Creekside: An afternoon at Sain Creek

Yesterday I took my stepkids for a little picnic at Sain Creek (part of the Scoggins Valley Park). Our favorite picnic area is shady, and since it doesn’t really have any fancy amenities, it tends to be less crowded than most other parts of the park.

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The creek is ice cold and clear, perfect for wading or sitting on a big rock and soaking your feet.

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The play of light and shadows over the water was enchanting.

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As were the tree roots hanging over the bank of the creek.

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The afternoon was a nice change of pace; cool, moving water, shadows, green growing things, and a very smart crow who stole some of our potato chips. I didn’t get a picture of the thief: he or she was too fast.

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Haystack Rock and The Needles

I think everyone who lives in Oregon has taken a picture (or twelve) of Haystack Rock. I’m no exception.

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I wouldn’t call this a particularly compelling Haystack Rock picture, but I like the birds flying away from the rock, and the reflection on the water.

There are some tower-like formations to the south of Haystack Rock. According to Wikipedia, they smaller stacks are known, collectively, as “The Needles”. I actually find them more interesting than the main attraction: they’re like some kind of gate posts. I feel like if I could sail a boat between them I might end up somewhere entirely other.

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Magical.

Feathers on the Beach

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I have a thing for feathers. I’m not sure what it’s all about, but I love them.

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Last time I went to the beach there were tiny feathers all over the wet sand.

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Many of them had been shaped by the water into ghostly, wispy plumes.

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I wanted to somehow keep them exactly like this, and hang them on a mobile above my desk with little prisms and crystals.

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But they were wet and covered in sand, so I settled for pictures. Pictures will last longer anyway.

Cannon Beach Photobomb

Last weekend my sweetie and I went to Cannon Beach for the day. This tiny shell fragment caught my eye, and I was kneeling in the sand trying to get a good picture of it.

Love the Color Scheme

So I started snapping pictures at different angles.

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And getting closer . . .

Closer

And closer . . .

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And . . .

DOG PAW

It was a fun day.

The Beauty of Puddles

Over the weekend we had severe winds; Monday morning when I woke up I half expected to look out the window and see a Yellow Brick Road. But fortunately we stayed firmly anchored, and by Monday afternoon the sun came out for a while. I took the opportunity to for a walk.

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The puddles reflected the trees and the (briefly) blue sky.

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Just one more thing to love about the rain: puddle reflections. It’s starting to seem like spring about half the time–which is generally the best we can hope for around here, and which is preferable to the snowbound Februaries of my childhood.

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Sometimes the reflections are disorienting; when I look down I feel like I could fall into them much deeper than the millimeters of water.Puddle Wonderful 3

Part of the path at the park was flooded, so I had to squelch through the wet grass to avoid backtracking.

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I felt like the soggy walk was worth it just for the reflections on the other side of the giant puddle.

I got wet on my return journey–as abruptly as it appeared, the sun disappeared and the wind and rain came back. But it was nothing a nice cup of tea couldn’t cure, and the fresh air was nice after a weekend of hiding indoors.

At Eye Level

I took these pictures of tree bark and lichens during my first walk after being sick in bed for a week.

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I was tired and loopy, and really only capable of seeing things at eye level.

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I took these pictures across the street from a school where all the students were being picked up by their parents. I wonder how many of them looked across the street at the strangely dressed lady with the camera lens three inches from a random tree.

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At least I wasn’t TALKING to the tree this time. I don’t think.

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But I can’t be sure. Everything was still a little fuzzy that day.

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My vision was even a little weird: it was, in fact, an awful lot like the way the macro setting on my camera works. A few things were in sharp, almost too intense focus. Everything else was kind of a blur. It’s kind of amazing that I didn’t get hit by a car when I was crossing the street. Good thing my neighborhood is pretty quiet.

Pink Camellias in January

I took these pictures on my last walk before I got sick. I imagine Camellia’s are blooming all over Portland now, but these were the first blossoms I saw this year.

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The vibrant pink against the dark green foliage is delicious. I love living in a place where winter feels like winter, but where there is always something green or something blooming.

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If the day had been sunny, there would have been bees burrowing in the middle of these blossoms.

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I love the ruffles of this double variety. Like a tutu!

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So sweet.

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