It was hot and dry when I was in Portland in August, but it’s still extremely cool in Oregon. The Pacific currents that sweep down from Alaska make the water along the coast freezing — in the low 50s — although that doesn’t seem to hamper anybody’s enjoyment of the beach. Above, Cape Lookout State Park. Although the air temperature in Portland is 10 or more degrees warmer than it is on the coast, it’s still an exceedingly cool city, from the ubiquitous bicycles to the hip bungalows and the overflowing produce stands of the downtown farmers market. Below, a night cyclist in the Clinton section of southeast Portland and the Columbia River Gorge at Hood River. Click here for a slideshow of Portland and some of the coast and the Coast Range.
Vermont Route 12 from Montpelier to Morrisville is a beautiful road, especially in its upper reaches, where it cuts through a near-wilderness of forested hills and along the North Branch of the Winooski River. It’s a road used daily by commuters, tourists, and local trucks. It’s also a major cycling route and you’ll almost always see somebody pedaling up its easy (for Vermont) grades or coasting down them. The road cuts through wetlands and it’s not unusual to see moose and, less commonly, bear. But most people — except for kayakers who paddle the North Branch when the water’s high enough for them to run the falls and pools — don’t realize that the real beauty is just off the road, where the North Branch cascades through the woods. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Vermont. Access is easy when you know where to go, and some of the people who do know what’s there leave behind beer cans, tires, an occasional sofa, and campsites. The Vermont River Conservancy has been working to preserve the area and to eventually make it better known and appreciated. I’ve been photographing parts of it for the VRC.
Recently attended an excellent wedding in Parkersburg, WVA, where the brown Ohio River rolls under bridges marked so the tow boats can be sure their loads won’t scrape. Parkersburg was deserted over the weekend, but there was lots to see if you roamed the streets.
Montpelier, VT, above; below, Green Point, Brooklyn, NY; all the rest, East Montpelier, VT. All taken with a Fuji X-E1, except the whitewater photos. The X-E1 is small retro-looking camera with an electronic viewfinder and a relatively large sensor (APS-C), that is now on sale all over the place because the X-E2 is out. Doesn’t quite fit in your pocket, but smaller than a DSLR and with a sensor as big as most entry-level DSLRs. X-E1 review here. If you wonder why green is a big deal around here, look at the shades of brown in the April post below.
They don’t look worried, but Vermont Olympic nordic skiers (l to r) Ida Sargent and Liz Stephen (both cross-country), and Hannah Dreissigacker and Susan Dunklee (both biathlon) held a press conference today to express their concerns about how global climate change is affecting the world and their sport. Just back from six months of competition in Europe, including the Sochi Olympics, they told of lack of snow in traditionally snowy areas and races held primarily on artificial snow and even trucked-in ice chips. A thread of the press conference — held at the Morse Farm in East Montpelier in conjunction with the Vermont Natural Resources Council and the National Wildlife Federation — was that Vermont, small as it is, can lead the way in alternate energy use as it does in winter sports. Four of the 14 members on the U.S. Olympic cross country team were from Vermont and, counting snowboarding, cross-country, biathlon and alpine skiing, there were nearly 20 Vermonters on the U.S. team, from a state with a population of 626,000. Click here for local news story.
In late January I was in the Austrian Alps for the World Masters Cross-Country Ski Championships in the Pillerseetal region, near Kitzbuhel. The landscape is spectacular and so were a lot of the masters skiers. A masters skier is anyone over 30, and the five-year age brackets continued right up to and including the 85-90 age group. In total more than 1,000 skiers from 30 countries. Largest contingent, the Russians: more than 200 skiers. The largest age group is generally those between 60 and 64, who have the time to attend and the energy to keep racing into their 60s. Scroll down, and click here for more, including Mozart duckies, racing and Salzburg. Don’t forget to click here for more!
Over the past year or so I had the opportunity to produce portraits for several Vermont organizations. The coverage ranged from photographing Vermonters affected by Tropical Storm Irene for the Vermont Community Foundation to annual report photos for the Vermont Student Assistance Corp., the organization that helps Vermont students pull together the finances for higher education, and Vermont Information Technology Leaders, an organization working to bring electronic medical records systems to health care providers. I really enjoyed meeting all the people I photographed and although I hate to overwhelm the blog with multiple images in one post, here is a selection of some of the photos. If you like these, pass it on through the media bar below or any other way. And if you know anyone who needs portrait work, don’t hesitate to recommend me. Thanks!
Vermont Community Foundation, Berlin
Vermont Community Foundation, St. Johnsbury
Vermont Community Foundation, Cuttingsville