When I first visited Oregon in the wintertime (which was to ask my wife’s parents if I could marry her), I was totally freaked out (and not just about having to ask a man I’d never met if I could marry his daughter). I had spent my entire life living in either Utah or Colorado. When things get cold there, everything dies and turns brown like it should.

This doesn’t happen in Oregon.

It was the middle of February, yet the entire countryside was a deep lush green. Despite the moderately chilly weather, every last field, bush, tree, vine, and weed looked like they had been pulled straight out of Ireland in April. I was highly intrigued.

I’m still intrigued by Oregon in the wintertime. The misty landscapes have a way of feeding the soul. Like Robert Frost once penned, “The woods are beautiful, dark, and deep.” I always look forward to visiting my wife’s family for Christmas or some other winter holiday. Obviously, the majority of my anticipation comes from getting to spend time with family, but I also get really excited about the photographic opportunities.

My wife and I spent a week in Oregon this year for Christmas. Because of some pretty big storms to the north, we took a more southern route to get there which runs right through Willamette National Forest. My wife was planning to stay an extra week, so I would be making the return trip on my own. I took mental notes as we drove through for all of the places I was going to stop to take pictures. I also had a long list of things I wanted to take pictures of near my in-law’s house. I had taken a lot of pictures two years ago, but with an inferior camera and much less photographic knowledge. This time I was going to do the photos right.

I haven’t had a lot of chances to take pictures lately, so it was very therapeutic. Hopefully, looking at them will be therapeutic for you as well.