WPC: Serene

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“Acceptance is an important part of serenity.
It is not enough, however, simply to accept
the things we cannot change.
For me, serenity comes from not having any investment
in the outcome.
If I am genuinely serene,
then it will not matter to me
whether things change or stay the same.
Either way, I choose to be happy.”
.
Victor Shamas
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“Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves
and in everything we do and see.
Every breath we take, every step we take,
can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity.
The question is whether or not
we are in touch with it.
We need only to be awake,
alive in the present moment.”
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Thich Nhat Hanh
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“Accept the seasons of your heart,
even as you have always accepted
the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity
through the winters of your grief.”
.
Kahlil Gibran
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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017
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All photos from Lincoln City, Oregon

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For the Daily Post’s:
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Serene
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Sunday Dinner: Perspective

Mt. St. Helen, as seen through the plane's window descending into Portland Oregon.

Mt. St. Helens, as seen through the plane’s window, descending into Portland Oregon.

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“We often think that there is just one way

to look at things – the way we always have.

In fact, there are an infinite number of ways

to look at most everything.

An open mind allows for a multitude of perspectives

from which to choose in any given moment.

That suppleness of mind allows for true choice,

and opens us to a whole new realm of possibility.”

.

Jeffrey R. Anderson     

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Mt. Adams and Mt. Baker

Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier

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“There is wonder in everything,

the only thing you need to change to see it

is your perspective.”

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Taylor Schake

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october-20-2016-oregon-trip-004-copy

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“Remember, whatever you focus upon, increases. . . .

When you focus on the things you need,

you’ll find those needs increasing.

If you concentrate your thoughts on what you don’t have,

you will soon be concentrating on other things

that you had forgotten you don’t have-

-and feel worse! If you set your mind on loss,

you are more likely to lose.

But a grateful perspective brings happiness

and abundance into a person’s life.”

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Andy Andrews

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Haystack Rock, Pacific City, OR

Haystack Rock, Pacific City, OR

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“When you have once seen the glow of happiness

on the face of a beloved person,

you know that a man can have no vocation

but to awaken that light

on the faces surrounding him.

In the depth of winter, I finally learned

that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

.

Albert Camus

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october-20-2016-oregon-trip-154

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

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Lincoln City, OR

Cascade Head, Lincoln City, OR

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“It is well known that stone can think,

because the whole of electronics is based on that fact,

but in some universes men spend ages

looking for other intelligences in the sky

without once looking under their feet.

That is because they’ve got the time-span all wrong.

From stone’s point of view the universe is hardly created

and mountain ranges are bouncing up and down

like organ-stops while continents zip backward and forward

in general high spirits, crashing into each other

from the sheer joy of momentum and getting their rocks off.

It is going to be quite some time before stone notices

its disfiguring skin disease and starts to scratch,

which is just as well.”


.

Terry Pratchett

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october-20-2016-oregon-trip-241

Sunday Dinner: Absence

Oregon Trip 2016 188

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“There is a time in life

when you expect the world to be always full of new things.

And then comes a day

when you realize that is not how it will be at all.

You see that life will become

a thing made of holes.  Absences.  Losses.

Things that were there and are no longer.

And you realize, too, that you have to grow

around and between the gaps”

  .

Helen Macdonald

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Oregon Trip 2016 185

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“How can you know what is missing

if you’ve never met it?

You must know of something’s existence

before you can notice its absence. ”

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E.L. Konigsburg

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Oregon Trip 2016 202

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“No matter how great the love,

the pain, the sadness, the power of a heart,

no one can recreate the sea.

Nowhere else.”

.

Ondjaki

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Oregon Trip 2016 194

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“Your body is away from me,
but there is a window open
from my heart to yours.”

.

Rumi

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Oregon Trip 2016 217

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It was the absence of life clinging to the rocks which I found so stunning.  Gone were the countless blue mussels, barnacles, Anemones and starfish which once colonized these rocky tidal pools.  How could every trace of them be wiped away so swiftly?

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Oregon Trip 2016 197

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I first walked this beach six years ago, dazzled by its beauty, diversity and abundance.  Our East Coast beaches were already dead decades ago, which made this Oregon Coast beach all the more magical.  Gulls congregated on the rocks at low tide, their calls a constant melody above the crashing waves.  Every rocky surface was owned by life:  Algaes and sea weeds rippled on the returning tides; small fish zipped around in the tidal pools.  So many strange and beautiful creatures crawled and swam glistened in the salty wash of the sea. 

~

September, 2010

September, 2010

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But that has all changed now.   The rocks lie hard and clean, barren of all life save a few strands of algae clinging here and there.  The gulls have mostly moved on, leaving a few smaller shore birds to what little may be found to eat. 

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Oregon Trip 2016 198

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An occasional cluster of mussel shells and barnacles glitter like jewels in the sand, beautiful in their rarity.  And an ancient silence has descended on the beach; the primordial rhythms of wind and wave broken by no living voices of gull or sea lion or whale.

Who can explain the mystery of this sudden absence? 

And who can excuse it?

~

Oregon Trip 2016 187~

Woodland Gnome 2016

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Abstract

 

Notes From the Oregon Coast

Siletz Bay, Oregon, along Route 101

Siletz Bay, Oregon, along Route 101

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Oregon’s central coast, along Route 101 near Lincoln City, is one of the most beautiful places I know. 

And one of my pleasures, while visiting there, remains taking photos of its magical beauty. 

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The Connie Hansen Garden in late April.

The Connie Hansen Garden in late April.

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I’ve just completed a series of note cards featuring some favorite photos from my trip in April, including a few photos taken at the Connie Hansen Garden Conservancy.

(One photo, of an Iris, was taken in our own Forest Garden.)

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The view from Cape Foulweather, on Route 101

The view from Cape Foulweather, on Route 101

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I made these cards as gifts for friends and family, but have a few sets left to offer to you, here, at Forest Garden.

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This set of 8 note cards, with matching envelopes, is available for purchase.

This set of 8 note cards, with envelopes, is now available for purchase.

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Eight different photos, each with a quotation from one of my favorite authors, make up this set.  These are 5.5″ x 4″ folded cards professionally printed on heavy stock, with envelopes. 

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 106

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Each set of 8 cards is offered for $15.00, which includes postage within the United States. 

Please write to me at woodlandgnome@zoho.com if you would like to order a set. 

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Native Azaleas blooming in the Connie Hansen Garden.

Native Azaleas blooming in the Connie Hansen Garden.

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If you would prefer a custom mixed set of some cards and not others, I will do my best to provide that for you.

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"D" River State Park at sunset

“D” River State Park at sunset

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Each of these photos holds a special memory for me.  I hope you will enjoy them as well.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 094

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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June 4, 2015 notecards 003

 

WPC: Forces of Nature

Oregon coast, 2015

Oregon coast, 2015

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The physical forces of nature shape us as they shape our world.

We experience wind and water, gravity, friction and radiation every day of our lives.  But some parts of the planet feel an entirely more violent variety of Nature’s forces:  plate tectonics.

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Cascade Head from the beach at Lincoln City, Oregon

Cascade Head from the beach at Lincoln City, Oregon

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The Cascade Mountains, on the coast of our Pacific Northwest. are alive with these forces.

The Earth shudders and folds as plates collide.  Magma deforms the land as it gathers, and sometimes spews from the Earth to transform the landscape.

Huge rock formations along Oregon’s beaches remind us of this fiery heritage, even as the fault lines far out to sea come alive with fresh eruptions.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 073~

Tides rush in and recede. 

Fog settles over the beaches.  Wind blows in from the ocean, whipping loose sand into a gritty windborne wave along the beach.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 248

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Seabirds hunt for their dinner.  Friends gather together along the beach to honor sunset; and a lone photographer wanders amidst it all, wondering how a single image can capture such harmony.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 028

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The Weekly Photo Challenge: Forces of Nature

Woodland Gnome 2015

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 027

The Connie Hansen Garden Conservancy

April 30, 2015 Oregon in April 650

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Were you a botanist, and an horticultural artist, would you choose to move to a new home and garden in a notoriously difficult environment?  Connie Hansen moved from Oakland CA, where she was a respected botanist on faculty at the University of California, to a small plot of land only blocks off of the beach in Lincoln City, Oregon, in 1973.

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She bought a small home and a little over an acre of swampy land with a creek running through, in a residential neighborhood close enough to the beach to hear the ocean, in the shade of huge evergreen trees.  What confidence and spunk this gifted gardener had! 

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in April 575

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Lincoln City, in Zone 8, endures near hurricane force winds from the southwest through much of the winter.  These winds off of the Pacific bring torrents of rain.  There is occasional ice and snow, but mostly cold rain and fog.  Summer days might reach into the 80’s for a few hours, but only rarely.  Salty fog settles over the area for some part of most days, and the rocky soil remains salty far inland.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in April 665

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Walk a few blocks down 33rd street from Connie’s garden and you find yourself at the edge of a steep cliff overlooking the ocean.  The Cascade Mountains come right up to the coast here, and many creeks and streams flow from the cliffs directly onto the beach.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in April 573

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But Connie loved the home, previously owned by a painter, and chose to establish her garden in this challenging spot.  She saw potential to grow the Rhododendrons, Japanese Iris, ferns and primroses she loved so much in this damp garden, now home to several small ponds.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in April 299

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Connie spent the next 20 years, until her passing in 1993, constructing her gardens.  And as Connie created and tended her gardens, she also built community.  She networked with other gardeners not only in her neighborhood, but all over the Pacific Northwest.  She hosted many visiting groups and opened her garden to guests of all sorts.  She ran “Orphaned Plant Sales” with divisions and extras from her garden, which continue today.

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Divisions from the garden are offered for sale by volunteers to help raise funds for the garden's support.

Divisions from the garden are offered for sale by volunteers to help raise funds for the garden’s support.

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In fact, Connie had such a loving and supportive network of gardening friends that when she passed, they kept coming to tend the garden for her.  The property was converted to a Conservancy and operates now as a free community garden staffed and tended by volunteers.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in April 670

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The garden still hosts visitors every day of the year.  The garden is supported wholly by donations and has no other financial support.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in April 281

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Connie’s former home at 1931 NW 33rd Street may be rented for special events.  It is open two days a week to visitors.  But one may simply wander in any time from dawn to dusk to enjoy the peaceful beauty of this special place.

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And this is a teaching garden.  Visitors learn what will thrive in this peculiar climate, and how to nurture it.  There are no “off-limits” areas so far as I could see.  The huge compost bins are right there for everyone to examine, and many of the plants are labeled for the curious.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in April 303

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Compost is most obviously the key to this garden’s vibrant abundance.  The native soil wouldn’t support a garden this densely planted.  Copious quantities of compost are added on top of the various beds, which was evident as I walked through.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in April 345

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While Connie has included many native plants in the design, she also established her own extensive collection of exotic and hybrid plants here.  I saw a vividly blue Azalea in bloom; Skunk Cabbage growing in a path; a giant ornamental Rhubarb; many varieties of Iris; Horsetail ferns, Equisetum, everywhere; and huge old Rhododendrons in the most wondrous and unusual colors.

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Ornamental Rhubarb, Rheum rhabarbarum

Ornamental Rhubarb, Rheum rhabarbarum

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As the brochure states, this is truly a botanist’s paradise.

One may learn by simply sitting on one of the many benches and contemplating the surroundings.  Connie’s plant choices and associations are simply brilliant, even at the very opening of the season in April before many of the perennials have come into their own for the season.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in April 317

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If the climate and wet soil weren’t enough to contend with, the garden also hosts families of deer, believe it or not.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in April 557

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I had been told that deer remain a problem in the communities of Lincoln City, but saw them grazing on one of my late evening visits.  They appeared silently while I was wandering around capturing photos in the soft evening light, and had no fear of my presence there.  When they moved on, I couldn’t see any damage from their grazing.  What might they be eating, other than grass?

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Connie also tended a collection of geraniums. This was the only one I saw on my visits, obviously overwintered and now growing new leaves.

Connie also tended a collection of geraniums. This was the only one I saw on my visits, obviously overwintered and now growing new leaves.

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One of the many informational pamphlets offered by the volunteers is an exhaustive list of deer resistant plants suited to this peculiar coastal climate.  Other pamphlets offer suggestions for shade gardens and list plants which can grow so near the beach.  What an invaluable resource for local gardeners!

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Japanese Iris, which need boggy soil, were very special to Connie Hansen. Many were moved after her passing to create the current off-street parking area.

Japanese Iris, which need boggy soil, were very special to Connie Hansen. Many were moved after her passing to create the current off-street parking area.

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This beautiful garden remains a gift of love from Connie Hansen to her community.  She worked in it every day she was able for twenty years, and used it to connect with her neighbors and with horticulturists all over the world.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in April 363

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Her mission to delight and educate has been taken up by others now, but it continues.  When you visit the garden’s website you will find a rich schedule of events on offer for those who may be interested in learning more.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in April 645

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I appreciate volunteer Lisa Bain, who greeted me on Saturday morning, and invited me to explore the garden with my little granddaughter.   She was warm and friendly and answered every question I could think to ask.

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Horsetail ferns, a new plant I learned about by talking with Lisa. These look like pine seedlings to me, but she assured me they are naturalized ferns.

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She presided over a tantalizing offering of plants for sale, which I would have happily adopted had there not been the small matter of the jet taking me home to Virginia in a few days…    The plant sale  helps to support the operation of the garden.

If all of the volunteers are as enthusiastic and welcoming as Lisa, I know this beautiful garden will continue to thrive indefinitely in this little coastal town in Oregon.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in April 638~

Woodland Gnome 2015

With special appreciation to Rickii at Sprig to Twig, who first told me about the Connie Hansen Garden.

Rickii gardens in Portland, Oregon, and suggested that I visit this beautiful garden during my visit to the coast. 

Thank you, Rickii!

 

Additional photos taken at the Connie Hansen Garden were published in “Back to My Garden.”

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in April 295

One Word Photo Challenge: Navy

September 17, 2014 Oregon 137

We return to the Oregon coast to answer Jennifer’s photo challenge this week.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 181

The mussel shells, which littered wide swaths of beach at low tide, held the most amazing shades of blue.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 147

I took many photos of these lovely shells, often growing with barnacles attached, while wandering the beach at sunset.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 149

One woman actually came over and asked what I was photographing.

Perhaps she didn’t notice the beauty, or had grown so accustomed to them that she didn’t expect anyone would actually want to photograph old shells lying on the beach.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 154

But I found their forms and colors beautiful, especially in the waning light at sunset.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 156

I hope you enjoy them, too.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 145

 

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

With Appreciation to Jennifer Nichole Wells

for her One Word Photo Challenge:  Navy

 

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 135

WPC: Night Time

September 17, 2014 Oregon 113

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Sunset comes slowly on this Oregon beach in September.

Cloudless sky, great glowing amber sun

Inching relentlessly towards the sea,

Dipping, bit by bit, below the horizon.

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September 17, 2014 Oregon 132

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The sky glows in brilliant  echo:

Gold, pink, bronze, carnelian, cobalt blue.

Horizon wrapped in bands of color

Like a sunsetting rainbow of brilliant light.

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September 17, 2014 Oregon 171

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Sunset lingers longingly,

Fading ever so slowly,

Shrinking along the horizon

As stars appear in the darkened sky above.

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September 17, 2014 Oregon 175

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Light reaching towards the shore,

Like a parting lovers’ embrace;

Illuminating  every windowglass, gull, sand, and pebble.

 

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September 17, 2014 Oregon 174

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Night comes slowly to this Oregon beach in September.

Light lingers as bonfires blaze into life along the beach.

Strains of music and  salty wood smoke perfume 

Waft up to my balcony

Long after I’ve come back inside,

Turned on the lights, begun cooking,

Said, “Goodnight.”

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September 17, 2014 Oregon 128

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Words and Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

 

The Weekly Photo Challenge:  Nighttime

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