Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Waking up this morning, I felt that I had no further photos to take in Manzanita.  I'd taken my postcard photos and my art photos and I felt completely empty. A little later in the morning, I read a post by Scott Bourne - posing the question to photographers - "What if you concentrated on making only meaningful shots?" Lots to think about there.

We had dinner at a favorite place tonight, The Nehalem River Inn about 5 miles from Manzanita. Run by a young couple, the food was excellent, and the environment fit our needs wonderfully - overstuffed chairs, soft jazz playing, sun setting as we ate at our window table. Very well done.

Then a walk to the beach and I did find some inspiration there.  Looking for essences and finding flows and patterns and shapes and color. Meaningful to me, at any rate. Part of a desire of mine to be more aware of the patterns and flows in life.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Another day in Paradise!

Starting with a beach walk with Murphy this morning, a sunny day with wine on a patio, lunch that included 'creamy'clam chowder and the best smoked salmon around (Karla's smokehouse in Rockaway Beach, just down the road) and ended with Diana, Murphy and I on the beach as the sun set.  More photos than I normally show, but we really enjoyed a lot of different views today.  The sign and the horses are from Nehalem State Park, again, just down the road. And yes, we are enjoying ourselves!!

Evening at the beach

Murphy and I went for an evening walk on the beach. A cloud bank was blowing in again, with the soft, bubbly clouds and a little bit of sun color on the bottoms. The breeze was good for kites, and I found another very nice complete sand dollar. On the way home I tasted the Oregon blackberries - and boy, were they good!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sun and surf

The sun came out about 2pm - burned off the fog and lit up the landscape and beaches. We relaxed and took a drive to some places we have been before; had lunch on the deck of a cafe in a small town named Wheeler.
The amazing thing is that while wandering the beach, I found 9 complete sand dollars - normally I'm lucky to find even one! They're outside drying off now.
Murphy enjoyed the beach both in the morning and this afternoon; we may go again tonight.  I think I will have plenty of photos of him by the time we go home :-)

Each beach has its own ripples and patterns; it could be a lifetimes work to document them - but what a wonder!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Finally, the ocean

We left Baker City, Oregon and meandered up the freeway to Manzanita.  A vintage car rally sent us off from Baker City - I took shots of each car, but will only show the one that is closest to my heart - '57 Chevy!
The trip through the Gorge was enlivened by windmills - what a contrast to the softness of the grass and the flowingness of the hills. Mt Hood made a brief appearance through the haze. We managed to get lost in downtown Portland, but then found our way out.
Once in Manzanita, we took Murphy to the beach - if you wonder if he liked it just look at the photos of him!
Fog and low clouds made sure no sunset tonight; however, the cloud, light, water and sand dynamics were soft and inviting; I got a couple that I liked!
Nice to be cool again - I know we will sleep well tonight!

On the road

We drove to Baker City, Oregon, yesterday; got a late start from SLC (12:30) so got in about 9 MDT and 8 PDT. The hour change was welcomed this morning!
A long, hot, beautiful drive, fields and fields of corn along with some other crops. The change from desert to farmed land is quick and startling. A brief rainstorm came along, enough to mess up the front window, but not much else.
Wide open land, big sky country - soothing to the soul as we drive along.  We stopped every 2 to 3 hours to let Murphy run around and then for dinner in Boise (Outback). Roads were excellent and, other than an occasional one-lane due to construction, made good time.

We stopped outside of Boise - got a couple of land/sky photos.  Also brought one from home of Fuzzy grooming himself as he watched us pack up.
Off to Manzanita today - looks like another blue sky day.

I kept coming back to this substation outlined by dark storm clouds. Finally took a photo and decided perhaps B&W would work.  Kind of boring but I liked it :-)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Vacation week

This week has been about cleaning up odds and ends - finished up the driveway Wednesday, had painters over Thursday and Friday to redo the front and back concrete decks and ceilings, lawn care with fairly hot weather, a family morning at the vet today - Murphy, Fuzzy, Leo, Diana and I.  Amazingly, all has worked out well.  Plus had an excellent Sicilian dinner conducted under the auspices of the Slow Food organization on Wednesday and met some very neat folks.
We leave for Manzanita, Oregon, tomorrow morning for a week. Murphy is coming for his first visit to the ocean - this promises to be exciting!  Finally completed all the chores and just have packing left, and am feeling like I can relax a little.
Photos are from back deck and front yard - simple but beautiful.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

An afternoon with Carmen

Carmen and her mom came to visit yesterday afternoon. Carmen is 3.5+ yrs old, and I had not spent time with her for quite a while.
She is fun to be with, very low overhead as she entertains herself quite well. She and Murphy have a love affair going on, as you can see by one of the photos.
A special treat to be with her - keeps me in touch with other worlds.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hiking at Murphy's place

Murph and I took a hike around the pond at Summit Park that I call Murphy's Place.  He loves to explore there, grass, sagebrush, wetlands and forest.  After a hike, he runs to the pond and gets wet, and will play with other dogs there if they are playing. Yesterday he played with a young lab, who, when Murph left, came after him with a stick in his mouth and banged Murphy on the head with it inviting him to play some more!
Murphy stops and waits for me, with such patience in his brown eyes! Never criticism spoken, but sometimes felt when I am going particularly slow, like up a slope. Nevertheless, he always waits for me.

This yellow songbird posed with an intriguing array of lines.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Driveway work

This week our driveway has been replaced.  In the before photo before you can see why! Diana talked to a friend in the concrete business and he gave her a couple of names - the one we chose is a father-son team that has been doing concrete work in this area for 20+ years.  They do excellent work, and the prices are very good.
Diana wanted pavers on the side, And when she sent the contractor down the street to look at a driveway she liked with pavers, he came back and said - "I did that 10 years ago!".  While a bit disrupting to our routine, it has been well worth it.  Funny how you can get used to the crappy way something looks, and then see what it looks like redone and wonder why you waited so long to do it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Backyard pleasures

Off the roof and into the yard - admiring the beauty around us.

View from the roof

I climbed up on our roof in an attempt to get a great photo of the full  moon rise without power lines and trees in the way.  Unfortunately the clouds blew in a no moonrise photo; fortunately the clouds blew in and provided a bit of drama.