WPC: H20

Oregon Trip 2016 003

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“Water is the most perfect traveler,

because when it travels it becomes the path itself!”

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Mehmet Murat ildan

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“I am like the water that runs over me,

immune to permanence, recycling endlessly.

I am water; I am life.

The form may change, but the substance

stays the same. Strike me down

and I will rise again.

Vincit qui patitur.”

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Rick Yancey

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“The fish don’t need to know why they’re in the water.”

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Marty Rubin

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“Water belongs to us all.

Nature did not make the sun one person’s property,

nor air, nor water, cool and clear.”

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Michael Simpson

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Newport Aquarium garden.

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

 

For the Daily Post’s

One Word Photo Challenge:  H2O

 

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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

 

One Word Photo Challenge: Cloudy

Siletz Bay, Oregon

Siletz Bay, Oregon

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Thanks to Jennifer Nichole Wells

and her One Word Photo Challenge:  Cloudy

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

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York County, Virginia

York County, Virginia

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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: Sun

A stranded Velella velella's sail catches sun instead of wind on the Oregon coast.

A stranded Velella velella’s sail catches sun instead of wind on the Oregon coast.

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Our sun powers all life on Earth.

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Water garden at the Newport Aquarium

Water garden at the Newport Aquarium

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The ancient Egyptians worshiped the sun as the Source of their lives, as did so many other ancient cultures.   It is still a mystery, although astrophysicists reveal more of its secrets each year.

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April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 065~

Burning in its intensity, the sun reveals itself to us in refraction through our misty atmosphere.  Its reflected light illuminates our world by day and night.

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Siletz Bay, Oregon

Siletz Bay, Oregon

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Broken into living colors, sparkling off of water, dancing in jiggling waves through the watery depths of a pool; we think its light alive.

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"D" River Beach

“D” River Beach

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Sun, Sol; the source of all energies on Earth.  We find joy and healing in its beauty.

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Newport Aquarium

Newport Aquarium

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 With Appreciation to Jennifer Nichole Wells

for her One Word Photo Challenge:  Sun

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

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