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 85 – Applegate Valley


But I, Too, Want to be a Poet

But I, too, want to be a poet
to erase from my days
confusion & poverty
fiction & a sharp tongue

To sing again
with the tones of adolescence
demanding vengeance
against my enemies, with words
clear & austere

To end this tumultuous quest
for reasonable solutions
to situations mysterious & sore

To have the height to view
myself as I view others
with lenience & love

To be free of the need
to make a waste of money
when my passion,
first and last,
is for the ecstatic lash
of the poetic line

and no visible recompense

-Fanny Howe

So, the fog finally cleared, only because it is so windy it blew away and so it’s still impossible to do any outdoor photography. I’m not feeling too inspired for the studio either so I started backward through the files and got to November 17 before I found something I liked. A nice scene from the Applegate Valley. There used to be a huge white barn on this site but sometime in the past two years it just vanished. At least they left some of the old farm equipment. I got a couple of new poetry books today so instead of looking for something to fit the photo I just paged through until I found one I liked.

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 80 – Bare Poplars



The seasons send their ruin as they go,
For in the spring the narciss shows its head
Nor withers till the rose has flamed to red,
And in the autumn purple violets blow,
And the slim crocus stirs the winter snow;
Wherefore yon leafless trees will bloom again
And this grey land grow green with summer rain
And send up cowslips for some boy to mow.

But what of life whose bitter hungry sea
Flows at our heels, and gloom of sunless night
Covers the days which never more return?
Ambition, love and all the thoughts that burn
We lose too soon, and only find delight
In withered husks of some dead memory.

-Oscar Wilde

Who knew Oscar Wilde could be so dark. Well, it does fit the picture and the gloominess brought on by persistent fog in the valley. I was inspired this morning by a photographer I follow who blogged about how she loves to photograph the shapes of the trees as autumn fades into winter. So I decided what better way to put the fog to good use and drove out into the orchards to see what I could find. It’s hard to beat bare poplars for drama against the sky but the colors were so flat it seemed to cry out for a black and white treatment.

Day 79 – Fallen Fence



No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds –

-Thomas Hood

It wasn’t raining today but it was just gloomy. I kept expecting thing to brighten up but they never did. So I went back to my fallen down fence from yesterday and worked on  it a little more. You wouldn’t guess there is a self storage facility just beyond the next pasture would you? And Farewell to November with 21 one days to go before Autumn officially ends.

Day 78 – Autumn Abstract

Autumn Abstract

Fall Leaves, Fall

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

– Emily Bronte

In keeping with my vow to visit places I have not been before, I took a short field trip to Blue Heron Park in Phoenix this afternoon. The park itself is nothing special but it does afford access to parts of the Bear Creek Greenway I have not seen before. I found some falling down fences and some nice colors and then I got to playing with intentional blurs created by moving the camera at a slow shutter speed. I loved the way this one turned out because it looks like a painting and other than adding a little saturation I did nothing to it. This one I would hang on my wall (and I may) and I have seen much worse art hanging in public places. I went looking for a generic autumn poem today and came to the conclusion I have about run through them all, at least the good ones by known authors. But I had not see this one by Ms. Bronte before so wanted to include it.

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 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 22 – Weathervane


“You who travel with the wind, what weather vane shall direct your course?”

-Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

This is probably not the best image I made today but my New England adventure is winding down and one of the things I have enjoyed photographing is weather vanes. This one has some character and some fall color so I thought it would be a good one to share.