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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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Fine photos make great last-minute gifts, and feed the hungry as well

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Yachats Sunset, 30×20 framed, on exhibit and for sale at Blue Sky Bagels, Fairview, Meridian

By Ken Levy

There’s still time to get free delivery of my ready-to-hang framed images, which make perfect gifts for home or office walls.

I continue my tradition of donating 20% of the purchase of any of my images to the Idaho
Foodbank. Thanks to your generous purchases, the food bank got additional funds in time for the Christmas celebrations.

I like to keep this going year-round. Here’s how it works:

You get stunning photography for your home, office or as thoughtful gifts; each beautiful photo you buy also helps feed hungry people. I give 20% of each sale to the Idaho Foodbank.

I will deliver framed art free within a 50-mile radius of Boise, until Dec. 20.  Email me for details at ken@kenlevymedia.com

Visit any of my exhibits (below), and my web site, to make the perfect holiday purchase that gives twice:

FoggyTreesYachats1966At left: Coastal Inspiration, Yachats, Ore. 20×30 Framed, on exhibit and for sale at Blue Sky Bagels, Fairview, Meridian

  About my photos

These professional-quality images will add beauty and interest to every wall, including those of your friends, family and colleagues. You can find a huge variety of original art on my web site.

Keep an eye on my New Works page for updates to my photography, and stop by my Collector’s Editions  page to view some of my clients’ favorite works.

Email me for details at ken@kenlevymedia.com or visit my web site at http://kenlevymedia.com.

Consider making my images part of your holiday gift giving this year. Because no one should have to go hungry, and beauty makes a great gift for everyone.

 

Below: “Water and Ice.” Tiny stalactites dip their icy toes in the roiling water of Teton Creek. Framed 20×16 on display and for sale at Blue Sky Bagels, Chinden Ave., Boise.

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Photography road trip: Five autumn days in the heart of Oregon’s best

Here are some highlight photos from a quick trip across Oregon in early October. These images are truly spectacular when viewed hi-res.

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Paradise in Oregon lives up to its name any time of year, but especially in the fall, when the fog rolls in off the McKenzie River with a backdrop of golden leaves.

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I really appreciated the egret (near center of photo above) hanging around for this image of the Siuslaw River flowing through Mapleton, Oregon in early October.

 

I promised myself I’d egretfly5490get some egret photographs on this trip. This one was coming in for a landing on the far shore of Fern Ridge Reservoir at Perkins Peninsula Park outside Eugene, Ore.

 

 

 

 

 

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A gloomy morning barely allows a glimpse of idyllic, old town Florence, Oregon on the banks of the Siuslaw River before fog rolls in to obscure the scene. There is some incredible detail in this image, from the dock to the flag on the boat, the gazebo and the architecture.

 

 

 

Mo's Reflection, Siuslaw River, Florence, Oregon 5520

You’d have to agree the night entices us with her mysteries along the Siuslaw River in Florence, Oregon. Mo’s Restaurant is brilliantly lit from within, even as it is reflected from without, but what movement, what people, what secrets does this place keep, both inside and along its docks? One wants to peek in the windows like a peeping Tom… as the river flows rippling in the reflected light, shadows hide much more: the banks and the docks, and the river’s inevitable, invisible destiny.

Important news: My new exhibit is up at Blue Sky Bagel‘s newest location at 126 E. Idaho, Meridian, Idaho. (208) 887-5726. I’m now exhibiting at all four Blue Sky Bagel restaurants in Boise and Meridian, as well as the Center for Spiritual Living at 10464 Garverdale Ct, Boise, ID. Phone: (208) 375-0751. Visit my New Works: Photography page for new and extensive postings of fine imagery.

Contact me at ken@kenlevymedia.com.

Base in Sequim for north Olympic Peninsula explorations

On the trail: Olympic Peninsula, part IV

Below: Moonrise over the John Wayne Marina, Sequim, WashingtonMoonriseJohnWayneMarina1434

You’ll pronounce Sequim wrong. The name, pronounced “skwim,” is derived from the native S’Klallam tribes, and means “a good place to hunt.”

Although that refers to the abundant wildlife in the area, it’s also a great place to base yourself for northern Olympic Peninsula adventures.

Here, you’ll find the Dungeness National Wildlife Area just north of town, with access to the Dungeness Spit, the longest — at 5.5 miles — natural sand spit in the nation, leading to the New Dungeness Lighthouse in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It’s a fascinating hike out to the lighthouse, but do it at low tide.

A segment of the Olympic Discovery Trail runs through town, over the historic Dungeness River wooden bridge listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The trail runs from Port Townsend to La Push, and is a great way to explore the north peninsula on foot or bike, if you have the time.

And, if you love quiet coves for your sailing craft, you’ll want to dock in the beautiful and upscale John Wayne Marina. The land was gifted by the late actor, and it’s a full-featured marina with docking, fuel, restaurant and public access beach.

While there, make reservations at the tiny but exquisite Dockside Grill. We shared a beautiful appetizer of crab in a very tasty sauce with Parmesan toast points that was so generous that Lana got at least one more meal from it.

For the main course, Lana opted for a perfectly prepared cedar-planked rib-eye steak, rubbed with coffee and spices and served with jalapeno garlic butter, with potato and veggies, a huge tender cut that got her two more meals as well.

I had cedar-planked salmon topped with a generous portion of Dungeness crab, cooked to absolute perfection with triple-citrus Riesling butter. Both meals were prepared using the very finest ingredients, the highest quality you can get, and the tastes were magnificent, tender and delightful. A fantastic meal, the best one we had on the coast, in fact on the entire trip, and the price was exorbitant to say the least: with tip, this feast topped $160.

More about Sequim and the northern Olympic Peninsula in my next post.

Follow us: Summer travel routes set

Follow our adventures on the road this summer, when we’ll be traveling the better part of 10,000 miles (or more) across the continental United States and back, dragging our little 15-foot trailer the Winchester State Parkwhole way.

Our journeys take us through Hood Canal and the Olympic Peninsula in Washington for most of July, followed by a cross-country trek to see family in Massachusetts. We’ll visit Cape Cod, New Hampshire and Maine before heading to Liberty Harbor, in sight of the Statue. Ferries and other public transportation will shuttle us to, through and around Manhattan.

More family in Ohio and Pennsylvania, friends in Delaware, and thence…who knows?

We’ll visit with folks from roughly 25 states and tell their stories..ALJOCampChevy.and those of the land and traditions that make these places home for them.

Look for photos and stories from these travels on this blog, whenever time and connections allow us to update.

Got some suggestions for what to see? We’d love to hear your ideas for don’t-miss, out-of-the-way places that offer intimate glimpses of true American life. email me at ken@kenlevymedia.com.

Summer travel schedule takes shape

Travel will be a full-time job this year, as I’ll be writing and photographing fascinating features for publication from my adventures through Idaho, Washington and Oregon as well as treks across the United States. Look for regular trip reports from every possible stop.

Here’s the schedule as it now stands. Family will be staying in, and caring for, our home and garden while we’re gone.

June 23-26: Family caRaft105Portfoliomping on the Payette River in Cascade, Idaho. Hoping much of the gang can come for this lovely and scenic spot for fun and games.

July 7-30: Olympic Peninsula loop, from east to west, starting with the Hood Canal communities and including most attractions all along the peninsula, including Port Townsend, Sequim, Port Angeles, Lake Crescent, Neah Bay and Kalaloch. We’ll wander into the Staircase, Dosewallips, Hurricane Ridge and Sol Duc areas, with the Hoh and Quinault rain forests major stops. From there, we’ll head south into the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway and explore the Tillamook Coast before heading home via Portland and the Columbia River Gorge.

Aug. 7-Sept. 9: Still tons of planning to do for this cross-country driving trip from Boise, Idaho to rural Boxford, Massachusetts for a family visit. Once there, we’ll be going into New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest and into Ogunquit, Maine for a taste of the beautiful east coast. So far, after Boxford, we’ll be camping on Cape Cod and at Newark’s Liberty Harbor, in sight of the Statue of Liberty. We’re looking at  harbor cruises and visits to Manhattan by public transportation. From there…who knows? We’ll meander back to Boise as fast — or as slow — as we can.

On the trail: The Oregon Odyssey part II

 

Sunset, Yachats, Oregon

Photo above: Sunset, Yachats, Oregon. One of the most beautiful sections of rugged coast in  Oregon. Below right, Upper Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon. Below left, giant anemones in tide pool, Yaquina Head, Oregon. See more images from the Odyssey on my New Works page.

By Ken Levy

Part II

From Prairie City to Portland to Florence and back, the 2,000-mile trek into Oregon from Boise challenged us to photograph Oregon in ways few have.

For example, while our eyes may, indeed, see a coastal sunset as depicted in the above image, creating that image in a photograph is considerably more complicated. The beauty and fine detail, not to mention the exacting exposures and lighting, require careful planning, timing and a good measure of luck to make such a photograph both satisfying and memorable.

Upper Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Even  a wildly popular tourist attraction such as Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge requires a unique vision to create a special image others may not have envisioned or studied. Capturing just a piece of the falls, when everyone else is trying to catch most or all of it, makes for an unusual and intimate glimpse at the details of the beauty hidden right in front of us. In this image, the flowers in the foreground, lacy fern leaves and gentle waterfall mists intertwine for a one-of-a-kind vision.

And then there are the mysterious treasures of the tide pools at Yaquina Head. If you’re not here at precise low tide, you probably will miss the Eye of the Anemone and other creatures lurking just below the surface. If you decide to photograph, you’ll need special equipment, and knowledge, to capture the intricacies of such unusual animals.

 Yaquina Head, OregonYou are invited to take a close look at my vision of Oregon on my New Works page, which features not only images from magnificent Oregon but also other photographs taken through 2015. The New Works page is updated regularly, and I encourage you to bookmark the page and check back frequently.

I will be the Artist of the Month for September at Frame Works, 1048 Overland Rd. in the Five Mile Plaza in Boise. Come by and see some cool photos. I donate 20% of every sale of every one of my photos to the Idaho Foodbank. That includes photographs you can find on my web page at Photographer’s Art Galleries.

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