Friday, February 27, 2009

Redmond Treehouse

I haven't been able to get out enough this week (or get any work done INside either) since our family has come down with the "Portland Crud." So named by a writer that I was supposed to meet up with this week in a new writer's group. Unfortunately, the Crud put an end to that meeting, and to all tree-themed activities as well. In fact, most activity was postponed until further notice.

So here's a beautiful shot of a treehouse that came from my wonderful "Treehouses of the World" calendar from 2008 (Abrams, Inc.). This was the cover shot for the calendar, and the bookit came from by photographer/writer Pete Nelson. Many of the houses featured are from Washington state--not surprising given the perfect conditions for treehouse construction around here.

From the calendar: Finding a treehouse like this one, an ornate plywood palace in a broad-leafed maple tree, is like finding buried treasure. Steve Rondel of Redmond, WA had three children grow up before he could finish this exceptional edifice. Now he is looking for grandchildren so he has an excuse to push on.

Go forth, Steve. Obsessive construction projects are among the most creative and enjoyable endeavors.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Modern art meets the tree line

More sculpture from Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle. I'll research this piece but for now, it's just an image to ponder. You can walk in this sculpture which is about the size of a typical studio apartment in New York City. Just add walls, plumbing and a ceiling and you've got a sound investment.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Heritage Elm, Portland

I love this American Elm that lives in back of the Portland Art Museum. What character!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Trees of Reed College

Reed College's Trees of Reed Web site has a huge amount of information on their tree collection, including a list of species, walking maps and a tour that shows photos of every tree on campus. It's tree-tastic.

Araucaria araucana is a native of the mountains of Chile--considered to be the most primitive living conifer. (From the Web site--wonderful text throughout.)

As seen in Dig in with Kym.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tree Sculpture - Seattle

This 50-foot tall aluminum tree, created by Roxy Paine, lives in the Olympic Sculpture Park, a once-industrial site that is now a green meadow full of very large, very modern sculpture. You can go right down to the Puget Sound and throw rocks in the water, and take in the majestic view of the surrounding Olympic Mountains. Even on a very overcast day--a lovely place to take a walk (or run, if you're visiting with an excitable six-year-old).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Diffused Seattle

We were in Seattle this weekend and for some reason my camera-phone acted like it had vaseline smeared on its tiny lens. Oh well, I'm down with that.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy President's Day

Or happy President's Night. I couldn't post this until I got home from Seattle. Hope your long weekend was forthright and full of integrity, like two of our greatest presidents.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Vancouver, WA's Water Resources Education Center - Second Saturday (tomorrow)

Tomorrow is one of the Second Saturdays at the City of Vancouver’s Water Resources Education Center. From 1 to 3 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month, kids can explore a water or nature theme and make a project or two to take home.

February 14th's project is "For the Love of Trees," as in: celebrate Valentine’s Day by exploring our love for and appreciation of trees. Make creations that remind us how wonderful trees are and all that they do for us. Find out how they benefit animals and our urban environment.

The Water Center is located at 4600 SE Columbia Way. Open during the week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and admission is free. Youth need to be accompanied by an adult. You can check their Web site for more information but I'm telling you--it needs to be updated. Tell them I said so. The only reason I know about this event is I'm on an email list. Try calling 360-487-7115 on the good ol' fashioned telephone for holiday and event schedules.

Photo from the Columbia River - A Photographic Journey's Water Resources Edu. Ctr. page.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Top-10 treehouse designs from Sarah Spy

The SarahSpy blog lists the top treehouse designs that would make up for her lack of one growing up. She picked some fantastic beauties. Here's a sampler. The entire list with geographic and architectural details, links, and images is here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


We're getting snowed on like crazy today, but a few days ago the sun blammed out of a mass of clouds, creating a nice, bright gray light.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009


If I were an animator, I'd make all these lichens start to sing in a choral harmony.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fix those weather problems with your host Anne Jaeger

Oregonian garden reporter Anne Jaeger stars in this charming video on how to prep your garden for spring, including repotting your plants and trees. Features a captured mole--ew. I just let them live in the garden. I know they're considered "pests" but I love how they dig up the earth and make it really soft. In fact, I often fall through the dirt where they've been digging and I'm often impressed by the quality of soil my foot is buried in. They don't mess up my grass too much, mostly staying on the fringes. And anything that eats slugs and snails is a friend of mine.
February garden tips

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pacific Community Park, Vancouver, WA

Overhead: power lines. To the west, warehouse storage and indoor sports facilities. To the North, a busy street and a rock nursery (is that what you call a place where you buy rocks, flagstone and gravel?). To the east, another busy street and housing. Along the southern boundary, an RV parking lot and more housing.

Centered within all that noise (and let's face it: ugliness), Pacific Community Park is a little oasis from modern urban life. Truly a community gathering place, there's a skate park and climbing playground within; a beautiful dog park with its own grove of trees; (nice!) restrooms and a walking trail through a mini forest. A new firehouse is being built on one corner. When you get hungry, McMenamins is walking distance (so is Wendy's, for budget-minded meals). Vancouver's Parks and Recreation Department and Clark County did a really fine job here.

PDF map of the park showing current and future developments (softball diamonds--yeah!)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Funny Li'l Tree

I liked how the light was hitting this funny li'l tree that looked like it just got back from getting a haircut. I need to get out more--I know.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The View from OMSI

View from the second floor of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). I was heading to the Mona Lisa segment of the Da Vinci: The Genius exhibit on $2 first Sunday admission day. The exhibit will be there until May, so you have some more first Sundays to partake. The rest of the museum is pretty mind-blowing as well. I wish more museums could be as "hands on." Wonderful volunteers throughout the day too.