Life along the Willamette Valley here in the Pacific Northwest is great! The Cascade Mountain Range to the east, the mighty Pacific Ocean to the west and in between numerous lakes, rivers, and a whole bunch of wonderful people.  Photography and writing, though not on a professional level, I so enjoy documenting what the eyes see and the heart feels.

The name of this blog, The Conglomerate Lode, comes from a copper mining district underneath the town of Calumet, Michigan on the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. During the summers of my youth family vacations were spent here visiting relatives in what is known as The Copper Country. Dad was born a few miles south of Calumet in the village of Atlantic Mine a copper mine itself but closing in 1906 due to earthquakes caused by mining operations. I wasted little as a young man becoming transfixed with the region as it is remote, beautiful, adventurous, and quiet.

Crisp, clean air, blue skies, and a silence so noticeable a car traversing one of the few blacktop roads can be heard a mile away or people talking a block over sound as if only a few feet away, a region with a mystique all it’s own, it was heaven. Two weeks every summer for ten years we spend up here which sharpening my senses. Photography happened along similar lines as I sign up for a ninth grade class (don’t recall why) which I stumble about with until I view a picture my uncle took of a fire hydrant in Atlantic Mine planting a creative seed that grew over time.

In 1994 I attended a friend’s Christmas party and a chance encounter with one of the attendees pushed the wordsmith in me closer to the surface which I accredit to those emotional Copper Country days. During this time and the party I sporadically write pages of youthful summer fun on loose leaf paper with no point the magma was moving the explosion inevitable. other then to write the events down and did this periodically until the party of 1994.

Enjoying the 1994 holiday and comradery I am asked by one of the quests where I hail from, “Why Michigan of course St. Clair Shores, near Detroit,” I proudly respond. I then begin describing a Midwest winter and how the kitchen window becomes encased in condensation as the warm, cozy air inside meets the cccooollldddd temperatures outside. My brief description completed the individual pauses, absorbs, then responds, “Wow, that was such an excellent description you should be a writer.” Even though it was causal answer I took it to heart and from that moment on writing spills forth filling journals as the passion to expression life experiences and observations spill out. Photography and writing allows the mining from the grey matter experience of these emotions I hope amuse, entertain, enlighten.

So look about and leave a comment, or question.


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