At our local farmers market we are treated to weekly entertainment. I was glad to see and hear Espacio Flamenco, a local flamenco group, perform. I love that it celebrates being human and all the varied emotions and experiences that we embrace or endure. Once I was a dancing gal, so I took lessons two years ago. I then promptly injured my foot during a hike and had to quit midway. It took the rest of the summer to heal; since feet take a beating in this type of dance, I left it at that. Perhaps one day I will try again. An admirable aspect of flamenco is that women or all ages, shapes and sizes can learn and perform this spirited, dramatic music and dance. So, there is yet still time for me to get out there and dance! At some audience members joined in the fun.
We crossed a small bridge over railroad tracks and meadow land, and entered into wonderful Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. This is a wildlife preserve of around 5200 acres west of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. It lies close to the great Columbia River channels.
There flourish marshes, grasslands, upland forests, riparian corridors, oak woodlands. Many of the Oregon white oaks have survived hundreds of years. There are dozens of bird species with thousands of wintering birds, alone; 23 species of mammals live on this land.
We came upon a full scale replica of a Chinookan Plankhouse, called the Cathlapotle Plankhouse after the Native American village of the same name. It is built on an archaeological site that was encountered by the Lewis and Clark expedition as they headed west around 1806. Unfortunately , it was closed that day. We will go back to learn more when it is open.
The Oregon white oaks are massive and beautiful in their scrubby, ancient way. Some of the branches can be seen growing back into the earth. The one first pictured below is over 400 years old.
To give you a better idea of the size of branches and trunk, here are two more shots. I admit I have a thing about trees and still climb them a bit, if possible–in this case, only felled branches!
A truly beautiful day on the trails around and about a portion of the refuge. I came away saturated with peace and contentment.
We’re looking forward to going back soon and bringing binoculars. My only hesitancy is that mountain lions’ presence has been verified (usually it is cougars I’d mind meeting–I am okay with bears at a decent distance), but nature offers so much wonderment one has to get out there to see things, and that means taking a few chances…Next time: new trails, deeper into the refuge we will go!
We are enjoying the Cannon Beach/Manzanita area of Oregon coastal delights–a favored destination due to close proximity to Portland. I hope you get a satisfying glimpse here of what I have been taking in.
They had their own unique Portland-style marriage ceremony. This is where they met five years ago. Since Josh got involved when just 19 with the skaters developing this gritty city center park, it is special to him. That was over two decades ago, and the place attracts skaters from around the world. About 25 veteran skaters stood beside him during the ceremony. Josh being who he is, he remained cool, calm, going with the flow while also in command– until the vows when tears came. Christine was ebullient with joyous excitement, near combustion point. All went well.
It was one wedding experience I will never have again! (The last adult child had a forest wedding.) And I pray they keep building happiness and faith in each other and life for many, many years.
And then Josh skated. After all, she married a skater.
The sequence below was planned–I think; she seemed ready!
I’ve added random shots of the gathering. (The young woman in the yellow sweater is my granddaughter, his daughter. Time, how it flees.)
Then on to the rest of the celebration.