Saddle Mountain, Oregon, June 10, 2019

We have been up this trail many times.The profusion of wildflowers this time of year is always a draw. A combination of shadowy forest and rocky open slopes over 1600 feet of elevation change creates a myriad of habitats and bloom times. We saw at least 66 different types of blooming flowers. I’ve detailed our 2017 hike here. Some standout views for today:

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Shady forest

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View to the top

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The knob

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First view of the ocean beyond the knob

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Steep chicken wire lined rocky trail up the cliffs

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The saddle

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Bistort, Mt Rainier

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Flowers all the way to the top

 

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View to Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens and Mt Adams from the summit

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View to Astoria from the summit

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Looking back to the sea and the summit on the return hike

 

Notable flowers:

This was hike #27 for 2019, 6.8 miles, 1900 feet.

Wahkeena-Multnomah Loop After the Fire – A Glorious Wildflower Explosion Amidst the Blackened Trees…

June 6, 2019  – Wahkeena-Multnomah Falls Loop

This area was burned by the Eagle Creek Fire of September 2017. The trails above the waterfalls were closed for over a year, then have been reopened and closed periodically since fall 2018. Instability along the trail, falling trees and sliding slopes have been valiantly repaired by our intrepid trail keepers. The trails were open today. We hiked up Wahkeena Creek and down Multnomah Creek. Much of the understory removed by fire has returned as lush greenery. It was a beautiful hike on a beautiful day, and there were sooo many flowers!!! Of course, by the time we circled back around to Multnomah Falls there were also sooo many people, but most don’t  go above the Benson Bridge. I enjoyed my first foray back onto these trails. (Hike #26 for 2019, 5 miles, 1600 feet)

Wahkeena Trail

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Approaching Multnomah Falls from the parking area.

We started by climbing past Wahkeena Falls, and up several hanging garden switchbacks to  Lemmons Viewpoint:

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Tiger lily blooming near the viewpoint.

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View across the Columbia River

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View upriver to Beacon Rock

The trail continues up Wahkeena Creek beyond Fairy Falls and onto the ridge between the drainages:

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Fairy Falls

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Millions of candy flowers line the burned forest floor.

The next section of trail, along the upper ridgecrest, has always felt very special to me – a quiet flat trail in the deep forest, high on a steep ridge above the river – immensely peaceful and idyllic. My first time through after the fire was trepidatious, but the trail retains it’s magical quality. Despite the scorched trees and more open view, the feeling of peace remains. These trees will all come down at someday. Today I marvel at the explosion of flowers the extra sunlight has nurtured.

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A couple of comparisons from a June 2014 Hike:

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2018

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2014

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2018

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View downslope to the river.

From here, the trail crosses a couple of flowery drainages before heading down to Multnomah Creek:

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Larkspur ahead!

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Arnica and columbine

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Arnica, bleeding heart

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Columbine, iris, bleeding heart

Multnomah Creek

The trail passes several waterfalls along Multnomah Creek:

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New sign, burned sign

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Multnomah Creek

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Flower lined trail

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Monkey and candy flowers

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Ecola Falls

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Wiesendanger Falls

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Dutchman Falls

A side spur leads out to the viewpoint at the top of Multnomah Falls (where the crowds of people begin):

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The top of falls viewpoint

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Looking straight down the falls

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View of the parking area, river and beyond

A dozen or so paved switchbacks lead down to the trailhead. Lots of people and flowers along the way:

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Rebuilt rock wall along the trail

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Burned trail post

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Approaching the Benson Bridge

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Looking down to the view plaza from the bridge

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Multnomah Falls from the view plaza

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Looking back from the approach area

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Burned trees along the ridgeline

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Trailmap

More flowers:

 

Back in Portland, June 5, 2019

We returned last weekend from two and a half weeks visiting in Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Colorado. There were planes, trains, subways, busses, automobiles, a boat, and bicycles; a baby, dogs, cats and the Blue Angels; tornado damage, lakes, rivers, mountains, wildflowers, poison oak, and topiary; a birthday, a graduation, ice cream, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Appalachian Trail!  I will report on all that later. Meanwhile, back in Oregon, the weeds have grown and new flowers are blooming.

 

Knitting

I made a bit of progress on my travel socks

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and started a new project at a knit-in at my local yarn shop.

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Eastern Columbia River Gorge Wildflowers, April 25, 2019

1) Memaloose Hills

A favorite wildflower hike, we found a perfect day – not windy, balsam root fully blooming, lupine and paintbrush just beginning to open. Splendid!

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Balsam root, lupine, paintbrush and yellow parsley near the trailhead.

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Oak woodlands

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Lower meadow with buttercups and balsam root.

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Emerging from the woods to the yellow slope of Chatfield Hill.

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Mt Hood to the southwest.

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More flowery slopes to the east.

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Mt Adams to the north near the top of the hill.

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So many flowers!

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Mt Adams, the river, the northern Memaloose Hill with fewer flowers.

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Columbia River to the west.

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Mt Hood and Mt Adams bookend this panoramic view from the top.

 

 

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Back to the lower meadow, Tom McCall Point in the distance.

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Last peek at Mt Adams.

Many other flowers among the showy balsam root!

2) Lower Tom McCall trail at Rowena Crest

We just had time to walk the lower mile through one of my favorite trail sections, desert parsley alley. The upper Tom McCall trail will be in full bloom soon.

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View of Tom McCall Point from the trailhead.

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Plenty of balsam root blooming here!

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Lower Parsley Alley

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Columbia desert parsley

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Looking back at Rowena Crest viewpoint, Mt Adams on the horizon.

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Columbia River and Lyle, WA

From our high point, just past the first switchback, we could see the bright yellow backside of the Memaloose Hills where we had hiked earlier today.

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We walked back through Upper Parsley Alley, where the fern leaf parsley waves it’s regal flower heads.

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Map of our two hikes:

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Hike #20 for 2019. 4.7 miles and 600 feet for the day.

Knitting

I finished attaching the uppers to the soles on the Frost Slippers. Next to pick up the cuffs and knit upward….

Garden

New blooms in the garden this week:

Crater Lake Snowshoe, Rogue River Waterfalls, Table Rock Wildflowers, and Knitting

 

Crater Lake – April 19, 2019

My husband has been eager to see Crater Lake with winter snow, so we waited for a promising weather weekend, and our friends found a cozy cabin in Prospect, Oregon. Friday morning we drove to the rim of Crater Lake where a small parking area provides access to the rim road, which is otherwise covered in several feet of snow. The views were stunning – the sky, the lake, the snow each so pure of color! We snowshoed about 2.5 miles clockwise along the road, nearly to the base of The Watchman.

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First view of Crater Lake from Rim Village

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Panorama shot

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We were heading toward The Watchman for our destination.

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Stopping for views along the way.

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Mt Shasta to the south, in California

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Mt McLoughlin

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Panorama view at our lunch stop

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Perfect view of Wizard Island

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Closer view of the crater on Wizard Island,

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the trees,

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and the curvy shoreline of the lake.

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Looking back at The Watchman and Hilman Peak before we return.

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Mt  Scott and Garfield Peak ahead as we snowshoe back to Rim Village.

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Rim Village buildings under snow.

(Hike#17/ 5.6 miles/ 600 feet)

Rogue River/Mill Creek Waterfalls – April 20, 2019

Saturday morning was rainy, but mostly dry by the afternoon. There are several waterfalls along the Rogue River near Prospect, Oregon. We followed a beautiful wooded trail along Mill Creek to Pearsony Falls, and then farther, to a view of The Avenue of Boulders, and then followed the canyon rim to the lip of Mill Creek Falls for a lunch stop.

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Pearsony Falls

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Avenue of the Boulders

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Avenue of the Boulders highway bridge

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Lip of Mill Creek Falls

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Lip of Mill Creek Falls, lunch stop

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Mill Creek Falls and Rogue River

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Madrone trees along the trail

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We also admired the views from the Highway bridge over The Avenue of the Boulders.

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Looking down the Avenue of the Boulders from the bridge.

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Perspective exercise

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After lunch we went to the Mill Creek Falls Trailhead and followed the path to the viewpoint of Mill Creek and Barr Falls.

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Mill Creek Falls

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Closer view of Mill Creek Falls

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Mill Creek Falls lunch stop was just to the left of the lip.

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Barr Creek Falls

We saw many forest wildflowers, lungwort lichen, and moss:DSC03061

Calypso Orchid

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Trillium

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Snow queen

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Pioneer violet

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Oregon grape

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Manzanita

 

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Lungwort lichen

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Lungwort lichen

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Mosses

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We then drove to the Natural Bridge area of the Rogue River near Union Creek. We had to walk in from the highway, as the access road is not yet open. Here the river is supposed to disappear from surface view into a lava tube, but there is so much spring runoff just now that the water is overflowing the top of the lava tube, and the natural bridge is not obvious.

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Upstream view of the Rogue River

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Downstream view of the Rogue River

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Rogue River flowing over the top of the lava tube

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Rogue River flowing over the top of the lava tube as well as through it.

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The bridge to the Natural Bridge

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Group shadow portrait

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Lizard

(Hike #18/ 5.4 miles/ 500 feet – for the day)

Lower Table Rock – 4/21/2019

Sunday, we drove back toward Medford to Lower Table Rock, renowned for spring wildflowers. We saw at least thirty one different varieties that I could name. The wide, well maintained trail up the mesa passes through oak woodland that is completely permeated, entwined, carpeted and otherwise overgrown with shiny oily red and green poison oak.

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Lower Table Rock – our destination

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Swales of rosy plectritis and buttercup meadows

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Oak tree

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Buttercup meadows under the oak trees at the base of the mesa.

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Another view of the Lower Table Rock about halfway up the trail, with fiddle neck and buckbrush in the foreground

Wildflowers in the lower meadows and along the trail to the top:

I was excited to see two new-to-me dramatic flowers:

Tolmie’s Mariposa Lily, also called cat ears –

Scarlet fritillary or red bells were right near the top of the trail, and were the only two stems of these I saw. I literally gasped when I looked over and saw them, they were so beautiful. And I could not get any closer due to the proximity of poison oak!

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Beyond the red bells, we emerged onto the top of the mesa, which was nearly flat with a long trail, formerly a runway landing strip, across the top to viewpoints of the surrounding landscape. The flowering meadows on top were Sound of Music scenic, and lovely to walk through.

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There was a different suite of flowers on the top of the mesa.

We had our lunch at the south edge of the mesa with views toward Medford, the Rogue River valley, and back east toward Crater Lake and Mt McLoughlin.

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Crags at our lunch stop.

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East view toward Upper Table Rock, also covered with yellow flowers, and the shoulders of Mt Mazama (Crater Lake)

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Rogue River valley

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Rogue River below

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The top of Mt McLoughlin emerging from the clouds

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Location map

(Hike#19/ 5.1 miles/ 750 feet)

Weekend parting shots:

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The Cabin

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Nearby farm with grazing elk and Mt McLoughlin at sunset

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Elk

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Mt McLoughlin

The Knitting

I finished the Vintage Prim Hat, pattern by Andrea Mowry! Brioche can be tricky, and I fixed a lot of mistakes – both tinking and frogging.

Columbia Hills, WA, Tryon Creek, OR, and some Brioche Knitting

Crawford Oaks 4/4/2019

We had to drive 75 miles east to the Columbia Hills to find a dry hike this weekend. We started up the road to Eight Mile Falls, then continued on the Vista Loop. It was a bit late for grass widows and yellow bells, and a bit early for full balsamroot display, so we had a bit of each, on a windless day. A lovely hike, and pretty easy, compared to when we hiked here about a year ago and I was less than two months post surgery. Next spring, we will attempt this hike a few weeks later to get the full balsamroot experience.

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Bird welcoming us to the trail.

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The graphic showing the depth of the Missoula Floods here always impresses me.

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Eight Mile Falls

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Looking back west toward the river and Horsethief Butte.

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One of the scattered early blooming balsamroots.

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View to the west, toward The Dalles

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View to the east toward Biggs

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Looking north to the Columbia Hills

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One swale of shooting stars – first of the season

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A blue jay near the trailhead

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Last look at Horsethief Butte

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Hike #15, 5 miles/1000 feet

The wildflower suite:

Sunday dash around Tryon Creek to see the Trillium

4/7/2019   A rainy weekend in Portland, a weather window, so we went:

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Trillium in swathes in the woodlands, and individually along the trail.

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After a weekend of rain, some flowers were becoming transparent

Other flowers included skunk cabbage in the bogs near the creek.

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Lots of water dripping, but we mostly avoided actual rain.

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cedar

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violets

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Oregon grape

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(Hike#16, 2.2 miles, 200 feet)

Knitting

Progress on the Vintage Prim hat, with brioche:

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I will just say that there has been frogging, and use of lifelines. I have even learned to fix one or two stitches, but a big fix is still beyond me with this technique. I do love how it looks!

Daffodils and Knitting

March 12, 2019

The wildflowers I like to hike to are still under a foot of snow out in the Columbia River Gorge, but the garden is finally starting to bloom. Daffodils in my front yard are opening and not freezing.

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Knitting Slippers

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I found a free pattern from Knit Picks for Frost Slippers. I already have the same wool yarn,  leftover from my son’s Dr Who Scarf, which I knit for him in 2011. The yarn, Wool of the Andes, is a bit toothsome, but perfect for stranded color work, and I got the itch to make these slippers. The trick of the project is that the uppers and soles are knit two at a time, magic loop method, then steeked and sewn together. So the knitting looks like a crazy balaclava, but is very fun to do. I have finished the uppers, and am making good progress on the soles. We’ll see how much I do or don’t like the steeking and sewing, but I am enjoying the interesting construction so far.

And just for fun, I’m adding a photo of the Dr Who scarf – 120″ long!

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Winter Travel in the Portland Art Museum

 

Portland Art Museum   3/3/2019

I visited the Portland Art Museum instead of going for a hike last weekend, as it is still snowy and too cold out for me. There were three exhibits I wanted to see.

The Map Is Not The Territory

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This exhibit focuses on relationship to geography by artists who are Indigenous people.  The floating rocks piece has been advertised all around town, and certainly appealed to me, with my past as a geologist, and my love of hiking in the natural world. The artist Annette Bellamy had three striking pieces that I contemplated for a while:

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The circle of chairs, blankets and shoes by Charlene Vickers created a sense of community.

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Modern American Realism

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This collection had some beautiful images that reminded me of places I have been.

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We visited the Dalles Dam about a month ago, so when I saw this picture glowing across the gallery I immediately recognized the place.

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The vivid colors attracted me to this painting of a forest in autumn.

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A family member’s kitchen could have been the inspiration for this painting.

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Picturing Oregon

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The vivid colors in this painting immediately reminded me of the forest painting in the previous exhibit.

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We have enjoyed hiking in the John Day country.

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A stroll through the art gallery provided lots of inspiration, and mental traveling, out of the cold. The photos never quite do the artworks justice but at least remind me of my journey. There were many more pieces in the museum. These were the images that caught my attention that day.

I also visited a portrait of  George Washington, who was scrupulous about even the perception of conflict of interest while in office. Here it is, compared to his portrait  in the British National Portrait Gallery, which we saw last April.

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Portland Art Museum

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British National Portrait Gallery

Knitting

I cast on another brioche hat and some stranded knit slippers, both out of leftover stash yarn, and still have an ongoing sock.

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Garden

We planted a Black Tupelo street tree where our flaming ash had been on the parkway, with help from Friends of the Trees.

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Our spring flowers are trying to bloom, but it is snowing again!!!

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hyacinths

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crocuses

A Winter Day at the Oregon Coast

2/21/2019

We drove over the snowy Coast Range from Portland to Cannon Beach and explored some of our favorite places on a cold, sunny day. Everywhere else within reach was colder, wetter, snowier.

Arcadia Beach State Park

First stop, late morning. High tide was in the early afternoon so the beach was shrinking as we walked a couple of miles south along the shore. We could not get around any of the headlands. Heavy mineral concentrations on the sand-depleted winter beaches made beautiful patterns.

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Looking down on Arcadia Beach from above – at low tide we would be able to walk around the headland and north all the way to Cannon Beach.

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Tidal channels

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Heavy mineral patterns

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Foot for scale.

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View to the south toward Hug Point and beyond.

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Zooming in on Hug Point – as close as we would get to it today.

Hug Point State Park

Tide even higher, so our stop here was brief.

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Beach at Hug Point State Park – north view at high tide. We would not be able to see the waterfall or Hug Point itself today.

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South view – in the summer the sand stretches for miles at low tide!

Arch Cape Beach

We have stayed near this beach many times over the past 30 years. We found a log to perch on while we ate our lunch. Only the rocky shingle was exposed on the winter beach. Thick foam was washing around in the swash zone, floating on the ebbing water, sparkling in the sun.

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Lunch view to the north.

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Lunch view to the south, Arch Cape and Castle Rock.

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Neahkahnie Viewpoint

At the south end of Oswald West State Park, the view to Nehalem Bay and Manzanita to the south is stunning.

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Neahkahnie Mountain

We hiked the three mile round trip to the top of Neahkahnie Mountain – beautiful views on this cold day.

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Much of the trail is through shady forest.

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View from the rocky top. Nehalem Bay and Manzanita Beach.

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Note the snow capped peaks in the Coast Range.

Short Sand Beach, Oswald West State Park

We walked a couple of miles here on the interconnected trails that lead to Short Sand Beach in Smuggler’s Cove.

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Bridge over Necarney Creek

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View to north from the south beach

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View to south from the south beach

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North beach of Smuggler’s CoveFalcon Point and Blumenthal Falls

There were a few surfers in the water.

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I accidentally photographed a surfer when I was zooming in on the falls.

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Blumenthal Falls

Silver Point View

Looking back toward Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock.

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Cannon Beach/Haystack Rock at Sunset

After an early dinner in Cannon Beach, we parked near Haystack Rock. Dan walked down the beach to photograph the sunset. I watched from above, keeping warm in the car. (Hike #11, 8 miles, 1100 feet for the day).

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Haystack Rock

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Tillamook Head to the north.

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Crafting

I finished the first sock of this pair. I have set up a frame to practice canvas stitching.

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Winter Gardens, Portland

Hoyt Arboretum  2/15/2019

Two hours with no rain – we took a walk to the Winter Garden in Hoyt Arboretum, Washington Park. (Hike #9, 2 miles, 200 feet)

 

We saw more blooming witch hazel near the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial:

Crystal Springs   2/17/2019

A dry day – we met friends at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, and walked all around the lakes and garden paths. We then crossed the road and walked along Crystal Springs Creek through Reed Canyon on the Reed College campus. (Hike#10, 3 miles, 150 feet).

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Bridge at the north end of the gardens near the entrance.

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Winter plants were blooming, though nothing like the riot of color during rhododendron and azalea season.

Water birds and reflections:

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Crystal Springs Creek trail in Reed Canyon:

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The bicycle/pedestrian bridge across the canyon.

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Walking east along Reed Canyon.

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A great blue heron near the marsh.

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The spring inlet on the east end of campus.

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The lake on the west end of campus.

Cross Stitch

I mounted the Jane Austen House Cross Stitch on foam board using sequin pins and a few stitches at the corners. The piece is now hanging on my wall!

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Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, May 2018. I realize now the cross stitch kit view is the side facing the garden, not the street front.

Knitting

I found buttons for my Brioche Headscarf, and have worn it!

 

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