Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nooksack Falls and Mount Baker Highway

My youngest brother was in the area for business the week of January 15-21 and we managed to get out for an afternoon, even though the weather was terrible.  That was the week that the Pacific Northwest was nearly brought to a standstill by snow, ice, winds, and cold.  By Saturday the weather had moderated a little and we went to Nooksack Falls where we did some photography.

The road to the falls was closed and so we had to walk to the falls, but it is short walk and at some point the road had been plowed, and the walk was not an inconvenience.  The weather, however, turned to wet snow, and that was an inconvenience with all our camera equipment - we had to keep our cameras under our coats when we weren't using them and we ourselves got soaked.

Nooksack Falls are on the North Fork of the Nooksack River and drop 175 feet into a very narrow cleft in the rocks making it very difficult to photograph the falls.  In fact, the bottom of the falls is barely visible if one stays on the safe side of the fence that surrounds the viewing area, as one ought to do, since the area around the falls is quite dangerous and eight or nine people have died there.

We took pictures not only of the falls but also of the river above the falls and took both time exposures with a tripod as well as hand-held and quicker shots.  Photography was extremely difficult both because the light was fading and because of the strong contrast between the snow and the river and surrounding forests.  Most of my pictures had to be processed a bit to make them worthwhile.

We also made several other stops, but there was little to photograph besides the mossy forests which were rather eerie in the mist and low light.  We did ask on couple who had been snowshoeing in the Hannegan Pass area if we could take their picture as they ate their picnic lunch in rather wintry conditions.  They were more than happy to let us snap away and joked about the pictures we took.

Friday, January 20, 2012

First Snow

This week we had our first snow of the year and what a week it has been.  Schools were closed all week and everyone pretty much stayed home unless they had to be out.  We probably didn't have more than a foot of snow in all, but we are not very well equipped here to deal with it - roads don't get plowed for days and the plowing, when it is finally done, is poorly done.  We also had high winds Wednesday which made for white-out conditions in some areas and for drifting, and now freezing rain.

Tuesday, my wife and Edward and I got out with our cameras and took a walk to see the snow and get what photos we could.  The day was still and the branches, even the smallest twigs, were carrying their load of snow.  We walked through the little park that follows Fishtrap Creek near our home and then walked on through the neighborhood.  Edward has posted some of his pictures on Flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/8686966@N02/, but these are some of those my wife and I took.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bellingham Walk

Some of our children along with a little granddaughter were here for two weeks over the holidays.  The weather for the most part was dreadful, rainy and cold and dreary, but we did manage to get out twice for a walk in the Bellingham area, once to a little park near the harbor, Maritime Heritage Park, and once to a park on the bay between Bellingham and Fairhaven, Boulevard Park.  We made various other stops as well for pictures of the local architecture and so on.  Our daughter and son-in-law are both avid photographers as well, so at times we had four cameras going.

This first set was taken in Maritime Heritage Park.

These near the park.

These at a nearby construction site.

This on a dead end road near the harbor.

And these in Boulevard Park.

And of course we finished off with coffee - we like our coffee here in the northwest.