Archive for the ‘Oregon’ Category

I happen to have the good fortune to witness a Triple Zig Zag last year when I was visiting family in Oregon. We were staying in a place that located near Zig Zag, Oregon and while in Zig Zag I happened to be looking at Zig Zag Mountain when a cloud began to zig and zag its way down the side of the mountain. The experience is memorialized in the photo shown below:)  It shows: (1) a zig zagging cloud (2) flowing down Zig Zag Mountain (3) in Zig Zag, Oregon. The “Triple Zig Zag” is my contribution to this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Zig Zag.

Down Zig Zag Mountain - April 20, 2013

What a wonderful challenge idea Cee.

Here is my story of water – from droplet to ocean and back again. I hope you enjoy the rather lengthy journey.

The first stop is two drops of water that are held by bits of moss.

Raindrops on moss

Raindrops on moss

While much of this water will sink back into the earth to replenish aquifers or run off to do duty elsewhere, some will evaporate. Evaporated these two water drops band together with millions of billions of others to form clouds that can be jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Rural Railroad Crossing - July 19, 2013 - 73

However, those same water drops can become nightmarishly dangerous if you are driving on a rural highway in the blinding rain.

Traveling America - Downpour on Highway 2-2

Of course these water drop can also fall in the form of snow …

In the Cascades - April 17, 2013 - 43

or may become ice and form gigantic glaciers or the most delicate of structures.


The gathering of water is among the most common sights on earth given that more than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water.

Water readily forms puddles …

Circlepalooza - April 19, 2013

and ponds.

Spring at Army Ammunition Plant - May 05, 2014 - 068

Left to its own devices  it will gather into cleansing wetlands.

Cherokee Marsh in the Fog - September 26, 2013 - 53

Water is the great way station and play station for a myriad of wildlife from Canadian Geese

Goose Prepares for Flight - October 02, 2013 - 68-E

to bald eagles (here an immature bald eagle)

Immature Bald Eagle - January 10, 2014 - 15

to Sandhill cranes.

Sandhill Cranes1

When the drops of water do not sink into the ground, they gather together first into streams …

Columbia River Gorge  - April 21, 2013 - 0038

that lead to great lakes like Lake Michigan

Sunset on Lake Michigan

and mighty rivers like the Columbia River

Columbia River Gorge  - April 21, 2013 - 0416

… all inexorably making their way to the oceans.

Here we see two surfers in the Pacific near Cannon  Beach in Oregon,

Surfers near Cannon Beach. OR

while the view of the Pacific in Monterey is much more peaceful.

There is a House Back There

It is in the oceans that the water, heated by the sun, drives the climate. Eventually that water freshened by evaporation raises itself again and ultimately gathers itself into the weather systems we watch for and when the rain falls we see in it our own renewal.


I have had this blog for less than one year and recently I posted my 365th post so I decided to memorialize the occasion. has been pretty difficult for me. I suffer from a chronic disease that makes it hard to concentrate and to stay focused and I am often in pain and quite tired (thus the “fog”). When I started this blog I had no idea how much energy it would take and what a challenge it was going to be (thus the “war”).

I started this photo blog in part because the writing that used to come so easily to me now comes slowly and messily like the last bits of toothpaste squeezed out of the tube. Until relatively recently, I was able to work at least part-time in the career I had long pursued (I was an attorney working with intellectual property and technology law). That work is no longer available to me because it requires more energy, a better memory, and greater nimbleness of mind than I currently possess. I tell my friends that I am not dumber, but I am slower.

During the early days of my illness, boredom was a constant companion. Then, a few years ago, my wife bought me a new camera. While I had always enjoyed photography, suddenly I had a lot of time available in which to pursue it. So off I went on a photo binge. Many of my photos are taken of things very close to home – typically in our yard or neighborhood; indeed I have a category in my blog for “Photos Taken within 100 Meters of Our Home.” Many others are taken on the way to visit or at my in-laws. (My wife has a great family!)

As the years went by and the shutter clicked, hundreds and then thousands of images filled up space on my hard drive(s) and I began to think about sharing my photos. I am and always will be an amateur photographer. I do not have the energy nor do I have the desire to sell any of my work (although I do donate my work to non-profit auctions and the like).  Eventually I decided to try blogging and started start

Keeping up with this blog has been difficult for me. What has made this easier is that many of you who have visited this blog have been extraordinarily generous with your thoughts about my photos. I am not too proud to admit that when someone says a photo of mine is “stunning” or “wonderful” or “amazing” it makes me feel good. That isn’t the sole reason for the blog, but it sure doesn’t hurt! More important for someone who had spent all too much time just sitting at home is that my blog brought me into a community of people from around the world whose blogging about their lives and travels has made boredom impossible and made frustration, fatigue and pain more bearable. While it is still so very much more difficult to write than it used to be, I have all of the time I want to do it and so it is okay.

This post contains some of my favorite photos from my first 365 posts. When I was looking through the posts to put together this collection, my biggest thought was how thankful I am that I have had this opportunity. Mostly I thank all of the people who have visited my blog. I also want to give a shout out to WordPress because I really doubt I would have had a “Post 366” had I not been blogging with WordPress, which has made setting it up my blog and keeping it going so much easier for me than would otherwise have been the case.

I hope you enjoy this collection.

Shore and Ocean - April 16, 2013 - 0228

There are places like this location on the Oregon coast where it is not always clear where ocean and shore begin and end. Streams flowing down from the hills along the shore cut wide paths through the beach allowing the salt water and fresh water to mingle. Large waves crash nearby and the ocean’s waves are readily visible here but do not dominate this enclave (at least not now). Thus, here land gradually becomes sea and sea gradually becomes land and the earth continues on its way. I hope you enjoy my contribution to this week’s Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Continuous.

“You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.” ~ Alan Watts

Ese’s Shoot & Quote Challenge this week is “Ugly.” Of course there are many stories, sayings and quotes about ugliness. Some are optimistic/inspirational like the ones about the ugly duckling that was actually a swan or the ugly caterpillar that becomes the beautiful butterfly. Other’s see ugliness as the manifestation of some problem with society. For example the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche believed that much ugliness in the world came from people looking for ugliness: “The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.” Ugliness has been the source of a great deal of humor over the years. The U.S. comedian Rodney Dangerfield had a well know zinger: “My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you’re ugly too.” Never a man to mince words, Winston Churchill’s quip in response to a woman who said he was drunk, which he likely was, is among the most famous quotes on ugliness: “I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.”

This is a rather roundabout way of getting to the quote that underlies the inspiration for my photo essay.

Oscar Wilde said that: “No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly.”

This is surely and sadly true here in the U.S. as we see our nation being divided who claim to be acting under lofty banners like “TRUTH” or “PATRIOTISM” or “FAIRNESS” but the anger on their faces makes one take a step back from a form of madness that has come upon them. But that is another story and I digress ….

In a twist and with apologies to Ese for my presumption, I decided to try a “Reverse Wilde.” (By the way, I must warn people not to try this at home. Only highly skilled professionals with the proper equipment can safely perform  a “Reverse Wilde.” In this specific situation the “Reverse Wilde” went very smoothly and suddenly there bloomed  new Wilde-inspired  quote: “No object is so ugly that, under certain conditions, it will not look beautiful.” I can’t say that I am confident that this is always true, but I thought that I might be able to demonstrate at least one situation were it could be seen to be so. Thus as food for thought, I present the following photos.

Fungus Among Us

The photo above is of some type of fungus growing on a decaying tree in Oregon. I am not generally repelled by such things and I won’t go into the exact details of why this forest of fungi gave me the creepy crawlies but it did. These stalks were little, around 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) tall. For lack of a better description, let’s call them ugly.

The actual fungus may not be able to evolve rapidly, but a photo can. As a result, if we blur the image and add some color we might have what could (with quite a bit of imagination) be called a festive fungus.

Festive Fungus

The fungus photo continues its evolution and eventually it begins to looks like the photos we have seen of a young galaxy (at which point, the transformative process having come to a reasonable ending point from my point of view, I stop).

Evolution of the fungus

So something quite “ugly” becomes something akin to one of the most beautiful things in the universe and we have a demonstration of a “Reverse Wilde,” namely:

“No object is so ugly that, under certain conditions, it will not look beautiful.”

I hope you enjoy this addition to Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Ugly.

Photo 1:

Columbia River Gorge -Vista House Promentory

The smell of a pines forest has always been a little magical to me. I expect this can be readily explained away as some childhood association with Christmas. After all, I was born in mid-November and smelled my first pine tree a month or so later when the family Christmas tree went up. Pine/Christmas trees certainly have strong associations with nice things for me. Whatever the reason, I cannot gainsay the fairy tale and magic association that comes along with the scent of pine. So when I learned that Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge was “Scent” my mind went to pine trees. I couldn’t decide between two quotes so I hope you enjoy the photo and quotes and I hope that you will forgive me for my dual submissions. The first quote is more directly applicable to the challenge, but I liked the optimism in the second quote and I’m convinced that it likely would have been about pine scent if only Mr. Douglass had been standing in a pine forest when he wrote it:). The photo is of Crown Point on the Columbia River in Oregon.

I remember a hundred lovely lakes and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and  saffron sunsets. ~ Hamlin Garland

The pine stays green in winter… wisdom in hardship. ~ Norman Douglas

I have been participating in the “Photo Friday Challenge” for a few weeks now. I’m not sure what to think about it other than that there is a requirement that each entry be posted on a static web page. This has me a little confused. As far as I can tell, when I do this it is not actually a post and thus no one ever sees it beside the people at the Photo Friday site where I post the page.. As a result, I am trying to figure out how to share my responses to these challenges more easily without cluttering up my menu (which it has done in various ways for the past few weeks). In the mean time, here is the photo and copy from the latest entry. I hope you enjoy it.


Oregon's High Desert - April 17, 2013

This is the High Desert of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, which is located in Central Oregon. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, a federally recognized confederation of Native American tribes, live on and govern the reservation.