The weather

in the Pacific Northwest of late has been, well, sucky. Grey and drizzly, we have not seen the sun very often in the last few weeks. Definitely not what you might think of as pre-summer weather. Weather people have used terms like “June-gloom” and Jun-uary.” It was with great jubilation that the sun made an appearance on Tuesday this week. People squealed and ran into their yards, staring at the glowing orb in the sky in disbelief. Problem was that I had made plans to get out into the forest and photograph waterfalls, a situation that benefits from overcast skies. I still wanted to get out of town, so we loaded the camera stuff into the car and headed towards Sol Duc in the Olympic National Park.

As we made the turn onto the park road two hours later, the celestial ball was still blazing and I thought at least it had been a beautiful drive. The foliage was every color of green you could imagine, one of the perks

of having such a cool and damp spring. There was moss everywhere, hanging from trees, frosting the rocks, draping like curtains from outstretched limbs as we made our way up the road. This is why I had come. I’d make the most of it.

The trailhead was a bit busy, but not too bad since it was mid-week. I loaded the pack onto my back and we started down the path. It didn’t take long to find this beautiful cornus canadensis next to the trail. I blocked the sun with my body. This is one of my favorite woodland plants.

Fifteen minutes later we reached my favorite little creek with several cascades of water. And then the camera gods smiled. Just as we arrived, a cloud moved in and the area was shrouded in dark shadow. Just what I needed! I hopped around from stone to stone like one of those excited water dipper birds. Even the slightest adjustment or move would render a totally different image. I worked on my composition. I practiced using the mirror lock-up and cable release. I experimented with different shutter speeds and aperature settings. Fun fun fun. And all the time, over one hour, the clouds covered the sun for me.

I photographed below the footbridge for the first time, then I was done. As I climbed back up to the path, I looked up the creek to the cascades, and the sun was back, starting to play in the pools. Timing was perfect. We hiked back to the car, and on the drive back down the road I was able to utilize the sun’s glow and photograph the backlit moss in the trees. It was a beautiful day.