Category Archives: The Intimate Landscape

The small details, shapes, and textures that catch my eye.

A Different View

“Mary’s Perspective”
Yakima Area Arboretum, Washington

This image is Mary’s view for my previous post. She sees the world through “bright and shiny” lenses, hence the beautiful tones of aqua and yellow. The following is her perspective:

Extraordinary

Sometimes reality just doesn’t do it for me.
I want to see a world as I think it should be
and, maybe, not exactly as it is.

One of my favorite colors is teal or almost any
combination of blue and green.  Those colors conjure
both seawater and plants, some of the real necessities for life.

So why not make the tree leaves teal?
It’s true that they don’t usually come in that exact shade.  
I know that, but just once I want this tree to be how I want it to be.

Thank you for playing around with the color
and making blue/green leaves and warm, yellow light peeking through.
It’s a little thing and maybe a trick, but I think it is beautiful. 

For a few moments, this tree is just a little bit extraordinary. 

Mary Dahlin Graf

Something a Little Different

Japanese Garden Entryway Gate
Yakima Area Arboretum, Washington

It was hot (>95F) and it felt good standing in the shade for a moment. Why did I take this image? I was drawn to the line of wisteria and the bright blue sky. It was another good opportunity for infrared photography to pull out the bright wisteria foliage and highlight the brilliant blue sky of a summer day in Eastern Washington.

Bright and Brilliant

Japanese Garden
Yakima Area Arboretum, Washington

The midday contrasts of the foliage tend to blend together. Deep shadows and bright sunlit leaves tend to obscure detail. Some say that the light is bad and it is not a good time to photograph. But I am here enjoying what is in front of me. How can I make the best of it? Infrared comes to the rescue!

Purple & Pink

“Purple & Pink”
Heatherwood Rock Garden

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.

Where’s the Rain?

Hoh Rain Forest
Olympic National Park, Washington

I haven’t had much luck finding rain in our Washington and Hawai’in rainforests. My last five trips have been in bright sunny weather in the middle of dry spells. Even though the weather has been beautiful during my visits, I have missed the solemness of the dark, rain-covered forests and vegetation. I will keep trying.

Inside Kilauea Caldera

“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’.

Death Valley Mystery

“The Race Track”
Death Valley National Park, Nevada

What the ????? How did the rock get here? Who or what pushed it? Or was it pulled? Scientists have been studying this since the early 1900’s. Theories have changed over time. In fact, the prominent theory at the time I took this image seven years ago has changed.

The current theory is developed from using time-lapse photography, weather stations, and GPS devices. During the winter of 2013, the elements came together and scientists were able to record the phenomenon of the sliding rocks. During a rain fall followed by an extreme cold night, a thin layer of ice formed. The ice lifted the rocks from the playa surface. The next morning, the ice started to melt creating a thin layer of water between the ice and the playa. The ice sheet started to break up leaving sections of the sheet floating on the water. Winds came up blowing the smaller ice sheets with the embedded rocks across the playa.

Related Images:

Springtime in the Smokies

Dogwoods
Great Smokies National Park, Tennessee

I am still not able to get out and about much, so I thought I would do a little series of some of the National Parks that I have visited over the years. My first entry is from the Great Smokies National Park in Tennessee.

Springtime in the Smokies is a glorious time of the year. Dogwoods are starting to bloom and light green leaves are emerging from the deciduous forests as seen from this image taken near Cades Cove. The early morning lights turn the light green leaves into an almost gold color.

Roaring streams in lush green stream beds with multiple waterfalls grace the park. Wildlife, including black bears, are becoming active. Morning fog covers much of the area and gradually dissolves to present misty vignettes. Distant hills are covered with a misty haze giving rise to their namesake “Smoky” Mountains.