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Tag Archives: Methow photography

Here are a few more images from October. I wish it lasted another month! The weather was perfect and the colors outstanding.

These are from several different outings, all in the Methow watershed.

Luna is adjusting to walking with a brace on her rear left leg. It supports the injured Achilles tendon and allows her leg to move forward rather than swaying out. I think she is happier with it.

This is my busy season. I’ve had two weddings to photograph within one week so that means LOTS of computer time. It is important that I continue to get out and enjoy the beautiful place where I live for my overall fitness – both physically and mentally.

Last week Jennifer and her horse and two dogs joined Luna and me for a walk on the four mile long Black Lake trail. It follows Lake Creek on a gentle grade making for easy walking without huffing and puffing. This was a test for Luna to see if she could tolerate being around a horse. She has a long-standing fear of large ungulates stemming from an incident when she was less than a year old and managed to anger a large draft horse so much that the normally gentle animal turned and appeared to try to run Luna into the ground. Never mind that the horse was behind a fence and Luna was barking her fool head off. You can imagine how immense this draft horse was from her point of view. And those hooves! Luna turned and ran all the way back to the house where she waited under the porch til Betty and I went back for her. So now, along comes Jennifer and her horses and she suggests that we all go riding together. Luna is friends with Jennifer and her dogs so when they were all fine with the big animal Luna sort of fell into step with the rest of the group although she did not like it when the Whiskey, the horse fluttered her lips and made that funny horse noise and she was mostly sure to keep a good distance between herself and the horse.


For the life of me, I cannot find this flower in my field guides. I know I’ve looked it up before and figured out its ID but not this time



It is a vine with clematis-like flowers



Riding through the burned forest



My, what big eyes you have!



Lovely wildflowers in this burned forest



Since it is a burned forest, every year, more snags fall across the trail. Here, we were near the lake but were turned back by the deadfall.



Jennifer manages to keep the dogs’ attention with a good story or maybe the promise of treats



It burned in 2003



Paintbrush and lupine and Luna wondering why I have to stop to look at all the flowers!



The dogs found comfort in this old beaver pond. Unfortunately, Luna chose to get out in a mud hole, and emerged coated in mud up to her belly.



Jennifer got a good laugh out of that, especially knowing I’d have to take Luna down to the raging creek to wash her off before we could get in the truck.



Lake Creek


This month started out unseasonably hot and we worried that the green hills would soon be brown. The weather gods have taken care of that worry. There has been rain most everyday for the last couple of weeks, it seems. Maybe I only remember the wet days and have forgotten that some were sunny? I have gotten used to wearing my rain gear. Yesterday by the time we returned to the car, my shoes sloshed. But still, it was gorgeous – green lush grasses and lots of wildflowers still in bloom. Our dogs enjoyed the temperature and ran and ran and ran.


Mary Ann has told me about these delicate flowers that are found along the lower part of the trail



Geum triflorum also known as prairie smoke or old man’s whiskers



A large patch of balsamroot



Old aspen trees






This majestic pine tree is slowly dying



Aphids on a Lomatium seed head



Another seed head without aphids on the same plant



Looking back, to the south. You can see tiny Deadhorse Lake in the distance



Tiny yellow composites with bitterroot buds surrounding


Blue penstemon and the yellow composite



And with a buckwheat



Same type of buckwheat with tightly closed buds



Blue gray sky. Green hills. In the foreground, the pale pink spots are all bitterroot about to bloom.




Frost Lake, known by other names is just one of several lakes that dot these hills



Grouse droppings



Thompson’s paintbrush



This is the height of the wildflower season on our hill. The elevation of our house is about 1850′ and the colors of spring can be fleeting in this arid climate. Yesterday, before the wind came up, I was particularly struck with the beauty and diversity of this dry site’s wildflowers. Last week’s warm weather has been replaced with the more expected breezy and cool weather of spring.


Balsamroot, Balsamorhiza sagittata – the signature spring flower of for this valley



Thompson’s paintbrush (I think), Castilleja thompsonii






Calochortus sp (sometimes referred to as Cat’s ear)



Agoseris sp., again I am not sure



I am pretty sure this is bastard toadflax (not a pretty name for a delicate flower), however where I have seen it before it was more of a salmon color. Comandra umbellata






Columbia puccoon, Lithospermum ruderale



Bitterbrush, Purshia tridentata



Lupine, Lupinus sp



And another view of balsamroot, looking down-valley to Balky Hill and beyond


Around here the biggest disaster the people worry about is wildfire. Last year we had more than our share of fires in North Central Washington and many folks were trapped in their houses for days in hopes of avoiding the choking smoke. I am reminded of this now with the US Forest Service doing controlled burning in hopes of preventing uncontrolled fires in the future. The smell is strong in the air and I can see the smoke’s haze all over the valley.

One gift of fire is the morel mushroom. The fire morel is a delicacy that is hunted with great zeal in a burned landscape. My uncle came to visit this week in hopes of getting the mushroom season off to a good start. He had studied last year’s fires’ locations and aspects and picked one area to explore. He was right. With the little bit warmer weather we are finally getting, the fungi are just starting to show themselves and we both came home with about a gallon of them. He said the ones we harvested are most likely natural morels and that the fire morels will come on a bit later. On our menu last night was morel risotto! What a treat.



The landscape looks very bleak.




I heard and saw Black-backed Woodpeckers who come into a burned forest almost immediately to consume the insects that have arrived to consume the dead trees.




Many of the morels were growing out from under rocks and burned roots. This is a nice looking one.




I also heard Canyon Wrens’ beautiful songs from the cliffs above.



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