Previously posted in August 2012
It has been some time since I have posted but, I haven’t been idle. Sir Clarence James is doing really well and this has allowed me to get out and do what I enjoy doing, hiking and photographing. Just last week my son-in-law took me on a guided hike, of the west side of Mt. St. Helens. I have looked forward to this adventure for some time. Joel is a great outdoors man and I was grateful for his company as he came in handy when my back and neck started giving me heck on the return stretch of our hike. He strapped my camera bag backpack, a good 30 plus pounds, to his and carried both the rest of the uphill hike back to his pick-up. Did I mention that the weather that day was near 100 degrees! He is a great guy to have your back. In this case backpack 🙂
We began the day at 4:00am for I wanted to catch the sun rising. I love silhouettes. Here near the trail head of Castle Lake, I used a strong filter to capture the sun rising over the crest of the Cascade Range silhouetting the crest and renewed forest growth.
On the trail, my son-in-law frequently scopes the terrain for wildlife as the sun continues its rise in the east. He is hoping to catch sight of a bear forging for food. Sweet huckleberries, blue berries, and strawberries gave me no doubt of their existence. The sun ripened fruit was so tempting we often stopped to gather small handfuls of these mouth-watering sweetness. Later along the trail we came upon claw ripped wood, where the bears had searched for a meal of bugs, and bear scat both evidence confirming that we had indeed entered their territory.
We never saw a bear but instead spotted two herds of elks at such a distance away that made me long for a more far-reaching lens. Who am I kidding, I would not have been able to lug one that size around while hiking :(.
St.Helens erupted in 1980. I flew over the crater as soon as the air space opened up, with my father in his Maul, a fixed winged airplane. Seeing the destructive force of nature from that altitude made one aware of how insignificant we humans are. I captured many film images that day and I only mention this because as I hiked past remnants of that destruction, as seen below, I remember those captured images and how even though it is taking many years nature is rebounding in this area.
We came to a cross-road of trails and Joel headed down the Castle Ridge Trail. Below is an image of him on the edge of a hill, a tiny speck, overlooking a cavern where one can see and hear boulders tumbling down the west flank of the mountain. One can track their descent by the trail of dust and the sound of their impact against other boulders resembling that of a rifle being discharge. All very humbling.
To purchase prints of the images I captured that day www.deebrowningphotography.com
Dee Browning, photographer