number of my most memorable Nature experiences have
occurred here at Sparks Lake. At daybreak the lake is
incredibly peaceful and often the wildlife there really
comes alive. From this viewpoint, I have witnessed a
herd of deer running through ankle deep water with spray
flying far over their heads, while a bald eagle sat
in a tree top observing it all. I’ve seen great
blue heron plying the water for fish while flocks of
ducks and geese migrated back and forth across the lake.
One morning, a pair of otters swam back and forth in
front me as I stood in the water photographing. I looked
up and there were two ospreys soaring overhead. Another
morning as I approached the island shown in ‘Spirit
Walk,’ three doe deer were there, each with twin
Many times when the summer sun has warmed the lake and
the air temperature drops below freezing, a beautiful
fog forms in the lake basin. When I created ‘Spirit
Walk’ in July of 1996, these conditions were prime.
I arrived very early and couldn’t see the mountains
through the fog. Even though I know the area well, I
decided not to set up my camera yet. Just as the sun
began to rise and strike the South Sister Mountain,
the fog parted to reveal sections of the scene. The
fog kept changing shape and moving across the lake.
Finally I saw the ‘Spirit Walk’ image materialize
before my eyes. I was really taken by the ‘v’
shaped split in the fog on the right hand side of the
frame. I chose to accentuate that element in relation
to where I placed the mountain.
For me, ‘Spirit Walk’ serves as a summation
of my many spirit-lifting experiences inspired by Sparks