Mountains I Have Loved
Mighty Mountains I Have Known
Mountains, beautiful mountains. I fell in love with mountains the year I lived on a mountainside in Stranda, Norway and then cemented that love after a year living in a remote village nestled in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. Maybe it's their sheer size, their hulking mass dwarfing me and reminding me of what's important. Maybe it's that they change ever so slowly. Maybe they serve as a reminder to simply slow down and enjoy the view. Whatever the reason, I'm not alone in my love of masses of granite and stone, fauna and flower. From snow capped peaks to raging mountain rivers, mountains hold us in their gaze and have captivated us for eons. To me, they promise both tender beauty and rugged reality. Won't you take a moment with me now to share the mountains I have loved from the west coast of Norway to the Cascades and Olympics in Washington State? I promise it will be visually fantastic!
This photo was taken at the Olympic National Park and yep, the deer was almost that close to us! This is one of my all time favorite photos.
Please note: All of the following photos belong to me (either I have taken them or someone else took them with my camera). Please respect my rights to these photos and ask first if you wish to use them in some way. Thanks!
Peaceful serenity along a mountain creek
Tribute to Trond
When I was sixteen years old, I spent an incredible year in Norway. You can read about that year in my lens A Year In Norway. This picture was taken 5 years later when I returned after graduating from college. I think this is my all time favorite picture (and believe me it's so hard to choose favorites!) from my Norway photos. I found this beautiful little creek just after I visited the grave of a Norwegian friend. He died a few years after I left and when I returned, I felt compelled to visit him. I meandered back to my host family's home and along the way, stumbled across this creek. It was so peaceful and serene and the lighting was just right as I lined up the shot. (This was well before digital photography.) I took one shot and it turned out just as you see it. Beautiful. I cannot help but think the spirit of my friend danced along with the water and swayed in the breeze, touching the flowers and smiling in the sun. It's a peaceful moment for me still today and I love being able to remember it with this shot.
Paying homage to the mountains of NorwayClick thumbnail to view full-size
Visiting the Mountains of Norway: Is It In Your Future? - Here's a few things that might inspire and help you when you're there!
Holden Village - Nestled in the heart of the Cascade Mountains in Washington
What do you do when you graduate from college and you don't know your next step? You head off to the cascade mountains of Washington state of course! What started as a three week volunteer retreat experience turned into a full year of mountain hiking, snow, bears and living in a remote village without telephones or television.
I lived in Holden Village, a former copper mining village situated up Lake Chelan in Washington. Just getting to the village takes a 16 mile boat ride from Chelan and then another 10 mile bus ride back into the mountains. Or you could hike in. If you felt so inclined. What awaits is wondrous scenery, peace and quiet and amazing wildlife. It's an adventure of a life time.
For more about that experience, watch for a lens coming soon! For now...here are some of my favorite mountain shots from that incredible year.
Mountain Hikes and Vistas - Beautiful lakes, amazing views and tired legs.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Holden Village In The SnowClick thumbnail to view full-size
Which do you love most?
What part of mountains do you love the most?
Hiking in the Cascade Mountains
Mountain Wildlife - What a privelege to live among such amazing creaturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Animals I Didn't Catch On Film
I had to give you one last glimpse of mountain life. There are so many critters in the wild and many of them show up when you don't have a camera at hand. And then there are those you can hear but you can't see. There are the coyotes that yip and yap and can be heard all around the village and the owls with their bellowing hoots. We used to go "owling" out in the woods, standing in the dark, listening to the different calls of different owls. And we'd practice calling back to them. We thought we were fooling them with our calls. I think they probably laughed at us. Occasionally you would hear the swoosh of wings as an owl flew close by. I loved that time!
The most exciting encounter would be the bear. Black bears often wandered near Holden Village. The deer drew them there and sadly, in the way of nature, newborn fawns or young deer sometimes would be captured by them. My own encounter with a black bear happened one day as I walked across the main road from the school house to my chalet. I happened to look up to the side and there, not 30 feet from me was a mid-sized bear ambling across the road in the other direction. We looked at each other and then it continued along it's path, completely unafraid of the human it just saw. The human, on the other hand, was a little spooked. And excited. I watched it and followed at a safe distance as it walked into the school yard. It took care of some business and then, wandered away. I'm glad I saw it and just as glad that it wasn't any closer. Never did see any mountain lions and for that, I'm thankful!