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Mossy Grotto Falls. The verdant gem in the Columbia River Gorge that is flocked to in the spring.

During our recent deep freeze I decided to make the trek and capture it in rare form.

I'll tell ya'. This place is definitely one of the greenest places I've been to in the spring. The sword, maidenhair, and lady ferns, combined with the carpet of moss covering the trees and cliff walls make it seem like you're existing in a fairytale.

The hike is ok. It's not for the casual hiker. It can be steep and loose. Making the trek alone in the winter was worrisome.. but with my trusty Kahtoola Microspikes and a certain level of carelessness I was able to jump from ice covered rock to ice covered rock with excellent traction and grace. I should have videotaped myself. You'd be amazed.

I spent about 4 hours at this location trying to capture every comp in perfect detail and exposure. Focus and exposure bracketing each comp.. I wanted to come away with winners.

So this is my first image from there. This is DIRECTLY in the spray zone. With the sub-freezing temperatures the spray instantly formed ice on my camera and lens. Thus.. I would have to scrape my lens while covering it with my hat. Then I'd hang my hat off the lens and wait for a lull in spray and fire off my bracketed exposures. Then I'd focus in a little closer, scrape, cover, wait, fire. Focus scrape, cover, wait, fire. Wash, rinse, repeat.

In the end.. it was worth it. I got this shot with barely any water spots. I had to wait 5-10 minutes for the spray to lull... but that's never something to complain about when this is what you're looking at when doing so. This is four shots for focus bracketing.

I love where I live.

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