Monthly Archives: June 2009

June 23, 2009 – Mt. St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens

June 23, 2009

This is Mt. St. Helens, in southern Washington State. This is indeed the big volcano that blew up back in 1980. Since then, the area has started to recover a bit (there are little bushes and flowers growing in many spots), but as you can see, it’s got a ways to go. Hiking around there is pretty eery, because in many spots all of the blown down trees are still there. It’s pretty amazing to think that, even miles away, the force was strong enough to knock over HUGE trees, just like they were twigs. Incredible.

Outside of the immediate blast area, there’s been a bunch of trees planted (I’m pretty sure Weyerhaeuser played a big part in that) to help things get back on their feet. I’m pretty sure they essentially dropped a bunch of seeds from airplanes. Which is also kind of weird, because there are now these huge tracts of forest where ALL of the trees are EXACTLY the same size. It seems odd, although until you realize what’s going on, it’s hard to put your finger on exactly why.

Mt. St. Helens was of course in the news again a few years ago, because there was renewed activity around the crater, and the rate at which the little cone in the middle of the crater is growing increased dramatically. In fact, in some of the other pictures I took on this particular day, you can see the stream of steam and gases coming up out of the crater. Good stuff.

Mt. St. Helens is about a 4 hour drive from Seattle, so if you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth the trip to check it out.


You should TOTALLY check this one out. Mt. St. Helens looks AWESOME on the satellite photo. Zoom in and look around too, they’ve got really high quality imagery for that area.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, 18-55 mm kit lens. 1/320s, f/8.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 27mm.

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June 22, 2009 – Ingalls Creek

Ingalls Creek

Ingalls Creek

June 22, 2009

You’re looking at Ingalls Creek, which is on the eastern slope of the Cascades, near Blewett Pass. If you’re reading closely, you might notice that this was taken very near to where Friday’s picture was taken. That’s not unusual – I’ve got a fair number of pictures from that trail. It’s right near my friend Colleen’s cabin, which is where we camp out on many 3-day weekends. (Friday’s picture was taken over Memorial Day weekend 2008, this was from Leavenworth Oktoberfest in, I don’t know, 2004 or something.)

Also potentially interesting for those who actually read these writeups is that this is another picture that I took with a little pocket camera, instead of a digital SLR. This one was a Canon S500, which was my pocket camera of choice 2 or 3 cameras ago.

This trail is a great place to go to see fall color. It follows the creek for a few miles, and most of the vegetation along the creek is deciduous. (As opposed to the evergreen trees further up the slope on either side…) So you get lots of yellows, reds and oranges every fall. I’ve used it a couple times when I had a nice weekend day that I wanted to use to get outside, but accidentally woke up really late, and just needed somewhere to go where I knew it would be pretty. Actually, that’s a pretty common theme with me: waking up late, and just wanting to get outside for a couple hours before it gets dark. Granted, this trail is about two hours from Seattle, but it still works. Plus, since as I mentioned it’s on the eastern slope, if the western slope is socked in with clouds, sometimes coming over here can get you away into the sunshine. (Although not on the day that I took this picture, apparently.)

I’ll leave you with another dirty little secret: I took this picture from the parking lot.


Not surprisingly, Friday’s pushpin is there too.

Notes: Canon Powershot S500 (Point and Shoot). Details unavailable.

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June 19, 2009 – Wildflowers near Ingalls Creek

Wildflowers Along Ingalls Creek

Wildflowers Along Ingalls Creek

June 19, 2009

I realize that yesterday, I wrote the wrong date at the top of the post. I would correct it, but I’m afraid that would make it reappear on everyone’s news feed, and I’m already self-conscious enough about how each time I post a picture it tends to drop a bomb on whatever was there before. So I won’t.

I’m pretty busy at work today, so I’ll end the week the way I started it – with a picture of flowers. Not much to say about flowers. They’re pretty. Actually, I was originally planning on using a flower picture that I took with a point-and-shoot (a 3 megapixel one from back in the day in fact), just to continue the point I was trying to make yesterday about being able to take great pictures with them, but for whatever reason I decided against it. Maybe I’ll use that one some day next week.

Have a great weekend!


What’s marked as “Ingalls Creek Rd” is actually a trail. Just sayin’.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300 mm VC Lens. 1/160s, f/7.1, ISO 100. Focal length: 92mm.

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June 18, 2009 – Blackcomb Mountain

Blackcomb Mountain

Blackcomb Mountain

June 17, 2009

Awww, what a cute, scrawny little tree.

I saw this little guy one fine day when I was skiing on Blackcomb Mountain, which is part of Whistler-Blackcomb Ski Resort in British Columbia. (This was coming down from the Glacier Express chair, for those who are familiar with the mountain.)

Here’s something interesting about this picture: I took it using my little pocket camera, which at the time was a Canon SD700 IS. (It’s since been replaced with a newer one). Maybe you think this picture is a good example, maybe not, but I’ve always said that there’s no reason you can’t get great pictures even with a simple, cheap camera. Granted, there *are* pictures you can take with a big huge SLR that you can’t take with a pocket camera, but there are PLENTY of amazing things you can do with a point-and-shoot. (In fact, of the pictures I’ve used so far for Picture of the Day – 22 total including today – 4 of them were taken with a pocket camera, and 2 of them were with my super-old 35mm SLR. Just sayin’)

So, no matter what kind of camera it is you’ve got, just go out and take a bunch of pictures. The only way to get better is with practice!


Notes: Canon PowerShot SD700 IS. 1/800s, f/5.5.

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June 17, 2009 – Mt. Shuksan and Picture Lake

Mt. Shuksan and Picture Lake

June 17, 2009

I’ve been meaning to get this one out of the way for quite awhile. This is Mt. Shuksan and (the very appropriately named) Picture Lake. It’s up near Mt. Baker, in the Heather Meadows Recreation Area, which sits on the boundary of North Cascades National Park. The parking lot(s) for the Mt. Baker ski area are very close by, if that means anything to you.

Similarly to how the view of the Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake outside of Aspen is *the* prototypical Colorado view, this is *the* view for Washington State. (Well, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch – the real Washington State view is probably the view of the Seattle skyline from Kerry Park, or something involving Mt. Rainier or the Pike Place Market. But that makes this Picture Of The Day entry less interesting, so shut up.)

Heather Meadows is a great place to go hiking or even just to drive in to visit, since you can drive very high up, basically to the top of the ridge between Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker, so the views even from the road are jaw-dropping incredible. However, it takes a LONG time for the snow to melt. (Mt. Baker Ski Area holds the *world record* for snowfall in one season – not just among ski areas, but among any location where snowfall is measured – 1.140 inches, or 95 feet. So it’s usually well into August before the hiking trails are clear. (And of course, by October it starts building right back up.)

This picture was taken in the late afternoon, probably 5 pm or so, in early September. Right around then is when the lake calms down enough to allow the mirror-smooth reflection, and the sun is shining right on the mountain, bringing out all the detail. It’s fairly predictable, actually, and I’ve got almost this same exact picture from about 5 years earlier that I took with my previous-generation camera. (Now that I have my “new” (at the time, it’s since been replaced) digital SLR, I went back to take it again.) But, it’s a fantastic view, and you see it pop up here and there in interesting places.

One such interesting place, as it turns out, was on a t-shirt in a gift shop in FRISCO, COLORADO!! Here’s a picture of it:

(Apparently, Colorado is the only state that’s licensed to have mountains, so any mountain scene must therefore be contained somewhere within.)

So, if you find yourself in the Seattle area, and have an afternoon to kill with a super-nice drive, I’d say head up to Heather Meadows. Well worth the time.


It’s worth panning around the map to look at Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, 18-55 mm kit lens.  1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 100.  Focal length: 18mm.

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