Sunday Reflections

Most Sundays, I take a drive along country roads. Sometimes the most significant thing to see is the river, clouds, and reflections.

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Sunday Reflections
A simple image of the landscape on a Sunday drive.

With all the urban growth, I started driving further out. The funny thing is that if I drive far enough, I’ll end up approaching the outskirts of another metropolis. Open spaces are dwindling.

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I’d like to think other places are still wide open. Like maybe some of the western states, or the prairies. But in reality, every little inch of space from coast to coast is owned. Or at least we like to think so. But I am reminded that the land is much older than our relatively new claims upon it.

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.

Shady Oak

If I lived in a pasture, I’d spend most of the summer sitting under the shade of an oak, and that’s no bull.

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Shady Oak
A cow escapes the summer sun in Florida

I took this on a drive through the country here in Florida. Contrary to popular belief, most of the state is agriculture. All you have to do is drive from one coast to the other to see what I mean. The drive takes about two hours and passes through a lot of cattle country. It’s no wonder rodeos are big here.

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I’m an indoor weeny, depending on air conditioning to make it through the summer. If you lose your air-conditioning here, you may as well live on Mars or, under a tree.

Multnomah Falls

No trip to the Portland area is complete without visiting Multnomah Falls. Here is a lie; there was nobody here when I took this shot.

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Multnomah Falls
The most iconic, Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge

In fact, to get this, I had to elbow my way through layers of Instagrammers holding phones aloft with their backs to the falls. I should have known better, it was July 4th, but I went anyway. I Photoshoped all the people off the bridge except for one. In the end, this edit is not far from the scene I imagined in my head.

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If I did have the place to myself, I would have taken more shots, but I like this shot, so maybe that would have been a waste. Anyhow, when I go back, even if it’s winter, I’ll come early to try my luck again. But it’s all good; I ended up hiking to the top to see even more waterfalls and a lot fewer people. It ended up being an excellent day, for Instagram and me.

Old Church

Here is a pro photographer that used only an iPhone for 6 months. I love this…

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I took a picture of this church along one of the lesser-known highways in Florida. I just thought it looked kind of old-school.

Old Church
An old church along state road 50 in central Florida

When driving in the country, I look for things that stand out, and this fit the bill. It was, in fact, a Sunday but late enough that it was empty. It doesn’t look to me like it has airconditioning so, on a summer day in Florida, it’s probably hotter than purgatory inside, give or take a few degrees.

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Not long after this stop, I started entering the suburbs of Orlando, and from that point on, everything is new-school. The only things that look old are facades made to look that way. So, getting out of the city to see throw-backs is pretty cool, even if it is hotter than the devil’s den.

Faerie River

In my imagination, this is a place where you might find the fae folk. The stream is part of a river in a state park, but I had the idea little invisible beings were all around.

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Faerie River
A stream adjacent to the Hillsborough River

The image is from the Hillsborough River State Park in Florida. Maybe it was my mood or the setting, but parts of it seemed nothing short of enchanting. There are places inside forests like this that have an ephemeral quality of nature about them.

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I experienced the same thing in the forests of Oregan a couple of weeks ago. Some sections of the trail had a subtle quality that you could easily miss. I have no idea if nature spirits exist; I’ve never seen one. At the very least, encountering these areas in the wilderness gives me pause and stokes my imagination.

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.

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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.