It’s trillium time

trilliumraindropsMy recipe for happiness begins here with this flower.  The trillium.  Three white pedals, three broad leaves.  So simple yet so perfect.

Their peak bloom time is brief.  Walking in Forest Park, here in Portland, Oregon – they are busting out all over.  And each one is lovelier than the last.

 

Yesterday I interrupted my routine – stopping in the woods for a walk instead of commuting with thousands on the freeway.  And that made all the difference.  Yes this is a nod to Robert Frost.  And William Stafford – “is there a better moment than now?”

twotrilliums

Portland’s Epic Snow Storm

tablesmile-1

I apologize for the delay in posting but Portland is going through one of our biggest snow storms of the last 20-30 years.  The blog has taken a back seat to long treks to work and the joy and wonder of walking and shooting hundreds of pictures in the snow.

portlandsign-1
Iconic Portland sign framed by snow.

We got over a foot in the space of about 8 hours.  And it all happened over night so imagine the joy (or horror depending on your outlook) of waking up to this magical new world.  It has been a challenge to get around – the car has been in the garage and I am getting a lot of good walking done.

It has been unusually cold so nothing has melted since the snow fell last Tuesday night.  And we have had a beautiful “wolf” moon – so the moon sets and night time walks have been spectacular.

justinswindow-1
The West Hills from the roof of my hospital.

Words really can’t describe the beauty so I will let the pictures tell the story.

On the first morning of the storm – we received about 12 inches and it was still snowing.  Getting to work was challenging – Portland is just not that prepared for these kinds of snow events.  When I finally got on a bus headed to work – our bus got stuck behind another bus (see photograph below).

stuckbus-1

A big shout out to Tri-Met our local mass transit company – they weren’t perfect but they got a lot of Portlanders to work, to needed healthcare, to events – the bus drivers did their best under stressful conditions.

Last Day of Snow

The thaw has begun and today is probably our last day of snow in Portland for a while.  It was an exciting few days – especially spending the night on the floor of my office at the hospital.

Today I wanted to capture the brilliance of the sun shedding its light on our beautiful, snowy Portland landscape.  Snow is rare in Portland – this won’t be something we see for quite some time so I wanted a way to capture it.

One of my BFHAG’s for 2017 is to get better at my video skills.  So why not share my first attempt – that way all video’s after today will seem like an improvement!

I would love ideas, feedback, video topics, whatever you got.  This is all part of my creative journey – not to mention my midlife crisis of buying too many photographic toys – and I deeply appreciate all of you being a part of that journey.

Do you have any big ambitious goals for 2017?

 

 

Tale of Two Cities – Ice Storm Part 2

icestorm-3

That sweet little snow storm I was alluding to in the last post – turned into the ice storm I was dreading and hit Portland hard.  We started with enough snow to cancel school on Thursday.  And forecasters stated the cold air was going to move out early Friday.  But it didn’t do that… and more precipitation and cold winds created a thick icy coat over everything.  Every tree sagged from the additional weight with devastating results.

icestorm-1
One of many broken trees along NE Alameda, Portland, Oregon

And the city just wouldn’t warm up and two days of carrying that weight is too long for many trees to bear.  

icestorm-2
This tree imploded.

But in my neighborhood just a few miles south – and a few degrees warmer – it was a much different story.  Just good old fashioned Oregon rain.

Its sad to see so many trees go down but that is nature taking its course.  We have had ice storms in this area since the Columbia Basalt Field rose up above the river to create that beautiful gorge. 

Ice storms can be devastating but they sure are beautiful. 

 

Sense of Place – Portland & Snow

img_4177
A rare blanket of snow in my neighborhood from January, 2016.

Portland is expecting a snow event in the next 24-48 hours. 

Those two words don’t go together very well.  Its like Pepe LePeu and the Paris cat getting together – not pretty.  It doesn’t happen very often but when it does – the city shuts down.

Even though half of our city is now immigrants from places that regularly get snow – we still manage to fuck it up.  These are people who know how to drive in snow.  I am not saying we Oregonians don’t add an appropriate amount of chaos to the situation – we definitely do.  But somehow all sanity leaves perfectly good drivers when cold weather comes to Portland.

Here is why… Portland is uniquely located at the confluence of two things: 1) the Columbia Gorge which is a perfect conduit for frigid cold air from the inland and 2) the Pacific Ocean.  Moisture meets frigid air doesn’t create fluffy, pretty snow.  It creates ICE!

img_2977
A lesson in keeping your garage clean so the car fits!

Snow in Portland is like the brother in law no one likes and who annoys everyone at holiday gatherings.  Thankfully – just like your annoying brother-in-law – snow doesn’t visit us very often.

PS – I take the bus. 

Thanksgiving means never having to say calories

thanksbetty-1

Betty makes her annual appearance at our Thanksgiving.  She always provides sage advice on all things pie, turkey and gravy related.

thanksturkey-1

A small turkey makes all the difference and it was good!

 

thanksbrownnserve-1

Its not Thanksgiving without the Brown n’ Serve rolls.  The rolls were the object of our only mishap… thanks to yours truly.  I took out the rolls without proper hand protection and as the pan was burning my hand – I yelped in pain and the hot tray and rolls went flying!

But Mom made the day with her smile….

thanksmom-1

That’s called burying the best part of the day at the bottom of this blog post.  Thanks for scrolling down and celebrating my mom!