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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Naturalized

Naturalized Cyclamen at the Connie Hansen Garden in Lincoln City, OR

Naturalized Cyclamen at the Connie Hansen Garden in Lincoln City, OR

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“…the creative potential of disorderly randomness…” 

Ben Huberman

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Ben invites us to show photos of  ‘chaos’ in this week’s Photo Challenge. 

I’m not a great fan of  ‘chaos;’  however much it might invite creativity.  Perhaps there is that much conditioning left from my teaching days…. But I think it runs a bit deeper in my psyche.

Mother nature has her own sense of order, realized or not by the human mind, and those of us who work with her grow a bit lenient with her exuberance in our gardens.  Especially when the plant spreading in all directions is so lovely!

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If you grow potted florists’ Cyclamen on your windowsill each winter, as do I, you may love these little winter blooming hardy Cyclamen coum  and Cyclamen hederifolium, and excuse their untidiness.   Planted as little bulbs, and hardy in zones 6-9, these lovely plants emerge in autumn to grow and spread all winter.  They self-seed easily and form beautiful expanding clumps as the years pass.  Once planted, they naturalize and basically take care of themselves.

These grow in an island bed between the entrance drive and the exit drive at the Connie Hansen Garden Conservancy in Lincoln City, Oregon.  My daughter and I were there to let my granddaughter run around a bit.  Two year olds have a lot of energy to burn, and life around a toddler always feels a bit chaotic… unless they are sleeping.

With two of us, we just managed to keep up with her, and I managed to still click off a few shots.  This one may give you a better idea of that visit:

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Yes, those are my Sebagos before my fateful walk on the beach when a sleeper wave caught me.....

Yes, those are my Sebagos before my fateful walk on the beach when a sleeper wave caught me…..

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As we were herding her back to the car, this beautiful stand of Cyclamen, mulched in falling pine tags, caught my eye.  These have been growing and spreading for quite a few years, by the looks of this  lush coverage filling the little traffic island bed.

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I believe we can always find a bit of order out of chaos, once we take a deep breath and concentrate a bit.  The patterns begin to emerge.  We can understand each burst of unruly, exuberant energy in the context of the whole.  And so while little one was buckled into her booster seat, I framed and shot as many images of the Cyclamen bed as the moment allowed.

Exuberant energy seems to be the rule along the Pacific coast.  Whether rolling waves, moss covered trees, thick rain forests, or creative people; the energy is contagious.  And this special garden captures the vibe beautifully, only a few blocks from the beach.

Woodland Gnome 2016

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for the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Chaos

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.”

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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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“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.”

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Albert Camus

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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.”


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Terry Pratchett

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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

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Minimalist

September 17, 2014 Oregon 127

 

One of the thousands of gulls who kept company with me while I visited the Oregon coast, this one embodies peace in the midst of turmoil. 

The Pacific roars and crashes around us.  The gull keeps his balance and equanimity as waves come and go around the rock where he anchors.

Here on the edge of the continent, at sunset, on the cusp of autumn; the gulls gather to share their simple wisdom with whomever will notice them.

 

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 218

One Word Photo Challenge: Minimalist

 

 

 

December 13 2013 poinsettias 003

Holiday Wreath Challenge 2014

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