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!
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.
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.
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.
Early evening in spring is wonderful...and there's nothing I like better on such an evening than to take a drive on one of the many country roads leading from our little town. The closest to our back door is Clark's Creek Road. It wanders several miles east, but we cut it short. Of course, along the way, I photographed things that appealed to me.
Clark's Creek Road
(I've already ordered two canvases of this image.)
The trip to SE Portland is nearly 400 miles, out of the mountains, across the flatland "desert" between the mountains and the Columbia Gorge. The Gorge itself is always beautiful, but the high point for my husband and me is always the search for views of the Bighorn sheep between Blalock and Philippi Canyons and the John Day River. Several summers ago, groups of rams were almost always right next to the freeway and easy to photograph. Then that seemed to change, but we didn't give up looking. Two weeks ago, we were able to stop three times--three times where there was enough space to pull off the highway. I was within 50 yards of the animals. The rams are ratty looking because they still have winter coats, and it was a rough winter in the Columbia Gorge. Hopefully, they will be down low again in a month or so.
The country roads are clear of all the snow now (heavy rains took care of that)....and spring is edging closer. No real warmth yet--it frosts at night and maxes out around 50 during the day. It's a tease!
Snow still lies in scattered drifts. The blue birdhouse is one of many along the road.
This old manure spreader is almost intact, wooden frame and iron wheels indicative of its old age.
My first buttercup sighting, always a good sign of spring.
Another birdhouse among my favorite quaking aspens; this one doesn't seem habitable.
Many areas around this little pond still had drifts of snow.