Thursday, February 28, 2008

Moving On, Looking Back

It's hard to believe that it has been one year since I left the Sacramento Bee. The purpose of this blog has been, for the most part, a way to look ahead, to savor my moments as much as I enjoyed photographing other's. However, today I am remembering the good times and the kind words and gestures from my friends and co-workers during my last days as a worker Bee.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Chinook come home

Welcome back and greetings to new readers of this blog. This installment is a bonus "two-fer." I had planned on a single blog about the release of Chinook into a small stream near my home on Monday. Plans changed when my friend Brent McGregor asked me this afternoon to go ride with him on his "new and improved" snowmobile up to MacKenzie Pass, 8 miles beyond the end of the plowed road, to see of there might be the possibility of a winter sunset. Oh, and there was. So, today's entry is the result of two exceptional photographic days. If you have an aversion to mountain sunset photographs, now's the time to hit your back button.

Since 2004 major stream restoration in the Deschutes River watershed has been in progress to allow the re-introduction of Chinook salmon and steelhead that haven't swum freely in some of these waters for 40 years. Relicensing the dams on the Deschutes, Portland General Electric and tribes had to improve fish habitat, a project begun since 2004. The Deschutes Basin Land Trust has been working to ensure that there will be habitat for the fish for this day and days in the future. Monday, about 10,000 Chinook fry were released in Lake Creek, a tributary to the Metolius and the Deschutes. It was a great and unheralded moment. No media, no fanfare. Several groups led by Oregon Fish and Wildlife trekked through the snow to the streams, measured water temperature, acclimated the fish and then were scooped out of a plastic Ace Hardware bucket and placed gently into quiet sections along the stream bank.

Mt. Jefferson

North and South Sister

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A night for howling

There are times in life when you just need to let out a hoot. Tonight I got to do that watching a lunar eclipse over the central Oregon high desert. All day clouds rolled over the Cascades with the opportunity to see the celestial event in question until late in the day when the sky began to clear. By 6pm the only clouds were on the eastern horizon acting like a curtain for the upcoming show. When the moon reached the full eclipse it was well above the horizon and glowed like a copper penny for nearly an hour. I hope wherever you were tonight that the sky was clear and you got to see the moon. I viewed the eclipse with my photographer buddy Brent McGregor and as we stood with our tripods and cameras we were amazed not only by the moon but also the amazing starlit night, the Milky Way directly overhead. We wondered how many other photographers were photographing the scene and how many others went home frustrated by bad weather conditions. We felt truly lucky.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Camp Sherman Quilt Show

The beauty of central Oregon is not limited to the natural landscape. The communities of Sisters and Camp Sherman have numerous artists. Painters and photographers are well represented, however, this area is equally known for the quilting work being done. Twice each year the Pine Needlers, a group of about 200 women hold a show in the Camp Sherman Community Hall where quilts are hung from the rafters of the building. Each quilt is unique and often has a long family history or a personal story of it's creation. This is museum quality on a down-home level. The quilts aren't for sale so a modest entrance fee, small quilted potholders, and snacks, sold by the "Pine Nuts" (husbands of the quilters) give the Pine Needlers a little profit which funds a scholarship fund for local students. The other show is held in conjunction with the Sisters Quilt Show in July when the streets in town are closed to traffic and thousands come to see the magnificent creations that cloth, thread and artistic vision create.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Moving On...the CD

A recent Google user inititiated a web search using the words "moving on songs" and was directed to this blog. It's not surprising to me that others are seeking the therapeutic power and soul of music to sustain themselves in a period of life where door and windows open and close in philosophical frames. I dug into my music library and compiled a playlist of songs that have assisted me in my transition during the past year. The "Moving On" CD has 19 tracks, basically acoustic music from contemporary artists, John Denver, Dan Fogelberg, Rosanne Cash, Richard Thompson, Richard Shindell, John Gorka, James Taylor, Alison Krauss, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lucky Kaplansky, Carrie Newcomer, Jackie Greene, Bela Fleck and Jerry Douglas and several others. If the music interests you let me know and I'll make it possible for you to get the disk.

Valentine haiku

Sliding clouds love's kiss
Constant change yet much remains
For a life lived full.

Friday, February 08, 2008


There are silent visitors to my world and I’m curious about the tracks they leave as they pass by. A little research determines the identity of the four-legged creature that walks across my snowy driveway. It’s a raccoon. There are also rabbit and deer tracks. I enjoy their company. The raccoon and the rabbit take shelter under the back deck; the deer are migrating through their winter range seeking anything edible not buried in snow. There are also the visitors to this blog. The number at the bottom of the page indicates how many have visited the site, a miniscule number considering some sites get thousands or millions of hits each day. I’m grateful that anyone reads the blog in the first place. I use a website that shows me the “tracks” blog viewers leave. This is where it gets interesting. The stats of a viewer are broken down into many categories: IP address, city, state, country, the URL that got you to my blog, keywords on a search engine, and the length of time spent on the site. I recognize a few visitors as easily as recognizing a rabbit track. The rest, however, are obscure and ephemeral and that tweaks my curiosity. There have been readers from the U.S.A., the U.K., Australia and the Netherlands. I began this blogging effort as a way to describe my efforts to lay down new tracks in Oregon after years of familiar ones in California. I’m beginning to realize that writing and photographing for this journey will be basically a one-sided conversation. Although there is a way to leave comments most visitors to "Moving On" do not. That’s o.k. I look at a lot of other blogs and don’t often write comments either. It’s easier to remain anonymous. I respect that and whatever viewer information I glean will never be disclosed, period. If you’d care to drop a note or a comment, thanks in advance. I’ll throw a virtual party for the 1000th viewer. You can track that one yourself.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The spirit lives on, doesn't it?

Even on a "down" day there is some redeeming element; that was a photograph I made a couple of days ago and thought I'd hold for future use. Today, as it turns out, is a fine time to use it since it's been a fairly lousy day for me. I canceled a trip to Sacramento (a weather-related precaution) so I attended my regular cycling spin class. Never in many weeks have my knees screamed so defiantly. I tapered off and finished a 60-minute session in pain. That set the tone to match the gray-brown, slushy world outside. Back home, the lid on the mayonaise jar was not on tight and the jar dropped to the floor spewing the contents on the refrigerator door. Now I'm seriously bummed. My sour mood continued the rest of the day until I figured out that the blog will come to the rescue. Write it down, it will get better. When I remembered the photo of the holiday tree still lit out in Camp Sherman I got a visual smack upside the head. Get over it and be content. It's still a beautiful place out there, perhaps not so much here today and that will change. Like my mood.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

...and it's only February

This is a day to hunker down and wait out another blast of winter conditions in central Oregon. It has snowed all day and forecasts predict snow through tomorrow, a slight break on Monday and another punch on Tuesday. The meteorological wizards who predicted a big wet La NiƱa winter have been accurate. Damn. Wherever you are today and tomorrow, may your spirits be high in spite of things one cannot change.