Thursday, April 15, 2010

Columbia River Gorge in Spring

The Historic Columbia River Gorge is a beautiful place any time of year. Yet each Spring it transforms and comes ‘alive’ making it one of the best times to visit if you only are able to come once. The many different flowers from Lupine to Balsamroot in the drier and more open vistas of the Gorge to the dense deep jungle feeling forests with lush carpets of moss, cascading streams galore, rushing waterfalls and green foliage abound. It really is a sight to see if you have not had the opportunity yet. Ask many that live here and they will most likely agree that it rivals many National Parks and Preserves in its scenic diversity and postcard beauty. This marvelous landscape is not a secret as you will easily see on any sunny weekend in spring or summer (even though overcast and a foggy drizzle is better in my book, at least for being in the forest).

Nonetheless there are always those spots that receive much less traffic than others, allowing you a slice of solitude to visually soak up the scenery and sniff the natural aroma of the Gorge. I know I have covered the Columbia Gorge in the past on my blog and elsewhere but I never tire or grow bored of the area. Even though I have hiked hundreds of miles over the years in this area; I know there are still falls, streams and hikes I have yet to experience on both the Oregon and Washington side. It really is almost endless. Here are just a few images I have captured the Spring of 2010 on a few different trips to the area. These three images are as different as can be but all in the same general area no more than 20 miles apart. If you are planning on coming out and are interested in a photography tour, I normally offer group and or one-on-one workshops / photo tours in this area.

“Forest Rain” – A lush mossy backdrop with fast flowing stream photographed in the pouring rain. To capture this photograph I did need to stand in the water which is pretty ice cold this time of year. Not to mention on this day there was a spring season winter storm that had snow falling only about 1,000 feet above me. I could see the snow line before walking into the Forest. This is normally not a busy place but on this day it was completely void of people. Very peaceful it was.

“Early Spring” – One of the first signs of Spring is the presence of the Grass Widow (Sisyrinchium douglasii) which is seen normally in early March, however the peak bloom was very early this year. In Fact this photograph was captured early February and they were at their peak then, about a month earlier than 2009. Photographing flowers in the Gorge is never easy. Even when the bloom is good the sunrise/sunset might not be and the wind seems to always blow in the open areas where the landscape scene is usually best. Yet on this morning the sunrise was pleasant and the wind only a subtle breeze.

“Hiding” – This is one of those images that speaks about the art of nature as much or more than a landscape with a blazing sunrise sky, at least to me. While out exploring with my friend and photography peer David Cobb, we came across this scene. Both of us commented how we wanted to photograph this area but never had, despite passing it many times and the fact it is not some hidden far off location (it sits within view of the highway). We sure were glad we stopped to see the potential. This image is of Alder trunks blending in with the landscape of the rock wall behind it. A gem of a find for any photographer in search of abstracts.


Blogger Paul Eraut said...

great shots Adrian!

7:40 AM  

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