Sunday, October 11, 2015


Chief Lelooska's Elk Point totem
Not the best photo but the best I could do when I took it on a rainy day a couple years ago. 

Since 1992 there has been a movement to rename and replace the federally sanctioned Columbus Day as Indigenous People's Day. This movement is the result of Columbus's negative legacy. Presently four states do not celebrate Columbus day. Those states are Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon and South Dakota -- South Dakota calls the day Native American Day

When I recently learned of Indigenous People's Day I thought of Chief Lelooska, the native American carver that carved a large totem around 1959 to 1961 for Elk Point near Twilliger Parkway in Portland, Oregon

The Smithsonian identified the animals represented on the Haida-style totem pole as follows starting at the bottom --  beaver, grizzly bear. raven and topped by four watchmen. (Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museum). I noticed that the Smithsonian did not name several of the totem animals.

Below are a few close-ups of parts of the totem




(Captured this photo a few weeks after I took the photos above)

The backside of the totem is flat as was the style of indigenous carvers. Unfortunately modern day carvers have found this flat back as a place to leave their name in history! 

What do you think about replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day? Or as Native American Day as South Dakota has done? To find out more about the day click here

Monday, October 5, 2015


Left to Right -- my fraternal grandmother, my young father, and my fraternal grandfather
Rosemont Avenue, Berkley, Michigan

Celebrating Halloween when I was young in the forties and fifties was not only celebrated by kids but by my father. The reason being was that he was born on Halloween so our family celebrated the whole month of October with porch pumpkins, cardboard images tacked to our windows of spiders, black witches and cats. Topping it all off was a five foot cardboard skeleton hanging from our front door. We were the most "ready for" Halloween house on our block. 

Today of course houses can be decorated like stage plays with full size plastic devilish figures dancing across yards. 

I took this photo as it closely resembled my memories of Halloween. Not so plastic but imaginative creations.  

 A real spider that I noticed a week ago while checking out an old school. He was travelling across the old porch boards probably choosing a place to hide where he could jump out and scare children on Halloween night. Of course I enlarged him in Lightroom

This house would have made a great haunted house for us kids to scream and run through and maybe a few adults too (like my father).

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Hanging Bike Gallery

A few days ago I was traveling down some country roads in an area I was not familiar with. The mountainous views as well as the farms were astounding. I felt an aura of goodness as I rode along. 

There were many sights I thought would be wonderful for photography but of course I had not brought my camera! Oh well, I thought, I can return as it is not far from my apartment in Corvallis. 

Just then I whizzed by an older homestead -- instantly noticing a wire fence fronting its property that had at least fifty different kinds of old bikes hanging from it. It appeared as an art gallery. Only I thought of it more as a folk expression. The homesteader apparently had a folksy creative mind and used it in the bike display.  

Children's bikes lining the fence with adult bikes in the background 

The next day I was back at the bike gallery on the country road looking for the owner of the property. No one was home. So I took the liberty to photograph the bikes. Surely the owner was proud of his display. His bikes came in all sizes for both adult and children -- and all colors and other bike attributes. It certainly was an eye stopper. As I was taking photos a cyclist rode by -- he gawked at the display -- wide-eyed as he rode by.

Child's bike with training wheels

I believe the concept of this gallery display is both industrial and environmental. However the underlying message is probably folk spun from the homesteader's experience. 

What do you think?

Sunday, September 6, 2015


An old plant display stand casts a shadowy pattern on the broken cement. The plant stand's pattern tells us change is upon us -- time to prepare for a change in the weather. Plants will have to wait until next spring to again sit upon the open wire plant stand. 

For me change is in the wind again too as I have just moved  to a college town about a hundred miles from the home I have been residing in for the past seven months. 

My living pattern since retirement (long ago) has been one of many changes. I wander about learning from the folks and landscapes that create the culture of different areas. Sometimes I feel that I will stay in an area forever but eventually get itchy feet and move on. 

I feel fortunate that I have been able to do this. I find that it has made my life experiences in retirement rich and varied. I'm looking
forward to discovering the odds and ends of my new area. Although I lived in this area several years ago I feel there are many opportunities yet to uncover especially in photography. 

So my exploration  will soon begin  -- when I unpack everything and get fairly settled in my new apartment in the woods. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015


My thoughts often wander back to Kentucky where I lived for six years before moving to Oregon. One category of thoughts was the historic architecture in the rural areas and small towns. Old rural architecture has been one of my strong interests since I was young. The house above resided on the main road of a small town I often rode through. Its exterior appeared to be original to when it was built  -- probably about the late 1800s. I especially liked its gingerbread trim on its front porch along with its old metal roof. 

Before I left I found out some bad news about this old lady of a house. It was going to be torn down -- probably.  I moved before a decision was made. I didn't want to know that this home, full of over a hundred years of cultural ways, would be removed from the town's main street. 

So I moved and never inquired what the decision was. I wanted to remember it like it stood so old and elegant in its worn sort of way.

To me -- change is not always for the best.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


As we slide toward early fall here in Oregon I look around at the environment and wonder if our rains will return in time to build up our rivers for the fish  -- especially the fall run of salmon on our rivers. Oregon has been mostly void of any rains since May and this has resulted in low river flows with high temperatures that fish cannot do well in -- many have died. The trees and shrubs appear dried out in many places. Above is a leaf I spotted that represents the desiccated look of  the leaves that are falling in large numbers off many trees. Granted there are a major portion of trees still going fairly strong. A quick look at wild areas brings home the parched look of some trees and other plants. What can we do about it. I bet you know.  Everyone should know. It is everyone's problem.

This is a photo that I took of Oregon's Siuslaw River that was roaring along its 110 mile path toward the ocean in early summer of this year.  

This is the same river with its photo taken in the same spot as the above last photo. Now it looks more like a wading pool than a river. State officials are now either curtailing fishing on Oregon's rivers or prohibiting fishing altogether to reduce stress levels. 

My son took this photo a few weeks ago of an eagle sitting contemplatively by the Siuslaw River. Many eagles call this river home. In fact a whole population of wild critters and plants call Oregon rivers their home. 

The end of this tale is yet to be told. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

bird attacks loss of feathers

Remaining bird feathers from a predator attack

Recently I was walking across my front yard when I noticed a circle of feathers lying on the ground about two feet in diameter. The feathers were strewn helter-skelter within the diameter. I felt that some bird had met its maker in this very spot. No body parts or blood were on the ground. But who was the predator and what kind of bird did the feathers belong to. 

But is also could be feather remains from a bird that got away from a predator.

Circle of remaining bird feathers after the attack

I was certainly curious about what had transpired. Anyone have any idea what could have happened in this circle? I have thought of several predators such as owl, hawk, or cat -- all of these critters live around my area. A puzzle to be sure.