Monday, October 29, 2007

More water...

"Til taught by pain, men really know not what good water is worth."

~ From "Don Juan" by Byron

I had such a good time last weekend hiking up that creekbed, shooting the flowing water as it cascades over the rocks, under the rocks and around the rocks, rocks covered in brilliant green moss, autumn leaves scattered around and that sound... that sound of water splashing, gurgling among the stones... under that massive canopy of old maple and fir, hemlock and cedar... that I had to go back. This time I timed it. 45 minutes from house to the turnout along Hwy 58 (just past MP 28). And on another no-rain day!

You'll notice also that there are images here obviously not from that hike. On Saturday I went over to Golden Garden Park early in the morning, right at sunrise. Great flocks of geese flying overhead, silhouetting against the just-past full moon still in the sky, low in the west. I ran into Dave and his dog. Dave is 68, just moved to Eugene from Costa Rica and California. Loves the serenity of "the Pits" in the morning... me too Dave.

The geese pic is from Saturday as well. What they call cacklers (Peterson's Guide calls them "cackling Canada" geese), these guys are voracious vegetarians and the Willamette Valley grass farms are like huge salad plates to them, and they can land in huge flocks comprised of hundreds of birds. This flock was one of those, probably close to 300 birds and just across the field from the house... its a rush to walk up to them and hear the noise they make when they all launch into flight.

And of course the full moon, great mover of waters large and small... I shot that pic Thursday night.

Not much to say today again, I'm feeling more political and when I get off on my political rants I move away from those truths that have grounded me all these years... the truths of land and water, sky and tree and the critters who have no politics, who have no say in affairs that affect them, often directly, often detrimentally. Yeah, I've felt the sting of that "eco-freak" label, folks urging me to freeze in the dark because I didn't support their nuclear power plants. Being called a whacko by folks who think that toxic chemical waste sites with no liners in the holding ponds are ok, even though in my opposition I stood in support of mothers and pediatricians telling anyone who would listen that our community's children were far sicker than they statistically should be... relative to pollutants emanating fom those toxic ponds.

I mean I know truth is relative. So is humor. And war... but the earth? It is always here. The water flowing down these mountains ends up in the sea and rises to the sky only to fall again... and flow seaward again. Like the trees growing skyward eventually fall and turn to soil, their nutrients feeding other trees... nature is transmutable, changing but never changed. I mean there is nothing we have that does not come from nature. No matter how high-tech the gadget, how advanced the technology... it all comes from the earth.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Water and gravity...

"Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet."

~ Carl Sagan

Living in Oregon, at least the western 1/3 of the state, water is pretty much all around. It rains almost 1/2 the year in this part of the state. Our rainy season started early this year and the state prognosticator says its going to be a wet winter. Last winter was fairly dry (of course for us "dry" has a different meaning than say in Las Vegas) but so far this year we're ahead of normal. No complaints here. The early rain put water in the creeks while the autumn leaves are still falling and and the forest is still colorful.

These pictures were all taken along Hwy 58 which follows the Middle Fork of the Willamette (Will-am-ette) River, heading east into the Cascades (and I don't mean the river flows east into the Cascades... talking about Highway 58). The last picture is taken at Salt Creek Falls which drops 286 feet, making it Oregon's second tallest waterfall. I ended up taking some pictures of a couple from Wisconsin (Hi Dan and Sue) out driving and enjoying a really beautiful fall day. Its always fun to play host to out-of-staters, giving them tips on where to go and what to see. Correcting their pronunciation... heh...

I'm not going to get philosophical tonite, I think the images provide a pretty good message. Water is sacred, it can be beautiful and it can be powerful and devastating when it gets moving. We need to honor it, to protect the clean waters we have left. I predicted many many moons ago that some day water would become more expensive than gasoline. I'm sure that prediction was based on hearing others smarter than myself saying something along the same lines but it is coming true. And if we don't smarten up some day we'll be fighting wars over it like we're fighting wars now over oil.

Water for Life

Enjoy the pics, if you want to purchase prints of these images, contact me:

And, as always these images are mine, reprint with permission only, © Allan Erickson, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


“Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night”

~ Hal Borland

Today I went out to Elijah Bristow State Park, just east of Pleasant Hill and just a block north of Hwy 58. I was hoping to do some autumn color shots. The lower elevation trees just don't get the explosion of colors that they do in the higher elevations. Still, it was a nice day. Typical for an Oregon October... a bit of sun, a bit of rain and mostly cloudy, mid 60s... and I had the place almost all to myself. There was a parks crew doing some tree work,a fella walking with his dog and 2 woman riding horses. I offered to shoot them with their horses and they rode away like bats out of hell screaming "don't shoot! don't shoot!"

Not really... but its one of those scenarios that always plays in the back of my mind when I ask folks about taking their pictures: "Hey, do you mind if I shoot you?" or if I mention I did some shooting and got a couple of cute kids...

The women declined, one saying she wasn't sure her horse would stop. Hmmm... hoping she was carrying extra food if that was really the case.

Elijah Bristow State Park is one of the first parts of the area we explored when Darcy and the kids and I moved here way back when the chilluns was real little (and still cute). Its located next to the Middle Fork of the Willamette (Will-am-ette for you tourists that don't want to sound like you've never been here before) and is a nice place, with a couple of loop trails running through the forest. Popular with horseback riders (the horse shit on the trail gives that group away) but not a place that I've ever seen crowded. Its all pretty flat. There are some big old trees in there. Western Red Cedars, Big Leaf Maple, Alders and Cottonwoods and some massive old Oaks.

Even though I was only there for a couple of hours I still ended up shooting over 100 images which I culled down to 80 when I got home. No way I could have afforded to shoot that many images when I was shooting film... man... my wallet loves digital.

I'm working a gig tomorrow. Assisting another photographer (a real professional type) with a shoot at some professional office here in Eugene. I'm assuming its going to be all portrait type work, I'll be helping with set up, lighting... whatever he needs me to do.

I'm still looking for that big break in the business that will begin to really pay the bills and make me a decent wage. I've given up on thinking some rich fairy godmother will grant me 3 wishes. There's plenty of rainbows about these days, now that the rain has started but I've never found that pot of gold. And I missed my chance at Hollywood. Really. I can blame that one on my daughter. A casting call in Portland a few weeks ago for a new Jennifer Anniston film that I had to pass on. But its probably for the best. I mean shes a beautiful woman but lordy... I can't stand her old TV show Friends and I would've had to say something... it just wouldn't have worked between us. Poor girl, I hope she gets over it...

So here's a peek at Elijah Bristow State Park: