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Life, death and frozen huckleberries in the Oregon Cascades

A bald eagle soars over Odell Lake in search of a winter meal.

As fall gives way to the first snow of winter, the cycle of life and death continues in the Oregon Cascades.

Bright red kokanee return to the small streams where they were born to lay eggs for the next generation. Eagles watch from snow covered trees in hopes of one more meal to sustain them through the cold months to come.

A kokanee salmon flicks its tail in the chilly waters of Trapper Creek.

Erin Rodewald, who recently moved from Michigan, trudged through the snow near Odell Lake after a short drive from Oakridge to explore her new surroundings.

Besides bird and fish watching she delighted in discovering huckleberries along Trapper Creek. “Tart, delicious and frozen,” she said with a laugh.

Snowflakes fall from a tree as the sun finds its way through mist and clouds to warm the surrounding forest.

An eagle calls as it flies over Odell Lake. A kokanee flips its tail in the shallow waters of the creek. Mergansers fly from their shoreline sanctuary in search of another safe spot along the snow lined shore.

And the cycle continues.

Chris Pietsch is the director of photography for Gannett Newspapers in Oregon, The Register-Guard in Eugene and the Statesman Journal in Salem.

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