Many of the students I serve, as well as a few of my colleagues, bemoan the winter and its cold, gray clutch on Eastern Washington. I sympathize with them, but personally, I very much enjoy the snow (I try to find something to love in each season–why hate a quarter of the year?). Watching cars in the parking lot growing white domes, walking home as flakes tickle my cheeks, these are quiet joys for me. And those holiday lights! (I must make an effort to take them down this year before May).
But for my friends, and anyone else who needs a reminder of the warmth that is coming, here is a photo of a July sunset, taken from North Beach at Deception Pass State Park. Dusk is my personal favorite time of day. I hope this comforts some of you, as well.
Clouds, bitter in defeat,
retreat to the margins and scheme,
while beaming sun grins at their cowardice.
The sky was really active, so I grabbed my camera and this was the result: an abandoned home in the snow with harsh sunlight taunting the clouds. Taken with a 10-stop neutral density filter.
Happy New Year!
I took this photo of fireworks with a 10-stop ND filter.
As 2018 hemorrhages its final week, I look forward to that arbitrary moment when old becomes new and 2019 begins. And while meticulous time slides another bead along our ponderous abacus, these old ruins rely on the truest timepiece of all: entropy. They remind me that generally, people don’t fall apart all at once, and even in extreme age we garner tranquil dignity. As I grow older, I find comfort in that thought.
Happy New Year, everyone!
I am not a religious person, but cultural traditions run deep, and family is so very important to me. Here’s my Christmas cartoon for the Omak Chronicle this year. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate the day, and to those who do not, I hope you find warmth and love in your lives.
The key to finding ghosts in Eastern Washington is to search for the trees.
Now when I say “ghosts”, I’m not talking ephemeral shimmers at the peripheral edge of sight or cunning shadows; I’m searching for bones of the past, that which stubbornly remains despite passing into memory: homesteads, farms, buildings ruined in the sun which once brimmed with the passions of those who first settled the region.
Trees. The settlers planted them for shade, or they built near streams. The landscape here undulates, and an entire farm can disappear behind a hillock. But trees give away their location. Poplars and fallen ash trees denote this site, although they’re just outside of the frame in this image. I took this infrared photo with a Hoya IR filter (720 nm).
I grew up on Whidbey Island, which is a very lovely place to spend one’s artistic formative years. This is a photo of Canoe Pass, which is part of the two span bridge more commonly referred to as Deception Pass (an earlier blog entry has a color photo of both spans).
This is a state park, and although the hike to this location isn’t for everybody, it is certainly accessible for anyone not daunted by steep, narrow trails. But because the bridge is photographed so often, I was looking for a different take on it, something a bit more unique. Here is Canoe Pass in infrared (720 nm), taken with a Hoya IR filter.
I drew this a few years ago, but hey, Christmas is almost here, so I thought I’d share.
If eight reindeer are going to pull the Big Guy across the world through the air, constantly changing altitude, Then I would imagine Santa’s sleigh should have a windshield. Or, maybe I’m just applying too much logic to venerable tradition. Or perhaps I’m just twisted. I’ve been accused of that once or twice.
Now, I know real reindeer waste would be more like pellets machine-gunning Santa’s face (perhaps a better cartoon?), but with all those clandestine stops, on what is no doubt a tight schedule, stress is bound to manifest itself. Perhaps one or two of Santa’s trusted powerhouses develop nervous stomachs? I think the result would look more like this…
This grave stone sits in a little depression. Snow swirled throughout the evening, leaving ripples around its base, which is how I discovered it the next morning.
Maybe it’s my glass of bourbon on a Friday night, or maybe I’m inherently sentimental, but isn’t that an apt metaphor for all of us?
We marvel at the ripples growing on the pond,
but forget the stone which drops from sight.
Because the one thing I’ve learned from visiting old cemeteries is that within a short time–a few decades, perhaps–grave markers lean and tumble, or become chiseled by time and fade. Sometimes even the sage reclaims the rented soil of our remains.
But those ripples, spreading outward, left by the impact of our life,
ah, those large and marvelous rings…