It's a lot of ruckus to host guests, since my usual preferred activities these days are on the quieter contemplative side. My siblings left last week, and more guests arrive next week. I do love having guests, but I've been more nervous about it lately. It's either the pandemic or aging, or both, making me less flexible, or less tolerant of change and chaos. Socializing, it seems, has become like practicing an instrument; something I need to keep working on to get better at it.
Right On Time
For weeks we heard the whispers and rumors. Is it time? Are we early? Too late? How many, many things They call to mind These cherry-blossoms! --Matsuo Basho
With the promise of one nice day in the whole week, our quandary is whether to work in the garden or get out and about. The garden is waking up, but the soil is still pretty cold for planting much. Still, there's plenty to be done, and much is of the backbreaking variety. But the wild woods call, and the garden will wait. Awe lies in store.
Way back a week ago, when our erratic spring was warm for 3 minutes, we dropped in on Leach Botanic Garden, a little place I've been curious about for a long time. Because Botanic. And Garden. Both good words.
First Spring – Powell Butte
Out to Powell's Butte in "the numbers" to celebrate almost spring, first spring, fool's spring. Whichever it is, I'll take it!
Beyond Mud To Open Waters
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.
Healing Through Nature
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.
Back to the Garden
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!
It’s A Brothel Out There
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...