WPC: Unusual

Pacific City, Oregon in October 2016

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The Daily Post’s Photo Challenge this week challenges us to publish a photo that is in someway unusual.  Photographer Lignum Draco challenges us to reach beyond our comfort zone of subject matter or technique, to feature a photo that is unique in some way.

I am sharing a series of previously discarded photos from my visit to the Oregon coast last October.  These were shot in the hours before a major storm hit the Pacific Northwest.

I was visiting Pacific City, Oregon, with my daughter and toddler granddaughter to enjoy some beach time together before the hurricane like storm socked us in for the next five days.  They were happily playing in the sand while I shot these images.

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My daughter, a trained pilot, always reads the sky.  She pointed out the approaching front drawing near hours ahead of schedule.  We gathered up little one, despite her howling protests, and got her back to the car and us back to my hotel just as the wind picked up and the first squall line of rain passed over us.

Weathering such a dangerous storm in a rented hotel room, perched high on a cliff above the crashing Pacific, reminds us of how fragile our lives can be.  Listening to the howling wind banging the dumpster lids of nearby hotels that night, wondering whether our power would stay on, and watching reports of flooding, tornadoes and wind damage to nearby communities made us grateful for our relative safety and comfort together.  We had heat, fresh coffee, hot water, and our internet connection throughout.

These photos speak to me of a greater fragility, however.  They demonstrate the fragility of our biosphere and the vulnerability of the thin layer of vegetation our planet supports.

Normally, I show you lush photos of gardens filled with plants.  My photos are filled with rich greens and vividly colored leaves or flowers.  I photograph pollinators and other garden wildlife sipping nectar or hiding out in the relative cool of our garden.

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Here, we see the truth of our life on this planet.  There is a thin strip of living green perched precariously on the underlying rock and soil of our Earth.  Once we destroy the vegetation, what is left won’t produce the oxygen we breathe or produce the crops which feed us.

Watching forests come down to make way for new shopping areas and town homes, vegetation ripped up for the inevitable widening of roads to make room for the growing population, and habitat destroyed for new power switching stations and pipelines has become a way of life in our country.  How short sighted the promise of profit can make us…..

I’m sharing an unusual subject, an unusual viewpoint, and an unusual mood through these photos today.  And I hope they will inspire us all to become fierce protectors of our planet Earth; our life-long mother and our larger home.

Woodland Gnome 2017
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For the Daily Post’s
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Unusual

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Siletz Bay, Lincoln City, Oregon October 2016

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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.”

.

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.”

.

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: Flow

August 19, 2016 birds 008

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“Have you also learned that secret from the river;

that there is no such thing as time?”

That the river is everywhere at the same time,

at the source and at the mouth,

at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current,

in the ocean and in the mountains,

everywhere and that the present only exists for it,

not the shadow of the past

nor the shadow of the future.”

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Hermann Hesse

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August 10, 2016 River at dusk 048

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“Water does not resist. Water flows.

When you plunge your hand into it,

all you feel is a caress.

Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you.

But water always goes where it wants to go,

and nothing in the end can stand against it.

Water is patient.

Dripping water wears away a stone.

Remember that, my child.

Remember you are half water.

If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it.

Water does.”

.

Margaret Atwood

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January 19, 2016 Cold 022

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

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November 28, 2015 fall color 012

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“Life in us is like the water in a river.”


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Henry David Thoreau

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Oregon's beautiful coast, just south of Depoe Bay.

WPC: Opposites

June 30, 2016 rainbow 040

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“If we can stay with the tension of opposites

long enough —sustain it, be true to it—

we can sometimes become vessels

within which the divine opposites come together

and give birth to a new reality.”

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Marie-Louise von Franz

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Oregon Trip 2016 026

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“God created… light and dark, heaven and hell—


science claims the same thing as religion,

that the Big Bang created everything in the universe

with an opposite;

including matter itself, antimatter”


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Dan Brown

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Oregon Trip 2016 025

Depot Bay, Oregon

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For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challege:  Opposites

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June 30, 2016 rainbow 038

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

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Caladium 'Miss Muffett' in a mixed planter with Heuchera 'Glowing Embers' and ferns.

Caladium ‘Miss Muffett’ in a mixed planter with Heuchera ‘Glowing Embers,’ ivy and ferns.

WPC: Pure

Waves breaking on Basalt, Depot Bay, OR

Waves breaking on basalt, Depot Bay, OR

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“For this week’s challenge, share a photo of something pure —”

For the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge:  Pure

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Beverly Beach, OR

Beverly Beach, OR

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“One must be a sea, to receive a polluted stream
without becoming impure.”
.
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Oregon Trip 2016 253

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

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Oregon Trip 2016 166

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.”

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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. 

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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?

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Oregon Trip 2016 187~

Woodland Gnome 2016

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Abstract

 

Back To My Garden

Siletz Bay, Oregon

Siletz Bay, Oregon

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I’m finally back to my own garden after a little more than a week enjoyed along the Oregon coast.

Arriving home this morning around 1 AM, I was delighted to find the Azaleas still vividly opening, the trees covered in bright new leaves, and the first of the golden bearded Iris in bloom.  Cannas have poked their first leaves up through the mulch, and the geraniums we brought out of winter storage just before I left have sprouted new leaves along their bare stems.

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"D" River State Park at sunset

“D” River State Park at sunset

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How wonderful to be back at home in my own garden!

The week in Oregon with family was a wonderful gift, and I enjoyed every minute of the trip.

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Siletz Bay, low tide

Siletz Bay, low tide

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Oregon is stunningly beautiful, especially along the coast.  This time, Ricki at Sprig to Twig  had tipped me off to visit the Connie Hanson Garden.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 647~

You will see many of the photos I took there over the next few days.  What a treasure of gorgeous Iris, Rhododendrons, ferns, Columbine, and countless other perennials, bulbs, trees, and shrubs gathered in a peaceful setting maintained by volunteers.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 639

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Some of you know the real reason for my trip, which centered on spending some extended quality time with a certain very little person who is happily learning to walk and do so many new things.

These precious first years are so special and fleeting.  Many of the photos I’ll share with you over the next few days were taken while also pushing a stroller and enjoying all of this amazing beauty with her.

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Granddaughter and I enjoyed the Connie Hanson gardens together.

Granddaughter and I enjoyed the Connie Hanson gardens together.

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This was my first trip to Oregon in April.  Oregon’s spring came early this year, after a very mild winter.  Still, the gardens along the coast are only a week or so ahead of ours at this point.  We’ve caught up quickly. 

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The garden across the street from our beach access stairs....

The garden across the street from our beach access stairs….

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Oregonians are tremendous gardeners.  The humblest little cottages have Rhododendrons and Callas, Azaleas, Iris, ferns and Rosemary in bloom in their tiny yards.  Abundant rain and a mild climate nurture such lush and vivid growth.  A simple drive to the grocery or the next town down the coast is filled with beautiful sights.

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Another gardener's garden along the way of our walks...

Another gardener’s garden along the way of our walks…

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A week with spotty Wi-Fi, a hand held tablet, and very full schedule precluded much posting to Forest Garden; but I checked in to read comments and see others’ blogs as I was able.  I wasn’t there long enough to adjust to PDT, and kept thinking (and living) dually in EDT and PDT.

Sleep wasn’t high on the agenda for the week.  But I watched every sunset and walked the beach every evening that weather permitted, fully aware that friends and family back in Virginia were approaching midnight as the last rays of daylight drained from the sky over the Pacific.

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Monday evening, at nearly 9 PM, but I was on the deck enjoying this sunset.

Monday evening, at nearly 9 PM, but I was on the deck enjoying this sunset.

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Bags unpacked, first dinner home cooked, cat groomed and photos downloaded; I’m settling in to home again.  My partner and I have admired the garden together, and my mental list of things to do in the garden keeps growing.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 418

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But a tender part of my heart remains on the Oregon coast, with a certain little someone who is blessed to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 610~

She can hear seals barking to one another from the beach, see whales swimming off the coast, fall asleep listing to the calls of sea birds, and grow up among the beautiful forests which cling to the mountains near her home.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 443~

While away, I took about a hundred photos a day.  And my heart took more still.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 511

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One of the most beautiful sights, which no camera could capture, was a golden sunset streaming through the clouds as we approached ORD last evening.  It was cool and rainy on the ground.  But on the approach, a tremendous vertical rainbow appeared in the clouds; a column of vivid color where the sun’s rays illuminated the interior of the clouds.

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Along the walk to the kids' play area at the aquarium in Newport, OR.

Along the walk to the kids’ play area at the aquarium in Newport, OR.

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The week has been about light and shadow, growth, rain, and new beginnings.  I hope you will enjoy sharing a bit of it with me.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 662

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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

Furry Trees?

Do you see a "Green Man's" face in this mossy tree?

Do you see a “Green Man’s” face in this mossy tree growing in the garden surrounding the aquarium in Newport, Oregon?

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I fell in love with Oregon during my first visit back in 2006. 

That visit allowed us to explore the beautiful Willamette Valley from Eugene in central Oregon north to Washington’s Puget Sound.

September 17, 2014 Oregon 384

Abundant rainfall and mild temperatures make this a nearly perfect region for growing gargantuan, gorgeous plants of all types.

Newport Aquarium garden.

Newport Aquarium garden.

 

Farms and orchards here are prolific.  Vivid flowers bloom through a long season late into autumn.

 

Curbside planting in Lincoln City, OR.

Curbside planting in Lincoln City, OR.

 

Fields, forests, and vineyards form a patchwork of green across the hills and valleys.

 

A foggy mid-day along the coast on Highway 101.

A foggy mid-day along the coast on Highway 101.

 

And nearly all of the trees are “furry.”

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 387

 

It was an early spring visit, a few years later, which highlighted Oregon’s “furry trees.”

Hardwood branches grow cloaked in several varieties of moss and fern.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 386

High humidity and frequent rain showers encourages lush moss to grow along trunk and branches.

(Actually, lush Oregon moss grows on wood, stone, brick, concrete…  buildings…  One dare not sit still outside for too long, if you get my meaning….)

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 358

 

Some trees grow dressed in several different sorts of mosses, lichens, and also have walking ferns growing along their horizontal branches.

It is an unusually beautiful sight!

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 310

 

This summer’s heat and drought has taken a toll on the usually lush and green landscape.  Nearly the entire state, even along the coast, has experienced a drought over the last year.

However, I still found some “furry trees” in the lovingly tended gardens at the aquarium in Newport.

 

Ferns in the gardens at the aquarium in Newport.

Ferns in the gardens at the aquarium in Newport.

 

Now that I’m back home in Virginia, rain has returned to the Pacific Northwest.  It is raining there today, as it is here, along much of the Atlantic coast.

The Earth is renewed with this welcome moisture.

September 17, 2014 Oregon 357

Before the rain…. Oregon’s drought.

I hope the ferns and mosses are soaking up this rain and will bounce back, green and vibrant, lush and beautiful;  all thoughts of drought washed away in the autumn rain.

My own garden is responding to today’s rain, and I expect the “furry trees” of Oregon are loving it as well!

Oregon's beautiful coast, just south of Depoe Bay.

Oregon’s beautiful coast, just south of Depoe Bay.

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

 

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