Mt. Hood National Forest by Mother Nature

Mt. Hood National Forest by Mother Nature

It seems like five minutes ago I was recounting my reading group’s trek to the McKenzie River near Eugene, Oregon. But that was already a whole year ago. Our annual fall retreat is 20+ years in the making. This year, the six of us went to Welches, Oregon. We stayed in a lovely home on the Salmon River. When you live in the Pacific Northwest, you don’t have to travel far to enjoy Mother Nature’s bounty. Welches in the Mt. Hood Corridor, 45 miles west of Portland, between Zigzag and Wemme. That’s right, Wemmy.

Read More…

if you had to pick a favorite plant…

if you had to pick a favorite plant…

Do you ever play that game? I hope so, that I’m not just some nutty outlier. I’m going to guess you do, at least once in a while. Though I stand ready and willing to be corrected.

Sometimes to make the game more manageable, I try narrowing to just one genus. That doesn’t really work either, but it’s fun to try, like imagining what to do with a winning lottery ticket. Look out neighbors: your yards are getting resprayed.

Read More…

snow talk — with a little gardening thrown in

snow talk — with a little gardening thrown in

It’s an event when it snows around Portland, Oregon. Most of us don’t know how to drive in snow. And the city is not all that well equipped to keep things running smoothly, though they give it the ole college try. And they provide fair warning:

If you choose to drive, stay with your vehicle in a snow and ice storm. Any abandoned vehicle is subject to being cited and impounded. To locate your vehicle, call Police Auto Records at 503-823-0044.

People who move here from snowier climes are quick to rain on our parade. They think we’re ridiculous. But come one. Let us have a couple snow days in winter.

Read More…

operation outsmart the cats

operation outsmart the cats

I’m spending an inordinate amount of time trying to outsmart my cats. Oh sure, I expected them to be sorta naughty, but dear dang dog, Mister Kitty especially is H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E, and that’s with the French pronunciation. He’s not mean horrible, mind you, but super duper curious horrible. It’s such a paradox, so sweet and affectionate with us, and so contemptuous of everything else.

Read More…

a grand weekend out 2: Gossler Farms

a grand weekend out 2: Gossler Farms

It’s taken me a while to get that I’m challenged when trying to talk, observe, and photograph in unison. This is not entirely new to my, uhm, imaginative brain style. But since my concussion, I’m further along on the continuum. Recently, one of my brain therapist said, “well, when you have a really disorganized brain style…”

Say what! I don’t think she meant that as compliment. I mean, who decided that straight-line thinking is the right way, and a more firework fanciful way of thinking is the wrong way. Hmmph.

Read More…

Yellow Jacket Lessons Learned

Yellow Jacket Lessons Learned

The best laid plans. After too many months of my rain dances going ignored by the weather gods, the time had come to give my trees a long overdue hose soak before things got too crispy. Which meant creeping through paths I haven’t been down for a while. Which is how I discovered a huge nest of angry yellow jackets. And by discovered, I mean, getting stung on the bum. And then a few more stings on my leg and back for good measure. Jerks.

I dropped the hose on the spot, and scooted right out of there. Thankfully, they didn’t get Pokey Doggie, who thought we were doing a fun new dance, and chased me back inside.

I really hate what I did next.
Read More…