Aug 302014
Hiking Salmon Lakes Trail in the Oregon Cascades

Mention any place in Oregon you visited with “Waldo” in the name and anyone who knows the central Cascades will ask, “How bad were the mosquitos?” Waldo Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in the Pacific Northwest, with water purity matched only by Crater Lake, is notorious for the hordes of mosquitos that have spoiled many a summer camping trip or hike at the lake. Naturally, the mosquitos don’t limit themselves to Waldo Lake, and are thick throughout any [read more …]

Jan 152012
Alabama Hills Arches

The fantastic rock formations of the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, California, have been favorite subject matter for photographers for many years. The combination of jumbled and roundly eroded rock rising up from the Owens Valley with a backdrop of the dramatic eastern face of the Sierra Nevada mountains is hard to beat. Scattered throughout the Alabama Hills are a number of interesting rock arches. At one time, some photographers and concerned conservationists tried to keep the location of the [read more …]

Oct 242011
Where in Washington for Fall Color Photos

Interested in where to find the best autumn foliage for landscape and scenic photography in Washington State?  I did a quick circuit around the Cascades last week and found quite a range of fall color. In most locations, the color was just starting to get good, so this week and the next should be optimal for making photographs, or just viewing for the pleasure of it. In the southern Cascades, around Trout Lake and Mount Adams, there were places with [read more …]

May 312011
Take a Hike!  National Trails Day.

Saturday, June 4, is National Trails Day, an annual event that celebrates trails of all types for non-motorized adventure and recreation in the U.S.A. The American Hiking Society has been organizing this event for 19 years, with the cooperation of the U.S. Forest Service, National Wildlife Service, National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management. This year’s sponsors and partners include Backpacker Magazine, Columbia, Eastern Mountain Sports, Fetzer, Merrell, The North Face, American Park Network and REI. If you [read more …]

Jan 232011
Favorite Photos of 2010

I’ve been inspired by the blogs of a number of photographers who’ve recently posted their top photos for 2010, so decided to add my own to the mix. Most of the photographers post either landscape and scenic photos or travel photography. I do a mixture of both – something to do with being a Gemini perhaps? – so my selection of favorites is a combination of nature images and snaps from my travels this past year.     Early in [read more …]

Oct 252010
The Enchantments - Alpine Lakes Wilderness

On a beautiful early October morning I stood with a 40-pound pack on my back at the bottom of Aasgard Pass and exclaimed “O.M.G.!” Twice. Once for the incredible beauty of milky blue Colchuck Lake and the towering mountains above, and once for the daunting climb ahead of me – a 2,200 elevation gain in less than a mile of “trail”. Trail is in quotes because the route is basically follow-the-cairns over loose scree and chunks of granite rock after [read more …]

Sep 022010
National Wilderness Month

September is National Wilderness Month, so proclaimed by President Obama. I’ve had the good fortune to hike and backpack in several wilderness areas recently, and firmly believe that our federally designated Wilderness areas rank right up there with our National Parks as some of the best things about the U.S.A. There are a number of new and proposed wilderness areas in the Pacific Northwest, places that are now protected, or worthy of protection, for future generations. Nationally, The Wilderness Society [read more …]

Jun 032010
Take a hike!  National Trails Day

Saturday, June 5, is National Trails Day, so let’s get out there and take a hike! This annual celebration of hiking and walking trails was started in 1993 by the American Hiking Society to help raise awareness of the benefits of, and needs for, getting outside and enjoying nature. If you want to hike with a group or participate in a trail maintenance project, many events are planned nationwide. Click on the map on this page to find what’s happening [read more …]

Jun 022010
Rhody season

It’s rhododendron season in the Pacific Northwest. Depending on location and elevation, these beautiful evergreen shrubs bloom from April through June in the western regions of northern California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. There are several species and many varieties of rhodies grown as garden ornamentals, but only the Pacific Rhododendron (R. macrophyllum) grows in the wild. One of the best known places to see and photograph these wonderful flowers is in the California Redwoods, but they’re also prolific in [read more …]