Monday, November 18, 2019

Devils Punchbowl


Howling wind tears across the scrub and gnarled trees of the headland, carrying with it the fury of the mighty Pacific Ocean as towering waves curl, crash, and explode against the rocky cliffs of the Oregon Coast. Below the heights lies the churning cauldron of the Devils Punchbowl, a massive, collapsed sea cave filled with boiling froth and flying jetsom. The very ground tremble with the impacts of the maelstrom that rages ceaselessly - driven by the immeasurable power of the endless watery wasteland of the open sea.

 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Burroughs Mountain


The high meadows of Sunrise at Mt. Rainier rise from the valley forests of the White River to the windswept moorland above. Here on high and lonely Burroughs Mountain the only trees are windswept krummholtz firs. Glaciers flow from the summit of Rainier, rivers of ice marching on beneath the crags and cliffs that rear like islands from the frozen white wastes.

 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Depoe Bay Spouting Horns


Beside the bright storefronts of Depoe Bay, lie chasms deep, mysterious and full of rage. From these trenches rises the throaty roar of the Pacific, a building cacophony that increases to a deafening crescendo only to die away, and then with sudden violence erupt skyward to douse tourists in brine as the sea savagely crashes against ancient lava and the modern bulwarks that man has built in his hubris against the ravages of the unstoppable power of the ocean.


Saturday, November 2, 2019

Hiking to Short Sands Beach - Oswald West State Park


Through a forest of towering ancient trees, the trail to Short Sands Beach in Oswald West State Park is a sublime Oregon Coast experience. We hiked it on one of the years stormiest days, with rain dripping through the high canopy above and massive waves hammering the storm-wracked sands.

 

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Autumn Splendor at Lake Sacajawea


A million shades of autumn hues from amber red to neon yellow gild the green lawns and greener waters of Lake Sacajawea. Overhead, the deep blue of a bright October afternoon contrasts with the riotous glory of fleeting color and brilliance below. From the Japanese garden to wide boulevards and elegant fountains, there is much to see in the green heart of Longview.


Monday, October 21, 2019

Grove of the Patriarchs



Towering over the crystalline waters of the Ohanapecosh river are the ancient trees of the Grove of the Patriarchs. This incredible forest has grown here in Mt. Rainier National Park for thousands of years, the titanic cedars and firs dwarfing the throngs of awed visitors make the pilgrimage to this incredible natural cathedral.


Saturday, October 19, 2019

Sunrise at Fort Columbia


The rising autumn sun pours down the windswept gorge of the mighty Columbia River, and shines a warm dawn light over the elegant buildings of aging Fort Columbia. Reflections of warm morning colors glimmer on damp tideflats, and paint the rocky perimeter of the fort in subtle hues. A sleeping forest of ancient trees rises above, rays of amber light lancing through the canopy, stirring the woodland birds to wakefulness.


Monday, October 14, 2019

Waking up at Sunrise - Mt. Rainier National Park


The wafting scent of frying bacon and eggs rises up through the mists of dawn to wake sleeping campers from their tents. The glistening grease of a delicious morning meal mirror the shining glow that gilds the crinkled glaciers of Mt. Rainier as Sunrise touches the snow and ice above the quiet meadows and deep valley forests.



Friday, October 11, 2019

Lewis and Clark Salt Works - National Historical Park



Hidden down a quiet side street in the coastal town of Seaside can be found one of the very smallest National Park Units. The Lewis and Clark Salt Works are nestled behind the dunes amidst vacation homes in a square of native shrubbery.  This little island in a sea of modern development marks the place where the Corps of Discovery built a furnace from rocks with which to boil sea water and harvest salt. This provided the seasoning and preservatives they needed to sustain them through the cold and rainy winter of 1805.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Mushrooms and Waterfalls in Mt. Rainier National Park


Deep in the ancient, wild forests of Mt. Rainier National Park, a second spring has come in the waning months of summer. In earthy tones and vivid autumn shades the fungi rise from the dark earth to spread their delicate veils over the leaf mold and out from fallen logs. Amidst the waterfall, the verdant shores of creeks fed by the rains of the waning year, and in quiet glades they glow like otherworldly sentinels. Soon they shall fall back, decay, and be consumed by the creatures of this mountain realm, and their children shall slumber beneath the coming snows of winter.



Friday, October 4, 2019

Leadbetter Birding Adventure


The scouring wind howls through the shifting dunes and their islands of sheltering scrub, carrying with streamers of sand like a tawny river of air and pulverized rock. The throbbing rhythm of the ceaseless tide rises to meet the whistling breeze and coursing sand pouring from Leadbetter Point , the jutting prow of Long Beach, reaching northward to almost touch the headlands beyond the mouth of Willapa Bay. This coastal wilderness is home to a vast menagerie of wild creatures, and is a sheltering paradise that welcomes millions of migrating birds to its tumultuous ocean shores and peaceful bayside marshes.


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Long Beach International Kite Festival 2019


The vast sandy sweep of Long Beach flows into the far distant horizons, and overhead fly thousands of kites in a massive, ever changing rainbow. This is the Long Beach International Kite Festival, where crazy flying creatures mingle with record setting group fliers dazzle onlookers with their aerial displays.



Monday, September 16, 2019

Highlander Festival 2019



Every year those of Scottish heritage gather in Kelso, Washington to celebrate their history in tartan kilts and Ghillie shirts. The sound of bagpipes fills the air as traders hawk their wares and adventurous souls sample Haggis and meat pies. For a few days the Highlander Festival brings a bit Scotland to the Pacific Northwest.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Norway Pass Adventure



The volcano blasted moorland of Norway Pass looks down down long valleys to Spirit Lake, and beyond to the steaming crater of Mt. St. Helens. This once desolate landscape now bursts with returning life, and flowers burst from the pumice and ash. New forests reach for the crisp blue sky, and birds throng the chiseled cliffs. The wasteland that was etched into the Cascade Mountains by the 1980 eruption has transformed itself into a natural paradise.

 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Silver Lake Lighted Boat Parade 2019


The Silver Lake Lighted Boat Parade weaves through the lily pads and across the calm waters of the lake. From above the flotilla appears as a river of fairy lights as it makes its way across open water and through the reed lined pathways of the marsh. As night thickens the gently twinkling boats make their way back to boat launches and docks to leave the lake silent and peaceful once more.

 

Saturday, August 24, 2019

World Record - Mega Team Quad Kite Flying!


102 flyers took to the skies with quad kites to break a world record and create amazing patterns over the wide sands of Long Beach at the annual International Kite Festival.

 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Hiking through the mist on Mt. Ellinor



Some days in the mountains are blessed by the soothing rays of the summer sun, and endless vistas stretch on into the distant horizon. Other days are drenched in a soothing blanket of fog that obscures the landscape so that mystery drips from every dew jeweled wildflower. We may not have seen sparkling Lake Cushman, the wide expanse of Puget Sound and its gleaming metropolis, or the lofty summit of Mt. Olympus, but the experience of exploring the alpine forests and flower gardens of Mt. Elinor was a sublime experience nonetheless.



Sunday, August 11, 2019

August Lightning


Massive arching bolts of electricity explode across the heavens and illuminate the boiling clouds like giant atmospheric jelly fish. Thunder splits the sky and reverberates across the cowering landscape below as the storm surges overhead. Such weather is hardly commonplace here in the calm rainforest hill country of Southwest Washington. We are used to gently soaking rains that saturate the ground and air, but this week was the exception and Zeus and Thor did battle through the tumultuous roiling sea of the upper sky and set the very air ablaze.



I only flew for a few minutes on the edge of this maelstrom, in that incredible calm before the storm. Eventually I felt the wisdom of landing and retreated to take still photos from the ground.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Chehalis River Discovery Trail


The Chehalis River Discovery Trail winds through quiet farmland and along the lush banks of the Chehalis River. Eagles soar overhead, fish leap for insects, and the air is loud with bird song. Ancient cottonwoods may still be found growing on the riverbank, and newly planted woodlands will one day also watch like lofty sentinels over the fields and forests of this bucolic paradise.


Monday, August 5, 2019

Flying over Butter Creek


Hidden behind the battlements of the towering Tatoosh Mountains is the verdant forested valley of Butter Creek - a quiet emerald paradise scattered with remnant patches of ancient old growth forest. From the hidden waters of the rushing creek to the snow fields of Unicorn Peak, this is a sublimely beautiful place.



Friday, August 2, 2019

Cape Disappointment


Cape Disappointment crowns the Southwest corner of Washington State - a towering bastion of headlands cloaked in ancient forest and crenelated by abandoned fortresses that hearken back to the second world war. Lighthouses keep a watchful eye over the tide pools, grassy meadows, and vast sandy beaches girded by the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. From the quiet tide lands of Baker Bay to the tumultuous coves of Beards Hollow, this Pacific Northwest gem is a paradise both for wildlife and adventure seekers.


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Grays River Covered Bridge



For more than a hundred years the Grays River Covered Bridge has kept travelers safe and dry in this particularly soggy corner of the Pacific Northwest. Built in 1905, this is the only covered bridge still in use by vehicles in Washington State. The quiet pastoral valley of the Grays River is a bucolic reminder of a vanishing chapter in history.



Monday, July 29, 2019

Sandsations 2019


Sculptors of sand gather every year on the Long Beach Peninsula to practice their art next to the crashing surf of the Pacific Ocean. Spectacular creations are carved to rise above the beach, only to be swept away by the next tide. Sand is an ephemeral medium for an artist to work - with a blink of the eye it is returned to the blank canvas it once was, waiting to be transformed once again.


Monday, July 22, 2019

The Museum of History and Industry


Within a magnificent historic building on the shores of Lake Union you will find the Museum of History and Industry - a fascinating and minutely detailed glimpse into the past of Puget Sounds tumultuous history and into the bustling industry that thrives within its mighty cities. If you visit one museum in Seattle, make it the MOHAI!


Friday, July 19, 2019

Chihuly Garden & Glass


Chihuly Garden and Glass is an artistic experience of stunning proportions. Stroll through dark halls of glowing blown glass twisted into fantastic shapes filled with unearthly colors, the light casting alien shadows across the walls. Gardens too of rare quality grace this wonderland, the profuse blooms of early summer mingling with the translucent glory of the glass. Travelling to Chihuly Garden and Glass is a journey into another world.



Sunday, July 14, 2019

Seattle Adventure: Day 1









Seattle is the bustling hub of Puget Sound, a sparkling metropolis by the sea with towering sky scrapers, fascinating museums, and of course the Space Needle. I spent the last week sightseeing in this amazing city, and this is the first part in a 6 part series chronicling my adventures there.



Saturday, July 6, 2019

Spectacular Skies of Early Summer










Thunderstorms rumble and vivid sunsets flare in the sultry humid days of early summer in Washington State. Green fields and reflecting lakes glow with  verdant life in the wake of the cleansing rains that sweep across the landscape.



Monday, July 1, 2019

Laowa 100mm F2.8 2:1 CA-Dreamer Super Macro Lens First Impressions Review


Macro lenses get you closer, and the Laowa 100mm F2.8 2:1 CA Dreamer is a super macro lens that will get you closer still. This is the first 100mm lens to feature a magnification ratio of 2:1, and with this extreme macro capability you gain access to a whole new miniature landscape of photographic capabilities.


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Jewels of the Dawn


As the sea mists blow in gentle waves across the coastal woods, it falls like jewels on the bright flowers of a Pacific Northwest spring. The dew shines in translucent glory leaves and petals, gilding them with strands of diamond pearls. They pool in hollows like dragons hordes, transform spiders webs into intricate works of art, and transform humble grassy yards into a sparkling landscape.


Friday, May 31, 2019

Precious Pullets


Baby animals are a quintessential aspect of spring. The new life that springs from the cold sleep of winter to bring joy and vigor to the reborn world. There are few things on the farm that symbolize spring so much as the young of chickens. These adorable downy creatures bumble about after bits of fluff, running about with bursts of short lived energy before suddenly crashing into a huddle to briefly slumber before once again leaping about with the sheer joy of their young and innocent existence.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Spring on the Prairie



The prairies of Southwest Washington burst with a sea of Camas flowers in spring. The wildflowers of these meadows fill their air with their heady scent, and the skies are loud with birdsong. A brisk wind blows away the fog of morning to reveal a vivid blue sky, brightening to glorious sunset and then dying to reveal the swirling constellations of the stars.

 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Leavenworth Magic

Leavenworth is like a little bit of Bavaria broke off and settled beneath the high peaks of the Cascade Mountains. Full of fascinating gift shops, colorful architecture, and bratwurst eateries, this is one of the Pacific Northwests finest tourist destinations. During the day, horse drawn carts ferry sightseers through the town, and the smell of roasting sausage and boiling sauerkraut fills the air. At night, lights bedeck the buildings, because in this town it's always Christmas!














Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Ancient Secrets of Vantage


Deep in the wild sage brush desert of Eastern Washington, lie many ancient secrets. Looking out over the expanse of the Columbia River are the scratchings of vanished peoples - the Vantage petroglyphs may be weathered by time, yet still they stand watch over the great canyon of the Columbia.



Monday, May 6, 2019

Songbirds of the Scablands


The high desert country of the Eastern Washington throngs with wildlife. From the sagebrush steppe to the pothole lakes and reed filled marshes, bird song fills the bright hours of early morning, filters up through the somnolent heat haze of mid day, and lulls the amber fields into golden twilight, fading into the mystery of the languid blue hours of night.

(Pictured above: Kingbird)

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Visions of Spring - an Easter Photo Gallery


The golden light of the spring sun lingers late in the tumultuous days of a Pacific Northwest April. The shadows lengthen, shift, and cast the early harbingers of night over the stunning emerald landscape. The sky lights up as sunset approaches, and glowing rays pour through the distant storms rolling in from the sea to bring a fresh wave of soothing rain to the forests and verdant fields. This is a time of birdsong, of eager plants reaching towards the sun - of the rebirth nature after its long Winter slumber.



Thursday, April 18, 2019

Rainbows and Thunderstorms


The wild weather of spring is particularly dramatic in the lush foothills of Western Washington. Storms race in from the Pacific Ocean, pouring down rain on the waking forests and greening fields. In the wake of the rumbling thunder and howling wind comes blowing mist and bright rays of sun, and in such conditions are rainbows born.

 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Alpine Beauty at White Pass


Towering clouds sail like the tall ships of a past age cross the crest of the Cascade Mountains. At White Pass, winter is still going strong, and so is the ski season. Here at the edge of the Goat Rocks mountains, the scenery is splendid indeed - from volcanoes, to canyons, to frozen alpine lakes.



Saturday, March 23, 2019

Wild Skies of March


Storms race across the wide fields and low forested hills of the Cowlitz Prairies on a wild day in March, their shadows swirling over the landscape like living inkblots. This wild sky is reflected in marshes, lakes, and distant rivers that cut through the wide plain on their way from snow capped peaks in the Cascade Mountains to the waiting briny depths of the Pacific Ocean.



Saturday, March 9, 2019

5 Tips for Drone Flying in Cold Weather


Winter is beautiful - ice and snow transform the landscape, creating the perfect conditions for aerial photography. Capturing such dramatic scenery requires preparing for the risks such frigid conditions entail. I hope these tips will help you to fly safely and capture better drone photos and video footage.


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Old Men of the Mountain



Where the glaciers meet the high meadows; spring, summer, and fall pass in the blink of an eye. The plants and creatures that call this fleeting alpine paradise home must wake, feast, reproduce and prepare for the return of the long winter months all in the space of a brief handful of weeks. Among the most striking and lasting flowers to grace these remote and lonely places is Old Mans Beard, Old Man of the Mountain, Western Pasque Flower, Anemone occidentalis.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Snowshoeing in the Cascade Mountains



The alpine forest is a quiet refuge of winter splendor, great drifts of snow bury everything in quilts of downy powder. The mist draws in to cloak the valleys and peaks in frigid fog. Ravens part the clouds with their dark wings and mournful call, breaking the silence of the ice and cold. This frozen wilderness slumbers in anticipation of the spring.


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Hidden Beauty in a Humble Creek Valley


Beauty can be found even in the dullest and least interesting locations - especially through the medium of aerial photography! From a litter-strewn pullout between ugly forest and even uglier clearcuts I flew high and away over this quiet Washington valley to photograph the patterns in the winter woods and fields on the shores of a gently winding creek.

 

Friday, February 1, 2019

Sunset over the Willamette Valley





The golden rays of sunset pierce the thick haze that hangs in the air over the pastoral quilt of the Willamette valley. The warm light paints the forest cloaked valleys of Silver Falls State Park, and in the distance the volcanic peaks of the Cascades - Hood, Jefferson, and the Three Sisters - soar high overhead, their icy summits illuminated by a pearly alpine glow.



Monday, January 28, 2019

Hazy Shades of Winter


Winter has settled in on the lowlands, the valleys are filled with fog, fields concealed in flowing mist, and above the high sky is lit by the last light of a January sunset.



Monday, January 21, 2019

In the Shadow of the Earth - 2019 Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse


I managed to get some good footage of the eclipse in between the drifting clouds and through the thickening fog! Unfortunately during the darkest moments of the eclipse the fog got extra thick and the sky went completely blank (and the night incredibly dark). It wasn't until it was was already partially bright again that the moon reappeared. With the very cloudy/rainy weather I feel very lucky to have been able to capture any photos or video at all!


Friday, January 18, 2019

Flying over the Cowlitz River Trout Hatchery


The last light of day splashes down on the still pools, the dappled rays catching in glittering brilliance the spray from leaping trout. The cool water of the surging river glides down through brush clad banks banks towards its confluence with the mighty Columbia.

    

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Close the Parks to save the Parks - lessons from shutdown disasters



Trump’s disastrous, pointless, and malicious shutdown has hit our treasured public lands hard, and as it continues with no end in sight the situation for National Parks, Forests, and other areas becomes increasingly dire, as well as the implications for those who care for them. To say that this shutdown has been handled poorly is an understatement, and unless it ends soon major changes to shutdown management need to be implemented immediately. The parks must be closed.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Misty Morning on the Cowlitz River



Winter fog flows along the chill waters of the mighty Cowlitz River, cloaking the small rural town of Toledo, Washington in a veil of mist. Lakes and ponds glisten in the light of an early January morning.

 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Green Fields: Sunrise in the Cowlitz Valley


Even in depths of the winter the Pacific Northwest is green and beautiful. The farms and forests of the lowlands blend together into a patchwork quilt of pastoral quietude. Flying overhead in the fresh light of a January dawn, one is transported beyond the mundane world of rural America into a mist cloaked land of fantasy and swift golden sunrises.





Thursday, January 10, 2019

Plans and hopes for 2019 | Nature Writing Challenge


Truth be told, I hate planning ahead for trips and adventures. When I make long term plans they rarely if ever pan out. With that said, I’m going to attempt to answer this week’s “Nature Writing Challenge” question: “Experiences you hope to have on Public Lands in 2019 - What are you looking forward to this new year”.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Soaring over Portland - Sunset in the City of Roses


Portland is known as the City of Roses, and though none are blooming now in the dawning days of 2019, the city is certainly beautiful to look at from the air. It's other moniker is fitting indeed at any time of the year, this place certainly deserves to be called Bridge City! Not only to these soaring spans of steel cross its many placid rivers, but also its many canyons and gullies in a awesome Gordian knot of urban engineering.


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Viltrox L116T LED Light Panel Review

The Viltrox L116T is one of the less expensive LED light panels on the market, but don't let the price fool you, this is a capable tool for photography and videography! LED panels are a great accessory for expanding your creativity and making your work more professional. The Viltrox L116T is a solid option for anyone looking to add LED lighting to their kit.