When I first sat down to write this piece, I couldn’t get anywhere.  Some places aren’t easy to describe.  I wanted one word to sum up all I had seen on a canoe trip on Upper Klamath Lake.  Words like: spectacular, awesome and incredible all fit, but describe the entire state of Oregon.  I wanted a word that transcends all other superlatives.  Finally I found it…stunning.   Upper Klamath Lake is stunning.

I spent four days exploring the lake and it wasn’t nearly enough. The largest body of fresh water west of the Rockies, it would take months to find all this place has to offer.  The mountain views were great, the bird watching even better.  Bald eagles, pelicans, terns, herons, and waterfowl were so abundant, it bordered on surreal.

One of the great things about Ashland is it’s proximity to so many wonderful places.  You can head south to the Redwoods, west to the coast, or north to Crater Lake.  Don’t forget to head east!  Canoe rentals are available at Rocky Point resort(541-356-2287), among other places.  Hiking around eagle point is very rewarding as well.  For a scenic drive, try the Upper Klamath Lake Loop Tour.  Starting in the town of Klamath Falls, it heads north on Highway 97.  Bon voyage!

My wife, two dogs and I recently relocated to Ashland from Chicago. A short stay here last summer was all we needed to realize Ashland is where we belong. My career actually has a chance here. I’m a wildlife photographer and between the abundant wildlife and this town’s supportive art community, I can’t imagine a better place to be. My artist statement below: A career in wildlife photography never even dawned on me as a child. Growing up in Chicago, I was a complete animal freak and I sure did enjoy the work of other photographers, but I never made the connection between the photograph I was viewing and the person who took it. In my late twenty?s, I moved to Island Lake, a small town about an hour north of the big city. Although it was hardly a wildlife mecca, hikes through local forest preserves provided me glimpses of creatures I had never seen outside of a zoo. The more I looked, the more I saw. Finally, about six years ago my wife bought me a camera. We didn?t know it at the time, but that gift would change both of our lives forever. Since those days, I have learned a lot. Through observation and research, I have learned a ton about North American wildlife. That being said, some days I feel like I hardly know a thing. I have learned a lot about cameras and technique, but sometimes still feel like a novice. Finally, I have learned too much about our relationship with the natural world. Wildlife habitat destruction is happening everywhere, and it?s happening incredibly fast. To me it?s not a problem, but a crisis! www.elsterphotography.com
×
My wife, two dogs and I recently relocated to Ashland from Chicago. A short stay here last summer was all we needed to realize Ashland is where we belong. My career actually has a chance here. I’m a wildlife photographer and between the abundant wildlife and this town’s supportive art community, I can’t imagine a better place to be. My artist statement below: A career in wildlife photography never even dawned on me as a child. Growing up in Chicago, I was a complete animal freak and I sure did enjoy the work of other photographers, but I never made the connection between the photograph I was viewing and the person who took it. In my late twenty?s, I moved to Island Lake, a small town about an hour north of the big city. Although it was hardly a wildlife mecca, hikes through local forest preserves provided me glimpses of creatures I had never seen outside of a zoo. The more I looked, the more I saw. Finally, about six years ago my wife bought me a camera. We didn?t know it at the time, but that gift would change both of our lives forever. Since those days, I have learned a lot. Through observation and research, I have learned a ton about North American wildlife. That being said, some days I feel like I hardly know a thing. I have learned a lot about cameras and technique, but sometimes still feel like a novice. Finally, I have learned too much about our relationship with the natural world. Wildlife habitat destruction is happening everywhere, and it?s happening incredibly fast. To me it?s not a problem, but a crisis! www.elsterphotography.com