What happened in September 2021…

Home and garden:

Knitting:

I finished more hats for the Women’s Shelter donation, made progress on socks and a shawl, both excellent travel knitting, and began knitting the fall Mystery Gnome. And I received a late but welcome crocheted bag as a birthday gift from my sister.

Hiking:

We spent a lot of time on hiking trails! In addition to two out of town trips to the Olympic Peninsula and Mt Baker, and a day hike at Cloud Cap on Mt Hood, all described in separate posts, we went on six other adventures:

September 9, East Crater Trail, Indian Heaven, Washington. Return to Junction Lake.

DSC09034

Into the woods

DSC09048

East Crater

DSC09085

DSC09062

Junction Lake

DSC09060

Mountain ash

DSC09061

Huckleberry

DSC09076

Mt St Helens from the PCT Southbound

DSC09097

Birds in a water hole in a mostly dry creek

September 17, Portland Arboretum. Early fall color on a beautiful day.

DSC09801

Aralia

DSC09806

Sumac

DSC09798

Hop hornbeam

DSC09815

Douglas fir with sap

DSC09816DSC09817

September 24, Kiwa Trail, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Looking for Sandhill Cranes while we can still hike the trail before it is closed for the winter nesting season.

DSC09943

Nightshade berries near the creek

DSC09944

Woodland

DSC09966

Grassland with teasel

DSC09950

These are the sandhill cranes we are looking for!

DSC09947

Resident nesting pair with colt

DSC09952

September 26 – Saltzman Road in Forest Park, Portland. Our first time on this particular trail through the park, we walked 6 miles while catching up with friends.

September 28, Crawford Oaks, Washington. A return to an oft hiked trail, we escaped the rain in Portland and saw only 4 other hikers the entire day.

IMG_4028

Columbia Hills from The Dalles Bridge

DSC09982

Geologic context

DSC00091

Eight Miles Falls

DSC00001

Pear tree

DSC00007

Our usual lunch spot

DSC00024

Clouds and wind

DSC00028

Eastward

DSC00030

Tufts

DSC00042

The “one tree”

DSC00056

Dried balsamroot, Dalles Mountain Ranch

Some foliage for the day:

September 30, Coyote Wall, Washington. Another often hiked trail, again with friends. A beautiful day up there!

DSC00103

Puffy clouds and rocks

DSC00105

Coyote Wall

DSC00107

Mt Hood in the clouds

DSC00120

Return hike

Other news:

Tiaki, the Albatross chick I have been watching in New Zealand via webcam, has fledged!

IMG_1677

IMG_1675

The blue line is a tracker on Tiaki, the red line is one of her parents.

A family member acquired a new-to-him car.

IMG_4013

I attended an in-person book group meeting, where we watched the moon rise over the Willamette River from Sauvie Island.

IMG_3995

August 2021 – summer gardens, knitting an albatross, the wing and the wheel….

August turned out a bit differently than planned, as we had to cancel travel due to the spread of the delta variant of Covid-19. I celebrated another birthday, walked the neighborhood, ate lots of fresh garden tomatoes, knitted, sewed masks, enjoyed my daughter’s visit, and went on a few hikes (next post). 

Neighborhood and garden

IMG_3728

Summer roses

IMG_3733

IMG_3730

Echinacea

 

IMG_3735

Shadows

 

IMG_3737

View to downtown from Alameda Ridge from the top of…

 

IMG_3738

the 38th Avenue stairs.

 

IMG_3739

Signs of support in the neighborhood…

IMG_3782

IMG_3741

Water splashing in the Beverly Cleary sculpture garden.

 

IMG_3740

Harbinger…

 

IMG_3808

Puffy clouds in the evening sky,

 

IMG_3815

Half moon rising,

 

IMG_3855

Alpenglow

 

IMG_3801

Farmer’s market and garden bounty

 

IMG_1886

Birthday cupcakes and books

IMG_3882

Knitting and sewing

An Albatross –

I finished knitting an Albatross Chick, pattern by Rachel Borello Carroll. The face and legs are perfect, the body and wings a less accurate reproduction, but I love having the chick on my shelf.

IMG_3789

During our travels in New Zealand in February of 2020, we saw albatross chicks in their nests at the Royal Albatross Center in Taiaroa.

DSC08517

Albatross, taken from the bird blind at Pukekura/Taiaroa Head, February, 2020

DSC03959

After we returned home, almost immediately into pandemic lockdown, I discovered the albatross chick Atawhai, who we probably saw on our visit, was live on camera 24/7 on the Albatross Webcam: https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/birds/birds…

I spent many a moment of zen during this pandemic, watching Atawhai sitting in the beautiful landscape that we visited, the beaches we walked upon beyond. Atawhai fledged in September of 2020.

This year I have been watching the new season of albatross on the webcam. There is a new fluffy chick named Tiaki, who will also fledge soon. She is down to only a few fluffy feathers, and spends lots of time stretching her wings in the wind (wingspan about 3 meters!) One day in the next month, the wind and wings will catch together successfully, and she will fly off for a few years, somehow knowing how to dive into the water to get food, having never touched it before. And new chicks will be hatched in January. The photos here are screenshots from the Webcam.

IMG_1440IMG_1619IMG_1624

Other knitting and sewing: I finished two more hats for donation, and made new masks for my daughter.

IMG_3802IMG_3873IMG_3865

Not traveling

Our travel destination turned from orange to red the week before departure, so we will not be walking through the Mid Atlantic Ridge, not watching an active volcano in the twilight, not walking along the shores of a glacial lake with floating icebergs, or seeing the birds and marine life of the North Atlantic ocean. We thought we would be too early for northern lights, but I was looking forward to seeing the lopi yarn, the black sand beaches, all the recent volcanic features, and the many waterfalls….   I heard an interesting discussion about the ethics of making the choice to not get vaccinated, and whether people making that choice (excepting those with true medical reasons) should have consequences. I fall squarely on the side of yes they should, and not because my travel plans are delayed. People are dying, people are surviving with long term consequences. Everyone’s life has been interrupted, and will continue to be until herd immunity can be achieved. So yes, I think that those selfishly ignoring the science, unwilling or unable to evaluate all the misinformation out there for what it is (more divisive rhetoric from the right wing patriarchy), should be restricted in their ability to move through public spaces freely, especially when they won’t offer the courtesy of at least wearing a frigging mask! It is a public health emergency!

IMG_1630

RIP Nanci Griffith

We lost one of my favorite singer songwriters this month. I have been listening to her beautiful voice and poetry for more than 40 years, and will continue to listen. 

IMG_3846

There’s a pale sky in the east, all the stars are in the west
Oh, here’s to all the dreamers, may our open hearts find rest
The wing and the wheel are gonna carry us along
And we’ll have memories for company, long after the songs are gone.

Nanci Griffith – Wing and the Wheel

 

July 2021, a miscellany

July has been low key, with an episode of busyness near the end, when we had house guests and a long awaited wedding celebration of a good friend. Otherwise, I have been knitting, hiking, walking the neighborhood, growing  tomatoes, attending zoom and back yard knitting and book group meetings, and watching Le Tour de France and the Tokyo Olympics. And avoiding exposure to the Delta variant of Covid 19, so masking up in stores again, and keeping all contact with non household people as sanitary as possible. Sigh, but it must be done!

Knitting –

I finished a gnome, a charity hat and a pair of gift socks.

I finished the face embroidery on my albatross, and have another pile of works in progress:

IMG_3659

Albatross by Rachel Borello Carrol

IMG_3714

WIPS – Two hats, a pair of socks, a cardigan.

Neighborhood and Garden –

Hot dry days and colorful flowers.

Hikes –

Keeping pace with weekly hikes. Still avoiding weekends, and dodging heat. 

July 6 – Lookout Mountain, east of Mt Hood. Always enjoyable for the flowers and the views this time of year.

IMG_3620

Mt St Helens, from a blooming High Prairie, near the trailhead.

IMG_3621

Mt Hood from the summit of Lookout Mountain.

July 20 – Larch Mountain Crater – north of Mt Hood, a 7 mile loop that circles the top of Larch Mountain through very quiet green forest. At the top there are views to all the Cascades north and south:

DSC08134

The quiet forest below the summit.

DSC08130

Some of the views from Sherrard Point:

DSC08141

Mt Hood

DSC08151

Close up of Mt Hood

DSC08143

Mt Jefferson through the haze.

DSC08146

Mt Adams to the north, beyond the burn zone

July 15 and 28 – Wildwood Trail, Forest Park – We hiked two sections from the NW 53rd trailhead, and now have only 7 miles to go to complete the entire Wildwood trail, a pandemic aspiration.

DSC08109

Dry and shady, Wildwood Trail near mile 10, July 15, 2021

IMG_3713

Two July hikes on the Wildwood Trail.

DSC08163

Wildwood Trail near mile 8, July 28, 2021

A few of the flowers in the forest:

 

Other events: 

On to August….

June 2021 – Emerging…but into a heat dome?

It is June 2021 and I am emerging from pandemic life a little more each day, like the cicadas from their seventeen year hibernation, or the Munchkins of Oz after the tornado dropped the house of the Wicked Witch of the East on them. Well not exactly like that. But I am slowly meeting more friends in real life, blinking at the brightness of their unmasked smiles; hesitantly, then greedily leaning into their hugs; ramping up our conversations of all the not shared words of the past fifteen months. Then I go home and recover from the intensity of the interactions, but feel more relaxed, more appreciative of life before the pandemic, when meeting my knitting group and chatting for a few hours was a weekly occurrence; when the warmth of shared interactions was not impeded by a cold glassy screen.

I know the global pandemic is not over, that many places are still locked down and in crisis. People anxiously await their vaccinations, as I did three months ago. People with young children continue sheltering until their vaccines are approved.  But it is time for us to go outside again…

Around town:

We are enjoying berry season! We went on several hikes (see the next post), and also to see the roses.

64641882020__DB4EFFEA-4ADC-4A81-B9A9-43EA9D687C8F

June 8 – Portland International Rose Test Garden – We visited during the week when Portland traditionally celebrates the Rose Festival, mostly cancelled this year due to Covid-19. On this showery day, we saw a full rainbow of glistening roses – appropriate for Pride month!

DSC07661

DSC07690

Knitting :

I have completed two projects – socks, and a donation hat. I have four works in progress: another donation hat, socks, a cardigan and a gnome:

IMG_3519

Kroy socks

IMG_3536

Donation Tam Topper

IMG_3606

WIPs

I also met in person with my knitting group a few times, still outdoors and careful, but no masks as we are all vaccinated. We visited the Knitted Wit Warehouse on her open house day, and I acquired some new yarn. I also got a pile of potential from our knitter’s destash table at one of our meetups. It is so hard to leave beautiful yarn behind, knowing it was all going to donation if not taken home by one of us. So not sure what I am making with these, but I love the colorful potential!

IMG_3582

New skeins

IMG_3581

New to me destash table collection

Quilting :

I finished the baby quilt and sent it along to the new little one.

DSC07621

What the heck is a heat dome, and why is it lingering around my neighborhood!

At the end of the month, we were challenged again, by the heat dome! A rare meteorological event that produced record high temperatures across the usually mild Pacific Northwest, and once again confined us to our indoor spaces for a few days. Fortunately for me, we have an air conditioned house, but it is not common in Oregon. As the temperatures rose and the air stagnated, I was reminded of my time in Tucson, AZ, when the summer temperatures were commonly above 100 degrees, but not in the 110’s! We are out of it now, but it was uncomfortable, and catastrophic for many. 

We resorted to making popsicles from our ancient Tupperware molds.

IMG_3571

These neighborhood cactus plants were blooming and happy.

IMG_3559

We are hoping for a mild July….

May 2021, part 2: Garden, Knitting, Sewing

My garden:

IMG_3346

Native irises

IMG_3351

First roses

Our tomato plants are doing well – next we will add a few basil plants.

IMG_3484

Walking in Portland:

IMG_3370

California poppies

IMG_3386

Same poppies on a cloudy day.

IMG_3388

IMG_3377

Meadow rue and allium

IMG_3449

Colorful landscaping

And in the “weird” Portland spirit:

IMG_3451

Fairy garden

IMG_3446

Sidewalk interactive music box display

IMG_3424

Mannequin arms on Yogurt Shop bench

64400160134__465D340B-D3A1-40C2-8E4C-611D1AA8DF4C

First local Hood strawberries! (Not weird)

Knitting and sewing:

IMG_3390

I am making progress on my bamboo Em Dash cardigan.

IMG_3431

I’ve finished all of the parts of the albatross – assembly next.

IMG_3478

I am close to finished with the red/brown socks. 

IMG_3471

I started these green socks for travel knitting, made good progress on our DC trip. But I lost at yarn chicken. 

The pinwheel quilt for a new baby in the family is basted and ready for quilting:

IMG_3477

I used this opportunity to knit Egg to Turtle for the big sister. I have had my eye on this Susan B Anderson pattern for a while, and enjoyed the opportunity to make it for someone.

I refreshed my mask supply for our flight to DC and travels there:

IMG_3380

I have some garment sewing patterns queued up for stitching. I’ve been using my Jane Austen pattern weights:

IMG_3330

And in other crafty news, my knitting group is planning a Big Hug-Show and Tell Back Yard Party later this month, after we are all fully vaccinated. It will be great to share all our knitting projects that we have only seen over ZOOM.

The month of May, 2021, part 1

Life is opening up again. We and most people we know are fully vaccinated, and thus we are beginning to live life out in the world again. In May I went to two museums; rode with non-“pod” members in the same car; dined at the homes of others, both inside and outside; shopped in a store for clothing; got my haircut in my stylist’s salon instead of on her back patio; and best of all, flew across country in an airplane to Washington DC, where I got to spend a few days with my daughter, and see her and other family members that I had not seen in 18 months. It has taken a bit of time to get reaccustomed to worldly life, in a cautious, Covid-safe manner. Yet I haven’t felt anxious about it – just taking the steps that seem safe at the time, and trusting all the good news about how great the vaccines are, THANK YOU, SCIENTISTS! But it means I have neglected the blog – too busy living life. So this is catch up time. This post will be about local activities, there will be other posts about hiking, crafting, and our DC trip. Onward!

Local Adventures:

May 3: South Waterfront Park – We took a walk along the river trail after I went to a health care appointment nearby. The former industrial area is slowly turning into a live-work-healthcare complex. The greenbelt along the river is being added to our urban trail system – though it is surrounded by construction in progress.

DSC06940

Tram tower; clouds reflected in the OHSU buildings.

DSC06941DSC06942

We encountered a dead end at the south side of the trail.

IMG_3335

We walked north, and looked at Portland from a new perspective.

DSC06955

Down the ramp to views along the Willamette River and under the Ross Island Bridge.

DSC06965

Tilikum Crossing Bridge beyond the Ross Island Bridge

DSC06959

The historic Queen Anne Poulson House at the end of the bridge.

DSC06960

It’s getting a new roof.

DSC06968

Up river view – Ross Island.

An art installation called ‘Cradle’ honors the indigenous people and natural world.

DSC06947DSC06949

DSC06948

Cedar trees, oyster shells, cement, rebar.

DSC06953

Walking back upriver, we tried all the chairs in the greenbelt park.

DSC06964

The cement loungers were the most comfortable.

More flowers and reflections on this sunny/cloudy day. The residents of these apartments and condos have a lovely outdoor space. Someday I hope the path will connect farther north and south along the river.

DSC06972DSC06974DSC06977DSC06976

May 7: Canemah Bluff Nature Park – This park is on a bluff above the Willamette River in Oregon City. I had heard that it is a great location to see native camas flowers in bloom, so we stopped by for a short walk when we were visiting Bosky Dell Native Plant nursery. We did see the last of the camas blooms.

DSC07042

From the bluff there are views downriver, toward Willamette Falls,

DSC07040

and upriver, across to West Linn.

DSC07043

Camas blooming on the rocky outcrops.

DSC07046

Camas, rosy plectritis and the nefarious poison oak!

May 9: Mother’s Day at home – My two sons joined us for an outdoor meal – our last “Covid” style meal before son #2 had completed his full two week vaccination window. My daughter joined us in spirit by having a decadent eclair delivered as I was speaking to her! It was delicious, shared four ways!

IMG_3350

Eclaire from St Honore Bakery

May 13: Portland Art Museum – Friends had reserved tickets to the ‘newly reopened with limited entry’ Portland Art Museum. When their son couldn’t join them, we eagerly accepted a last minute invitation to see the new Ansel Adams Photography Exhibit. I have seen many Ansel Adams exhibits over the years. His name is almost synonymous with Yosemite National Park. As a child, my family camped in Yosemite every year, in the high alpine Tuolumne Meadows area. We hiked, fished and photographed the park. It is part of the lifeblood of my family. My father pursued photography with great passion, and followed Ansel Adams’ work. My husband and I used Ansel Adams Yosemite note cards as invitations to our very small home wedding in January of 1985, and spent our honeymoon at Yosemite Lodge. We purchased a print of an Ansel Adams Cathedral Lakes image with wedding gift money from my mother. I haven’t been back to Yosemite since 2006, but there is nothing like an Ansel Adams exhibit to fill me with that Yosemite feeling. How wonderful to walk among the large, beautiful images of his work, transported out of pandemic claustrophobia. Of course there were images of other places, and images by other artists, as part of the exhibit. This was one of those times when I marvel at the beauty and creativity of the human spirit.

IMG_3365

Exhibit entrance

IMG_3366

Lightening/shadow projected on the wall.

IMG_3367

Sand dunes in the stair well.

May 30: Eugene, Oregon – Only two hours away, yet I had not seen my brother and his family since before the pandemic. We drove down, just for the day, had a lovely lunch in their garden, and took a walk through Hendricks Park, at the tail end of rhododendron season.

IMG_3457

Sandy’s buddha

IMG_3463

Astrantia

IMG_3465

Primroses and rhodies

IMG_3467

Stone wall

Of course we talked about old times, and my brother showed me our father’s slide rule, and some of his old campaign buttons.

IMG_3468IMG_3469

May was a good month. Of course I know that not everyone is fortunate to be vaccinated yet. The pandemic and many other problems still/will always plague the world. We help where we can, but try to live as fully as possible, because that may not always be possible. The next post will include crafting in May 2021.

Late April 2021

Continuing my neighborhood walks: After the cherry blossoms, the pink snow,

IMG_3287

We go from pink trees

IMG_3313

to pink sidewalks in a week’s time.

And find them all through the neighborhood.

Dogwood trees and other flowers bloom,

IMG_3283

Dogwood

Interestingly cracked concrete catches my eye…

We went on two more hikes with amazing wildflowers:

Tom McCall Trail, OR, April 23

When we hiked here on March 11th, the slopes were covered with purple grass widows. Today, the balsamroot is the star!

DSC06726

Starting up the trail with friends.

DSC06730

Lower cliffs, balsamroot and lupine in full bloom!

DSC06736

DSC06737

Eastward view.

DSC06747

Every blade abloom under the oak trees.

DSC06748

Open slopes of balsamroot and Mt Adams.

DSC06760

Continuing up.

DSC06766

Paintbrush in bloom on the upper slopes.

Views from the top:

IMG_3290

West to Mt Hood.

IMG_3289

North to Mt Adams.

IMG_3288

Northeast, to the Cherry Orchard.

More views on the hike down:

DSC06788

Rowena Plateau.

DSC06792

Paintbrush! and the Memaloose Hills, with their yellow backs.

DSC06807

Parsley Alley….

DSC06810

And a few more flowers, for the day.

Bitterroot Trail, Catherine Creek, WA April 26

Aptly lived up to its name – the earlier blooming flowers have faded, but the bitterroot is just getting started today!

DSC06844

We began near the fairy ponds – now filled with camas lilies; the adjacent rock outcrops hosting glorious bitterroot flowers.

IMG_3296

Lewisia rediviva

DSC06862

Sprinkled across the basalt; bicolored cluster lilies speckle the meadow beyond.

We wind our way up the slope:

DSC06864

Eastward.

DSC06870

Camas lilies and shooting stars.

DSC06874

Death camas and purple camas lilies

DSC06883

Turn left at the balsamroot, while admiring the windswept views east,

DSC06885

and west…

DSC06889

We drop down the Rowland Wall trail,

DSC06890

One of the largest clusters of bitterroot buds I have seen…

DSC06894

buckwheat

DSC06898

A giant clump of cliff penstomen surprised us!

DSC06919

More bitterroot scattered across the rocky surface along our return trail.

DSC06918

This is their time to rise up!

Meanwhile…

We finally had a chance to see the heritage American Chestnut Tree in the Sellwood neighborhood. It dwarves the house, and there is an enormous stump of another chestnut tree behind it.

DSC06932

Rare American Chestnut, Sellwood, Oregon

DSC06933

Leaves just budding out.

Knitting

Quilting

IMG_3339

I’m making progress on the baby quilt.

Repotted plant report from Washington DC:

IMG_3302

Commentary on the verdict, and the path forward:

.

Blooms of early April 2021

The crabapple tree in our front yard finally bloomed during the second week of April. This tree was in full bloom the day we moved into our house in mid March almost 30 years ago.

IMG_3203

April 9th

IMG_3207

April 11th

IMG_3254

April 15th

Other garden blooms:

And some cupcakes for a friend’s birthday:

IMG_3195

Hikes:

April 2nd, Memaloose Hills, OR –

DSC06216

Begin at the Memaloose Overlook…

DSC06253

Today’s star is balsamroot!

DSC06232

Buttercup carpet in the woods.

DSC06243

Balsamroot all the way up Chatfield Hill.

DSC06254

Looking back.

DSC06272

North view from the top – Mt Adams, paintbrush, yellow parsley.

DSC06283

Columbia River, Columbia Desert parsley, balsamroot

DSC06294

Mt Hood to the west.

DSC06304

Willows and bees near the spring on the return hike.

DSC06310

Popcorn flowers on Marsh Hill.

DSC06313

View from Marsh Hill back to the Memaloose Hills.

More wildflowers:

 April 8, Coyote Wall, WA – Our first hike with friends in more than a year! We are all fully vaccinated!

DSC06322

Starting up The Old Ranch Road.

DSC06337

Service berry in bloom on the Little Moab Cliffs.

DSC06344

The edge of the Coyote Wall, yellow parsley.

DSC06357

And balsamroot, eastward view.

DSC06358

Southward view.

DSC06364

And we are going higher!

DSC06372

Upper cliff edge view.

DSC06378

A nice meadow near Atwood Road, as we loop eastward before hiking down.

DSC06392

A day when every blade of grass seems to have a bloom!

DSC06397

So many flowers!

DSC06398

Desert parsley along Old Hwy 14 cliff, return hike.

And more flowers:

Knitting

Some progress on two projects:

IMG_3216

I finished the yoke on this bamboo cardigan, and it is way too big, despite careful swatching, so this one is in time out for a while.

IMG_3213

A mystery project for a gift…

Quilting

I am starting a baby quilt for a new family member!

March 2021, so far….

We are sliding into spring around here. Flowers are blooming, with a few warm days between the rainy stretches. We were vaccinated at just about the one year anniversary of the pandemic, and I am grateful! I feel the hope of spring, yet I know we still have so far to go until everyone can say that. And then my daughter reminds me of our privilege in the world. I know. I can only live where I am, but I do know.

Knitting, reading, hiking, on we go, fuzzy days mushing into each other. Planning the weekly grocery list. Creating with my hands, my brain, I take notes. I try to find the distinguishing features of each day, and celebrate the positivity and the beauty. That is most of what I do, and will do, and am lucky to do. So….

Hiking

1) We snowshoed up White River on Mt Hood on March 2nd – clouds swathing the peak much of the day, but in a most artistic way.

DSC05859

Mt Hood in clouds, near the Sno-Park.

DSC05884

Lunch view, near the Timberline Trail crossing.

DSC05878

The snow on nearby Boy Scout Ridge looked unstable, so we kept our distance!

DSC05891

Return trip…

DSC05915

Last views – we can almost see the entire peak.

DSC05918

2) On March 11th we hiked Tom McCall Point and around Rowena Crest, east of Hood River in Oregon, to see the fields of  grass widows.

DSC05921

Thousands of grass widows on the plateau below Tom McCall Point.

DSC05924

Grass widows

DSC05925

More grass widows…

IMG_2867

Columbia River reflecting the Cherry Orchard cliffs in Washington.

DSC05943

Parsley alley

DSC05947

Mt Adams and Rowena Plateau, from near the top of Tom McCall Point.

DSC05969

Tiny flowers of spring whitlow grass.

Then we walked around Rowena Crest, closer to the river:

DSC05980

East view from Rowena Crest cliffs – kettle lakes in the foreground.

DSC05989

Westerly view.

DSC05998

One of the lakes on Rowena Crest.

DSC05999

Abstractions in the lake reflections…

DSC05997

DSC06002

And more grass widows!

3) The next week, on March 16th, we went out across the river to Lyle Cherry Orchard again. No squalls this time – a perfect hiking day, and the first of the bright yellow balsam root blooms were opening as we hiked.

DSC06009

Hiking up above the Convict Road.

DSC06006

Columbia Desert Parsley in full bloom.

DSC06056

Balsam root opening on the upper slopes.

Lots of flowers showing for the first time this spring:

Stunning views from the cherry orchard:

DSC06045

Eastward, one of the remaining cherry trees.

DSC06057

Westward, balsamroot

4) We also walked a fast loop through Tryon Creek Park, on March 17th, where the very first of the trillium were opening, a little later than last year.

DSC06093

Tryon Creek

DSC06098

First trillium of spring

Around Portland

My neighborhood is also blooming.

Knitting

I finished knitting a pair of socks for me and another hat and a cowl for the guild charity project, and cast on new socks and a cardigan.

And…

I hold the more difficult challenges to the outside world in my heart. This week it is yet another uniquely American gun violence episode in Georgia, another hate crime, anti-woman, anti-Asian. I know in my heart it is all true, and part of the work we all have to do – bring out all the biases into the light of day and see how they harm so many. I am listening and learning more each day, and it all rings true, and saddens me. I pledge to myself to be as much of an ally as I can recognize. Listen and learn. Validate. Search for the commonalities and not the otherness. From my place on the privilege spectrum.  That is most of what I do, and will do, and am lucky to do. And before I can publish this – yet another mass shooting at a grocery store in Colorado.

As a youngster with all the idealism of youth, I envisioned a giant magnet circling the world sucking away all the implements of violence, all the guns and weapons of war. On days like today with a heavy heart and a less idealistic world view, still I sigh and wish it could be true.

IMG_2823

Image 3-21-21 at 3.32 PM

And a volcano is erupting in Iceland!

Posting from my peaceful Portland neighborhood –

A trifecta of crises descends on my town –

I have been distracted from posting by current events. All I have been able to think about is how my community has been attacked by our own government. Federal gestapo-like forces have invaded Portland’s mostly peaceful Black Lives Matter protests and demonstrations, and created a war zone in the four downtown blocks around the federal building. Click-bait and spot news entertainment have focused on the four square blocks of federally-incited violence that occurs after most demonstrators have gone home. The leadership void in DC is trying to distract from inept pandemic management and interrupt local progress toward ending white supremacy. The ‘stormtroopers’ sent by a failed president are causing the violence. Today there is an announcement of an agreement to withdraw the troops. Our state and city have serious antiracist/police reform legislation proposals underway. I am cautiously optimistic.

I am speaking from a condition of white, middle class privilege. I myself have not been downtown, although I know people who have. I am of an age and health situation that I  think the best thing I can do to help is to stay home, not contribute to spreading Covid-19. I stay aware of what is going on, donate money, and hope that the trifecta of political, economic, and public health crises our country is experiencing will begin to resolve after November elections.

I honor the Black Lives Matter protesters. I appreciate the wall of moms, the dads with leaf (teargas) blowers, the wall of vets, the volunteer medics, street cleaners, and cooks, all the folks who have put themselves on the line to keep the conversation about systemic racism and police reform going.

IMG_0652IMG_1209

Meanwhile, in my neighborhood…

The quiet and calm in my neighborhood are uninterrupted. I see signs of support and blooming flowers on my walks.

We have been eating sungold tomatoes and basil from our garden, and we’ve celebrated another family birthday.

I seem to be obsessed with knitting dishcloths and have also cast on a new sweater.

IMG_1214IMG_1215

We have been out hiking in the past two weeks to places we have been before.

Lookout Mountain, July 22, 2020

Wildflower meadows and views of nine Cascade volcanoes, from Mt Rainier to Broken Top. Hike #53, 3.5 miles, 650 feet.

DSC02240

Mt Adams beyond the wildflower meadows of High Prairie.

DSC02155

Mt Hood from the volcanic spire overlook.

DSC02168

Glacier close up.

DSC02218

Mt Adams from the summit approach trail.

DSC02229

Mt Hood from the summit approach trail.

DSC02183

Washington Cascades from the summit.

DSC02189

Oregon Cascades from the summit.

Notable wildflowers:

 

Salmon River, July 28, 2020

A mostly shaded trail on a hot day along the Wild and Scenic Salmon River through old growth forest on the slopes of Mt Hood. Hike #54, 4.5 miles, 300 feet.

DSC02344DSC02322

Peaceful lunch spot along the river…

IMG_1205

DSC02304

arnica

DSC02302

monkey flower

DSC02287

Notable flowers…

DSC02326

Ghost pipe

DSC02337

Clarkia and blue gillia on a sunny cliff

Finding some peace in the old growth forest…

116161295_3650036398357670_598020101229165957_o