dawson park vignette

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Always intrigued by the “rocks” arrayed in this park in NE Portland, I finally gave in and parked the car on Stanton between Vancouver and Williams (in case you want to check it out yourself).DSC_0006

Each monolith bears a memory relating to the neighborhood.

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The words are arranged differently on each one.

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They are clustered near the Vancouver entrance to the park. Here you can see the domed pavilion in the distance. On this sunny day, many people were brown bagging it or just soaking up some rays. Anna (Flutter and Hum) hosts the weekly Wednesday Vignette: always visually striking and often (this week, for sure) including some thought-provoking commentary.

green(ish) tomato vignette

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Going back to summer’s end and the last of the tomatoes, these were still mostly green with a slight blush on the outside. Sliced, they were as beautiful as any flower. What to do with them? I breaded and fried them, then used them as a substitute for the eggplant in eggplant parmesan. I also like hard little truly green tomatoes diced in omelettes. It stretches the season at both ends, when impatience rules at the beginning and remorse sets in at the end. See Anna (Flutter and Hum) for her weekly vignette and links to others.

to hellebore and back (in a vase)

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I’ve never been big on Hellebores but I do understand the mania. It’s the only thing going on out there for the longest time.

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If I had a wall where I could walk by and look up at them, they would no doubt be faves of mine too. Their nodding habit makes them disappointing in a garden where I look down on them (in more ways than one). Lots of people float the flowers in a bowl, where their beauty can be appreciated.

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I haven’t enough of them for that approach, so I picked a couple of the first stems and one leaf (it is the foliage that wormed its way into my garden). The cute little bottle was once filled with balsamic vinegar, now repurposed as a kind of bud vase. There is a pony wall around the stairs in our dining room so I could place the little arrangement where, when seated, we could look up into the heart of the flower. Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) has used Hellebores in a much more flamboyant way you won’t want to miss.

you wanna talk grey?

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The title of Anna’s (Flutter and Hum) Wednesday Vignette this week is In Pursuit of Grey. We were wandering around downtown the other day, when I was moved to take some shots that celebrate grey. The above gnarly tree roots bordered by cement on all sides is in NW Portland near Fish Sauce restaurant (which, unfortunately, was closed between lunch and happy hour but it’s a favorite of my son).

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We parked across the street (anticipating a yummy late lunch that was fated not to be) where I spied this pebbly wall criss-crossed by climbing Hydrangea vines.

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There was evidence of leafy goodness to come, but in the meantime I was charmed by the symphony in grey.

wednesday vignette

Phlomus russeliana

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At every stage of life (and death). Phlomus russeliana entertains. This may be my favorite phase…at least until the new flowering stalks show up with their amusing pom poms crowned by a pair of leafy ears. Anna (Flutter and Hum) is winging her way to Sweden, camera in hand. Her first vignette of the trip is a stunner.

wednesday vignette & a thanksgiving trip

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Anna (Flutter and Hum) hosts every Wednesday with eye-opening observations of a visual and often philosophical bent. This week she confronts dark times with thoughts that put them in perspective. By contrast, my vignette features a world glittering with a dusting of snow and hoarfrost. We were driving to Idaho for Thanksgiving and the road between Walla Walla and Lewiston, all sensual rolling hills, was bespangled under a blue sky.

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In Waitsburg, a charming little town along the way, we veered from the main road and stopped to capture this scene.

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These charming refugees from the chopping block were quite chatty. Their mistress assured us that they enjoy pet status…no ovens in their future.

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After an eight hour drive, we reached our destination: Kathryn & John’s spread overlooking the Clearwater River in Idaho. Sami traveled with us. Call me crazy, but she’s old in cat years and clingier than she used to be. I got her a harness and a leash and steeled myself for a challenging trip. As it was, she settled in my lap and alternated between snoozing and watching the world go by.

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The Idaho deer make ours look like pikers. Of course K & J feed and coddle them, so they are fearless in their foraging. Just look at that pile of rocks! That’s what came out of the ground creating the fenced veggie garden. Looks like the start of a swell crevice garden to me, so I’m forwarding to them Loree’s post on that subject appearing today in (Plant Lust).

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The birds get plenty of TLC too.

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Another large fenced area (with an equally huge pile of rocks) protects a small orchard.

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And we thought Portland was cold! Blue skies and sunshine beckoned so we bundled up and traipsed around.

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Still frosty on the drive home. To my eye, the wind farms fit right into this landscape. How do you feel about them?