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regnaD kciN

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Maple Valley, Washington
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 25,204

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Water Falling Over Things, R.I.P. - A view lost to us

Nature can be majestic, indeed -- but that majesty can be found in destruction as well as creation.

These are photographs I took in 2014 of Oregon's Metlako Falls. Personally, this was one of my favorite spots in the Pacific Northwest. Coming off the famed Eagle Creek trail, you took a short spur downhill to a promontory at a bend in the creek; looking upstream from the narrow viewpoint, you could gaze into an impossibly-lush (particularly in late spring) canyon toward the spot in the mid-distance where Metlako plunged into a small pool. Adding to the wonder of that spot, there was often a trace of mist hovering about the fall.

Sometime in late December, in the midst of winter storms, a massive landslide hit the area. While the Eagle Creek trail itself survived, the Metlako viewpoint did not; it, and around a 300-400 foot stretch of the surrounding cliff, simply collapsed and fell into the canyon. The spur trail leading to it now stops abruptly about half-way there, at a hundred-foot-plus drop-off. The only view of Metlako left from the trail is downstream, partially obscured by the canyon walls, and blocked by tree limbs. Unless one rappels into the canyon itself (a very-dangerous maneuver which is way beyond my, or most hikers', skills), there is no other unobstructed view of the waterfall. Since it would be extraordinarily difficult and prohibitively expensive to build any sort of a stable viewing platform where the viewpoint once stood, it is likely that Metlako Falls will remain unviewable to hikers for years (or, more likely, decades if not centuries) to come.

Let this serve as a reminder to everyone: if there's a natural place you've always wanted to visit -- or photograph! -- do so as soon as possible. Otherwise, as we in the Pacific Northwest have just been reminded once again, you have no guarantee that spot will be there when you finally get around to making the trip.

2016 Year-in-Review (Belated)

Well, I normally put up a year-in-review thread on one of the last couple of days of the year. I planned to do the same this (well, last) year, and had everything selected and ready to go...but I couldn't get on DU. Thanks to the hacker attack of last November, I needed to revise my password...and the security e-mail from DU simply didn't arrive. It took me until 1/4 to actually get the system to reply to my request and send me that confirmation -- and, until then, I was unable to post, period. Since I already did all the selection work, I figured I might as well post something, even if it seems a bit pointless to do so now that New Year's Eve is long past.

As usual, I have two rules: 1) a photo per month, which 2) can't have appeared on DU before.

In January, shooting from the observation deck of the Columbia Tower, I got a different perspective on Seattle.

When my attempt to shoot Snoqualmie Falls at high-water came to nothing in February (thanks to way too much spray), I settled for a black-and-white study of rock and water.

Thanks to last winter's El Niņo, tulip season came unseasonably early, in late March rather than April. As usual, this shot was taken in the Skagit Flats.

Similarly, the rhododendrons of May bloomed in April, instead.

I have taken many photos of the city from Kerry Park (as has practically every other photographer who's ever set foot here), but I found this shot from May notable in the way Mount Rainier hovered ghost-like in the background.

I have taken many photographs of Snoqualmie Falls (and posted many here), but my visit in June was the first time for shooting the fall from its base.

July, of course, is a time for fireworks...and, sadly, possibly the last time I'll be able to attend the festivities while feeling truly proud to be an American.

In August, I took my only trip to Mount Rainier; as atmospheric conditions were not what I hoped for, I was only able to come away with this rather minimalist and abstract view of the mountain.

September's image came from early evening at the Des Moines (that's Washington, not Iowa) marina.

I already posted several images taken in October at Whatcom Falls; here's a vertical composition from the same trip.

November was hard. Very hard. Putting it simply, I had no real desire to go out and photograph nature. Aside from a couple of dispensable iPhone photos I took at the very end of the month, the only image I thought appropriate was a "studio" (i.e. computer desk) shot I took, several days after the election, to be used as a social-media avatar.

Since I began the year with a photo that included the Space Needle, it would only be appropriate for me to conclude the year in a similar manner, right? Of course, December's photograph isn't of the REAL Space Needle, but on the replica a neighbor built on his roof as a pičce de resistance for his usually-spectacular Christmas light display (which, this year, was featured on an ABC special about elaborate holiday lights).

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