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Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Barn and Its Moods

The barn sits on this corner.
An intersection
where three roads converge
at the top of a hill.

It manifests a silent presence.

Inside, the main timbers are sturdy remnants of tree trunks that long ago were supported by roots producing leaves, and shade. Today, though long dead they still retain their strength and provide a suitable frame for what we can see.
On the outside the barn presents itself differently at different times of the day. In the photograph above it is evening. The mellow sunlight baths it with a soft hue.

Before sunrise,
when the night is leaving
and the day is coming another mood
seems to take possession of it...

... and in the rain yet another aspect comes into play. Light and form become more stark,
more vivid and distinct.

In the sunlight...

... or in the moonlight
I find it there; so much a part
of the landscape it is like a neighbor.
Photographs and text by David H. Roche Copyright 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Highway to the Clouds

We started off from our motel at Woodland Washington and got onto Interstate 5.

Right from the beginning there was a sense of the fabulous beauty we would find once we arrived in the mountains.

The Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest viewed the mountains as Gods who provided the abundance of life and which also had rivalries between each other. Upon arriving among them it is understandable that they would be regarded as deities. With no television or news, no radio or sounds other than that of nature, their presence is overwhelming and awe inspiring. If you listen you can hear them speak.

There are three rivers that descend
from Mt. St. Helens.
The river beds are still loaded with volcanic ash; we drove alongside this one on the way to the summit.

The road to the last of three observatories climbed up and into the clouds.

The expanse of the wilderness
was breathtaking.

We crossed this bridge ....

...and entered the clouds.

Most of the day was gray and drizzling. Some times the ran stopped, but it rarely cleared. We stopped at three Mt. St. Helens information locations on the way to the top. Each had day by day measurements and representations of what the mountain was experiencing the days preceding the eruption on May 18th 1980 and the catastrophic results that ensued as well as current seismographic readings and information about the possibility of future eruptions.

This is the wall of the last of the three
observatories with the designation of Mt St. Helens on it.
Inside was this massive tree trunk. It was easily three and one half feet in diameter and was salvaged and used to show the tremendous power of the volcano. Despite millions of dollars of reforestation efforts the effects of the volcano in 1980 were still plainly visible on the sides of some mountains.

In the observatory there is a theatre and a film is shown periodically throughout each day that documents the days leading up to the eruption. Behind the screen there is a window and curtains that are opened after the film to allow the audience to look out and see Mt. St. Helens in the distance framed in the window. Because of the rain and low clouds we did not have this opportunity.

This photograph was taken in back of the observatory overlooking the valley and mountain ranges in the distance. Despite the clouds it was beautiful and awe inspiring.

Text and photographs Copyright by David H. Roche 2006

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Haystack Rock on the Oregon Coast

The Pacific is a presence
that captures your mind when you first see it.
On clear days it is pale blue
and speaks of peace and tranquility ....

On days when the

weather is overcast it
becomes sullen and
green, capped with white
frothy waves.

We've come to Cannon Beach to see the monolith known as 'Haystack Rock'. As luck would have it my girl friend and I came to the 'Rock' at the time of a 'minus' tide. This meant that the 'Rock' and its environs were completely accessible.

The 'Rock' rises from the sea floor to a height, when the tide is out, of 235 feet. At its base there is some of the most interesting sea life in the pools that surround it at low tide. These are able to be observed and photographed. Visitors are asked not to touch or interfere with wild life.

In the distance Haystack rock appears.

It was a beautiful warm late April day and there was a 'minus' tide which allowed us to come right up to the 'Rock' itself with little more than slightly wet feet.

The 'Rock' rises abruptly from the ocean floor to a height of 235'. It is a basalt sea stack as are the 'Needles' that appear close by it. The 'Rock' is one of the world's largest naturally occurring monoliths. It is a refuge for several sea birds that return there season after season to breed among these are: Tufted Puffins, Pelagic Cormorants, Pigeon Guillemots, and Western Gulls.

The tidal pools provide an opportunity to observe marine life. Today, with a 'minus' tide we are able to see up close this guy, a starfish. The tidal pools are designated a 'Marine Garden', and as such receive protection from intrusion. You will be fined for disturbing the wildlife here.

I was amazed at the variety of color all over the tidal pool area. Different shades of color and distinct hues were everywhere. A pink starfish clings to the underside of a rock in a tidal pool at the base of 'Haystack Rock'

Behind me is one of the 'Needles'. There are two of them in total and are comprised of the same upward jutting of basalt rock from the ocean floor and provide an eye catching marvel to hold your attention.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Clouds and More

Clouds ...
an ocean in the sky.

The clouds bring
rivers ...

... and lakes.

The clouds,
the earth, the sea
and sky
become an endless loop.

There are ways but the Way is uncharted;
There are names but not nature in words:
Nameless indeed is the source of creation
But things have a mother and she has a name.
(first verse of Tao Te Ching by Raymond B. Blakney)

Text and photographs are copyright 2006 David H. Roche except for quotation from Tao Te Ching translated by Raymond B. Blakney

Sunday, September 10, 2006

More Clouds

I'm fascinated
by clouds

Clouds are a lot like ...
you and me.

They seem to come from

And then they're gone...

Friday, September 01, 2006


Decisions ...

The road goes one way.

But there is another way.

Look what I found!

Dew drops on a wire
in the morning sun.

Life is full of surprises
if you take a different path.

Photos and text by David H. Roche

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.