Monday, January 16, 2012

Seeing...... a walk in the snow

This week it was snow instead of fog.....and another walk that made me see things differently! What a difference a mere three inches of snow can make.

When the snow first began the grasses and ferns under the trees were painted with white.

Steps leading down to our lower woodland.

The calligraphy of the branching patterns comes into focus.

The large row of black walnuts outlined at the end of a vineyard row.

What's left of our grape crop ( mostly stems after the birds came through) is now covered in snow!

My grandson, Brayden, leads the way

Back on the deck after a few more inches have fallen....

Our Christmas pots of holly, and herbs

ADDENDUM: it's still snowing....

Woke up to six or more inches of additional snow...every branch is covered, and the air is thick with snowflakes.

Time for another hike!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Seeing...while walking in the fog

I took a walk this foggy morning in early January... down our country road... past our vineyard and the lichen covered fruit trees ... past the neighbor's Alpacas ... past the barking dogs who didn't hear me on the way down ( but did on the way up!) ... past the familiar sloped forest with it's ghostly fir trees and fern-covered floor ... past the yellow signs that stood out in a colorless landscape of soft greens and grays ... and past the farmfield with it's ancient equipment hiding in the weeds.


It was a challenge to capture this moment in the fog!

It was a very peaceful journey, and the fog seemed to give more clarity to the small details that appeared to emerge from the once complex landscape. It was like walking into a watercolor sketch....watching the layers of color-tinted wash create depth....then adding, with a fine brush, the details in the foreground!


Friday, January 6, 2012

Reflections...and a New Year

2012 is here! Such anticipation comes with it, along with all of the hope that a New Year brings ...especially after ending a year, that for many, brought heartache and pain. The world endured more natural disasters and conflicts than ever before, but also witnessed human resilience and creative solutions to match. It is an amazing time to be alive! I remember wondering as a small child whether I'd be around when the year 2000 came! It is also amazing to see that I have passed that milestone by more than a decade, am probably considered 'old' by many, but don't realize it!

Today I celebrated by visiting Portland's Lan Su Chinese Garden with my daughter-in-law. It was a cool, cloudy day with fog lingering on the valley floor and along the river banks. The garden, located on a city block near the Willamette River, was serene ...but filled with visitors enjoying the meditative experience. Details of texture and pattern were everywhere!

Scattered Winter blooms, colorful fruit, and contorted dried leaves appeared on the many curving and twisted bare branches... creating totally new compositions and colorschemes compared to my last visit in early Fall.

In contrast to the seasonal changes, one of my favorite elements in the garden are the beautiful bonsai pots planted with groves of 'miniature' trees that appear to be suspended in time. I finally succumbed and bought one at their garden sale a few years ago ....Just looking at one rests my mind!

We ended our visit with some Jasmine tea and almond cookies in the tea house
...and said good-bye to the shadowy koi on the way out.

And as a perfect ending to my morning....I finally took a picture of the White Oak trees that sit in a farmer's field near the bottom of our hill. I pass them almost every day and am always distracted by their beauty. Along with the Douglas Fir, they covered our valley hundreds of years only scattered groves exist. One day soon I will need to sketch them!

Addendum....a few days later.....

May you have both a serene and exciting New Year!