I wanted to share two new art prints I completed for my Inspirational Prayer Gallery. In that gallery I take either photographic or art prints and overlay them with an inspirational thought or prayer. With the two I am sharing today, they are both from prior hikes that I have done here in the Pacific Northwest. The overlay is a thought I go through daily using prayerful meditation. I like to start the day with prayer and the first thing I need to do is quiet my mind (not easy to do) and then focus on seeking His peace and joy with gratitude and thankfulness.
The first one is from Lake 22 Trail which is located near Granite Falls, Washington and has an elevation gain of about 1500 feet that brings you up to a lake.
The second art print is one of two falls known as Twin Falls. This stream runs through the valley where North Bend, Washington is located. This valley nestled in the Cascade Mountain Range is the home of many hiking trails spreading out and up.
It has been an unusually wet winter and spring here in the Pacific Northwest. We moved up here (per my earlier blogs) in March. It was the middle of March when we received our furniture via the moving van and we have been settling in ever since (that’s short for painting every room, updating all three bathrooms, furniture shopping, donating furniture we shipped but aren’t using, new appliances….that kind of stuff).
Having said all that, I have been itching to get back to hiking, but with the wet weather I’ve acquiesced to waiting and the above items have kept me busy. With summer coming and the rains easing up, I’m ready to get back out there!! I’ve attached four captures from hikes I have done up here in the past to get me back to it!!
I wanted to share a little hiking/photo adventure with you from our trip to the Pacific Northwest. My son-in-law and I love hiking and have been on numerous hikes together. For the last few years I have had to succumb to the fact that with my knees continuing to get worse, I was to the point I couldn’t do much hiking at all. As I have mentioned for those of you that follow me, I had knee replacement surgery on my right knee last year and in June of this year, my left knee. My personality is such that I am all over the physical therapy needed to get back to “normal”. I was looking forward to this trip for many reason, one being to get back into my love of hiking in the Pacific Northwest and the photo opportunities they present.
So on his day off, he suggested a specific trail he knew I would like called Lake 22 Trail near Granite Falls, Washington. It’s about 4 miles one way with an elevation gain of about 1500 feet. At the top of the elevation gain is a lake that the trail goes around….perfect!!
On the day of the hike, it’s raining and turns into a steady solid drizzle as we near the trail head. My backpack is waterproof along with my jacket, so we are good to go. The only thing I was concerned with was my camera getting wet. With that in mind, I pre-set everything to a landscape mode with exposure on auto. That way, all I had to do was pull the camera out and snap pictures quickly (I had it hanging around my neck under may jacket). Perfect….we start out and the rain picks up and we are hiking switchback after switchback gaining altitude. When I see a shot worth taking, I stop, unzip my jacket, grab the camera, snap a few and put it back under my jacket before it gets soaked.
As we started the hike, the trail was well maintained and smooth. The further we got and the longer we hiked, the trail turned into a rocky creek. I didn’t realize how long it had been since I had been able to walk by securing my footing on one rock….balanced myself as I moved my other leg to the next rock keeping me out of the water. At first it wasn’t at all natural and I looked like a drunk initially. We were both laughing at it and eventually it all came back to me. But of course he thought it would then be better if he followed me in case I fell, thus the attached two pictures. I got past that issue and all was good. We had a great hike and I took what I thought would be great pictures.
I was finally getting the balancing thing nailed!!
Well, when we got back to their house and I pulled my camera out to put it away, I noticed that the dial had gotten turned to “manual” for all pictures. In other words, somewhere in the “in and out” from under my jacket I ended up losing my automatic exposure and focus ending up with very, very dark pictures that even all of the digital support of photoshop couldn’t resurrect. I tried every trick in the book when we got home, but to no avail except for one capture and that is the one I have added to the end of the post.
This particular stream was halfway up the trail as we climbed in altitude. I snapped it on the way back down and believe me there was more water coming down this little stream then there was when we were headed up.
As with last weeks post, I have been digging through the archives to find captures that I have not done anything with. That being said, we are jumping back to 2013 in North Bend, Washington. North Bend is on the western side of the Cascade Mountain Range just east of Seattle. The town is nestled in a beautiful valley and is home to numerous hiking trails and some pretty intense ones at that.
Todays captures come from two different trails, the first one is called Little Si and is rated low to intermediate.
HIking – Little Si 1
I miss the lushness of the Pacific Northwest woods…….
Hiking Little Si 2
I love the way the sun was shining through the forest canopy on these moss covered boulders.
Hiking – Little Si 3
The next three captures are from the Twin Falls trail. I have shared numerous shots of the falls, but nothing from the trail to get to them.
Hiking – Twin Falls 1
The trail follows the river winding its way to a lookout of the two falls upstream.
Hiking – Twin Falls 2
Again, the sheer beauty of the forest…..
Hiking – Twin Falls 3
From my perspective going through these archives brought a welcome respite from being sequestered in our home for the foreseeable future. Hope this finds you and yours healthy!! Be well and hope you enjoyed the hike!!
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Day in and day out each of us have so many things going on albeit it physically or mentally. It is usually what needs to get done or what do I need to accomplish today. It can be your mind racing about current issues in your life or stressing about the future….it’s a multitude of ongoing things. When I feel myself getting a bit overwhelmed, I remind myself to pause, take a deep breath and quiet my mind. I like to picture myself hiking one of my favorite trails in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest….the peace and quiet of the forest takes over…….
I’ve attached two shots from a photo shoot I did during one of my hikes in the Cascade Mountains just east of Seattle. One is a macro of a single mushroom that I almost didn’t see in the undergrowth of the forest and the other one of a rotted stump. Both shots represent unique opportunities often overlooked in the sheer beauty of a hike in a heavily forested area.
I couldn’t have arranged the leaves and the mushroom head more perfectly if I had done it myself. This shot was along the path I was hiking and I almost didn’t see this single mushroom poking through the leaves of the surrounding undergrowth. Getting down on my knees and shooting it from a slight downward angle, framed it perfectly.
The uniqueness of this shot was not just the subject matter, but the sun shining on the rotted stump and the perspective of it in the view framed by live trees. The visual changed dramatically just walking a few feet in either direction on the path. The sunlight caught my eye bringing this large stump into center stage. The framing of the shot with the live trees had me walking the path forwards and backwards looking for just the right alignment, which I think I found.
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I’m featuring three photos from a hike I did to Twin Falls. This particular Twin Falls is located just outside of North Bend, Washington. North Bend is located in The Snoqualmie Valley east of Seattle as you climb into the Cascade Mountain Range. There are a number of hiking trails in the valley many of them ascending into the mountains that encircle the valley. The hike to Twin Falls is considered a milder hike compare to most of the others. The trail takes you along the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River through beautiful forests until you reach the falls. It isn’t two water falls side by side, but two waterfalls one right after the other.
The attached photographs are from a hiking trail near North Bend, Washington. The trail is called Lil Si and is just 4.1 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 1300 ft. It’s a beautiful trail through some very dense forest vegetation. When I came across these moss-covered boulders with the sunlight coming through the canopy, the term “photo shoot” sang out to me.
The first shot is the trail itself. Notice the sun shining on the boulder at the top portion of the frame….this was the first indication of what I was about to see up ahead.
As the last installment of shots from my hikes during my recent trip to Seattle, I wanted to end on a hit of color. These three shots came from a hike we did in the Washington Park Arboretum. The arboretum is located northeast of downtown, with the far north end touching Union Bay and the University of Washington directly across the water. The trails wind through the woods and the occasional clearing immersing you in a lush sea of green. Well, imagine my surprise to come across these plants. I have no idea what they are (if anyone does, please enlighten me), but found the accent of vivid color stunning. So stunning, I have already added them to my Color Photography One Gallery on my website.
As mentioned a few posts ago, my wife and I headed up to Seattle to visit our youngest daughter and her fiancé. I had talked about the real purpose of the trip, which was to pick out a wedding dress with all of the “yes to the dress” hoopla that entails for the ladies. During their big outing, I thought it would be a great opportunity for the guys to go hiking, which I love to do…especially in in the Pacific Northwest. Over the course of the next few posts, I want to share what I think are some of my best shots from a couple of different hikes.
Before I get into the hiking photos, I do need to share one of the true highlights of that trip. After the ladies had done a day of wedding dress shopping, my daughter had narrowed it down to one particular dress. She didn’t want to give her final “yes” until she had shown it to her dad. So, the day before we came back to Phoenix, her and my wife took me to the bridal shop and had me sit down while she tried it on. When she came out in her dress, tears pooled up in my eyes. In front of me stood our youngest daughter representing our last wedding from our three girls. Needless to say, I was blown away. The dress was made for her (as were the others for her respective sisters). Stunning doesn’t even begin to describe it…..it was one of those life moments that will stick with me forever. I am a very blessed man.
Thanks for letting me share that, now some hiking shots. These three shots come from a hike near North Bend, Washington, in the Cascade Mountain Range. The hike itself was along the South Fork Snoqualmie River (say that one real fast). All three photos are taken from the same spot, just changing composition and zoom slightly. I would like your feedback on which of the three you like the best and why.
South Fork Snoqualmie River 1
South Fork Snoqualmie River 2
South Fork Snoqualmie River 3
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