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.)
The temperature here in Central Oregon has dropped from the high 90’s to the low 80’s, so around seven in the evening the garden was pleasant and inviting. The star gazer lilies are abundant and lighting up the back yard with their intoxicating fragrance. Maybe someone named them “Star Gazers” after their star-shaped blooms and the way they tilt toward the skies searching for their mirror-like images that shine in the night. Or maybe not. The ripe blueberries on the bushes got picked – before the birds discover them. Cherry season is just ending here on the eastern slope, and I managed to get enough off my tree to make a few jars of cherry jam. It’s so good.
Greg Brown sings a song, “Canning” that comes to mind as I’m preserving a little taste of summer in my jars:
Peaches on the shelf
Potatoes in the bin
Supper’s ready, everybody come on in
Taste a little of the summer,
Taste a little of the summer,
You can taste a little of the summer
My grandma’s put it all in jars.
Well, there’s a root cellar, fruit cellar down below
Watch your head now, and down you go…etc.
The yard seems that it’s in its Yellow Phase. Here, only the end of July, and Fall colors are in full array. The yellows are pure, full and vibrant, especially in the slanted light of morning.
It is the heart that recognizes we are all unique expressions of the Love that is the essence of Life, and it is the heart that will wake us up to the truth that we are all in this together, floating on a tiny, blue-green jewel of a planet that is dancing through vast oceans of space. Mary O’Malley, “What’s in the Way is the Way.” (72)
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.
OnMarch 4tha light snow covered the ground, the streets were icy, and winter showed no signs of leaving. After living in the mountains for 18 years at 1000 feet above Bend (4500 feet) I was no stranger to spring snow. Lots of it. Up there in a land where, maybe,when spring had passed a few daisies and daffodils survived the summer deer.
But, surprise, all has changed down here in the city. That which came after the snow had melted around my little cottage was amazing. In the following posts I attempt to share a bit of summer as it blossoms behind a precious six-foot fence.
March 30th, Spring Equinox, 2018. Light was returning in our hemisphere, snow had melted in town, and I was in the back yard rooting around mysterious foliage in my thickly planted garden. Crunched between a fir hedge and an adjacent monkey tree, appeared my favorite fantasy flower, a Lenten Rose. Never had I seen one in real time, I’d only seen pictures of this plant, also called a Heliotrope. It was my favorite image that I had painted on Christmas cards – the year I set out to paint each and every card I sent individually. (Out of 100 friends on my list, I made it to 50. Fun, but too much.) So, here it was, in person. It’s not clear why I have such fondness for the Lenten Rose, sometimes referred to as the Christmas Rose. Maybe it’s the colors, the faded mauves and light greens, the shapes, the way the blooms grow close and back- to-back to one another. It awakens something deeply spiritual, or complete, or maybe ancient within.
It was at this point I decided to paint my garden, flower-by-flower as each new botanical wonder displayed its unique expression of creation.
April 28, 2018 on my early morning stroll, the weather still, sunny, and cold I discovered this tiny little tulip. It seemed shy nestled up beside a pinecone, maybe for a little comfort. Small as it was, it sounded a fanfare for its many sisters, brothers, cousins and family members who soon awakened showing random colors, shapes, heights in many locations throughout this half-acre garden.
To all you who responded to my Hole in the Floor post, I want you to know your comments and support are very helpful, and you are all appreciated. I am not alone, as I’ve recently heard, 3/4 of Bend’s homes have some snow/ice dam damage. There are many in the same situation that I’m in.
Most of you asked about my next move. I did put money down on a small house in Bend’s east side that I was pretty excited about – was being the operative word in this case. I’m not sure now. There’s one training certificate related to my pending loan that needs a signature – which has been refused. The only thing I can do is keep the faith and know things will all work out for everyone’s very best.
What was, isn’t any more:
Several evenings ago the sky was red with flashing lights from emergency vehicles. The home two houses up from me was on fire and flames rising high into the sky. The damages to the home are sizable but repairable. Then “bam,” the house next to the burned house had a major explosion resulting in, apparent, substantial damage. What happened to Skyline Dr. and its back-road quietude? I feel deeply for the neighbors and their losses. This week has made up for many years of relatively uneventful living in the mountains.
Even though as I write it’s cold, snowing, and blowing like crazy, I’m imagining warmth and some comfort ahead. My love to all.
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.