WPC: Edge

Sandy Bay, which frames one end of Jamestown Island, provides a home for many species of birds in its shallow waters. Bald cypress trees grow along its banks.

Sandy Bay, which frames one end of Jamestown Island, provides a home for many species of birds in its shallow waters. Bald cypress trees grow along its banks.

~

Edges and borders;

Boundaries or invitations

To enter elsewhere?

~

september-8-2016-birds-014

~

Alight from the known,

Venture into

What is not.

~

september-8-2016-birds-007

~

Borders frame,

But cannot contain

Curious awareness.

~

september-8-2016-birds-024

~

Where is happiness?

What waits

Beyond the edges?

~

september-8-2016-birds-033

~

For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Edge

~

september-5-2016-parkway-021

~

Woodland Gnome 2016

~

september-8-2016-birds-004

 

Advertisements

Back To My Garden

Siletz Bay, Oregon

Siletz Bay, Oregon

~

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.

~

"D" River State Park at sunset

“D” River State Park at sunset

~

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.

~

Siletz Bay, low tide

Siletz Bay, low tide

~

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.

~

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.

~

April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 639

~

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.

~

Granddaughter and I enjoyed the Connie Hanson gardens together.

Granddaughter and I enjoyed the Connie Hanson gardens together.

~

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. 

~

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

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

~

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.

~

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

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

~

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.

~

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.

~

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.

~

April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 418

~

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.

~

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.

~

April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 443~

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

~

April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 511

~

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.

~

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.

~

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.

~

April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 662

~

Woodland Gnome 2015

Wordless Wednesday

 

March 17, 2015 melon 017

~

“This inescapable duty to observe oneself:

if someone else is observing me,

naturally I have to observe myself too;

if none observe me,

I have to observe myself all the closer”

 

Franz Kafka

~

March 17, 2015 melon 018

~

“He alone is an acute observer,

who can observe minutely without being observed”

 

Johann Kaspar Lavater

~

March 17, 2015 melon 030

~

“Opportunities are often things you haven’t noticed the first time around.”

Catherine Deneuve

~

March 17, 2015 melon 022

~

Photo by Woodland Gnome 2015

Keeping Company

February 28. 2015 parkway 043

~

Keeping company just makes it feel warmer, sometimes.  Sitting close, holding hands; flocking together. 

~

February 28. 2015 parkway 032

~

We took off together this afternoon, with the world slowly melting around us back towards its normal self.  We wanted to see the familiar landscape of the Colonial Parkway under snow.

Silly us thought we’d have the place to ourselves.

~

February 28. 2015 parkway 008

~

But no, lots of others had the same idea today; flocking together along the snow-narrowed roads between frozen “guard rails” of snow pushed up by the plows.

~

February 28. 2015 parkway 001

~

Save for the sky, it was a “black and white” world of bare trees and pristine snow.  And birds.  Flocks of birds blown up the James from the coast filled the shallows of Sandy Bay, keeping one another company, and hoping for a bit of warmth from the sun.

~

February 28. 2015 parkway 036

~

Snow still covers the sandy beach along the James River, but two sunny days in a row have melted much of the ice cover off of the waterways.  Sheets of ice still cling along shaded north facing banks and snow still covers the push ups in the marsh.

~

February 28. 2015 parkway 009

~

Can you imagine snuggling up with your mate in a winter home of frozen mud?  I shiver just thinking of it, knowing that each of these snow-covered push-ups houses a sleeping family of muskrats waiting out the weather.

~

February 28. 2015 parkway 044

~

Saturday’s sunshine brought us out of our hibernation for a few hours.

It was enough to feel a little warmth against the still frozen winds whipping off of the river. The urge to get out and move again is intense, and we were only a little surprised to share the road with bicyclists in thermal suits today.  Their happiness in the sunny day was contagious.

~

February 28. 2015 parkway 041

~

Longer days send their own signals to the trees, and many show swelling and opening buds despite the snow.  We’re nearly at the spring equinox, coming very soon in the third week of March.  Daylight Savings Time starts again next weekend, believe it or not.

~

February 28. 2015 parkway 030

~

Each passing day brings us a little more light; a little more solar warmth  in spite of the wintery weather map.

But wintery it is, still.  Snow melting off of our roof refreezes into hanging icicles.

~

February 28. 2015 parkway 016

~

The waterways will be solid ice again by morning, and the roads will be icy, too.  Probably a good day to stay at home, and keep one another company.

 

Woodland Gnome 2015

One Word Photo Challenge: Taupe

Redbud tree seedpods

Redbud tree seedpods

.

Taupe: Tan, brownish grey or greyish brown; 

Khaki?

.

November 28, 2014 thanksgiving 074

.

Not my favorite color, but sadly, much of our garden fades to taupe in winter.

.

December 5, 2014 ornaments 003

.

This is the dried out husky color of dead grasses.

.

December 3, 2014 CW wreathes 165

.

The bleached left-over color of fallen leaves and dried seed pods. 

.

December  11, 2014 cold 045

.

It is the background, the default; Nature’s neutral. 

.

December 12, 2014 ornaments 003

.

It cloaks the marshes and carpets the forest floor. 

.

December  11, 2014 cold 090

.

We distract ourselves in December with pine green, berry red, cone brown. 

.

December 3, 2014 CW wreathes 170

.

We gild it all with frost and snow. 

.

November 28, 2014 thanksgiving 063

.

But Taupe is patiently waiting. 

It’s death-mask tranquility will still greet us

in January, February, March. 

.

 December  11, 2014 cold 044

.

Beaten by rain, blown by wind, bleached by sun, rotted by time;

Taupe will not  surrender

Until it is overpowered with fresh spring green growth.

.

December 3, 2014 CW wreathes 185

.

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

.

March 31 2014 flowers 007

With Appreciation to Jennifer Nichole Wells for her

One Word Photo Challenge:  Taupe

Aquatic Garden

September 17, 2014 Oregon 226

The rocky, barnacle encrusted beaches along the central Oregon coast harbor rich webs of life.

Various “sea weeds,” algae, and plankton provide food for many sorts of animals.

Many more plants grow along these Northwestern beaches than we normally find along the Atlantic beaches I have known so well.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 071

Every sea washed rock and tidal pool holds these beautiful aquatic plants.

Others grow directly from the sand.  Suspended and buoyed by the waves below the high tide mark, one finds them strangely flat and “deflated” when the tide recedes, leaving them behind.

September 17, 2014 Oregon 172

These beautiful aquatic plants come not only in different shades of rich green, but also in an autumnal set of shades ranging from reds to browns, golds and purples.

 

This photo was taken in a tidal pool exhibit at the Aquarium in Newport.  They still have healthy starfish in their exhibits.

This photo was taken in a tidal pool exhibit at the Aquarium in Newport. They still have healthy starfish in their exhibits.

 

Many are edible.  Sushi lovers already know Nori.

But there is a range of edible “sea weeds” many of us in North America have never explored.

A tidal pool along the beach at Lincoln City, Oregon.

A starfish still survives in this tidal pool along the beach at Lincoln City, Oregon.

 

So many different types of plants grow together along the Oregon beaches.

Long strands, pulled loose by forces under the sea, wash up along the beach with each tide.

 

An exhibit at the Newport Aquarium shows how fish interact with the natural sea weeds off the coast.

An exhibit at the Newport Aquarium shows how fish interact with the natural sea weeds off the coast.

We saw these as they normally grow in the Newport Aquarium.  They attract their own food chains of animals large and small which congregate around them.

Many plants cling to coastal rocks, below the high tide line, in a rich tapestry of life with mussels, barnacles, Sea Anemones, and other small animals.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 129

Schools of fish feed among them when the tide is in.

Gulls and other shore birds move in as the tide recedes.

September 17, 2014 Oregon 167

Birds feed from the rich banquet on the rocks, pulling tender flesh from their shells, until the tide returns and covers the rocks yet again.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 125

Many types of crabs, Starfish, Sea Cucumbers and Sea Urchins crawl around these shallow pools at low tide, live among the pilings of docks, and inhabit shallow bays.

 

An tidal pool exhibit at the Newport Aquarium where visitors may touch the animals.

An tidal pool exhibit at the Newport Aquarium where visitors may touch the animals.  the red patches here are an aquatic algae.  The purple creature is a Sea urchin. 

 

These bright, technicolor animals glow green and orange, purple, pink, gold, and red.

 

This hermit crab needs a new shell to protect him.  But, no shells were to be found on the beach.

This hermit crab needs a new shell to protect him. But, no shells were to be found on the beach.

I last visited the Oregon coast four years ago.  Thick clusters of starfish could be found on nearly every rock formation.

They were large and healthy.  Sea urchins crawled freely around the pools at low tide.

Green Sea Anenomes live in this natural tidal pool on the beach.

Green Sea Anemones live in this natural tidal pool on the beach.

The change in four short years amazed me on this visit. 

I found only one starfish living in the wild during an entire week of walks on the beach.

September 17, 2014 Oregon 120

Many factors, including warmer water and greater levels of acidity and pollution have reduced the animal populations.

These beautiful tidal areas no longer hold large numbers of animals as they once did.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 192

Clusters of mussels and barnacles also litter the sand at low tide.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 076

But these were the only shells I found.  No other species washed up with the tides.

I don’t know enough about climate and ocean chemistry to know whether these conditions can be reversed.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 182

I hope they can.  I saw clear evidence of life dieing out along these beautiful beaches.

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 154

But finding so much plant life encouraged me, if only a little.

September 17, 2014 Oregon 264

So long as the plants remain, they continue to do their part to cleanse and oxygenate the water.

They provide food for many species.

September 17, 2014 Oregon 267

And they are beautiful.  I was endlessly fascinated with their many strange colors and forms.

Planted only by nature, these strange aquatic gardens filled me with wonder.

September 17, 2014 Oregon 247

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

Photos from the Oregon coast and Newport Aquarium

 

September 17, 2014 Oregon 263

 

Seaweeds of the Pacific Northwest

Back to the Bare Bones

January 1 2014 Parkway 008

Our landscape is back to the bare bones.

January 1 2014 Parkway 005

Again we can catch a glimpse at the structure of things,

the truth of them.

January 1 2014 Parkway 014

Leaves blown from branches, grasses falling back to Earth,

January 1 2014 Parkway 016

we are left with the finely wrought network of stem and branch

only partially obscuring our view of what is beyond.

January 1 2014 Parkway 019

The horizon has opened.

January 1 2014 Parkway 017

Woodland windows opened to see past the edges,

into the heart of things.

January 1 2014 Parkway 031

There is a hardness, an emptiness, a utilitarian look to the world in winter.

January 1 2014 Parkway 012

Sharpness in the air echoed by the sharpness of the light

January 1 2014 Parkway 038

Echoed again in the sharp chirps and trills and laughter

of birds calling to one another

January 1 2014 Parkway 027

With warning, with encouragement, with wisdom

January 1 2014 Parkway 029

With the sheer joy of a light washed winter day.

January 1 2014 Parkway 030

All Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

January 1 2014 Parkway 023

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 667 other followers

Follow Forest Garden on WordPress.com
Order Classic Caladiums

This Month’s Posts

Topics of Interest