From The Top Of The Hill

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A gravel road stretching toward bad weather in northeastern Oregon’s wheat county, after scanning in SilverFast 8 and a pass with Topaz Labs’ Simplicity, using the Watercolor settings.

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Big Ol’ Barn

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Light along the Oregon coastline and in the small inland valleys is often naturally diffused by moisture in the air (aka fog), as in this early morning Kodachrome from the 1980s. I converted it to digital using SilverFast 8 software with a Nikon Coolscan V scanner.

I was so naive as a kid I used to sneak behind the barn and do nothing. —Johnny Carson

Under The Big Sky

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Montana’s name is derived from the Spanish word for mountain, and while it has those in abundance many know it by its unofficial nickname—Big Sky Country. It’s the fourth largest state, but ranks near the bottom in population, and there are long stretches of empty on the way from one town to the next, and plenty of room for lonesome.

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Now, Where Was I?

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Nature is methodically reclaiming a stone barn at Candlewyck.

 
I began posting photos from our May-June visit to England about two weeks ago, but then I was distracted by the flower garden and one thing or another, and lost my way. The Cumbria Way, to be exact. And that certainly wouldn’t be proper, as they say in Ulverston, the traditional starting point for the walk northward to Carlisle.

We stayed two nights in Ulverston (and should have booked another) but nevertheless enjoyed the town. Candlewyck was the first of several B&Bs that were home for us, and with its edge-of-town location (the Cumbria Way is just a few hundred meters up the lane) was a quiet precursor for the friendliness we’d find everywhere on our visit.

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Herdwick sheep are an icon on the Cumbrian landscape.

Pigeons Lose A Roost

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I was wandering through central Montana in 2009 when I photographed this huge grain elevator, and then yesterday evening I saw a recent photo of the building showing it half-demolished, taken down carefully but surely, leaving a flock of pigeons to find a new roost and punching another empty hole in the landscape of rural America.

“The past itself, as historical change continues to accelerate, has become the most surreal of subjects—making it possible…to see a new beauty in what is vanishing.” —Susan Sontag

The French Countryside

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Excuse me if I daydream here, but I always think of France when I pass this spot. It’s less than a mile from our house, along a route we sometimes walk, a unique remnant…or better, a legacy left by a neighbor who died a decade ago. She was born in France, and when her husband retired they moved onto several acres and created an eclectic mix of buildings surrounded by pastures filled with geese and llamas. Lots of llamas. I remember her working outside most days, the wide smile she offered anyone who stopped to chat, and especially this short stretch of rural wildness, where spring commences every year with the first bright daffodils.