This silvery black and white is a mid-afternoon exposure but the September sidelight will save you, sometimes. Or maybe not. The midtones work nicely for me but perhaps the ashen muddle leaves you dreary? Nevertheless, this cluster of bony snags in the backcountry sent a royal shiver down my spine. These snags are not uncommon on the northern edge of the blast zone. A function of terrain and draft? Oregon’s Mt. Hood is barely visible in the distance, a special treat this far south from Seattle. We tremble and awe at the apparition of Mt. Rainier from most of the windows in our house, to the southeast. From their bedrooms, Adam and Oliver Fern can see shy Glacier Peak on the northeast horizon, the only true wilderness volcano in the Cascades. Provided it’s wintertime and the leaves have dropped off the Philadelphius in the alley, from the disheveled back bedroom one will spy Mt. Baker gleaming in the north.
It was day six of the boys at home, from school. The boys’ mother also now works daily from the house, sequestered in a little room at the back with the door closed, her frequent muffled murmurings with colleagues or clients on the telephone the weird backdrop to our improvised schoolhouse. Oliver Fern is allowed to pass notes under her door provided they contain philosophical rumination or sweet-nothings, no requests for conference. When she comes out at lunch (or to use the powder room because even mothers put on their pants one leg at a time) it’s like a rock star visiting our little town and we go to pieces. After noontime today, she vanished for an important meeting via teleconference. The boys put down their books and we headed to the nearby foothills for a long, steep walk which was chosen for its lack of appeal to the public at large.