Posts Tagged ‘Elsewhere’

Out and Afield

We’ve been having spectacular pre-spring weather! I’m catching up on my vitamin D with all this sunshine. Morning temps have dropped to the mid-20’s.

The Master Gardeners do a monthly field trip to wholesale nurseries. We drove south of Portland to the Willsonville / Aurora area — a hot bed of specialty agriculture (tulips, roses, iris — you name it — it’s grown here).

Our first stop was the Little Prince nursery that specializes in ground covers. Seeing vast spreads of the same plant created a lush impression.

We were lead through the greenhouses where the growing and tending processes were explained to us.

The greenhouses themselves presented intriguing patterns.

The cacti were lovely in their intricacy and perfection of form.

We drove south to Hubbard where we toured a specialty wholesale conifer nursery. Both nurseries ship primarily to New York!

Now this is a lot of pots … and the shed was filled to the ceiling with even more!

The skies may have been blue, but the ground was still soggy.

These Alberta Spruce are trimmed into spirals once they’re six feet.

We dined at Luis’ Tacqueria in Woodburn — the best Mexican food I’ve had since my return from Baja. Excellent!! After lunch we had a shopping spree at GardenWorld in Hubbard. Wee-haw!


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End of Summer Cleanup

It’s time to start battening down the hatches.  First on my list was checking the bird houses to see if they’d been used and clean up anything left inside.

Yep, we got a nest in here! I’m not sure this was ever occupied with chicks but there was lots of coming and going.

I had no idea they were using moss as a nesting material. Ironically, cat hair seems to be the other prime ingredient. A little clorox-water scrub should kill any mites. We’re all ready for next spring!


The other chore was cleaning the gutters. I broke down and bought an 8-foot step ladder and then found a free 8/16 ft extension ladder on Craig’s List.

My gutters  don’t drain thoroughly so there’s 1/4 inch of standing water in spots. This produces a  “pond muck” and roof gravel mix.  It’s dirty, sloppy work and very awkward with the ladder and shrubbery.


Yeah, that’s a spent firecracker. It’s awkward pulling stuff out in oversized gloves (they didn’t sell smalls). But overall they weren’t as bad as I’d feared and I feel virtuous for my efforts.

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Morning Visitors

I like to look out my bedroom window when I first get up. It’s a ritual of getting acquainted with the day before it’s gotten used to itself. It’s still quiet and tinged with the night’s leaving.

So imagine my surprise when I spy this pair of raccoons intent on their business.

I know they can be a nuisance. But this morning they were a pleasing curiosity. One of them had either lost its tail or been born without it.

Yes, summer is ebbing. It’s actually a lovely time of year. The afternoons are warm (low 80’s) and the evenings balmy with a faint breeze. Life is sweet.

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Amature Astronomy

Okay, I can’t seem to find any information as to which planet it is that’s so bright these days. The full moon has been very bright and has company to boot.

It’s not easy to photograph with my pedestrian camera.

The exposure was so long to catch the light that wiggles were inevitable. Plus, the clouds were moving at a brisk clip.

I think the planet is Venus because it’s so bright. But what’s this? An eclipse? It’s how this planet looked in my camera.

Hope you all have clear skies to enjoy the view.

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Sorry, I’ve been distracted with all sorts of stuff and have neglected my blog duties. While I was in the Bay Area my friend Rita and I visited a lovely (and very quirky) sculpture garden in Berkeley based on a newspaper article.

A hallmark of the landscape is the novel use of everyday things — like a wheel hub for a vase. Salvaged bowling balls purchased for $1 each from foreclosed bowling alleys were ubiquitous.

Another example is this pot of silverwear.

Marcia Donahue is the artist / gardener. Her plant-inspired sculpture is interspersed among the densely planted pathways. Sometimes it was hard to distinguish the real from the natural. Take these bulb sculptures for example.

There was a functioning chicken coop, a large Koi pond, fruiting kiwis and lots of bamboo. Marcia’s gardening skills were none too shabby. Her semi-public backyard garden is 30+ years in the making.

See my full photo albumn here.

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County Fair

What’s summer without a fair? Parking at large events is usually sufficient deterrence to keep me away. But a friend had entered some jam and wanted to go see how she fared. The overwhelming quantity of (dare I say?) mediocre entries in everything from jams, to quilts, drawing, photos, clothing (sewn and knitted) and what not … argh! … I wilted in the onslaught.

I fared a little better with the animals, although the lighting was dim and I didn’t want to further stress the caged beasts with a flash. There was every type of cow in every color. This pair was lovely.

The goats were charming in their awkward square pupilled way.

This lop-eared rabbit looks just like the Beth Van Hoesen painting. Truth is, the chickens and roosters won the day. I didn’t get any photos but OMG, they are beautiful and so varied.

I took this picture from atop the Ferris Wheel (even though heights scare the pee-woddy out of me).

I was dazzled / horror struck by watching the “sling shot” ride. As the name suggests, a double seater basket is shot straight up into the air. It then tumbles and rolls as it bounces bungy-style till it’s brought back down. Yikes! They didn’t have this ride when I was a kid.

Here’s a pix of the larger Ferris Wheel (that we didn’t ride).

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Odds and Ends

On my way to the dentist last week, I couldn’t resist joining in on my friend’s fetish with shopping carts.  There was an odd array of them along the road.


… just stopping to catch up on the latest gossip …

A newbie showed started showing up a few weeks ago. It wasn’t until I visited Midmarsh Jottings (in England) that I identified it as the House Sparrow — a common but very pretty little bird. Sibley’s refers to it as an “old world sparrow”.


This female American Gold Finch showed up weeks after I last saw the males. She was feeding ravenously and was unphased by my camera.


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