winter fights back

Bloged in Nature by mark Wednesday February 28, 2007

thrill. I WISH this picture could show the true “blizzard” that was going on ….. (I gotta learn to take stop-action stuff):
snow
That’s what I see from the PC window…………. and from the deck, where the little birds are trying to keep warm:
decksnow
SO.
Winter’s fighting to stay here, but it ain’t workin’. We have 60 degree weather forecast for Sunday.

If that happens, I want to photo all the plant starts I see coming up…………

By the way. This ALL seems SO silly and redundant. I’ve lived here long enough to know that even writing this is absurd. In the Northwest Rain Forest, This TINY beginning of spring goes on for MONTHS. The way I talk you’d think we’d be eating garden tomatoes in a week. NO, we won’t even be planting seeds in a little plastic cover in seed pots for 3 months! Holy crap! What am I doing writing this “death of winter” business. A gardener can sometimes appear to be a true fool, eh?

But ……………. I guess I’m just a cockeyed optimist. And I’m the better for it…….er, I think.

go plant something!

Bloged in garden,General Home Life by mark Tuesday February 27, 2007

Well………….Once again, I’m finding the little “volunteer” firs….and moved a couple today over by Ed’s field. We will plant a few of these little babies between us and Ed’s field ………. we need an evergreen barrier before they will be tall enough to actually hide anything though……….. more study needed…something FAST and evergreen………..hm……..

I planted a little japanese maple out front too…..hauled wood into the garage, threw a ball for the dog a while, explored all the new plant life peaking out of the ground, pulled some weeds, pulled a bunch of scotchbroom (damn them!!!)…….. so you can see motivation is again returning. I came into the garage and a thick heavy snow shower exploded! THAT was fun.

A busy week

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Sunday February 25, 2007

Yep, from here on out, I believe the “rest” (?) of winter is over. Other than visiting cousin Nancy Monday, seems things are calling out for getting done. We did take time to go to the huge home show today at the Expo Center. That was the biggest crowd I’ve seen in Portland. Congested, wild, interesting and we now have 100 brochures and cards from business types wanting you know, all the money. We may contact a few though: carpet shampooer, tree arborist for removal of one giant fir that is SO beautifully scenic but TOOOO close to the front of the house it’s cracking the foundation, woodshed builders, floor cleaner invention, tube skylight, etc.

The associated plant show, Orchid displays & vendors in a separate hall were gorgeous and revealed garden clubs here statewide to a level I wasn’t aware of (though I should have been). It seemed to me that every gardener dream here must be to belong to a garden club and have your name listed in their directory five to ten times throughout the book. Inneresting….what Shrubbery Gossip is hidden in these pages, eh?

We met Emilio and Elena to try to help them get a new car….. Paul Barstow did more than needed to help. He’s the mgr of Beaverton’s local Enterprise Car Sales group but is on vacation this week. He called to make sure his folks would take care of us. With rain pouring outside, sales were very slow, so it seemed that everyone DID help Emilio and Elena come out with a great VW Jetta….it WAS quite a project to complete the deal though since neither of them have American ID of any kind. The worst was the insurance…..for six months they’ll be paying $1300 out until they have local ID and licenses. Whew! But it was fun to see them again. We strolled through Zupans new expanded store on 23rd and they saw lots of Italian delicacies then had a great late lunch at Vista Springs!

And yes, then back home to a hungry dog……………and a chance to prepare for the coming night (tomorrow) of Oscar in Hollywood! WE have NO party planned, no guests coming, NO food made, NO plans of any kind. Not even a voting ballot made. How can this be? Or better, how can it be we’ve seen so very few of the films nominated? Living in the woods is getting to us I think.

Oh well……..I’m sure all the well-heeled gay friends around will get us up to date about what they see on the red carpet tomorrow afternoon! Will the TV Media break into the show through the evening to advise Live Updates on whatever’s happening to Ms. N. Smith’s body? Or maybe her herd of ego-driven and penus-driven brainless nubile slaves? Hm….I hope not.

Well. Off to a relaxing DVD watching of “The Departed”, “For Your Consideration”, and tomorrow: BABEL.

Raining raining raining this weekend. Whew.

Torino Comes to Portland

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Saturday February 17, 2007

OHSU has hired a scientist, Elena Herrero from Italy to come do research. She and her husband Emilio live near Torino on a country farm in a big fabulous farmhouse that they’re leaving their 20 year old rock-band son in control of. Doesn’t HE have a fabulous life for the next few years, eh?

Anyway, Rodger was instrumental in meeting them on arrival and getting them set up in an apartment. As a break, we took them to the gorge last weekend to see a bit of the finest nature offers here in the Northwest. Here they posed at the end of the tour as we were leaving Crown Point:
emilioelena

Without them in the picture, this needs to be seen full scale as it was taken and it’s breathtaking:
cp2
**IF you’d like the original size file, tell me and I’ll send it email.

It was a fabulous day to see the all the Falls in the Gorge. In late winter they’re running as full as they’ll ever be what with snow melt happening, but not warm enough to muddy the water. Everyone’s seen many of them, but one of our favorites is the least viewed since you almost have to hike off the road 300 feet to see it:
gfalls
IF you look very closely, you can see a couple of dwarfed people at the bottom of the picture so you can get the size of this waterfall in perspective. When you stand at the base of this falls, there is quite a wind created just from the power of the water dropping that far. It’s an exciting spot.

AND once again, remember, winter is giving up its grip and THESE little guys will be arriving in about 6-8 weeks up here from their vacations in Mexico:
newhum
Ah yes. The fabulous Rufus Hummingbirds tiny brains are somehow beginning to get restless down there for some reason unknown to them….we can’t wait.

Late Winter is showing signs of change

Bloged in Nature,Pacific Northwest by mark Tuesday February 13, 2007

Isn’t it odd…………we can call the late summer a “dying summer.” Late Winter can’t be called a dying winter….signs of late winter are the burgeoning signs of beginning life, i.e., crocus, daffodils, hyacinth, etc….. And THAT is what I’m seeing out there now.

Signs of OUR fading winter? Temperatures have moderated to about 50 at day’s peak and about 40 as a low. Yippee. Plants that survived winters grip are somehow looking like they have a little more chlorophyll pumping through them…they’re greener. Stubby flower starts are up. Tree branches have tiny tight buds on them. little bugs are coming out of hibernation.

The Chipmunks have used up all their winter storage or they’re back out with the warm temperatures. They’re ALL over the place eating, drinking, playing.
chip

Raccoons were screaming bloody murder as they made love the other night….Yep, signs of spring love in the coon population. The great horned owls have quit “who who who” and found mates. There are a few “new” bird sounds being heard in the mornings…..yeah. And don’t forget other plants are showing signs of life: WEEDS.

Bicyclists in large groups are storming through on weekends and not ALL of them look so hot in the tight spandex they all tend to wear.

The Forest Park ELK Herd left deep huge hoofprints throughout Peter and Jeanne’s yard earlier this week! They’re on the move!

A ROBIN was seen in the birdbath just Friday.

Human signs of change? Trees are pruned, coffee grounds are getting thrown around the entire place. The last of the woodchips are getting laid out, all the “stuff” that piled up under bird feeders has been cleaned up, CARS WERE WASHED last week. YEP, somethin’s in the air.

It’s a taxing time.

Bloged in Political by mark Monday February 12, 2007

Whew! I DO have to admit I’m glad we’re using Tax software instead of doing this by hand. Once you’ve used the same software for a few years, you get more familiar with and more comfortable that the amount of hardship you’ll face on April 15 is at least reduced to a minimum.

I DO get frustrated and damn angry KNOWING that in 2007, that the Corporate Rulers have succeeded in blowing fog so well in front of their believer’s eyes that the insane religious far-right and wanna-believe “conservative” followers think they’re doing well. In truth, HARD reality OUGHT to be hitting them on the head right now about WHY money for EVERY social program in this country is going or has gone away down an endless hole for a war of empire in the name of “protection from terrorists”. Let’s see if we can help them understand with a bit of humor, but it’s NOT humor, it’s the screaming truth:
englehart Odd isn’t it? You’re paying record prices for GAS and Oil Companies are recording Hugely Record High Net Profits but claim THEY have nothing to do with pricing (see “closing refineries”, “refinery maintenance neglect”, oil pipeline last of maintenance”) ??

danAT one billion per day and a possible escalation into Iran, little Shrub’s projection of deficit reduction is a blatant lie.

heller
Or…………..

donwright These guys need to learn first hand what adjusting to poverty is.

signe
Here’s where YOUR TAX money is TRULY going. We are at this cost point in Iraq: By the end of 2007, for what we’ve spent there, EVERY American could have been given ONE BILLION dollars.

MAC used to get a laugh at these cartoons………………remember?
heyyou2

DARCELLES – 40 Year Anniversary !

Bloged in Gay,Portland by mark Thursday February 8, 2007

This Portland Icon, Darcelle, aka Linnton native Walter Cole, will be reaching his own year 77 or 78 this year:
darcelle2
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He and his partner of some 45 years, “Roxie”:
roxie
opened a Gay Drag Cabaret Show in the “oldtown” section of Portland some 40 years ago this month! DARCELLE XV and Company begins its year 40 in Stumptown, aka, the Rose City, i.e., Portland, Oregon! Can you believe it? UP here in the land of logging, longshoremen, country boys (aka Vancouver or Gresham), etc., the girls are still drawing a crowd?

We will NEVER forget when first moving as pioneers to the great NW over 10 years ago, with Rodger’s family here, the evening of the great floods in 1996, we were at Darcelle’s when they bravely did a show. All the while the show was going on, they were ready to begin an emergency evacuation that would include hauling 30 years (then) of costumes out of the basement. That was a night to remember and a very special show full of laughter, tears, and memories. Obviously, the floods didn’t breach the barriers that night not 4 blocks from the showplace.
cast
I can hardly believe 10 years later, this Portland treasure is still performing at 77 (or 78?). There were many years Darcelle’s was the hot ticket in town for business clients….sold out shows were performed week after week, month after month, year after year. It may seem dated now, but it’s a trip down memory lane to visit this place. IF you EVER come to Portland, make sure you ask, “Is Darcelle’s still open?”

If you wondered about it…………NONE of the pictures shown are current.

BAN Marriages that remain Childless!

Bloged in Political by mark Thursday February 8, 2007

This initiative has been filed in the state of Washington. Remember in the BAN Same-Sex Marriage, the insane Fundamentalists were mostly all saying that ONLY those who can procreate should be allowed to get marriage. Thus, this may give you a chuckle:
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Wash. initiative requires married couples to have kids
Wednesday, February 7, 2007 By KING and AP Staff

OLYMPIA, Wash. — An initiative filed by proponents of same-sex marriage would require heterosexual couples to have kids within three years or else have their marriage annulled.

Initiative 957 was filed by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance. That group was formed last summer after the state Supreme Court upheld Washington’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Under the initiative, marriage would be limited to men and women who are able to have children. Couples would be required to prove they can have children in order to get a marriage license, and if they did not have children within three years, their marriage would be subject to annulment.

All other marriages would be defined as “unrecognized” and people in those marriages would be ineligible to receive any marriage benefits.

“For many years, social conservatives have claimed that marriage exists solely for the purpose of procreation … The time has come for these conservatives to be dosed with their own medicine,” said WA-DOMA organizer Gregory Gadow in a printed statement. “If same-sex couples should be barred from marriage because they can not have children together, it follows that all couples who cannot or will not have children together should equally be barred from marriage.”

Supporters must gather more than 224,000 valid signatures by July 6 to put the initiative on the November ballot.

Opponents say the measure is another attack on traditional marriage, but supporters say the move is needed to have a discussion on the high court ruling.
===========================
What SAY ye to THAT Misters Roberson, Falwell, James Dobson, the now straight Ted Haggard, dozens of others, and perhaps the most frightening of all wanna-be-a-king, we’re talking to YOU too Mr. “Speaks For God Himself, George W. Bush”.

Brown Creeper returns

Bloged in birding by mark Thursday February 8, 2007

brncrpr
What a little tiny thrill. I have been watching a Brown Creeper hop up the tree here for the last 10 minutes trying to scare out a little food from hibernation
brcr2.jpg
. They’re returning. I also saw my first robin last week……….. Perhaps the worst of winter is over (excuse me Midwest frozen folk)….

Oh yes, don’t forget the hawk that flew in to browse the buffet at the feeders. He missed once again. And like predators, our Tax preparations are nearly done! We will be getting a tiny net refund why? Because of course our marriage was annulled, and the feds won’t recognize our joint return. Ever heard that one?

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