Monday’s Meander: Glorious Trees and Houses of Autumn

I am sharing a neighborhood walk today–its colors, style and Halloween scenes. Since moving from historic Irvington neighborhood March 2019 after over 25 years, I’ve made it a point to return there each new season. Some of the graceful houses are over one hundred years old; Queen Anne, Period Revival Bungalow/Craftsman and Prairie School styles predominate. I love the architecture, towering trees, lush lawns. Enjoy the views!

Monday’s Meanders: Salmon Creek, Late Summer

Salmon Creek, WA.

This Washington State recreation area, Salmon Creek Regional Park, is a place we return to at least once a season. Being only a 30-45 minute drive from our Portland suburb, it is an easy day trip. With over 375 acres of bottomlands, wetlands and forested hills, it also has a lovely greenway with three miles of mostly paved walkways. It is peaceful although well-utilized by many visitors. (We felt safe here, though people didn’t wear masks much, which our state of Oregon has mandated–and most people wear them outdoors, too, if there are groups of people or not enough room on narrower pathways to keep 6 ft. distanced.)

We start at Klineland Pond at the edge of lush acreage–one of the few in this area with many fun features for families–and then move on to more of nature’s delights. Families and groups of friends were having a great time out there. The scents of grilled food was enticing!

An area roped off; I have seen people fishing there. I imagine that house has a pretty view, if at times a noisy one.
Below, another part of the pond.
A view from a dirt trail in the woods above the pond.

Moving on, we made frequent stops creek-side–to enjoy the beauty and to stay cooler. It was closing in on 90 degrees Fahrenheit with no clouds.

As you can see, there were stretches with few to no people. Just sunshine, too-dry grasses and bushes. Trees set away from the water looked parched. This is fire season–fires are now often breaking out in the Pacific NW and California; one can imagine how fast this would burn–a sobering fact. It was very dusty and the air fairly crackled with dryness.

So, back to the creek and shadier areas. My water was getting low in my bottle–I need a bigger size I can carry comfortably. A visit to REI (outdoor gear) is due.

Marc debating whether or not there are any good rocks to find.

As I was snapping away, a family edged out from brush to wade with their grateful dog. I was feeling a bit envious–next time, I’ll come ready to take a dip, perhaps!

Pardon my turned back but I am hot and thinking: soon, a tall, super-chilled iced tea
Heron observing us observing it.

Back on the walkway, we headed for our car, waving to youthful skateboarders gliding along and stopping briefly by a women’s softball game–with a few folks watching. I felt for those athletes–but good for them!

After a last look about, the afternoon came to a pleasing end: off to find Marc a vanilla sweet cream cold brew and for me, an iced Passion Tango herbal tea. Heavenly day.

Monday’s Meander: A Day with Dahlias

What an afternoon out in the country! Flowers are always worth a half hour drive–and braving a strong bathing in August sun. And dahlias are one of my favorite summer garden offerings.

But I hadn’t ever been to a strictly dahlia farm, so what a pleasure to see the varieties and spectrum of color. I was amazed by the intricate, varying designs of petals and bloom sizes, as well as rainbow of hues. Dahlias look so beautiful and yet hardy, stems strong and topped by bright faces, camera-ready.

The white ones above struck me…they proudly thrust toward the sky. They seemed valiant, large flowers a bright yellow- white, swaying a bit in soft gusts of breeze–so at ease amid the strife in our world.

Long views of the 35 acres of this flower-producing farm were gorgeous, as below.

Moving among the rows, one is aware that life is far more wondrous than we can imagine at times. We decided to browse a smaller show garden area, as well as check out the gift shop area. A nice group of folks milling about, families having a good time. I got a couple bunches of blooms, too.

Some of the blossoms are showy and gigantic.

After over an hour of wandering, it was starting to feel a bit steamy…and I sought shade.

Marc thought better of entering–not enough room to socially distance. I sort of wanted that Bless Our Home outdoor mat, but it was pricey, anyway…!
Below, an angel, saints and a maiden for your garden guardians.

That wrapped it up for a wonderful afternoon outing. We will return!

Monday’s Meander: Hello, Oceanside!

For 28 years, I have immersed myself in the pleasures of this stretch of Oregon coast. I fell in love with the village of Oceanside–tucked into a hillside–shortly after moving to this state. One of my sisters long owned a vacation home on Whiskey Creek Road not far away; another family member still owns a second home at another village, Netarts, a stone’s throw from Oceanside.

Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge

Marc and I have stayed for long week-ends many times–but not this year. Thankfully, we take plenty of day trips. I posted a few pictures in July along with other beaches. Here is a fresh batch from a visit last Friday. I hope you like visiting with me! (There may be a few spots on photos where salt spray landed–I missed a few on my lens…)

Top of a headland.

I hadn’t climbed up the rocks in awhile and so made my way through goose barnacles at Maxwell Point. They live on rock in inter tidal zones. I don’t want to kill any, but likely you know some sea life can inflict painful scratches if a hand or other part of skin gets scrapes–and are prone to infection. (Had one once that took weeks to heal.)

Three of my views, below.

This tunnel was made by an early 20th century family as part of plans for a fancy resort. That didn’t work out–but it’s still used to connect the main beach to a smaller one. The falling rocks can be a hazard, but the trip to the other side well worth it. Agates can be found there, there are small caves to explore and other sea gifts.

Once emerged, this is the south side of beach. When the tide is extremely low, one can walk around the Point, at left. There is a rather large cave around the corner, unseen here due to higher tide.

The man and his sons below were having great fun–and that water is not warm!

Below is the other end of the lovely beach–some call it “Star Wars” due to the geological formations.

One good way to get to that area is over a huge piece of rock. But the tide was lower, so I walked in waters around it.

Lots of bird colonies–one reason why it is a protected area.
Castle by the sea
Back on the other side where more people tend to congregate.
Farewell, Oceanside-until we meet again.

On the way home, more sights to savor…

Dairy country and Tillamook Mountains on way back up and onward.
The diversity and beauty of nature is succor to the soul.

Monday’s Meander: Welcome to My Neighborhood

A scene along Old River Road.

Summer has hit full force, with the good and not so good. City center protests for 53 days that now have brought federal troops’ presence, for one, have ramped up local worries….And I need nature all the more.

It has increasingly gotten very hot and dry here. Where to meander? When we considered where to ramble over the weekend, we decided to keep it very local and mostly ventured along the river again. That late July Oregon sunshine burned too fiercely for me; it was a slower, sweatier time time out and about. It may rain for 7 months, but when the summer arrives it brings plenty of blue skies radiating sharp heat! (Not any rain to talk about until October or November.)

Since I worked hard on another piece of writing today, this post will be short and sweet. I have scads of photos of our surrounding woodsy/ riverine/suburban Portland area and local trails we walk. Though I have at times featured shots specific to a larger topic, there are scads more that you might enjoy – these are fairly random random but, hopefully, a refreshing assortment.

A Gabriel Park trail, close to our city.
The ole Willamette River.
It really is nearby–a view from a Cook’s Butte trail.
“Our” woods to call home.
Community gardens