Oneonta Creek · Columbia River Gorge · Dodson · Oregon · USA
Felled by time and gravity, yellow bigleaf maple leaves lie in repose along the roots of a creekside tree that very well could have borne them in hours or days past. In the background, Oneonta Creek churns on, fattened by recent rains that we were blessed to have been granted reprieve from on a day that forecasters had erroneously predicted was going to be a wet one. Perhaps it was all kismet, what with it being Ashley’s birthday and all. But getting to be out there in the crisp, cool air, basking in the sights and sounds and smells of a scenic old-growth forest beside a surging yet melodic stream in the company of my beautiful (and amazingly patient) partner in life, I couldn't help but feel like I was the one being lavished with gift after gift on this fine autumn day.