Friday’s Passing Fancy: East of Cascade Mountains, Smith Rock

On a brief road trip we still find extraordinary views even though we have become more familiar with it over the decades.

High desert country called in the midst of our new twin baby tending here. I have had little time to devote to writing or photography (except for pictures of the infant girls my daughter and husband are lovingly watching over –as are we, so very frequently). But now and then we engage in other matters of interest.

We enjoyed a quick two day trip over the Cascades for another granddaughter’s high school graduation. (Hooray for my son’s daughter, Avery! Early graduation at barely 17; on to college in the fall!) And I remain fascinated by that area, though doubt I’d trade rain forests, valleys and mountain foothills of my home topography for eastern Oregon’s high desert and ranch lands. Though I am yet drawn to the power of those, as well as our mountain ranges.

We always stop at Smith Rock near Redmond, Oregon if we can. I find it breathtaking, shifting scenes that are ever mesmerizing to explore as we trudge over winding, dusty paths. Here are several shots from our sweaty hike touched by awestruck moments. I saw a river otter for the first time, also, though shots did not come out well.

Be on the lookout for rock climbers here and there.

Looking down at a route we will soon begin.

Please click on the series below for a slide show.

Considering Mothers: Flowers Among All Others

A favorite activity for my spouse and me around Mother’s day is to visit the National Historic Site of Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens in Woodland, Washington. The farmhouse was owned by Hulda’s parents (Godfried and Wilhemina Thiel) until she took possession and lived there until her 1960 death. The 1880s Victorian farmhouse is a lovely example of the style. But it is the grounds bursting with lilacs, heavy on large bushes, that brings such pleasure. The fragrance is warm and sweet and it is very easy to get “lilac drunk!” We visited last week-end, a good time before they were spent.

Like hopefully most mothers, I find my 45 years of motherhood to be creatively inspiring, perplexing and fulfilling, tiring and joyous, spiritually deepening, intellectually intriguing, and just plain fun. And yes, I can well see us each as remarkably resilient, productive and gorgeous flowers among other all other flowers…Please enjoy these pictures–have a loving Mother’s Day!

Friday’s Passing Fancy: Walking the New Woodsy Neighborhood

Adaptation to our new “woodsy life” continues. It is a dream come at least partially true, although there is still plenty of human made architecture and amenities in the area. I have noticed a couple of insects here and there that sneaked inside and the bees are quite busy working.

We have long been fascinated by birds. We spotted two hummingbirds flying high into a spruce and my son, Joshua, his young son and his fiancee noted one that was voicing avian commentary and beating wings even higher while we took a family walk. I just added a good bird feeder on the balcony to see what we attract, as well as preparing the hummingbird feeder. Not that we didn’t have birds (and yet, so many crows) in the city center. And there are moments I miss the old neighborhood with the lush gardens and energized streets. But it is even even more delightful to watch the birds fly, labor and sing in a quiet, more natural habitat. We have binoculars at the ready.

Walking daily on trails that interconnect for miles is a deep pleasure; every day is a surprise. We will discover more this week-end as we seek and find the choice views and paths further from us. In the meantime, here are pictures of a few of the views.

Some of you may recall I eagerly await the births of our youngest daughter’s twins. I foolishly asked her to go on a short walk recently, then looked again at her great burgeoning roundness and her expression… sure thing–but in a few months, as their arrival is imminent! Two baby girls will be fun to chase up and down trails one day!

I hope you all can get out and walk, hike or otherwise have fun within nature or the city–whatever you prefer! Keep all senses at the ready and your spirit open!

Friday’s Photos: Under a Brief Pretense of Spring

Photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson copyright 2019

We are currently under a winter storm warning in Portland. I await enchanting first flakes– very few of which we have had so far this year. Perhaps it seems much ado about nothing for someone who grew up with four foot snow drifts to rollick about in, to play the brave explorer with three layers of clothing– but we will see. I know may parts of the USA have suffered very recently the bitter cold and dangerous snowfall.

In the meantime, enjoy a few photos that not long ago indicated a different change of temperature–as it often does here this time of year. I will have patience–both for a velvety swath of snow and for a flourishing of flowers.

A park where we will soon be walking more after our March move

And there have been hints of an unfolding of tender jewels of springy blossoms amid more hearty wintery ones…

Marc and I were going to the beach for a mini break before we move– but nature changed our plans. We are now immersed in the many and sometimes arduous tasks that go along with packing and preparing to leave one place for another–but there are hot teas and tasty treats to keep us going.

Daphne–what a fragrance!

Wherever you are, may your week-end bring safety and satisfying–even happy–moments!