BEING SEEING

when I’m on the trails

and when I’m not,

beingseeing.

In the park by the sea

here’s what I see

when I’m

seeingbeing.

1. Treebeing with intentional camera movement, using a vintage Takumar 50mm lens on a Pen-F mirrorless camera.

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A one-way road traces a two-mile loop around the perimeter of Washington Park. Most visitors take their walks on the pavement and with few cars and varied scenery, it’s a very pleasant outing. But I prefer the tangle of trails that weave around and beyond the loop road. I pull into a rough parking place along the road, stash my backpack in the trunk, check that I have what I need in my pockets, and plunge into the woods.

Within minutes, the forest gives way to meadows and rocky outcrops with seawater views to the southwest. The golden light filtering through the trees here is as welcome on a winter afternoon as it was on summer evenings.

2. An iPhone view of the loop road on a December afternoon.

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Here’s the lay of the land: in the center of the 220-acre park, dozens of campsites are scattered under a tall conifer forest. On the park’s north side a boat ramp and a small beach beckon families and boaters and along the western edge, a cement stairway leads to a rocky beach with a stretch of forested cliffs. My favorite part of the park is on the southern edge, where the land slopes down to the water in a series of mounds and ravines. As the terrain dips and rises, views of blue-green seawater appear and disappear. On sunny days, the light bouncing off the channel warms the trunks of rugged, weathered trees that tell stories of a landscape where the summer sun beats mercilessly and winter windstorms batter the hills with rain.

Difficult conditions make interesting habitats. The poor soil supports tiny, odd ferns in the rock crevices, a wealth of lichens, and meadows full of flowers in spring. When the summer drought shuts down the flower show, tufts of dried grass color the meadows gold. For a few months, the landscape is so parched that every step crunches something – dried leaves, sticks, grasses, lichens – even moss crumbles underfoot.

Then the autumn rains return and the landscape wakes up. Emerald green Licorice ferns uncoil, mounds of reindeer lichens puff up like clouds, and the Madrone trees glow in a rainbow of russet, orange, and lime green. This is when I like to roam the trails. With the flowers gone, twisted, contorted trees and intricate collections of detritus on the ground capture my attention. I slow down. The circuits in my brain fire up and my senses are alert to darting birds, a tapestry of color, and the play of light across the trail. Just being here is enough.

But you know I have my camera.

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4. Its’ scarred bark wet with rain, a twisty Madrone leans in toward the water’s bright light.
5. This Madrone’s bark is peeling as if the tree’s muscle wants to break out of its skin.

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6. Tree drama abounds on the edge of the park, where branches speak a language that is not foreign to me – or you.

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7. Leaning Madrones interrupt the repeating verticality of young Douglas fir trees.
8. An old Madrone seems to reach for an opening in the forest. (This photo was made with a vintage Takumar 50mm lens on a mirrorless Pen-F camera).
9. A Madrone palette spilled onto the ground.
10. Clumps of Reindeer lichen (Cladonia sp.) swell and soften with moisture in the fall. Tiny green dots point to the beginnings of plants resurrected by the rain.
11. Wallace’s spikemoss (Selaginella wallacei) is not a moss, but a vascular plant that reproduces by spores. Here, it creeps across a lichen-covered rock. The tips are green but much of the plant is whitish because Tundra saucer lichen (Ochrolechia upsaliensis) is growing on it. In the Alps, Tundra saucer lichen grows above the tree line but here, it was growing at less than 50 feet above sea level.*

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13. An old Seaside juniper sprawls across a ridge. The branches on this tree fork like antlers on the deer above.
14. The sun peaks out after November rain. I keep to the grass – the rocks and soil are slippery now.
15. Another rainy day yields a hazy view through Seaside juniper branches. (Made with a vintage Takumar 50mm lens on a mirrorless Olympus EM-1 camera).
16. Raindrops hang from juniper twigs on a misty January afternoon.

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17. An impossible tangle of juniper branches obscures the view of the channel.
18. I watch the sunset through a byzantine screen of a juniper’s lacy twigs and foliage. (Made with a vintage Takumar 50mm lens on a mirrorless Olympus EM-1 camera)
19. After a rainy November day, the sun illuminates the world.

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20. Dusk settles a deep hush into the hills across the water.
21. The setting sun framed by a fragment of Madrone bark, a week before the shortest day of the year.

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This post fits into two categories that I use: Local Walks and States of Being. To see more posts in these categories scroll way down and click on the category. More posts about Washington Park are here and here.

*Excellent photos of the plant and lichen in #11, photographed in Washington Park by my friend Richard Droker, are here.

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69 comments

  1. Wonderful. All of them. My personal favourites this time would have to be #1 and #7, I think. That madrone bark is fascinating.

    SeeingBeingLoving

    βœ¨πŸ¦‹πŸ’­πŸ‡πŸ—πŸŒ±πŸŒ…β˜€βš–β˜ΊπŸ€βœ¨

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, John. You never know what you’re going to get with intentional camera movement and that’s a big part of the draw. Emotional strength is something I aspire to, so I appreciate that thought.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. All seasons provide beautiful walks, and winter is no exception, as this post and this beautiful set of photos reveal.
    I highlight the wonderful expressiveness of madrones, in their β€œrestless tranquility”!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We don’t usually have snow but we do have lots of green in winter, thanks to many evergreen trees. And the bark of the Madrone trees adds welcome warm color to the mix. I love the idea of the trees having restless tranquility because being in their midst is calming but they certainly do take many twists and turns through their long lives. Thank you, Dulce, have a good week!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, good to hear, Ken. When I finished processing it, I thought it had a nice colored pencil feeling. In the midst of our typical winter of many gray, overcast days, the forests provide welcome color. Have a good week up there in Webster!

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  3. Wonderful album, starting with the first shot, which I’d have guessed was done with pastel pencils, pretty cool! And I also love the impressionism in 15, 19 and 21, and the still lifes 9, 10,11. And I do dig the drama in #6! although on a dark & stormy night I think I’d be glancing over my shoulder to make sure those branches aren’t grabbing anybody. The twists & turns are great too – the juniper always seems to be a tough sinewy character but that madrone seems to respond with muscularity, #5 is definitely the Hulk splitting his shirt sleeves. Wonderful start to the year, Lynn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a good idea, calling that series (9-11) still lifes. Also, a perfect way to describe the feeling in #6 – darkening the image brought out that scary atmosphere. And the Hulk – guess what, my partner said the same thing about that image! πŸ˜‰ BTW, one of many things I did with #1 was to add “grain” in Lightroom, to give it that colored pencil or pastel pencil look. Thank you, Robert, stay warm!

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  4. Beautiful being-seeing Lynn! I really like your ICM image … the green is so refreshing for me this time of year. Forests lend themselves so well to experimenting with ICM. I like when you put three together and see them as a triptych as in your trio of curving trunks. The spike moss is abstract at first glance and appealing with great texture and colors … another example of your ability to find wonderful, nature still-lifes. I really like your raindrops image as well … the composition and DOF is perfect! Bravo on another awesome post in words and pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Denise, thank you very much. What a pleasure it is to read your comment! The post began more prosaically in terms of the text and images but then the ideas of beingseeing and seeingbeing came to me and I worked to make it more feeling-based if that makes sense. The ICM wasn’t even in there at first. πŸ™‚ It’s interesting how things evolve when you give them a little time. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been reading an interesting book about the effect of tree terpenes on people (especially our immune systems) and related information about how humans are intertwined with the rest of life. Unfortunately, the author (Clemens Arvay) spoke out against the speed of COVID vaccine production (suggesting it was all about big business & profit) but he has interesting things to say about forests. And if you feel like I’m a tree whisperer, I’m all for it. πŸ™‚

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  5. ZijnZien en ZienZijn, In Dutch.. Nice words, especially in connection. Fine post, Lynn. Great shots of trees! and an experienced expert as myself sure can tell.. πŸ˜€ Those Madrones are amazing trees with all those colors. 9, 10 and 11 are also interesting; kind of still lifes, where details and textures are close enough and the colors of nature that never fail to feel good. Thanks and see you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, thanks for putting the Dutch words in there, how interesting to see that they also work well together. But I want to hear it!
      I appreciate the Tree Expert’s opinion. too. Glad you enjoyed the Madrones and the ground photos. Lots of things are always falling on the ground there and it’s not hard to find places that are undisturbed. πŸ™‚ Have a nice weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve really only experienced the boat ramp section of the park – we’ve launched there a few times. Madrones are always nice and the Seaside juniper have lots of character. I’m most partial to #6 and #20, and the abstract complementary colors and shadows in #21 work nicely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The trails outside of the loop road are really nice to walk if you’re in the area and have an hour to spare. I’m glad you see the character in the Seaside Juniper – it can be hard to convey the strong presence those trees have. I was happy with #6 though. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by, Dave. I think you’ve missed the bulk of the rain, right? A friend down in Gold Beach said a portion of 101 was out – again!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Lynn, Love your opening abstract– so graceful and colorful– works beautifully. Your studies of the Madrones are wonderful the way you’ve captured their curvy branches and peeling bark. Great deer captures..like lawn ornaments, they are so still! And the amazing Juniper and your dreamy close-ups are a pleasure to view. All such a celebration of your surroundings. You are very talented at seeing and being. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful, all of it! The trees and barks, I love them – you can imagine! – and the cute deer. How close you got. It must have been heartwarming! All those exceptional trees are fascinating. I also love your pictures with camera movement here and the last one, with the lights is very beautiful, poetic. 11 is amazing. This mixture of lichen and the spikemoss, that grows over the others and is overgrown itself. Strange and wonderful at the same time. The pictures with the raindrops are very poetic too. You really dive into your surroundings πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • You may be the only person who mentioned #11. You would love to hang out with Richard, my lichenologist friend. He showed me how the lichen grows on the spikemoss – i had noticed that the moss looked white in some places but I didn’t really think about it. I just thought it was dead there. He patiently showed me what was going on. I’m only sorry that I can’t make better closeups. Have I sent you a link to his FLickr site? He has hundreds of fantastic photos of lichens, mosses, etc. there.

      migmatite

      You and I both really dive into our surroundings. πŸ™‚ Thank you!!!

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