Sauvie Island

I find it a bit daunting 2012, has arrived. Where did the days go? It feels like yesterday, or at the very least last month, I was finishing high school, then college, then grad school, then more grad school. Now I find myself retired, and in the wake of becoming a half centenarian. Like most others, I hope this year is better than the last, a statement everyone makes as any new year comes in. While, I do hope this year is better than the last, my greatest hope is that I have the strength to make it one more year. .

I like to stay in that place called denial, and move forward. I know what will happen, only when is the unknown variable in the equation we call life. It is too short regardless if you have your health or not; your world could crash before you realize it has hit you in the face. If you have followed my blog you all now know I am referring to my diagnosed, August 5, 2010, with Progressive Bulbar Palsy. You can find more information on this horrific disease by reading about it on our website, or this blog (different posting).

I am telling you this, not because I want your pity, because this is not Louise’s pity party. Rather, I tell you because we, Lloyd and I, want your support in my fight for awareness of this disease. Of course if you like or are interested, you may buy any of the images you see in the blog or on our website, by either purchasing directly on-line or dropping us an email. Through your purchase a portion of all sales will be slated for research and development of a cure, or at the very least treatment options to prolong life in a more dignified way.

Additionally, I have written a novel, ‘The House of Thoth,’ for which we are actively searching for an agent or publicist to get the book to a publisher as portions of our book sales will also be slated for PBP research and development. Lastly, we humbly express our gratitude and appreciation as it will take baby steps to conquer this monster of a disease.  In lieu of going through all the ugly details you may read for yourself on our website under ‘The why’s and How’s of L&L Photography’, or by checking out our blog by either following out link on the web page on this blog. You may have to scroll as each browser is different.

As I ready myself to jump from my soap box, I would like to extend my deepest and heartfelt condolences to my friend Karen, whose husband has lost his fight with melanoma or skin cancer. Yet another stupid disease which is often very difficult to detect early. But you can help yourself by checking spots or strange moles which change, or other strange marks, have them looked at by your doctor and remember to stay out of the sun and away from tanning beds. If you must be in the sun then limit your time and cover any exposed areas is he best means for reducing your chance for getting skin cancer.  There is much information in the literature about sunscreen and skin cancer as well, so you will have to decide for yourself if the risks out weigh the cost for you personally to use sunscreen.  Any one of us can have it and not know we have it until it becomes to late. Sadly, happens more often than we realize. For my friends husband, it was 14 months. Not a lot of time. Mostly because we either are in denial that it could happen to us, are unaware of the severity of the disease, or simply remain out their in the place I call denial. While denial is good for some, it is not when it comes to cancer of any kind.

One last reminder if you have not read my blogs or this is the first time you are reading one. I will from time to time strongly voice my concerns or opinions. You can listen or blow them off, the choice is yours. Most topics I write about in my blog, I usually only tackle them I am well versed in the subject. And if you haven’t read the segments regarding PBP, please scroll through my past blogs or on our website and you will find information.

Geese in Watercolor

I am not quite sure how one segue’s from fatal illness’ into a gloomy afternoon at Sauvie Island, but this is it; the above photo taken at one of the many wetlands found on Sauvie Island. Lloyd and I decided to take our chances with the weather and went out along with the hunters to Sauvie Island for a bit of an adventure. The highlight for me was seeing a bald eagle with shooting range of my camera.

Bald Eagle

I first caught sights of the eagle as it flew from another tree a few hundred yards away. I was trying to get my camera out but the eagle was too quick and I was too slow, so all I managed to get was a fuzzy outline of a bird.

Baldy in Flight

I could have ventured a bit closer, but the posted hunting signs brought back memories of my days living in New York on a project site, apparently used for hunting. No one informed me about this ‘minor detail’, hunting timelines before going on-site, alone.  A not so great means for being initiated into a new work environment. I remember two tall and broad shaped men dressed in camo gear carrying large rifles, approach me. I thought my time was up.  One inquired why I was on the property, I told them, they offered in return,  something like ‘don’t you know that it is opening day of hunting?’ I stupidly replied ‘no,’ Like if I had known that minor fact, I would have been so stupid to venture out on 110 acres of fresh hunting grounds. Stupid. I had such a great initiation into the biological world. I have a handful of stories but don’t worry I won’t bore you. You may breathe now.

The following image shot at a Wetland Slough in the center of Sauvie island. The wetland was so pristine, a bit of fog and mist was in the air and the clouds were moving in at a frantic pace, preparing no doubt for rain and wind.

Wetland Slough Before Sunset

The following image ‘Herding’ I spotted as we were driving along one of the main roads on Sauvie Island. I had Lloyd stop the car and I poked my head out the window and snapped a couple. The wrought iron man and his cows fence. And this photo and many of the photos within this blog are in black and white, largely because the images screamed black and white.


The next  image ‘The Haunting Tree’ was growing on the edge of a dike which surrounds a very large wetland slough alongside of the Columbia River side of Sauvie Island.

For those who aren’t from around here of for those who don’t know, Sauvie Island, Oregon lies approximately ten miles northwest of downtown Portland. the Island is only accessible by a bridge along US Highway 30.

Island Myst and Intrigue

Once crossing the bridge the island is comprised of flat-lands, fields, trees and on a clear day the  Cascade Range visible giving rise to five mountains which are the highlights of the Range including from north to south, Mt. Rainer, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson. Sadly for us, the weather was not conducive to such wonderful views it was a very cloudy and partly rainy day. We were privy to the mystery images and mood of horror flicks. Very creepy, yet very cool. Like this old oak.

Large Oak

The Island has areas of uplands with the inner island set aside for agricultural farming largely of small organic farms. The Columbia River is east of the island on the east, Multnomah Channel occupies areas to the west, and the Willamette River to the south. The island is rather large compared to most and has rivers, upland islands, and large wetland sloughs. Approximately 12,000 acres of the Island have been preserved as wetland habitat. Which is amazing considering the proximity to Portland, the population, and number of recreational users.

Mud, Abandon Pumpkin Field, Sun and Clouds

As one looked closer into the old field this ominous tree was standing out in the middle of the mud.

Mystery Tree

As we drove around the island the sun and clouds presented extraordinary views of the skyline.

Marriage of Colors in the Heavens

This image illustrates the glorious transition as the clouds alter formation and the sky alters colors. The wind transformed the clouds into bizarre formations relatively rapidly and depending on the position of the sun behind the clouds the colors directed the concert in the heavens. It was amazing it would have been fun to have captured  the segue from each cloud formation with a video camera.

Union of Colors

Time approached 4 pm when some of the photos were shot, dusk, as a result the sky and clouds altered in formation from light pale blues with fluffy clouds to dark skies producing blue to violet clouds and like the photo below, the sky was preparing for a nice little rain and wind storm which quickly and the clouds disappeared.

Violet Sky at Night

This image of the sky was as we were watching the birds within the wetlands. I have never seen such diversity in colors within the heavenly sky’s. To me they have a special meaning. I love to see the sun peeking its head out of the clouds.

Birds in Movement

Along with the amazing impressions the sky carved, waterfowl were prancing their way to the dance floor the sky presented before it. The following image cried out black and white. The lack of color along with the cloud formations allowed me to actually capture the graceful movement of the geese. There was a concerto of waterfowl which each seemed to have their place within the ecosystem of the wetland.

Birds in Movement at Sunset

The dance of the birds continued in the image below along with the heady sounds of geese honking in chaotic frenzy.

Birds in Movement Dusk

The color shots that follow were taken basically in the same locations as the black and white shots, but illustrate the bizarre colors and fantastic formation of cloud coverage.

Waterfowl at Sunset

The following image shot at sunset and as usual, I need to work on the bird shots. I need to be prepared before they suddenly take off. Usually I find, at least at this place, one group or type of waterfowl, ducks, geese, egrets, etc. would all me the opportunity to capture the perfect image ha! Apparently, it too much to ask.

For the Waterfowl

The following image was absolutely amazing and for me to capture at least a small glimpse was in itself amazing. These waterfowl were likely white egrets, a bit too far away to tell, there were literally hundreds dancing melodically through the sky. This photo barely captures the imagery but I was pleased to have even been able to grasp what I had.

Waterfall in Movement Sunset

The following image was taken prior to the skies transforming into their vibrant color spectrum’s. The sky was in the process of transitioning into some of the most brilliant of sunsets I have seen in some time.

Wetland Slough Sauvie Island 2

The following photo was taking as the sky had transformed from its dark purples, blues, and black to those of oranges and reds, not quite ready for rain.

Wetland Slough at Sunset

The following photos were mostly developed in Black and White because as I like to say the image cried to be developed in black and white. And I found this true as I was processing the images. The black and white or lack of color added to the images emotion, depth, structure and improved upon a great story than if they were developed in color. This is in part why I love black and white images the emotion depicted or felt when one observes the scene. When the snap captures the image one can envision the tone and structure black and white evokes in the image. Generally, I guess it could be said that I usually know before I snap the shot which photo image will be developed into black and white or color. This helps as I can make sure that I choose the correct settings on the camera.

Wetland Slough  – Black and White

While writing this blog I found myself thinking of the images in black and white. I realized I mention this fact on many occasion, in part it is because I allow the images to speak to me (not in a creepy way). From the instant an image is formed or before it is clicked, the shot is visualized in my head, that is when the image says black and white. When I go to develop the image if the image continues to cry out black and white then I produce the image in black and white. On a few occasions, I was wrong, and the image told the story better in color. That is what I am trying to say, is the image tells the story. Whether that image is in black and white, well only the image, or the story the image evokes will decide that. That is why for this blog the majority of the images were shot with black and white in mind. For these the story was about the gloom, and sense of mystery which was presented by the clouds and the atmosphere or setting.

Wetland Slough – Poplars 

This shot was very unique in the this row of Poplars in the center of the wetland was surrounded by herbaceous grass and seemed out of place, as did this shrub which looked like it wanted to desperately bud and bloom.

Spring Calling

The photo of ‘Layers’ was unique to the side of bizarre as it looks strange to see the row of Poplars at the tip of the vines.

Layers – Poplars and Vines

I could only imagine what this image would look like during the summer. Spectacular? or Boring? No clue.

Layers Become Rows of Poplars and Vines

This is the illusion the Poplars truly depicted from a different vantage point, clearly showed the vines. I found the other shot especially intriguing as I developed the image in black and white with a hint of rose, which was color of the cloud cover.

Old Farm House

This old farm building was actually taken on the beginning our journey I was somewhat out of order there for a bit, but I don’t believe that it takes anything away from the blog. The next few images are various views of this unique barn house.

Old Farm House Shed

This is the Barn with everything but the kitchen sink tossed inside. So much junk the door fell off.

Old Farm House Two Windows

This photo of the old house had some windows open and others closed as expected, but none of the windows, including the open ones were broken.  I expected that at least one set of windows would be broken, but none were.

Old Farm House

This is the last image of our tour of Sauvie Island through the clouds, mist, fog, and occasional rain. I hoped that you found some of the images interesting. Even for those who don’t particularly prefer black and white photos, I hope that you were not immediately turned away. Shooting in this format makes one think and that it the best I can give you. Something to think about.

Thanks for reading,

LA Edwards and Lloyd Edwards – L&L Photography


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