Day 88 – Mount McLaughlin


The Snow-capped Mountains

I want to be where the Snow-Capped Mountains are- 
Where the white snow gleams in the sunlight, 
Where the crystal-like sparkles penetrate the body 
And relieve every dismal thought you’ve ever had. 

I yearn for those Snow-Capped Mountains- 
Where the thoughts of today and yesterday are obsolete, 
Where you tower over every normative thought, every routine action 
And where idealism is actually within reach. 

But my arms are not long enough, 
To transcend these limits 
And my fingertips cannot grasp 
Those Snow-Capped Mountains gleaming on the horizon. 

-Cate Gooch

This was the view at Touvelle State Park yesterday. As a native Oregonian snow capped volcanic peaks mean home to me. They just do. And Mt McLaughlin is the most homiest of them all. It’s easy to forget it’s there. You have to be in the right place, somewhere north of Medford to get the best views. But every time I see it it takes my breath away. And I have been know to cry on spotting it from an airplane returning home from some exile far away.

Day 87 – Acorn Woodpecker



Rhythmic tympani of woodland symphony,
His search for lunch in Quercus branch
Ads music to a forest glade.
Dawn’s chorus would the poorer be
Without his insistent cacophony

-Colin Tuckett

I hope you won’t mind another bird picture so soon. They do seem to be the most beautiful things out there to photograph these days. And with the leaves gone they are much easier to photograph. Long on my list of places I have never been but should go has been Touvelle State Park, on the Rogue River just north of Medford. With the gorgeous weather holding I decided today that there was no time like the present. Well, if I’d know the place was crawling with Acorn Woodpeckers I would have gone much sooner. I have also long wanted to get a good picture of their little clown faces. This one was so close to me I almost had to zoom out  a little to get him all in the frame. I love how you can see his little toes digging in to hang on to the tree.


Day 84 – Fog



The fog comes 
on little cat feet. 

It sits looking 
over harbor and city 
on silent haunches 
and then moves on.

 -Carl Sandburg

I’ve been cursing the fog lately because it has been keeping everything cold and dark. But when I saw this scene as I was going out to get the mail yesterday I had to go back and get the camera. Of course I had to zoom in to cut out all the buildings and cars but it was the wispyness of the fog in the valley and the colors of the clouds that drew me in. This poem by Carl Sandburg is one of the first ones I was ever introduced to by a teacher in grade school. I have always loved the imagery of the cat sneaking in and looking around. Though our fog tends to stick around for days on end. Happily it finally cleared this afternoon.



Day 70 – Autumn Landscape


Merry Autumn

It’s all a farce,—these tales they tell
     About the breezes sighing,
And moans astir o’er field and dell,
     Because the year is dying.
Such principles are most absurd,—
     I care not who first taught ’em;
There’s nothing known to beast or bird
     To make a solemn autumn.
In solemn times, when grief holds sway
     With countenance distressing,
You’ll note the more of black and gray
     Will then be used in dressing.
Now purple tints are all around;
     The sky is blue and mellow;
And e’en the grasses turn the ground
     From modest green to yellow.
The seed burrs all with laughter crack
     On featherweed and jimson;
And leaves that should be dressed in black
     Are all decked out in crimson.
A butterfly goes winging by;
     A singing bird comes after;
And Nature, all from earth to sky,
     Is bubbling o’er with laughter.
The ripples wimple on the rills,
     Like sparkling little lasses;
The sunlight runs along the hills,
     And laughs among the grasses.
The earth is just so full of fun
     It really can’t contain it;
And streams of mirth so freely run
     The heavens seem to rain it.
Don’t talk to me of solemn days
     In autumn’s time of splendor,
Because the sun shows fewer rays,
     And these grow slant and slender.
Why, it’s the climax of the year,—
     The highest time of living!—
Till naturally its bursting cheer
     Just melts into thanksgiving.


-Paul Laurence Dunbar


I normally try to choose shorter poems but I like this one and after reading about the author I was even more impressed. The poem was written in 1896. Dunbar was an African American born in 1872 to freed former slaves. He died from tuberculosis in 1906 at the age of 33 having published 7 volumes of poems. Why have I never heard of him before???? Don’t answer that, I have my theories.
The photo is from my trip to the Applegate Valley. I don’t shoot many landscapes but the trees and the clouds and the mountains and the horses and the vineyard…well, it was hard to resist.

Day 52 – Forgotten Grapes


Wine Tasting

I think I detect cracked leather.
I’m pretty sure I smell the cherries
from a Shirley Temple my father bought me

in 1959, in a bar in Orlando, Florida,
and the chlorine from my mother’s bathing cap.
And last winter’s kisses, like salt on black ice,

like the moon slung away from the earth.
When Li Po drank wine, the moon dove
in the river, and he staggered after.

Probably he tasted laughter.
When my friend Susan drinks
she cries because she’s Irish

and childless. I’d like to taste,
one more time, the rain that arrived
one afternoon and fell just short

of where I stood, so I leaned my face in,
alive in both worlds at once,
knowing it would end and not caring.

-Kim Addonizio

I came very close to spacing out my duty to post today. I have been taking a Genealogy class and today’s class was about organization. So I decided by files could use a little more organization and went home and went to work. Only when I went down to dinner did I realize I had not done anything about posting an image for today. So, I decided to just start with the last time I was out shooting and work my way back. Fortunately, I didn’t have to go far to find these forgotten grapes from the winery the other day. I just love the colors and I think they play well together. And, while I had rejected this poem for my shot of the vineyard I liked it much better today and it seems to fit the photo better as well. We’ll see how it goes for tomorrow with more rain in the forecast and more genealogy files to organize!

Day 50 – Vineyard



This is the treacherous month when autumn days
With summer’s voice come bearing summer’s gifts.
Beguiled, the pale down-trodden aster lifts
Her head and blooms again. The soft, warm haze
Makes moist once more the sere and dusty ways,
And, creeping through where dead leaves lie in drifts,
The violet returns. Snow noiseless sifts
Ere night, an icy shroud, which morning’s rays
Will idly shine upon and slowly melt,
Too late to bid the violet live again.
The treachery, at last, too late, is plain;
Bare are the places where the sweet flowers dwelt.
What joy sufficient hath November felt?
What profit from the violet’s day of pain?

-Helen Hunt Jackson

Drinking wine at my local neighborhood winery the other day I noticed how pretty the red leaves of the vineyard looked against the mountains. So I came back one morning this week to try and capture the effect. This marks the halfway point in my journey. I’m hitting my stride, I’m getting into a routine but I’m also looking forward to being done and I have so many images now (3791 to be exact) that I could easily cruise through the rest of the project. But of course that would not be in the spirit of the thing and just think, I could end up with another 3 or 4 thousand pictures before I’m done, which should be enough to get me through the winter in terms of creating new art.

Day 41 Autumn Landscape


Autumn’s Majesty

Sun with his artistic touch,
streaks skies of blue with rosy blush,
trimming Oak and Maple too,
crimson reds with yellow hue.

Birch and Hemlock, purple and gold,
apples, pumpkins bright and bold,
burns by day and cools by night,
cloaking trees in fiery might.

Wispy winds and tumbling leaves,
cypress scents within the breeze,
starry eves and harvest moon,
sets the stage for crickets’ tune.

As spiders spin their tapestry
and crickets sing in symphony,
their final song of destiny,
it’s clear for all the world to see,
Autumn’s vibrant majesty!

-Patricia L. Cisco

The weather is turning back toward summer again so I took myself and the camera out for a walk on the greenway. I don’t think any of the photographs I took begin to capture the vibrance of the colors against the bright blue sky.

Day 37 – Yellow Woods


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost
I managed a walk in Lithia Park this morning before the rain set in. I have to say the colors were amazing and the reflections in the lower duck pond took my breath away. I went with a painterly treatment and texture effect on this one and it immediately put me in mind of one of my all time favorite poems… probably because it was introduced to me by one of my favorite teachers, ’round about 4th or 5th grade.

Day 34 – Snow Geese


Snow Geese

Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last! 
What a task
to ask 
of anything, or anyone, 
yet it is ours, 
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours. 
One fall day I heard
above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound
I did not know, and my look shot upward; it was 
a flock of snow geese, winging it
faster than the ones we usually see, 
and, being the color of snow, catching the sun 
so they were, in part at least, golden. I 
held my breath
as we do
to stop time
when something wonderful
has touched us 
as with a match, 
which is lit, and bright, 
but does not hurt
in the common way, 
but delightfully, 
as if delight
were the most serious thing
you ever felt. 
The geese
flew on, 
I have never seen them again. 
Maybe I will, someday, somewhere.
Maybe I won’t.
It doesn’t matter.
What matters
is that, when I saw them, 
I saw them
as through the veil, secretly, joyfully, clearly.

-Mary Oliver

I’ ve been trying for months to find the time and right weather conditions for a trip over the mountain to the Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuges. My calendar and the weather forecast finally aligned today so I said “I don’t care what else I have on my to do list. I’m going.” And I’m glad I did. I came home with over 300 images though I suppose most of them will have to go to the recycle bin. Those critters just refuse to sit still. But I was pleased to see some snow geese at Tule Lake and though I did see a few bald eagles and even got their portraits this image spoke to me most about the joy seeing the birds lift off in a flock as one. I thought about using Mary Oliver’s poem Wild Geese, which is my all time favorite but I thought “No, everyone has heard that one.” So when my google search turned up another Mary Oliver poem about snow geese, I was delighted, as I am delighted to share it with you.