When I’m out walking among the aspen eyes early in the morning, I always feel like somebody’s watching me. While Michael Jackson was referring to his fans or the paparazzi with those lyrics, I’m referring to the eyes of nature. These aspen trees watch over me, always making sure I’m safe. My many-eyed guardians are beginning to leaf out with their distinctive fluttering leaves.
You’ll find The The Bend Wall mural on the side of Newport Market, a neighborhood grocery store in Bend, Oregon. The bright painting covers a 100-foot long wall on the side of the building.
This impressive piece of artwork was created by Bend artist, Kim Smallenberg.
The mountain in the center of the mural is Pilot Butte, a dormant volcano. On the right side near the peak, you can see a small fire. On the Fourth of July, commercial fireworks are launched from Pilot Butte, and sometimes, it catches on fire. Our Fire Department is always there and ready.
A large metal sculpture of a bear sits in front of one end. The mural behind the bear shows dogs around a campfire. Bend is a dog-centered town. Many residents own one, or two, or…
Here in Central Oregon, homeowners can take steps towards fighting future fires for free. In the spring, you can dispose of yard waste for no charge. In Bend this year, the free disposal runs from April 30 through May 15. Here’s a link showing dates at all locations. The landfill also takes yard waste for half price in early November.
You may wonder why the local landfill is taking yard waste without charging the usual amount. Central Oregon is in the exceptional drought category, according to U.S. Drought Monitor.
A gray fox blissfully basking in the sunlight on a log.
Zooming in a little closer to see the details of her coat.
Zooming in closer still to focus on her exquisite and intelligent face.
A winter aspen silhouette with a dramatic sunrise in the background photographed in Bend, Oregon. Spring is making an early appearance here in the High Desert and trees may be starting to leaf out soon.
Yesterday it was 73 degrees F here! Our high temperatures are usually in the mid-30s to 40s at this time of the year. We are having a weird, mild winter.
There have been some big changes at the amphitheater in Bend, Oregon. I featured the art in and around this venue in a post in June 2020. At that time, it was called the Les Schwab Amphitheater. It was named after a local entrepreneur who developed a thriving national tire business. Now the site is the Hayden Homes Amphitheater, named after a local home builder.
This site, the largest outdoor music venue in Bend, hosts concerts as well as events like Brewfest. Live Nation, the world’s leading live entertainment company, will partner with Hayden Homes in managing events. This page lists events scheduled for 2022.
Before and after views of the big changes
Today I’ll turn my lenses toward some of the changes at this site.
The stage before was small with whimsical art on the front and back. Here’s the artwork that was on the back of the stage. I loved the raven in this mural.
The new industrial-style stage is much larger and has a big open “window” space to take in the view.
About a year ago, I watched this Cooper’s Hawk taking a bath in my backyard. She is a regular visitor but this day was special because she stayed for two hours. We get a lot of songbirds at our water feature and the hawks think of it as their all-you-can-eat-buffet and spa.
On this day, the Cooper’s Hawk taking a bath stood in the chilly water for 40 minutes before perching in a nearby snag. I’ve shown pictures of her preening and fluffing her feathers after her bath in a previous post. She is a gorgeous bird.
As you can tell by my pictures below, this Cooper’s Hawk has a lot of personality!
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.
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.
He captured the essence of these musicians from different times and genres.
Many of the musicians are portrayed in iconic poses.
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.
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.
Trees don their finest fashions and marvel at their reflections.
Some trees try to see how many shades of autumn they can pack onto one branch.
And when the leaves fall, they dazzle you like an ephemeral work of art.
If you listen closely, you’ll hear the leafless trees revealing stories layer by layer until they are clothed once again.
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.
This Born Again Babaylan mural, created by Bekah Badilla, is located on the eastside of Bend, Oregon. Bekah is a Filipina/White American who was born in Alaska and now lives in Bend.
The first photo shows a close up of Babaylan.
The second photo shows the entire 18′ x 44′ mural in the light of dawn.
The artist put a lot of thought into this work. Here is an excerpt from her site describing the Born Again Babaylan mural:Continue reading
These cirrus clouds stretched across the sky over a country road in Bend.
This brand new Landscape of Dreams mural shows special sights you might see near Bend, Oregon. The mural is located in southeast Bend at the Bend Upstyle store.
The dream-like mural includes a landscape of volcanic peaks surrounded by towering trees and colorful wildflowers. A bighorn sheep ram gazes into the distance. Meanwhile, a longhorn bull, with a quail perched on one horn, looks directly at you. What’s the quail whispering to the bull as they drift through the landscape?
This rendering of Landscape of Dreams was created and painted by Kelly Odden of Kelly Thiel Studio. She was grateful for the assistance of her friend, Kristen Buwalda, for several hours.
Kelly, whose studio is in Bend, creates sculptures and paintings that include impressionistic portraits of animals and people. When I contacted her about the mural, she said the following:
“One of the best parts of working there was the folks who would stop by to chat, watch and ask questions! I had everybody from house painters to moms with sweet, disabled children come over to chat. It was wonderful to connect with others like that!”
We are lucky to have so many special artists sharing their work in and around Bend!
I saw these fading hibiscus flowers at a local garden center in early June. The petals are past their prime, but the flowers still have a style all their own.
Here are pictures of daisies three ways I took on the Mill A Loop trail in Bend, Oregon. I used Corel PaintShop Pro 2021 to do the photo processing.
The first two show the original photo compared to a soft focus adjustment. I think it works well for these soft flowers.
The second two show the original photo compared to a colored edges effect. I like to draw and this effect created a work of art, minus all the erasing I usually do. 😉Continue reading
The South Tunnel Murals, designed in 2012 by local artist, Paul Allen Bennett, are located in the Old Mill District of Bend, Oregon. These works were completed by 20+ designers from Nike working side by side with Arts Central Art Academy students and Boys and Girls club members.
See the tracks of shoes running along the lower border? I wonder if those could possibly be from Nike shoes. Hmm…
These brightly colored images of fish echo the inhabitants of the Deschutes River, located right next to this tunnel.
For now, there are no paintings on the exterior walls of the South Tunnel Murals. I’m hoping another artist will brighten up the dull concrete like they did for the “Tunnel of Joy” nearby.
This lone tundra swan lived in the Old Mill District of Bend, Oregon for several months this year. Its graceful silhouette, and the waves surrounding it, are highlighted in these black and white images.
souls from the past send
wispy notes in azure skies
smiles of summer sun
Here are ten pieces of alley art you can view along NW Gasoline Alley in Bend, Oregon. I previously featured artwork decorating another alley in Tin Pan Alley Art in Bend.
This collection of artwork is part of a public initiative supporting local arts and culture in Bend, Oregon. The paintings take Bend’s outdoor lifestyle into consideration.
The people in Alley Art
The first piece is Firebreather by Avlis Leumas. This artwork serves to recognize the work of wildland firefighters in the past, present, and future. When it sells, half of the proceeds will go to The Wildland Firefighter Foundation, a group providing emotional and financial support to firefighters.
This piece, by Sheila Dunn, is a portrait of legendary Bend skier, Emil Nordeen. He moved here from Sweden in 1920 and was instrumental in establishing the Bend Skyliners Mountaineering Club. The group promoted local skiing as well as search and rescue and alpine climbing.Continue reading
Today I’m featuring portraits of pink flowers in my Bend, Oregon yard. All of these plants are drought tolerant, once established.
The first photo is an ice plant. This groundcover has cheerful starburst flowers and succulent leaves. The leaves turn a bronze color in winter. We had an escapee take root in another part of our yard and it survived without watering.
The second plant is a Woods’ rose. This native 2-5 foot tall shrub attracts bees, butterflies, and birds. Red rose hips develop once the flowers lose their petals.Continue reading
There’s a new sculpture at Tumalo Art Co. in Bend, Oregon. The Homeward Bound sculpture of a deer, by Danae Bennett Miller, is a cast bronze piece. Danae uses a lost wax process to create works of art. I previously featured one of her horse sculptures in Outdoor Horse Sculptures. That post highlights the work of several impressive sculptors.
These colorful lichens are growing on a rock in my High Desert yard. So much variety in a tiny landscape!