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  • Morning Has Broken
    Sun rising over the Grays River Divide, with the Altoona Ridge and Harrington Point to the left, and Tongue Point to the right. Buoy 39 near the ship, buoy 40 towards Tongue Point in the Columbia River. Astoria, Oregon, 2003.
  • Astoria Heavens No.1
    Astoria, Oregon, 2003.
  • Dawn of Passion
    Dawn, looking upstream on the Columbia River, Buoy 39 is visible. Astoria, Oregon, 2000.
  • Homage to Sibelius
    The soft gloom of this scene reminds me of the soulful melancholy of Sibelius’ music. Looking up the Columbia River past Tongue Point, with buoy 39 and Rice island to the left of the ship, Miller sands, buoy 40, and Tongue Point to the right. Astoria, Oregon, 2000.
  • North Shore Fog No.3
    Looking north across the Columbia River, to between Megler and Knappton, Washington. From Astoria, Oregon, 2008.
  • North Shore Fog No.2
    Looking north across the Columbia River, to between Megler and Knappton, Washington. From Astoria, Oregon, 2008.
  • Great Coastal Gale on the Columbia River
    The Great Coastal Gale of December 1–3, 2007 was one of the greatest storms of a century. Though the peak gusts were not quite record-setting, the 3 day duration was. The Columbia River was photographed from my home between the Astoria-Megler Bridge and downtown Astoria. The wind blown spray was so thick that at times one could barely see the surface of the river. Astoria, Oregon, 2007
  • Dies Irae
    The Great Coastal Gale of December 1–3, 2007 was one of the greatest storms of a century. Though the peak gusts were not quite record-setting, the 3 day duration was. The Columbia River was photographed from my home between the Astoria-Megler Bridge and downtown Astoria. A stream of wind would touch the water, picking up a column of spray which moved for a mile or more. Astoria, Oregon, 2007.
  • Fierce Gale at the Bridge
    A fierce autumn gale whips up the Columbia River near the Astoria-Megler Bridge. It was hard to stand steadily against the force of wind for this picture from my roof, even with a second story protecting my back. Astoria, Oregon, 1999.
  • Bright in the East
    Maritime clouds often cover Astoria while we can see past them to slightly sunnier inland weather. Beyond Tongue Point we see from Washington’s Altoona Ridge to hills around the Elochoman River. Buoys 39 and 40 show the ship channel. Photographed in the morning, looking upstream on the Columbia River. Astoria, Oregon, 2000.
  • Heavy Dawn
    Morning view up the Columbia River, from Astoria, Oregon. Grays Bay to the left, the Willapa Hills beyond, and Tongue Point to the right. Buoys 37 and 39, left and center. 2000.
  • Awakening to Snow
    Astoria, Oregon, 2007.
  • Sunset Rays from the Bridge
    Sunset behind the Astoria-Megler Bridge over the Columbia River. Astoria, Oregon, 2000.
  • Buoy 39 and the Willapa Hills
    Receding layers of ridges and reflections, showing Buoy 39, Rice Island, Altoona Ridge, and on to the Grays River Divide in Washington's Willapa Hills. Dawn on the Columbia River. Oregon, 2004.
  • The Day is Done

    Evening to the east, on the Columbia River. Tongue Point to the right. Astoria, Oregon, 2003.
    Longfellow said it well , in this excerpt:

    “The Day is done, and the darkness
    
     Falls from the wings of Night,
    As a feather is wafted downward
    
     From an Eagle in his flight.

    “I see the lights of the village

        Gleam through the rain and the mist,
    and a feeling of sadness comes o’er me
    
     That my soul cannot resist:


    “A feeling of sadness and longing,
    
     That is not akin to pain,
    And resembles sorrow only
        As the mist resembles the rain.”

  • Astoria Heavens No.3
    Astoria, Oregon, 2008.
  • Astoria Heavens No.2
    Astoria, Oregon, 2008.
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Views from Home—Astoria on the Columbia River

For Columbia River pictures from other vantage points, see Columbia River & Communities

The views from my home in Astoria are at once epic and intimate: big skies and big water, thick with weather. Rolling clouds, fog, and every form of water and wind. The light ranges from luminiscent to soft and heavy. I have come to feel at home in this, to treasure the everyday and exult in the extremes. Is it odd to find comfort in the rhythm of the rain on my roof, of wind and hail on my windows? I think not: I suspect I have company in this.

Great ships carrying commerce of the world pass through these scenes. They seem so slow, but only because the water is so big. Try to photograph one or chase it, and they’re going too fast. From town, the ships seem to glide past in eerie silence, though in the quiet of the night, I hear them before they come past the buildings and trees into my view from home.