Weekly Photography Challenge: New Horizon

This week’s challenge – to show a goal or resolution, a “new horizon” – brought to my mind the Robert W. Service poem with the words

“Have you ever stood where the silences brood,
And vast the horizons begin,
At the dawn of the day to behold far away
The goal you would strive for and win?
Yet ah! in the night when you gain to the height,
The vast pool of heaven star-spawned,
Afar and agleam, like a valley of dream,
still mocks you the Land of Beyond.”

I would have first read it in Douglas Bader’s biography, well over 4o years ago, but I remembered most of it still. Maybe it’s depressing that there is always more to strive for, or perhaps humbling (which might be the same thing for some people..). Service refers to the Land of Beyond as mocking, but I prefer to think it is simply there, calling us on to reach a new goal and not rest on one’s laurels for too long.

I’ve got a few “goals” for 2017, I just have to find images…A mixed media workshop for 4 days in March, with Keith Lo Bue as my teacher, helping out as grandchild 3 makes his or her appearance mid-year, and then, hopefully, a return trip to the Pacific North West in our spring. That seems like enough for now…

Here is a selection of PNW horizons from our last trip, which we hope to see again before the year is out. There are sights we missed that need to be added on my far horizon – sea stacks and beaches of the Olympic Peninsula, more time with Mt St Helens on the horizon, and big old trees in the Hoh Rainforest…

And after we get back home…another horizon to aim for, I’m sure.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Landscape

Landscape seems like a really simple subject – almost anyone would know immediately what “landscape” means. However, almost any photographer has probably got a lot to choose from, maybe thousands of images of many kinds of landscape, so choosing what to share is a problem once again!march 2011 041 (Large)

Just south of where I live, there is a view of the ancient Grampians (Gariwerd) Range in Western Victoria. On the evening on which I took this photo, the mountains were almost obscured by smoke from farmers burning stubble (a practice that has surely had it’s day).march 2012 100 (Large)

The tourist village of Hall’s Gap huddles between the ranges with their rock-piled peaks. The landscape in there is wild yet intimate, no less spectacular for the constriction of space.DSCF5112 (Large)

We like to visit this spot for it’s view of the Grampians (which are invisible from our house). The mound of earth is man-made and a challenge to scramble to the top, but well worth the effort.IMG_1278 (Large)

North of the Gramps, the landscape becomes very flat, with vast paddocks sown to crops such as this canola field. A blooming field of acid-yellow flowers is irresistible to a person with a camera, which is why we stopped on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere for me to take pictures!sept 2011 1246 (Large)

And now for something completely different, as they used to say on Monty Python – a riverine landscape with a lot of built elements, taken from a bridge over the Hoquaim River in Washington State several years ago.sept 2011 680 (Large)

On the same trip, we went to Johnson’s Ridge to see Mt St Helens, which even after she blew her top off is much, much higher than our Grampians, and the whole landscape up there is on a vast scale. I hope we get back there again before we a too old and creaky to explore some of the trails we didn’t have time for last trip!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Forces of Nature

Another week, another challenge to photographers – this time we are asked for photos that portray Forces of Nature, whether they be seedlings popping out of the ground, or windstorms, or waterfalls, or….

On the left is Mt St Helens, thirty or so years after she blew her top and flattened everything for miles around – you can see it’s still quite bare of trees, but on Johnson’s Ridge, where we were in August 2011, wildflowers were blooming in profusion, contrasting forces of nature both monumental and minuscule.

In my own garden in the past week, my Alexander rose was bearing one beautiful bloom, which I was hoping to pick for my mother on Sunday (Mother’s Day). Unfortunately for my plan, we had a day or two of severe winds, which scattered most of  the brilliant vermilion petals of Alexander all around the garden, leaving a very sad remnant of a rose on the bush.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Eerie 2

A different kind of eeriness today. I had a nice, nostalgic time looking through the many photos from ‘The Trip of a Lifetime’ for the ones I wanted. I didn’t find foggy Aberdeen, but I did find the shot from the rainy bus trip to the coast, and Mt St Helens sleeping fitfully under a sheet of cloud; a calm and beauteous evening in Olympia, the snow-capped peaks hovering on the skyline; an image of a Native American in a quiet forest clearing, watching; –  and last but not least, the Horned Owl perched on a hotel roof in Port Angeles. My (twitcher) husband was so excited, but I had my doubts, although I saw it move…The next morning, it was still there, and a better look through higher zoom revealed the dreadful truth. It was plastic. The sea gulls weren’t taken in by it, but it still looked eerie on its eyrie, with it’s weird yellow eyes!

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