October 28, 2010

Lassen Volcanic Park Trip - Part 1

Last week I had a fabulous vacation in northern California in the vicinity of Lassen Volcanic National Park.  It's the southernmost peak in the Cascade mountain range--I hiked Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens in the northern part of the range last year--where it meets up with the Sierra Nevada range. The quirky geology and the aftermath of the Mt. Lassen eruption in 1915 make for varied and stunning panoramic views.

We paused at one of the turnouts driving up the mountain to admire a rainbow colored halo around the sun:

And a particularly picturesque rocky crag:

After a bit of exploring on the mountain, we stopped at Summit Lake:
Which afforded grand views of Mt. Lassen:

Next up was a stop at the devastated area.  It was interesting to contrast it with the devastated area of Mt. St. Helens; here, there had been time for the conifers to make a comeback. 
Next stop was at Subway Cave, an lava tube.  Here's the staircase at the entrance:
The walls inside were remarkably smooth and fantastically colored.  Here I am lit by flashlight.
And the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel at the other end:
On the way back to the hotel in Chester we saw a forest where the incense cedars survived a fire:
We drove past Poison Lake, which looked very dry......I'm guessing it fills up seasonally, but haven't found an explanation of how it functions yet.
We passed a stand of aspens in full fall glory:
At a stop in Westwood to visit a meadery, the engineer blew the whistle and waved:
A full day and a good day.  Stayed tuned for part 2!

October 14, 2010

Hike at Reed Run and House Rock

We had a great hike in the Reed Run and House Rock preserves this past weekend.  On the trailhead to Reed Run I spotted these milkweed pods, complete with Large Milkweed Bugs.
Above is a portion of the stream; you can see some pawpaw leaves in the lower right.  This setting, with its groves of wild pawpaws growing along the banks, was the inspiration for my Reed Run a few years back:
Here I am, caught in a contemplative moment:
The view from a portion of the Conestoga Trail that skirts the Susquehanna River.  I love the lines of the trees trunks and branches in this shot:
After a dry spell, we've had a deluge of rain, leading to a eruption of fungi:
The view from House Rock over the Susquehanna.  You can see where someone laboriously carved the name into the rock years ago in the lower left.  The rock was crawling with brown marmorated stink bugs--there's no escaping them in PA this year.
Here's the panoramic view of House Rock:
And the small art quilt View from House Rock:

On the way back to the trailhead, we passed a field with an experimental planting of chestnut trees, fenced to keep out deer. 
A great day and a good hike.

October 13, 2010

Flora and Fauna Opening Reception

 It was a very good opening night for my Flora and Fauna exhibit earlier this month at the PA Arts Experience Gallery in Lancaster.  There I am just before the reception started, with Deer and Mayapple and Prickly Sow Thistle on the left, and Fox and Hackberry on the right.  Below is a shot from later in the evening, when the First Friday crowds were in full swing.  Groundhog and Green Bean is on the left.
 Here's a slightly arty shot, with Wood Poppy underneath the staircase, and Skunk Cabbage and Possum in the back.  It's a lovely gallery, and I'm so delighted to have my work displayed there.  The exhibit is up until the end of the month, so stop by if you are in town.
 And now perhaps my favorite shot of the evening....just before closing time a Power Ranger showed up with an entourage.  I'm not sure what their purpose was, assuming they had one, but at one point the Red Ranger seemed mesmerized by my work!