Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Hoh Rain Forest

I have been married to the same man for 34 years, since I was 18 and he was 20. We are living proof that opposites attract and that they can co-exist. It was never more clear to me than today.
We set out on a day trip to La Push, Washington from our camping space at Pacific beach. We have been here since Wednesday and it has been glorious. The weather has been warm and sunny in a place that is usually incessantly dripping, windy and cold. We are here with the greyhound and the dachshund, just the four of us, with no expectations on my part, just to relax and enjoy a drama free few days.

Anyway, said husband had an agenda today. He wanted to see La Push. It’s about a 200+ mile trip. So after a delicious breakfast cooked by him and thoroughly enjoyed by me and with lattes in hand, we set out for points north, we traveled through many miles of sunshine. Husband is a serious photographer and one of his quirks is that he is never, never happy with the light coming from the sky. If it is a sunny day, he is disappointed because he can’t take the pictures he wants to because the shiny light interferes. If there is blue sky, he is sad because there are no puffy white clouds. If it is cloudy, he is wishing for sun. In other words, he is a glass half empty guy when it comes to light.

I failed to mention that I forgot my camera on this trip. Our usual way is for him to take his serious pictures while I flit around taking literally hundreds of pictures with my little dumb camera. I am ignorant about apertures and speeds and all that. In my world, I believe that what I see in the world will come out of the camera in a way that will make me happy. I think by the time I get home and look at the pictures, I’ve forgotten what I took pictures of, and I am just so happy that any of them came out, I don’t really care. I’m wanting to remember the day and maybe post some pictures to my blog, but it is all very serendipitous, with no real expectations.
So today…I HAD NO CAMERA. I was at the mercy of the serious photog.
It was a gorgeous 72 degree sunny day even two miles inland from the coast. Have I mentioned that? The kind of day rarely seen here. In fact locals at the hamburger joint were heard talking about the origin of the strange light in the sky and one of them referred to it as N-U-S. They don’t even know how to SPELL sun here, they spell it backwards.
As you can see by the pictures above, this rain forest is a magical, beautiful place, even on a dripping rainy day, but today glorious. G-l-o-r-i-o-u-s. The sun filters through the giant trees and enveloping moss in such a way, if I were a a songwriter, I would write a song about it. It is so pretty. Backlight makes even more shades of green than ever. From a perspective and even in the close up, the moss is so abundant. It looks like fairies and elves and leprechauns will come dancing down the path at any moment. There are pretty little white flowers blooming, mushrooms,ferns and lichens everywhere and every surface is green, green.
Because I had no camera, I was forced to ask the serious photographer to take pictures for you all. Oh, my heavenly days! You would have thought I was asking him to murder puppies.
I would find the perfect shot. I would excitedly point it out to him. He would patiently explain why this photo would never work. Too much sun. TOO MUCH SUN! In a RAIN forest! Or too much contrast. TOO much CONTRAST! How can that be a bad thing? I search for contrast in paintings. I strive valiantly to provide texture and interest. It matters little to me that my paintings look nothing like what I am painting. Until today, I believed that I could take a picture with a camera that would look like what my eyes see. I thought that was what cameras were for. Ignorant lass I am. Evidently this is laughably naïve.

As we ambled along the mossy path, I would just as patiently ask him to take a photo anyway. Please. Just for me. To tell the story. He mostly would, but much complaining and sighing ensued. Sometimes he outright refused to take my shots, sniggering quietly to himself about my idiocy.

I tell you, dear reader, ask anyone that knows us. I am incredibly good natured but married to a photography curmudgeon. The sole reason our marriage has survived is that I am such a sweet personage. I am a happy balloon dancing through life, barely tethered to the ground by his cranky scraggly rope. My glass is half full of good red wine. Light and contrast and texture are the staff of life to me. All my skies are blue with puffy clouds. But where would I be if he did not bring me back down to earth? After 34 years, I think I need him to survive.

Today, the photographer tried valiantly to document my world. I think he did a pretty good job. I promised we will come back on a wet and drippy day and I will not ask him to take my pictures and I will make him breakfast.


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Micki said...

Beautiful story, you sound just right for each other.

oh and the pictures turned out great ;)

Micki x

Anonymous said...

awesome photo's! Really cool phone box, show good clear air exists there.

femminismo said...

Oh, my gosh! We are "soul sisters" in the marriage department. I am married to an old cranky bear and I, too, am "a delightful personage." Why, if it weren't for me we wouldn't have any friends. But if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have any money! You're right; those opposites do keep us tethered to earth. Love the little white flowers. Any idea what they are? - Jeanne in Oregon

Renee said...

Thank you for being so amiable so that the photographer could take us some great pictures.

Really love the mushrooms.

Congratulations on 34 years of marriage, that is really something in itself.

Renee xoxox

lilylovekin said...

What a great team the two of you make. I don't suppose you dare tell him we love the photos?

Art4Sol said...

This story is so funny....I've been married to the same man for nearly 38 years now and we are so different as well....but somehow it works.....especially now that I've mastered map reading!

Julie Fillo said...

Oh man, you guys made me laugh! Jeanne, I think we ARE kindred spirits! You get me, girl you really get me. Oh those frustrating cranky old men of ours. On this trip he told me that he does not like rivers. RIVERS! Add this to the list of things I already knew he does not like: trees, laughing, clapping (actually happiness of any sort expressed)babies, children...
And I will not even go there about maps. I am literally terrified when he hands me a map.

Jennifer Lewis said...

Great mossy phonebooth and little mushrooms!!

ODD imagination said...

oh! Your story brought the most wonderful laughter right out of my soul! How I love your view of the camera as it is mine as well. Why shouldn't that magical little box copy what my eye sees? Your hubby is a hoot as well. You can truly hear behind your words that he is a master of his craft - which the photos prove.
I do adore your paintings and would very much like to embark on a 52 week trip as well if you don't mind. May I pack my bags and come along?
Such a Lovely Blog!