Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Town

Last Saturday me, my sister and dad enjoyed our county's "Art Harvest Studio Tour". Most of the artists live in the country too, or further out in the woods so it's a fun driving tour too. I was glad to see the redneck element got their art in too--one sign in a tiny town was "altered" to say "Fart Harvest Stud Tour". Woo!

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

Let The Mushrooms Begin!

Teeny tiny mushrooms everywhere. I'm hoping this will be a good mushroom year--we're supposed to get more rain, and the shrooms have been slacking off the last few years. Time for a bumper crop! I found this dime sized pair on a dead fir twig. I held the twig up to experiment with backgrounds and lighting. I'm thinking those fuzzy grey balls are also some kind of fungus, rust?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Morning Light

Just what it looked like at 7:20 this morning, to the west, out the front window.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Wood Work

September is the month to "do" the wood. Oak and ash and fir and maple, each has their own firey quality. Seasoned oak will burn all night, fir burns hot and quick so it's good for starting fires and quickly warming the house. Ash will burn despite being damp or green(or both), and maple also lights up quickly, burns longer than fir, but not as long as oak. You need to have a mix of woods to cook a great fire!

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....