Sunday, March 27, 2011


Since October, I have been in New Mexico and Arizona.  I am now back in Oregon, where I have been rained upon for days - not heavy, not constant, but a little, every day.  What has struck me most is the change in color.  Even on an overcast, wet day, the greens are astonishingly vivid, and so refreshing to these eyes that had seen only shades of grays and browns for months.

I am at Armitage Park just outside Eugene.  There are a few other rigs here but I am pretty much isolated.  About 200 yards away is the MacKenzie River.  Between here and there is an area of trees and grass.  Everything that has been here for a while - stones, concrete curbs and trees - has a growth of moss on it.  Everywhere I look, I see GREEN!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Reminiscences - Sequoias

Coastal redwoods are the tallest trees on earth.  They top out at 375 feet tall and are found along the northern California coastal range.  Onshore breezes filled with moisture from the Pacific help nourish these slender spires that reach to comb the clouds.

Sequoias are related to redwoods.  They are found further inland, on the western rise of the Sierras, where they draw moisture from the clouds as they rise from the Imperial Valley to top the rocky spine of California.  They are not as tall as the Coastal Redwoods, reaching a mere 325 feet tall.  They are, however, far more massive than the redwoods.  The General Sherman tree is over 30 feet in diameter, and over 100 feet in circumference.  They are the largest living things on the planet, with one tree containing as much mass as 60 fully grown blue whales.

I was walking through the Giant Grove in Sequoia National Park when I saw the juxtaposition of two Sequoias with several people.  The pairing of the Sequoias with the people gave a good sense of the scale of these most massive living things on the planet.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Reminiscences - Bridal Veil Falls

About 10 years ago, I was in Yosemite for a three day trip.  Late in the afternoon, I was returning to my hotel.  The sun was behind the peaks to the west and most of the magnificent valley was in shadow.  As I approached the western end of the valley, a view of Bridal Veil Falls opened to my left.  The light was resting on the cliff face just west of the falls.

Bridal Veil Falls drops 600 feet from the southern edge of the valley to a stream that feeds shortly into the Merced River.  For a sense of scale, Niagara Falls is 160 feet high...

I parked and took a few shots, then hung out while the color changed.  Moments before the light disappeared, I got this shot of Bridal Veil Falls from across the valley.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Southwestern Desert, Early Spring

In 5 days, I leave here to return to the wet and cold northwest.  I took a hike of a few hundred yards a few days ago.  From Enterprise, the land drops off into a small ravine.  The sides are at about a 45 degree angle and are made mostly of a mix of sand and gravel.  It is loose enough to make the walking something that requires a bit of care.  The far side of the ravine was my goal - not for any particular reason except to get out, walk a bit and explore.  From there, Enterprise looked very isolated.

At the far top edge of the ravine, I sat and rested, and took a shot of that edge of the ravine, looking toward the lake.

It has been very peaceful and quiet spending the winter here.