Thursday, June 15, 2017

Peony Season -- too short

The highlight of the flowering season is when the peonies bloom.  Maybe it was because of the long, hard winter, but several of my plants didn't produce any flowers, and those that bloomed didn't have many flowers. There were only a few exceptions.  In another week, I think most of the flowers will be wilting and dropping petals. But I'll enjoy them while I can.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


When I was growing up, I don't recall paying that much attention to lilacs.  Maybe my mother's lilacs weren't so impressive in those years.  Nearly 40 years ago, my husband and I bought our first house in a neighborhood that had several established lilac "trees."  They were in a variety of shades of lilac, as well as white.  In our own backyard, the old white lilac had grown to the size of a tree; some years later, a heavy, wet snowfall took it down.  Since then, I've planted starts from various places among the remains of that old shrub. Now it blooms white (not very pretty blossoms) and a pale lilac.  At least three other shades of lilac grow there, but they haven't bloomed yet. Across the street, three very old lilacs bushes grow next to the alley.  One has the darkest lavender blooms and lasts longer than other in the neighborhood.  I asked for some of the dark ones to use with my pale lilacs.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Clark's Creek Road

Early evening in spring is wonderful...and there's nothing I like better on such an evening than to take a drive on one of the many country roads leading from our little town.  The closest to our back door is Clark's Creek Road. It wanders several miles east, but we cut it short. Of course, along the way, I photographed things that appealed to me.

Clark's Creek Road
(I've already ordered two canvases of this image.)
Clark's Creek
Wild lupine and wild geranium
One of my favorite old gates beside the road
Apple blossoms 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Spring also means Animals...

The trip to SE Portland is nearly 400 miles, out of the mountains, across the flatland "desert" between the mountains and the Columbia Gorge.  The Gorge itself is always beautiful, but the high point for my husband and me is always the search for views of the Bighorn sheep between Blalock and Philippi Canyons and the John Day River.  Several summers ago, groups of rams were almost always right next to the freeway and easy to photograph. Then that seemed to change, but we didn't give up looking. Two weeks ago, we were able to stop three times--three times where there was enough space to pull off the highway. I was within 50 yards of the animals.   The rams are ratty looking because they still have winter coats, and it was a rough winter in the Columbia Gorge.  Hopefully, they will be down low again in a month or so.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Hey Spring!

The country roads are clear of all the snow now (heavy rains took care of that)....and spring is edging closer.  No real warmth yet--it frosts at night and maxes out around 50 during the day.  It's a tease!

Snow still lies in scattered drifts. The blue birdhouse is one of many along the road.

 This old manure spreader is almost intact, wooden frame and iron wheels indicative of its old age.

My first buttercup sighting, always a good sign of spring. 

Another birdhouse among my favorite quaking aspens; this one doesn't seem habitable.

Many areas around this little pond still had drifts of snow. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Transitioning to Spring

Long winter...extended into a cold, wet spring.  But someday...someday...spring will come.  It might be time for summer by then, but it will happen.  Today was one of those transitional days: half wintry and half pretty spring. The photos are scenes of the Grande Ronde Valley.

 Cold rain moves into the valley from the north at 11 a.m. 

Early afternoon brought  blue skies and clouds, reflected in the Grande Ronde River. 

All blue and green (snow on the mountains) by 4 p.m.  Water from heavy snows followed by days of
rain have raised water levels and flooded fields. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Little Signs of Spring

Spring is only 2 days away...officially...but we know that doesn't really mean much.  A drive in the country today was a search for buttercups, but we didn't see any.  We did see a bluebird...that's a big deal! For the most part, it was early spring landscape and activity, including a tiny chipmunk and the best-dressed magpie.