I found these remnants of a solitary life in my yard yesterday. This is what was left of a Townsend’s Solitaire thrush. I suspect one of our resident Cooper’s Hawks preyed upon it. The cycle of nature continues.
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. 🙂
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.
Today I’m sharing a quick pen-and-ink drawing of an Indian peacock I drew. This was for the month-long Inktober drawing challenge. The prompt that day was “ego.” When male peacocks prance around displaying their tail feathers I think of them as being proud, egotistical birds. In reality, they are trying to attract mates and protect their territory.
Here’s a photo I took of a proud Indian peacock. I increased the color saturation when I processed it to bring out his beautiful blue and green colors.
When I think of peacocks here in Central Oregon, I think of Richardson’s Rock Ranch in Madras. They have a large indoor and outdoor rock shop and peacocks wander freely around the buildings.
Here’s a photo of their old family home with the birds perched on the front porch and foraging in the front yard. Can you see the pheasant decoration on the side of the building? The peafowl must have been attracted to it since they are also part of the pheasant family, Phasianidae.
Do you have artwork you would like to share? Be sure to include the First Friday Art tag.
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.
The next two show aircraft on display under one wing and then the other. They look so small in comparison.
I took this photo near Playa at Summer Lake in Oregon. Playa serves as a retreat for artists and scientists looking for a peaceful place to do their work. I was there for a workshop on Great Basin Natural History. This zigzag boardwalk was in a pond behind the cabins.
I’ll be showing how I processed this picture three ways with Corel PaintShop Pro 2021. Prior to trying out the various effects, I increased the contrast slightly. Slide the slider to see the before and after views.
The first two show the original photograph and the same picture with a Retro effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Retro Lab. This effect slightly blurs and darkens the edges and increases color saturation. I liked how this effect brought out turquoise colors in the sky and dark green in the marsh plants.
The next two show the original photograph and the same picture with a Black and White effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Black and White Film. I liked how this effect enhanced the contrast in the clouds.
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.
Today I’ll share a few stories related to special flowers in my life.
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. “No,” 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.
There are an abundance of flowers growing along the path near the Hayden Homes Amphitheater in Bend, Oregon. I always look forward to walking there in the late summer and early fall months. Can you see why?
Here’s a picture of the new “Greetings from Bend, Oregon” mural. This mural is near the flag bridge in the Old Mill district in Bend. It’s on the Mill A Loop trail, where I walk regularly.
This colorful mural is by artist Karen Eland. I’m a big fan of her artwork and have previously featured her work in Bend. She collaborated with five other artists on this work in the Foxtail Bakery in the Box Factory district.
Foxtail closed in January 2022. The restaurant currently at that location, Papi Chulo’s Taqueria, has new murals adorning their walls. More murals for me to seek out and share!
Karen features local flora and fauna in this Greetings from Bend, Oregon mural. This mural includes columbine, lupine, and paintbrush flowers. A Western Tanager perches on “From” and a Rufous Hummingbird hovers over “Oregon.” Tiger swallowtail butterflies flit about the edges and a honeybee perches on a flower in a corner. Cascade volcanoes float in the background and the iconic smokestacks of the Old Mill stand tall in the foreground.
You can see another example of Karen’s work in this mural in Sisters, Oregon. She collaborated on that piece with fellow artist Katie Daisy .
Here are photographs of South Falls from 3 perspectives. This 177-foot high waterfall is located along the Trail of Ten Falls in Silver Falls State Park in Sublimity, Oregon. South Falls and Upper North Falls are the only trails where dogs, on leash, are allowed.
The first picture shows a distant view from the overlook trail in afternoon light.
The next photograph shows a closer view of the falls.
For this First Friday Art post, I’m sharing a hibiscus photo and a few drawings. I took this picture of a Spin the Bottle Hibiscus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon. I’m not sure who came up with the common name, but it’s a funny one!
I’m sharing a quick pen-and-ink drawing I did of Hibiscus flowers. I’m participating in Inktober, a challenge where you make a drawing a day for a month based on prompts.
I tend to fuss over my artwork a lot, so for this challenge, I’m trying to draw fast. You create a different kind of artwork when working quickly. Is it perfect? No, but it’s a freeing experience. The goal is to capture the essence of your subject.
You can interpret the prompts any way you want to. Here was my interpretation of ‘bouquet’ from the October 5 prompt.
When out and about taking pictures, you never know when you might find special surprises. This delightful dragon sculpture was at The Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon. It brought a little cheer into a cloudy day.
Though not as much is in bloom at this time of year, I was happy to see these fall-blooming crocus at the The Oregon Garden last week.
Find special surprises in the skies
Here’s the last glimpse of the sun going down on a nearly cloudless day near Waldport, Oregon.
Today I received a little gift of beauty after a tragedy. A couple weeks ago, at a local grocery store, a young gunman killed an elderly customer, an employee that tried to stop him, and then himself. The community is still dealing with the tragedy, but is moving forward.
The store reopened today and employees were happy to see customers returning. Customers received an orchid plant as a token of the store’s appreciation. I thought it was interesting they chose to give customers orchids.
Orchids are epiphytes, often growing on other plants. The host plants offer support to these beautiful plants. Orchids rely on their host plants for survival, but they don’t harm them. Orchids enrich their shared environment.
Bend, Oregon and other places are learning to deal with tragedy. We are hesitant to depend upon each other for support, but when we do, our shared communities blossom and prosper.
Find beauty after a tragedy where you can and share it with others. 🙂
In late August, while out exploring places along the Columbia River, we stumbled upon the Northwest Mural Fest in The Dalles, Oregon. Painters from all over the country met in The Dalles to create 15 murals in three days. Yes, it was a huge undertaking, literally and figuratively.
The 200+ sign painters and mural artists who took part in the event belong to a group called The Walldogs. Imagine a “pack” of artists gathering in a town for a few days to create unforgettable works of art. The murals depict places, people, and products that have local significance. The murals attract tourists and give residents a sense of hometown pride.
Honoring the History
The artists working on this mural, by Anat Ronen, must not have a fear of heights. This mural portrays photographer Benjamin Gifford. He moved from the Midwest to Portland in 1888, and to The Dalles in 1896. His work highlights scenic views of the Columbia River and the scenic highway running beside it. Gifford also featured portraits of local Native Americans.
The Benjamin Gifford mural is being painted on the back of the Clock Tower. This photo shows the building, built in 1883, from the front.