Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Merry Christmas....

Santa was surprised

to see a tree so bare,

But a star was brightly shining...

In the tree top's hair.

Every branch was gilded.

Every Jewel did shine.

Yes, this tree was different

from any other pine.

From a book on trees that I wrote and illustrated back in 1961, when I was in High School! I titled it 'The Twist of a Twig' and filled it with drawings and poetry. It hardly seems possible that close to 50 years has evolved since then.....and I'm still drawing trees!

Yesterday my husband and I spent the afternoon wandering around Portland taking photographs. I started out at the Portland Art Museum, which is having a very interesting exhibit on modern Chinese design. After checking out the maze of exhibit rooms and stopping to see what the gift shop had to offer, the adjacent sculpture courtyard turned out to be my favorite spot. Bright red Chinese lanterns appeared to hover over the times giving the illusion of being giant decorations on a large tree across the street. People hurried by, trying to finish up their last minute shopping. The city felt vibrant and alive.

Meeting my husband at Pioneer Courthouse Square where Portland's Christmas tree resides, we lingered there to take more pictures , and as darkness settled in, made our way over to the Williamette River to take night shots from the bridges. The river flows through the city, dividing it East and West. It isn't often that I have the opportunity to walk across any of the many bridges that span the river. I discovered that walking is so much more of a sensory experience!
I just have a small Olympus digital camera but my husband has a much more powerful Canon digital with a large lens and tripod. Taking time exposures from the bridge would be a bit of a challenge since the traffic caused the entire structure to shake and vibrate! Just as we settled in to take some shots I noticed a distinct buzzing sound coming from under the sidewalk that carries pedestrians across the bridge. Was it about to collapse? Lights flashed, horns beeped, and crossing gates started to lower as the center section of the bridge started to raise....a large barge was about to go under the bridge! We watched, along with a large crowd of shoppers, joggers, and cyclists who by that time, had gathered at the West end of the bridge. Photos taken at that point resemble abstract paintings composed of numerous bright wiggling lines ! The barge was followed by a single small pleasure boat decorated with Christmas lights....a stray from the Christmas boat procession that is scheduled on various nights the week before Christmas.

Once we were on the other side of the bridge we found a great overlook on the East side Esplanade that runs along the banks of the river, enabling us to get better 'in focus' shots looking back at the bridge. Portland is a great walking city, and yesterday, on December 19th, it showed us it's best. Last year at this time the 'big snow' was just beginning to fall, and would leave the city with over a foot of snow, but this year it is sparkling in another way. Cheers!

1 comment:

LaValle and Amy said...

I've seen any number of photos of the red lanterns at PAM and think your is one of the best. You have a great eye.