As self-appointed nature guides and outdoor fun seekers with the grandkids, we recently drove out to a new nature park... Rosa was not thrilled." Good luck!" her mama called gaily, closing the front door firmly.
The pandemic highlighted how important it was to all of us to have this music-based community, to recommit to one another, to hold each other up and cheer each other on, and to know that these friendships would be here when we return. The ultimate intimate connection for me is the music. When words fail, there's music.
The long drive gave me lots of time to consider, and go over lyrics of songs I hoped to lead in the jams. I immersed myself in the scenery flashing by, and realized as we left the urban boundary, that this was our first drive so far south on I-5 in 999 days.
Going to Ridgefield Wildlife Reserve is all about birdwatching really. But flowers and landscapes are what my camera can do.... Also BBQ, writing, the backyard, and more.
I never tire of crossing over the Columbia River into Washington. It has everything: a bridge, a river, another state, and another point of view. I hear constant birdsong during my four hour hike at Steigerwald Refuge. My troubles dissapate, and float away with the river.
The glorious Portland Japanese Garden was built after WWII to promote an understanding of Japanese humanity, traditions, and ideals, while creating an urban oasis here in the city. That bridge would be built through nature, something that needed no translation. Our spring walk was full of contemplative beauty.
You can't turn your back on nature around here. Even after a dozen visits to the same place, it's different every time. In Portland's temperate rainforest what's here today is gone the next. What wasn't here recently, unexpectedly shows up. We had the rainiest April in history and the only recorded April snowfall as well. Add in some intermittent sunshine, and Elk Rock Garden was again delightful.
On the right day, which was this one, Cooper Mountain Nature Park is a jubilation of greens and blossoms, prairies, wetlands and woodlands. Layers of texture roll out before us; trees are still bare, or still flowering, or in nascent leafiness, or are evergreen. What a difference a few days makes, when we were just dodging hailstones and driving through hail and slush!
I recently joined the flocks of Fitbit aficionados, in hopes of discovering a better me. The learning curve has been steep with its many screens and buttons and parameters and graphs and comparisons. I've been talking to it, this slender bit of plastic, asking about my sleep and movements and habits, muttering to it when it annoys me, and staring at it as I would a new lover, waiting for intimations of love or approval. It hasn't been as forthcoming as I'd hoped.
Spring colors have been vamping it up all over town. The gaudy celebratory technicolor blossoms bring unfettered joy. You can't not notice, no matter how grumpy or anxious you're feeling. Then I began noticing the backdrop of the quieter plants, the greenery, the natives. They're doing a happy dance of their own, their desire on parade, just not as flashy as the flowers...