June 30, 2016
“The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold purple stars. But we never get back our youth.”
— Oscar Wilde, from “The Picture of Dorian Gray”
June 29, 2016
June 28, 2016
June 27, 2016
“Here are sweet peas, on tip-toe for a flight,
With wings of gentle flush o’er delicate white,
And taper fingers casting at all things,
To bind them all about with tiny wings.”
— John Keats, from “I Stood Tip-Toe Upon a Little Hill”
I loved seeing the array of colors in the sweet peas at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market. Their ruffled petals really do look like flushed wings, as Keats so aptly observed. And their tendrils look like wayward calligraphic lines, ready to bind those wings from actually taking flight.
I had the opportunity to visit Jello Mold Farm recently and was rewarded by the sight of a greenhouse full of sweet peas.
I wish I could do a better job capturing sweet peas with my watercolor paints. Sometimes, even when I paint something over and over, I don’t seem to be improving. Aargh!
June 26, 2016
One of the amazing things about our national parks and monuments is the opportunity to see animals in the wild. We had several memorable encounters on our road trip to the Painted Hills and John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Each sighting felt like luck and serendipity.
I saw this doe and her fawn on the trail in the Clarno Unit off the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument:
I saw two rabbits. One at the end of the Arch Trail in the Clarno Unit, and one under a bridge on the Red Hill Trail of the Painted Hills Unit. The second one seemed mesmerized by a huge rattlesnake nearby, but it eventually woke up and ran away.
Here is the huge rattlesnake. I’m glad to have seen this one, as I had never before seen one in the wild. But I was happy not to see more!
We saw a couple of antelope, but we were able to pull off the road and watch this one jump over a fence from a meadow, then run across the road, and finally change his mind and return back to the meadow:
And here is a pretty moth or butterfly:
June 25, 2016
June 25, 2016
Four short trails provided access at different parts of the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Each allowed closer access to the painted hills.
The Painted Cove Trail took us on a nature walk around a rounded clay hill. We stayed on a boardwalk for most of the short trail.
Another trail, the Red Hill Trail, took us to yet another painted hill.
We had timed our visit perfectly. The rains held off until we were on our drive back north to Washington. The rain came in cloud bursts, so heavy that once I had to pull off the road until the rain let up. As we crossed the Columbia River into Washington, a vibrant rainbow appeared, seemingly giving a final blessing to our trip.