Pacific Trail

The Wild Pacific Trail is just as it sounds, on the Pacific and wild. Wild, as in hiking or trekking in BC’s Vancouver Island.

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Pacific Trail
A section of the trail on Vancouver Island, BC

The image uses HDR techniques, meaning I combined three frames of different exposures and blended them. Also, I used f10, so most everything is in focus.

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I love trail shots for the sense it creates of going somewhere and, a natural desire to know what’s just around the corner. This trail, in particular, is especially good for that; it has hundreds of turnouts that open on amazing views of the pacific.

Rainbow Falls

This photo is just below Rainbow Falls in North Carolina. It’s on a trail with a waterfall payoff at the end.

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Below Rainbow Falls
Taken on the trail to Rainbow Falls in North Carolina

I think the word rainbow sums up those fall colors. North Carolina is famous for its autumn tones, which, as I write this, is still a couple of months away. It was nice to hike in the mountains and get a break from the humidity back home.

more from North Carolina

This is another old photo I pulled from the archives. Old images are veritable breadcrumbs leading back to forgotten details. For instance, from the picture, I recall the hike took longer than expected and, was a little more strenuous. So when we got back to the hotel, we ate pasta and dinner rolls, leaving only, …you guessed it, breadcrumbs.

Dutchman Falls

The water from this fall runs year-round and is fed by a spring. I would have gotten closer, but Instagramers were posing in front.

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Dutchman Falls
A waterfall fed from a spring above the Columbia River

I Photoshopped out the Instagramers because I kind of like it without them, maybe it’s just me. Last year on the same day, I was at Mount Rushmore and encountered the same thing, hundreds of them. I need to start an Instagram of Instagrammers.

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Nevertheless, it was quiet and pretty here, which was at the top of a steep hike from the Columbia River. I had water but too much heavy camera gear, but I didn’t realize I was going to climb the trail until I got there. As all of my hikes in Oregon, it was well worth it, and I’m looking forward to going back for more walks, Instagram notwithstanding.

Huckleberry Lane

Driving up Highway 126 along the McKinzie River, the temptation is to pull off at every little bridge or vista. On one near Fin Rock, I found this lonely lane.

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Huckleberry Lane
A utility road through the forest in Oregon

I’ve heard so much about the forests in the Pacific Northwest, and seeing them for myself was worth the trip. An old utility road through the forest is an invitation to explore. It was blocked off, so maybe it’s better I didn’t drive it in my little rental car.

more forests in the gallery

I imagine that, like the Mangroves of the tropics, these conifers constitute a significant source of CO2 sequestration for our planet. Not only that, the forests are the habitat for mycelium which we are just now discovering can lead to cures for pollution and disease. (Check out this website for more on that!) Let’s hope these forests remain protected as vigorously as our Florida mangroves.

Scott Lake

Scott Lake was a detour of a detour I took while driving through Willamette National Forest. I took so many detours its surprising I made any forward progress at all.

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Scott Lake
A remote lake in Willamette National Forest

I figured as long as I had gas and some trail mix I was probably not going to have problems. The only real dilemma was deciding when to turn back. If I didn’t need sleep, I’d have driven all night, and that would have been just fine.

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I could see setting up camp here and exploring for a few days. As its the pacific northwest, I’d half expect to see a bigfoot. This area is so big and untamed that it would not surprise me in the least. At least this is where I would be if I were a bigfoot.

Forest Path

A few days ago, I walked through a forest in Oregon’s Ecola State Park. It was a nice break from the regular everyday routine.

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Forest Path
The trail to Crescent Beach

It was my first time visiting Oregon, so I toured both the mountains and coast to get a sense of things. There was no real plan other than drive, observe, and take photos. I’d see something intriguing, and follow it until I had to turn around.

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In this case, I was near Cannon Beach, which is a famous resort town. This particular trail leads to the isolated Crescent Beach, which bears no resemblance to the beaches in Florida. It was a good change of pace.

Brain Games

Here is one of the trails at Emerson Point that I recently explored. If it weren’t for that they are well-marked, I’d still be in there somewhere.

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Brain Games
A boardwalk at Emerson Point Preserve

When you look at this photo, something might seem a little off. The path appears level yet distorted. Can you guess what it is? Spoiler, …the boardwalk ascends a hill, it’s not level. Once you know this, the sense of distortion disappears.

more photos from Emerson Point

Our brain is the most complicated thing known to science. But neuroscientist can do all sorts of little test like this to point out the contours of aspects we are only beginning to understand. Check out this short demonstration of the blind spot which we have that the brain fills in. Most of us never even know we have one. I certainly didn’t until a few days ago.

River Reflections

The reflections along the Hillsborough River are entirely peaceful. That is until you realize alligators lurk just below the surface.

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River Reflections
Along the Hillsborough River in Florida

But if I was an alligator, this seems like the perfect place to live. I’m living in a state park, I don’t get harassed, there are plenty of turtles to munch, and I don’t have to get stuck in someone’s pool and have my jaws taped shut.

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In reality, alligators have it hard. Only a small percentage make it to maturity. The most energetic, most intelligent among them live out their full lives. And the luckiest of those are living here in these beautiful parks.

Natural Highlights

When I was driving the loop road in Big Cypress National Preserve, I’d stop every half mile or so. Sometimes I’d see these Bromeliad Tillandsia blooming on the side of cypress trees.

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Natural Highlights
A scene from Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida

I didn’t have the right equipment for taking flower photos, so I used a telephoto and zoomed in from the side of the road. This photo was taken with the zoom fully extended at 240mm.

more landscape photography

The main thing that catches my eye is the contrast of the flower against the green and earth tones of the preserve. I suppose I could have waded into the swamp to get a better look, but I could hear the croaking of alligators close by and I needed to get home to re-organize my sock drawer. Not that I was afraid or anything.

Bench View

I took this about four years ago when I was in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. It’s a part of the Wild Pacific Trail that traces the coastline. It’s a well-maintained trail with benches like this every half mile or so.

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Bench View
A bench with a view along the Wild Pacific Trail

I was here in late August (or “Fogust” as the locals say) when a thick fog would roll in most afternoons. You could see it sitting just offshore, and then at the right time it would approach and before you could say Foghorn Leghorn, you were in it. In this image, you can see it about a mile offshore.

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Benches or empty chairs in an image allow us to imagine sitting there in the scene. Our eyes follow the direction it points, similar to a leading line, only with a different device. When a photo makes us look in a particular direction, it has captured our imagination as we weave our own story in the scene. However, if it has thick fog, that would be something different entirely.