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Picture of the Day - October 1, 2009

Nooksack River in the Cascades of Washington State

Photo featuring the gorgeous Nooksack River in the Cascades of Western Washington.
Photo and narrative by Winston "Rocky" Rockwell.

The Nooksack River, like many in western Washington, flows from the snow-capped peaks of the Cascades through lush forests on its way to the sea. In many places, those forests are untouched, as wild and primitive as they were before the first humans set foot here. The moss that covers nearly everything, the tangle of fallen trees, and the rich, earthy smell of decaying wood seems to imbue the very air with a feeling of age, and stepping into this primeval forest is like walking back in time.

This particular stretch of river, lined with moss-covered boulders and trees, seems to flow  from that past, passing only briefly through our present on its timeless journey to the sea. There is a solitude here, a sense of quiet, almost like being in a cathedral, that makes a visitor feel small and humble. Aside from the  murmur and chuckle of the water over the stony river bed, there is no sound, and even the shutter of my camera seems loud and intrusive. It's the kind of place where, had I been with a companion, we would have spoken in whispers for fear of disturbing the ageless peace and silence of this wonderful shrine to God's handiwork.

It took a little scrambling down some steep banks and over boulders to reach this spot, but the angle and the perspective were just what I wanted. And after I took this photo, I found myself standing in silence in the dim, green light, simply breathing in the rich essence of the forest, enjoying the wonderful sights and smells of the deep woods. I could not help but be reminded that I was an interloper here, a guest in a world that most people never see, and I found myself fervently hoping that places like this would remain as unspoiled for future generations as they are now.

This image was captured with a Canon EOD 5D and Tamron SP24-135 lens at 31mm, .8 second exposure at f/9. You can see more of my photographs in my online gallery at
Name: Rick Rouse
Town: Abingdon, VA

Amazing work as always Rocky. You are truly blessed to live in one of the world's most scenic regions.
Name: Ed Morrison
Town: Dunwoody, GA

This is yet another outstanding image Mr. Rockwell. How in the world do you do it on such a consistent basis? I would love to have even half of your talent.
Name: Ron Trees
Town: Spokane, WA

Another beauty Rocky!! I would also echo both Rick's and Ed's comments. Your photos are simply some of the best that I see. I look forward to many more!!
Name: Alice Milbourne
Town: Perth, Australia

A beautiful and expertly captured image - perfect in every way really.
Name: Caitlyn Smith
Town: Oklahoma City, OK

I LOVE today's picture Mr. Rouse. Winston Rockwell is a wonderful photographer and I'm glad to see that he's a regular contributor to this site.
Name: Gordon Brugman
Town: Gatlinburg, TN

Rocky, I’m sure you’ll agree one of the biggest challenges we photographers face is capturing an image that conveys the emotions we felt when taking the picture. With no sound of the rushing water, no song of the passing bird, no creaking of ancient trees in the wind, it is up to the photographer to produce an image which let’s us “hear” the sounds, “feel” the wind and “smell” the musty odor of the ancient forest. Once again, my friend, you have proven a photo can be worth a thousand words, sounds, smells and feelings. Thanks for the love of craft you bring to your work.
Name: Melba Goins
Town: Winchester, VA

Another stunner Rocky!!!
Name: Ernest Childress
Town: McCormick, UT

Flowing water pictures have always been a favorite of mine, and this one is absolutely splendid. LOVE IT!

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