L’éclaircissement of the forest

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Above: Fog rises from trees as smoke from a fire, a forceful wind whisks away the previous night’s downpour. Taken at Mountain Lake on Orcas Island, Washington. 

I learned a new French word the same day I took these pictures, and it fits perfectly. Éclaircissement: a clearing up of something obscure. 

The dynamic and fluid scene changed rapidly. I struggled to find an element to incorporate into the foreground for depth perspective — instead focusing on the swirling patterns. 

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Catch of the day

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Above: Expect more of a “fishing perch” than a “fishing hole” when dip-netting the Copper River in southeast Alaska. Spirit Mountain pokes above the big and fast glacial-fed river that’s full of silt and very cold. Copper River Reds, the salmon in the net, are some of the most sought after in the world. 

The river is also an excellent of the Weekly Photo Challenge of boundaries. Rivers are some of Earth’s most common boundaries. For the fish in my net it is a boundary of left and death, or for a person if they fall in. 

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Sometimes sweeping is necessary — a time- and labor-intensive technique during which the fisher sweeps the net with the current, resets and repeats.

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Even when fishing is done much work is left to be done. Here a king salmon is butchered. 

Tracks Diverge

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Tracks diverge — one true, one to the right — distances diluted by Georgia’s morning fog. 

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Sky blends with river and birds take flight in anticipation of morning light. 

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Soon, sun cuts the clouds.

Scenery and a sandpiper

Above: The Eastern Alaska Range backdrops the Delta Clear Water, a spring-fed river in Interior Alaska. A small canoe can be seen in the lower third of the photo,

The Delta Clearwater is an Interior Alaska river true to its name: clearwater. An early summer float trip provided astounding views and some small wildlife.

Moss on Mt. Rainier

Above: A small stream snakes through vibrant green moss on Mt. Rainier in Washington state. The picture reminds me how alive and diverse the mountain is, from the thunderous cracks and groans of enormous glaciers to the smallest bubbling stream sustaining a secluded ecosystem. The picture is a rough scan of color positive film, shot on Hasselblad.

Green Lake with full moon

Above: A full moon and city lights are reflected in Green Lake, a suburb of Seattle. April 13, 2014. 

The weekly photo challenge is nighttime. A perfect opportunity to share a serene scene in a Seattle suburb. 

Angle Rocks in spring and fall

Above: Sun shines on a granite tor of Angle Rocks and trees in golden fall colors, to the right the Chena River snakes through a valley cast in shadows. September 11, 2014.

Angle Rocks is almost assuredly the most popular hiking spot near Fairbanks. It’s a 3.5-mile loop in the Chena River State Recreation Area, about 45 miles from Fairbanks, that takes trekkers through and around a variety of tors formed from granite.

The tors were formed hundreds of millions of years ago when magma bubbled up from the Earth’s mantel, but failed break through the ground. They then slowly become revealed as erosion striped the surrounding land, exposing the giant rocks.

I hiked Angle Rocks twice this summer, once in spring and once in fall. Both seasons provided fantastic and vibrant colors. The cool and calm spring greens and the energetic and exciting gold of fall.