The "back story" to my 2012 is a hard one to put words to, hence this is about a month late. In January of last year my companion, lover and muse Abbey Rosso was told by the neurologist that the ongoing battle that she attributed to Lyme disease was now ALS. The balance of the year, until Abbey passed away on September 30, was a non-stop struggle as her body wasted away before our eyes. Abbey's steadfast belief that she could fight this battle with both her beautiful stubbornness and her amazing knowledge/belief in naturopathic healing would fall short.
The series of pictures below, book-ended by two of our treasured desert summits do not show the struggle to maintain normalcy as life is slipping away. We continued to have our regular camping trips as her strength and balance waned. I strived to show her my vision of the Oregon desert at its very best. Abbey's willingness to accompany me was both her gift and my inspiration.
From the beginning of our time together I was indeed blessed by her willingness to be taken (usually without any prior knowledge) to seemingly some of the most desolate terrain in the SE country. She would patiently wait out the day alongside me, to be rewarded as the changing light revealed the desert's beauty. It seems like every picture I have taken in the past couple of years has Abbey's spirit imprinted.
With Abbey for her final summit, early March at Painted Hills/Sand Mountain.
Mickey Basin - pre-sunrise light reflecting off of a small spring feeding into the playa.
Lone Mountain/Hawks Valley - amazing spacious landscape in the area between the Sheldon and Hart Mtn Wildlife Refuges.
Sparks Lake/Aurora Borealis - Abbey had long since lost the ability to speak but this image is a testament to her persistence as she kept grabbing my arm and pointing to the Cascades as I wasted the early evening away trying to capture this rarity out in the desert east of Bend.
Stone Bridge petroglyph site - The light gathering capabilities of the newest generation of DSLR cameras opens up a myriad of creative possibilities.
Hart Mtn/mountain mahogany - Still trying to find a image that conveys the essence of the Hart Mtn landscape. I hope I'm on the right track here.
North Fork of the John Day River - My first visit to this semi-obscure corner of Oregon, these lovely pools were a real treat on a hot summer weekend.
Hart Mtn/aspens - Just past dawn, lingering color, warms a very cold morning.
Badlands Wilderness/Geminid meteor shower - New camera and a predicted heavy meteor shower, hard to resist.
Warner Valley/Rabbit Hills - Been trying to find a image of these lovely hills on the westside of Warner Valley for years. Rendered in B/W on a snowy, fog shrouded winter day seemed to finally work.
Alvord Desert - I return over and over to one of my favorite landscapes, the east side of the Alvord playa/desert always provides a surprise.
Abbey Rosso, Sutton Mtn/Packsaddle Mtn -2011