Monday, March 19, 2018

That Sky!

I really don't have a series of photos for a blog post yet, but this image is one I took on our way back up the Columbia Gorge last weekend (after another trip to do some "grandbaby duty" in Hillsboro while baby's daddy/our son was in NYC for work and mama could use some back-up). The weather was "iffy" but the clouds were spectacular.  This was taken through the windshield from the passenger side of the car...wind towers on the Washington side of the Columbia River, dwarfed by that immense cloud-filled sky.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Winter Arrived...the last weeks of February

Snow at Christmas and that was it.  Temperatures in early February reached 50 degrees a couple of days. Then the cold moved in.  And then the snow came: the first day, we got 10 inches of the white stuff; the second day, the wind brought more snow.  It's good for the mountains, because that's our water during the summer months.  And I had to see what it looked like because a snow landscape has become my favorite.  I don't enjoy being out in the snow, but I love looking at all the scenes.  All of the following photographs were taken no more than 6 feet from the car, and many were taken from the car.  (Hwy 204 is known as the Tollgate Highway over the Blue Mountains from Elgin to Spout Springs...and on to Weston and Pendleton or to Walla Walla.)

Friday, February 16, 2018

Winter Clouds

There has been a serious lack of snow in this area this winter.  We had about 6 inches at Christmas time here in the valley, with more in the mountains. But that was it. Then rain came and recently caused a serious snow melt in the mountains, as well.  70 inches of snow soon became 40 on the summit.  But this week, we had snow again, only  3 inches or so down low.  The skies then cleared and the clouds were glorious, all of them crowning the surrounding mountains of the Grande Ronde Valley. 

 7000 ft. Mount Fanny (SE end of valley)

 6000 ft Mount Emily (west side) 
 5000 ft. Mount Harris (NE end) 
 Mount Fanny 
                                                                        Mount Harris

Sunday, February 4, 2018

From the Passenger Side

Driving the length of the Columbia Gorge is a necessity for getting from NE Oregon to the west side, Hillsboro in particular.  Last week, my husband and I did just that, in order to provide some baby care for our young granddaughter, who was ill.  Both parents work, so retired grandparents love to step in when they can.  The weather was dreary, but I always try to find subjects to photograph on the 5-hour trip. There were two stops for photos: one at Cascade Locks to photograph Bridge of the Gods, which crosses the Columbia into Washington state, and one on the way home at the remaining stands of trees at Boardman Tree Farm.
Heading west

On the way back east

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Visit to the "Banana Belt" of Wallowa County in winter

This winter has been a disappointment to me...primarily because there has been one incident of measurable snow, which was about 6 inches right before Christmas.  Then the rain began and after the snow melted, the only moisture has been in the form of rain.  We get a rain-snow mix, but nothing that sticks.  Temperatures have been in the high 30's and low 40's, which certainly hasn't been conducive to winter weather.  Recently, we took a drive to the neighboring mountainous county of Wallowa to visit Imnaha.  My husband hadn't been there  for years, and I simply wanted to go "somewhere." It's 40 miles to Joseph, which is essentially "the end of the road" in NE Oregon.  The trip to Imnaha is 30 miles NE into an isolated area, which has been homesteaded for generations.  Joseph sits at an elevation of 4,190 feet and Imnaha's elevation is 1,978 feet. The temperature on the car thermometer crept higher the farther north we went, from 38 to 51 degrees: hence the name "the banana belt."  The growing season is considerably longer in Imnaha.

The landscape is basically treeless, unlike much of the forested land of Wallowa County. 

These cows needed short legs on the uphill side for the steep
                                grazing land. Several ranchers have cattle in this area.                                           

There's a Post Office and a school in "city center." 

The Imnaha Store has a colorful history. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

December and Snow

Last year's winter was one-in-30-years...snow started the day after Thanksgiving and didn't seem to end until March!  The wind blew and the snow piled higher.  It truly was momentous.  This year...different.  It got cold, but there wasn't any "real" snow until right before Christmas. The scenes here are all at Wallowa Lake, which is at an elevation of 4700 feet.  The area had been under a temperature inversion, so the hoar frost was beautiful. It was only 29 degrees, so my photo session was a bit rushed.  Now that the region has had at least 6 inches more snow, I need to visit the lake again.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sunset in November

I'm lagging in my blog posts, but I'm also lagging in my photography.  There are too many things I dislike about this time of year.  I do love frost photos, but I also love being warm, and getting outside early when it's in the 20's is NOT one of my loves!  My husband and I drove across the Blue Mountains to Walla Walla, Washington this week; on our way home, the sunset was amazing.

 These are the foothills of the Blue Mountains above the Walla Walla Valley. 

As we start the climb out of the valley to head east, there's an intersection which provides a view of the Weston, Oregon cemetery.  The sky was on fire, and the trees in the cemetery were beautiful silhouettes.