Author Archives: tbeckerphotos

West Fork In Autumn

While going through old files yesterday, I came across this image that had never been processed.  The image was made in October 2012 and I happened to be hiking with my husband that day. West Fork trail just north of Sedona, Arizona, in Oak Creek Canyon was one of my favorite trails to hike while living in Arizona.  It is the most hiked trail in the state.

An iconic spot along the trail, this image was made while hiking back to our car.  Fabulous light shining through the trees and the water was still, creating a mirror image reflection.

At this point in my life I had no idea where my path was headed.  After working for several years in the corporate world, I left as I was terribly unhappy with happiness not in sight.  A stressful year beginning with my dad’s passing after a long battle with leukemia.  For years I had wanted to hike this trail in autumn as I had seen numerous beautiful images.  However, in this canyon, cell phone service is basically non-existent. Knowing I would receive a phone call to catch the first flight back to Iowa due to my dad’s terminal illness, I chose not to travel anywhere without cell phone service.  In fact for several years my camera gear just sat in a room untouched.  Photography had been calling me for years and I thought it was time to find out what it was really like to be doing nature photography full-time.

As much as I enjoy being in nature, it is not a realistic path for me for multiple reasons.  No regrets as now I will never have to wonder what it would be like to be traipsing around the desert, the woods, a canyon, or a prairie.  Do I miss the corporate world?  Somewhat.

West Fork in autumn, a stunning time of year to hike this trail.

Lily Of The Valley

Lily Of The Valley is one of the most fragrant spring flowers.  A perennial flower that prefers moist soil and shade and grows in the northern zone, USDA 2-9.  Tiny white bell-shaped flowers on stems with lance-shaped green leaves.  As I sat on the ground to photograph these tiny white flowers there was a gentle spring breeze.  The breeze filling the air with the beautiful fragrance of Lily Of The Valley.

As a toddler, I loved to walk behind the evergreen shrubs to find the blooming tiny white bell-shaped flowers in the spring.  A memory that is vivid, so vivid that when relocating back to the Midwest I wanted to have Lily Of The Valley in my garden.  Not just any Lily Of The Valley, but the plants my mom had planted probably 50+ years ago.  And I did.  The owner of the home where we lived is not fond of the flowers and I asked if I could come over and dig them up to transplant to my yard.  She said yes and in fact helped me dig up the plants.

As I sit and process my photos and write, I can smell the beautiful fragrant flowers.  Not just in my mind, as I picked a few stems and have them in a small vase on my desk.  Soon the Lily Of The Valley blooms will be spent and I’ll have to wait until next spring to relive the vivid childhood memory.  Until then I can embrace the fragrance and beauty of Lily Of The Valley through my photography.