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(July–September 2015)

Richard C. Drew

Our Back Yard Water Garden Oasis

Jim Cole

Upper Butte Creek Falls

Marion County, Oregon

September 9, 2015, 16:15 UTC (9:15 am local time)

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© 2015 Jim Cole, All Rights Reserved.

This is Upper Butte Creek Falls. It is the smaller of two waterfalls on Butte Creek, and the easiest one to visit. Although the other is only a short hike away, you can only see it from a distance because of the terrain. This smaller waterfall, though, is much easier to explore around. You can walk behind it for quite a ways, because the undercut is very deep.

Oregon is known for its number and diversity of waterfalls, and it's common to encounter crowds at many of the more popular ones. However, this one is away from the main roads, and gets much fewer visitors.

So, I chose this for the peace project because it nicely typifies the peaceful, calm nature of many smaller waterfalls. After taking this picture I sat quietly for a while, enjoying the beauty and serenity of the spot. The soft sound of the low water flow, and the chirping birds in the bushes next to me, all contributed to the special nature of the moment.

An unfortunate aspect of this VR was the large log behind me. Although natural, it still seemed to mar the overall beauty of the scene. In contemplating these things, they seemed to mirror the contrast of peace and turbulence we experience throughout life.

In the case of this photograph, we can avoid the ugliness by keeping our gaze on the water, but in life we can't always control what intrudes on our field of view. How do we find peace then? I think the answer lies in keeping our focus on something that never changes, that never fails. This line of thinking leads to spiritual reflections, which in my opinion, is the only real answer to finding peace.


Nikon D300, Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye, Nodal Ninja 5, PTGui, Photoshop

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