Posts Tagged ‘Neighborhood’



Here in the outskirts of Vancouver, we don’t get street sweeping service. In the summer weeds choke the gutters and down spouts. In winter, well you can see for yourself.

As lovely as the leaves are … (sorry no pix of the weeds)

… they get blown and washed into the lowest places. This downspout is thoroughly choked. In the summer I go out with Roundup and my battery powered weed-whacker and clear the gutter and downspouts on my block. (If for looks alone.)

Another puzzlement is the purposeful covering up of downspouts with heavy construction clothe (?). There’s a newer housing development nearby and all the downspouts are heavily covered up — perhaps to keep construction debris out. ???

I came across several ‘ponds’ on my walk.

You’d think that here in the Pacific NW the sewer system could handle rain! I grew up in Los Angeles where as a kid I played in the flooded streets that resulted from inadequate storm drainage. I liberated one pond, but I sure don’t understand what’s going on.

PS — you might note that I was out walking on what was deemed a rainy day. It’s been my experience that 1) it rains mostly at night and 2) rain comes in bursts. It’s a rare day that I don’t experience bouts of blue skis and/or long periods of workable outdoor time.


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It’s that time of year again. It’s dark by 6PM. Here’s the sky just after 5PM.

I drove around trying to catch some of the Halloween decorations. One house turned off their lights just as I drove up (at 10PM on Halloween). Oh well.

I was able to catch this house still “haunting”.

This house left up their “tombstones” but deflated the giant, illuminated pumpkins.

This fall is a lot wetter than last year. I tried to catch the raindrops on the cobwebs along my entry way. It’s tricky business trying to catch the light and still get a background with contrast.


The symetry and regularity is amazing! It does make you wonder.

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Autumn Walk

I walk most afternoons about 3 – 4 miles through various neighborhoods. I wish I could say that it’s helped me loose weight. At best, it may keep me from gaining. Alas.

In any case, every now and then I come across the odd or unexpected … like this Boletus (Porcini, Cepe) mushroom beside a mailbox.

I thought this weeping pine or fir was intriquing. It’s been trained along a chain-link fence.

It  made for nice contrast to this fallen leaf.

I love the color of these mums in a neighbor’s garden.

There are berries galore for the birds this time of year.

This ivy grows on a stone wall along a major boulevard. Usually I’m speeding by. But on foot I come face to face with the leaves.


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OK, this heat wave is supposed to wind down. I took my morning walk between 6 and 7 to avoid the heat. (So why don’t the sewer folks just start early?)

I think these are culverts, but I didn’t have any success trying to ID the red “platform” thingies. Don’t know if pipes are placed inside or what.


I was surprised to see “stairs” in this one.

I returned home to the hydrangeas along my front entry. They’ve been in full bloom for over a month.

The blooms are withered at the end of the day, but recover over night. This immature bud is quite lovely in the morning light.

In every miserable situation there’s always someone or something that’s perfectly adapted to it. Like ducks for example. When it’s soggy and gray, they’re excstatic chomping down on slugs and snails.

In this heat wave, sunflowers thrive. This bud is only thte size of a golf ball, but it’s one happy camper.

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They’ve been laying a new sewer line down the road — I think for a new housing development. I love the grand scale. I’m not sure what you call these but they’re B-I-G.

Their shadows stretch clear across the street.

It’s amazing all the stuff that’s under the pavement (note red platform in pit). This cat operator could pluck feathers off a chicken with that scoop!

These look like regular PVC elbows — but they’re some 10″ in diameter.

This work was tolerable at 7AM. I can’t imagine concentrating in mid-day heat. There’s no shade in the middle of the road. I feel for these guys out there in 100+ weather. That’s why I’m not out there taking follow-up shots. It should cool down tomorrow.

* Note red platform tilted on edge. It was completely removed by 10AM. Not sure what it is. One of those large red “pipes” was in the ground by then too.

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Each summer, Portland hosts a neighborhood Tour de Coops — chicken coops, that is. So off we went. Walking between backyard chicken coops proved to be equally, if not more entertaining.

Talk about unexpected. I could hardly believe my eyes. This garage looks more like a gallery!

I’m not sure if it’s the economy or just Portland … but there were a lot of parking strip gardens. A woodworker seems to have created all these trellises.


This is an exceptionally neat new plot.

One house had a forest of sunflowers and echinaceas.

The tomatoes were mostly plumping green. These were among the few red ones we saw.

The coops weren’t particularly photogenic. This neighbor’s cat seemed quite put out by all the hoop-la.

After viewing 2 coops in 90+ degree weather at mid-day we were ready for a break. Yvonne whipped up a lovely lunch ~ in her usual elegant style.


Artisan bread, olives and beer rounded out our fare. We had a delightful afternoon despite our minimal coop observations.

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Walking through the neighborhoods is a great way to learn about new plants and see how they perform. I have no idea what this plant is. It’s pruned very tightly in a crisscrossing web of branches that are just now budding out.


Here’s another unknown beauty — apple blossoms perhaps?

My walk is frequently interrupted by “bloom carpets” …


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