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Stunningly beautiful, reflective. And the trees... And so we begin again on this wheel of life. May this turn of the wheel bring you and yours peace and joy.
So you visited New Jersey for New Years?

(Actually, you'd probably be surprised how pretty parts of Jersey are.)

Nice though
Amazing. Thank you for sharing.
You live in a beautiful place. Glad to see water coming back. Happy New Year! R
I thought that I lived in the most beautiful place, but you live in the most beautiful place too. That lake. That mountain.Those trees. My studio table top would be a foot deep in those mossy lichen twigs, instead of beach cobbles. What a lovely day you had, and with good companions, whose presence seeps into the photos in shadows and snouts.
Beautiful pictures. I love the shadow one.
What a beautiful place you live. Happy New Year JT, the pictures are fabulous.
Thanks for sharing your walk! I love that circle of trees!
Good morning - thought you might like to go on a walk!
The plan was to add text, then between one thing and another, decided it's good as is.
Will add in comment some information in awhile - but at the end? the shot taken high over the lake and then the next shot is over pastoral fields? That is just turning around on the old-lava-strewn peak, from facing south to facing north. I love this lake.....just a little boomerang-shaped lake that I've never gotten tired of, once.

....and Kosh your comment made me laugh : )
I've hung out in beautiful spots in Jersey! Ate wonderful Mid Eastern food in Lambertville in the November just passed, walked along the Delaware......
The trees are oaks, Oregon White Oak. Those oak groves are like entering the Old World - just wonderful - the old trees get so twisty and gnarled, the circles they grown in, leaving the grassy 'fairy circle' inside. 
Easy to feel timeless while sitting in one of those oak circles - and they survive and thrive even on the frozen erupted lava peaks so common to most hills on this volcanic, eastern side of the valley.

Lichen thrives on the oaks - and in the close up shot, there is a more fine lichen on the left that has medicinal properties: Usnea longissima, a known anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-biotic, and more.

Seen mostly only in the top shot, the more forested hills there march toward the east - another mountain range entirely - non-volcanic, and much older, here when this entire valley was shallow ocean floor.
Wow! Stunning. What a great place to meet the new year.
Oh, my goodness, you life in paradise, JT. I especially love the one capturing your shadows, but they are all breathtakingly beautiful. Happy New Year!!!!!

[r] JT, what a glorious walkabout especially for my city eyes. Thank you!!! The glory of nature, you capture it well. Love them all but that one looking up at the branches of the trees especially. I once so very long ago had a drawing class assignment to go out and draw tree branch configurations and it made me seek them out and appreciate them especially. This shot made me gasp in renewed appreciation especially with those twisted trunks. thanks for sharing. best, libby
oh wow, gorgeous gorgeous work! looks like a small Stone Henge there. was that done on purpose? i want to pick a favorite but they are all so lovely. of course it's the one of the dog hiding out in the tall grass. is that a min pin or a regular one? i also love the one where the 8 big trees cluster around some grass. looks like a place where a benign coven could convene.
Beautiful! Breathtaking, really. I can't pick a favorite, I like them all.
Beautiful country
Mornin' all - thanks for walking one of my favorite walks with me.
It's my touchstone around this area, this lake, and so many locals don't come out here! So...ssshhhhh! ; )

Theodora, the rocks like that are at the top of many of the hills here, the ones on the volcanic side of the valley, anyway - they're cinder cones, all of them, with frozen lava bits/rocks clustered at the top of each hill. The White Oaks seem to thrive in this poor soil - and they evoke the Old World, pagan oak groves, fairy circles, dancing under a full moon with the sisters, don't they? 
To me, anyway : )

This post may be re-born with text, sometime.....
The one dog, Blue, who is always keeping an eye on me wherever we go - and is afraid of the camera - is part rat terrier, part Queensland Blue Heeler. Kim Gamble tells me 'Blue' means red-coated, so....? There's the tiniest touch of red on his legs.
Blue has the cutest Min-Pin face and coloring, and then a barrel body in black and white spots and coarse fur, then tiny long needles for legs. He's often called Mini Keg by one son. I tend to call him Cute from the Neck Up. He's a fairly new member of the family, about a year, now. Very sweet and as the pound said, "He *wants* to be good."
The other, less visible, dog in the same photo is our Kona: part Corgi, Shepard, Hound, a little Pit Bull....and pretty much perfect : )
She's another rescue dog. The cats skip the walks and stay at home.

I've quietly noticed over the years that most times there's a parade or art walk or other community gathering in town, we're out here walking at the lake.
Who says photo essays need words ?

Glad we can comment though ~ my favourite is the fractal oaks one ( #11.)
Good to see the lake beginning to fill up again. 
Extraordinary light.

Having a place like this, close, is sort of our reward, don't you think ?
I really enjoyed this.
@Kim: I dare you to write a fresh poem about those 
"fractal oaks"!
Hi Kim - the thought of adding text when I felt I'd overloaded the tech capabilities with solely photos was a bit much at 1 am when pulling together the photos.
I think it speaks clearly enough : )

...and yes. Reward.
...and my own personal touchstone.
This is where I lived for a few months all those years ago (21 years!), by the campfire by the lake, with two boys.
Oddly, this particular walk at this little boomerang-shaped lake was just discovered this year, after a full decade of walking elsewhere out there. Ha! 
When I had a car, I walked out here every single day. 

No weedy dragons seen while swimming here, either.

PW - I'll be back! Got to take the truck for errands before it disappears for the day : )
Hi PW - this place is really home to my heart out here, I just go sleep at the house.
We have a long history, this place and I. and it is so beautiful, isn't it? Stark, sometimes, most lush in May-June, so unlike the humid areas of my childhood. I'm never anxious, there.
Thanks for coming by and going on a walk : )
The 'fractal' oaks, (taken while standing in the fairy circle, if not obvious already).
I can be such a pragmatic soul but I know there's something up out in oak groves, even the wind is more wild in those particular groves, limbs swaying, reaching, clothes feel awkward, one can almost hear the dancing ones and their laughter...

My spiritual inclinations tend to follow the principles of fractal design.
JT: Having experienced as much, if not more, in the past, I think I can sense your experience of such a place.
(and you would not believe some of the stuff I used to do!)
PoetTESS, I thought of you while pulling these photos together.....glad you liked. It is a place of peace, that's for sure.
and thank you : )

Ande - thanks, glad you came along : ) 

Gerlad - yes. In this first shot, the first view, that is the still mostly dry end of the lake, a long way to go to be back to full. When getting out of the car, I notice first the water level, then the depth of the snow on the mountain and how far in altitude it goes, then scan the western hills for any incoming clouds from the coast. Old habit by now.
Can you see the flock of birds rising to the right in that first photo? Ducks, they rise and fall in loud clouds all through the walks : )
Happy New Year to you!

Aww, green, hard to compare, isn't it? I love both areas so deeply, your watery, low country, history-rich world and here. Ideally, I'd have a home on both coasts and just go back and forth, keeping businesses running in both places : )
So glad you appreciate this mountainy - often stark and dry, always fascinating to me - world. 
My geology nerd side can go a bit berserk, here. Ha!
Fractal Oaks ( for P Dub :-)

There's a Penguin book by Peter Stevens changed my life
or Way of Seeing ~ Patterns in Nature
I don't have it with me but from memory the chapter 
that begins with Job : Who can understand the spreading of clouds ?
speaks of branching, of Chaos Theory, of fractals and endlessness.
I think it's endlessness that I see in oaken fingertips
stretching to each other in the sky, the never-ending need to touch,
to close the Beautiful Gap of space
to make a pattern in what once was empty ~ O, love !

( thanks, JT :-)
@Kim: Now THAT is what I call laying down the poetry smack!
Would make a cool post (no need to use my name--you did all the work)

If you google Peter Stevens Patterns in Nature and click on images ( at top ) you'll see a beautiful range of images from the book ( mine is the green-cover, paperback ed, circa '75, featuring moss ) 
There's a lovely pic of the author, and even a Turner ( of 'ships & shit' ~ hello heron :-)

Thanks P Dub !
So that's why the clothes begin to feel awkward out there.

Nice call, PW, and reply, Mr. Gamble : )

The book I have is Fractals: the Patterns of Chaos: Discovering a New Aesthetic of Art, Science, and Nature - by John P. Briggs - a Touchstone book. bought after being given several blown up photographs of fractals long ago, by a biologist/forester/friend, that caught my attention and then burrowed.
(The *fractals* caught my attention, the *interest* then burrowed. ahem.)
Theodora - Oh. 
I now see you're referring to the cairns at the end, there.
The 4th photo is looking back toward the truck up on the ridge and that is the end of the circle taken on the walk, the oaks, and those cairns, all up there. It's a muddy walk at the beginning along the lake on an old, crumbling road, then away from the water, up to a nice trail through the groves and up along the ridge. 
Lots of people leave rock stacks, or cairns, on trails and at lakes, along creeks, in this area. Rarely graffiti. Cairns as 'I Was Here' instead. Well-trained environmentally progressive types here, I guess : )
The Stonehenge one, I'd not seen that version before, maybe it fell and gave someone an idea.
I sometimes leave one, more often repair one...mostly just walk along and enjoy them.
Third photo: that is a reflection in small pond beside the current lake, just a depression in the lake bottom when lake is full - there's exposed uplift there keeping the water in. The lake water isn't really visible just beyond there but some of the brown swath is the lake.
The shadows photo (#5) was taken after walking around that same pond and then turning left and walking along the lake itself, past the cinder cone across the lake (#7) down to the unseen dam by the white sculls (#8). The public swim, slides, campground, park, boat launches, picnic places, is around a bend beyond the sculls (down on the left in #15, beyond this walk). 
The patch of green under the cinder cone in #7 is where novice paragliders practice, although that day there was only one person, on pink roller skis rolling down that hill : )
"I think it's endlessness that I see in oaken fingertips
stretching to each other in the sky, the never-ending need to touch,
to close the Beautiful Gap of space
to make a pattern in what once was empty ~ O, love !"

You're a lovely romantic, Kim.
Not sure those oak limbs will ever seem the same ; )

making? ...remembering? 
the endlessness, after all...
(Trying to wrap my head around the thought of pink rollerskis...)
...wildly out of order, here.

...and sorry, 'Gerlad.' Dyslexia strikes : )

Hi jl, thanks, I like that one, too.

Hi Rita! Good to see you - and thanks : ) It is beautiful out here. Sometimes I have to leave the camera at home. so many photos of out there, in all seasons, from the land, from the water...with no water...

Hi Zanelle - yes, the circles of those oaks have an energy to them like no other, as mentioned above...
sometimes I just sit on that ridge in an oak circle and just hang out.

Hi Cuzzy, thanks - glad to have you come by. I was going to do a 2014 highlights post, but realized it's pretty much the garden and this lake, and family trips. 
Decided this was a better photos post : )

What is up, Rw? You even PM me with your 'calm down' little lady stuff?
Hope all is well your way.
My husband and I walk together a lot, yes, the looking out goes both ways. I'm less afraid of spiders. We've each had osprey dive bomb us if we wander too close to nests. They are scary when riled.

Hi Lezlie - glad to have you come along : )
It is lovely out here. Summer does get too dry for me but the rest of the year I feel quite.... lucky.
I tell ya,' PW. Eccentrics rule around here.
I love it ; ) 
Once I got used to it.

Money is here, too, so they're always trying to mess up the fun, but so far, no bans on pink rollerskis.
In photo #17, far below on the extreme right center, glows the small pond shown in photos #1, 3, and 4.

In photo #18, standing in same place as #17 but facing the opposite direction toward the larger valley, right in the center of the photo there is a large, tidy house, lawn edged and weed-free, white orderly fence bordering sides, precise (unseen) row plantings of Italian cypress marching along as wind break....sometimes I look at that place from my ancient shaggy spot among the frozen lava up on the ridge, ancient seabed stones in my pocket from down below, acorns crunching under feet, a hawk cruising by on the wind at a tilt overhead - and find myself wondering if anyone living there has ever crossed the edged yard and gone rogue, cross country up the hill all willy nilly, no path or anything, on up to the groves...
Libby, thanks so much for your great comment - I was hoping you'd come by, especially - you and Alysa, the committed big city fan.
There is an old grandmother tree I call her, on the other side of the lake on a different walk that this time of year is too burr-filled for the dogs, that has the most lovely twisty old trunk. That is part of the mystery and sense of the feminine among those white oaks, I think. Sometimes the wind sings, there.
They'd be wonderful to sit and draw, you're so right! So far I photograph them a lot..

Oh! that grandmother tree across the lake I photo-ed ages ago when the lake was full, here:

It looks so different then! This walk in this post is on the hills to the left across the lake, in the photo in this link, if even remotely interested.
: )

Theodora : )
I replied to you somewhere above!

M. - it really is. My appreciation of it has grown over the years, too, so different than more humid areas where I grew up.
The difference in light between photo #6 and photo #15 show how quickly sunset occurs here behind the thickly forested, western mountains.
Sunsets here often mean a lighting up of eastern hills more than western sky, which takes some getting used to. Certain spots at this lake are pretty good for a western facing sunset, such as photo #18, but a drive up into the eastern mountains, timing the drop back into the valley for sunset, is a really nice treat, too.

Okay, think I've covered the text for this post : )
Thanks all ~
My gawd girlfriend. 
You did good. 
I'd give this photo spread a blue ribbon at the county fair and then some. ★★★★★
There's ye five star's! 
Waving hello to you. 
More of this lake, both with more water and less, depending on the season and year, at this link:

or click 'Anna F. photography' on bar at left under My Links for same site.
*So good* to see you again 'round these parts - hope things are peaceful your way (Florida? Appalachians? elsewhere now? - personal wonderings, no need to reply : )), wherever you are.
and thank you! 5 stars - wow.
This sanctuary spot, soothing people for decades now (the reservoir part, anyway, the rest for eons, I suspect), deserves the 5 stars, I'd agree : )
THE COLORS!!!! This was splendid and beautiful! Wishing you and your family many more lovely walks in 2015!
Hi Alysa - it is beautiful, isn't it? Especially muddy at the moment but that is a good sign. 
More rain!
Thanks for the good wishes : )
I hope you and yours find moments of peace in this tough time - and may little Julien - and life - bring you many smiles.
Love these images and think you live in quite the wonderful setting. What a excellent place with good details to boot. Where is this?
Hi Algis ! This is southern Oregon, at the junction of three mtn. ranges with both ancient seabed and volcanic eras. It seems to draw people from all over, this area ( although many move here and leave again after realizing how slow and small town it can be, especially at night) - the land grabs one and makes it hard to let go, somehow. My experience, anyway : )

Praying for a wet Spring...
February first update: The pond in photos 3 and 4 has been breached by the lake now, and where the shadows are in 5 - under water now - yay! 
...and it's raining outside. 

Snowpack currently 20-25% of normal for this time of year : /

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