Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo! Scary!

Happy Halloween. Enjoy go-go dancing in your scary tree costumes tonight.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Foggy Morning Breakdown

Forgive the word-play. It WAS a foggy morning the other day. The view from our side yard.

Earl Scruggs and Steve Martin play Foggy MOUNTAIN Breakdown on Letterman.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One Maple Tree, Three Different Looks

The setting sun at 5 p.m. did some weird lighting tricks with my camera-phone today. Some of this looks like wallpaper design from the 50s. Call it a "mid-century modern" tree.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Treehouses That Grow With the Trees

Today's Oregonian's Homes & Gardens' section had a nice article on treehouse builder and arborist Austin Wienecke. "An arborist's perches gently hug trees," is the rather awkward title for a good read by Ruth Mullen on how to think like a tree when you're building around a tree.

Bob and Mary Martin are shown relaxing in their lovely octagonal treehouse overlooking the Willamette River. I would love to have a treehouse like this, or even a more primitive version. I will have to read up on carpentry and trees. We have a good-sized Douglas Fir in the backyard that is crying out for structure (or so I imagine).

From the article:
Seattle author and treehouse guru Peter Nelson believes our fascination with trees is prehistoric, passed down from ancestors who found safety and comfort in their towering presence.

Photo by Marv Bondarowicz, The Oregonian.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hearthwood Park - Vancouver, WA

A rainy, cold, windy day. When I pulled into the driveway this afternoon, a shower of pine needles rained down on me. I just spent yesterday afternoon, scooping buckets of them out of the gutters, and here they come again. Pine needles: nature's confetti.

Here's Hearthwood Park on a sunnier day. A good place for little league (next year).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lacamas Lake Trail

We had some beautiful Fall days last week--crispy fresh air, blinding sun, colorful leaves. So on Friday, Keith suggested we try out a trail along Lacamas Lake. Here it is--quite a beautiful 2-mile walk. If you keep going for a few more miles, you get to Lacamas Park and boat launch. We were surrounded by trees, water, frogs, little birds hopping about, a golf course, and one mansion with huckleberries growing in the yard (delicious).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Best Tree Ever

I've been wanting to photograph this tree ever since we moved here 14 months ago. It is truly a star among trees.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Spooky Trees

We have a "spooky house" down the street. Not one of those abandoned-looking places with people actually living there (truly spooky), but a really over-the-top Halloween display showcase from roof to sidewalk. These photos don't do it justice because the home-owners just keep adding more gravestones, body parts and signage everywhere, but I kind of like this minimalist look better anyway--the first decorations of the season.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Esther Short Park - Vancouver, WA

Esther Short Park is in downtown Vancouver, which is sort of revitalizing itself and sort of depressed at the same time. Really nice old, brick buildings coincide with newer construction and ugly 60s-modern box structures. There's a wonderful Farmer's Market (closing October 26th for the winter), a playground, a bandstand, and lots of big trees. Also nearby: an excellent toy store, a children's art store, good eats and lots of little art galleries. Plus trains, the I-5 drawbridge to Portland, the Columbia River Walk, and the Port of Vancouver. I dig it.

The clock tower in the park is a tribute to Chinook salmon and their holy place in the Native American tribes nearby. Once at 4 o'clock, some little doors opened up near the bells up top and they revealed a beautifully painted scene of fishermen near the river. Then the clock tower told some salmon mythology, but we were playing in the fountain (see last photo) and couldn't hear everything. Jackson was really bummed that he missed the story, so we'll have to go back to hear it again.

Reviews of Esther Short Park.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Where's the Tree?

Can you spot the tree in this carefully manicured yard?

Yes--THERE it is.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sky High

It's been pouring rain for the last two days and nights but last week, the Northwest sky was knocking me out with its beauty..

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ghost Trees

My friend Laurie and I visited the Hoyt Arboretum earlier in September. There's a kind of killer fungus that's hitting some of the conifers. The park employees are cutting down the trees that are hard hit, so it won't spread, but these two have passed on.

The path through the redwoods smells really woodsy and it's very shady in there. We couldn't even follow our simple map to make a loop. But we made our way around OK. Someone put a tiny doll's tea set high up in the crook of a tree. I tried to get a photo but it was near the end of the day and too dark.

If you look in the upper left corner, you might make out a ghostly little table, set for tea.

It's Fall foliage time at the Hoyt Arboretum.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Tree of Life - Disney

I've had this terrible flu this week and don't feel like rejoicing in nature (or in much of anything, save Jell-O). Here's the completely gigantic and artificial Tree of Life from Disney World. If my digestive system were a tree, it would look like the close-up photo.

From Wikipedia: The Tree of Life is a massive fourteen story (145-foot) tall artificial tree that has been the icon of Disney's Animal Kingdom since it opened on April 22, 1998. Engineered from a refitted oil platform, it is located in the center of the park. Its leaves are made out of Kynar. On the exterior of it are carved images of three hundred twenty-five animals. Inside the Tree of Life is "It's Tough to be a Bug!," a 3-D film from "A Bug's Life." It is similar to the tree of Rafiki from The Lion King, though on a much larger scale. There is a hidden Mickey on this tree.

Source: Wikipedia and some Disney World site.