Surrounded by pines in the forests near Bend, Oregon. Though it was a hot summer day, the forest canopy provided shade and cooler temperatures. 😀
The smoke from a forest fire ahead of us near Crane Prairie Reservoir was an eerie sight to see. The nearby Cedar Creek Fire reached a size of 127,311 acres and burned for three months. Once wet fall weather moved into the area, the fire was finally contained.
Peering through my pocket lens
Vivid reflections shine
where the river bends
The colors soar high into the blue
pausing in rainclouds
falling as dew
Droplets of pigment splatter parched plants
cling to pale petals
interweave and dance
Skimmia shrub with berries up close. This plant was seen at the Portland Japanese Garden in the fall.
This Alpenglow Park bench in Bend, Oregon is unique. Park designers used large pieces of columnar basalt to create this trailside retreat. In the distance, you can catch a glimpse of Pilot Butte, an extinct volcano.
After walking the trails at Alpenglow, consider walking to the top of Pilot Butte to get amazing views of the landscape of Central Oregon.
Today I’m sharing a dozen memorable pictures of 2022. I’m including photos of history, nature, and culture.
In the first one, I used infrared processing on a picture of Mt Rainier and I also added a colorful eel image. The challenge prompt was “surreal.” I had fun with this one!
The next picture is of a quilt at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. In addition to being beautifully crafted, this one had a message of kindness. I took so many pictures of the show, I divided it into three posts.
The next picture is of an unexpected guest in our backyard. This Barred Owl feasted on the ample supply of Pacific Tree Frogs breeding in our pond. From then on, our nights were slightly quieter.
The picture below features the aircraft known as the Spruce Goose. It is enormous! We saw it at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.
The next picture is of my dog, gazing back at me near Waldport, on the Oregon coast. The setting sun, coupled with her devoted expression, made for a memorable moment.
This is a photo of a silvery dragon swimming across a pond. I loved this sculpture. This dragon is at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon.
I also took this hibiscus portrait at the Oregon Garden. This flower has an interesting common name, Spin the Bottle Hibiscus.
This wooden sculpture, at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, was spectacular. I was impressed by both the sculpture and the beadwork, even on the baby carrier on her back.
This is the lighthouse at Yaquina Head in Newport, Oregon. I wrote an 82-word flash fiction story to go along with the pictures I took there. Fun challenge!
I called the image below “Fence of Gold” and it was a favorite of visitors to my blog. The golden aspen trees were equally spaced apart, as if someone had planted them that way.
The next picture is of a zig zagging boardwalk at Summer Lake, Oregon. I used a retro photo effect to make it look significantly older, like photos taken in the distant past.
The last picture is one of my favorite memorable pictures of the year. I featured it on a recent Wordless Wednesday post. When I processed it, I softened the focus and added a white vignette effect.
However, I did not explain to readers that the reindeer pictured were actually collectible figurines. Never a dull moment on my blog! 😉
These Oregon grape leaves were frosty around the edges. This picture, taken in November, shows the leaves getting their fall color.
If you’re looking for a special gift of words, consider buying the Central Oregon Writers Guild 2022 Literary Collection. Local writers submitted long and short poetry and prose covering a wide variety of topics.
The work of 37 authors was accepted, including two of my pieces. My poem and short story are both about autumn, my favorite season. 🍁
To purchase the book, visit Roundabout Books & Café in the Northwest Crossing neighborhood of Bend. You can also purchase it here, from Amazon.
Local writers appreciate the support you’ll give them by buying this gift of words.
The details of leaves,
Rounded, serrated leaflets bearing tidbits of sweetness.
Arching narrow leaves falling in cascades of ombre colors.
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.
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!
See Kam Wah Chung: A Step Back in Time for more details from my previous visit.
Golden sentinels on a trail at Pine Nursery Park, Bend, Oregon.
Angles of the Earth sculpted by pounding waves.
Rising on the edge of a caldera in olivine and crimson shades.
Fracturing leaden lava flows, brushed with a glow of lichens.Continue reading
Here are a few killdeer pencil sketches I did while watching them in the field.
These shorebirds always let you know they are there with their distinctive kill-deer call. Here’s one calling near Sizzling Basin at Yellowstone National Park.
In the photo below, you can see a killdeer defending its nest from ornithologist Pepper Trail at Summer Lake, Oregon. I circled it to make it easier to see.Continue reading
A garden shed at the Oregon Garden, Sublimity, Oregon
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
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.
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?
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.
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!
Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.Marcel Proust
A little play on the words “let us” with this up close picture of lettuce growing in Hollinshead Park’s community garden in Bend, Oregon.
The touch of nature can be sharp and cold or
Ridged and dry
The touch of nature can be smooth and wet or
Many windowed barn near Dayville in Eastern Oregon
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.
Other animals give us unique views. This immature Cooper’s Hawk posed nicely for me on the back porch.
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).
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.
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.
Quit bugging me! Song sparrow in bug hatch at Summer Lake, Oregon.
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.Continue reading
Rollin’ across the Columbia River near Biggs Junction, Oregon
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.
Here’s a closer view of Mount Jefferson taken from the road near Madras, Oregon.
This picture shows a distant view of Mount Washington. It’s the snowy peak in the middle of the photo.
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.
Layers of Autumn color in Portland, Oregon
Wordless Wednesday (WW)
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.
Old homestead & Mt Hood near Maupin, Oregon
Find treasures on walks
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.Continue reading
Last week we took a trip to Silver Falls State Park, in Sublimity, Oregon. We went on a short hike to visit Upper North Falls. Lush vegetation and towering trees surround the trail.
The Trail of Ten Falls in this park passes by ten waterfalls along a 7.2-mile moderate level route. Upper North Falls and South Falls are the only parts of the trail where dogs, on leash, are allowed.
We stayed a couple of nights at the campground in the park. There are cabins, RV and tent sites available for rental. This beautiful park is very popular so be sure to reserve in advance here.