seen from our kitchen window…
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
― Wendell Berry,
Looking back from whence we came. The gravel trail down to the beach is a relatively easy slope.
Luckily the dragon was busy cooling off and taking a drink.
A closer look at the dragon’s lair. Little did we know it was right below the parking area when we stopped there.
The path leads right past the camel guarding the trail.
The saddle area with beaches on either side is a desolate area strewn with rocks looking like something out of a moonscape.
I certainly wasn’t brave enough to venture up this slope with all those loose and large rocks hanging on by a whisker. Eric said he looked up while he was up there and decided it might be smart to gently venture back down.
The beach on the south side of the saddle looked a bit more inviting, but I couldn’t help but think of those pointy, jagged rocks falling down from the hills.
On a brighter note, the grasses swaying in the breeze added a more gentle touch.
Interesting to find more duleya farinosa on the cliffs.
Last, but not least we enjoyed watching these juvenile white-crowned sparrows back at the parking lot:
There are some good things to be said about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who’s always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated. … To be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me.
― Edward Abbey
Sisters Rock, an Oregon State Park. We’ve driven by it hundreds of times. It kept calling to us. We finally picked a perfect day… comfortably warm with very little breeze. Some clouds might have been nice, alas not this day…
Our destination as seen not far from the pullout from Hwy 101.
The three rocks jut out into the sea, providing some marvelous views of the coast both north and south. There’s a small parking area, often filled with very large puddles during the rainy season. The park is pretty much undeveloped (something I like about our coastal beaches).
Looking north from a spot near the beginning of the hike. The theme here is lots of rocks dropped from the coast, not to mention the monoliths the park is named for.
The view looking farther north to Humbug Mountain (also a State Park complete with a campground).
Heading down the trail toward the larger sister. The trail is a gravel road that starts with a locked gate from the parking space. The gate is meant to keep vehicles out, not hikers. The road is remnants of an old harbor settlement. It descends roughly 160 feet.
The view to the south, toward Gold Beach.
This time of year the grasses and flowers have turned to golden brown.
The trail makes for a relatively easy hike, but the Sisters Rocks might present some serious challenges with lots of loose rocks. We’ll get a closer look in time.
The gravel trail looking back toward the highway (not easily seen in this shot).
A closer look at the scattered rocks and the coastal range of mountains beyond them.
We were not alone by any means. This Great Blue Heron opted not to stick around for a visit.
The end of the gravel road where we saw the sea cave carved into the largest Sister by waves. It’s possible to see the two smaller openings from this south side. There is a larger opening on the north end. I wasn’t brave enough to try to explore it, but there’s a youTube video of someone who did.
A Rock Wren. Apparently an infrequent visitor to the coast, though its territory does cover parts of the nearby coastal range. To be continued…
To my surprise, I felt a certain springy keenness. I was ready to hike. I had waited months for this day, after all, even if it had been mostly with foreboding. I wanted to see what was out there. All over America today people would be dragging themselves to work, stuck in traffic jams, wreathed in exhaust smoke. I was going for a walk in the woods. I was more than ready for this.
― Bill Bryson,
Still a work in progress… but the bat house is filled to capacity.
Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.
― Ray Bradbury,
All the little jobs that need doing to make this place Home! The good news/bad news is that we don’t seem to be in any hurry…
I had to pull over on the way home from errands in town for these trees on a hillside peeking out above the fog. Lovely, wonderful, splendid fog… it just feels so good after the hot, dry, smoky summer. From where I sit at the computer, I see the wind stirring the leaves of the alders. Once in awhile an occasional leaf drifts to the ground. I expect that quite soon they will fall and my view might expand.
This shot showed up from August 19, just before the fire took over our lives, so to speak. I like the juxtaposition of before and after colors… it also shows the extent of my reach. Since I broke the ankle (2009), which tended to make my sense of balance a bit iffy, I dared to go only two steps up the stepladder. Luckily I have rather long(ish) arms. You can see the extent of my reach at the bottom half of the outer wall, while Eric filled in where I didn’t dare to go. I’m not sure what happened there at the bottom… whether I’ve gone back to paint it -I think I did, but who can remember at this point? (I went out to look and it has been painted.) The trim doesn’t show on this backside of the house, but I’m pretty pleased with the color I chose.
Not knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door.
― Emily Dickinson,
The berries are drying up and there’s only been one pie… perhaps someone’s been a bit too keen to tame the vines? They DO have a tendency to take over though.
Then again there were lots of bodies enjoying them… “you lookin’ at me?”
Quite a few of these whispy, twisty sorts of things out there.
The red shouldered hawk in the alder across the street. Looks like he might have had his eye on something interesting. Could it be the ground squirrel digging a burrow into the bank? I’m hoping those talons are ready to take care of something that might get to be a bit of a nuisance. A nice lunch for a hawk perhaps?
I think (once upon a time) I knew what these were, but the mind is getting a bit fuzzy around the edges.
An interesting visitor to the rug I had airing on the deck. He/she seemed utterly fascinated with the rug. Flying away, but quickly returning.
He went that-a-way….
I realized that If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.
In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia. Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.
― Charles A. Lindbergh
from my window.I could get really annoyed at the power lines, but I’ll save it for another day. I once asked a guy from the power company why they didn’t bury the unsightly lines and was told that due to landslides (which really do occur quite often here) it was easier to repair them when they are above ground. I suppose that as long as I want electricity from the power company I’ll just have to put up with them. You don’t always get what you want…
A zoomed shot of the mist creeping over the hills. This was where we watched the smoke from the wildfire form dense plumes not long ago, or one where we couldn’t see the hills for the smoke. Luckily, in this shot, it’s merely mist rising from the ridges.
Looking down at the creek, the water (for the moment) is so clear that you can see the rocks in the stream bed. It’s hard to see from this distance, but there is water there. If it was video, you’d see the movement and sparkle.
Taking a bit of inspiration from Lynn at BlueBrightly, I looked just that little bit closer at leaves and bark and twigs down there. I love the texture and appearance of the Alder trees.
My mother used to love birch trees from her native Latvia. I think of alders and aspens as being pretty close in appearance… the lighter papery bark perhaps.
It’ll be fun to document the change of seasons from my perch, looking down at the creek and vegetation.
There is a distinct feel of autumn in the air now. These images from yesterday were taken when the sun was playing hide and seek through the puffy clouds. Today is a bit too dark and dreary to inspire the one behind the lens. It happens occasionally.
Some of you may know that converting to B&W is completely out of character for me, but again I can thank (or blame?) Lynn for inspiring me to give it a try. I’m not sure I get it because I still don’t quite understand what it’s all about and it likely shows… But it can’t hurt to expand my horizons. Or to try. It’s never too late! 😀 (or so they say)
Last, but not least, there’s the laughing Buddha to greet those who come and go. He knows the long, strange journey has been well worth it.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Looks like the heavy mist, fog and occasional bits of rain, may have saved us from the wildfire. All in all this misty weather could not have been more welcome.
I’m learning to allow time for stops along the way when heading out along the coast these days.
Humbug Mountain hugged by fog. I’m still hoping to catch it topped by a lenticular cloud some day.
And I rose
In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days…
― Dylan Thomas,
The fog comes on little cat feet.
The cooling, moisture laden fog is so soothing after the recent days/weeks of heat and smoke.
Couldn’t seem to get enough of it…
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
― Melody Beattie