It feels so good to be out in the woods.  It's where I feel truly comfortable, secure, happy.  There's no negativity there, no criticism, no judgment.  The trees don't care if I talk at all, and that's a wonderful thing.  My anxieties and worries disappear.  I float down the trail.  I feel free.

Sunday we traveled to Scotts Mills and out old Crooked Finger Rd. to Butte Creek Falls.  We have been there several times in fall and winter, but this was our first time in summer.  It was kind of nice not to have to negotiate ice on the rocks at the upper falls!  Even nicer for the boys was being able to swim in the pool at the foot of the falls.  It was all a bit magical.  We could have stayed there all day listening to the water, watching it sparkle and splash, feeling the warmth of the sun and breathing in the forest scents.  As my husband said after we got home, "Now I just want more.  Can we just go back?"  I'm right there with you, love.

river days


An evening last week - the Clackamas River at Barton Park.  We also went for a float down the river from McIver to Barton last Sunday.  I only took a couple of pictures, but it was one of the best floats down the river we have ever had.  We got there very early and didn't see a single other boat on the river the entire time.  Seriously, that is unheard of for this stretch of river.  It was gorgeous, sunny, chilly, sparkling, magical.  We saw so much wildlife:  A doe and fawn just coming up out of the water and disappearing into the trees, a Bald Eagle and a Golden Eagle talking to each other from adjacent trees, merganzers galore, turkey vultures, ospreys, and herons, not to mention fish.  

It was an incredible morning out there.

every little bit


It's been over a week ago now, this trip to our favorite beach.  Such a beautiful day.  We got on the road about 7 a.m. and the clouds were burning off by the time we stopped in Salem for coffee.  An hour later we were spreading out our blanket in our usual spot by the fallen tree on the sand.  I took pictures and enjoyed the sun and sounds while the boys surfed and boogie-boarded.  These days the three of us spend outdoors together - as I said once before here - these are the days.  I love every little bit about them.

We have actually had a few hot days since I last wrote and it's been pretty nice to feel warm to our bones again.  Summer!  The last few days I've been trying to re-focus on the yard.  It seems like in spring it's all about starting projects, planting everything, watching things sprout and flower, and then by this stage of summer the grass is turning brown, I'm pulling up things that have run their course, and I've started losing the will to keep it all going.  I'm trying to remedy that feeling by transplanting some things, cleaning some things, and basically just trying to see things with new eyes.  Sigh.  Summer just seems weird this year.   

In other garden news, the pumpkins my husband planted have two pumpkins forming already!  There are two long vines creeping across the lawn, and a few smaller ones that were planted a bit later.  Our tomato plants are big and jungle-y, but we have only had a few cherry/sungolds, one beefsteak, one black, and one roma to pick so far.  I'm still anxiously awaiting that garden tomato sandwich time of year!  We had a fantastic raspberry crop this year and were able to tuck many bags away in the freezer and give some to family, too.  We have had small amounts of purple beans, kale, sugar snap peas, garlic, yellow crookneck squash, strawberries, and mixed lettuce greens, and we are still waiting on potatoes, onions, grapes, and Brussels sprouts, in addition to the pumpkins and tomatoes.  The apple tree is about ready to pick, the four pears are ripening, and the plums are falling off the tree, with the help of squirrels.  I cut all the mint and sage way down last week and am hoping that the mint, especially, comes back quickly.  I've dried and filled a 6-cup jar with leaves for winter tea, and I'm looking forward to having a hot cup while watching a British mystery come some cold evening in fall.

Reading this now, I wonder how I could feel like there's not much to keep going.  There's still so much to look forward to!  It's a lot of work, this big yard and this wee garden, and I love every little bit of it.
by mlekoshi