Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's About Time.

It's been a while since posting last.   As I've been working on the garden, the student, the classes, the negotiations with the city planners, I have been fortunate to also have time to make art.  The Artmaking some times takes a back seat to the others, but not always and for this I am very thankful. 

What I did with my summer vacation.  Each year we grow heirloom tomato plants.  As the nursery is a home grown operation we keep the plan simple.  We probably grow somewhere between 15-18 varieties and a total of around 300 plants.  Enough for our local friends, neighbors and customers to have an interesting collection of these tasty treats.  The weather did not cooperate and we grew about 20 plants for ourselves in the unheated greenhouse.  We had tomatoes on the vine through October!  This is the Pacific Northwest!

We waited a long and rainy Springtime for a chance to plant outside, it finally arrived, but very late for our region.  So thinking that Summer had finally arrived,it was mid July after all, I decided to go on an adventure.

Print Arts Northwest invited artist's to participate in a hike on Mount Hood, our volcano, to observe and gather inspiration from the wildflowers, the stately woods and beautiful views of the mountain.  [ Link. ]  We met at Sue Allen's home and studio located very near the mountain itself.  Our two car groups wound our way up to the trailhead.  It was a little misty, but all Oregonians know that this is a temporary phenomenon in the summertime.  We were sure the sun would beam out in a few hours.  So majestically quiet the woods awaited our footfall.  The first part of the climb was quite steep, but I was so entranced by the multitude of wildflowers, some passing their peak, some emerging and some showing off in their prime.  The variety was amazing.  The Native Plant Society provided us with a list of hundreds of plants that grow without aid in this wild place!
Here is a view from the trail as we ascended the first part of Bald Mountain trail.  This trail intersects with the Pacific Crest Trail, which traverses the US from the Canadian border to the Mexican border along the peaks of the Cascade Mountains and mountain ranges south.  It was still misty but we carried on.  We were all admiring the many varieties of plants, making notes and taking lots of photographs.   Our serious studies of the plant life was interrupted by SNOW!  In one moment, from studious artists to joyful kids!  It was just one patch of well walked on snow, but it gave us all a boost to continue.  The wind picked up after that and the mist became a little heavier (still no admission of actual rain).  We all donned our rain parkas and continued up the road.  We were all looking forward to the view at the summit of the trail, but by the time we arrived it was completely socked in with fog/cloud cover.  In spite of the inclement weather he hike was well worth while, the companionship of friends, new and old, the discovery of this wild and beautiful place and inspiration for artwork galore!  Actually, the wild weather made for a better story -- the trail down was a waterfall with gurgling streams of water, rocks and flowers, just wonderful.

This is a little long, so I'll post a part deux soon.  Thanks for reading!

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