Happy Earth Day/“Innocence”

         I hope everyone has enjoyed a lovely Easter weekend with friends, family, loved ones and/or doing something they love! And a Happy Earth Day, and not to mention that Easter Sunday was also John Muir’s Birthday (April 21st) AND Saturday began National Parks Week which runs through Sunday April 28th, wow what a time of the season!  

         As you read this, I myself will be doing something that has become kind of a Spring rite of passage for myself to honor National Parks Week and Earth day. I will be backpacking for a couple days in Shenandoah National Park! :-)  I am giving up Easter with family and missing my beautiful girlfriend, Anna, unfortunately this year. But as life has been a whirlwind for weeks now, I felt very strongly about getting out and re-connecting with Nature for a few days. And I think timing is going to be incredible this year as weather has really been coordinating with Mother Nature to produce a gorgeous steady progression of Spring blossoms here in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic!

         I will have more on my Shenandoah adventure and what it means to me when I return. But for now, i will leave you to appreciate perhaps my favorite Spring photograph to date, “Innocence”. This is not from Shenandoah, but rather from another ritual I have every Spring which is visiting my Dad and the wonderful woods along the ridge where he lives. They are abundant with Redbuds, Dogwoods and Cherry Blossoms, making Spring bloom time prime time😁 

         The year I photographed this image, things were happening unusually early in the season, the Redbuds were popping late March into early April, about 2-4 weeks ahead of a more normal blooming period. But I happened to be there on such a perfect day. And in the glorious sunlight of mid-morning I stood staring up and around at a sea of pink and purple popping out amongst the dots of bright green and a crystal clear blue sky that I can only describe as heavenly. How innocent it all looks is what I remember thinking to myself. So fresh and pure and new. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, a true symbol of the rejuvenation of spirit this season brings!


“Innocence”   -   Brandon Kline

Because the Mountains are Calling...

         I have of late been daydreaming of last Summer's adventures, of the grandeurs of the West, and the spectacles of the East.  Soon, I will be embarking on this years' adventure trail and the nostalgic moments I have of recent memories have been flooding me daily and tingling my spine...  Because of the Spring season, that has been the focused theme of my image posts the past month or so, but next week I will be unveiling 3 new photographs from my time out West last Summer, without doubt some of my proudest work yet.  And so in that spirit, get lost in some Glacier National Park glory...

("First Impressions", "The Rush of Life", "The Mountains Have Called")

         "As we rounded the bend, the soaring mountain peaks and lush green valleys opened up before me.  For the rest of the winding Going-to-the-Sun Road, heading from West Glacier on the way to Logan Pass and the continental divide, I sat speechless in utter awe of the scale of what lay before me… A glorious light glistened throughout the mountains whose peaks seemed to reach into the heavens.  Cascading waterfalls plummeted down from the melting snow of the high elevations where the trees no longer grow, carving their way down through the forests and into the valleys.  As if angels were singing, my first impressions of the West, of our previous five days spent backpacking in Glacier National Park’s wilderness were truly brought into light in the face of this view.

         The hike to Akokola Lake would be my initiation into the Park… Up and down the ridge line through open meadows caused by burns and wildfire giving way to new growth which filled my nose with the delightful scent of fresh pine.  Into deep forest and to the edge of Akokola, the peaks rising to the north, reflected perfectly in its waters, stole my breath.  This was remote wilderness.  The next morning as I walked down to the lake to capture first light kissing the peaks of those mountains, I half expected to see a scene of all of nature’s creatures harmoniously drinking from its shores.

"First Impressions"

         Over the next four days, my brother, his wife, and I hiked and camped through this wonderland of dense temperate rain forest, soaring mountain peaks, open meadows and pristine lakes, an experience I’ll never forget.  On our last night of backcountry camping, at the head of Bowman Lake, I had perhaps my most beautiful backpacking experience to date… The hike along the water’s edge, peering through thick jungle-like forest to the Caribbean Sea of Bowman’s waters, all in the face of towering Rainbow Peak, Mt. Carter, and Thunderbird Mountain on the opposite side was an enlightenment in itself.  Add to our scenery that we were abruptly caught in a thunder and hail storm, exhilarating the adventure, and only to arrive at the most amazing campsite I have yet to experience at Bowman’s head.  Roaring through the site is a creek of the most milky white water I’ve ever seen.  Flowing to the lake, it meets a bed of magnificent colored stones which all but stop it dead in its tracks, sending the milky creek trickling over rainbow rock into turquoise blue.  The sun began to set as storm clouds cleared and under the moon and stars of big sky country, I lay in my hammock gazing out unto this unbelievable view down the valley before me.  Rocking gently, I listened to the lap of gentle waves hit the shore, lulling me to sleep.

         Naturalist John Muir once wrote that Glacier National Park has “the best care-killing scenery in our continent.”  I thought of these words as well as many others of natural inspiration during this week of escaping the hustle-bustle and cares of daily life to come out into the wilderness and experience the true “rush” of life.

"The Rush of Life"

            Out here in the high-country, it is Winter, Spring, and Summer all at once.  We hike through snow in July with perfect 80 degree temperatures and mountain goats as friends, meadows bloom and burst with wildflowers, and the mountains which separate our country’s weather carry glaciers feeding into lakes of the most unbelievable turquoise Caribbean blues.  Humbled beyond words on the return hike from the magnificence of Hidden Lake, the culmination of our journey, I knew in my soul that the mountains have called."

"The Mountains Have Called"