Our Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pines have turned into their yellow winter glory early this year. Last year it was well into January before they reached this bright yellow shade. In April they start to turn light green and gradually turn to full green by summer. They are one of the all-season stars in Heatherwood’s Japanese garden.
Chief Joseph is a dwarf conifer growing only 2-4 inches per year. It reaches about 6 feet at 10 years and can grow to about 20 feet at maturity. Our two trees were planted last year and are about 3 feet tall.
Stream with Autumn Leaves Heatherwood Japanese Garden
Early morning sun highlighted these fallen autumn leaves. They immediately caught my attention and drew me to work the scene with my camera. I walk up to the top of the stream most every day to see and hear the rushing water. I find something new to photograph every time.
The days are getting shorter and colder. Autumn is ending and winter is following close behind. Yesterday we even had a little dusting of snow. I will need to shut the stream and waterfalls down soon to prevent ice from restricting the stream causing the water to overflow its banks. It saddens me to do so, I will hold back as long as I can. It will be mid March until I will be able turn the stream back on.
We are now blessed with a little frost every morning. When the sun comes out, the leaves remaining in the shade retain their frost dusting. There is so much to see. How do I pick what to photograph?
I use a similar technique that some of our forefathers used to find underground water on their land called “water witching.” Their first step was to find a branch shaped like a “Y”. They held the “Y” branches very lightly with the leg of the “Y” facing horizontally in front of them. They would slowly walk across the land hoping that the leg of the “Y” would drop. When it did, there was water below and they selected the site to dig their wells. Now, imagine a camera with a telephoto lens serving as a “witching” tool. I hold my camera lightly with the telephoto pointing horizontally forward. When I feel the lens starting to drop down there is my pile of leaves that I am destined to photograph. “Leaf witching” works for me … or maybe, my arms just get tired.
Magenta, green, orange, yellow, red and green … How many colors can a leaf have? Patterns and lines grace the leaf in random fashions. What factors determine the design of an autumn leaf? Like a snowflake, no two are the same. The wonder of nature has many stories to tell.
“Purple and Gold” is my favorite color combination. Being from the University of Washington, how can I help not having these being my favorites? Go Dawgs!!!
Fall and Husky football are synonymous. September and October have not really felt like fall with no Husky football. But, the short season is scheduled to start on 7 November. It will be a different type of season, but at least the young athletes will get to play if things don’t change.
In the meantime, my focus has been in our garden, working and enjoying the fall colors. Throughout the meadows and rock gardens, the primary colors are purple (asters, Russian sage, etc.) and gold (rudbeckia, yarrow, etc.). Reds, yellows, greens and oranges highlight the trees.
As I was photographing in our rose garden, I came across these two roses snuggled together. I remember thinking, “How soft and peaceful.” In post processing I tried to enhance that feeling.
There are so many interesting things to focus on in our Heatherwood garden. I have a difficult time really working a specific image since there are so many other distractions all around me. I tend to hop from one flower to another flower, vignette, or view constantly. When doing so, I tend to fall into a “photo-snapping” mentality and loose my contemplative creativity. I really need to work on this.
Our Heatherwood garden continues to change through the summer. Color is everywhere. Most of the perennials are relatively small since they were just planted this spring. Small vignettes are the best way to represent what is happening in the garden at this time.
Mary and I usually walk through the garden at least once a day and are always amazed at the beauty that is presented to us.
“A Glimpse of Pele’ “ Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Halemaʻumaʻu crater, the home of Pele’, lies within the caldera of Kilauea. Pele’, the Hawaiian goddess of fire and volcanoes, was exiled from Tahiti because of her temper. Legends warn one that you better watch out if you meet a beautiful young girl or a white-haired older lady and don’t grant them what they wish!
I created this image from the Kilauea Crater Observation Center four years ago. It was a magnificent sight to see a glimpse of Pele’. This winter, we went up to the crater to find out that the Center and road up to it had been closed due to recent activity in 2018. We could not look down into the throat of the Halemaʻumaʻu crater to see Pele’.
“The Phoenician Teacher” Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad
This grotesque, the Phoenician Teacher, is also located on the third floor of Miller Hall. Miller Hall, built in 1922, was originally “Education Hall”, thus being decorated with education-related figures. Carl Gould was the building’s architect. Alonzo Victor Lewis created the 44 sculptures adorning the building.
“Chinese Teacher (Confucius) Grotesque” Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad
The Quadrangle, located in the “Upper Campus” of the University of Washington, is the center point for the classic Collegiate Gothic architecture on campus. This was were the non-engineering students and all the attractive girls had their classes. They did not allow engineers to grace the halls of these classic buildings. We were all too busy with our slide-rules. In the six years that I attended the UW, I never had a class there.
Even though I did not attend any classes there, I had ample time to stroll through the Quad on the way to the Chemistry and Physics Buildings and the Suzzallo Library. While doing so, I would occasionally look up at the strange figures on the buildings. I always called them gargoyles. But as I discovered later, they are really grotesques. They are differentiated from gargoyles in that gargoyles have water coming out of them from rain down spouts.
For the next several postings I will focus on a few of these pieces of art.