The World of Water

A harbor seal peaks over the waves in the pouring rain at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area in Newport, Oregon

Ours is a world of water but not so much as theirs, particularly on days of water above and below. You should have seen the smile on my face when the rain really started chucking it down as I watched the harbor seals frolic in the surf. Water defines so much of what I love about the Pacific Northwest, the lush greens of the forests, the snow on the mountains, the waterfalls, the seasonal ponds, the wetlands, the mountain streams, the rivers, the oceans, the tide pools. All the animals therein. I’m trying to soak it in while I can in case I end up in a world still defined by water, but by its absence rather than its abundance. But I’ll love photographing those places too, I learned long ago to focus on what you love about where you are rather than what you miss about where you were.

To California

A California scrub-jay perches on a grape vine in a backyard in Portland, Oregon

I photographed this California scrub-jay in our backyard in 2005, back when it was known as a western scrub-jay. The species was split into two in 2016, the California is who you’ll usually see in Oregon. Emma was particularly fond of the large, gregarious birds like jays, crows, and flickers, so if she was on watch I always knew when one landed in our backyard.