Autumn Leaves

Leaves the Lights On

Another wonderful Autumn weekend. Well Sunday. Saturday was a washout. Sunday, the sky was foggy and a bit dreary a few times but what can one expect, it is fall after all. The weather folks rarely get the forecast correct. So the weather is what it is when you look out the window. Here in Portland, mornings are typically foggy, then dreary, then drizzly, then maybe a bit of sun, before a downpour, and repeat. That folks is what it is like where we live. We live with it. It could be worse. And have you noticed, no matter what the weather conditions are, people always complain. A thought to ponder.

So as Lloyd and I attempted to avert the showers on Sunday, we were off for  the Hoyt Arboretum. An arboretum, for those who don’t know, is a lovely place where someone had the brilliant insight to plant trees, lots and lots of trees. Hoyt Arboretum is located in Washington Park, (for details on Washington Park, please read last weeks blog). As is true with many arboretums, Hoyt is filled with luxuriously trees with the colors of fall, only when we arrive they, the leaves, have well, basically fallen off already, so we shot what we could and moved on.

Forest Arboretum

Most of our photos were relatively insignificant. That being said, I am fascinated by the tall Douglas Firs; this coming from a girl who grew up surrounded by Ponderosa pine. Pine trees, in my book are insignificant until the days you have to rake them; the leaves, then, the trees become significant. Because they fall, and fall and fall, the leaves (pine needles really) that is, and then well you never stop raking, because, the pine needles never stop falling. Having to see snow with pine needles poking out is not a pretty sight. Oh, and the fricken pine cones the size of giant pears are not much better. You to contend picking up those prickly cones as well. I can’t tell you how many splinters I got as a kid picking up pine cones and the fricken needles. One word – gloves. Apparently parent’s, well mine, believe children’s hands are strong, sturdy, and are thick skinned. In other-words, resilient – they do not require gloves. So, we fast forward, a week or two, then bam! It snows, or it rains ice, then you are stuck. Snow and ice time and you still have the mess of needles to clean up. Yep the needle fairy didn’t show up and rake the needles in ones sleep. Nope, you are now left clearing the messy needles, cones and snow or in our case in Portland a mess to clean-up. It could be worse. How? I don’t know, ask the needle fairy.

Douglas Fir and Friends

but I will tell you that your back feels significantly painful.

Now, living in a place with both conifers and the deciduous trees, one has the best or worse, of both worlds.

So now you understand why I love Doug firs, they are tall, they don’t have needles well they do, just not really enough to rake, and pine cones with little mice tails. Let me explain, you can tell a Douglas fir by looking at the cones which fall; they have what resembles, if you look close enough, what appears to be little mice tails, protruding from the cone. No other conifer has this trait. Now you know – a little trivia .  So, with Doug firs the size of sky scrappers, the Arboretum is basically as exciting as things were on Sunday, with the exception of these tiny ferns and the lichens, making their home in of course a big Doug fir. This my friends is called a symbiotic relationship. Another piece of trivia for you.

Symbiotic Bliss

Our adventure at the Arboretum essentially a bust, with the other exception of the canines and children running around. I don’t think I have seen so many dogs in one place outside of the doggie park without leashes. Isn’t this a law in Oregon? Or at the very least, Portland? And did I mention the crap on the trails. So many dogs unleashed and crapping on the trail. Yep! we saw that too. Never a pleasant sight seeing a large mongrel running toward you as you wonder if he is going to tare your legs off, knock you over, or fill you with kisses with the occasional crotch sniff; or a combination of any of the above. A few insignificant shots, and we hiked out from the lower portions of trails back to our car. Disappointed. At least we had fresh air and some exercise. Okay, a majority of the beautiful trees having lost their leaves, I came up with the idea of taking photos of leave. How hard could that be?

Oak Leaves at Midnight

It becomes difficult when you return to the same place to find something different to photograph or locate a shot that looks awesome, then realize you already have one exactly like it at home on the computer from the last time you were there. This is the scenario we faced going to Dawson Creek, again.

Orange Maple Glistening with Diamonds

I love going to Dawson Creek as you never know what you will find. While, it is true it does become redundant, we seemed to have been lucky to see something that might be significant when you get back to develop your photos. You just never know what you might find – Orange Maple Leaf Glistening with Diamond or:

Crystal Maple – Diamond Maple

Crystal Maple – Diamond Maple. Well I had hoped they were diamonds only to be disappointed because they were water beads. Beautiful water beads that literally sparkled like hundreds of tiny diamonds. Okay, so the diamonds were water droplets, but a girl can dream, right? I found the leafs with the droplets of water to be really cool, the way the light touched the droplets, they sparkled like a diamond, or an ice crystal. It was cold, but not that cold.

Yellow and Red Maple and Water Drops

Okay, a closer look at this one, you could see that the diamonds were water droplets. It was quite the sight to see so many of the maple leafs (only) with water drops from the morning shower. The sun was out along with the wind, of course – cold –  with hope of significant photos to follow. You never really know until you get back and download the images on the computer.

Sunny Oaks in the Wind

I loved this image from the moment I shot it. The sun was in just the right angle so as not to over-expose the shot. With my head in the clouds; wait, there were no clouds, it happened. A flock of geese bomb us. Well nearly so. You can see I wasn’t quite ready for the geese to suddenly appear in my shot, but hey, the photo turned out okay.

Invasion of Geese

As I looked around, there were a lot of people, dogs, photographers, and Geese. Lots and Lots of Geese. And with that being said do you think that either one of us could capture a cool picture of the geese doing what a hundred crowded geese do? Of course not. Nope, nada, no. The best I could get was a bunch of blur. What do you mean you have to change the settings to capture the birds in motion? Of course you do. I know that, but my head was in the clouds – sky- I wasn’t ready. Reality, I was in the moment excitement, and forgot to change the setting. Oops! I do believe that Lloyd managed to capture some awesome shots, but me being the computer hog for the past few days, he hasn’t had a chance to develop his pictures. I will post them later in the week if he gets around to it. I know he has some. He is merely holding out. That was my geese shot. There were hundreds of geese at the pond sunning themselves, doing the mating dance, flapping their wings, honking, and crapping. Yep. I said it. Then when I least expected it! Here she came.

Duck Attack!

She was not very happy that we were so close to her territory. I decided to move onward back to the safety of the trees and leaves.  It was a strange day, Sunday. We were rather off today as were the animals apparently. Then it occurred to me – three words – Daylight saving time. We gained an extra hour of sleep and we forgot.  Maybe that was why we were cold and kind of off at the Arboretum. Who knows.

Starlight – Blue Sky

Out of harms way, I glanced into the sky and this image appeared.  While the shot is rather dark, I found it to be really awesome, with the star at the bottom of the photo. No Photoshop for me. I was moving onward scouting for the perfect image.

Back to Black and White

Would it be Back to Black and White? Or a return to Gray.

Return to Gray

I love that Black and White imagery captures depth, details, and story more profoundly than does an image in color. If you look at Return to Black and White, then Look back a few photos of the Oaks – Sunny Oaks in the Wind, they are nearly the same shot. Different, but taken at the same location. While I love the color the Black and White image is more dramatic.

Birch Leaves in Black and White

Take these birch leaves for example. The image is in Black and White. The image looks more mysterious and dramatic, than if I were to have taken the same shot in color. The effect would have been very different.

Lonely Leaf

The photo to the left is finished in color but has a slight tinge of copper. The copper makes the image pop, where as the same photo in Black and White was drab and not at all what I was trying to convey. This leaf to me sends the message that it has been abandoned, frozen in time, or bronzed as the baby shoes of old once were.

Midnight Birch Row

As I scanned through my images this week, I found the task more difficult as most either were blurry, my hands shake a lot sometimes. The cold wouldn’t have had any thing to do with that. Right. I have included this row of Birch throughout the year; it seemed rather fitting to include it here as the trees went from last week being a brilliant gold to bare in a few days.I found the Lichens that were growing on this tree to be fascinating. The colors were unreal almost.

Lichens on a Birch

But even more interesting than last weeks (or the week before) Black and White of the bark was stunning. We printed that image out on special matte rag and the image popped from the page. It was amazing. Yet another example of how paper makes a tremendous difference when printing an image. While we don’t have the liberty of showing you how awesome this picture turned out, I think I will frame it and take it down to Renaissance Wines, where we have our photos hanging for sale. Great idea. So, if you are interested I will take it down there this week along with some new images. I really didn’t plan on plugging our website in my blog, but hey it is my blog and I can plug if I want to, so I will.

More seriously, I will be taking down to Renaissance Wines some new prints with Christmas coming our prints make awesome Christmas gifts, we do custom orders and offer gift wrapping on all our images, if purchased on-line or via emailing me at So there is my plug. One last item, if there is a photo that you like from my blog and you don’t see it on our website and would like to purchase one, please let me know and I can mat and frame the picture for you. If you read my blog, I generally ask that you email your order so you can get a discount. Otherwise you will pay full price. Also, as I will be posting very soon, it is just difficult for me to write right now. But a portion of our sales are slated for awareness of Motor Neuron Diseases (MND), specifically, Progressive Bulbar Palsy. I will place a page in my next post a page regarding this fatal disease.

Warmed Red Maple

This Warmed Red Maple leaf also looks so lonely. But the beauty was how the sun was shining on the leaf. I wanted to capture that when I shot the picture and it miraculously worked. Sometimes these things work, others not so much.

Red Maple Leaf in the Dark

I loved this red maple which really popped when I added the vignette. I generally don’t alter my photos on the computer too much as I find it often takes so much away from the image. I try to do all of the hard work in the field when I am shooting and pray it works when I get back and download the images on the computer. I believe I have mentioned this before. But, sometimes you have to enhance the photo if you want to remove the person in the florescent pink outfit, out of your great shot, of I don’t know, Steven Tyler, maybe.  Love him.

These are the three birches along the same stand that I love taking photos of. From the leafs to the bark which peels like paper, these trees are magnificent. My husband was able to capture this stand with the pond in the foreground of the image. It is fantastic – the image is on our website named Dawson Creek 3 under landscapes. Please check it out. Everything about it is awesome. The photo also looks fabulous on the Moab Metallic paper we use from time to time.

Flying Duck

Okay, here is one of only a couple of waterfowl shots that actually turned out. A fluke really. I have become rather fond of the image. She was showing off to her mate, who was rather handsome as well.

Handsome Fella

So with that my friends I have blabbed enough, and have shown you a few of the few images I was able to get right. Hopefully you will find pleasure in viewing them if not. That is life. These are the last two photos I will give you this week.

Oak Leaves

This was the final leaf image I wanted to include as the colors of the vine maple were stunning.  Believe it or not this photo was taken in the parking lot at New Seasons. I was waiting in the car for Lloyd to run in and pick up something. I took it from the car window. I loved it because as I said, the color was stunning. With that photo I must move on to my other blog. If you are not familiar, I know, two blogs. Heard it already. I love to write what can I say. My second blog is promoting my novel – ‘The House of Thoth’ I thought that it would be a brilliant idea. I have readership all over the world now, for which I am both tickled and humbled. Thanks to all my readers. If you are interested in Science Fiction/Fantasy or even if your not, it is rather a historical thriller, you can find the link on this blog “The House of Thoth” or you can also find it by going to or  If you begin to read the book please subscribe. By doing so, you will be alerted to when I submit a chapter or two, or I have something else to say. The book is completed, and I am working on the second book now. Oh, the book is not appropriate for children.  Just thought I would throw that out there.

Lights out for the Day

The book was completed, with the exception of being professionally edited. Who new that I now have worldwide readership?  The best part, is people are requesting more chapters, no begging for more chapters. I am only publishing so many chapters per week. It has been a blast and successful beyond words. I never dreamed so many people would really read it. Even though I wrote it for people to read, I never imaged it would be so popular. Thanks to all my readers here and over there, for making both sites so popular. We have over several hundreds of readers as well, and the best part is that each day the readership increases.

My goal for our website and both my blogs is to raise awareness for Motor  Neuron Diseases (MND), specifically Progressive Bulbar Palsy.  More on that coming next soon.


2 thoughts on “Autumn Leaves

    • Thank you Danielle! For those of you who don’t know our photography is going on Display in New York, thanks to a very dear and special friend of mine. Thanks for believing and supporting us in our fight toward awareness and support by having putting our photography on display in New York. This is really huge, and we appreciate your efforts to help us combat terminal Motor Neuron Diseases (MND), specifically, Progressive Bulbar Palsy. A portion of all of our sales is slated toward this cause, as well as proceeds of my novel “The House of Thoth”. All we need now is an agent to get our book out there. I thank my readers of my novel which is posted at or

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