As you might have guessed, choosing photos to represent this past year was no easy task. Some of these images were chosen as much for the significance of the event, as the quality of the shot. There was much hemming and hawing, lots of thought, and quite a bit of decision-making. But in the end, I feel confident you'll enjoy the collection I've assembled below.
So - without further adieu, I bring you - 2013 in Photos!
January - I spent all my weekends on skis, either at the resorts, or in the backcountry around Mt. Hood. A ski trip up the White River Canyon on a bitterly cold, blue-sky day produced some of the most amazing winter landscape images.
February - I celebrated my 50th birthday in style by traveling to Salt Lake City with my good friend and best ski buddy Kim. Although we only had one powder day out of three, the Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons were gorgeous, and the ski areas loads of fun. I'm already saving my pennies for a return trip.
March - Portland's rainy dreariness was finally broken by massive amounts of colorful tree blooms. These cherry trees along Portland's waterfront are iconic for their yearly pink blossom show. I think you can see why.
April - I checked off an item in my bucket list with a trip to the John Day Painted Hills in Central Oregon. These fantastic colored landforms were everything I'd hoped and so much more! I loved this area so much, it may become an annual spring trip.
May - So many great outings in May, it was hard to pick a favorite. But reviewing the photos from a Mother's Day hike along the old Eagle Creek Trail, I realized this bright, mossy, green, old-growth forest scene represents all that I love about the woods here in Oregon.
June - This month's photo was an easy choice. My daughter's graduation from Oregon State University was our family's big event for 2013. Definitely a proud mama moment!
July - So many hikes....so many photographs.....how do I pick just one? This photo, of my friend Katie descending from the Coldwater Peak Trail at Mt. St. Helens, was the one I kept coming back to, and eventually got the nod. This view alone makes it one of my favorite hikes.
August - The hike to McNeil Point on Mt. Hood's western flank is one of my all-time favorite summer wildflower hikes. One beautiful summer day, Katie and I paid a visit, and were handsomely rewarded with the best display of red paintbrush and pink heather I've ever seen.
September - With the "Monkey Butter Express" I completed my third consecutive Hood to Coast Relay. Although not in top running shape, it was still my best H2C yet, thanks to the support of my wonderful teammates in Van Two. This shot of my team crossing the finish line together is my all-time favorite H2C photo.
October - An unseasonably dry month meant lots of opportunities to hit the trail. And I did, even taking a couple vacation days to get to all the places on my "must hike" list. Another month where choosing one representative photo was extremely difficult. But this shot of Coldwater Lake on a calm fall morning eventually snagged my final vote.
November - November was the month of waterfalls. It's no secret I love to photograph waterfalls, and the Columbia River Gorge has more than enough to keep me busy. Although my hard drive is full of gorgeous white cascade images, this one of the twin fans of Upper McCord Creek Falls finally won me over.
December - With the mountains lacking sufficient snow, I again took to the Gorge, this time in search of frozen waterfalls. A cold Sunday afternoon was well spent, as I came away with amazing scenes such as this icy base of Horsetail Falls.
And - as a special bonus I give you my favorite photograph of the year. Choosing this was no contest. During a mid-October visit to Silver Falls State Park, I was producing mediocre images of Lower South Falls. Almost ready to pick up my tripod and continue on, at the last minute I spied sunlight filtering through the trees above. Positioning myself so that the rays produced a star-shaped sunburst, I fired multiple shots. The result was this beautiful image that I'm extremely proud of. I hope you like it too.
One last item - announcing the winner of the "Linda's Lens 2014 Calendar." The lucky winner is Kim@Snug Harbor who blogs over at Snug Harbor Bay. Congratulations! Kim, please email me your address at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll ship your calendar right out to you.
Thank you to my readers for all your kind comments and interest in my little adventures. The best part about blogging is hearing from so many nice people from all over the world. I really enjoy writing the stories and sharing my photos from this amazing Pacific Northwest that I call home. Keep it right here, I've got even more good stuff planned for 2014.
Happy New Year!