Three Capes Outing

Took a day off from the usual grind and headed to the three Capes, Kiwanda, Lookout, and Mears on the Oregon Coast.  Being the middle of the week still in the off-season, along with overcast skies, I looked forward to a mostly solitary day of hiking in the Siuslaw National Forest.   My body and mind needing to experience the wonders and joys of being with nature.  I loaded up my photography gear in its backpack and headed out just before dawn to my destination at Cape Outlook.

I have wanted to do this hike for some time but held off due to what I had read about the trail traversing sheer drop offs, not a place for dogs or kids.  Having been on a couple of other hikes in the gorge that claimed the same and they didn’t bother me I decided to take this one even though I have somewhat a fear of heights.

I arrived at the trailhead just as the morning light was penetrating the seemingly ever-present morning coastal fog.  As I began my trek I saw early signs of spring, such as this delicate trillium wildflower.  Amazing how such a little flower can thrive under the thick canopy of old growth forest.

Trillium Flower

The thick canopy of forest soon gave way to a spectacular view only blocked by sparse trees and shrubs, their roots clinging perilously to the face of the huge rock I climbed.  I paused to capture the wonderful view stretched out below me, and since fear had not edged its way into my conscience I decided this was one hike I could do.  It was the last image I dared captured on this hike.

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Moving forward and up the sparse trees and shrub became sparser and the trail narrower.  I pushed on even though the edge, a sheer drop off to the ocean below of several hundred feet, kept me up against the wall of the rock.  The wind was picking up as I kept my head down looking at my path and concentrating on my breathing as I vowed to get past this section of the hike.  I reached my limit when my tripod got hung up on a root embedded in the rock wall.  This knocked me a little off-balance as I grabbed another root and flatten myself against the wall where I remained frozen while my mind went wild with all kinds of devastating events.  Earthquake would knock me off the cliff, some mean person will come along and push me over, or I will simply slip and fall.  I had to force myself to breath and eventually let go of my death grip on the root embedded in the rock, trying not to think why there was just a root.  Finally fear forced me to move and I got turned around and headed back the way I had come.  The wind gusting at my back.

Back under the canopy of forest I relaxed somewhat and told myself I had made the right choice for if I had seen something to photograph I probably couldn’t for fear had a great hold on me.   I got back into my car at the trailhead and headed for the safety of the low-lying beach that offered a variety of things to photograph.

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Fog at Cape Lookout Beach
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Erosion of the treeline on the north end of the Cape Lookout Beach

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After a few hours walking the beach I headed to Cape Meares where I captured this view, from a much more manageable height, of the town of Oceanside and it’s coastline.

Oregon Coastline view from Cape Mears.
Oregon Coastline view from Cape Meares.

I then retraced my route to Oregon Islands Wildlife Refuge.  This is just north of Oceanside and is a very interesting place to visit.  To get to the beach below one follows a trail built, by the looks of it, by several different people over the years.  Daffodils, pop their cheery blooms here and there.  Thick lumber embedded into the hillside provided steps.  Scrap lumber line the trail as a fencing and as benches to rest.  One section of the path was completely covered with scrap lumber and underneath it things collected from the beach below, rocks, feathers, buoys,rope along with names carved in the lumber, a place much like shrine filled the area within.  Quite interesting.

I continued my descent and finally reached a rocky beach filled with driftwood.  DKB7766

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I found these all quite interesting.  The swirl of the wood grain and the rocks embedded in them afford me time to contemplate nature’s design.

The misty rain, high tide and fog made photographing this beach a pleasure as I love photographing the rain, fog, rocks and water for it adds a punch to an image.

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I continued retracing my route with a detour to Sand Lake.  As the day waned the wind picked up in strength and I wanted to see if I could capture drifting sand at the dunes at Sand Lake.  I wasn’t disappointed.

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I left Sand Lake with my Yukon half filled with the wind-blown grit.

My original plan was to end my day at Pacific City sitting on the beach watching the sun set before heading home.

DKB7771  Fog and low clouds encroached enough on this idea that I knew there would be nothing to watch so I settled with a Bach CD and a leisurely drive home using the back roads to end another wonderful solitary day appreciating life and the surroundings I find myself in.

I had nightmares all night about falling off that cliff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can see these images and more on my website  www.deebrowningphotography.com

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Street Performers

Street musicians and venders at Hawthorn Street Fair in Portland, Oregon
Whistler

I decided to shake it up a bit, from my normal photography venue, by photographing street performers.   This involved stepping out of my comfort zone of capturing serene images where I give a lot of thought and time, processing my composition, before pressing the shutter release button.   I tried being inconspicuous as I mingle with the crowd of sightseers, vendors, shoppers, and performers, not an easy task for attached to my camera is my portrait telephoto lens.

Street musicians and venders at Hawthorn Street Fair in Portland, Oregon Street musicians and venders at Hawthorn Street Fair in Portland, Oregon

Stilt Lady
Stilt Lady

People fascinate me.  I would love to shoot more, but my shyness holds me back.   Being behind the lens helps me in that area.  My decision to capture Street Performers is because they do so in a very public venue.

Street musicians and venders at Hawthorn Street Fair in Portland, Oregon Street musicians and venders at Hawthorn Street Fair in Portland, Oregon

I use my portrait lens as I can zoom in without invading their space which would detract from their performance.

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Variety is well-observed as one strolls by.Street musicians and venders at Hawthorn Street Fair in Portland, Oregon Street musicians and venders at Hawthorn Street Fair in Portland, Oregon Street musicians and venders at Hawthorn Street Fair in Portland, Oregon Street musicians and venders at Hawthorn Street Fair in Portland, Oregon Street musicians and venders at Hawthorn Street Fair in Portland, Oregon _DKB8999 Street musicians and venders at Hawthorn Street Fair in Portland, OregonLets not leave out ever-present Clown one can find in such surroundings…..

Street musicians and venders at Hawthorn Street Fair in Portland, Oregon Street musicians and venders at Hawthorn Street Fair in Portland, Oregonnor those other unusual intriguing sites…..

Street musicians and venders at Hawthorn Street Fair in Portland, Oregonthat makes life so fun and interesting!  This is what I refer to as overindulging in the “Art Of Being”

Time Flies

Oh my! Fourth of July was over a week ago, and I had so planned to upload a couple images of the fireworks seen from our front deck. Our home is situated on a hill providing a view, though distant, of the firework displays of those downtown Portland and at Oaks Park, and of those in our area.  As usual this blog writing was put on the back burner as more projects developed and awaited my attention, one being Hughes Water Gardens Annual Water Lily and Art Show.005DKBweb

My first encounter with Hughes Water Garden began after we had purchased our home here in the Portland area after relocating from southern Oregon. Having had a Koi pond at our previous home, I wanted to check out water garden nurseries in the area. Hughes Water Gardens and Nursery owned by Eamonn Hughes, a renowned water feature designer, so enchanted me that I asked and was granted permission to photograph elements of the gardens. I spent a few hours photographing and enjoying myself in the tranquil setting. I don’t remember how it came about, but I was invited to display my work at their annual Art Show! I have taken part in this show ever since. It has grown to include over 30 regional artists featuring art of different mediums, many inspired by the gardens.

I have restricted my involvement in many shows due to my busy schedule and the lack of purchasers due to the current economy. Hughes Water Garden was my first ever showing so I feel I must continue participating in this annual event for it is in my blood now and is good for showing my more recent work, not to mention being able to mingle and be inspired by other artist including landscape designers. Anyone in the Portland Metro area reading this who loves art and tranquil settings, I encourage you to attend the ‘Gala In The Garden – Opening Reception’ Friday evening July 22nd 6:30 – 8:30pm. Art will be displayed throughout the nursery, and artists will be giving plein air demonstrations. Appetizers, music and wine-tasting enhances the overall experience, so give yourself a mental retreat and join in the festivities at Hughes Annual Art Festival ‘Gala In the Garden’. If you are unable to go that evening there are two weekend events following the open reception, ‘Weekend In The Garden’, July 23rd and 24th and July 30th and 31st. All events are free and open to the public. They do suggest that you bring a two can donation for the Oregon Food Bank Food Drive. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Here are a sampling of what you will see there of my work in photography plus some watercolors I have done.0162DKBweb3592DKBweb0017DKB-RGB-web4114DKBweb

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Prints of these are also available on my website   www.deebrowningphotography.com

©copyright 2011 Dee Browning