Saturday, March 31, 2007
This beautiful thistle-pink shrub was in bloom everywhere, especially in the late morning light (I'd love to know what it is?) Every pine needle shone in the sunlight.
Mount Shasta, with fresh snow. And I caught an I-5 sign(inadvertantly!)
My favorite shot of Mount Shasta...there were some low clouds that ruffled around the base. I enjoyed watching the mountain and clouds change in their balance of light and shadows as my perspective traveled north.
Roadside metal art, a bull--oops it has an udder, so I mean a cow, and a dragon. In my hometown(McMinnville) we have an artist that makes enormous sculptures just like this, amazing horses in all poses, cowboys on horses, mammoths, giant roosters...
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Silly Oregonians, thinking it would be smooth sailing on the 405 on a Saturday afternoon!
I found some chainsaw art! Wished I could have taken them all home to stash in my woods.
Here's what a 60$ tent site looks like in Huntington Beach. Notice we are the only ones in a tent site, with an actual 30$ walmart tent. Notice our van is the oldest vehicle in the park, by at least 10 years. At least there wasn't any gum on the ground. And no bedbugs.
Sunset on the pier at Huntington Beach. Wild fractious paintball going on to the left.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Had fun testing the camera(NikonD40) at 65(well sometimes 75)mph. I used the "little running man" setting. Found I had to roll down the window--the camera sometimes had trouble focusing between the distant landscape and the smudged or glare-y windows. These three shots are of the west side of I-5. Cattle country, No-Man's Land. Just the way I like it. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through those hills. Someday...someday...
Monday, March 26, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
The blossoms of Indian Plum, according to the field guide, smell like "a cross between watermelon rind and cat pee"; mine smell like grass--that a cat indeed did pee on. The "plums" are miniature, about 1cm. Supposedly they are sweet when ripe, but the birds love them too, so good luck finding a ripe one. An older name is Osoberry. The native americans ate them raw and cooked, and made a dish for feasts mixing the plums with oolichan(a small fish)grease.
Every year I watch for the Indian Plum. Its new leaves sit upright and are shaped like candle flames, and do indeed glow in the bright sun that comes through the leafless trees. The blossoms are a happy beginning to the long line of wildflowers soon to come. The Indian Plum does seem to transplant well, and grow tall pretty fast if they're in the right spot.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
"A fiddle, a bicycle and thee..." how much fits in a stump house? The small print says this house was 8x10 inside.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
My home is an a-frame, unobtrusive, just big enough for my family, with all outdoors around us to live in. I have learned a lot about myself living here, who I really am, what makes me tick. I am really myself here, and I'm thankful for that gift, something I'll carry no matter where I may have to live in the future. It seems the big picture of all life comes into its proper perspective here. I can hear myself think(or not think, just be...).
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
As the Budding Moon flies
through a cold starfull sky
newts slumber beneath moss
Oaks tower, quiver
in the waning persistance
of the north wind, the earth
swells and heaves, rolls
over restless, waiting
for the Leafing Moon.
waits to exhale.
(top photo, noonday moonrise; bottom photo, early morning moonset)
Friday, March 2, 2007
Every morning my sister and I would get up about 6am and walk around all the campground loops, savoring the quiet new morning. One morning the water was this beautiful turquoise blue. I wish I knew what caused it. Something happened upstream, or upglacier maybe? (Growing up I remember a similar paler blue in the rivers after a heavy snowmelt). A few hours later the water was back to its more transparent teal color. Of course it was utterly beautiful in real life!
This is a pool we found by taking a deer trail off the main trail. The water was a very intense emerald green(this photo was scanned and didn't translate well). Out of the many pools we saw, only this one had this green. I wish I knew what combination of light and reflection makes this green!
This photo shows how crystal clear the water is, in reality! You can also see the rainbow colors of the rocks, and the pretty ribbons of sunlight and shadow dancing across them.
And here is the deep turquoise/teal blue around the granite boulders.
(Hike, Deer Creek to Ohanapecosh River/CG--about 6 miles to the Grove of the Patriarchs, then 2 miles to Ohanapecosh Campground, gradual downhill, mileage is a guesstimate. )
Right from the roadside trailhead, I am swallowed up by the forest as I make a steep descent into the canyon to the confluence of Deer Creek, Needle Creek and Chinook Creek, and continuing along Cedar Creek. Falling water chases itself down canyon around and over and through a gully of tumbled granite boulders. The water is so clear I can see the fish, the fish see me and flick away. The air above is thick with the green of hemlock, cedar and fir. Rattlesnake plantain is blooming, its tiny pale ½” blooms perfect miniatures of tropical orchids. The trail through the forest is softened by the duff of fallen needles and squirrel middens of dissected fir cones are left in the trail undisturbed--not many feet pass here. Large granite boulders lie submerged in the hillside. Red and blue huckleberries are everywhere, perfectly ripe.
If I pay attention well enough, I can find small side paths or deer trails that lead to pools or waterfalls that I would never see or know were there if I kept to the main trail. I could spend all day following this river with my camera. One path leads to a clear deep pool under a waterfall, with pebble shallows as the river flows on. I wish I could swim like a fish, circling the pool, breathing that beautiful water. Looking up from the pool I can see what lies beneath the forest floor in the cliff wall around me, cedar trees wrap their roots round cracking granite, forcing the fingers into the rock, prying it apart.
The trail crosses many tributary creeks, each one unique in its beauty, speed and music. I come to the confluence of the Ohanapecosh River and Cedar Creek, a loud crash of water shooting over big boulders. The bridge is just scary enough over the river--one handrail is missing, with a 30 foot drop to the river below. It’s a great spot for lunch, dangling the feet over the wild torrent that thunders by at tons per second in an extravagance of clear water.
As I keep on, the trees are getting taller, wider. I’m getting thirstier and the huckleberries are just right, popping with a rush to match the river. The trees are now giants. Their wide trunks bend and reflect sound, concealing and revealing the roar and rumble of the river. The trees are so big and old and full of experience they somehow express a being-ness, an individual life lived in this forest left alone in peace.
The trail angles up the hillside away from the river. Water sounds fade away as the river flattens out and slows in the widening valley floor. I hear more birds, sparrow calls, an unfamiliar song. I hear my own footsteps, my heart beat. Wood sorrel, vanilla leaf, pipsissewa, wintermint, coltsfoot, devil’s club, Oregon grape, salal--all old friends. I run my fingers through the licorice-stalked deer ferns. Bunchberries glow with their late summer crown of six neon orange berries. The afternoon wind stirs in the treetops, high and fine through the billions of needles on the huge firs and feathery cedars.
The river sounds return as I round an outcrop of granite with a surprise of a long vista to the far hills. The trail drops down through a tangle of vine maples and alders and the smells of wet and decay and nettles. I’m back on the river flowing wide and slow over a cobbled beach. A suspension bridge sways overhead. The Grove of the Patriarchs waits on the other side, and I'm back in the tourist realm.
(I have more river pix to post tomorrow--Good Night!)