Monday, December 31, 2007
I took a little walk and got this pic of a circluar rainbow in the mist--and there's three of them, co-centrically! Never seen that before, and I also saw it with my naked eye, so it's not a trick of the camera lens. Happy Holidays!!!!
Friday, December 21, 2007
I started looking at the reflections of the orange in the potholes in the road...and actually got to thinking my potholes are pretty, nicely rounded, smooth mirrors of the sky, still holding light as the land loses its own light. Potholes are generally cursed, but sometimes you find some mighty interesting things inside, like one day I saw a junco in every pothole on down the road, each one of them taking a bath.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
So I come down off the mountain...
We have coffee at Cornerstone Coffee Roasters. I liked the brass texture on the side of the old(still used) coffee roaster, burlap bags full of coffee beans from Columbia, Sumatra, and Africa line the floor.
The old main street is still there with all the old buildings full of shops and restarants and businesses. The trees lining the streets are on fire. Here is the corner of McMenamin's Hotel Oregon. It's always been a hotel, since the beginning, now full of photos of the town and hotel from when photography was new-fangled. Great fries and an awesome Terminator Stout milkshake!
Just a crumbling corner of a building. My town is one of the first in Oregon, and still retains the original layout and old buildings in the center grid. The town seems to work to preserve the old buildings and history, rather than replacing them with modern stuff. Our first stop for the art tour was an artist/bookmaker who lives upstairs in one of these old buildings. Her home was the masonic "gentleman's club", and includes an old speakeasy(with original bulletholes), a ballroom(yet to be restored) and a basement with a Chinese laundry(also yet to be restored) just as it was left a hundred years ago. She restored the club to it's original art deco decor and woodwork.
Of course there's WalMart and Starbucks and Lowe's on the outskirts of town, but I feel lucky to live in(well, near) a town that values its unique history and seeks to preserve it.
Next I'll post some art pix!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
Around here, neighbors ask "Got your wood in yet?" and debate how cold winter will be. The weather experts predict a colder, snowier winter--the ocean water is colder off the coast this year. Bring it on!!! We have started up the woodstove a few weeks early this year...
A site for a litle old woodlore...
Beechwood fires burn bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year
Store your beech for Christmastide
With new holly laid beside
Chestnuts only good they say
If for years tis stayed away
Birch and firwood burn too fast
Blaze too bright and do not last
Flames from larch will shoot up high
Dangerously the sparks will fly
But Ashwood green and Ashwood brown
Are fit for a Queen with a golden crown
Oaken logs, if dry and old
Keep away the winters cold
Poplar gives a bitter smoke
Fills your eyes and makes you choke
Elmwood burns like churchyard mould
Even the very flames burn cold
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread
So it is in Ireland said
Applewood will scent the room
Pears wood smells like a flower in bloom
But Ashwood wet and Ashwood dry
A King may warm his slippers by.
People used to know this stuff....
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Being able to get a real close look at this dragonfly, I can see where people got the idea for fairies. And maybe where they got the idea for helicopters.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
What is good about poison oak? This time of year it is the first plant to turn to fire and lose its leaves(thankfully), finally turning a bright scarlet before the leaves fall.
It has a pretty palette of green to pink to scarlet, very pretty in the setting sun.
Poison oak makes lots of berries for the birds(a good thing), and keeps trespassing hunters out of our woods(another good thing). Most of all, I think its best good thing is that it makes me pay attention--so I don't wallow in it, of course, but watching for it as I wander in the bush sharpens my awareness for outlines and shapes, and I end up seeing a lot more.
It is very easy to uproot, and at least for me, when there's been a few good rains on the leafless stems, it's pretty harmless. I read once that the Indians would rinse off in a puddle or stream if they mashed around in the poison oak. I tried it, it worked(ok I didn't roll around in it, just brushed up against it. And I know I do get it if I don't wash it off right away, so I'm not one of those "immune" freaks). Your mileage may vary, of course.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Have a great day!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Chives, Oregon Iris, Fringecup, Lady's Mantle, Fennel, Batchelor Buttons,
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
What a busy summer! Lots of knitting work, most for a book I'm part of that will come out next summer. We did some remodeling on the house(new paint, tile and vanity in a bathroom that started with a leaky pipe fitting, and chopping the garage in half to make a bedroom for the kids, which in turn made the family room truly a family room and allowed me to make my yarn lair in a corner of it).
There is a particular spot on the horizon where as the sun sets, it shines through the flowers in the veggie garden at just the right angle--probably just because its shooting through the right spot between trees and bushes. The mallow, the daylilies, the fireweed(yes I grow fireweed on purpose in my flower beds--I can't help it, it's MAGENTA!)
I wish I had flocks of Bouncing Bette, I'm letting it grow where it wants to. I love the intensely burning red-violet, this flower seems to glow on its own.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
Don't forget to leave them each a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Here are a few more pix from Cape Kiwanda. I love geology and rocks. Since I was there at midday with a big sun, there were lots of shadows and cracks and crevices and the whole history of the beach written there on the walls and "floor". I have fun taking pictures of geology for its graphic qualities, finding the pleasing abstract lines and shapes and balance.
These black rocks above make up a whole beach to the south at Yaquina Head(a really great tide pool place, plus lots of birds and grumpy sea lions). It was fun to see what the camera would do with this extreme lighting mishmash, above. Picture if you will, five 10 year old boys directly below the edge of the pic, poking the barnacles and mussels with sticks and shoving and pushing...very Lord of the Flies. And me standing in the middle stretching up to get my shot, ha! I just love the ribbon of shadow through this crack/miniature dry riverbed, almost Japanese garden-y.
(can you tell I like the vertical frame?!)
Weeta tagged me for a meme, so I will go ponder!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I found one starfish squeezing some mussels like a hand. It's popping the shell, and if I remember right, the starfish's stomach comes out of the "palm" and digests the mussel muscle(sorry, couldn't resist!).
Of course it was the "worst" time of day to take pictures--high noon--but I had fun experimenting to see how attempt to balance the deep shadows and over exposed sunny parts. I liked the shapes made by reflections and light and shadows on the water and the textures of the rock covered with living things.
The anenomes are balled up tight against the sun and drying wind. They are the olive green ball-shaped things with bits of shell which they "grab" (somehow!) to camoflage themselves. The same kind are open in the water below.
Most of the "good" tide pool spots--by that I mean a big area with deep creviced rock in an easily accessible popular beach(in the end they're all fun!)--have either naturalists or rangers, or at least signs to show people how to explore tidepools without damaging them. So generally people are careful, and the tidepools remain naturally wonderful.
I can't wait to go back on a cloudy day!PS click on the pix for the detail! ;0)
Monday, June 18, 2007
A big dune backs up the eroding sandstone Cape. Hubby said it was about 300' tall, but then he only got halfway up. I got all the way to the top(yes I was wearing my new hiking boots!). This picture shows the angle of the climb--and it was steeper for the first two-thirds. I figure I really climbed another halfway's worth at least since each step slides backwards through the sand almost to your step-taking-starting-off point. That grey pointy rock down by the water is Haystack Rock, the landmark of the area. Lots of seabirds nest there. And looking at my pic now I see it's not level(my poop-edness), and it's even steeper than it looks.
Anyways, I have a new appreciation for those bedouins in the Sahara trekking those dunes! Although they don't have to dodge out of control seventh graders jumping and tumbling down the hill...
Here I'm at the top looking south. It was fun to see how the waves curl to hit the beach. See the teeny people! In the lower right hand corner you can see where the rocks begin for the tide pools.
And here I'm looking north towards Cape Lookout, where the field trip people are Not Allowed To Go. My older son swears that when he was on his seventh grade trip he found a pirate cave down there and was almost perilously trapped and drowned in the cave by incoming waves. I was on that field trip, dang, why didn't he show me??!!
More pix to follow!
Monday, June 11, 2007
My previous pair were a pair of Hi-Tec light hiker types, waterproof (not Gore-tex) mostly leather, which I put about a 1000 miles on till the soles were bald(that is the point I am allowed to buy new boots and yes I kept track). They aren't uncomfortable, but they felt thin as moccasins and I rolled on top of the gravel like walking on marbles. I was happy with them, and they're just starting to peel apart at the seams. Good for garden shoes.
So yesterday I put 8 miles on the new boots. My feet were only a little sore from the new-boot-stiffness, but no blisters or any complaints at all(cuz my feet are tough enough ;0)). I ended the day stretching my hamstrings by picking a pint+ of my awesome organic Oregon mountain-grown strawberries...
Today I put 10 miles on the new boots, with my "workout" pack of 25# of rice. My right foot got a tad numb, but I changed to my thinner wonderful favorite army surplus cotton/wool gun show bargain 3$ socks and feet were happy again. I know it's not the recommended way to break in boots, but I wanted to know, if say I happened to be in the Sierras on the PCT and needed a new pair, could I slap em on straight out of the box and keep on truckin'. Yes!
I'll report back on how many miles it takes to "break them in". Just in case you want to know;0).
More Roethke(kinda what I think of when I'm walking)--
Many arrivals make us live: the tree becoming
Green, a bird tipping the topmost bough,
A seed pushing itself beyond itself,
The mole making its way through the darkest ground,
The worm, intrepid scholar of the soil--
Do these anologies perplex? A sky with clouds
The motion of the moon, and waves at play,
A sea wind pausing in a summer tree.
What does what it should do needs nothing more.
The body moves, though slowly, toward desire.
We come to something without knowing why.
(If I click my heels together will I be whisked to Mount Rainier? Mount Olympus? Mount Baker? Mt Adams? South Sister?)
Saturday, June 9, 2007
“…Possibly the only pure and quiet sleep remaining for civilized man if a rain sleep in the wilderness, an island in time.
Rain sleep is not deep sleep, not after twenty or thirty or forty more of less continuous hours in the sleeping bag, but rather a shallow half-sleep, a blend of fragrances and sounds of forest and river and memories of other wilderness days and nights. The sleeper hears the steady roar of the river and as he dreams the unified sound of the river separates into scores of distinct sounds from individual rapids and ripples, all flowing into a whole and complete dream of rivers present and past.
The sleeper also hears the rain on the tarp, which moment to moment and hour to hour varies from a steady rattle to a sporadic pit-a-pat, and he hears the hiss of wind through the branches as new rain arrives, and he smells the wetness of fir needles inches form his nose, and feels breezes on his cheek, and all this and much more enters the snug dreams of rain in the wilderness…
Always, too, there are such camp pleasures as the warmth of fire on fog-chilled knees and the slow sipping of a cup of hot soup. However, the sure sign of an alien is that he spends days of alpine rain drying socks, or more often charring them. The true citizen of the North Cascades aims only to keep dry the small path of heather under the tarp, and with it the sleeping bag and the food. So long as there is water in the sky there will be water in the socks and bots, and not until the sun returns will pants and shirt and sweater and parka ever be entirely dry. However, having come originally from the sea, man with his waterproof skin can learn to love wet. In the North Cascades, he must.”
Now for some Roethke(in pieces)--
A wind came close, like a shy animal.
What I love is near at hand,
Always, in earth and air.
I walk in this great decay;
The woods wet by the wind,
The dying moss, the brown
Features of time’s delay…
The far slope of the range, half light, half shade,
The final man, his bones adrift in fire,
The dream extending beyond darkness and waste,
To see beyond the self
This quiet’s but the means,
Whether it’s found or lost.
Leaves, leaves, lean forth and tell me what I am…
PS, This is one of my all time favorite books. Lots of wonderful mountain photos, and Mr Manning’s text is just right, describing hiking into and out of the mountains in pre Starbucks and Microsoft Washington. Published by the Sierra Club, you can easily find old copies for a few dollars, try Powell’s Books.
Monday, June 4, 2007
...snap off its tail, as this one has a few weeks ago. Compare the shape of the old scales and the new scales. The new scales will each expand to its full size. Check out the delicate foot and those toes.
Smile for the camera! Here I am, eye to eye, belly on the dirt to get the lizard's portrait--I'm about 6" away. I got a few nice headshots.
My guidebook says "The young a born live, fully formed, in litters of two to thirteen in late summer." That I'd love to see, teeny miniature lizards.
Friday, June 1, 2007
In the low
furtively, he slip-slides
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Time for questions, and my big moment--”Can a girl do it?” And my big disappointment—“No, the forest service will never hire women”(this was, ahem, 1976). Of course by the time I got through college they were hiring women, and I found out the USFS always did hire at least a few women. But I remember how that comment went deep, and knocked me sideways from what I thought I could be, for a while at least.
So I’m not a fire lookout or a forest ranger, I've been happily a mom. And now I can sit on a mountain and watch the world, too. Yesterday this cloud poofed on the western horizon on a cloudless day. It soon drifted north, proving itself to be smoke(there is always the exciting possibility of seeing volcanic poofs of Mt St Helens too, but that’s off to the northeast). Usually there's been a few fires at that spot every year, the local timber company has some sort of yard over that ridge. One year there was an enormous smoke cloud and we got in the car and went looking for the fire to see how close it was and how worried we should get. A large pile of logs had caught fire(a Paul Bunyan sized campfire!), and the fire crews were on top of it.
The smoke cloud in the picture above was a pretty shade of shell pink. And I admit, I enjoy seeing how the upper winds shape the cloud, and how the cloud reveals the layers of winds(and how smoke behaves differently than water vapor)--in other words, I like to watch. The fire didn't last long.
Our local (defunct) fire lookout is called High Heaven. It's well-named!
The other day, during my evening walk, I saw five ravens flying west out over the valley, like they always do as the sun goes down. One raven, the right “wingbird”, half tucked its wings as if it was folding them back for not-flying, and also held them in a curve, like a ballet dancer curves their arms in front of them.. Then it barrel-rolled upside down clockwise(from my view), cronked at the upside down point and rolled back up the way it came(counter-clockwise). Quick, tight, one-two. It didn’t fall, tip fore or aft, skew or tumble, but simply rolled and unrolled like a homebound Blue Angel. And then, because it knew I wasn’t sure I believed what I saw the first time, it did it again, exactly the same, and again once more so I got it straight. Really.
I’m reading Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek(for the third time—1997, 2002, 2007) she describes the indulgent free-fall of a mockingbird…
“The fact of his free fall was like the old philosophical conundrum about the tree that falls in the forest. The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” (Page 8)
And so I was there for the raven’s trick. Although it has taken six years of being “there” to see it.