Out of a blast of thunder my Iris took wings. In Central Oregon this time of year hot dry days can create violent storms such as the small, isolated blast that shook me awake from an afternoon snooze. A wave of boldness seemed to overcome me, and knowing this painting was no “show stopper” I relaxed, had fun, put some paint down and am happy with the outcome. (Still no show stopper.)
May 27th, I’m totally out of control. Opening my blinds early this morning, a display of snow white Clematis had flared forth just outside my dinning room window. It was too beautiful not to paint. Completely exhausted from over-painting I ran, well walked slowly as any well-trained 79 ½ year old will do, out in the yard and shouted out, “Hey Ya’all. Can you hold things up here for a day or so? I’m way behind.” No one listened, and they simply continued to remember who they were and joyfully displayed their beauty in an orderly fashion.
May 9th,looked like it had snowed again, at least on the cherry and the apple trees…and on Isabella. No snow, just cherries and apples being themselves. As for Isabella, her groomer took about 10 years off her life with this new cut, and she, too, is simply being herself. I’m not going to paint her, but the apple blossoms were irresistible.
Yesterday Isabella and I explored a different walking trail. We drove just west of Bend up Century Drive, turned off on the road to Benham Falls and ended up at Slough Camp. From Slough Camp’s parking lot we headed on foot towards Benham Falls, about 2.5 miles. I hadn’t been up in this area for ages. It brought back a fun/funny memory. In The 60’s when I was attending COCC my folks sent me $70. a month for rent, food, gas, etc. One memorable month I out-spent the month by two weeks and had only a dime to last until next payday. No problem, well not really. For food I, every day, fished the Deschutes and lived on the catch of the day – trout. I ate fried trout, baked trout, boiled trout, and fried trout again. The dime I had bought me two lemons from the market on Franklin St. just two blocks from my apartment. Bend was so compact and easy back then. Anyway, Slough Camp was one of my fishing spots and it felt good to be back, although I’m happy to hike and not fish.
Isabella found a place where she could get to the river for a drink without tromping through brush and river grasses. She took off over a little embankment that looked almost straight down to me. I questioned her ability to get herself out of that hole, but she did it, eventually. I let her rest a bit, me too, before we carried on. It was such a beautiful, quiet Fall day, and I’m grateful for every minute of it.
If you’ve ever been to Fort Rock in the Central Oregon Desert, you’ll remember that it is formed of jagged lava rock that has taken the shape of a crescent. It’s dry and desolate, to me. So now, I seem to be existing in a near replica which I have named Fort Snow. (Not dry but maybe a little desolate.) The photos attached will tell you the story of the enormous snow load I am dealing with and some of the havoc it has raised. The inside has some significant damage caused by snow melt that crept silently down beams, under flooring, and into the main crawl space under the kitchen . It’s not the end of the world, but just one more thing to deal with as I pack to move and try to find a place to live. What a time for Bend to come up with an unprecedented snow dump.
Here’s the story behind my pictorial essay: lots of snow, piles so high I don’t have to think about anyone looking in my windows – or me looking out, tractor heading down towards my front door, Fort Snow forming, dogs going crazy with fun, and at last a fond farewell to my 1990 Subaru Legacy. She’s off to become a KLCC radio program.
By the way, it’s my 78th birthday, and I so appreciate the many, many birthday wishes that showed up on m Facebook page this morning. I really needed that kind of support today, and it helped me to remember who we all are – just a bunch of good friends and family who know how to reach out to one another.
This is my birthday month, and I have been gifted with so much beauty. Exactly what I ask for, snow. It’s so deep and cold I really haven’t ventured out much – no skiing, no walking. I’m playing “elderly” and mostly looking out of the windows – especially at night. Its full moon and the reflection of moonlight that comes off the snow is stunning. Last night I awakened around 1:00am and thought my neighbors were shinning their headlights in my window. Good to see it was simply the natural grace of the night.
All over Bend roofs are collapsing. Early this morning Kenwood School’s gymnasium roof came down, Hooker Creek, and FedX too, so all schools are closed for inspections. Now the kids have had an entire week off because of the best weather ever.
Yesterday I submitted fourteen images to Looking Glass Gallery, located in the Bend River Mall annex. Seven are Solstice greetings and the other seven are holiday themes. Watch for future post and more images.
My Solstice art is not easily photographed, as it is painted on Yupo (a plastic paper) with acrylic inks. The inks leave a high gloss finish which reflects everything making it almost impossible to photograph. The image I’m posting will give you an idea of my expression of the Return of the Sun or the Solstice celebration. Inside each card is a brief explanation of the meaning of Solstice.