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.

more images in the gallery featuring green

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.

see images of nature

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.

Hidden Gem

Mulholland road in Parrish, oddly enough, dead-ends at a bridge. Because of that, it feels remote, even though it’s in the middle of a housing boom.

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Hidden Gem
the scene along Mulholland Road in Parrish, Florida

Living in suburbia as I do, the trick to doing local landscape photography is finding gems tucked away in plain sight. Even though I think I’ve found most, I’m pretty sure there are more. They are, by their very nature, not easy to find.

more images with reflections from the gallery

I took this photo about five years ago, and today, as I drove by, the road is under construction. That means it’s probably going to get more traffic and, extend past the bridge; meaning no longer hidden. But I’ll keep searching for more spots like this in the suburban jungle.

Babbling Brook

This photo is a little brook on the trail to Dutchman Falls. It’s about as idyllic a trail as you could hope to find.

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Babbling Brook
A stream above Multnomah Falls in Oregon (click on image to see full resolution)

The midday light through the overhead branches created a latticework of shadows, which is slightly confusing to the eye.

The brook feeds Multnomah Falls, which is perhaps the most photographed waterfall in the Pacific Northwest, if not the country. I came here on holiday and found crowds of people visiting at the base. So I hiked up to the top of the falls and found a quiet trail with this stream.

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I recommend hiking to the top, although it’s strenuous with many switchbacks. But once you get there, you’ll be glad you did. From there, I walked up to Dutchmans Falls, which is another picture for another day.

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.

more images with rivers

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.

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.

Emerson Point

To get here, you walk through a jungle trail, and it’s easy to get a bit disoriented. That is until you pop out from the brush at sunset.

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Emerson Point Clouds
Looking out to sea from Emerson Point

The image I took here is similar to one I did from the same spot a half dozen years ago.

The clouds and weather ensure each image will be different, and I never tire of it.

more from Emerson Point

Due to the full range of light and the difficulty of shooting into the sun, this is a combination of at least five photos. I combined the images with AuroraHDR and then parts of it re-layered in Photoshop. In some respects, this is a painting, in that the light was blended to create a picture. That creative process I find satisfying, even if it is the same scene on a different day.

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.

Lower Path

There are two paths along the river; one higher up and one lower down at the bank. The alligators prefer the lower one.

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Lower Path
Along the lower path in Hillsborough River State Park

The problem with the higher path is there is too much growth to get a clear shot of the river. So every fifty yards or so I’d make my way down here to set up for a photo. It’s amazing how the sense of hearing becomes heightened at such times.

A sign between the upper and lower paths

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I’ve been in Florida for a while, so I’ve become familiar with some of the animal sounds. I also carefully scan the water and banks all around to ensure I’m not disturbing them. Alligators don’t want anything to do with us, and if you’re mindful and steer clear, there will never be a problem. With this knowledge and care, I spent much of my time on the lower path.