Monday, June 29, 2009

Noah lot?

A Mellow Yellow Noah's Ark sailed into Bend, Oregon, the other day much to the excitement of the local High Desert residents. What is particularly interesting in this picture is to speculate on the meaning of young Noah's gesture who is standing before the ark. Is his thrusting elbow a spiritual gesture of calling God and showing his commitment to do what is asked? Or is this merely a gesture of attracting a mate so he can also go two by two aboard? Or is he entertaining the elephant above him by imitating his trunk? Let us study this moment and glean perhaps deeply from the mysteries of life.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Soft, Full and Inviting

There is something about cattails that attracts the eye. By their soft furry cotton-textured top or, later in the season, the bare dark brown pestle-shaped essence, they project tall, distinct, and regally over other neighboring plants. Of course I am not alone in my fixation by their presence. Adorning the water's edge like a defense line of decorated staves, they become, among much else, a meeting place for amorous and constantly gossiping red-winged blackbirds. This cluster of cattails grows along the Deschutes River riverwalk in the Old Mill District of Bend, Oregon. It is the upturned filigree on the river's edge beckoning us to experience the soothing quality of its nature.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Eat your Heart Out!

All right you summer fun lovers, you cholesterol soakers, you, get your fingers, face and shirt sticky mongrels, it's time to barbecue! At Bend, Oregon's, Light Bite, this selection of delicious dead animal pieces were offered reasonably for the eager, ravenous crowd. The odor, like nectar to bees, wafted through air over a prodigious distance and lured the young and old. . I restrained myself and snapped a picture instead, as to not get my viewfinder and lens sticky with sweet sauce. What a sacrifice I make for the City Daily Blog!

Simply Simple

For Think Green Thursday, I chose this grass in the foreground against the shimmering water. Sometimes in the simplest scenes, it is easy to find such live expressions of nature. All the elements of light and air, fire and sun, earth and grass and water make this composition symbolic of the known natural world. If you want to infuse a spirit, to make the picture complete, then be my guest.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Anyone for a Swim?

I have a number of wonderfully romantic water pictures for Watery Wednesday, but I decided to stray from art today and share this photo I took on Sunday at Bend, Oregon's Lite Bite Festival. For the lady sitting on the chair, it will be day filled with icy watery experiences. I appreciate those who are able to laugh at themselves and provide others with good wholesome fun. In a world that is so filled with financial and time pressure, complicated family matters and geopolitical issues, it is great to take a few minutes on a beautiful day to enjoy life itself. As a person who is now over sixty and has measured his age on an 8 foot tape measure, I see I have come quite a distance, and am a little unnerved about the short span remaining. Perhaps all of us need to be dunked in icy water once in a while and come up for air with a smile on our face and say, "Life is great".

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ruby icon?

"Summertime, and the living is easy" Fish are jumping......." I am on the road this week on the way North to British Columbia. I have already seen amazingly beautiful countryside, especially the verdant landscape of Western Washington where I visited Stanwood, Wa. and Small City Scenes. Before I left Bend, Oregon, I snapped this tree in bloom and thought of Ruby Tuesday. This cluster is for all you photo bloggers and, especially my girlfriend Sheryl, for showing me your part of our lovely world.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Artist's Touch

As I was walking along the river in Bend, Oregon one late afternoon this week, I spied the sun and a cloud reflecting on the surface of the Deschutes River and illuminating a sub-surface rock. In the foreground, a large chunk of basalt seems to direct the eye to the focal point of the picture. The river becomes the palette of an artistic sky and reveals a diversity of blue and grey tones and shapes, highlighted by the muted yellow ball. In its simplicity, this photo condenses a lot of information about the world above, around and below into a quiet statement for us to appreciate.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Playing with Dark Light

Today I had to decide whether to post a picture with "dark' as its theme for Shutterday Saturday or "play" for Unique's Photo Challenge and maintain the integrity of using pictures showing Bend, Oregon. As I strolled the streets of downtown today, a band of "Goth" musicians were standing in the alley playing and singing especially funny and critical anti-establishment songs. I loved their vitality, creativity and also their desire through music to make a difference. Dark clothing, and dark thoughts are brought to light through bright sound and lovely colored instruments. Here hard work and enthusiastic play generated positive energy for all those who played and those who listened. Can you hear the sound?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Evening Comfort

If there are late afternoon clouds in Bend, Oregon, I can count on seeing some amazing sunsets from the top of the butte near my house. Usually, when reviewing such pictures, it is often asked whether the camera, by its setting, manipulated the color. It is easy to get amazingly beautiful pictures, but not all are necessarily a true reflection of what the eye saw. I chose this picture, for Skywatch Friday, from the several I snapped today, because I felt it was the most accurate representation of the scene, but certainly not the most dramatic. Framed by some lodgepole pines, the serenity of dusk over the high desert is revealed through a harmonious blend of color. This view creates a pleasing sensation and a majestic fabric to carry feelings and imagination off to points beyond. It gives me pleasure to share this experience with you.

Food for Thought?

Last week for Think Green Thursday, I wrote a post on some folks who the alleged environmental benefit of eating goat meat rather than beef. I received a plethora of comments on the subject, which can be reviewed by clicking on the preceding link. At the same farmer's market, the fellow in the above picture extolled the value of eating buffalo and yak. I would be glad to hear from any of you on this subject. It is clear that much forest land, to the detriment of all other flora and fauna, has been entirely degraded and turned into pasture to satisfy the hunger of beef cattle. After a recent trip to Brazil, I was shocked to see that 90% of the rain forests were now grazing lands for ungulates. Also it is clear that cattle breath is harmful to the ozone layer and, according to some, more harmful than auto emission. Before those of you throw in the towel on meat-eating in favor of fish eating, the pressure on groundfish and tuna have been devastating to this delicate resource. Anyway, let me hear from you, and tell me what's for dinner!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Mountain of Pleasures

Not far from Bend, Oregon, is the Three Sisters Wilderness. It is filled with trails for beginner and intermediate hikers leading to high mountain lakes and more advanced trails traversing to the 12,000 foot peaks. This shot can be seen at the beginning of the 4 1/2 mile Green Lakes Trail, taken from a beautifully carved log bridge at the trail head. The picture is somewhat generic and could easily be a scene from the Rockies or many other places in Oregon. What the picture truly lacks is the actual sound of the crystal clear snow-melt water rushing over the white rocks, the ever present call of mountain chickadees and finches, the cool clean air, and the odor of the pines. I wish I could magically add these features on Watery Wednesday , but the best I can do is invite you to visit and experience the whole picture yourself.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Spinning your Wheels

Oh well. or is it, oh wheel! The other day, while walking near downtown Bend, Oregon, I stumbled upon this pink rim attached to a jet black Honda Civic. I am not sure that this photo shows much about my town other that some young people here, like everywhere, enjoy customizing their cars. Much could be written about conformity and individualism, about wasting money or prioritizing one's resources, about attention getting devices and low self esteem. It can be said that many people discovered skills from hobbies such as cars, and flourished later on in life . In any case today this wheel reminds me for Ruby Tuesday to reserve judgment and watch the rosy world go 'round.

Monday, June 15, 2009

For the Birds!

In spite of the continuous loss of wildlife habitat throughout the world, there is a glimmer of hope today on Mellow Yellow Monday of an effort to preserve nature. Across the river from the Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon, there is a lovely green space along the Deschutes River. Among the marshes there is the constant presence of red-winged blackbirds, woodpeckers, and flickers that frolic among the cattails and pines. This old snag is a virtual hotel, restaurant and park bench for so many birds. The other day at dusk, I spied an owl near the top. I am not a member of the Audubon Society, but I do help in Tapir Conservation. I feel if everyone chose at least one cause to preserve wildlife and helped a little, it would be terrific. I am glad the City of Bend shows some level of consciousness, and I hope this post reminds people to take a few minutes to do their part.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Peaceful Day

This graceful white pine poses for Scenic Sunday at the edge of Elk Lake along the Cascades Lakes Highway West of Bend, Oregon. In the distance Mt Bachelor presides quietly. The lake is stocked with rainbow trout, brook trout, and kokanee which can be caught by day visitors out of small aluminum boats that are rented at the nearby log cabin store. There is nothing here suggesting the drone of large motor homes and vibrating diesel pickups or the congestion which plagues large campgrounds. It is simple serenity. I find it fortunate today to be able to spend a lovely afternoon not that many minutes from my house and rejoice in gazing at this grandeur.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Here we go again

It has been a long, cool Spring in Bend, Oregon, and last weekend, when taking one of my favorite hikes, I still found large patches of snow blocking the trail. I enjoyed the way light and shadow interacted in this photo and thus, made this shot a candidate for Shadow Saturday. The photo expresses a quiet, and understated contrast between old and new, The deteriorating stump in the foreground points its gnarly fingers toward two young pine trees and their shadows peaking out of a snow drift at the sun . The picture becomes an emblem that shows the continuous life cycle of aging and renewal. Within this watery, refreshing, life giving atmosphere, wild flowers also now abound juxtaposed against a backdrop of brown, withered stalks from the previous season. This spot feels like a giant petrie dish where new life grows in a rich culture, fertilized by past generations. It is the soft light and the wet snow that remind us that they are important catalysts of this perpetual process.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Quiet of the Storm

For Skywatch Friday I had so many different pictures to use, some of brilliant sunsets and sunrises, some with majestic mountains in the background, and others, shot through trees in the foreground to catch the sky as a backdrop. For some unintelligible reason, I chose this dark, quiet shot which is almost entirely sky. Here, a slow-moving squall is sending vertical black ribbons of rain downward onto distant trees. Behind it is an ominous horizontal line from which, at any moment, lightning is imminent. At this moment, there is a feeling of quiet on the edges of power which is projected, without dramatic shape or color, in a manner soothing to the eye.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Day on the Farm

While walking through a Farmer's Market here in Bend, Oregon, I stopped at this intriguing booth and chatted with these folks, who asserted that goat meat was a healthier alternative to beef and that raising goats was more environmentally sound, which, if true, makes this photo qualify for Think Green Thursday. I generally avoid posed pictures, but sometimes I think I get lucky. In the background the words "Goat Meat" and "Healthy Red Meat" are captured neatly between this wonderful couple, and the sign "Goat Breast" looks like it is pinned to and pointing, well, I won't go there. It is said that people often look like their pets. Look at this man's beard and this woman's gentle face and tell me what you see.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

the Reign of Rain

Earlier today, I thought about sharing with you a sunny, summery fountain, lake or stream picture from Bend, Oregon, for Watery Wednesday. However, late this afternoon the high desert skies turned ominously dark. This is what most people here call "bad"weather. In defense of rain, I find it exciting, invigorating and it cleans up the dusty, pollen-filled air. Having lived much of my life on the Oregon Coast, I am accustomed to long spells of clouds, wind and rain and consider inclemency, in part, normal "good" weather. Feeling quite contented by this fortunate turn in the weather, I gazed out my kitchen window and was happy to see the pine tree on my deck showering. I knew when the downpour stopped, its needles would be glistening with silvery droplets as emblems of renewed energy. I looked forward to breathing and savoring the fresh moist air and, through this picture, I invite its sensation to you.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Making Progress

Yes, I know this picture is not Bend, Oregon but was taken in Nyssa, Oregon which is situated on the Idaho border. Bend is filled with people driving Volvos, Lexus', Audis and every imaginable SUV, and is a striking anomaly to most of Central and Eastern Oregon. There is time enough to show you the modern, tastefully designed fire house situated discreetly among the pines near my house.

For Ruby Tuesday, this picture serves as a reminder there is a whole other world out there. This fire truck probably serves some ranch, which could be 50 miles or more from the nearest town. Many times I have seen pickups backed up in front of the market being loaded down by a feller in a cowboy hat and boots with enough groceries to last for weeks. I think back as a child when I crossed this country by car several times, nose pressed to the backseat passenger window of our '53 Chevrolet, and treasured the diversity I saw. Even though so much of this is gone, this isolated area of our country offers remnants of the past for the nostalgic within us to appreciate.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Eyes at Peace

It is so exciting for many of us Bend, Oregon, residents when the Cascade Lakes Highway, free from winter's clutch, opens, like a hand holding a rare butterfly, and reveals again the absolute magnificent settings hiding on the backside of Mt Bachelor. For Scenic Sunday I decided to visit a number of these special finds, including in this shot, the marsh at the edge of Hosmer Lake. Even these written words interfere with the quiet grandeur of the moment expressed in this scene, so I prefer this picture to be left to your eyes and emotions.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

quiet streets

Last month, while visiting Manhattan, I looked across the street at an enormous building and saw that it was the post office. The imposing building stretched a block long and a block wide. In this roadside photo, a theme for Unique's Photo Challenge, the difference between the two environments couldn't be more dramatic. Along U.S. 26 175 miles East of Bend is the post office in Ironsides, Oregon. The flag adorns the newer building! This spot is along the Oregon Trail, which was used by settlers, ranchers, farmers, miners and business men between 1841 and 1869. Once the Union Pacific was established, the trail's importance diminished. Even today this is a lonely stretch of road. If you are looking for another perspective of Oregon or are interested in sensing the "old West", perhaps a trip on this road is in order.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Two Faced?

It is hard to take a bad sunset picture for Skywatch Friday. As the thunderstorms, which have pasted Bend, Oregon, all week are now dissipating, the promise of calmer weather approaches. Yesterday, while fishing in the Deschutes River canyon, a thunderhead, like a giant Brahma bull, stomped its way across the sky and created the most powerful wind and dust cloud I have ever experienced. Caught in this maelstrom of pine cones, and leaves and assorted debris swirling like frenzied swallows to towering heights and tree limbs loudly snapping, I fled to the car just as large hail and bullet-shaped raindrops began pounding the ground. I glanced at the river and watched the wind viciously slice the water and cleaving its surface into deeply plowed furrows over and over again. Such was the power and ferocity of this weather..
Yet, this evening's sunset shows nature's kind gentle face, and majestically hides a split personality. Like living with the moods of an unpredictable spouse, I felt both powerful feelings of love and fear and the necessity to accept nature's caprice. The magical charm of a reddish glowing sunset may be preceded by the terrible wrath of the storm.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


In this ominous scene of a developing thunderstorm over the high desert of Central Oregon, near Bend, Oregon, the rain is imminent in time for Watery Wednesday. Taken from a campsite above a favorite flyfishing spot at South Junction, an old railroad refueling stop, on the Deschutes River, I hesitated before walking to and then wading into the river. The rumbling clouds portended lightening. I saw myself waving my trusty fly rod as a magic wand over the river, and thought then about how easily I could be nature's crafty trout. These are special moments which the camera aids me to memorialize and share. After the storm past, I slipped silently into the water, felt the current pulsate gently against my legs, and focused intensely on the kaleidoscope patterns in the water. I was now ready to play in the river, a man-child of one mind, within the all.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Car Shopping?

Since I missed posting Moody Monday pictures yesterday and needed Ruby Tuesday for today, I chose this goofy-looking picture to satisfy both conditions. These fuel efficient "smart cars" for children are attached to grocery carts and are parked in front of the Westside Safeway grocery store in Bend, Oregon. I remember my mother, thrusting me into the seat of the grocery cart, pulling my legs through slots, and basically imprisoning me as she wheeled around the store. Now children climb proudly into the driver's seat and cruise the aisles. It looks like fun, although I am not sure whether therein lies a subtle indoctrination to promote auto travel in the minds of the young. I look nostalgically at parents with their children and think of those halcyon years when I took my children shopping. I am sure if such cars had been available then, you would have seen me push the cart fast on straight-aways and laid patches on the turns to generate a real shopping thrill for us all.