Sunday, May 03, 2015

Beautiful Alberta Arts

Pull up your comfiest seat... I'm going walking, again. With only 16 hours to absorb all of Portland, I walked until night fall when I arrived, and was up with the birds the very next day. I've never regretted taking pictures. I've never come home, uploaded my photographs, and thought, Oy. There are too many pictures. Why did I take pictures of everything?? It's never happened. Not even close. And while I've never posted all of the pictures I take, sometimes I post a lot. And today... today I am going to post way more than a lot. Today I have seventy-five photographs edited and formatted to publish on this here blog. You don't have to dare me, and it's too late to dissuade me, 'cause I am going for it. Starting with that stick you see up there.

The stick stopped me in my tracks. It beguiled me with its stickness, the moss, the lichen, the colors, and textures. I wanted to bring the stick home with me, but was discouraged by the memory of an airport security pat-down I endured in Canada. Those get personal. I couldn't risk it. I am thankful for this photograph, for the memories it recalls of the morning in Portland when I was walking briskly and taking pictures of anything beautiful, including my breakfast, a menu, trees, porches, a truck bed, notices, bird houses, cinder blocks, mushrooms, blossoms, lilacs, and the sky. Todo, and all, to my heart's content.

A truck bed of sticks, and leaves. Ask, and I might try to explain it, but the sight of this makes me happy all the way to my boots.

We are going to see a lot of trees on this walk. I don't know their names, common or Latin. But they were large, green, or purple, or red. They were abundant, breathtaking.

I don't know your name, flowers.

I don't know yours either. Everywhere I turned, I was being wooed by blossoms I have never seen before. These were like banks of snow.

You know you are smitten when even the sidewalks call your attention.

Little Free Library. So much to love, here.

So much to love, here, too.

Hello, Kitty.

Oh, Kitty.

Going Street. I saw more cyclists than motorists, Monday morning, in Portland. Everyone on their way to their Monday morning places.

Green house. Blue trim. Wisteria. Porch.

What is this? I really do enjoy not knowing. It's fun to be enchanted and mystified. But, if you know...

It's not just the drought, here in California, that makes me thirst for these sights... it's never been this damp, this lush, with something growing in every nook, on every stump, where we live. This green, soft, photosynthesis everywhere was a sensory joy.



For my brother, Mark: Revival Drum Shop.

Still walking...

Orange trim. Green trim. Porch, and dormer windows. Those are dormer windows, right? Anyway, that's what I imagine dormer windows should look like.

Lilacs. I know this, for certain. And the fragrance... more joy.

Community Supported Everything: "What would happen if communities took higher education into their own hands? What if education meant pursuing our passions and growing at our edges, immersed in a culture of creativity, accountability, integrity and action? What if instead of using degrees to measure our success, we were credited by the direct impact our work has on the world? We could transform our communities and build resilient new systems that will carry us through the next century."

I am not endorsing them... I don't actually know them, but I do like the questions they pose. I do like their intentions. I see maker movements, and open source knowledge as terrific opportunities for shared growth and learning. I value smart communities, healthy environments, shared resources... I feel better when everyone is doing well.

I am sorry they weren't open.

Petite Provence Alberta looked as inviting as it had the night before.

This time their bakery case was full. I wanted to bring some home.

And, I wanted to remember this crepe. The description reads like the book flap of an adventure novel... so enticing, so fraught with possibilities, that hint of mystery, suspense. It made me want to know, how does it end? It was tempting, to say the least, but I decided it was an adventure to share, so I really do have to return to Portland with friends.

It only looks conventional. The roasted butternut squash made this breakfast très magnifique. The Day Breaker. Oui.

I was tempted, but probably another thing I wouldn't want to explain to the TSA.

Every person I crossed paths with said the word "Beautiful," when they spoke. "Beautiful day." Isn't this day beautiful?" "A beautiful day to be out." "It's beautiful out here." And then I realized, it was the sky, the sun. A blue sky, no clouds... these were the exception, the special to be noted, appreciated. I smiled, and thought wistfully of the day before, when all was gray, and the rain fell, now and then. That was beautiful, too.

After breakfast, more walking. Then back to my room, to say farewell. I put my bags in the trunk of the car, then did a search for a yarn shop. Yarn for crocheting, to help me through take-off, landing, and the time between.

Half an hour 'til opening, so time for more walking...

Do you have places like these where you live? Food trucks, food wagons, food vans, purple tables, and cooks on a mission?

Lovely houses, lush trees... maybe these aren't unexpected sights. But I was so happy seeing the layers, the colors, the vibrancy, and charm. Even right down to the cinder blocks, which were like fairy gardens. Perhaps untended by human hands, but touched by some kind of incantation.

The tiniest blossoms were as captivating to me as the fullest trees.

Everything I could hope for before my flight home... a friendly welcome, beauty and inspiration, supplies, and help to get me started. I am so glad I found Close Knit.

I call myself the Chicken Abroad. While I love new sights, the chance to make discoveries, I am not a flyer, and not very daring, either. Like any chicken, you'll find me content at home, on the ground, but every now and then, this chicken likes to cross a road, or two. It helps me grow.

And then I like to come home to roost, and share my stories and pictures.

And catch up with all my chickies, in the Bird House.


Anonymous said...

Love all the photos! Thank you for the validation in finding wonder in what many might see as mundane and ordinary! Someone might think we're related! Love Oregon! Momma Bandon.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Aren't we lucky?
Never bored!
Love you, Momma Bandon~

April, Jennifer, Carol said...

sigh.... i haven't been to oregon in years. you've got me itching to visit. and honestly, if i didn't have ties here, love my home so much, i could see myself flying the coop to roost in one of those lovely homes you walked past. thank you for the photo journey! -jennifer

Anonymous said...

Oh ... thank you, thank you, thank you - such amazing photos. I want to walk those avenues - camera in hand! I think I'll start a money-box to save up to see those sights. I think Winchester in the UK is pretty awesome but those houses and gardens are mind-blowing. And as for that wool shop ...

LacyKnitsDaily said...

You've captured all that is Portland and more in your beautiful pictorial.
We retired here over 10 years ago with only one regret that we weren't able to buy our dream house in Alberta.
But the weather, the people, no sales tax, plus everything you put into the ground grows is more than enough for us. We love it here!

Sylvia said...

Thank you, Natalie, for taking us along. There can never be too many photos!

Julia said...

Thank you for sharing your Portland photos - it looks absolutely beautiful and amazing there! I am so hoping to visit there this summer!