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The girls and I set out on a road trip the end of last month. It was supposed to be nearly three weeks long but instead it was five nights. Luna has an inflamed achilles tendon and is unable to walk much at all so we mainly stayed near our campsite or went for drives. She was ok with that and Sky was happy since we camped next to two different lakes and we got to visit some friends too. I was the unhappy one. I need to be able to get out and move. I tried leaving Luna in the camper but then she barked. She really, really wanted to go and explore but it was impossible. Ken was working from home the next week so we returned to the Methow (not a bad place to be) so Sky and I could go hiking.

We did stay in two new (to us) campgrounds and that was fun. The autumn light was marvelous! Wonderful sunsets and sunrises and one rainy afternoon. One campground is definitely a place to return to. The other one is surrounded by the effects of the summer’s wildfires. I should be used to burned trees by now, right? Here are a few images from the first campground.

Yesterday afternoon we walked here on our hill. It was nice to get up into the tall bitterbrush and sage that did not burn four years ago.

Seasons have changed. Generally speaking, we have three seasons defined by color – white, green and brown – and we are officially in the brown season now. Or maybe it’s more of a golden season. That sounds nicer. Most of the foliage that grew vigorously in the late spring and early summer has dried to a yellowish tan with a few sparks of color here and there. Remnants of wildflowers and berries. Aspen leaves – some still green, many yellow and some more orangish.

The Maple Pass/Heather Pass loop hike may be one of the best, easily accessible fall hikes in the North Cascades. The fall foliage colors are outstanding. Combined with endless blue skies and surrounding mountain peaks and throw in a couple of brilliant tarns and it is sure to take your breath away.

My friend Cindy drove 2 1/2 hours to join me and all along the hike she kept saying – look at that, isn’t that just the prettiest sight. She was right. We did this seven-mile loop in a clockwise direction. This took us up the steepest part and down the more gradual sloping trail. We find that this is better for our feet, ankles and knees. Most other hikers went the other direction. We heard lots of pikas and got good looks at one of them. At the top of the ridge, a dark falcon went whizzing by us at top speed. It was so close we could almost feel the wing beats.

This is a lot of images. You should see what I left out!

Recently when I was complaining about the dreariness of the weather, a friend pointed out the lush colors of the season enhanced by the light and the moisture. She compared them to colors from the days of Fuji film – my favorite when I was shooting film – and she was right. During this season I can always see something to photograph and it’s challenging to get me to stop. Here are a few images from around our place.

Peony leaves


Sweet pea


Kohlrabi leaf


Dried sunflower still standing


Sunflower leaf


Bearded iris leaf


Maple leaves


Siberian iris leaves




The deer have eaten most of the aster flowers


Echinacea (cone flower) dried on the stem


Echinacea still blooming


More red leaves


Johnny jump up


Bearded iris pod



Capturing the Shades of October

I will be teaching a fall photo workshop in October, hosted by the North Cascades Basecamp and Lodge. Up to ten photographers will have the opportunity to explore the Methow Valley with cameras and tripods in hand while I help them discover their own unique vision of fall colors and the Methow River October 5th through 7th. Beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday afternoon, students will spend time in the classroom and in nature and in the comfy sitting room of the Basecamp Lodge, talking about, learning and practicing techniques that will improve and refine their photography skills. The serene backdrop of the forest and river will inspire photographers of all levels to slow down and experience the moment to create their own perfect fall photo.  Students will come to the workshop familiar with the workings of their own camera and other equipment, including a tripod. At the workshop they will learn and refine technical skills so that they can take their nature photography skills up to the ‘next’ level. In addition to techniques such as macro and landscape photography, the class will cover equipment, where and when to make images and the art of ‘seeing’.

$325/person includes workshop, 6 meals, 2 nights lodging and materials.
Locals rate:  $225/person includes workshop and 2 dinners.
Call or email Kim and Steve at the North Cascades Basecamp for more information

Contact me for more info on my About page.

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