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 . . .

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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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A Little Sunshine for the Housebound

I’m siiiiick, so I’m spending the day in bed. Which is too bad, because it’s a beautiful day and I wanted to clean out the garden shed. Days like this I’m really thankful for tea, novels and Netflix.

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It also helps that I have pictures from a sunny walk I took last week. If you’re tired of pictures of trees, you might just skip this post. I have OCD–Obsessive Camera Disorder. Or something.

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And the trees in my neighborhood park are endlessly enchanting.

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Especially in late afternoon/early evening when they cast long shadows on the grass.

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And of course I had to throw a little moss into the mix.

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It’s no Forest park, but I don’t have to get in my car to visit these trees. And they’re still pretty impressive.

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Of course, it’s SUPPOSED to be raining. And I know we need the rain. But I can’t help enjoying sunshine in January.

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Moss: My Latest Photographic Fixation

You can walk the same half mile loop every day and always notice something different. Last week’s obsession? Moss. Especially moss in sidewalk cracks, on the curb, on lamp posts at the park.

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Pacific Northwest winters are green, and moss is one of the reasons. In the summer all the moss gets sort of crunchy and brownish, but in the winter it practically glows.

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Moss beautifies the urban landscape. Even cracks in the sidewalk become fascinating.

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The intersecting seams of green form runic shapes.

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Moss has been around for a long time. It’s one of the oldest plants, and one of the toughest. Another plant that gets bad press from the grassy lawn loving crowd, but is loved enough to merit websites and businesses devoted entirely to moss gardens.

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Of course, moss is enjoying a bit more popularity these days thanks to the terrarium trend. I approve. I’ve loved moss since I was a kid: I used to peel up sections of moss to cover boxes and stones and make fairy furniture.

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These days I like it best when it softens the hard edges of the urban landscape, growing on utilitarian structures and giving them a rustic charm.

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And I love the unexpected compositions it creates: I found the beautiful little zen garden in the picture above growing in a hole in the sidewalk smaller than the palm of my hand. It makes me want to bring mossy stones into my tiny garden patch to keep it interesting in the winter. Lucky for me, there’s a nice article from students at Oregon State on establishing moss in the garden. Now I just need to find some good rocks . . .