Valley Gorge HUB mural: MM

The Valley Gorge HUB mural, in The Dalles, Oregon, is one of my most favorite murals. This mural was painted in 2018 by Blaine Fontana, with help from Toma Villa, Jeremy Nichols, and Jeff Sheridan. This long mural is on E 1st St.

Valley Gorge HUB mural

I took pictures of each section so you can see it more closely. This part features a Trout, Salmon, and Sturgeon.

Valley Gorge HUB mural

This section shows a Black Bear, Bighorn sheep, and Cougar. A Yellow Warbler photo bombed this one.

big mammals mural

This part shows a Yellow Warbler, Osprey, Blue Jay, and Raven.

Birds mural

The last section shows a Monarch Butterfly and a Chickadee. There’s a mural by another artist around the corner on this end of the building.

The HUB mural

I’ve visited The Dalles in the past and didn’t realize the Valley Gorge HUB mural wrapped around the building. Here’s the mural on other parts of the building. You can see a Mule Deer, Red-winged Blackbirds, and an Egret.

Magnificent mural in The Dalles, Oregon October 2019

I took pictures in The Dalles in 2022 of the Northwest Mural Fest. They now have 33 murals in the downtown area.

Here’s an updated map of their locations. I like how they added a red line to show which side of the building has murals. This map was updated in January of 2023.

The Dalles mural map

Monday Mural

National Neon Sign Museum: LAPC

Where do you go when you’re looking for a quick recharge? To the National Neon Sign Museum in The Dalles, Oregon, of course!

On the main floor, you’ll see a rainbow of neon colors. The signs on display are from the late 1800s through the 1960s.

Do you recognize any of these iconic signs?

National Neon Sign Museum

How about this wall filled with Coca Cola signs?

Coca Cola signs

You can see car dealerships and gas station signs here.

Neon advertisements

The flying horse from Mobile has always been one of my favorites.

Mobilgas sign

The one from Cadillac is colorful and classy.

Cadillac sign

Some make you smile.

Pittsburgh paint sign

Even when not lit up, the artwork is impressive. I liked these three whimsical signs.

Looking back

In another section of the main floor, there is a brief history of the process.

National Neon Sign Museum

Signs from businesses line this room’s walls. I especially liked the 3-dimensional Regal cowboy boot.

National Neon Sign Museum

French engineer and inventor Georges Claude is credited with inventing and commercializing neon lighting. He obtained a patent on his System of Illuminating by Luminescent Tubes on January 19, 1915. Claude held a monopoly on this type of product until the early 1930s.

The photo below, taken at the 1910 Paris Motor Show, shows the first public display of neon lights in the world.

First neon Paris 1910

The first picture below shows an early sign for the Claude Neon Sign business. The second shows the Claude Neon Float in the 1929 Shrine Electrical Pageant in Los Angeles, California.

Claude Neon Signs

National Neon Sign Museum Ballroom

Upstairs, there’s a large room, set up to look like an old town, called the Ballroom. As you may have guessed, you can rent it out for events.

National Neon Sign Museum Ballroom

You can see Medich’s BBQ restaurant and a shoe repair business below.

National Neon Sign Museum Ballroom

This picture shows Town Pride Frozen Custard restaurant.

Town Pride signs

Here’s a Philco store, complete with the iconic dog.

Philco signs

This shows a hat store, the BBQ restaurant, and the Vincent Hotel.

National Neon Sign Museum ballroom

When we visited a week ago, they told us to stay tuned for big news. We just learned the National Neon Sign Museum was selected as the new home for the historic Jantzen Beach Carousel. Since the carousel uses more than 1,300 lightbulbs, it’s a good fit for the Museum.

Once restored, it will be placed on a lot next to the Museum. This large carousel measures 67 feet across and 28 feet high.

Jantzen Beach Carousel
C.W. Parker Archives, Barbara Fahs Charles Collection.

This carousel was located in Venice, California in 1921, then moved to Portland, Oregon in 1928. It operated at Jantzen Beach, and at another location nearby, until 2012. The carousel was donated to Restore Oregon in 2017. They will work in partnership with the Museum to repair and repaint the carousel’s 72 horses (and 10 spares).

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – RECHARGE

The Three Graces: Monochrome Monday

These three sandstone formations are located in Tillamook Bay, north of Garibaldi, Oregon. Known locally as The Three Graces, they’re also called Crab Rocks. If the tides are low, they’re a great place to explore when out kayaking. Check tides before venturing there.

The Three Graces

The Oregon coast has several seastacks near the shore. These are smaller in stature, but still very photogenic.

Monochrome Monday

A Malheur view: Weekend Sky, Pull up a Seat

A Malheur view at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Oregon.

A Malheur view

Weekend Sky

Pull up a Seat

Burns Times Herald window: MW, FOWC

I saw this Burns Times Herald window in Burns, Oregon last April. Paintings of birds by schoolchildren decorated the Herald’s windows for the Harney County Migratory Bird Festival. Colorful paper streamers hung in the background.

I found paintings of ravens, jays, waxwings, eagles, hummingbirds, kestrels, warblers, and nuthatches. Can you find them?

Burns Times Herald

I also liked the newspaper’s motto on their window. “Covering Harney County Like the Sage Brush.” The Burns Times Herald has been serving this community since 1887.

Monday Window (MW)

Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – Paint

Need to weed? Tools & tips: FF

Do you need to weed? It’s not something we want to do, but it’s something we have to do.

Some weeds are pretty, but spread aggressively. I call this one the “Root of all Evil” because it can be hard to pull and develops seed heads almost as soon as it pops out of the ground.

Need to weed
“Root of all Evil” Stork’s-bill or Crane’s Bill


About an acre of our land is planted with landscaping, fruit, or vegetable plants. We need to weed often, especially in the spring. Today I’ll share some tips and tools that may help you when you need to weed.

Need to weed tools

Need to weed seat
Bosmere N468 Kneeling Seat for the Garden


I have tried several seats while weeding, and this is my favorite. You can sit on it as a seat or flip it over and kneel on it.

Need to wead kneeler seat
Bosmere N468 Kneeling Seat for the Garden

My dogs like when I sit on it because then I’m at their level. Shelby thinks it’s the perfect opportunity to play fetch with me.

Fetching dog
“It’s time to play, right?”
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Monkey tree can’t pinch me!: TTL

“Monkey tree can’t pinch me!” I remember saying that as a kid every time we drove past one of these odd trees on the way to our grandparents’ house. We would try to be the first one to pinch our siblings before they could pinch us. Did anyone else play that game?

Monkey tree can't pinch me
Monkey puzzle tree in Silverton, Oregon

Monkey puzzle trees, Araucaria auracana, are native to Chile and Argentina but grow well in many parts of the world. In their native habitat, they grow to a height of 100-130 feet, but in gardens in North America mature at 30-40 feet.

Their common name originated in 1850 when Charles Austin, who was visiting a friend’s garden in England, remarked, “It would puzzle a monkey to climb that.” Those triangular leaves have sharp edges and tips!

Close up of tree
Close up of Monkey puzzle tree leaves, Silverton, Oregon

Thursday Tree Love

Foggy day at Boiler Bay: WWE

I took this picture of a foggy day at Boiler Bay, Oregon a couple weeks ago.

foggy day at Boiler Bay

In 1910, the J. Marhoffer schooner ran aground here. Its engine caught on fire and the fuel tanks exploded, sending debris everywhere. During extremely low tides, you can still see its boiler, for which this site is named.

Water Water Everywhere (WWE)

Evergreen Aviation, McMinnville: Word of the Day

Last September, we visited the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, located in McMinnville, Oregon. This large facility is a great place to visit, whether you’re an aviator or not.

I featured their star attraction, the Spruce Goose, in a previous post. It dwarfs the other aircraft there. In several of my images, you’ll see parts of the Spruce Goose towering overhead.

I’ve divided this post by sections shown on the Museum map at the end of this post.

Early Flight

Several of the aircraft in this and other sections are replicas of the original. The first is a flying machine as envisioned by Leonardo Da Vinci, 400 years before the Wright brothers.

Evergreen Aviation

The next plane is a replica of a Curtiss Pusher.

Curtiss Pusher

This de Havilland DH-4 aircraft was used to deliver mail in the 1920s, as weather permitted.

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Waterfall washing away worries: Wordless Wednesday

South Falls waterfall washing away worries at Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

waterfall washing away worries

South Falls from behind

Wordless Wednesday

Natural frame scenes: LAPC

A glistening serpent slithers through a natural frame of duckweed and sedges

White calla lilies, surrounded by leathery green leaves, enlighten

Crimson canna lily leaves punctuate a layered landscape of greenness

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Fluttering into a wild iris meadow: WWP

Fluttering into a wild iris meadow
White-faced Ibis alight
Curved bills preen and probe
Iridescent feathers catch fading light
Casting rainbows over dusty hills
Awakening dormant wildflowers
Yearning for an opportunity
To shine

fluttering into a wild iris meadow

Weekend Writing Prompt (WWP) #322- Flutter (34 words)

Swallowtail on Penstemon: Friday Flowers

I saw this beautiful Western Tiger Swallowtail on a penstemon flower in my front yard recently. We try to plant flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. We’ve seen LOTS of butterflies this year.

 Swallowtail on penstemon

Friday Flowers

Structure of wings: Monochrome Monday

This Curtiss JN-4A Jenny, shown without fabric covering, shows the structure of wings. This is one of the many aircraft on display at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

Structure of wings

Here’s an informational poster next to the plane. Note the photo of a couple playing tennis on its wings!

Monochrome Monday

Summer Festival in Bend: LAPC & WOTD

Earlier this month, we went to the local Summer Festival here in Bend, Oregon.

If it’s a summer festival, you might see fairies walking down the street, right? Are those blurry spots behind them spots on my windshield? Nope, I’m pretty sure that’s a cloud of fairy dust. πŸ˜‰

Fairies in Bend

As the sign says, this festival features music, food, and art. It takes place downtown on three city blocks, plus a couple side streets. It’s estimated that 70,000 people attend this two and a half day festival.

Summer Festival

The art booths have everything from jewelry and landscape art, to pillows featuring an image of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Various businesses feature their products and services in the Bend Business Showcase section.

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Perfection on the water: FOTD & NPC

When I think about waterlilies, I think about perfection on the water. Delicate blossoms radiate over thick floating leaves. No more words needed.

perfection on the water

Flower of the Day (FOTD) – Waterlily

Nature Photo Challenge (NPC) #21 – Waterplants

Canna lily leaves up close: MM & FOTD

These Canna Lily leaves are beautiful up close. Lovely shapes, lines, and colors.

Canna lily leaves
Canna lily, Oregon Garden, Silverton, Oregon

Macro Monday (MM)

Flower of the Day (FOTD)

Fencing near & far: LAPC

Fencing of rock is heavy and enduring,

Guiding the way

Rock fencing
Coumeenoole Beach, County Kerry, Ireland

And dividing the land to conserve it

Steens Mountain
Steens Mountain, Oregon

A fence of rope is lightweight,

Preserving the past

Poulnabrone Dolmen
Poulnabrone Dolmen, County Clare, Ireland
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Frank Lloyd Wright house: LAPC

On July 9th, I returned to Silverton, Oregon, to go on a tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright house. When I think of simplicity in architecture, I think of Frank Lloyd Wright. I recently featured a view from the road of the Gordon House. Limited tours of the inside are available by reservation only.

Frank Lloyd Wright house


Tour of Frank Lloyd Wright House

Our 45-minute tour began in the great room. Walls of floor-to-ceiling glass doors flanked towering ceilings. They opened to allow a welcome cross breeze on this warm summer day. As in all Wright houses, a fireplace served as a focal point. Red concrete slabs with radiant heat covered the floors, and they made the walls from concrete blocks. Built-in cabinets, desks, and tables are in nearly every room.

Great room

The design featured the fretwork seen here on the interior and exterior of the house. One of the workers joked how he’d gone through all the router bits in the state cutting the house’s fretwork. That was long before laser cutters!

Shelving
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Maidenhair fern: NPC

I saw this grove of lovely maidenhair fern near South Falls, at Silver Falls State Park, Oregon. The 7.2-mile Trail of Ten Falls wanders through forested lands where you get great views of the waterfalls. You’ll also see many types of fern.

Maidenhair fern
Ferns growing near South Falls, Oregon

The genus name of maidenhairs is Adiantum. It comes from the Greek word for “unwetted” since this plant sheds water without getting wet.

Here’s a picture I took of some growing near Upper North Falls in the park. On this image, I increased the contrast, giving it an almost black background.

Maidenhair fern
Ferns growing near Upper North Falls

This fern, with its delicate, arching fronds growing in fanlike arrangements, is one of my favorites. I experimented with developing pictures of it in black and white when I first became interested in photography. Here’s a picture from my archives.

A rocky start to photography
Maidenhair fern printed in my darkroom

Nature Photo Challenge (NPC) #19: Ferns

Simple scenes I’ve seen: LAPC

Simple scenes I’ve seen in Oregon

Ripples of sand forming near a single log

Simple scenes at sea

A foggy mist surrounding a lighthouse

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

A golden sunset shining within a blurred landscape

simple scenes sunset
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Bird Festival Highlights: Bird(s) of the week

Visitors from near and far converged in Burns, Oregon for the Harney County Migratory Bird Festival in mid-April. I signed up for six tours and events spread out over four days. I already featured the Downtown Walking Tour in a previous post, but this time I’ll focus on the bird-related tours.

Basin Big Day Tour – North of Highway 20

Though I have participated in this bird festival several times, this was the first time I was able to register for the Basin Big Day Tour. Eight participants, guided by Brodie Cass Talbott and assisted by Duke Tuffy, met at 6:00 am at the Fairgrounds for this tour. We returned at 7:00 pm. The goal was to see as many species as we could in that time frame.

Bird Festival

One of our first stops was in front of someone’s house, northeast of Burns. We had permission to scan their feeders for birds. We saw lots of White-crowned Sparrows here and elsewhere that day.

White-crowned sparrows

A bit farther north, we stopped near flooded fields. A few days before my arrival, snow covered these fields. That’s unusual. Our guide said the weird weather meant fewer birds were being seen, but there was more diversity. More species was what we were looking for so this could work out great for us.

Flooded fields
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Deschutes Brewery mural: Monday Mural

This Deschutes Brewery mural was on the outside of their main factory on the westside of Bend, Oregon. I liked how they used different shades of rusted metal to make this work of art. The mountains reflect the peaks and foothills of the Cascades, near the brewery.

Deschutes Brewery mural

To learn more about one of the tours I recently went on here, see Barrel House Tour. Lots of tasty beers to sample while you’re checking out the Deschutes Brewery mural.

There are currently two food trucks in front of the brewery. I enjoyed the lunch I bought there recently from Da Nang Vietnamese Eatery. I later found out it was awarded the 2023 Food Cart of the Year by the Source Weekly. It was a well-deserved recognition!

Da Nang Vietnamese Eatery

Monday Mural

Kitchen of the past: LAPC

Today, I’m featuring photos from the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site kitchen. I’ve posted about this historical site in John Day, Oregon, before. It was boarded up for many years when the doors were finally opened, it was like a time capsule inside.

Whenever I visit there, I think about how good the various shapes and textures would look in monotone pictures. However, the vibrant colors are also interesting. Since I was unable to decide which way to process the photos I took, I’m showing both color and monotone sepia versions. Move the slider to compare them. I used a dark vignette effect on all of the photos.

The first one shows a wood cooking stove with a small shrine behind it. I like how the orange color glows in the color version.

Kitchen of the pastSepia tone

The second photo shows various products in this kitchen of the past. In this one, I like how the labels stand out in color.

Kitchen sundriesKitchen sundries
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The Gordon House-Frank Lloyd Wright

This Frank Lloyd Wright house in Silverton, is the only one designed by the well-known architect in Oregon. The Gordon House was designed in 1957 and completed in 1963. When new owners wanted to tear it down in 1997, it was moved from Wilsonville to Silverton. It was carefully refurbished and opened to the public in 2002. It looks right at home, surrounded by stately oak trees.

This house was designed as part of the Usonian series, structures meant to provide affordable housing for working class people.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Though I only looked at the Gordon House from a distance, private tours are available of the inside for a small fee. For a higher fee, up to four people can spend the night in this beautiful house.

Gordon House

Here’s a peek of the inside and outside of the house. I hope to go on the tour soon to get a closer look. πŸ™‚

Bunny & Kitty FaceTime: LAPC

A couple of days ago, Bunny & Kitty had a little FaceTime meeting. I wonder what kinds of stories they shared. Hmm…

Bunny & Kitty

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Telling a story

Surrounded by green: Thursday Tree Love

A fall Japanese maple surrounded by green trees at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon. The red leaves of the maple are surrounded by cedar, pine, and spruce trees.

Surrounded by green

Thursday Tree Love

Sunlight in a flower: Macro Monday

I always think of yellow and gold flower petals as capturing sunlight in a flower.

Sunlight in a flower

The flowers shown in this post of little rays of sunshine are dedicated to fellow blogger, Bren, of Brashley Photography.

She recently lost her fight with cancer but will be remembered for her stunning, ethereal portraits of flowers. May her gentle soul rest in peace.

double views of cactus

Macro Monday

Little bit of everything garden: Friday Flowers

I saw this little bit of everything garden on the High Desert Garden Tour in Bend, Oregon in July 2022. The long, narrow yard at this house included fruits, vegetables, and lots of flowers. The homeowners have been working on it for 22 years.

The owners created large, elevated raised beds from wood and tin roofing. You can see sweet alyssum blooming near the front edge. Hummingbird feeders hang near them. They’re growing pear, cherry, and apples on espaliers behind the raised beds.

Raised beds

This raised bed was at ground level. It included red lantana, yellow petunias, orange ganzia, purple salvia, and dark pink snapdragons.

little bit of everything garden

This tiered bed surrounded a tree. It included common sunflowers, orange marigolds, and golden celosia.

little bit of everything garden
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Oregon sunshine bouquet: Friday Flowers

This Oregon sunshine bouquet was growing in my yard. This plant is common in a variety of habitats in western North America.

Oregon sunshine

Oregon sunshine, Eriophyllum lanatum, is a shrubby perennial that grows well in light shade to full sun. They’re obviously drought tolerant, since I don’t water this part of our High Desert property at all. These plants reach a size of one to two feet wide and one to two feet tall. I like their bright yellow, long-lasting flowers. Pollinators and birds like them as well.

It grows so well here, I end up pulling most of the plants like weeds. One year, I decided to just let them grow in a large gravel-covered area. The thick “lawn” of plants, shown below, prevented some of our common weeds from growing.

Wildflowers in bloom

Friday Flowers

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

Looking up in Burns: LAPC

I did a lot of looking up in Burns, Oregon on my trip in April 2023. The main purpose of my trip was to look for birds on Harney County Migratory Bird Festival tours. However, I arrived a day early to participate in the Downtown Walking History Tour.

A very short history of Burns, Oregon

Burns was officially established in 1884 and incorporated in 1889. The Northern Paiute, or their ancestors, lived here for thousands of years prior to the arrival of European settlers. Harney County, where Burns is located, is the largest county in Oregon and ninth largest in the nation. This sparsely populated county is 10,226 square miles in size. The population of Burns, its largest city, was 2,757 in 2021.

Our tour guide told us about the history of buildings along the main road. Sometimes she pointed out areas where no building currently exists. Unfortunately, fires destroyed many buildings in years past. It is ironic that the town of Burns had so many fires.

Looking up in Burns

While I listened to facts about many of the buildings we passed, I kept looking up in Burns. My attention wandered, and I focused on the architecture overhead.

Some of the buildings had fallen into disrepair.

Old structure

Others retained parts of the original structure with updates, like modern windows.

Looking up in Burns

The Federal Building housed the Post Office at one time. I think it was once the tallest building in Burns.

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Paddling near Prineville : WW & LAPC

Paddling near Prineville

Paddling near Prineville on a spring day.

Wordless Wednesday (WW)

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC) – Skyscapes or Cloudscapes

The path: LAPC, WWP, WS

The path in front of you may be dark and foreboding

Santiam Wagon Road

At times, it will zig and zag, causing you to lose hope

Zig zag path

Keep your eyes and mind open, looking for an ephemeral glimmer of light

Sunrise and juniper
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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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Models forever in flight: Wordless Wednesday

Models forever in flight

Models forever in flight at Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, Oregon

Wordless Wednesday