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The Metolius River is located about an hour drive from my home in Bend, Oregon. The Metolius is the kind of river that stimulates the senses and replenishes the soul. Burbling and sloshing of whitewater runs make for a pleasant auditory backdrop while decaying organic matter engages the olfactory organs. Old growth cedar, Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pines combined with clear, blue-tinted, spring-fed water make for a photogenic combination any time of year. During certain autumn seasons which enjoy appropriate weather patterns, the riparian colors can be stunning.
I had scouted this location several times in the previous two weeks, patiently studying weather patterns and observing the progression of fall color. Color along the Metolius is primarily in riparian areas, which can be dense. Visualizing long expanses of the river can be difficult. I was fortunate to find an enchanting collection of vine maples visible from an old lava flow which was largely devoid of dense riparian growth. This image is one of my personal favorites of the Metolius as it captures several of the elements which make this river so rejuvenating to visit.