Monthly Archives: January 2012

Slavin sunset

This is another photo taken from Slavin Conservation Area. In Spokane, clear evenings like this can be fleeting in the winter.

Boating season is over

After several days of snow and socked-in weather, the sun finally broke through yesterday afternoon. I used the opportunity to get this shot of an old rowboat at Slavin Conservation Area south of Spokane. The county’s Conservation Futures program has secured some fantastic tracts of undeveloped land for the public, which is a photographer’s boon. I can be out the door and in the Slavin parking lot in 15 minutes, which is great when the weather is fickle.

Columbia Mountain

On Saturday I hiked the Columbia Mountain loop, north of Sherman Pass in northeast Washington. A classic Inland Northwest hike, this loop features one of my favorite sections of trail, where the route traverses a steep slope where sagebrush and subalpine fir mingle amidst giant granite slabs. I was hoping to take some photos of the sagebrush at sunset, but late in the afternoon fast-moving fog enveloped the mountain, reducing visibility to about 100 feet. I took this shot instead, which I feel is a great substitute.

East Fork Bull River- part 2

Another shot of the East Fork Bull River from New Year’s day. I like the graceful curve of the overhanging snow bank in contrast with the river-bottom pebbles. I feel like this captured the setting just as effectively–if not more so–than abig wide-angle shot.

Cougar Mountain

Sunset from Cougar Mountain, in Cougar Mountain Roadless Area in northeast Washington. A transition area between the arid Columbia Plateau to the south and west and the Kettle Range to the east, Cougar Mountain features rocky islands of shrub steppe that peek out above forests of old-growth Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine. Amazingly, this is one of the few places I’ve been in the U.S. where even the skies are quiet; it’s rare to hear air traffic above this quiet corner of the state.


Check out this post about my favorite old-growth tree, ponderosa pine, on the Friends of the Columbia Highlands site. Living in the West, it’s easy to take the ubiquitious ponderosa for granted. However, true old-growth ponderosas are increasingly rare. Seeing a massive old ponderosa, looking like a Roman column, with its lowest branches 75 feet in the air, is always a powerful experience.

East Fork Bull River

The East Fork Bull River, near the St. Paul Lake trailhead on the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness boundary, was flowing high on New Year’s Eve, owing to the recent warm temperatures. A few remnant ice chunks still clung to the banks of the river, evidence of colder temperatures earlier in the winter. This one was my favorite.