These colorful flowers are on a goldflame honeysuckle plant. Hummingbirds frequently visit this vine’s gorgeous flowers. In North America and Eurasia, 180 species of honeysuckle have been identified.
Like the rest of you out there, I’ve been spending a lot of time at home. This week I’m featuring photos taken in a High Desert yard near Bend, Oregon.
If your gaze is focused downward lately, look at the elements of earth in a new light. This layer cake rock is interesting in color and form.
As your gaze moves up, notice the textures you may have overlooked. The multilayered bark of juniper trees always catches my attention.
Though we can’t be together right now, we get the opportunity to watch those who can. These Eurasian collared doves are sharing a tender moment.
We can smile at those taking advantage of the situation. These two mule deer bucks are pausing to share a drink while my dogs are inside.
And when all seems bleak, we may be rewarded by lightness at the end of the day. Spectacular sunsets are a surprise worth waiting for.
If we keep looking up, things should get better. In a High Desert yard, this splash of color emerged after a dark storm – a special gift from Mother Nature. 😀
This peninsula of flowers was seen in the Old Mill district of Bend, Oregon. The gardeners do a great job maintaining these picturesque flowerbeds. They brighten up even the darkest of days.
I took some pictures of a varied thrush drinking yesterday. I’m posting them for the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge and Sunday Stills challenge. My previous post, Backyard birding adventures, shows other birds in my yard.
One or two varied thrushes always visits us in the fall season. They travel with the American robin flocks.
You can see how they’re closely related to robins. To hear the eerie song of varied thrushes, scroll down this page to Songs and Calls.
We have a water feature in our yard so we have lots of backyard birding adventures. This summer I bought a special mount to take digital pictures through my spotting scope. This process is referred to as “digiscoping.” Unfortunately, many of the pictures I first took turned out blurry. I’m having much better luck with my brand new mount.
Here’s a photo of one of our California scrub-jays taken with my Google Pixel phone. Isn’t it a beautiful bird?
I used my point-and-shoot Panasonic Lumix camera for this one. It was a little tricky to hold it in place on the mount. This a European starling and an American robin.
We get tons of robins at this time of the year and they chase other birds away.
This image is blurry but it captures a frequent visitor, a robin, next to an infrequent one, an evening grosbeak. Glad I got a quick glimpse of the grosbeak!
Here’s another infrequent visitor, a hermit thrush, and, you guessed it! – a robin. Five different thrushes are in our yard at this time of year.
Mountain chickadees are a common visitor.
Lesser goldfinches are also common. Here’s a group shot of these little lemon-colored birds next to a house finch. We also see American goldfinches occasionally.
Dark-eyed junco are frequent visitors. They aren’t afraid of the robins.
The pygmy nuthatches are a bit more shy.
The house finches, on the left, and northern flickers, on the right, are not shy at all.
One day I took a lot of pictures through the spotting scope (with the old mount) that didn’t turn out great. Google turned them into a GIF and I like how it turned out. It gives you an idea of how fast these birds actually move. 😀
I’ll share more of my backyard birding adventures as I get better at taking pictures through the scope.
We recently took a short drive west from Bend to visit Dillon Falls. Splashes of color border the river near the falls.
Temperatures were cool and we didn’t see anyone else on this early morning trek.
The short trail to the falls is lined with manzanita shrubs – one of my favorites! They have so much character.
Tangled Ponderosa pine branches also caught my attention.
The Deschutes River winds its way through colorful foliage and cascades through lava rocks. Newberry National Volcanic Monument is located just east of the falls. The Lava Lands Visitor Center (opened seasonally) gives visitors all kinds of info about this region.
We visited Dillon Falls as a treat for my birthday. Here’s a short video taken from the top of the falls and panning to the south. It’s a peaceful spot to see some of our local wonders.
This week I took a walk into fall at Pine Nursery Park in Bend, Oregon. Saw lots of beautiful fall colors and a comfortable bench along the way.
Pull up a seat photo challenge Week 43
This golden-mantled ground squirrel was not exactly shy. It came right up to me looking for a snack at the High Desert Museum. Yes, it was cute but it didn’t get anything from me besides a photograph.
I showed you how I created this mural but I didn’t show you the inside of my High Desert hideaway hut. This 8 foot by 16 foot hut used to be a garden shed. We repurposed it into a guesthouse for visiting relatives and a studio space for me.
This $50 thrift shop door we installed is interesting on the inside and outside. What a great find!
This hide-a-bed also functions as a couch. A good place to curl up with reading material.
We refinished and repurposed some pieces of furniture, including this antique commode.
This $15 table went with chairs we already had. You can see it’s covered with photos and research material from my latest writing project.
We tried to make it more homey by adding things we’ve created. Here are a couple poems my kids wrote (one framed with Creepy Crawlers) and a print by a local artist.
And here’s a tiger drawing I created when I ran for a school board position. I keep some of my art supplies in this High Desert Hideaway Hut so I can work on future creations.
One of my favorite things about this place is my view. I can peek out the window through the lilac branches to see the birds in the spruce trees. The pond in the background attracts many birds. Fluttering wings and melodic birdsongs offer a pleasant distraction in this retreat.
Rockridge Park, in northeast Bend, is a nice place for walks and more. Bend Park and Recreation preserved features of High Desert habitat in this 36-acre park and added a few unique activities. It’s one of 82 parks in the city.
You’ll see a “forest” of juniper tree trunks near the small parking area. This play area for kids includes black “talk tubes” that connect underground. Primitive cell phones. 😉
I’ve been keeping an eye out for fall foliage and this park had several colorful trees. The maple trees are beginning to turn red and the paper birch leaves are turning a lovely shade of gold.
The trails in this park include a paved one-mile+ trail and more than a mile of unpaved bike trails. The beginner and intermediate bike trails include boardwalks and other obstacles.
There are several comfortable benches along the trails.
The playground is located along the southern edge of the park. There’s a 9-hole disc golf course in another section.
This park also has an 11,000-square foot skatepark with a curving “lunar -landscape” design.
For those of you with canine companions, Rockridge Park is a good place for a SASS walk. Stop And Smell Stuff!
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) – A Photo Walk
A sliver of hope
glimmers on the horizon
A dark bud opens
delicate petals unfurl
Hope blossoms, filling the sky
These three pieces of art with a twist by Dennis McGregor are displayed in the Old Mill District of Bend, Oregon.
Why do they come with a twist? Each piece represents the name of a local wildlife species but you have to figure out what they are. Can you guess?
I like seeing the work of an artist with a sense of humor.
Dennis wrote a children’s book a few years ago titled You Stole My Name. That book exhibits the same type of wordplay as these murals.
Do you give up on what these art with a twist pictures represent? The first one is “mule deer”, the second is “chicken hawk”, and the third is “bull trout.”
To see another slightly twisted piece of art located just down the street from these murals, see Horse of a Different Color.
I saw a patch of blue in the smoke-filled landscape today. Air quality is hazardous and skies are smoky over Bend, Oregon, but one of my notoriously camera-shy mountain bluebirds paused for a portrait. I needed that today! My main computer decided it no longer wanted to wake up from sleep mode.
Here is the air quality reading yesterday afternoon over Bend.
Here are the readings from in and around Bend yesterday.
Fires are far from Bend, but wind blew smoke our way.
Wildfires are raging over much of the west. We are looking forward to a little rain this week.
Thanks to the firefighters at work on these fires! May they find their own patch of blue.
I saw these encouraging words while walking my dog in a local park. I shared words seen on another walk on Hopeful words seen on my walk.
These words were drawn onto a curving section of the path. In these times of uncertainty, it was nice to see that someone took the time to brighten our days.
In this last image, the cheerful yellow blossoms of the rabbitbrush, contrasting with the pink chalk heart, stand out best in color.
Last year we started to create a new garden space in our backyard. After a lot of work, it’s looking like a garden of plenty now.
This is how it looked several years ago when we bought the place. The house included a fenced dog run with a heated doghouse.
Some of the beds in our newly-created garden are bordered by rocks collected on our property, and others are store bought. Smaller rocks we collected on our rock hounding adventures decorate the edges of the raised beds. See the obsidian from Glass Buttes?
This year we have lots of flowers filling in the spaces between the fruits and vegetables. The flowers include sunflowers, Bachelor’s buttons, sweet alyssum, clematis, hollyhocks, nasturtium, and poppies.
The sunflowers grew so tall, we had to clip through the bird netting to allow them to reach their full height.
We’ve had a great crop of veggies including kohlrabi, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and beets.
The raspberries we put in last year are finally producing. We had a few strawberries this year in the garden and they were tasty and sweet.
The garden is fenced with two kinds of fencing and bird netting, but we still find unexpected visitors. This tree frog looked very comfortable around the beet plants.
Our fruit and vegetable garden has filled out and the rest of the landscaping has too. Here’s what it looks like now.
The spruce trees are huge and the birds love them. The Russian sage, the large shrub with purple flowers in the middle of the picture, is more than six feet tall.
Like many of you out there, we are putting more time into gardening this year. Our repurposed dog run has been transformed into a garden of plenty.
A deserted stage
Emptiness filled with blossoms
Summer is a great time to go see outdoor horse sculptures in Bend, Oregon. Here are some of my favorites.
This mare and foal sculpture by Bernie Jestrabek-Hart is at the High Desert Museum. Constructed of barbed wire, this piece portrays a tender moment in a work that is strong yet delicate. Bernie wrote the book, Creating Realistic Works of Art with Barbed Wire , to help others interested in working in this medium.
This draft horse standing within three large circles of steel is by Devin Laurence Field. Horses played an integral role in Bend’s logging industry. Devin painstakingly constructs each steel piece in a process that includes cutting, forging, pressing, welding, grounding and polishing. This sculpture is in a roundabout in the northeast part of Bend.
Artist Danae Bennett-Miller drew her inspiration for this piece from her husband, who was a buckaroo. “Buckaroo” is an Anglicized version of the Spanish word vaquero, which means cowboy. Danae created this piece using a lost wax method of casting with bronze and glass. This piece is in a roundabout on the west side of Bend.
This sculpture of two draft horses pulling logs pays homage to the importance of the logging industry in Bend’s past. It’s by Greg Congleton and it’s in Farewell Bend Park. It’s constructed of many surprising metal pieces including gears & sprockets, spoons, a garden hoe, and a 1923 Oregon license plate.
This sculpture is also by Greg Congleton. It’s located right outside the Tumalo Art Co. gallery. Greg grew up on a cattle farm in Paulina, Oregon and draws on that background for his creations. According to Greg, he’s been told that he’s “a strange mixture of artist, architect, engineer, and humorist.” Yes, I agree!
If you like outdoor art, be sure to check out the outdoor horse sculptures in Bend. They are fantastic! 😀
Last February I was happy to see the Central Oregon Light Art exhibition lighting up winter nights in Bend. Oregon WinterFest has food, beer, and music like other events, but it’s also a showcase for artists. I have photographed the Fire Pit Competition (one of my favorite events!) and the Ice Sculpture Competition in the past. Central Oregon Light Art was added in 2019. I was surprised and impressed with what I saw this year.
This one looked nice in the daylight but look at how it changes at night.
This one reminded me of blue barber’s pole.
A multi-colored suspended piece with a ghostly sculpture in the background.
A simple and bold piece.
An outline of a person. I think I liked this one the best. The guy walking behind it warned me he was going to photo bomb me and I told him he’d be on my blog. 😀
This piece is like a graceful lighted wind chime.
A tree lighted up in cool colors. The flag bridge is in the background.
The temperature that night was cold, but I was glad to have the opportunity to see these works of art lighting up winter nights.
Mid-Week Monochrome #40 (MWM)
When I walk my dog in the Old Mill district, I always smile when I see the art at the amphitheater. The Les Schwab Amphitheater is the main venue for large events in Bend, Oregon. Minneapolis artist, Erin Sayer, painted the crow on one side of the stage and the owl on the other.
Even the utility boxes are painted.
There’s a big, open field in front of the stage.
The Deschutes River runs behind the stage. Here’s a view from across the river. Those silos on the right side belong to Deschutes Brewery.
Events are temporarily postponed or cancelled because of coronavirus. Huge crowds, such as these seen at Bend Brewfest, often fill the fields at events.
The flower border along one side of the field is spectacular at certain times of the year.
Accommodations for entertainers at this venue are unique. They are old boxcars resting on a section of train track. You can see the old train station, built in 1911, across the street.
Here’s a closer view of the train station on a winter day. Now it’s the Art Station, managed by Bend Park and Recreation District. It offers art classes for adults and children.
Art at the Amphitheater shows up in many forms including murals, concerts, colorful flower borders, art classes, and locally brewed beers. 😀
Wet and wild otters
Grateful for their liquid world
Tread into its depths
Steering with slender rudders
In a search for bliss
Meeting and greeting
Leaping and pirouetting
Dancers of the deeps
Here is a crow feather on scratchboard I created long ago in a scientific illustration course.
On the first Friday of every month, the city of Bend usually hosts an art walk through the galleries in town. The galleries serve snacks and drinks and highlight local artists. Since the First Friday event is not happening this month, I thought I would share a piece of my own art.
Do you have artwork you would like to share? You can include a First Friday Art tag on your post.
We recently visited a newish bakery for a cup of coffee and a sweet. This sweet spot has a good variety of sweets and beautiful artwork.
Check out this large mural full of flora and fauna. Find out more about the six artists that helped create the artwork in this space here.
The front counter has bold black and white tilework.
Even the storage areas are painted. I loved the fox peeking out and the figurine on the top.
Even the light fixtures are works of art. Can you see what the railing in the loft is made from? Rolling pins!
Here’s the view from outside. This bakery is located in the Box Factory area of Bend.
In the early 1900s, there was a box making factory here. Now this sweet spot, restaurants, a cider manufacturer, a make-your-own-beer business, an exercise studio, a tourism company, and stores fill the building.
Sunshine’s Macro Monday (SMM)
Last weekend we visited the Oregon WinterFest event in Bend. I always look forward to seeing the fire pits and there were over 20 entries this year.
The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) this week is Treasure Hunt. I thought the fire pits fit perfectly under the suggested topic of “something hot.” Here are a few of the sculptures I saw at the WinterFest event.
A scaly tree holding a suspended ball of fire
This one looked like kindling hovering over a fire
Tall and graceful, reaching for the sky
This triangular one had flames that pulsed to the music
A salmon leaping above the flames
Cattails swaying in the breeze
A cyclone of spinning metal
The reflective discs spun with the slightest breeze so this one was always in motion
This one reminds me of the space needle in Seattle
Mountains and their wildlife in a lovely panoramic display
See my recent That’s some Pig! post for one more of these amazing fire pit sculptures.
I’m impressed by the artists that create these works. The sculptures have to look great and be fully functional as a fire pit. Not an easy task!
More pictures of fire pits at this event: