Jerusalem cricket up close: Macro Monday

After waking up one morning, I stumbled into my darkened kitchen to make coffee. I almost stepped on this Jerusalem cricket in the middle of the room.

The Jerusalem cricket, Stenopelmatus fuscus, also known as the potato bug, is a slow-moving desert creature that has an almost prehistoric look. Though they look harmless, they’re capable of delivering a painful bite with their strong jaw. They feed on plant roots, decaying matter, potatoes, and other insects – including their mates!

Jerusalem cricket

I carefully scooped up my unexpected visitor with a piece of cardboard and took it outside so it could hide under a rock, and not under my bare feet. πŸ˜‰

To learn more about this strange insects’ mating ritual, watch this video.

Macro Monday

Muttart Conservatory : Monochrome Monday

 Muttart Conservatory

Pyramid-shaped greenhouses at Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Monochrome Monday

Hollinshead Park Gardens: Friday Flowers

The Hollinshead Park gardens in Bend, Oregon include a community garden and a water-wise garden.

Hollinshead Park Gardens – Community Garden

The community garden at Hollinshead Park is managed by a cooperative agreement between Oregon State University Extension Service, Central Oregon Master Gardener Association, and Bend Park and Recreation District.

Local gardeners grow fruit, vegetables, and flowers on 90 reserved plots.

Hollinshead park gardens

Gardeners plant in concise or freeform patterns. Some use various supports or covers.

Hollinshead park panorama

It’s a great place to take pictures throughout the year.

Let us (lettuce)
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Firepits at Winterfest 2023 : LAPC

In February, we went to see firepits at Winterfest at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond, Oregon. You never know what kinds of things the participants of the firepit section will come up with. The firepits used to be on display on park service land along the Deschutes River in Bend.

This one looks like a Viking ship, complete with dragon head and tail.

Ship firepit

Here’s a closer look at its head. Look at those teeth!

close up of dragon

Flowers and forest firepits

This firepit looked like a round flower, full of flame.

Flower fire
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The anticipation of spring: LAPC

The anticipation of spring is a memorable time of the year

Some celebrate spring’s arrival with dancing and bugling songs

anticipation of spring

Others pair off with thoughts of creating families

pair of swans

Some blend into the background, unnoticed

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Water garden seating: Pull Up a Seat

The water garden seating blends into the background near the end of the bridge in this landscape. Duckweed covers the surface of the pond, adding to the predominant green color.

Water garden seating

Pull up a seat

Paperbark maple: Thursday Tree Love

This paperbark maple, Acer griseum, was growing in the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon. This tree grows to a height of 20 – 30 feet.

TheGardenWebsite.com refers to paperbark maples as a “hardy, tough and well-behaved tree.” Their peeling, cinnamon-colored bark is beautiful throughout the year.

The species name, griseum, refers to the grey color on the underside of the leaves. In the fall, the leaves turn various colors of red, orange, and yellow. This maple produces distinctive winged seeds are known as “samaras” or “helicopters.”

paperbark maple
Tree at Oregon Garden
Close up of bark

Thursday Tree Love

Special sights seen: LAPC

Today I’m sharing some special sights seen nearby.

I found this cool geode slice recently. It almost looks like it has an animal’s face on it, doesn’t it?

Special sights geode

…Or I used a mirror photography effect on an oval stone. The pointed thing on the very bottom is all that shows of my hand holding the geode.

I flew over this desolate-looking landscape on a recent trip.

seaside sculptures

…Or I took a picture of a sculptured seashore and cropped it. This area measured about two foot by three foot.

One day, I saw a flight of four dragons migrating across the sky.

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Guinness Storehouse visit

I’m sharing photos of a Guinness Storehouse visit on this Saint Patrick’s Day. The Storehouse is in Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland and it gets millions of visitors a year.

Guinness Storehouse sign

Guinness was first created in 1759 and the Storehouse where it’s made opened to the public in 2000. The best selling alcoholic drink in Ireland is Guinness. The exhibits at the Storehouse lead you through the history and manufacturing of this iconic beer.

Guinness Storehouse

I liked how the display boards had brief, informative explanations.

Hops description

Displays are also artistic and multimedia. This fountain was one of my favorites. I’ll share photos of their whimsical advertising displays in a future post.

Water display
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When misty fog surrounds haiku: HPC

seek a firm anchor
when misty fog surrounds you
dawn will show the way

When misty fog

Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge – Seek and Fog

Succulent mural in Bend: Monday Mural

This succulent mural is at River’s Place, a food truck pod on the east side of Bend. We are lucky to have at least seven of these “pods” where trucks can hook up to water and power to serve customers. Each pod has indoor seating with numerous beers on tap. They also host musicians, trivia nights, and other events.

This mural was created by Nicole Fontana, of Fontana Painting. Succulents are one of my favorite types of plants because they have so much variety. She captured that variety well.

I have featured Nicole’s work in a previous post featuring whimsical doors in Tumalo. I loved the detail in those paintings and in this succulent mural.

succulent mural

Monday Mural

Under the Snow Exhibition

Under the Snow exhibition

When I entered the Under the Snow exhibition at the High Desert Museum on a busy weekend, I thought of one word: engaging. I watched young children dash from one part of the gallery to another, voicing their excitement the whole way. Adults paused and pointed out interesting facts and features. The interactivity of the displays drew everyone in. This exhibition, created by High Desert Museum staff members, displays information in English and Spanish.

Boy at High Desert Museum

Under the Snow presents information on twenty species of wildlife, plants, and fungi on large and small screens. They live in the area beneath the snow called the subnivium. The snow provides insulation, maintaining a steady temperature even when it’s below freezing outside.

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Snowy Owl drawing: First Friday Art

Today I’m sharing a pen and ink drawing I did of a Snowy Owl. Some have more black markings on their feathers than others.

Snowy owl drawing

I once took a long drive to see a Snowy Owl when I lived in Bellingham, in northwestern Washington state. The owl had been spotted in a residential neighborhood in Point Roberts, Washington. To get to the peninsula where Point Roberts is located, you have to drive into Canada or get there by boat. At that time, it was quick and easy to drive into Canada from the states.

I’m including a map to show where Point Roberts is. Zoom out to get a better view.

When I got to where the owl was, I watched it perch on a fence post in someone’s yard, oblivious to the crowds flocking around it. The bird was there for a few days, just long enough for many birders to check this species off their list.

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Solitary Moments in Nature: LAPC

Solitary moments

Collecting pollen for little larvae

Solitary moments

Browsing branches in High Desert landscapes

Mule deer buck

Eyeing potential prey, gliding overhead

Cooper's Hawk
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Weeping hemlock sculpture: TTL & SS

This whimsical weeping hemlock sculpture is in the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon. The weeping growth pattern of this hemlock works perfectly for this garden feature.

Weeping hemlock sculpture

Thursday Tree Love

Sculpture Saturday

A dusting of snow: LAPC & SC

A dusting of snow accentuates
sculptures created by the wind

Dusting of snow

And softens rough edges
of twisting structures

Snowy juniper

A dusting of snow
muffles the calls of nature

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Lungwort up close: Macro Monday

Here’s a picture of lungwort up close, taken near the North Santiam River in Oregon.

Lungwort
Lungwort, Lobania pulmonaria

Also known as Lung lichen, this lichen has been used in dyes, teas, and for treatment of lung ailments. Deer and moose browse on lungwort and other animals use it for nest material.

Lungwort is sensitive to air pollution and doesn’t grow well in polluted locations. In fact, the National Forest Service keeps a database on this and other lichens “to detect, map, evaluate trends, and assess the ecological impacts of air pollutants.”

Macro Monday

The power of red blossoms: SS & Sijo poem

The power of red blossoms radiating in the garden.
Crimson petals briefly unfold, reaching towards a cloudless sky
And the memory of their fire burns deep within your soul.

Sunday Stills (SS) Monthly Color Challenge – Red

Early morning light: LAPC & MM

In the early morning light, shadows shift with the rising sun

Early morning light

Playgrounds wait patiently, quiet and still

Harmon Park
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Icy Cline Falls: Sunday Stills

I took a short hike yesterday to get a memorable view of an icy Cline Falls. Visitors can park at Cline Falls State Scenic Viewpoint and hike a 1/2 mile trail along the river. There’s also a place to view them from above near NW Eagle Drive and NW 74th.

Cline Falls panorama

Cline Falls is on the Deschutes River, 4 miles west of Redmond, Oregon. The river splits into several channels and the waterfalls are 20-feet high and 50-feet wide.

This area is part of the Deschutes River Paddle Trail. Cline Falls is classified as Class-3 and paddlers are required to portage their watercraft around the falls.

Waterfalls near Redmond
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Wild sunflowers: First Friday Art

Today I’m sharing a pen-and-ink drawing I did of wild sunflowers. These were growing at Wawawai Canyon, in southeast Washington State.

wild sunflowers

Here’s the picture from my archives I was working from.

Wild Sunflowers

The wild sunflowers in the photo below were growing on the east side of Steens Mountain in southern Oregon. There are 52 species of sunflower in North America.

Sunflowers & stagecoaches at Steens Mountain, Oregon August 2019
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Lone Pine Coffee mural: Monday Mural

This painting is in the eastside Lone Pine Coffee Roasters business in Bend. The mural was painted by artist Megan McGuinness and it wraps around three walls. I like how she outlined almost everything with white borders.

This scene shows a fox in the foreground and a snowy owl in the upper corner. The mountain on the right is Smith Rock, a local rock climber’s favorite. Crooked River wraps around the edge of the mountain.

Lone Pine Coffee mural

Monday Mural

Peace and joy dog: Ragtag Daily Prompt

There are two things that bring peace and joy to my dog, Shelby.

When she’s feeling stressed or trying to get to sleep, she sucks on her blankie. She never bites holes in it. As you can see in the video, this nooking activity brings her peace.

The thing that brings her joy, is her ball. I do a “fetch walk” with her every morning. She also likes to play fetch down a hallway, in a garage, or anywhere else she can.

Peace and joy dog, Bend, Oregon 8 April 2020

As a new year begins, I hope you too find things that bring you peace and joy. πŸ•Š

Ragtag Daily Prompt (RDP) – New

Frosty around the edges: Macro Monday

These Oregon grape leaves were frosty around the edges. This picture, taken in November, shows the leaves getting their fall color.

Frosty around the edges

Macro Monday

A tower of light tale: LAPC & WWP

There, above a rocky shore, a cylindrical tower appears.
The shipwrecked crew stumbles towards the house of perpetual light.
They ascend a zigzagging set of stairs, rising above the gray mist.

Lighthouse tower

A well-worn trail leads them towards the shining tower.
Thick fog clears, revealing a path that encircles the lighthouse.
The crew heads towards the front door, seeking warmth and sustenance.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse
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Paddling through the snow: WPWC

Every year in December, the Tumalo Creek Holiday Lights Paddle Parade takes place on the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon. This year, I took pictures of them paddling through the snow. I thought maybe there wouldn’t be as many participants, but a little snow falling didn’t stop people from joining in on this annual event.

Paddling through the snow

Here’s a short video of paddlers on the river.

Paddlers decorate their kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and canoes with holiday lights and paddle from Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe for about a half mile to the Flag Bridge in the Old Mill district.

Paddle Parade

You can see a snow-covered inflatable reindeer on the kayak on the left side of the photo below. I enjoy seeing reindeer wherever I can.

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Kitchen from the past: Pull Up a Seat

These photos show a kitchen from the past, full of artifacts.

We recently visited the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site in John Day, Oregon. The building originally served as a trading post, built in 1864. In the 1870s, business partners Lung On and Ing Hay established a business here. It served as as apothecary/medical clinic/store/boarding house/community and religious center. It closed in 1940 and was sealed up for decades. When it was finally opened, it was like a time capsule.

kitchen from the past
Kitchen table

The building preserves Chinese history from a time when they were excluded from everyday society. This site is open from May 1 to October 31 and guided tours are offered for free. If you have an interest in history, be sure to visit this fascinating site!

The kitchen at Kam Wah Chung John Day, OR 26October2018
Kitchen area

See Kam Wah Chung: A Step Back in Time for more details from my previous visit.

Pull Up a Seat Photo Challenge Week 49

Visiting the Wild West : LAPC

I feel most at home when visiting the Wild West.

In the West, tall tales are told in layers of intense and pale colors.

Visiting the Wild West
Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon

Odd-looking plants stand tall, like characters in a children’s picture book.

Joshua Trees
Joshua Tree National Park, California

You may find ancient hidden stories exposed by wind and water.

Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

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Pause in a xeriscaped garden: Pull up a seat

Last July, on the High Desert Garden Tour in Bend, I was happy to see a place to pause in a xeriscaped garden. What is xeriscaping, you may ask. Here’s the dictionary definition:

a landscaping method developed especially for arid and semiarid climates that utilizes water-conserving techniques (such as the use of drought-tolerant plants, mulch, and efficient irrigation)

Merriam-Webster dictionary
pause in a xeriscaped garden

Are xeriscaped gardens boring? No! This garden was designed by Rick Martinson, formerly of Wintercreek Restoration and Nursery. He’s now the executive director of the Worthy Garden Club. Rick has been encouraging people to use plants that require little water for years.

Xeriscaping

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Happy Turkey Day from John Day!

Happy Turkey Day from John Day, Oregon! We saw about one hundred wild turkeys alongside the road near John Day a few weeks ago. Dinner anyone?

Happy Turkey Day

They have become so common in some areas, that they are considered pests. They sometimes destroy crops and gardens and can become aggressive towards people in the breeding season.

Wild turkeys crossing the highway

Oregon created a Hunt by Reservation Program where private landowners can allow hunters onto their land to help thin out the population. A benefit to them and us!

Backyard Beauties in Bend: LAPC

I see some of our backyard beauties often, like the chipmunks. This one came right up to our sliding glass door, driving our indoor cat crazy. It was showing me its best side.

Chipmunk on porch

Other animals give us unique views. This immature Cooper’s Hawk posed nicely for me on the back porch.

Backyard beauties Cooper's Hawk

Our regular visitors can be very entertaining. Playful Mule Deer fawns like to run full speed around the yard (when they aren’t busy munching on my plants).

Mule deer fawn

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Fence of Gold: Thursday Tree Love

I saw this fence of gold near Mitchell, Oregon last week. Aspen trees, decked out in golden leaves, looked like someone planted them at regular intervals within the evergreen forest.

Fence of gold

Thursday Tree Love 137

Lighter and darker nature pictures: LAPC

I’m showing lighter and darker nature pictures to go with the lens-artists photo challenge of “exposure” this week. Sometimes I frame a shot with lighter and darker settings; other times I make changes during the photo editing process.

The first two pictures are of maidenhair fern growing along the trail in Silver Falls State Park. In this case I like both versions. Maybe it’s because I like all shades of green. πŸ™‚

The next two pictures show a mountain peak near Mitchell, Oregon. The first shows the structure of the rimrock at the peak and the second brings out the clouds. I prefer the darker, more evil-looking, version.

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Spruce Goose is a sight to see: LAPC

Last month, we took a trip to see the Spruce Goose at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. This museum is in McMinnville, about 50 miles southwest of Portland, Oregon. Its star attraction is the airplane associated with Howard Hughes, Jr.

In 1942, steel magnate Henry Kaiser approached Hughes about creating a massive flying boat. Hughes was well known for breaking records as a pilot, including a 1935 landplane airspeed record of 352 miles per hour. In 1938, Hughes flew around the world in 3 days 19 hours 17 minutes, beating the previous record by almost four days. He was also a brilliant engineer.

After Kaiser withdrew from the flying boat project in 1944, Howard Hughes renamed the plane H-4 Hercules. It’s also called the Hughes Flying Boat and the Spruce Goose. Hughes become obsessed with the project. Though the original intention was for the aircraft to help with war efforts, by the time they completed the project, the war was over.

Hughes flew the plane on November 2, 1947. He wanted to prove it was airworthy and not just a flight of fancy. In its first and only flight, he flew it at an altitude of 70 feet for 26 seconds. The aircraft flew for about one mile at a speed of 135 miles per hour.

Exterior of the Spruce Goose

I knew the Spruce Goose was large, but I had no idea how enormous it was. I’m including several exterior photos to show the scale of this massive aircraft. The first picture shows a view from the second-story balcony.

Spruce Goose

The next two show aircraft on display under one wing and then the other. They look so small in comparison.

Under wing view

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Peak peeks near and far: LAPC & RDP

Here are some peak peeks from near and far. These volcanic peaks are in the Cascade Mountains in Central Oregon.

The first picture shows a distant view of Mount Jefferson I took on a flight to Seattle. The small cloud hovering over its peak looks like a puff of smoke.

Peak peeks

Here’s a closer view of Mount Jefferson taken from the road near Madras, Oregon.

Mt Jefferson

This picture shows a distant view of Mount Washington. It’s the snowy peak in the middle of the photo.

Mt Washington

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This and that rock: Macro Monday

This and that rock from Fischer Canyon, Oregon. According to the Central Oregon rockhounding map, published by the Bureau of Land Management, you can find petrified wood, jasper, and agate here. Other sources list calcite and quartz as being at this site.

This small conglomerate includes several types of rock that merged together.

this and that rock
conglomerate rock

Macro Monday

Special flowers: LAPC

Today I’ll share a few stories related to special flowers in my life.

Roses

Whenever I see roses, I think of a funny thing that happened to me when I was in my early twenties. I had just started dating a guy who checked parking passes where I worked. I invited him to my cozy little A-frame house on Puget Sound in Washington state. When we got to my house, I pulled open the screen door and there was a bouquet of roses tucked next to the main door. I grinned and asked if they were from him. β€œNo,” he said sheepishly. He pulled a bouquet of roses from behind his back. Oops. The flowers in my door were from a different admirer. Awkward!


I took these photos on the High Desert Garden Tour this summer. The tour takes place in different Central Oregon locations, from sprawling rural ranches to tiny city yards. This year the featured gardens were in Bend.

Hibiscus

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