Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Beautiful End Stage of Sunflowers

Sunflowers have such a fascinating "architecture"...throughout their relatively short life span.  I've played around with some editing to accentuate that wonderful design.  (I just accidentally deleted a whole line of comments on previous posts! I wish Blogger had a trash can to protect dingbats like me!)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Palmer Junction in Early September

One of the main rural roads out of town is Palmer Junction Road; it runs north for more than 20 miles. The unusual thing about this rural road is that it's paved. (The reason for that is a fish hatchery where spring chinook salmon are raised and released.) Driving this road is a good way to spend an early evening in late summer, when it's too hot to do anything else.  The light was strange because of the smoke from forest fires.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Gorge Will Never Be the Same

A week ago, my husband and I made the drive across Oregon from rural to spend a few days with our first--and only--grandchild, ginger-haired Ava Maeve.  She's not quite 5 months old, so has changed so much since we last saw her in early July.  The drive takes nearly 5 hours, if we make our obligatory stop at The Dalles.

A little more than halfway, the Columbia Gorge of the most beautiful "wild" areas of Oregon, home to hundreds of miles of hiking trails up forested mountains, and home to 77 waterfalls, the most famous is Multnomah Falls.  Today, the forested area of the Gorge is on fire, the victim of a teenager with fireworks.  Things will NEVER be the same again in the Gorge. Generally, I don't do a lot of photography from the car, and we didn't stop because the Gorge area was full of Labor Day visitors.  However, I actually took a photo right at the exit to Cascade Locks, a small town on the river, which has now been evacuated because of the fire.

View of the burning Columbia River Gorge from Washington side of the Columbia River
(dylan taylor photo)

These photos are just "typical" sights along I-84 to and from...  some sights will never be the same after this fire.

Three modes of transportation so important to the state: a tug, a train, and trucks.

View west into the smoke caused by multiple wild fires in the state. 

Railroad bridge across the Columbia from Oregon to Washington
Smoke illustrates the layers of the landscape in the Gorge. 

Exit to Cascade Locks, riverside town forced to evacuate by the Eagle Creek Fire

Young Bighorn Sheep rams grazing on the dry terrain along I-84. This
       sighting was on the return to Northeastern Oregon. 

Wind turbines are common in this part of Oregon and across the river in Washington.

It might be an interstate, but the combines have to get from one harvesting area to another!

A famous tree farm near Boardman has been reduced to a few small stands of trees, making way
for more productive crops .  

Monday, August 14, 2017

Horns (and Antlers)

When my husband drives me because I ask him to, I'm always looking for anything that would make a good photo.  Sometimes, it's a difficult task.  I tend to look for connections/themes, and this one is an odd one.

I chuckled at the teeth showing here! 

The antlers are larger in proportion than the mule deer buck's body!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Nothing Gold Can Stay

That line in my post title from Robert Frost's poem no doubt has deeper meaning than the flowers in my late-summer garden, but it works.  For the most part, the color I see outside is gold:  sunflowers and Black-Eyed Susans (rudbeckia). We've had more than 6 weeks of dry heat (temps between 90-100 F), so the flowers that thrive in those conditions are much appreciated.

I planted three varieties of sunflowers in the spring, and they haven't disappointed.  The perennial "susans" pop up in various areas of my planting strips and I don't discourage them.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Peony Season -- too short

The highlight of the flowering season is when the peonies bloom.  Maybe it was because of the long, hard winter, but several of my plants didn't produce any flowers, and those that bloomed didn't have many flowers. There were only a few exceptions.  In another week, I think most of the flowers will be wilting and dropping petals. But I'll enjoy them while I can.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


When I was growing up, I don't recall paying that much attention to lilacs.  Maybe my mother's lilacs weren't so impressive in those years.  Nearly 40 years ago, my husband and I bought our first house in a neighborhood that had several established lilac "trees."  They were in a variety of shades of lilac, as well as white.  In our own backyard, the old white lilac had grown to the size of a tree; some years later, a heavy, wet snowfall took it down.  Since then, I've planted starts from various places among the remains of that old shrub. Now it blooms white (not very pretty blossoms) and a pale lilac.  At least three other shades of lilac grow there, but they haven't bloomed yet. Across the street, three very old lilacs bushes grow next to the alley.  One has the darkest lavender blooms and lasts longer than other in the neighborhood.  I asked for some of the dark ones to use with my pale lilacs.