Thursday, September 29, 2005

Where salmon spawn and pines grow tall

The pacific Northwest, where I've lived for nearly five years, is one of those places in the American continent that is embarrassingly beautiful. Here is a (rare) photoblog, of my surroundings, taken on my trusty, old-fashioned, fully manual, Minolta XD-7 film camera (and converted to digital photos).
*****

The North Cascades are just a stones throw (if you're strong) away from Seattle, less than 15 miles. Weekend hikes were never easier.



And one of the beautiful aspects of these mountains are the number of alpine meadows that exist, after a climb of 4000 feet.


Or the number of beautiful waterfalls (a pity that the waters are too cold to bathe in, or the height of the falls too high).


And there is that distant risk factor. After all, this is active volcano territory, like St. Helens here.


Mt. Rainier might be the most famous peak in these parts, but the "nicest" must be Mt. Adams, especially at sunrise.


But, life without that old devil (Mt. Rainier) wouldn't be the same here.

I thought I'll tease you with this picture, of Rainier, hidden behind clouds.

Living in the Northwest is a pleasure.

20 comments:

Nicole said...

Beautiful commentary and photos! You are lucky to be living in such surroundings.

charu said...

lovely! envy you for living so close to such beauty :)
by the way, alpine meadows in the US?!

Sujatha said...

Lovely photographs Sunil. We drove through Seattle a couple of years ago on our way to Vancouver. Absolutely loved the scenery. Each part of the US has such fantastic sights...I see a hint of fall in your second photograph! I'm so sad that I'm going to miss it this year.:((

Michael Higgins said...

Hi Sunil
Wonderful photos.
I love the Pacific Northwest. The flora around there is just amazing. It gets a lot of rain, especially on the Olympic penisula but even around Rainer as well so everything is so green.

Vikrum said...

Sunil, those are wonderful photos. Now I have to add the Seattle region to my list of "places to vist" -- along with Orissa!

Sunil said...

Indeed, Nicole......the PNW is a great place to be in. Charu......interestingly, the lakes in the north Cascades (you can see one in the first pic) are called Alpine lakes, and the meadows alpine meadows......the meadows are neat, because you usually have to hike a few thousand feet, and then you suddenly reach almost flat land on top of a mountain.

Sujatha.....yes, that picture was taken last fall, while backpacking. But fall is here (early), and the leaves are turning red.

Michael.....yes indeed. I didn't include pictures from the Olympic rainforest, because people usually get extremely jealous when they seen them :-))

Vikrum.....yes indeed. Keep travelling...

Ash said...

Lovely photos, lucky guy :)

Anand said...

Beautiful! A real treat for the eyes.

gawker said...

Amazing. How about we trade, you and I? Some farmland in exchange for one or two of those peaks? Amish horsebugggy included in the deal, free of charge. Old amish couple optional.

Patrix said...

lucky bugger to be staying amidst such beautiful surroundings :) Everywhere you point your camera, you have a picture waiting. I am in all-flat Texas. As Gawker said, we ought to encourage a Peak Exchange program.

meditativerose said...

Just dropped by from Veena's blog - beautiful pics, and perfect timing too - since I'm going to be travelling to the PNW in a couple of weeks :)

Sunil said...

Ash....yes its nice. Thanks Anand.

Gawker....if my name was Lord Bosham, I would have taken up your offer in a flash.......the amish couple is especially tempting. But i'll pass.

Patrix.....yeah, photography is pretty easy here :-). But there are some nice things in Texas also......in Blue bonnet season, the fields are beautiful. And you get to see so many prarie birds over there, especially between now and April. And you get superbly clear skies, with just about every star visible. Ignore the 100 F temperature, and you're good.

Meditativerose....have a good trip here! It's getting a little chilly now though....., and it might start getting a little wet soon, so come prepared. It's still nice enough to be outdoors...

Iyer the Great said...

Great pictures. And a thums up for the manual camera - give you much better pictures.

Rahul

Madhu said...

oooohh... awesome photos!

Sunil said...

Thanks Rahul, Madhu.

Rahul.....it used to be "thumbs up for the manual camera", but the high end digital slr's are sooooo goood. They can do any thing a good film slr can do, and have some additional advantages as well. Now....if any of you would buy this gold mine I have to sell, for about $1500, i can get that digital-SLR.

Suhail said...

Hey sunil ..you are lucky. North is where America is. Have you seen Boston during Fall? Its rockalaciously totally awesome. In south, only if you are in California. Texas is like a flat pancake, but yes, there are photographing opportunities everywhere. It all lies in what you as a photographer see.

And did you mean $1500 for selling yr SLR?(forget it ;-) or buyng a new one? I too am in similar dilemna. Stuck with a Nikon N80 film SLR. Excellent camera, but converting it into digitalese these days..is giving me the pain($). Have been eyeing that Nikon D70 digiSLR beauty for quite some time now($1100 with lens kit). Any idea if prices fall over Thanksgiving or Xmas-NewYear?

Also, I shoot a lot, but don't print all of 'em. So I only go for developing+CD. But I dont understand, prices here vary so much. HEB charges ~3$ per film and Walgreen despite charging ~5$ sucked big time. Where do you get your CD done? I am looking at a good store from a bulk processing perspective and maybe even custom print jobs like enlargements/framing of selective frames(after coming here, I've realised, back home in India..this is all a breeze..sigh!)

R.Nandakumar said...

awesome!

Sunil said...

Suhail.......this is the North-west (very much west coast), and it doesn't get better.

But i've found the South-west to be quite beautiful (Arizona....has beautiful canyons in Sedona, and the great Grand Canyon itself. It's magnificient). Utah and New Mexico look fantastic too........you should visit some time. Visit Zion national park for starters.......

Oh...i don't want to sell my camera, i love it and inherited it from my father......i was just joking about a gold mine. But the new digital cameras (slr's) are fantastic, though unaffordable. As for film developing......if it's really quality prints, i get it done from a small specialist store, but for regular prints, try snapfish (www.snapfish.com). They're pretty reasonably priced, and also get the cd done cheap.

Nandakumar, thanks!!

Suhail said...

Thanks for the recco's Sunil. Will see if I can visit any of those places.
And snapfish sounds more like what I needed. FYI, found one more similar service: shutterfly.com. Let me try them and see how good they are.

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