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PNW Photo of the Week – Raptor Ridge Trail

PNW Photo of the Week – Raptor Ridge Trail

From here in Bellingham I have access to a lot of amazing hiking trails. Just over an hour east and there are trails crawling over the North Cascades surrounding Mt. Baker. But there are also trails right here in and around the city of Bellingham.

A large system of trails called North Chuckanut Trail System borders the south edge of town. These trails traverse through a patchwork of state parks, city parks, and forest lands. Some of the biggest portions are in Larrabee State Park and Arroyo Park.

Awhile back I tried out a large loop leading up to Raptor Ridge. This is 8ish mile round trip takes you up to some of the highest elevation in the Chuckanut mountains.

How To Get There!

Here is a great description of the hike: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/raptor-ridge-chuckanut-mountain

Unlike that description I started from the North Chuckanut Trailhead. Instead of turning onto Old Samish Way, just keep going straight on Chuckanut drive for a tiny bit and you’ll see a sign and parking lot on the left for the trail head. You’ll just hike north on the Interurban trail until you get to a marker in the Arroyo park area leading you up the Hemlock Trail. Then, the hike is uphill for a good 3 miles at least.

This image is taken on the Raptor Ridge Trail only a little bit after turning off the Hemlock trail. This section is horse free, as it is very narrow and winds through some large rocks.

After checking out the overlook I continued down the Raptor Ridge trail to the Lost Lake Trail and took that back North to where I started.
I’m not in the best shape, so this 8 mile hike was a doozy for me. But it was worth it. The Raptor Ridge Trail running from the Hemlock to the Lost Lake trail was beautiful. There are massive trees, plush ferns, and blankets of moss everywhere.

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PNW Photo of the Week – Wave Interference

PNW Photo of the Week – Wave Interference

Welcome back for another Pacific North West Photo of the Week! Last week I gave you an amazing image of Mt. Saint Helens. And that mountain is huge. I hope that the image conveyed at least a little of the hugeness I experienced when I was there taking the picture.

This week I’m giving you something completely different on the size scale. I’m going from the massively huge all of the way down to the tiny. I call this image:

Wave Interference

When I look out on the waters of Bellingham Bay I not only see the constant undulating large waves but also the tiny waves within these waves, and the waves within those. I love the fractal like behavior of waves. There is an overarching large wave system, and, no matter how closely you look, there is always a smaller and smaller wave system acting within the bounds of the large systems.

I’m sure there is some really cool physics stuff going on here, and if I had unlimited free time, I’d love to spend time learning the intricacies of fluid dynamics and all of the fancy physicy stuff. Some would say learning the mechanism behind these seemingly magical layers of nature take away from that magic. This is not true. As we learn more and more about how things actually work, things become more magical. As we understand things, more questions always arise.

So, be sure to get out there, and not only take pictures of the large sweeping landscapes. But also get down on your knees with that macro lens and look at the minutest details. In the mundane surfaces, such as waves and sidewalks and tree bark and even human skin, you will find ever deepening layers of magic no matter how close you look.

So get out there and take some pictures, and be sure to come back next Monday for the next Pacific North West Photo of the Week!

Posted by Joe in Photography, 0 comments
PNW Photo of the Week – Chuckanut Forest Scene

PNW Photo of the Week – Chuckanut Forest Scene

It’s that time again. Pizza time? Oh, I wish. But no, It’s time for the Pacific North West Photo of the Week! I call this one Chuckanut Forest Scene.

The Background

Do you remember that 8 mile hike I told you about a couple weeks ago? Well, this is another shot from that same hike. (You will probably see a some more images from this hike in the future, it was a long day, and I took a lot of pictures.)

Looking at this image, you would think this was taken out in the Hoh Rainforest. But it is in the Chuckanut Mountain Trail System, just south of Bellingham. I’ve lived here almost 2 months now, and I am amazed at all of the trails in and around town.

This was one of the mossiest parts of the 8 mile hike. The hike took me over 6 hours to complete. Most others that do this loop are in much better shape than me and do it in around 4 hours. The first 4 miles are all up hill, as you go from about 50 feet elevation to over 1500 feet. The view at the end was worth it though.

Raptor Ridge

(Bonus Image: view from the Top of the Raptor Ridge Trail)

Here is another photo from that same hike from a previous PNW Photo of the Week.

Chuckanut Forest Scene

As always, I hope that you enjoyed this week’s image. Let me know what you think down below in the comments.

To learn more about the Chuckanut Mountain Trail System go here: http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/2051/Chuckanut-Mountain-Park

Posted by Joe in Photography, 0 comments
PNW Photo of the Week – Misty Mountains

PNW Photo of the Week – Misty Mountains

It’s time for yet another Pacific North West Photo of the Week! I hope you’re as excited as I am. This image came out amazing. I call it Misty Mountains in the Distance with San Juan Islands and Sail Boat.

The Background

This is another shot I took out on the whale watching tour with the family. We were heading west between the San Juan Islands to Friday Harbor. While out and about stretching our legs I noticed a portion of landscape that just screamed “Bob Ross painting”. Doesn’t this image just look like something Bob Ross would paint? Look at all of those happy trees. And the bottom edges of the mountains seem to be painted over with a cloudy mist.

I did crop it down quite a bit, but I think the ultra compressed verticle dimension adds to the image. Your eye starts on the left and the bit of land points you across the bottom of the misty mountains and too the lone sailboat on the right.

Misty Mountains in the Distance with San Juan Islands and Sail B

Let me know what you think of this one down in the comments. Also, I would love to hear your suggestions on the type of images you would like to see on here.

Also, be sure to check out past entries for PNW Photo of the Week.

Posted by Joe in Photography, 0 comments
PNW Photo of the Week – Bare Roots over the Path

PNW Photo of the Week – Bare Roots over the Path

It is time for this week’s Pacific North West Photo of the Week! It is called Bare Roots over the Path.

The Background

A few weeks ago I took on the longest and toughest hike I’d ever been on. The path was over 8 miles long, but, I’m proud to say, I made it through. Under a mile in I had to stop and catch my breath due to the very steep trail. There I looked down and saw a webbing of roots over the path with the ground worn away around it.

This week’s image is of these roots spread across the trail in the middle of the forest.

What adds to this image is the light. There was a beam of light streaming through the canopy above. I wanted to that light hitting the roots to be the center of the image. Also, I wanted an extremely low angle of view for this image. The texture of the small roots needed to feel like a large landscape across the image. So I got down to my knees with my pack on my back and framed the shot.

The shot came out fairly well, I hope that you all like it as well. Do let me know in the comments below.

If you would like to see more images of the Pacific North West be sure to check out past entries for the PNW Photo of the Week.

 

Posted by Joe in Photography, 1 comment
My PNW Photo of the Week – July 3, 2017

My PNW Photo of the Week – July 3, 2017

It is time for my second entry to my Pacific North West photo of the week!

I call this one Mt Baker from the San Juan Islands.

This week I am sharing a shot from a recent boat outing to the San Juan Islands. We were heading west between a couple of the islands and directly behind the boat was this amazing view of Mt. Baker. I loved how the waves behind the boat led my eye up to the mountain.

I hope you like the shot as well.

Posted by Joe in Photography, 0 comments
My PNW Photo of the Week – June 26, 2017

My PNW Photo of the Week – June 26, 2017

After a few weeks of moving to Bellingham, WA from western Oklahoma we are finally starting to settle in. We’ve gotten all of the important official stuff done, like license plates and new driver’s licenses, and now have time to truly explore the area.

There is a small park fairly close to me with a small trail loop through a bit of forest. It’s called Cordatta Park. It’s not a giant park as compared to many of the other parks in the Bellingham area, but it is still a nice walk through a natural setting.

Here is the image I’ve chose for this new series called my Pacific North West Photo of the Week. Each Monday I will share with you one of my recent shots taken somewhere up here in #UpperLeftUSA.

I call this image ‘Old Forest Stump’. One thing that Washington has that Western Oklahoma really doesn’t is large trees. And, even when these trees die, they are still a fountain of new life. If left, old stumps of fallen or cut trees become the base for other plants and trees to sprout.

Old Forest Stump

Posted by Joe in Photography, 0 comments