Harbor Seals Having a Lazy Afternoon

sealssunning-0583_blog

One of those lucky, sunny days at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. Tide was in, and so were the harbor seals, having a great lazy afternoon catching some rays. Pacific harbor seal, also know as common seals, or “real” seals, have spotted coats, ranging from white to gray, to dark brown.

Stars in Macro

starfish-6957

Ruby Beach and stars and sea urchins everywhere. My favorite time to visit is in the spring when visitors are few, the environment raw and bracing, and miles and miles of beach to roam. Here, a starfish waiting patiently for the tide to rise and sweep it away. But for now, it simply waits, as do many others along the beach.

Any time is a good time to walk the beach, especially with a camera in hand, and a panorama of beauty in any direction, from cliffs to sea.

Preen

A common loon in the seaside fishing community of Westport. One of the earliest structures in Westport was the Westport Lighthouse dedicated in 1898.

Loons are commonly seen as loners. They are migratory, diving birds, and apparently acquired their name from the way they tend to walk when on land, with an unsteady gait because of the position of their legs toward the back of the body.

commonloon-7843

Yesteryear

It isn’t just nature and wild things that interest me when it comes to photography and general curiosity about the world around us. I love old architecture in city and urban settings as well.

Heading toward the beach we often drive through Aberdeen and here’s a grand old building that I found very interesting to photograph.  This building first opened its doors on February 1st, 1913. Read a bit about the historic Aberdeen light and power building here and about the desire to save such historic buildings in Aberdeen, Washington.

aberdeen_electricbuilding-7495

Morning, Mountains…

From a distance, a broader view of springtime Olympic Mountains. Morning again. I love that morning sunlight. Moody silver skies, snowy white mountaintops,  angles, and shapes and curves, sunlight and shadow. A vista to take your breath away. That moment in time captured, like a breath caught suspended. And a remembrance of that one special moment.

olympicmountains-5512

Intimacy and Snow

snowplants-5946

There is an intimacy with nature that I truly enjoy with photography. I do like to do some landscape stuff as well, but I am about the detail, the things we miss when we move too quickly through this world. I think I’m more about my impressions of nature, the dreamline quality of removing ourselves from civilization, form city pavements and roadways and experience the sublime peace of walking through a forest, or by the side of a lake or river.

In winter, there’s a certain  quality of stillness in the morning, a muffled sense of solitude when snow blankets the ground. There’s a subtlety to winter in nature that I trully embrace.

Sunlight and Shadows

sunandpinetrees-4479

Discovery Trail, Centralia, WA

As a photographer, and as a writer, I love the early morning light.  I’m always up before dawn and this year I’ve played a lot with aperture settings and speed and ISO. Being adventurous and, I hope a little bit creative with my photography.

I like to see how the light plays in the branches, I love the mist of a Pacific Northwest morning, how it undulates across the ground and through the trees, and over th waters of the river. And each day, each season, at any given moment that light changes. Maybe it’s the whisper of a leaf, the tremble of a branch, the ripple of the water . I stand and watch and wait for it, wait for it. Being a nature photographer requires patience and observation.

sunlightonwheat-4550

Discovery Trail, Centralia, WA (August  2018)

 

There’s something about the peacefulness of the environment, stepping away from technological objects. Stuffing the phone away, turning off the computer, and stepping out into a dawn breaking, to birds singing, to trees creaking as they sway with a breeze. There’s a certain excitement and awe to watching sunlight sweep away the mist of a dawning day.  Being out in nature before people rise and even consider taking that first walk. Leaves whisper, a flutter of birds doing some early morning foraging.  The crunch of my own feet along a hiking path.

What’s waiting around the corner yet to be discovered?  Misty sunlight always catches my attention. It makes the sun shimmer, the mist making it appear always shy, just arising at the beginning of a new day.  Parting the cool covers of mist to warmly shine down, giving sparkle to the dew drops in a golden twinkle. A glint catches my eye because I’m walking slowly. It’s not about scanning the area with my eyes. It’s using my sense, the look I give the area, is that of a lover, a slow and intimate appreciation for the environment around me. Because, photography in any form is a passion, and with any passion, there is a certain intimacy necessary to embrace the moment fully.  Thus, I use all my senses in moments like this. That shine of the sun, it energizes me, it fills me with its light. It soothes with the revelation of early morning shine. It fills me with wonder, and, indeed, it fills the well of my soul.

wateronfeather-4552

Dewdrops on Feather. Discovery Trail, Centralia, WA (August 2018)

I like being a morning person, up before the sun, getting ready, heading out. I stand on the step and gaze up at the sky, always a smile of anticipation. The mist envelopes me as I step down and head to the car. I know, whatever this day will bring, it’s going to be a great day for more discoveries in nature.