Metlako Falls · Eagle Creek · Columbia River Gorge · Bonneville · Oregon · USA
Autumn renders this oft-photographed bigleaf maple fronting Metlako Falls a striking blend of gold, orange, and auburn, commemorating the change of season along Eagle Creek during an all too brief whirlwind sampling of the Columbia River Gorge with Dylan Toh, one half of the justifiably renowned Adelaide-based team of Everlook Photography. Consider mine a landscape-oriented complement to their superb piece "Misty Metlako".
I hadn't really conceptualized this image as an homage to the veterans of the United States of America when I originally captured it, but I felt titling it thusly was more than apropos on a night when I attended a Veterans Day Portland Trail Blazers game peppered with tributes to America's servicemen and -women, past and present. Particularly stirring was the story at game's halftime of an Afghanistan veteran who traumatically lost both of his legs in the throes of combat. I didn't catch all of the details above the crescendo of applause, but the public address announcer spoke of the valiant young gentleman's vow to once again be standing amongst his comrades when all was said and done. Sure enough, there he was, first in line amongst his regiment, proudly yet humbly standing with the aid of his new prosthetic legs just three weeks after incurring his life-threatening injuries. The crowd gave him and the other two veterans alongside him at midcourt a rousing ovation.
Standing, is it were.