Tuesday, March 25, 2014


A trip across the river from Vancouver into Oregon found a few folks selling daffodils from the roadside. A beautiful sight after a gray winter. Above you can take your pick of flowers for $2.00 a bunch. Such a deal to bring springtime into your home.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


affixed school house sign

Riding along Highway 14 east of the city of Vancouver I happened on this little white school house named Prindle. Tucked into the forest it seemed warm and cozy. I could not tell if the school building was a private residence, a local historical site, or, still, an ongoing school. It definitely was not deserted as the entire grounds and building were in tip-top shape 


I had to use a vehicle pull-off on the highway to take a picture of the mutipaned-window facade. I stepped out of my truck -- wobbled across some slick flat rocks and finally was stopped in my tracks by large twisted brambles. 

brambles and school windows

At this point I noticed that the school had a dirt side road. I pulled my small truck out of the pull-off and swung down the road. There were a couple houses down the road. I went down about 200 feet and turned around. This brought me back to the side of the school house where I put on my flashers and took the photo below.

I noticed the school bell was still hanging near one of the entrances while an American flag flew from its pole (as seen in the top photo). Two doors indicated to me that the boys usually lined up at one and the girls the other and a posted bird feeder was between them.

The clue to its age was on the school's sign affixed in its gable -- along with the school's name, Prindle, with the date 1912. That would make the age of the school about 98 years old. 

I went home and goggled the school. All the information I could find was that is was located in Skamania County, Washington -- that is was named after a German sailor and that there was a Polish community established nearby in 1870.

Today, this is still a lovely quaint school house with I'm sure many stories.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Looking across the mighty Columbia River
 into the mountains of Oregon.

Last Saturday I took a ride on the Lewis and Clark Highway here in Washington. It runs along the Columbia River. I didn't know what to expect as I had not taken this route before -- I just wanted to find something to photograph as I have been at a loss finding subject matter in Vancouver.

I was pleasantly surprised at the beautiful wildness of the area. The day was rainy and very overcast but I still tried to catch some shots of the area. In the photo above I was looking from the Washington side over to the Oregon side when I took this photo of twin Oregon falls that are in abundance along Oregon's river roadway. Oregon and Washington border each other and are separated by the Columbia River.  

In my bottom photo is the wild type of landscapes one encounters on the highway on the Washington side.

I plan on taking in this area again as I only saw a small portion of its beauty. Hopefully I will pick a non-rainy day with some sun.

Addendum: I have since found out that the falls in the photo above are the Multnomah and Mist Falls

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Vacant Country House

All photos appear as slices of time. In the scene above I had the feeling that time was standing still  -- reflecting a certain loneliness.

My photo above of the vacant country house was taken a few years ago when I was living in Kentucky. The owner, who lived nearby, told me the house had belonged to his family -- he shared a few personal memories with me -- about his time spent there as a boy.

Yesterday while perusing my files I came upon this photo from the past and was struck by its aura of coldness in addition to its loneliness. As I gazed at it I reached back remembering the personal boyhood memories that the owner shared with me.

Time -- stood still at the vacant country house.

A photo's slice of time can give us a full range of feelings. Our interpretation is not always right but sometimes it is. Sometimes we know -- for no particular reason -- that something was amiss but we just cannot put our finger on it.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Frequently seen along the countryside throughout Madison County, Kentucky during the warm seasons is this vintage style swan planter made of cement. This particular swan planter used to sit on a porch of an elderly man that placed flowers in it every year in memory of his departed wife. He told me the planter was her favorite. This swan sat on his front porch along his curving holler road.

Sometimes material objects that we think of as insignificant in our life can become very significant.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Early crafted fireplace

Lancaster has many early historic homes in original condition. Above is a finely crafted fireplace that dates to around the early to mid 1800s at which time this fireplace would have been crafted by local craftsmen out of virgin timber. I am amazed at the beauty of the workmanship -- cove moldings, shadows of original dental moldings, and line carvings. 

Revealing the underlying historic paint colors on the fireplace can help preservation efforts in choosing the appropriate paints for the fireplace.

At the time I took this photo the whole house was undergoing some preservation work giving it a fresh vitality. Nice to know this fireplace will be remaining to keep the new occupants cozy.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Building handmade houses for Purple Martins became a passion of Mr. Cain during the time he worked at a transfer station in Kentucky. A transfer station is where you take used materials to be transferred to appropriate land fills. While working at the station he noticed a few things; 1) some reusable building materials were being thrown away, 2) early spring arriving Purple Martins were checking out this location for possible nesting sites as it was located in open acreage, and 3) he slowly had become fascinated with the flying martins.

So began a sideline of building martin houses that he placed around the station. He also built martin houses for folks that brought materials to be transferred. All his houses were built with the cast-off materials that folks so willingly threw away at the station. Most houses were three-holers while a very few were the regulation size that one sees for sale in farm supply stores. 

Having a sense of what it takes to attract martins he eventually had a thriving community of martins that returned every year. He eventually ended up with a cluster of 15 folksy martin houses. 

 When I used to visit Mr Cain, at his work space, I was received by the aerial antics of the insect-eating martins that swooped and dove in midair for their meals. I understood how one could get hooked on having a martin house in their yard. 

All the above houses are part of those designed and made by Mr. Cain for his workplace. Mr Cain retired a few years ago and since then the houses have, unfortunately, been deteriorating. Purple Martins east of the Rockies need someone to take care of their housing -- approximately one million folks in eastern North America put up housing for these totally house dependent martins. West of the Rockies martins are not dependent on folks to provide housing.

Male and Female Purple Martins
Resource: YE Yard Envy 

Here is an excellent site, The Purple Martin Conservation Association, that has information on such subjects as migration maps and behavior.