Lake City Way, Feb 01 2014, 11:31 AM


English Ivy, in the trees and covering the ground.


Lakeview Blvd E, Mar 08 2014, 10:30 AM


I’m taking a risk here by including the trash can. I find that having almost anything in these photos besides the plants and the little bit of road, and perhaps some wires, causes the plants immediately to recede into the background and be ignored. We’re so used to seeing a screen of foliage behind the things that we’re typically looking at that it’s hard to make the plants the center of interest. Here I’ve done a lot of selective darkening and lightening to draw the eye toward the middle.

Lakeview Blvd E, Mar 08 2014, 10:01 AM


Below St Mark’s Cathedral on the west side of Capitol Hill — some very tony real estate. Mostly English Ivy with some Old Man’s Beard.

Scraggly Tree


A willow (probably) near the north end of Seattle’s Fremont Bridge, surrounded by invasive Himalayan Blackberry and English Ivy. I just love this kind of thing…

Willow and Curb Stone


In The Seattle Street-Smart Naturalist, David Williams describes a walk along the south fork of Thornton Creek from its headwaters near Northgate Mall through various pockets of greenery to its confluence with the north fork and then to their outlet into Lake Washington. Inspired, I followed that walk myself a few years back and have returned to do parts of it again. It’s far from a well-established or well-marked route. Sometimes the creek goes through peoples’ backyards, and you must walk nearby streets until finding the next fragment of public land through which it flows. One of my earlier blog posts shows the creek emerging from passing under Lake City Way.

Anyway, this willow grows on the edge of one of the bits of untended land along the creek. The parking lot, and the building it adjoins, look untended to me, too. The branches that intruded into the parking lot’s airspace have been pruned, but that probably doesn’t bother the tree much. I understand that one way willows sprout is from broken branches carried downstream in floods.

Willow Tapestry


Another from Seattle’s little Yesler Swamp. These willows were bright, back-lighted green. Some heavy-handed processing in Lightroom gives this slightly unnatural effect that reminds me of Medieval tapestries (if they were woven in grayscale, anyway).

May Willows, Yesler Swamp


The Army Corps of Engineers has raised Lake Washington to its summer level, so Seattle’s little Yesler Swamp is again flooded. The sun was mostly out this afternoon, and everything was green and full of birds. (As always, however, the photo doesn’t tell the whole story. It looks wild, but it doesn’t quite sound wild. It’s easy to hear cars on the nearby street and people talking as they go by on the sidewalk, and in the background the dull roar from State Route 520.)

Night Pines


Well, a few of you liked that last one, so how about this? For me, both are largely about the lighting, how it hides and reveals. I get a sense of mystery and drama, though this one feels more intimate, like the pines are cozying up to the light.

Crossing Branches


A lot of the trees in the Yesler Swamp seem to grow more horizontally than vertically. I like the way all the trunks, branches, branchlets, and twigs fill the field of view here, sometimes looking more two-dimensional than three. (Technical note: it’s hard to keep all that fine detail from getting washed out in the bright sky. I rely heavily on Lightroom 4’s Highlights slider to recover the fine lines, then the Whites slider to prevent the sky from looking too grey.)

Streetlight, Fog, Sycamore


It’s my favorite sycamore, again, on a cold foggy night. I made some other images with more narrowly focused compositions, but I like the energy of this one.