if I succeeded or not.  In the meantime, my next step is to check the county records to find out who lived here, when did they build, when was it torn down, etc.  To be continued...

Monday, February 27, 2017

Water Colors

One of the things about a really rainy month (I'm pretty sure we've broken the local record for rainiest February) is that things look more colorful when they're wet. I normally see February as a very uncolorful month, just dark green, rust, and the peridot color of our moss in winter. But this year with our nearly constant rain I can't help noticing all the subtle colors that I've been overlooking. Tree trunks, branches, and underbrush have been an ongoing motif this month as I've explored this color theme. Today's image wasn't made in the rain, but on a very foggy morning this weekend, and the fog really softened all the colors so it reminded me of a watercolor.  I've probably photographed this group of trees on five different occasions this month, but the very cold, damp, and foggy light on Saturday gave me my favorite palette.