Stilled by the Streams: September Photo of the Month

Written & Photographed by Katherine Scheulen, Northwest Photographer

This particular photo is meant to evoke calmness, the almost meditative state you feel when gazing at any creek, river or stream.  The dusky light, the smoky water, the stillness of an evening where only rushing water roars in your ears.

I really wanted some bluish, low, dusky lighting, so my girlfriend and I waited until evening to wander out to the Old Robe Canyon trail along the Mountain Loop Highway. I wanted to pick somewhere with a good steady flow of water and a trail that wouldn’t be too strenuous to hike back in the dark. Robe is a well-built trail that fit the bill. I set up my Nikon D3300 on a tripod looking out toward the Stillaguamish River, framing it with a few close rocks and a point of rock jutting out into the water. Set the aperture to f/16 with a long exposure since I really wanted the water to look glassy and almost smoky, a good contrast to the jagged roughness of the rock.  I had my girlfriend actually press the shutter for me as I scrambled out onto the point. Having one person in the shot to show the scale of the landscape is a great tool I enjoy using. The only trouble was getting me to hold still long enough for the shot!

Landscape photography attracts me in many ways, but especially as a device telling a story about wild places.  I grew up in western Washington, the daughter of a mountaineer and an avid recycler backing the 80’s when recycling wasn’t just a given. Conservation and leave no trace ethics are practically in my blood.  I cherish and respect our public lands. My hope is always that my photography reflects those feelings, whether it be an intimate look at an individual leaf in its perfectly niche design or a huge panorama to shrink ego and lift the spirit.

Seattle is her home, and she is a native Washingtonian. Katherine has been hiking since a very young age with her father, who was an avid mountaineer in the 80’s and 90’s.  Recently, she has started to do a bit of backpacking too and can’t wait for her next adventures. Follow her adventures on instagram: @hiker_katherine

Forest Restoration Spotlight

Photographed by Chris Crisman

Restoring our forests, streams and all the habitat in between.

Our work making Washington’s forests and streams healthier is spotlighted in two vastly different landscapes – the temperate coastal rainforest of Ellsworth Creek, and the dry ponderosa forests of the Central Cascades.

These two stories highlight the restoration work taking place on the ground, as well as paint a picture of the long term vision for these very special places.

From the Chinook Observer, a beautiful story that captures the breadth and depth of the work we’re doing in Ellsworth Creek. Link below. 

Chinook Observer - Towering Titans: Nature Conservancy Restoration Breathes Life Into Forest Stream

And a front page spread on the Yakima Herald that showcases our work with the Yakama Nation on the North Fork Taneum Creek. Link below.

Yakima-Herald: Creek Restoration Vital to a Healthy Forest.

Stream Side for Conservation

Written & Photographed by Zoe van Duivenbode, Marketing Intern

Another day in the field found Nature Conservancy staff on an adventure in search of GPS locations scattered throughout our Taneum Creek property in the central cascades. In order to continue previous years of stream temperature data collection, TNC’s aquatic ecologist, Emily Howe, and senior forest ecologist, Ryan Haugo, put on their waders and rain boots and embarked on a bushwhacking, log climbing, upstream mission.

By recording stream temperature, our scientists can determine what impact surrounding land use has on nearby stream habitats and can track short-term and long-term temperature fluctuations. Monitoring stream temperature is important because it influences the health, abundance and habitat suitability for fish and other aquatic life. Fish species, such as steelhead and bull trout, were historically present in central cascade streams and as a part of TNC’s conservation plan, our scientists aim to continue data collection which will help guide restoration treatments and protect endangered fish and wildlife species. Check out the slideshow above to follow our day in the field!