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Camassia Preserve (West Linn, Oregon)

 

Camassia Preserve -- Photo  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com

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Tucked away in a residential neighborhood just off a busy freeway is the Nature Conservancy's Camassia Preserve, located south of Portland in the city of West Linn.  It is a rare remnant of native prairie.  Over 12,000 years ago, the Missoula floods washed away much of the soil in the area which is on a high bluff above the Willamette river.  The remaining shallow soil lies over basalt bedrock, holding water and providing a unique habitat for a combination of over 300 plant species.  

The blue flowers are the preserve's namesake camas lily (Camassia quamash) that were an important food source for native Americans over much of the Pacific Northwest.  The pink flowers are rosy plectritis (Plectritis congesta) that prefer moist meadow areas and are often found near the camas.  

This photo shows some of the area's diversity and also includes mosses, ferns, and Oregon white oak.  It is a very detailed subject and invites viewing at close range.  The gnarled trunks and branches of the oaks stand out in sharp contrast to the softness and brilliant colors of the foreground flowers.  I chose to make a digital version to bring out greater detail in the tree trunk shadows while preserving the saturated colors that Velvia captures in the leaves and flowers.  

 
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Info:  Chromira digital print of Velvia 4x5 chrome, Fuji Crystal Archive CD paper
 

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All images, text, and design copyright Chris Carvalho.  Reproduction restricted to terms of the Limited Use Agreement.

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