Escaping the crowds

trailtoconboy
Trail into Conboy Lake Wildlife Refuge

It’s a June weekend and the weather is finally getting nice so I want to escape the city.  But so does everyone else – the hiking and nature spots within an hour of Portland are busy.  Trailhead parking is full by 11:00am.  I am an early riser so getting ahead of the crowd is not a concern.  I just want something more quiet and peaceful.

I head instead to a little known wildlife refuge in SW Washington.  Conboy Lake Wildlife Refuge is about an hour north of the Columbia River and is a wonderful oasis of animal and bird life.  I arrived late in the day relatively – it was 10:00am but the early birds were long gone, but I still had a wonderful easy hike on the edge of the refuge.

logcabin
Historic log cabin built in the 1800’s.

There is an historic log cabin next to the parking lot which I explored.  The interior walls are lined with newspapers from the early 1900’s.  Was this for insulation or decoration? 

The approximately 4 mile hike was easy, flat and I didn’t see another soul.  Even though the bird life was scarce – there were plenty of wildflowers to photograph and enjoy.  Next visit I will get an earlier start to the day and I hope to catch some of the 25-30 Sandhill Crane pairs that mate here every year.  Now that would be something special to see.

yarrow
This is probably a weed but I still love it.

Creative Camp for Adults

 

My love of photography started young, and like many of you, studying National Geographic issues for hours.   My Dad sent me my first camera when I was 15.  I remember riding my bike 13 miles to the Pahoa, Hawaii post office to get it.

hugpointwaterfall
Coast waterfall, Hug Point State Park, Oregon.

That was 40 years ago and I recently reengaged with photography.  Learning digital cameras and new techniques has been challenging.  Youtube and all the creative learning websites provide an ocean of opportunity.  But nothing beats face to face learning so I signed up for a May photographic workshop with Hudson Henry.  It was a financial and social leap for me – I’m a poor introvert!

jerryiredale
Photo workshop friend at the Peter Iredale wreck.  Warrenton, Oregon.

It was a great experience.  Like camp for creative adults.  I learned so much from Hudson and from the other 9 participants who all brought a different vision and skill set.  We had folks from as far away as the Yukon in Canada and South Carolina.  We became friends and learned and laughed together.  We got up early and stayed up late to capture sunset and blue hour. 

bnwrocks
Offshore rocks. Cannon Beach, Oregon (Canon 5D Mark III)

If you have been hesitant to take a leap like this, I strongly encourage you to take a chance.  If you already have I would love to hear about it.  Thank you for stopping by…