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my imaginary estate

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Friday, March 28, 2014
daffodil circle

I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but here it is raining raining RAINING. I have to mentally combat the weather before heading off to work, so here are three more pictures of some sunny flowers on a sunny day at the Oregon Garden. (Non-flower pictures will one day be featured on this blog, but today is not that day.)

So, I love this circle of daffodils under this tree. This is one of the things that makes me wish I had an acres-large estate so I could execute whatever whimsical plantings I fancied. (would there be shaped topiary? I don't know.)


...a little closer... that's the oak grove in the distance.


TA-DA! It's hard to beat the cheerfulness of a bright yellow daffodil on a sunny day. (or a rainy day, to be honest.)

spring day with frog(s)

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014
People, I have a million pictures from the Oregon Garden. I am not limiting myself to posting three, but I'm limiting myself to posting three at one time.  I was there on Sunday to celebrate Martina's birthday and the weather could not have been nicer. It's still really early in the season yet for the garden (I've only ever seen it off season, which I hope to rectify this year) - so there were a lot of unplanted beds and dry fountains - but there was still so much to see! Like the frog above. He must have thought the paparazzi had come to town because we were all freaking out to get a photo of a frog on a motherflippin LILYPAD, only to notice when we got home that there was an even bigger frog also in the picture. (do you see him?)

I think I took technically better blossom pictures, but I like this one the best. I can't help it - I am a total sucker for the sun flare. (Maybe because we are in the cloudy season? Maybe because it's always 70s album cover time in my heart?)


They have an amazing conifer collection at the Oregon Garden - they call it a "conifer reference garden" and are going to expand it sometime in the next few years. I have no idea what this one is, but I LOVE IT. It looks a little lacy, and also like you would find it outside a mining camp somewhere.

good time vernal equinox

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

yellow and orange


I have news and announcements - first things first: Happy birthday to Martina!  Since we were born in the same year I can say this: Every birthday gets us closer to becoming wise women who hold the important cultural knowledge of our past, like the complete lyrics to Wham! Rap.

March has been a busy month so far - I got to meet Maggie - she's just moved back to Oregon and already knows the best cake restaurant in Salem! I know this because we ate some - I still think about that raspberry chocolate ganache. I briefly wondered if it would be weird at all to meet someone I knew only through email and the internet, but it was not! Maggie's lovely, her little dog is a sweetheart, and I'm so glad she's living close enough to visit in person.

In other news, I think I finally have an answer to why I have been so lethargic about this blog and life in general: not enough blood in my blood! Events of the last month led me to the doctor that I'd managed to avoid since I got insurance (last July), and she told me I was anemic and to start taking  iron supplements. I feel so much better! It's only been about 3 weeks, but I already have more energy, my fingernails are recovering, and the black circles under my eyes are fading away. Hurrah! Anyway - if you're feeling inexplicably logy, make them check your iron!

With that extra energy I took a walk on Tuesday and here are some of the pictures. I love springtime.


This is on the sidewalk in front of my house - the horse chestnut branches are getting thick and twisty like they do every spring. Soon there will be enormous bright green leaves and then white flowers.
(the sky was like this when I set out, but half an hour after I got home it was bright blue and you'd never know it was threatening rain like this just before.)


ha ha! looking at this now all I see are what look like dried grass clippings in the candytuft, but what I saw when I stopped to take the picture was GREEN, pops of purple, lacy white, and a line of hot pink fallen camellias at the top. Maybe I was just tired and wanted to stop. (this happens.)


I like how all the wires look like they're coming out of this yield sign.


This forsythia is aggressively cheerful and I love it. You're not going to miss that one.

I love camellias in other people's gardens #springwalk  #pdx

CAMELLIA! I love how this looks against the white brick - I pretty much always love Camellias, especially in someone else's yard. (they are messy.) Anyway - this little vignette looked very fairy tale or story set somewhere else at the dawn of aluminum gutters to me.

Daffodil time #springwalk

Daffodils, man. They are so cheery without being as in your face as say, forsythia.

Headed in the right direction #springwalk

I'm sure this was to mark sidewalk or sewer repair, but I like to think someone wanted to make sure I knew I was going the right way.

illogical landscapes

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Here's a quote from Charlotte Gill's Eating Dirt, which I just read for book group.  It was amazing! I will limit myself to only one quote right now, but I could seriously quote something off of every page. The subject made it a 4 star book for me  (set in PNW, forestry, weird subculture, etc.) but her writing elevated it to 5 stars.

"Clear-cuts are illogical landscapes, lunar in their barrenness yet bristling with big texture. The bucked limbs, the twisted trunks, and the rotten heartwood. The logs worth less than the cost of the haul to market. Traveling through clear-cuts is an unstable, three-dimensional affair. Imagine a field piled thick with car parts, knitting needles, coat hangers. Imagine climbing through hurricane wreckage. Add slope and cliffs and waterfalls and weather. Our technique for walking is like jujitsu, performed with both the hands and feet. Slash is a forest's post-mortem revenge, a sharp-toothed terrestrial sea. It's not our fault, but it might as well be. Every day the land takes a bite out of us."

okay, I lied. Here's a second quote from page 101

"Perhaps our fatal flaw is inquisitiveness. We don't know how to let an opportunity go by. If an object exists in this world, it can't stay intact, unexamined, unused. We're biological capitalists. If it lives we've got to make the best of it. We've got to hunt, cook, and taste it. Whatever it is, we've got to harness and ride it, pluck it and transform it, shave it down and build it up. We just have to glue, mold, freeze, and melt it into something else that hardly resembles that thing in its virgin state. We've got to get our hands on every last scrap and transform it into something useful, even if we have a million of those things already. We've got to cut it down and wring it out until that final ounce is gone. "