Sunday, March 21, 2010

Coyote Wall in Winter 2

The open terrain of the central Columbia Gorge reminds me of sub-alpine meadows in summer and invites exploration. The soil is still moist, and the grass is still green. Spring is here. The Washington side gets dry early, so it's good to see the water still cascading down the hillsides and the small pockets of marsh.

Hiking on the old highway, it's evident why they moved the highway from this wall, as the old asphalt is strewn with debris. This rockfall leaves interesting, colorful patterns in the wall, with newly exposed rock next to older, weathered basalt.

Rock Patterns of Coyote Wall

Wind and weather are harsh here. These meadows are scattered with old and weathered Oregon White Oak. They will be one of the last of the deciduous trees to bare their leaves, making sure winter is behind them.

Sculptured Beauty before sunset

The area offers fine views of the Columbia River with relatively gentle walking. The trails are shared mostly with mountain bikers and other hikers. Far few people are here during the week. It's quiet and peaceful.

The new grass replacing the old as spring arrives

All the mountain bikers and hikers have left as I return. Coyote Wall wears different colors as the stars appear after dusk.

Twilight on the Wall

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring in Portland

Moving from the snow of the Midwest and mountains, Spring is here in the Northwest. Although tethered to the city this week, there is plenty of beauty around town.

Although the Pasqueflowers are still buried beneath the snow, their relative Anemone flowers are bright and delicate. They close at night and open with the warmth of the day.

Anemone Blanda

Another Anemone in white

Macro shots highlight the delicate structures

This evening the 2 day old moon makes an appearance behind some thin cirrus clouds in the west.

Two day old "Crow or Lenten Moon"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Winter from above

Flying in winter always come with a degree of apprehension with the normal vagaries of the weather. This trip was blessed with smooth high pressure systems and pretty good visibility.

These simple textures and the cold snow of winter were tranquil.

The texture of the watershed is etched into the landscape in a stark form in winter.

These textures remind me of the complexity of the watershed and the similarity of leaf and other natural structures found in nature.