A fruit-filled Friday: FOTD Challenge

I’m sharing memories of a fruit-filled Friday in Hood River, Oregon last fall. We took a trip to northern Oregon in search of fall foliage, but stopped to buy some tasty fruit in Hood River. These apples were at Smiley’s Red Barn, one of 26 stops along the Hood River Fruit Loop. Visitors can stop at fruit stands, orchards, wineries, and vineyards along this route. If you’re craving a good beer, check out some of the great breweries and pubs within a half hour from Hood River.

Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge

Special somethings around the house: LAPC

This post includes photos of smaller-sized special somethings collected over the years.

Special somethings discovered

The first photo shows a radiator cap from a 1928 Pontiac. We found it buried in the forest where we used to live. The Indian brave sculpture is so detailed!

Special somethings radiator cap

The next photo shows a picture of my favorite salt & pepper shakers. This pair was found in an antique store in Snohomish, Washington. I’m not sure what year these were made, but they look like Depression-era glassware.

Depression glass S & P

Things from the earth

The next photo shows a piece of black obsidian. I found this piece at Glass Buttes, about an hour east of Bend, Oregon. This rock has radiating curves that developed as it cooled thousands of years ago.

Special somethings black obsidian

The next photo shows a fossil gingko leaf. This was found at Stonerose Interpretive Center & Eocene Fossil Site in Republic, Washington. We took our family there to dig for fossils as part of our annual camping trip. It’s my favorite fossil I’ve ever found because I love gingko trees!

Fossil gingko leaf

Special things with sentimental value

The next photo is of a mug and planter. These were purchased decades ago in Rhodes, Greece by my dad when he was in the Navy. I assumed they must be valuable, but recently found a set of three of these mugs for $45 on eBay. Oh well, I still like them.

Ikaros pottery from Greece

The last photo is of a toy stereo. When I was a teenager, I asked for a stereo every year for Christmas. Our family was not well off financially and stereos used to cost a lot more then, relatively speaking. They bought me this one year and, even though it’s not in great shape anymore, I’ve kept it around to remind myself you don’t always get what you want. 😁

Toy stereo

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) #182 – Interesting Objects

Memories of summer at Old Mill: Friday Flowers

memories of summer in old Mill

This photo of memories of summer at Old Mill shows one of the many colorful plantings bordering the trails. This border is located along the Mill A Loop trail, one of my favorites in Bend, Oregon.

Friday Flowers

Seeing red near Mt Jefferson: Wordless Wednesday

Seeing red vine maples
Seeing red vine maples near Mt Jefferson in Oregon
Fall color near Mt Jefferson
Fall foliage in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains

Wordless Wednesday

Blanket flowers up close: Macro Monday

Here’s a photo of blanket flowers up close that I took last summer. These perennial flowers are big and showy. Their contrasting colors make them stand out as a star in any garden. These easy to grow plants are also drought tolerant. They attract butterflies and birds.

Blanket flowers up close

Macro Monday

Diaphanous strands haiku: OLWG, LAPC, WS

diaphanous strands
a colorful serape
muffles winter’s chill

Diaphanous strands of clouds

Online Writers Guild (OLWG) – #242 – A colorful serape

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) #181 – Double Dipping

Weekend Sky (WS) #51

Hummers – sketches & photo: First Friday Art

Today I’m sharing pencil sketches I did of hummers in action. I’m also including a photo of a hummingbird hovering over a border planting in a garden. These very active birds are difficult to capture with a pencil or a lens.

Hummers in action

Did you know their heart can beat faster than 1,200 beats per minute? However, when food is scarce hummingbirds go into torpor, which is similar to hibernation. Their heart rate drops to as low as 50 beats per minute. Hummers are amazing birds!

Hummingbird 14Aug2016

Do you have artwork you would like to share? Be sure to include the First Friday Art tag.

First Friday Art

River otter on ice: Monochrome Monday

I saw this Northern river otter on ice a few days ago along the Deschutes River in Bend. If you walk early in the morning, as I like to do, you’ll get to witness magical moments such as this one.

River otter on ice
River otter on ice

Monochrome Monday

Some of my best photos from 2021: LAPC, SS

It’s time to share special photos from the past year. Please enjoy this selection of nature, history, and art photos from Bend Branches.

Best Nature Pictures

The first photo shows a scene at the Portland Japanese Garden. We visited in October, when fall colors were at their peak.

best photos Portland Japanese Garden

This picture shows a pronghorn buck at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. My following pronghorn post includes several pictures of these icons of the West.

Grazing pronghorn buck in Yellowstone

We get spectacular sunsets and sunrises in our High Desert yard in Bend, Oregon. I wrote a two-line essence poem to go along with this image.

best photos dusk desert sky

The next photo shows Emerald Pool at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. The contrasting colors around this hot spring make it one of my favorites.

Emerald Pool, Yellowstone

This photo is of a Cooper’s hawk right after she had a bath. This regular visitor to our yard is always entertaining!

Cooper's hawk visited me

Best History Photos

This is a picture of one of the passages in the burial tomb at Knowth in County Meath, Ireland. I wrote a short story to go along with pictures of this historic site.

Best photos Knowth, Ireland

This is a biplane located at the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum in Hood River, Oregon. Black and white processing shows off the structure of this plane.

nose to nose with biplane

This picture shows an old farm truck parked along a rural road in Bend, Oregon. It’s parked along one of the 51 farm-to-market roads built in Deschutes County during the early 1900s.

Best photos old truck

This is a display of tail dresses at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon. They’re called tail dresses because the deer’s tail is left on the cured skin. You can see them near the neckline on these dresses.

Tail dresses at High Desert Museum

This picture shows an old farmhouse and windmill at a ranch in Central Oregon. To give this a more aged appearance, I used a filter that muted the reds.

A home from the past in Oregon

Best Art Pictures

This is a close-up view of a bison sculpture by Greg Congleton, one of my favorite local artists. The name of this sculpture is Wooly Bully.

best photos bison sculpture

This is a sculpture of Sacagawea that’s located at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West museum in Cody, Wyoming. I admired how the artist portrayed her as a calm yet powerful presence.

Sacagawea sculpture in Cody

This is a close-up view of a mural located outside a computer repair store in Bend, Oregon. Born Again Babylan represents mysteries of the past and technology of the future. See the whole mural here.

close up of mural

I featured the next image for a haiku challenge with the words blue and world as prompts. This art piece is at Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland. It represents bubbles forming during the beer brewing process.

Blue worlds sculpture

The last picture shows an ornament on my Christmas tree. I have a collection of reindeer and I like this one because of its joyful expression. The ornaments are each like a tiny work of art.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Favorite images of 2021

Sunday Stills – 2021 in the Rearview Mirror

Crane sculpture, Portland Japanese Garden: Sculpture Saturday

I saw this beautiful crane sculpture at the Portland Japanese Garden last fall. The colors of autumn cast a warm glow on this peaceful scene.

In Japanese literature, mythology, and art, cranes are often thought to live 1,000 years. They symbolize longevity and good luck.

I wish you good luck and much happiness in the new year!

crane sculpture

Sculpture Saturday

Pronghorn near Prineville: 1-to-3 Photo Challenge

I saw this herd of pronghorn near Prineville, Oregon last spring. I’ll be showing how I processed this photo three ways with Corel PaintShop Pro 2021.

Prior to trying various effects, I increased the brightness, contrast, fill light, and clarity. Since this photo was taken from a distance, I also adjusted the sharpness.

The first two show the original image and the same picture with a Film and Filters effect. For this image I went to Effects>Film and Filters. I selected Vibrant Foliage from the first pulldown menu and Warming Filter from the second one. The orange filter brought out the pronghorn’s tawny coats. The vibrant foliage filter enhanced blues and greens in this scene.

Pronghorn near PrinevilleWarming filter

The next two show the original image and the same picture with a Hot Wax Coating effect. For this image I went to Effects>Artistic Effects>Hot Wax Coating.  This effect gives an almost comic book-like effect with enhanced edges. The images appear to be coated in a thin layer of wax.

Pronghorn near PrinevillePronghorn near Prineville

The last two show the original image and the same picture with an Aged Newspaper effect. For this image I went to Effects>Artistic Effects>Aged Newspaper. You can choose how old you want the picture to look. I chose 50 years. More recent options appear more black and white, while older ones have a more yellowed appearance. This effect slightly blurs the edges to make them resemble images in old newspapers.

Pronghorn near PrinevilleAged newspaper effect

One-to-Three Photo Processing Challenge – December 2021

Mix Tape A & B Mural: Monday Murals

This Mix Tape A & B mural, by artist Erik Hoogen, is located at Silver Moon Brewing in Bend, Oregon. Erik worked on this labor of love seasonally for two years. This large work of art is located in a narrow alley so instead of trying to show it in one photo, I took several.

I am so impressed by this mural! It’s difficult to paint with a monotone palette and Erik made it look easy.

Mix tape A & B

He captured the essence of these musicians from different times and genres.

Musician mural

Many of the musicians are portrayed in iconic poses.

Mix Tape A & B

However, Erik also showed his sense of humor. Can you find a glam rock musician with his fingers in his ears in one of these photos? Did you spot the rapper drinking a Silver Moon beer?

Musician mural

He also incorporated powerful words to go along with the images. On one side it says,

A painting is music U can see. Music is a painting U can hear.

Miles Davis

On the other side, it says, “One Love, Unity, & Respect” and “Cheers.”

Mix Tape A & B

There are small touches of color in this mural. Did you notice the orange butterflies fluttering among the musicians?

Musician mural

And what about that door? In reality, it’s just an ordinary exterior door. I love how he made it into something amazing!

Musician mural

For a peek at a mural inside Silver Moon, see Pub Art at Silver Moon Brewing.

Some of the codes restricting where murals could be located in Bend were eliminated in 2019. Mix Tape A & B is one of the many murals that have appeared in the past couple of years as a result of that change. Lucky us!

Monday Mural

Reindeer tryouts at Malheur NWR: Wordless Wednesday

Santas reindeer tryouts
Reindeer tryouts at Malheur NWR, Oregon

Wordless Wednesday https://wordpress.com/tag/wordless-wednesday

A tumbleweed snowman: Sunday Stills

I decided to make a tumbleweed snowman from the giant tumbleweed I recently found in my yard. In my previous post, Giant tumbleweed in my yard, I tried to show the scale of this tumbleweed. It measured 7 feet 6 inches across!

Since it’s December, I thought I might as well have some fun with it. We tied it to a tree to keep it from blowing away. I added a smaller tumbleweed to make a head.

 A tumbleweed snowman

It’s kinda hard to see his face so I zoomed in. The branches are spaced far apart on the top tumbleweed so his face is held on with a few twist ties. Can you see his lichen eyelashes and juniper nose and smile?

A crazy snowman

A string of battery-powered lights added some holiday cheer.

Lighted tumbleweed snowman

Hope you enjoyed my High Desert tumbleweed snowman. Happy Holidays! 😀

Sunday Stills – Light the Night

Giant tumbleweed in my yard: KOB

I found a giant tumbleweed in my yard after a big wind storm earlier this month. I took a photo of it, but it didn’t really show the scale.

Giant tumbleweed

Can you tell how big it is when I put my medium-sized dog, Shelby, and my large-sized dog, Tesla, in the picture? They were glad it didn’t tumble on top of them. 😀

Dogs and invasive weed

How about if I stand behind it? I’m 5 foot 4 inches tall. Can you see me?

Giant tumbleweed

Finally, I decided to show the tumbleweed in front of my little blue Subaru. I wouldn’t want this thing rolling in front of me when driving down the road!

Invasive weed in front of car

Can you guess how big this giant tumbleweed was? 7 feet 6 inches across. A whopper!

Kammie’s Oddball Photo Challenge (KOB)

Peaceful scenes near Bend, Oregon: LAPC

Once again, I’m sharing images of peaceful scenes near my home in Bend, Oregon.

Sahalie Falls, about an hour west of Bend, rewards visitors with this picture perfect view. Moss-covered rocks frame the rainbows floating over the river.

peaceful scenes - Sahalie Falls
Sahalie Falls

The next photo shows a few of my next door neighbors. This mule deer doe often jumped the fence into our yard to take a break from her fawns. 😀

Mule deer and fawns
Mule deer doe and two fawns

Prineville Reservoir is about an hour east of Bend. I paddled around part of this large reservoir in my kayak last spring. The geological features surrounding the reservoir are so impressive!

Prineville Reservoir, Oregon
Prineville Reservoir

The next photo shows a meeting of the minds near Burns, Oregon, two hours east of Bend. The double-crested cormorants appear to be having a peaceful discussion with the white pelicans.

Cormorants & pelicans
Double-crested cormorants and white pelicans north of Malheur NWR

The last photo shows several of Oregon’s Cascade volcanoes in the distance with manzanita shrubs in bloom in the foreground. This picture was taken near Paulina Lake, less than an hour south of Bend. The volcanoes pictured in this peaceful scene have been slumbering for many years.

Peaceful scenes near Paulina Lake
Cascade volcanoes and manzanita in bloom

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Serene

A Painted View: Pull Up a Seat Challenge

A painted view in the Painted Hills in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon. Rainfall from a passing storm brought out the colors of this natural wonder.

A painted view
Painted Hills, Oregon

Pull Up a Seat Challenge

Blue worlds Haiku poem: Haiku Prompt Challenge

blue worlds drift away
scattered by the winds of change
winter’s eve draws near

Blue worlds sculpture
Display at Guinness Storehouse, Ireland

Haiku Prompt Challenge – Blue & World

Reindeer on my tree

These reindeer on my tree are part of my reindeer collection. The great thing about a seasonal collection is that it’s only out for part of the year. It gives you something to look forward to.

Some of the ornaments, like the Fitz and Floyd one below, have value as a collectible.

Reindeer on my tree

Others, like this ceramic one, have a different kind of value. I’ve reattached the antlers more than once on this sentimental piece.

Ceramic ornament

Some, like this wooden one, are more arts and crafts than fine art.

Wooden ornament

Others, like this leaping snowflake-studded one, portray the joyfulness of the season.

Leaping reindeer

Some, like this clear one, sparkle and reflect the multicolored lights.

Reindeer on my tree

Others, like this graceful leaper, are brushed with touches of gold.

Gilded ornament

Though I have quite a few reindeer on my tree, I’m always looking for one more special piece.

I also like to display my small collection of plush reindeer. Can you find my cat, Motor, in this photo from my archives?

He found his happy spot. I hope you too find moments of joy over the holidays. 😁

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – You Choose

Beaded buckskin Powwow outfit: Wordless Wednesday

Beaded buckskin Powwow outfit
Beaded buckskin Powwow outfit, High Desert Museum, OR

Wordless Wednesday

Emerald Pool in Yellowstone: WWE

I took this picture of Emerald Pool along the Black Sand Basin Trail in Yellowstone National Park. Emerald Pool is one of my favorite hot springs in the park. The bright colors in and around the pool stand out against a backdrop of forests and cliffs.

Emerald Pool, Yellowstone

The water temperature of this pool averages 136° F (58° C). The pool used to be more green in color, but drops in temperature have caused the color to darken.

Water Water Everywhere (WWE) #106

Dusk and dawn desert sky – Essence poem: WS & SM

Dusk and dawn desert sky

Dusk and dawn desert sky,
Clouds move on, catch my eye

Sunrise at Pine Nursery Park,

Weekend Sky (WS) #50

Saturday Mix (SM) – Lucky Dip – Essence Poem

Red panda sketches & photos: First Friday Art

Here are a few pencil sketches of a red panda I drew at a zoo. These animals are most active at dawn and dusk and when they’re asleep, they appear to sleep soundly. It’s nice to draw a critter who stays in one place for long periods of time. 🙂

Red panda sketches

This endangered species lives in a relatively small area of western Nepal, east into China. As shown in my photos below, bamboo is one of their favorite foods. With their dense, colorful fur coats and “cute” features, they make quite an impression on zoo visitors.

Their biggest threats in the wild include habitat degradation, hunting, and poaching. For more about red pandas, and to donate towards their conservation, visit Red Panda Network.

Do you have artwork you would like to share? If so, include a First Friday Art tag on your post.

A larch in waiting up close: Macro Monday

This larch in waiting photo shows one of their tiny cones up close. The western larch needles turn gold in the fall before dropping. The pompom needle clusters in this photo were just beginning to turn. This unique tree is one of my local favorites.

A larch in waiting

Macro Monday

Knowth-Fiction & Facts: LAPC & TTC

Walking towards the burial mounds of Knowth, in County Meath, Ireland, it’s easy to imagine they must have many stories to tell. The largest mound was likely created circa 3200 BC. This is part of the World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne. I featured another passage tomb nearby in The façade of Newgrange.

Each image tells a story on its own, but I created a Tale of Knowth to go along with the photos.

Tale of Knowth

Knowth, County Meath, Ireland

“Go to the mounded land on the day fall begins.” Maimeó said to me weeks before her passing.

Once I found the 18 mounds, I didn’t know where to turn. I followed the curving trail around the largest mound. A cool gust from the north made the emerald grass covering the mound dance in the wind.

“Find the sunburst kerbstone. It will show you the way.” I remembered Maimeó’s words.

The sunburst kerbstone? I thought. Spirals, crescent, and other patterns covered the boulders encircling the mound. I wondered how I would find the right one.

I trudged around the perimeter of the mound, pulling my cloak close. Light snowfall drifted by me and settled in the characters carved into stone.

Why is it snowing on autumn’s eve? I thought to myself. I tried to keep warm by rubbing my arms and stamping my feet. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something.

Kerbstones

“This must be it,” I said. I traced sunburst rays carved into an enormous boulder with my fingertip. The accumulating snowfall made the shapes stand out.

“How does this sunburst point me in the right direction?” I scratched my head.

Then I remembered something Daideó often said. “Look behind to find the way forward.”

I didn’t know what he meant then, but now I understood. On the back edge of the stone, I found a crude arrow pointing east. I quickened my pace and soon found a low doorway entering the mound.

Once inside, I found doorway after doorway. Where should I go next? I thought. Night was falling and the hallway of doors ahead of me darkened. I shuddered in the deepening gloom.

Passageway at Knowth

Suddenly, something strange happened. The light narrowed into a single beam shining through one door. I dashed towards the light.

A pale-colored column of stone reaching towards the ceiling reflected the beam of light. I remembered Daideó’s words again and reached behind the stone.

I felt a delicate chain and pulled it into the bright light. It held a golden triskele charm with three spirals connected to the center. If I wore it, I knew it would help me move forward in the spiritual world, the present world, and the celestial world.

After that day, I always wore my triskele and though I often stumble backwards, I find my way ahead.

Triskele
Triskel by AnonMoos, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

More about Knowth

This fictional story contains elements of fact including:

  • The kerbstones carved with images represent more than 1/3 of megalithic art in all of Western Europe.
  • The kerbstones often had a type of megalithic art known as “hidden art” carved on the backs of the stones.
  • The east-west alignment at the time of construction indicates Knowth was used to recognize the spring and autumnal equinoxes.
  • Triskeles, or Triskelion, are an ancient symbol recognized in Ireland and other countries. This symbol can be seen at the entrance to Newgrange, another part of this Heritage Site.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) – One Image/One Story

Three Things Challenge (TTC) #796

Creature of the Shadows: Monochrome Monday

This creature of the shadows is a Sumatran tiger. There are only 300-500 of this species remaining in the wild. This tiger lives at the Fota Wildlife Park in Midleton, County Cork, Ireland. A breeding pair at the park has produced two cubs to date.

Creature of the shadows tiger

Monochrome Monday

Following fall close to home: LAPC

Sometimes you experience memorable moments by following fall close to home. I’ve made a special effort to capture glimpses of the season in photographs this year near my home in Bend. Fall is my favorite season!

Autumn weather brings cloudy skies and spectacular sunrises that take your breath away.

Following fall in Bend, Oregon

Trees don their finest fashions and marvel at their reflections.

Fall foliage

Some trees try to see how many shades of autumn they can pack onto one branch.

Following fall in Bend, Oregon

And when the leaves fall, they dazzle you like an ephemeral work of art.

Fallen leaves

If you listen closely, you’ll hear the leafless trees revealing stories layer by layer until they are clothed once again.

Paper birch

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Follow your bliss

Mount Hood in October: 1-to-3 Photo Challenge

I went on a road trip near Mount Hood in October and took this photo of the mountain. I’ll be showing how I processed it three ways with Corel PaintShop Pro 2021.

Prior to trying various effects, I decreased the brightness, increased the contrast, fill light and clarity, and used the local tone mapping setting. I made these adjustments because the gray and white mountain blended into the cloudy gray sky. Cloud cover can block your views of Mount Hood in October so we were lucky to see it on this overcast day.

The first two show the Mount Hood original image and the same picture with an enhanced edge effect. For this image I went to Effects>Edge Effects>Enhance More. I like this image because it showcases the trees in the forest.

Mount Hood in OctoberEnhanced edges photo effect

The next two show the Mount Hood original image and the same picture with a film and filters effect. For this image I went to Effects>Film and Filters. I selected Vibrant Foliage from the first pulldown menu, Cooling Filter from the second one, and increased the filter density. This effect’s blue filter highlights the sky more.

Mount Hood in OctoberMount Hood in October cool filter

The last two show the Mount Hood original image and the same picture with a glowing edges effect. For this image I went to Effects>Artistic Effects>Glowing Edges. The various shapes stand out in strong contrast highlighted by a touch of color. It’s one of my favorite effects!

Mount Hood in OctoberGlowing edges photo effect

One-to-Three Photo Processing Challenge – November 2021

The wisest ones wait – 2 haiku: SS & Haiku Challenge

the wisest ones wait
impatient trembles of green
longing for fall’s kiss

The wisest ones wait for fall

scarlet embraces
gold whispers, orange laughter
autumn’s fleeting love

Autumn leaves in Oregon

Sunday Stills (SS) – Leaves and Trees

Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge – Wait and Wise

Marigolds up close: Macro Monday

I saw these marigolds up close in a park at the end of July. These vignettes show orange, yellow, and white flowers that were growing in a border planting. Marigolds are an easy to grow annual that blooms for weeks during the summer months.

Marigolds up close
Yellow flower blooming
White flower blooming

Macro Monday

Observatory of the Past: LAPC

This observatory of the past is on McKenzie Pass near Sisters, Oregon. Dee Wright Observatory was built in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps to showcase the human and geological history of this location. The round tower sits atop a small hill.

Observatory of the past

Here’s what it looks like when you approach it from the west. It’s one of the odder roadside attractions in Oregon but one that should not be missed.

Observatory of the past

The Observatory is constructed of local lava rock. The triangular-shaped rail supports look like rock cairns.

Dee Wright Observatory

But what can you observe from here? You get excellent views of some of our local volcanoes, including North and Middle Sister, pictured below.

North & Middle Sister

You’ll see panoramic views of lava beds bordered by volcanic mountains. On the left you can see the top of Mt Washington. Mt Jefferson is in the middle of the picture, shrouded by clouds. On the right you get a partial view of Black Butte.

View from Dee Wright Observatory

Here’s a closer view. See Mt Jefferson hiding under the clouds?

Mt Washington & Jefferson

An observatory of the past – Geology

This sign highlights part of the geological history. The lava flows that covered this landscape are young, in geological terms. If you have time, walk the 0.50 mile interpretive trail at the site.

Observatory of the past

From the inside of the structure, you can peek out of square and rectangular windows to see the peaks. Labels are below each window.

Dee Wright Observatory

On top of the building you’ll find a peak finder.

Dee Wright Observatory

Here’s a closer view.

Peak finder at Dee Wright Observatory

Old Wagon Road

This area served as a route for wagons to get across the Cascade Mountains in the late 1800s. It must have been an incredibly rough ride.

Old Wagon Road

If you visit this area…

  • Consider traveling the 82-mile loop McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway. We drove it in September while searching for fall foliage.
  • Note the road to the observatory closes during late fall and opens again in the spring because of high snowfall.
  • The winding, narrow McKenzie Pass Highway does not allow vehicles over 35 feet in length.
  • Watch for bicyclist traveling along the 38-mile long McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway.

For a little more about this observatory of the past, see my previous post – Dee Wright Observatory.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Interesting Architecture

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Shapes and Design

Bonsai trees – Living works of art: Thursday Tree Love

These bonsai trees in the Portland Japanese Garden were living works of art. We visited the garden in mid-October, when the colors of autumn were beginning to put on their show.

The first tree is a Japanese maple and it’s 35 years old. This variety’s foliage changes from green to shades of golden-yellow and red. This maple’s reddish bark intensifies in color over the winter months.

Bonsai trees - maple
Japanese maple, Acer palmatum ‘Beni-kawa’

The second tree is a vine maple and it’s 75 years old. This type of maple is common in Pacific Northwest forests. Those growing in shade tend to have yellow fall color, while those in direct sunlight are more likely to turn orange and scarlet.

Vine maple
Vine maple, Acer circinatum

The third tree is a trident maple and it’s 30 years old. This maple is native to China, Korea, and Japan. It gets its name from its three-lobed leaves.

Trident maple
Trident maple, Acer buergerianum

The fourth photo shows a miniature forest of Japanese maples and it’s 35 years old. These trees already dropped their leaves for the season.

Bonsai trees Japanese maple
Japanese maple forest, Acer palmatum

The sixth photo shows a Japanese beech that’s 30 years old. This species only grows in parts of Japan – it is an endemic species. Its copper-colored leaves stood out from the rest of the bonsai trees.

Japanese beech

The seventh photo shows a winterberry and it is 45 years old. Winterberry are endemic to a province in China. Their distinctive red berries let you know they’re related to holly.

Winterberry bonsai
Winterberry, Ilex reticulata

The eighth picture shows a dwarf Asian pear and it’s 25 years old. This pear is native to China and Vietnam. This was one of my favorites because I admired its twisting branches.

Dwarf Asian pear bonsai tree
Dwarf Asian pear, Pyrus calleryana ‘Mame Nashi’

Thursday Tree Love