A Gallery of Frosted Oaks and Cracking Ice

J and I headed away from the sun the other day. The morning dawned clear and pearl-like over Portland as we pulled on long johns and insulated boots, poured coffee into thermoses and drove east through the Columbia River gorge.

We were on a scouting mission. Introducing ourselves to a territory. Walking the land.

We tiptoed over frosted marshlands, ice crackling underfoot. We skirted the edge of the woods, mixed with oak and fir. The ice that forms over low marshes has a particular sound when you step on it. A high groan, not ominous, a reminder of the breathing water underneath.