May 2, 2017

San Antonio Riverwalk and Mission Trail (Apr. 2017, TX)

San Antonio, TX
April 28-30, 2017
Weather: 80 degrees F, but very intense sun!
I haven't written, nor really been outside much since the last 3 months of pregnancy and after the birth of our daughter. We had been nesting and relaxing in anticipation, and enjoying close time with our baby girl since December. In fact, without looking, I think this is the first web writing I've done since September or October. Because I haven't been out much, I wanted to take advantage of San Antonio's outdoors during a recent trip I did for work. To remedy my nature drought, I chose to explore the famed Riverwalk and the Mission Trail, which is a National Historic Park area. I was not disappointed, and thankfully the excursion motivated me to set an outdoorsing schedule for the rest of the spring and upcoming summer and fall.

September 14, 2016

Salt Creek Falls (Jul. 2016, OR)

Salt Creek Falls

Salt Creek Falls
East of Oakridge, OR; West of Crescent, OR
Willamette Pass, OR Highway 58
43.611491, -122.127116
Weather: 80 degrees, alpine sun!

My dad had been suggesting a stop at Salt Creek Falls as one of the stops of my summer Oregon tour, which consisted of places I had been as a young kid, but haven't been in many years. The grand aqua cascade of Salt Creek can be seen from OR Highway 58, so it's a must-stop for any passers-by looking for a good natural view.

September 5, 2016

Darlingtonia State Natural Site (Jul. 2016, OR)


Darlingtonia State Natural Site
Near Florence, OR
July 24, 2016

Just north of Florence on the Oregon coast is a small turnoff on Highway 101 called the Darlingtonia State Natural Site. This wayside draws the focus of visitors to a microecosystem that stretches only a few feet in diameter. The miniature circle of habitat is dominated by the darlingtonia californica, or the cobra lily. My mom, her friend Lupe, and I stopped for a small hike to observe the cobras. A hundred times I'd been to Florence over the years, but I never actually stopped here to check it out.

Nature's Lenses of Color: A Chromatic View of Camp Melakwa

Colorful Waters

~~ A photoessay that explores color at Camp Melakwa in the Willamette National Forest ~~
Three Sisters Area near McKenzie Bridge, OR. 
Cascade Mountain Range, Western side
July 15-19, 2016

There are many ways to see the mountain. You can focus on the grand elements - the ones that draw your eyes to the obvious shapes, like the great peaks of the cascades or the shape of the treeline at alpine vistas. The forest, however, will reveal additional secrets to you if you take a moment to organize your sights in new ways. Camp Melakwa is the canvas for the whims of the Three Sisters' paintbrushes, an enchanting place where these great peaks show their colorful gallery and inspire our imaginations.

August 30, 2016

My Winning Entry in the "Nature In Focus" Contest at Lincoln Park Zoo

Back in March, I submitted some of my local Chicago-area nature photography to the Lincoln Park Zoo's Nature In Focus photo contest. And, as luck and a bit of amateur photography skill would have it, one of my photos won! Because the exhibit is closing on Sep 7, 2016, I wanted to write a post on it so I can keep this memory in my journal here.

August 21, 2016

Camp Melakwa Beaver Weekend 2016: Weekend in Review (Jul. 2016, OR)

Me at the Peaks

Opening Beaver Weekend - Camp Melakwa, Oregon
In the 
 Willamette National Forest nNear McKenzie Bridge, OR and the Three Sisters Wilderness
July 15-17, 2016
Warm Cascade weather, 70-85 degrees midday, 50-60 in the evening.

This was an exciting year for me on Beaver Crew. I have been working with my buddy Andrew to recruit some old alumni to attend Beaver Weekend and to join the annual work of the crew. We were happy that some old friends took up our invitation this year.

August 20, 2016

Winema National Forest, FS 86 Road, and Klamath Territory (Jul. 2016, OR)

Ponderosa and sugar pine forests

Winema National Forest, near Klamath Wildlife Refuge
Near Chemult, OR
July 21, 2016
Desert heat, 80 degrees F. A few clouds in the sky

In July, my dad, brother, and I did a driving tour to revisit old familial hunting grounds that I frequented as a kid. The Winema National Forest holds a special place in my heart, although I have neglected my duty to spend some time in its shade. My dad still goes out to this part of Oregon on his annual pilgrimage to hunt for deer and elk. I have fond and vivid memories of this place, having camped here with my family since I was an infant. However, I haven't spent any time there in the last 15 years, so it was time for a revisit.