My husband has a keen sense of when I am feeling “boxed in” and need to get out of the house.  So yesterday, amidst the ton of work that I had to do, he walked up behind me, placed his hands over my quickly typing ones, and said, “Come with me….”  I smiled, because I know that when he does this, there will be a treat in store.  Yesterday was no exception.

We went for a long hike in the cool 68 degree, sunny Portland weather, and I don’t think the day could have been more perfect.  What follows are some of the photos that I took, which I would like to share with you today:


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Whenever we hike at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens, I keep an eye out for this guy.  He is a lone Blue Heron who has fled the safety of the Crane Rookery further down in Oaks Bottom, a short distance away.  I was thrilled yesterday, when another photographer that I run into there periodically, told me that he had spotted this bird “…up the path, to the right…”  I’ve shot photos of him before, and am ever astounded by his majesty. 

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At one point, I glanced across a small pond and saw this bride standing there waiting for her party to arrive.  I thought she looked so beautiful and ethereal.  However, I found that removing the color from the shot gave it an “other worldly” j’ne sais quoi that I love.

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Rose petals from the wedding.

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This little duckling followed me around the parameter of the pond. I grew increasingly concerned that its mom didn’t seem to be around, and that this little guy was all alone.  However, when we reached the midpoint, the mother duck rushed over and reclaimed her wandering  babe, much to my relief.

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As you look at the picture above, try to imagine the sounds of birds chirping and water running over rocks from small waterfalls.  Those are the sounds one hears as he or she enters the gardens.

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Hydranges change from light blue to dark blue, to dark purple, to light purple, to pink and finally, to white.  I love these flowers, nearing the end of their season.

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I cherish my alone time.  This was at point at which John and I split up and went in different directions, me with my camera, and John with his notebook. I went straight, and he turned and went down the hill.   We agreed to meet up in the following hour.

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Weeping willows are my favorite trees.  They thrive here in Portand’s mild climate.

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Each year at this time, a harmless green algae blooms in the water for a short period of time. I love the way the ducks just blend in so perfectly.

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 10.49.39 AMThe still waters cast beautiful reflections.

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A couple of hangers on, at the end of their lifespan.

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Early signs of the rapidly approaching autumn.

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Bursts of color everywhere!

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There were a few late-blooming rhodies still around.

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I love the quality of wabi-sabi inherent in this simple fence.  John wants to build a small one in our patio area to go with our little Zen rock garden.  I think that’s a great idea!

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A mom, watching over her crew.

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Now, I know that one of you has read all the way to the end here, to see if I would drop any clues or say anything that you could add to your arsenal….but there is no need. You already know the truth.