Siletz Bay, Arch Rock & Lincoln City

By Lana Levy

Walking through the Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge above Lincoln City, Oregon, we walked on quiet, forested trails along the marshlands and flowers of the Siletz River as it headed toward the ocean and its namesake bay.

It just now finished raining, and the grasses, foxgloves and other flowers displayed their freshly-washed, soaking wet textures and colors.

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Above:Droplets on the Grasses

Below: The trail after the storm:
Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge

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The gravel crunched convincingly under our feet, and we breathed deeply of the forest smell, the trees and undergrowth, and the gentle breeze that followed the storm.

As we hiked farther toward the bay, the salt-air tang of the ocean began to waft its way toward us.

At times, we could hear several kinds of birds singing and flitting in the undergrowth all around us, but they remained shy and just barely, occasionally visible in their hurry.

This marshy, wet and forested habitat suited their privacy well, until people noisily walk that trail and disperse them.

But they would return when no one was watching.

Below:

Low tide from the North End
Depoe Bay, Oregon

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Inn at Arch Rock

Incredible views, right from the room, that drew me with my cell phone camera to get closer, up close and personal.

I was not inclined to walk down that metal stairs for the last jaunt to the private beach, but was drawn closer and closer until I took the first step down what seemed steep and risky stairs at best. After the first step it was clear that I could safely make my way to the beach. Not as sure on my feet as in my youth, I held on to the railing on both sides of the narrow stairs and made it to the bottom effortlessly.

What a close up and personal view to behold! One could take pics from the beach for days on end and not see it all. The grasses, the rocks, the growth on the rocks, the trees atop the rocks curtained by the dark blue sky. The view of the ocean from ground zero is as spectacular as the views from above. The urge to stay longer-even with the only rooms left, the Penthouse and the Apartment-is strong. We must come back here!

I have not taken a big camera out of the bag, but have found my joy in taking pictures with my new cell phone. Thank you Tim. They make beautiful images up to 5×7, and these priceless memories will be with me as long as I have-and share- the pics.

It is difficult to take the steps to leave, but leave we must. Thank you Depoe Bay and thank you, Susan and Jeff!

Here are a couple more photos from our trip:

Below: Otter Crest Loop view, central Oregon coast

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Below: The World’s Shortest: ‘D’ River, Lincoln City, Oregon

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Spring travel 2018 in photos, pt. 1

Part 1 

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Above:The Storm Is Coming,” sunrise near Gooding, ID

Rich in Native American tradition, anchored in its ranching past, Camas County, Idaho and the community of Fairfield are home to the vast Centennial Marsh. Replete with acres of camas lilies prized by the Shoshone-Bannock tribe, the marsh and its environs are invaluable habitat for scores of shorebirds and other winged creatures that call this place their home.

Those winged creatures include mosquitos. Lots of mosquitos. If you come to this magnificent place, bring strong bug spray and use it.

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Away from the marsh, explore the region around Fairfield, including its many antique ranches and farms with abandoned homesteads and ancient barns.

Left:Moonrise, Centennial Marsh



Below:Antiques: Red shack, white trim

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Farther afield, you can access the Big Wood River near Highway 75 or bounce your way along gnarly dirt roads down to the remote Little City of Rocks near Gooding. Bizarre monoliths of stone twist and wriggle their way into the sky, and hiking in the region is magnificent.

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Above:Clouds over the Little City

Below:You Cannot Pass! Mt. Bennett Hills, ID

Sheep dog Sheep Bennett Hills

Travel updates: A date with the secret coast

CumminsCkTrailDownhill.jpgI get my balance back when I immerse myself in forests and along the ocean’s crashing surf.

I find both in the Cape Perpetua area of the central Oregon coast.

About a mile up the trail, where few folks go, the Cummins Creek area hikes into deep rain forest with lush ferns, tiny mushrooms and other wondrous undergrowth. The air is soft and sometimes moist with coastal fog. The forest gently envelopes you in its muffled peace. Only the ocean at Neptune Beach can be heard by the sound of its constant, softened roar.

Your trail is soft and matted with many years of pine needles and soft loam underfoot. Waist-high ferns glisten along the trail; there is an earthy, woodsy smell. Tiny flowers hem the bases of mighty trees; younger trees rise in gangly ranks toward the sky, pointing branching fingers at each other and making a living arch high overhead.

Below: Old Growth and Friends

CumminsCkTreesFlowers3665Cr2.jpgMaybe you will meet a few folks walking along here: maybe a lone walker with a hand-carved walking stick, or the occasional local couple briskly walking their silent dogs. They seem to share the same reverence for the energy and peace here, and smile swiftly and sincerely as they pass.

There are many even quieter side trails leading into and through the forest. Some take you down steep hillsides to the creek below, others hike farther inland. Some offer long yet steady inclines, while others are steep and rocky. Many lead to the silent solitude of spiritual cleansing, brought by the feeling of presence of forest, ocean and weather that combine here like nowhere else.

The center of that spiritual source appears yet farther in. A cluster of trees rises uphill from a cut in the hill at a rising bend along the trail. As you look into this scene, you feel that sense of peaceful power emanate. You relax as you focus within. You immerse, within and without.

And so it is for me, and I will be returning in the spring to refresh and cleanse. To photograph and explore trails I’ve never seen. To head to the ocean, and watch the waves smash into the rocks at Yachats. I will return. I will always return.

Below: Rainbow in the Wave, Yachats

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Visit any of my exhibits (below), and my web site, (kenlevymedia.com) to make the perfect photo selections for home, office or business decor. Your purchase of any of my images includes a 20% donation to the Idaho Foodbank. More details on my Exhibits and News of Notes page. Contact me at ken@kenlevymedia.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road trip! New Hampshire autumn

 

The journey: Nearly 7,000 miles of cross-country driving,
spread out over 33 days covering 19 states. First in a series.

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Above: Fall Cove Serenity: Alton Bay, New Hampshire by Ken Levy

I donate 20% of every image sale to the Idaho Foodbank.
See more of my work at: www.kenlevymedia.com

Stormy skies threatening rain loomed over us as we drove slowly into Alton Bay, New Hampshire on our way to the southern coast of Maine.

A tiny cove caught the corner of my eye as the wind began to slowly pick up. Colorful, window-filled homes, set back in trees ripe with deep, fall colors, reflected themselves in the calm water of the bay.

A few droplets began to fall, as I swiftly hiked back the quarter-mile to the scene from my parking spot. The glass-like water surface I’d seen a minute ago would soon be rippling in the wind.

I set up just in time so only a narrow strip of the water rippled in the growing wind on the bay. Rain drops started to spatter the surface, which still maintained most of its glossy, colored reflections. The rain drops provided another living dimension to the scene. In another few moments, that glossiness was rippled up and the reflections disappeared.

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Above: Sunset blush on the Pemi, Pemigewasset River, NH by Ken Levy
See more of my work at www.kenlevymedia.com

This was our last stop before leaving New Hampshire and the beauty of the Pemigewasset River and the legendary Kancamagus Highway. The Pemi is reduced to a small, intricate flow in late fall, awaiting the winter snows to refresh it.

Rocky Gorge Kancamagus

 

 

At left: Rocky Gorge, Kancamagus Highway, NH

by Ken Levy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below: New Hampshire Fall Color, White Mt. National Forest, by Lana Levy

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Next time: Maine coastal delights

Your purchase of any of my images includes a 20% donation to the Idaho Foodbank.

Visit any of my exhibits (below), and my web site, (kenlevymedia.com) to make the perfect holiday selections that give twice:

Finding spirit wherever you go

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Above: Patterns of Spirit, Yachats, Oregon

Besides our spiritual connections at home or wherever we are, we frequently travel in search of additional spiritual cleansing. We flush the toilet of constant chaos and refill the bowl with clean water.

Inevitably, the center of our search is a much kinder form of chaos: the sea.

Once there, we immerse ourselves (not literally!) in the power SeaLegsand the energy and the total awe of the ocean. The sea engulfs us spiritually, with its neighboring forests, towering cliffs, fog and windy sands to help mesmerize and fascinate. Releasing ourselves to it, we realize just how fully we are one with it.

Whether rolling gently in with the tide to a quiet sandy beach, or smashing themselves against rocks wearing away from the force of it, the waves have much to say.

Sometimes, it’s what the waves leave behind that tells about the life within. The patterns of their presence flow in sand as well as water, mystifying the eye and mind. The ocean cleanses and refreshes, and leaves behind its potent evidence for all.

Left: “Left Behind

Without the refreshment and renewal a coastal experience provides, life can sometimes overwhelm, like rip tides that deposit small creatures and little Dungeness crabs on the shore, leaving them to scramble away and dig themselves in before the gulls arrive. More often than not, they don’t make it. The beaches are strewn with their pecked-clean shells.

For those of us fortunate enough to not be crabs, exhilaration and a boosted sense of well-being permeates at the sea. We will always find our way back.

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Above: Mussel Beach

Below: Crashing surf

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Biggest trip in years

Our insatiable need for the coast and its atmospheres expands to our grandest trip of all this year: fall in New England, with a stop on the coast of Maine.

We’re making up for a very late start in our travels this year due to health concerns that sidelined me throughout spring and early summer.

Beginning late September, we’ll be traveling east to visit family in Ohio and attend a wedding in Pennsylvania. We’ll spend a couple of days getting glimpses of Manhattan, then off to begin our fall foliage odyssey in New Hampshire, exploring the White Mountains and the Kancamagus wilderness. From there, we’ll follow Lake Winnipesaukee along its western shores en route to Ogunquit, Maine, where the coast awaits our arrival.

We swing south to see family in northeastern Massachusetts before heading west along Route 2 to Williamstown, MA, following one of the most foliage-scenic byways in the northeast through the Berkshires.

From there, who knows…? Stay tuned.

 

 

Disappearing Legacy: Old Barns

Photography web site documents ancient barns before they’re gone

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Above: Sheep take over an abandoned farm structure on the Idaho/Wyoming border.

Our travels throughout the Northwest always include a search for the nostalgic beauty of ancient, weather-worn barns. My photo-documentary, Disappearing Legacy: Old Barns of the West, presents intimate, detailed images of these majestic antiques.

I’ve photographed hundreds of these fascinating buildings over the past 20+ years. Some were still in use, but many more were abandoned to the elements, waiting to die.

The rest are gone, existing only in this growing collection of photographic artistic renderings, and in the memories of old-timers who worked the land, the animals and the tools.

By 2006, Idaho had lost more than half of its old barns, BarnVictorNurseryaccording to Arthur Hart, director emeritus of the Idaho State Historical Society, in an interview I did with him that year. Since then, many more have disappeared forever.

Similar stories are all too true throughout the Northwest and beyond. To me, it means documenting these old barns through photography, before it’s too late.  

At right, Victor Nursery barn

That’s why I’m offering fine prints from this unique collection: so that I may continue documenting these American icons, while giving a little help to folks who need it. I donate 20% of your purchase price to the Idaho Foodbank.

Images from this historical, one-of-a-kind documentary can be purchased through my barn web site at http://tinyurl.com/c9m4fq. Click on the image for options, and thank you! Contact me at ken@kenlevymedia.com.

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Left: Barn: Tensed, Idaho

I’ll be traveling and barn-hunting again in August, and I’ll be making a truly gigantic driving trip to New England in the fall. I’ll capture hundreds of new photos that  continue to document these disappearing barns of yesteryear. Your purchases will help fund this venture.

Follow this blog for the fascinating stories behind the barns. I’ll be publishing a book on the subject very soon. Stay in touch! Contact me at ken@kenlevymedia.com.

Art Down 45: Fighting back enough?

Fourth installment

By Ken Levy

This installment of Art Down 45 includes images of those fighting back against a hateful regime, and just one or two examples of who and what that regime is hurting.

Below: Migrant farmworker

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Below: Skittles

Refugee Rally Boise Airport

Below: Predatory

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Below: Women’s March

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I still work to help the hungry in Idaho by donating 20% of all my photo sales directly to the Idaho Foodbank. I have greatly lowered my prices for framed art photographs now  showing at the following locations. Beautiful framed images from my Collectors Editions are ideal for those empty walls at home or office.  Contact me for details.

Art Down 45: No comment necessary

© Ken Levy

Third installment

Warning! Some images may be disturbing; proceed with awareness.

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Democracy Down 45

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Heartless

 

 

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Hungry Children

 

 

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Ultimate sacrifice

 

 

Next installment April 22

 

Meanwhile, I’m still working to help feed the hungry in Idaho, by donating 20% of all my photo sales directly to the Idaho Foodbank.

To that end, I’ve dropped my prices for beautiful framed art photographs now showing at the following locations.

These selections from my Collectors Editions are more affordable, so more folks can get some help — and you get some nice art — when you buy.

Contact me for details.

Art Down 45: No looking back, ever

Second installment

By Ken Levy

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Rights, you say? by Ken Levy

Not a day, not an hour it seems, goes by without some fresh outrage against the values and democracy we hold dear.  Key legislation, virtually every executive order or congressional maneuver, stacks the cards against average America, whether it’s removing protections for clean water and air, working to stymie our ability to demand recourse for injuries perpetrated on us, hobbling our education system and forcing our most vulnerable populations to do with much less, or do without completely.

This, while those who govern lie to our faces and virtually dare us to challenge them.Bud Phillips Cattle

The challenge is on, and true patriotism requires our defiance…

This project continues to evolve, speaking to that defiance and a decent, safe, clean, healthy and prosperous America for every single one of us.

Herded like Cattle by Ken Levy

Next week’s images from Art Down 45, and those that follow, will speak for themselves, without unnecessary verbiage from me. Again, some images may offend, so if you continue to follow this project, be advised.

Meanwhile, I still work to help the hungry in Idaho by donating 20% of all my photo sales directly to the Idaho Foodbank. I have greatly lowered my prices for framed images showing at the following locations. Beautiful framed images from my Collectors Editions are ideal for those empty walls at home or office.  Contact me for details.

Art Down 45 looks at America in crisis: No April Fool’s joke here

By Ken Levy

Intro

The swamp has become a toilet, and it’s time to flush.

Things were far from perfect under the Obama presidency, but there was an element of strength, of respect, of some level of caring and compassion we have yet to see since he left. Regardless of his mistakes, America was still respected as a great nation, not only by her own citizens but also by much of the rest of the world. We held our heads high.

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“Bloated Pig” by Ken Levy

But we surrendered that greatness when we handed over the leadership of this country to those who run their offices with an arrogant, in-your-face belligerence heavily seasoned with blatant lies.

Beyond the hateful erosion of human rights and standards of fairness and ethics,  we see issues of health, environmental safety, education and the arts facing serious decimation by calls for military budget increases, a wall that won’t work and further tax breaks for the wealthiest.

Far from becoming great again — as though something got lost before we got here — average America is being dragged toward the abyss, while those who “lead” prosper at our expense. Not only financially, but at the demanded sacrifice of our environment, our Sheep43sense of decency and fairness and, perhaps the biggest casualty of all, the truth.

But there is a growing resistance in this country, and decent America won’t go down without a fight.

For me, part of that fight is coming out in imagery, a series of photographs dubbed “Art Down 45.”

“The Sheep Slowly Awaken” by Ken Levy

Beginning with these photos, the project includes many images that can shock and/or offend (but no x-rated stuff). All will portray my perspective on where it seems we are — and where we might be headed. You likely have seen some of these photos in other contexts, but be assured — this ain’t no fool’s joke. Unless we let the joke be on us.

This is an ongoing project, and I’ll be adding images regularly to this blog and to Facebook.

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to help hungry folks in Idaho, by donating 20% of every sale of my images to the Idaho Foodbank. To help boost that donation, I have severely lowered my prices for images showing at the following locations. Beautiful framed images from my Collectors Editions are ideal for walls at home or office.  Contact me for details.