Friday, December 28, 2007

Paradise Rex ATCs

While vacationing on Maui, Hawai'i last February, Nancy and I were struck by the number of abandoned cars scattered throughout paradise--in fact, sometimes it seemed like a junkyard--excuse me, an automotive recycling facility--with a little paradise sprinkled in for good measure.

What are ATCs? Artist Trading Cards

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Life in the City

Ryman and Ping have obviously adjusted to life away from the woods. They spend time in "the playpen"--our fenced back yard where they no longer have to worry about neighborhood coyotes and bobcats. And the fence keeps the local cat competition at bay! What could be better, two squares, treats, and a dial-a-fire gas fireplace...It's a cat's life!

Meanwhile, when was the last time you saw a dry cleaner that provides curb service? Here's one in downtown Portland! Lousy picture on a dark, wet day through the car window. But hey, "Honk" and I'll take another shot!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

My Best of 2007

Here are my favorite pictures that I took in 2007, or at least the current candidates...

Monday, November 26, 2007

One office wall...

As promised, a picture of one wall. I have a total of about 55 photos hanging up. It may be a little overwhelming--no one seems to comment. I asked one person and he said I needed glossier paper. Harumph. I thought the pictures were better than that...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

New Office, New Decor

I moved into a new office recently. In the past, I've decorated with posters, prints, some small etchings, and other various bits of art I've collected over the years. This time I decided to use my own photographs. Instead of picking a few, I printed off about 50 8x10s and hung them from pieces of sting I stretched across the wall--sort of like a clothesline or a wire in an old darkroom. Nancy found me some miniature clothespins to hang the wash.

Here's a contact sheet of some of the pictures on display. I'll take a couple snaps of the office soon.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

One month on...

and the Little House in the Big City feels like home! Nancy has done yeowoman work unpacking and putting the place together. Rugs and art make all the difference; cats are venturing out under her watchful eye; the yard is looking ready for the winter; and, she hates books! I'm sure that will be temporary, but yesterday my email was full of "grrr, I HATE books!" I think it was the day of organizing them that did it.

Life in the city is different. I leave the house at 6:45 to catch the 6:57 Number 9 bus. Half an hour later, listening to my Nano and reading a history of Venice, I arrive at 3rd and Salmon for the 5 minute walk to the office. If I take a later bus, it's more crowded and the later bus home in the afternoon is crowded and hits more traffic. I have to remember an umbrella. Everyone says "good morning" and "good night" to the drivers. Not much chatter on the morning bus; more in the afternoon.

Best things? Public transportation, walking distance to grocery, diversity, new projects at work, a zillion restaurants. What I miss? Bustle of Corvallis Lab, Squirrels, Indian Buffet, friends, world traveling with Gary.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Don't let anyone tell you...

Moving ain't work! The movers moved us. Nancy stayed at Oxbow with cats and cleaned the place. I went to Portland and made decisions--put this here, that there, what, it won't fit up the stairs? The only decision I made that was great was "put all the kitchen stuff in the garage!" Thirteen giant boxes didn't clutter the space. The way to the brown liquor and wine was clear!

Nancy made a great decision--pack those pets in the car and get the hell out of Dodge! So far they have adjusted very well. We've even left them for a night as we went back to Corvallis to close out the house and to have dinner with our friends SueAnn and Gary. A great night even though Oregon teams lost...

We also left the garage door open with the keys hanging in the lock--the keys to the house too! So much for crime in the city--we arrived back to find the door open, the keys in the lock, and everything in the same disarray that we left!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Moving on...

Tonite I sit typing on Nancy's computer as mine is taken apart and moved to Portland. To Portland and back this afternoon with the final load of stuff the movers won't move. Back to hear the crickets and the great horned owl call at the harvest moon.

Tomorrow the packers come to box our stuff. Nine years and two months at Oxbow comes to an end on Sunday and a new phase of our lives begins. The city is the right move now, especially given that this wonderful spot on the earth where we live has just been borrowed. But, it is truly ours as we have honored it and our art graced it as we grew from its inspiration.

No photos tonite to post--the camera is packed. And the last images of Oxbow--soon to be as empty as it was when we arrived--our ours to keep and not to share with others. We take away 9 years of memories--our married life--and we leave parts of our hearts behind in memory of two small pets who will be here forever.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Over the Rainbow

Just 55 km west of the rainbow, it's clear what cheap hydro brings on. But, let's not wear a hair shirt--even those of us who try to be good about the recycle use plenty of paper and aluminum (or maybe that's aluminium). Just because products are made out of sight and with "renewable" energy doesn't mean they don't have a price.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

What’s for Dinner?

One thing I will miss very much when we move from Oxbow is the summer evening light in the kitchen. The intense western sun streams in the windows and the colors and shadows are fabulous

What’s a Trip to Canada without…

Poutine! Got this one at Burger King in the Vancouver airport and it doesn’t measure up to the Québec variety. For starters, the curds were a little too much like Velveeta (only white) and the brown gravy wasn’t much. However, it is a food group and who can pass it up! Pass the Spam, please...

The End of August in northern British Columbia

I flew into Terrace, BC the other night and was treated to the best rainbow show I’ve ever seen. The mountains and evening sky weren’t bad either.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Best Little Bluesfest in the West

Nancy, Ronna, Richard, and I went to the Bronze, Blues, and Brews festival in Joseph, Oregon. My friend Gary books the music and it never disappoints. A beautiful day under the sun in eastern Oregon with a great line up. Here Bluesmen Jackie Payne, Sherman Robertson, and Steve Edmonson light up the crowd.

The brews were great too!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Painting that is Central Oregon

I took this picture between Mitchell and John Day. A great afternoon on a road trip with good friends.

I like very much the stark contrasts of landscapes such as central Oregon, the Great Plains, and west Texas.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Relax and Enjoy! ATCs

Nancy and I went to Hawai'i last February. I was struck by how many warning signs dot the landscape of a tropical paradise so I decided to make a set of ATCs juxtaposing the two messages Hawai'i conveys: Relax and Enjoy! and It's a Dangerous World Out There and We Are NOT Responsible for You!

Feather ATCs

I've been meaning to make several sets of ATCs so took time today while on vacation to make one--Feathers on the Beach--from pictures I took at Newport, Oregon about a year ago when son Zack was visiting. I wrote a little haiku for each one--a primitive effort at poetry! I'll send them back with Ronna to trade with the Dunvegan, Ontario group.

Here's one card up close.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Travels With Ronna and Richard

Our great friends Ronna and Richard are visiting from Canada--I'll be more specific since it's a darn big country for chrissakes--from eastern Ontario, just about as darned close to Quebec as you can get.

We've been traveling around the last few days, seeing the sights of Oregon and California and laughing, laughing, laughing. Particularly as Richard regales us with stories of the Ottawa Valley and the lads up the line, and Ronna tells family stories that have to be lies they are so funny. On I-5 ( the eee-cinq) today I damned near drove off the road I was laughing so hard.

Anyway, we went to the Oregon Caves and then down to the redwoods, and headed back north to have dinner with Ronna's cousin, Downtown Deb. It's a long story. We saw really big things like the Caveman in Grants Pass, the Sasquatch in Happy Camp, and Paul and Babe in the redwoods.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Life Is A Bowl Of Cherries

I spent two days this week at an experimental forest on the Deschutes River in central Oregon. The buildings at the compound were built by the WPA in the mid 1930s. It's in a park-like setting of old growth Pondersosa Pine. Life is a bowl of cherries.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Smell of an Eastern Summer

It's rained for the last two days in Western Oregon--very unusual for this time of year. I walked outside tonight and the smell of an eastern summer in Pennsylvania or Ohio overcame me. I spent a few summers working on my Aunt Ellen's and Uncle Mike's dairy farm and the smell tonite took me back to summer evenings walking through hay fields hunting for groundhogs, although Mike was never too serious about hunting anything--he was relaxing after a day of pre-industrial farming.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The World from Mary's Peak

Nancy and I took a ride up the Mary's Peak road looking for good spots to take people on a field tour to discuss climate change and land use change and the impacts on forests, water and fish. Mary's Peak is a great place to look out over the Coast Range and the Willamette Valley. It's the highest point in the Coast Range and on a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean and 9 volcanoes. You can also see the landscape pattern of forestry past and present and people moving to the margins of the forests. These days the "startling forestry" is done by private landowners and industry, not on federally-managed lands. There are few, if any, "regeneration harvests"--clearcuts--on Forest Service or BLM managed lands. The wildland-urban interface--Wooie, as in WUI, we call it in the biz--is changing the nature of the west. People live close to the woods and, around here, there are infrequent, but very large fires, the sort that go out when it snows. It sure should make people who live there think about fire and what it might be like in a future climate.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Alaska from Above

Here a a few views of Alaska from a different perspective. On a recent trip I had a chance to look at the forest around Juneau from a helicopter. I'm not fond of them--a pilot once told me "There are only two kinds of helicopters: those that have crashed and those that are going to." Ours didn't or, should I say, hasn't yet. We flew over an area under consideration for a new experimental forest. It's quite beautiful and spans glacier to sea in a very short distance. I have to say, it's a great way to see Southeast. The last shot is Juneau set up against the mountains.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Fire is Fire

I recently visited a site in central Oregon where prescribed fire had been used last fall to reduce the amount of fuel and to reintroduce fire into a stand after 100 years or so of exclusion. There was a lot of fuel in the stand and the fire folks did a great, but it did get pretty hot.

It's interesting to me to walk around a burned stand, particularly with all the controversy in the western US about what to do after a fire. The forest that used to be there is changed. It's beautiful in its own way--snags standing and creaking as the wind blows them. Charred logs, scorched trunks and crowns, just shadows of burned logs on the ground--like the shadows of people at Hiroshima that I've seen in pictures. Fire is fire.

New things are growing. Seedlings, mosses, lichens, all sorts of bugs. The land isn't barren. Life isn't gone. It wasn't a catastrophe. No one died. Who knows what will be here 10 or 35 or 100 or 1000 years from now. Another fire? Insect infestation? Invading plant species? Off road recreation? Housing development? There are new roads not taken every day for this forest.

That's where I come down on it.