Okay, got Mac leashed, and we're off to get Arnie & his pup Cooper for a 4 mile walk on the Wildwood. You'll grab a jacket ...we'll start out at 38 degrees...but it'll be 45 by the time we get home..... Very quickly, we turn off of Skyline onto an old path...and within 100', we begin a descent that leads down to Arnie's place: Mac reminded me to take a few Trillium pics. They must have LOVED this winter we seem to have a hard time finishing.....because I've NEVER seen so MANY fabulous Trilliums in perfect blooming beauty: **MOST are at their peak, and only a very FEW are showing signs of turning mature marked by that gradual descent into the mad shades of lavender: Here's one more just nearing "middle age" This stump has looked like this forever......it may be one left from the last time this hillside was "logged" before Portland saved the land as a city park: In this ravine pic (**DOUBLE CLICK** to appreciate how hidden the water is) the stream is almost invisible....but you hear it bubbling underneath all the forest growth..... I love passing an old growth Fir.....puts things in perspective: Lots of Maple Trees are here and they perform a "stage2" step in developing an old forest......they grow fast, provide the shade/nutrients needed for fir seedlings to sprout and do well. I like this particular toughy lookin' tree: Never been sure if this huge old Cedar Tree fell because OF a burn or it lived long after the original scar...looks like fresh wood surrounds the old burn though. The red cedar is pretty in that green forest: In spring, and year round in deep ravines, LOTS of heavy moss drape tree branches: **At a point of trail crossroads, one choice would be to continue down this Newton Fire Lane....it will eventually take you about 600' lower and in 2 miles, have you in Linnton where you could enjoy a nice lunch at the Lighthouse (**Double CLICK on THIS picture....it lost too much grandeur when I reduced it, so here it is full scale): **On several trail points, you can see bird dining spots....note the fresh cuts on the one fir here...showing plenty of woodpecker type birds are eating here: Another ravine...........and there's always WATER flowing in even the little ones this time of year: We continue to pass little Trillium gardens: In some spots, the trillium bunches go far beyond what the camera captures: I'll miss 'em when they're gone soon: Another gorgeous turn in the trail, another nice place to hear the dribble of a tiny stream: We near the end of the hike at another trail crossroads here and turn up to the parking lot: This astounding old Cedar Tree is STILL alive (branches abound about mid-height), but it has been so long used by the bigger woodpeckers for a signaling tree, not much is left at the top, but it IS a tall tree. We are OFTEN greeted with long loud signal calls coming from this tree during this mating season: ***and remember the canada Goose hen nesting in back of the tire center, yes, Ms. Urban Goose? Here's what she looked like (we snuck back for a quik pic):
Nancy M and I settled into her car early Saturday morning for the drive to our dear friend and cousin Nancy Purvine's memorial service yes, headed North....to Federal Way, WA. It was good for us to be together and talk about this sad time together..... Here was the four of us our last week together making pickles in August....Nancy M on the left, Nancy P on the right: ***DOUBLE CLICK*** the pic to see this in a better scale.....we were pretty proud of our 120 quarts! . . . . . . . . . On the way, we, as birder fans, were given a rich treat: We've ONLY seen Heron rookeries here in the spring. Right off I5 about a quarter mile was a HUGE EGRET Rookery and it was astounding. 40-50 beautiful WHITE Egrets ALL sitting up high in those trees on little piles of sticks ....... That WAS an unexpected treat for us.. . . . . . We even stopped in Olympia a a bakery Nancy had picked for a lovely little pastry breakfast and chai tea...... my GPS navigator located inside the Droid phone performed like a champ, and we arrived at St Vincent's Catholic Church in Federal Way about 45 minutes early. That was perfect.....there sitting in 2-3 big guy pickups were siblings of Nancy's who had all driven up from Prairie City, OR, Bates, OR, Jordan Valley, OR and Seaside. I had not seen 3 of these wonderful people since we were kids..... Pickups/trucks ARE what you would own if you lived where there aren't 3500 big box stores around. Their being there certainly made this a very rich experience. Soon, all arrived, and to MY wonder, about 200 people came on this day to participate in the service. I was a little amazed because Bruce had not published a death notice, or obituary anywhere. She had lots of friends. My Nancy was a serious agnostic about religion, so it was with a lot more wonder that this service was being held in a Catholic Church..... yes, Catholic. I learned that morning, however, that Bruce had worked his years in one of the offices here, so I suppose it was a natural it would be held here.....his friend, a retired Priest directed the service, the ladies prepared a generous lunch for the entire crowd, not just the family. I was proud of Bruce and son Jay who paid tribute to wife/Mom beautifully. Some of us ex-Mormons did have an awkward couple of moments when the Priest did some fairly Catholic things in the service, phrases everyone repeated, etc.... But he DID speak of Nancy in the finest way I believe ANYONE could be described: "She was a seeker of truth." Amen, brother, THAT was just awesome and spot-on. I loved the lunch gathering getting to get re-acquainted with my other cousins, her siblings.... I gained a big admiration for ALL of them, and DO hope to make sure we get together in the future. Mike and Zelda are TRULY American originals: They live in probably the most remote county in Oregon, Malheur, where I grew up and run a cattle ranch together..... He owns a HUGE Hay Harvester and in the summer, contracts to ranches all around them. In the winter, he coaches the basketball teams: 2 teams. Total # of students in the high school? 24. I posted this picture last August, taken by Nancy & Bruce while visiting Mike & Zelda on their ranch. . . . . **Double CLICK**, the pic so you can get a scale of this grand desert scenery....this IS the country we grew up in............. it's beautiful in its own way: Charlie - recently retired from ODOT, but JUST finishing up going through a divorce after 30 years. I loved his wisdom, and talking with him. Jenny Lyn & Terry- - two fabulous people who live closest to me our near the coast. He's retired from teaching and now doing his artistic carpenter pursuits. They live in a custom home they have spent years making beautiful. GeorgeAnne & Terry - living in Prairie City....I think these two would be fabulous to sit down for a beer with....... both truly in love after 27 years. After the service/lunch, all the family drove to Edgewood to Nancy's house for some more visiting........ Nancy M was going to stay the night to talk with Bruce. That was too cool since Nancy is recovering from becoming a widow herself 4 years ago....... I rode with Jen / Terry to Tacoma where they dropped me at the Amtrak station and I rode the Talgo into Portland for a measly $30!!! Cool. I hope Bruce and Jay can begin their own journey now on their own..........always difficult at first. This part of their life is an unknown experience and one I hope they gain a new appreciation of each other with. For me, I know she will always be in my heart ........... Someone blessed me AGAIN on the way down with TWO fabulous nature sitings: 2) just crossing the Skookumchuk River up near Olympia, it was getting dusk....at the edge of the far side of the river right NEXT to the train bridge, a herd of 40-50 ELK were having supper...spread over about 1/4 mile. Wow! It was rich in the evening light. At the next big wetlands crossing, I saw 200-300 duck like birds flying into and sitting in the trees above the water....I have always KNOWN some duck cousins roost in trees for protection, I just hadn't seen it. Got into Portland about 9:00, and there was a welcome welcome person, my Rodger greeting me warmly.......and being wonderfully ready to listen to my tales. It was a great way to come home. I feel much healed having gone to the service with everyone. Not only that, the SUN is out this whole WEEK. Sure, maybe a shower or two along the way, but SUN SUN SUN.....my mood has changed 100% from a whining entry last week.
Tom Toles has long been a favorite political cartoonist for the DC Post. He CAN cheer me up even though the subject matter can be some of the most serious matters. Here's a couple of my FAVORITE of his cartoons of this past year: 1. Most recent, and my biggest source of annoyance: Elimination of any Tax responsibility for Wealthy Folks: 2. I don't think this cartoon actually overstates our dire climate situation: 3. Here's a nice statement about how oil disasters are considered "fixed" in our lack of regulated industries: 4.This is a fabulous commentary on the corporation dark place the TSA has become since 9/11 and how the airline corporations are getting by with "minimum regulation" and "0 enforcement": 5. And about answering that question, "IF THOSE HUGE corps were "too big" to fail in 08, how can they possibly ALREADY be turning out history making huge profits?" note: Read the rest of this diary piece at your own risk..... I'm not so happy this spring, so far, and finally am gonna write about it: **Nancy's Memorial Service is FINALLY set for Saturday in Federal Way, WA near Seattle. I know a bit about grieving and loss, but some of it only in theory. What this experience in losing someone close is: **IF someone becomes ill, soon dies, and you have been unable to participate in that process on-site, you have a more difficult time coming to closure. I'd long agreed with the talk that seeing one's friend in that last few moments allows you to let go. I had that experience when my Mother died sitting at her bedside. She was NO longer there, it was clear, and life changed. With Nancy, we couldn't visit, she was isolated in ICU, then cremated upon death, then a service for family postponed until the chosen spiritual friend returned to Seattle to preside. I think going to that service Saturday will be a BIG leap forward in finally letting Nancy rest for me. **IN FACT: The Funeral Business in America is aided by the idea that friends/family get a lot of closure when a body is embalmed, make-up, and then displayed at viewings, funerals...... your friend is still "pretty", but you KNOW.....things have changed. **S.A.D. I used to sort of chuckle at this "new-found" disease (or so I thought it was new) when I first began to hear about it up hear, and it was NOT in our first year or two that we heard about it, but much later. Finally, the reality of the kind of REAL depression that dark grey foggy wet misty days can bring has truly hit upon yours truly. I believe our systems "allow".... for seasonal changes, and we welcome them actually: A Sort of "break" from the many summer chores that come along is needed. The SAME happens after winters grip is loosened by rising temps in March, dryer air, brighter skies, longer days. One's spirit sort of "wakes up". Isn't that almost universal? It is true for me...... and I have, in the past, negotiated the longer springs here okay. Last year was an exception because the spring turned damp, cool and extended throughout the summer. We really never succeeded in picking more than a bare few tomatoes after a summer's hard work in a garden. THIS LA NINA WINTER has been WORSE, and it STILL remains VERY chilly for April. Trees at OUR elevation have refused to leaf/bloom, the orchard bees are still hibernating, the skies are dark, and rain continues. For the FIRST time in my life, I am recognizing that I'm truly depressed....symptoms are surrounding me, and I need to make some changes to deal with it. This is really not pretty. **I remain seriously fatigued most of the day, sleeping too long, and struggle to make things get done. **The possibility of a cure for S.A.D. ?? Once again, for about the 4th time, I AM truly believing in the WEATHER FORECASTS for serious "change" only days away......ALL of next week has been forecast as SUNNY, warmer, dry ...... And you can't imagine that I mean this: " I CANNOT WAIT!" **Part of my negativity is directed at the state of politics in the world, and mostly HERE. *I won't ruin any more of this post on this subject*, but I KNOW I'm NOT alone in feeling this. **Last w/e, we saw "Sissy Boy" a bit of a documentary of a Portland based group no longer together at the local Gay Center, the "Q" Center. We went early to make sure we had good seats. Total attendance? About 10. Sad, I thot they deserved better than that. The good part? We got to see Brenda & Thomas for an evening and THAT part was jolly fun. **Our floor project ( take out carpets in two BIG rooms and replace with laminates ) is being postponed until we return from CA, and R's Dad's memorial service next month. **Next month: California awaits our arrival for staging Chet's memorial service at Bethel Island and the spreading of his ashes. The very next day, a small group will drive with us to Morro Bay for the spreading of his sister Cheryl's ashes. This will be driving trip since we'll be returning with a few family treasures R will want to keep close. **The annual HUGE Master Gardener's Plant Sale in Canby at the Clackamas Fairgrounds is April 30 weekend. WILL this little part of the planet be adjusted for planting by then? **I AM carrying thoughts in my heart this morning for Sarah A's Mom.....how CAN such a vibrant beautiful lively woman as she come down with serious pneumonia? What a WORLD this place is right now....worldwide disasters, calamities, corruption, warming, dying plants and species and humans continue their invasive march toward killing the last few inches of it. SORRY about a wistful miserable post such as this, but that's my diary for today. I remember happier moments living here....BOTH of these pets lost in 2004......13 yr old Tucker, and 35 year old Jocko.....they added much to our silly little lives: