Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Brownie camera ad -- 1903

Friday, November 13, 2015


Dog parks have become quite the place to hang out if you have a dog. If you want the benefit of exercise for your dog (s) or if you just want your dog to enjoy playing with others a dog park provides this. Some parks are small while others have lots of space for dogs to roam -- all off leash. Above and below are photos of a large park where I take my dog every day to run and greet other dogs both large and small. She loves it. 

Here are some woman that have been enjoying watching their dogs as they socialize with other dogs -- while at the same time doing a bit of socialization with each other. 

Above several of the owners with their dogs are throwing Frisbees for the dogs. Great exercise. To the far right is my dog Daisy. She is ten so she can only run so long and then she just walks and sniffs around the park.

If you have thought about taking your dog to a dog park check out this Wikipedia site to find out the particulars. Also check with your local municipality for locations. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


A Barn -- A Truck -- Some Straw (hay?) Bales -- A Tractor

Out riding the roads a couple weeks ago and noticed this somewhat symmetrical pattern created by this barn with its truck, straw bales (could be hay?) and a tractor. I snapped a few photos of the whole composite. Figured the truck is essential for hauling farm goods, the straw bales are usually for animal bedding or if hay bales for feed and of course the tractor for many duties especially field work. The sky was gray-overcast that day so I cheated and used lightroom to add some blue in the sky. 

I want to mention that I have always appreciated the work of  the true farmers that work hard and long to grow food for our markets.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


This early country house in Kentucky is like many of the small modest houses of this form. Many dating back to the 1800's they are numerous in the southern and eastern part of the United States. This particular one was found in the country near Lancaster, Kentucky. It is a great example of the small simple I-House. Very practical, vernacular and popular in southern states.

Friday, October 23, 2015


Yesterday was sunny - - in the sixties as I headed out in my old Toyota Tacoma to experience the rural pleasures of this beautiful fall day. About fifteen minutes from my home I found this lovely weathered home sitting silently on a large piece of farmland. Was it vacant? Or was it occupied? I never found out. 

Above is a wire fence that ran along a long dirt road up to the house. Dried rust colored Queen Anne's Lace traveled along it. A small outbuilding was visible from the dirt road. 

I used Light-room to soften these two photos as I felt it produced my feelings for the day.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Windows abound in the coffee shop on 2nd street in Corvallis Oregon. The seating areas by the large picture windows are the most desirable in the place. This coffee house began its life in 1972 during the hippie era. Since Corvallis is the home of Oregon State University it quickly became a place where the radicals hung out. At first there was no proper seating for everyone so many times large freshly filled coffee bean sacks became seats. Today the hippie-dom of the Beanery's era is history. Today it is more sedate in its atmosphere with folks of all ages stopping in for their truly superb coffee while taking some time to possibly read, use their computers, or just hang and have some interesting conversations, with friends. 

It was early morning when I caught these two men relaxing and chatting at one of the outside tables. 

The atmosphere is always casual and friendly. 

I became familiar with the Beanery back in the early 90s. Today it still has the same tables, chairs and church pews it had then. The church pew seats seem the most popular for students that want to spread out their work.

A beautiful oak church pew waiting for the crowd to dribble
 in the door.

This man looked very serious while working at his computer.  

 This woman had her mind deep in thought while 
checking out her computer. 

And of course the conversations that are always ongoing throughout the day

Many of the folks that patronize this place know each other. Some have been customers for years. I believe it was the first established coffeehouse in Corvallis? 

For forty-three years this place has been a cornerstone of the coffeehouse world in Corvallis.

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. 

Monday, August 10, 2015


Partial view on the east side of the round barn

Along Route 36 near the settlements of Triangle Lake and Blachly, Oregon is a huge red round barn. Its construction is wood with a metal conical roof, a cupola with ventilator and lots of windows for interior light. Roof needs serious work. I would guess it was once used for cattle or horses? Now it appears to be sitting empty waiting for its next adventure. Some small buildings have been attached to the barn. Passing the barn on the roadway one is likely to slow down taking in the magnificence of its size and wondering about its grandeur when it was younger.

This old red round barn sits on a country corner of farm land. I know nothing about who owns it or when it was built. If I were to guess a date I would say it was built in the late 1800s or early 1900s. 

The photos you see above and below were taken on two different days. The one above was the first one I took and the two below were taken a few weeks afterwards. The light was exceptional for my first one and the last two suffered a bit from weird natural light. I used the same camera so it wasn't the camera that captured them differently rather it was me the photographer. 

South view of the round barn

Above is an old wooden sign leaning against some of the fence posts south of the barn. The sign's significance is unknown. Visually its artistry captures the rural presence of the place.

Since taking the barn photos I have since found out there are still many old round barns remaining in Oregon.  Click here to view Dale Travis' list on Oregon Round Barns -- once you reach the page list, click on a highlighted number to view a photo

Do you have a round barn in your area?

A comment on this post from Darcy made me go searching for more info on this barn. Found this old photo from the 1900s within the Oregon State Archives OAG445.  Titled -- Octagonal milk house near Triangle Lake in Lane County Oregon. 

So according to this bit of history it was a dairy barn and octagonal although it looked round from the street where I was taking photos.

RE:  Wooden Sign photo in this post (above)
Commentator Darcy (see above) sent a Eugene Register newspaper article dated 1993 that describes a pheasant business that began on the 350 acre round/octagonal barn land in 1991. The pheasants were raised in the barn and released for hunting in the field surrounding the barn. Some pheasants were kept to sell to non-hunters. The article states that the owner, Chris Mooney, kept a steady supply of 1,200 barn raised pheasants.  Chris Mooney felt the barn was built in the early 1940s.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Always looking for some folk gardens with a touch of class. Found these two unusual containers in a small country community garden. I have noticed these antique types popping up in gardens in the Midwest as well as the Northwest. I think they are becoming mini-traditional gardens in themselves. They sure leave room for innovation. 

Wild Queen Anne's Lace dancing in an old bedstead. They seem quite joyous placed in an antique iron bed. Gotta bring some smiles!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


This month Farmers Markets are exploding throughout Oregon with freshly grown produce from local gardens. Farmers Markets reflect the needs of the folks that are located near them. As an example a less populated area will not have a large farmer's market while a larger city will have a large one. So Farmers Markets come in all sizes -- large, medium and small. But in this post I am adding a forth size I came upon in my Oregon wanderings. -- "tiny". The area surrounding this tiny market is called Deadwood an unincorporated community of less than 300 people. 

Above is the homemade sign on its way to be posted at the market. The day I visited there were less than half a dozen vendors. But the produce offered was diverse and fresh. 

Here is a sampler of the "tiny" market images ----

Fresh picked blueberries -- no chemicals.

Some of the vendors and their booths.

Fresh picked wax beans, peas, and zucchini.
No chemicals.

An ancient scale to weigh the produce in this case -- blackberries. 

Two different kinds of sweet plums. 
My taste buds will attest to their sweetness.
No chemicals.

Have some fun with friends and/or family . Visit different Farmer's Markets during the growing season. Support your local growers.