Yesterday I awoke to the ground covered with about 6 inches of snow. A light fog covered the surrounding hills. Snow covered objects blended into the background. From the top of Heatherwood, I saw our neighbor’s trees mysteriously transparent on the hillside. It’s nice to live in the country.
Limber Pine Cones and Waterfall Heatherwood Japanese Garden
Every time I walk through our garden I get a different perspective. This day, I chose to walk around with my camera and a wide-angle lens. I saw huge (8-inch) pine cones on one of our Limber Pines. With my wide-angle lens, I started searching for something interesting to complement the cones. Moving around the tree, our pond and waterfall appeared.
As I explore our garden I sometimes focus on details, sometimes on wide views, and sometimes on whatever catches my eye. Walking in the garden is always an adventure.
“Looking Into the Oak Grove” Yakima Arboretum, Washington
This image of oak trees in the Yakima Arboretum found me this spring before the Covid-19 restrictions. Luckily the Arboretum was allowed to remain open during this period. I was able to make several other visits to see the cherry tree bloom, the magnolia bloom, and the crabapple bloom. Several times I felt that I had the Arboretum to myself. It was a great time to just wander and let images come to me.
My walks through the Arboretum help me visualize what our little place in Selah could be in 15-20 years. This spring we planted five oak trees. We have spaced them out to create a grove where we will be able to watch them grow. It will take several years for them to be tall enough to support an understory of smaller trees and shrubs. In the meantime the grove will look bare, but I will be able to squint my eyes and imagine what it will be like when they mature.
The Yakima Area Arboretum has one of the largest and oldest crabapple collection in the country. In the Spring, the blossoms create a mass of whites, pinks, purples, and reds. The trees are all mature and the blossom display is gorgeous.
The Yakima Arboretum collection is the stimulus that has led me to try to develop a little crabapple grove as part of our home landscape. This Spring, we planted a small grouping of six crabapples, all different varieties. Being young, their spring bloom was just a harbinger of what will be in the next 10 years or so. Over the coming years I look forward to watching them grow and mature. I plan to gradually develop an understory that will pull the grove together and complement the individual trees.
Walking into a narrow canyon in Capitol Reef National Park, I stopped and turned around to view the path I had taken. This tree was perfectly framed by the canyon walls and the cliff in the background. The shapes, colors, shadows and highlights created this image. All I had to do is place my tripod down and push the shutter. Nature is amazing.
My future bride wrote the following poem to describe how she felt when viewing the image
Growth is everywhere, even underneath the layers of rock where years of rain, wind, and river water color them a bright reddish, with lines and splashes of experience.
The tree winds and tangles to the sun as if it wants to be seen up where the air is clear and open, a place it stretches to yet cannot see.
It is a ghost-like journey, this quest to become. The journey, with its twists and branches, is the story that is not yet written, not yet told.
Bare branches against a winter sky always catch my eye. Last week I was driving along the Interstate when I saw an interesting pattern on the Horse Heaven Hills. I took an exit to explore with my camera. After a little walk, I looked up and saw these tree branches against the sky. It gave me a cold, gloomy feeling. I couldn’t resist the opportunity.
Sunlight on the trunks of a beech tree grove pull my eyes into the tunnel created by the overhanging branches. Filtered light through the upper branches provide a gentle glow on the ground. The natural archway beckons me to walk through.
Beautiful abstracts abound in the natural world around us. I am constantly amazed how much of nature’s art I see when I just take my time to peacefully look around me. Moments before I recorded this image, I was admiring a beautiful reflection of trees with their full fall glory in a pond at the Bloedel Reserve. I turned around and immediately saw gentle rays of sunshine peeking through two aspen tree trunks. I gasped at the beauty and quickly took an image before the sun went behind a cloud. That brief moment was a wonderful gift!