Monday’s Meander: Elegance of Trees at Champoeg State Heritage Area

Champoeg State Heritage Area is 615 acres is chockfull of delights. Since we are more used to forays through more densely forested trails, we were immediately drawn into wide open fields, wetlands and forests that fan out from the Willamette River. Many paths were paved, also not as usual for hikes, and some of the area was spruced up, likely due to campground facilities nearby.

It is known for its 130 bird species, including the western bluebird, and is a historical site. In 1843 it became the site of Oregon’s first provisional government. A small town flourished there until swept away by flooding in 1861. Now, well favored campgrounds offer many tent campsites, yurts and cabins as well as space for RVs to set up. The campsites were full up.

Closed Visitors Center.

We set out on a portion of the 8.6 mile loop trail. many were doing the same walk, as it was the quintessential autumn day, cool and bright. I was enthralled with the many types of deciduous trees, being more used to pines–and the rich light that sifted through branches and washed over open land. The colors were rust, yellow and orange as well as our NW green. A banquet for the eyes. The air was fresh–it was healing just to breathe that air, as is generally the case when walking in nature. But this was an exceptionally beautiful day.

We left the trails and headed up to the Manson Barn and Farmstead, with garden, from the 1860s.

I will return to this lovely place even when it rains as the trails make it easy to walk a good distance in any weather.

See you next time!

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Abundance

Photo by Cynthia Guenther Richardson Copyright 2020

A scarcity of words

scatter then to now-

how much can be told

in small offerings,

like seeds cast

upon wind that may

take root elsewhere.

Simplicity,

the whisper of austerity,

reveals abundance.

So, too, with us.

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Catch, Love, Release

The wise way is to catch the beauty

and then release, give no thought more

than comes in holding a moment

and then, filled up, even happy,

relinquish it to curl and twist of wind,

to three sister fates that weave this life,

and watch it sail into blue sheer day.

But the desire is to hoard this leaf of

vermilion golden carmine,

this late fall jewel caught in chilled fingers.

I want I want the heart and hand say

but my spirit advises

admire, lightly love, let go.

A compromise, then: tuck

in a nook for safekeeping,

for another seeker who may

embrace wonder and move on

toward winter’s advent and its gifts

(Photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson 2019)

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Photos: Crowns of Glory

During various walks, I have been astonished at the colors of those beauties, deciduous trees. Oregon has had exceptional displays to behold and absorb, eye and soul. Here are 6 of my favorite shots, taken on recent brilliant crisp days. The first was just amazing to see in person.