Category

Washington

Milky Way and Stars at Night Over Mount Rainier

Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Mount Rainier, Washington

In this single image (not a composite), made with a special combination of low-light camera and extremely fast lens to best capture the details and colors of the gas areas of the Milky Way, our galaxy rises in the night sky over Mount Rainier. A few specks of light can be seen on the mountain itself — these are the lights of climbers who are ascending the mountain. A few months earlier or later and this composition, with the Milky Way aligned directly above the extinct volcano, would not have been possible. I was fortunate with weather, having tried to make this image several nights only to be shut out by heavy cloud cover even at the high altitude setting of Sunrise. On my last evening of the trip, I was lucky to have clear skies and spent most of the night, alone in a meadow with the sounds of small animals flitting about, photographing the stars as they wheeled in the sky over the Mount Rainier.

Milky Way and stars at night above Mount Rainier, Sunrise, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Milky Way and stars at night above Mount Rainier.
Image ID: 28732
Location: Sunrise, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, USA

If you like this, check out some of my other Milky Way photos, or photos of Mount Rainier. Thanks for looking, and cheers!

Photo of North Head Lighthouse, Washington

Landscape, Panoramas, Washington

While in Astoria recently, we took a little drive across to the Washington side of the Columbia River to see North Head Lighthouse. It was overcast, sort of pre-storm looking, perfect weather for walking around a blustery promontory high above the coast and checking out an old lighthouse. Below is a panorama of the bluffs beside the North Head Lighthouse, spanning about 180 degrees up and down the coast. Can you see my daughter next to the lens inside the top room of the lighthouse? Click it to see a larger version, or see more panorama photos in our collection.

The North Head Lighthouse was built in 1896. 69 steps lead to the lantern room, which is 65 feet from the ground and 194 feet above sea level. The first-order Fresnel lens, which came from Cape Disappointment, was lit for the first time on May 16, 1898

The North Head Lighthouse was built in 1896. 69 steps lead to the lantern room, which is 65 feet from the ground and 194 feet above sea level. The first-order Fresnel lens, which came from Cape Disappointment, was lit for the first time on May 16, 1898.
Image ID: 19390
Location: Washington, USA

Mount St. Helens Panoramic Photo

Landscape, Panoramas, Washington

From the 2005 archives: I left Seattle in the late afternoon and began my speed run south, home to Carlsbad. I planned to stop at three spots: Mount St. Helens, Crater Lake and Oakland. I reached the Johnston Ridge viewpoint of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (say that three times quickly) before sunset and had the entire place to myself. It was eerie, I was wondering if I had missed an eruption warning or something. This is a panoramic photo, composed of 4 separate images stitched (on the computer) into a single picture.

Panorama of Mount St. Helens, viewed from Johnston Ridge, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Panorama of Mount St. Helens, viewed from Johnston Ridge.
Image ID: 19118
Location: Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington, USA

Click the image to see it larger.

Nurse Log Photo

National Parks, Olympic, Trees, Washington

A “nurse log” is a tree that has fallen and, in the process of decay and rotting away, provides nutrients and a substrate for other plants, including seedling trees, to root and grow. Eventually these plants overwhelm the nurse log which rots away and is completely replaced by the new growth. This photo of a nurse log in Olympic National Park, near Sol Duc Falls, was recently selected for use in a permanent exhibit at the Oregon Zoo to illustrate Pacific Northwest temperate rainforest natural history.

A fallen tree serves as a nurse log for new growth in an old growth forest of douglas firs and hemlocks, with forest floor carpeted in ferns and mosses.  Sol Duc Springs, Olympic National Park, Washington

A fallen tree serves as a nurse log for new growth in an old growth forest of douglas firs and hemlocks, with forest floor carpeted in ferns and mosses. Sol Duc Springs.
Image ID: 13755
Location: Sol Duc Springs, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

Photo of Paradise Falls, Mt. Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier, National Parks, Washington

Last summer we visited Mt. Rainier National Park for the first time. We timed our visit to coincide with the peak flower bloom in Paradise Meadows, and we were not disappointed. The weather was spectacular, hardly a cloud in the sky, and we enjoyed hiking and driving the route around the mountain. Mt. Rainier has countless streams, creeks and rivers, all of which have cascades and falls to photograph. Our favorite was Paradise Falls, appropriately, on Paradise Creek:

Paradise Falls tumble over rocks in Paradise Creek, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Paradise Falls tumble over rocks in Paradise Creek.
Image ID: 13867
Location: Paradise Creek, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, USA

Paradise Falls tumble over rocks in Paradise Creek, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Paradise Falls tumble over rocks in Paradise Creek.
Image ID: 13869
Location: Paradise Creek, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, USA

Paradise Falls tumble over rocks in Paradise Creek, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Paradise Falls tumble over rocks in Paradise Creek.
Image ID: 13868
Location: Paradise Creek, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, USA

More waterfall photos.

Keywords: Paradise Falls, Paradise creek, Mt. Rainier National Park, waterfall

Photo of Marymere Falls, Olympic National Park

National Parks, Olympic, Washington

Marymere Falls is located near Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park. 90 feet high, Marymere Falls marks the spot where Barnes Creeks drops down a vertical rock face on its descent to nearby Lake Crescent. An easy one-mile trail leads the visitor from the Storm King ranger station on the shores of Lake Crescent through a peaceful forest of massive sword ferns and soaring cedar and fir trees. Kids will enjoy the corrugated metal tunnel under old Highway 101 and the narrow wooden bridge over Barnes Creek. At the end of the trail, a brief ascent offers two lookouts from which to admire Marymere Falls.

Marymere Falls cascades 90 feet through an old-growth forest of Douglas firs, near Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, Washington

Marymere Falls cascades 90 feet through an old-growth forest of Douglas firs, near Lake Crescent.
Image ID: 13765
Location: Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

Marymere Falls drops 90 feet through an old-growth forest of Douglas firs, near Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, Washington

Marymere Falls drops 90 feet through an old-growth forest of Douglas firs, near Lake Crescent.
Image ID: 13768
Location: Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

See more Marymere Falls photos.

Photo of Sol Duc Falls, Olympic National Park

National Parks, Olympic, Washington

Sol Duc Falls is one of the gems of Olympic National Park. Located in the Sol Duc Valley, not far from the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, the trail to Sol Duc Falls is an easy 1.5 mile round trip walk through old growth hemlock and douglas fir trees (some of which are over 300 years old). Sol Duc Falls itself drops over a sandstone brim into three separate falls, joining again at the bottom to flow under a dramatic wooden footbridge that crosses the river. Just before reaching the river, hikers encounter the Canyon Creek shelter, an old wooden cabin with cupola built by the Civilian Conservation Corps — its worth a peek inside.

Sol Duc Falls.  Sol Duc Falls is one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in Olympic National Park, seen here from a bridge that crosses the canyon just below the falls. Surrounding the falls is an old-growth forest of hemlocks and douglas firs, some of which are three hundred years in age, Sol Duc Springs

Sol Duc Falls. Sol Duc Falls is one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in Olympic National Park, seen here from a bridge that crosses the canyon just below the falls. Surrounding the falls is an old-growth forest of hemlocks and douglas firs, some of which are three hundred years in age.
Image ID: 13747
Location: Sol Duc Springs, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

Old growth forest of douglas firs and hemlocks, with forest floor carpeted in ferns and mosses.  Sol Duc Springs, Olympic National Park, Washington

Old growth forest of douglas firs and hemlocks, with forest floor carpeted in ferns and mosses. Sol Duc Springs.
Image ID: 13757
Location: Sol Duc Springs, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

Sol Duc Falls. Sol Duc Falls is one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in Olympic National Park. Surrounding the falls is an old-growth forest of hemlocks and douglas firs, some of which are three hundred years in age, Sol Duc Springs

Sol Duc Falls. Sol Duc Falls is one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in Olympic National Park. Surrounding the falls is an old-growth forest of hemlocks and douglas firs, some of which are three hundred years in age.
Image ID: 13750
Location: Sol Duc Springs, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

Log cabin on the trail to Sol Duc Falls, Sol Duc Springs, Olympic National Park, Washington

Log cabin on the trail to Sol Duc Falls.
Image ID: 13764
Location: Sol Duc Springs, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

Here are more photos of Sol Duc Falls

Seattle Skyline Photo

Washington

While in Seattle this past summer, I made a quick trip to Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill to catch a view of the downtown Seattle City Skyline. I was hoping to get some nice Space Needle photos. When I arrived I was surprised to find 50+ photographers there, at least an hour before sunset, with more arriving every minute. As it happened, my visit coincided with the only day of the year in which the rise of the full moon occurred directly behind the Space Needle as viewed from Kerry Park. Some of the people said they had been planning to shoot this for months, and one eager-beaver with a 600mm lens who shot the same phenomenon the previous year went so far as to combine lunar tables and geographic software to predict above which building the moon would first appear. My stumbling upon the alignment of moon, Space Needle and clear weather was fortunate indeed. The saying goes that “even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut” and this sure proved true for me. I hung around and waited for the moon to make its appearance, and then shot a series of frames. By the time I left there were probably 300+ people at the park having a great time, partying in the street, relaxing and enjoying the superb weather. A nice evening, to be sure. I left with some nice Seattle skyline photos.

Here there is still a bit of daylight left, at dusk:

Full moon rises over Seattle city skyline at dusk, Space Needle at right

Full moon rises over Seattle city skyline at dusk, Space Needle at right.
Image ID: 13661
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

A while later, all that is visible are the lights of the city, spotlights on the Space Needle, and the moon:

Full moon rises over Seattle city skyline, Space Needle at right

Full moon rises over Seattle city skyline, Space Needle at right.
Image ID: 13665
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

Keywords: Seattle skyline photo, Space Needle photo