Finding Beauty in the Cracks

I was on an amble on Franklin Street in Astoria, Oregon last weekend when I came upon this remarkable rock wall below a Victorian home. Little pink flowers were growing from the cracks of the stones of the wall. Had I been in a rush, I would have failed to notice this striking little art gallery. Here are a few examples of natures hand on a city side street.

Tarry 
to see 
flowers rooted
in cracks of cold stone

Wildflower Power

Who doesn’t love flowers?  There seems to be even more of a special place in people’s hearts for the wildflowers found in nature.  Here in Oregon it is prime wildflower season. Some are even blooming currently in my new native plant garden.  Especially prevalent right now are camas (Camas quamash), beautiful blue-violet spikes of star-like flowers that pop up in the meadows.  They were a significant food source for the Native Americans that once inhabited the area

About 40 minutes away from my home in the town of West LInn a new Nature Conservancy site opened up last year, the Camassia Nature Preserve.  The 22 acre parcel is a mix of lush forest, meadows, and oak savannah with a boardwalk that meanders the main route. There is about 2 miles of hiking trails in the area. Also prevalent are glacial erratics- boulders from Montana and Canada that were dropped in this area after the great floods that occurred after the melting of the ice sheets that covered the north during the Ice Age.

Yesterday the weather was lovely, partly sunny and in the 60s, a welcome change from the rain and cool temperatures.  I decided to take a drive and check it out.  I was not disappointed!

Here are some of the things I saw in this special place.

A bit of wildflower trivia…

The reason you may often see the dazzling combination of bright yellow and purple wildflowers together is that it attracts pollinators- and humans seeking beauty.

And…my photos really don’t do this place justice!

A wild iris blooms in my garden
Wild Iris   
Looked what bloomed today!
a wild Iris
a queen amidst my garden
her lilac petals arch gracefully
like arms in a curtsy
about her throat a white collar
etched with fine black lines
with a blush of gold

Gaudy hybrids shout for my attention
down the driveway
but it's her sublime elegance
that captures my wild heart

The Artful Beach

IMG_1233I just returned from a wonderful week visiting Vancouver Island B.C., Canada.  Four nights of that stay were at the Point No Point Resort where myself and three of my friends enjoyed, among other things, beachcombing on the stunning beaches in the area. They provided a gallery of natural art.

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I’m hoping my photographs can give you some idea of the beauty we encountered.

Weekly Photo Challenge “The Faces of Joy 2017”

I had to give pause when I read this challenge “The most meaningful photo I’ve taken this year.”  Looking back through all my photos, the ones that have the most meaning are the ones of the people & pups in my life.  It was a rough year in many ways.  These photos remind me of the joy in this world.

The elfin twins Anna & Elliot come for a visit.

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Son, Gareth & Daughter-in-law, Felicia on her 30th birthday , May 5th

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My “spousal equivilent” doing what he loves!

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOLSTICE Celebration with friends.  What an amazing experience!

My dogs Bandit & Dougan, bringing tail waggin’ joy every day!

2017 Favorites

 

Weekly Photo Challenge- The Curves of Forgotten Relics

Deep in the Opal Creek Wilderness lies Jawbone Flat, a tiny mining community that operated in the 1930s and 1940s.  It is currently the site of the Opal Creek Education Center, dedicated to the study of Old Growth Forests.  Left behind is a treasure trove of old equipment from the heyday of the Shiny Rock Mining Company.  I find beauty in their forms, nestled in the forest.


Rounded

 

 

 

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge- A Scale of Distances

I enjoy putting my own take on the photo theme & not taking the prompt in the immediate literal sense.  This photo is about scale but in the realm of comparisons of near and far.  As I walked the Camino de Santiago with a friend in 2013, we came upon these signs sometime after Pamplona.  We were most concerned with Santiago, 220 km away but still way closer than Jerusalem at 5000 km!

Camino signs
Scale

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge- The Windows of Paris

There are many more, but these are a few of my favorites.

Louvre
The Louvre entrance

Sainte-Chapelle4
Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle3
Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle
Sainte-Chapelle

 

musee-orsay
musee-orsay

 

Windows

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sustainability in layers- Earthships & Beyond

Eaerthship2
Earthship

If you drive west outside of Taos, New Mexico, you will pass by a development of “Earthships” or radically sustainable buildings made from layers of recycled materials.  they are also artistic wonders.  Also tucked in the New Mexico landscape, there are individual artists that share the same vision.

Earthship1

Outhouse bottles
Bottled -up outhouse outside

IMG_1810
Bottled -up outhouse inside

Layered

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Corner- The Intersection of Sun & Moon

I caught these images on concrete during the recent total eclipse in Oregon.  As the moon covered the sun, the image in the sky was projected on the ground in the shadows of leaves.  It was spellbinding.Eclipse Shadow1Eclipse Shadow2Eclipse Shadow3

Corner