A shift in the weather

Looking toward Portland along the Columbia River on a typical April day.

Ok, to be honest, it’s mostly still raining. But that’s what the weather does around here: it rains. The trick is to look at the other details.

The sun actually does peek out every so often, and it’s a warm, invigorating sun this time of year. A sun that means business.

One trick to avoid letting the rain get you down: take photos when the sun comes out, however briefly.

The temperatures average in the 50s now, instead of the 30s or 40s. Warmer temperatures bring calm to me. (Maybe it’s simply because I’ve stopped shivering!)

Things are sprouting. Buds are opening. Daffodils are blooming. I thought for sure I’d have a photo of some of the exciting new growth, but alas. I dug through all my recent photos and I see nothing. But the growth is there and it fills me with smiles.

Hummingbirds are back! They are sucking through the sugar water like they’re starving to death! It got me to thinking the other day: how can that be good for them? I’ve always made hummingbird juice by boiling sugar water into a light syrup. But…is that truly what they survive on? There’s no vitamin value in it. I think I will do some research. The hummingbirds have so far been too hard for me to catch with my camera, so have some ducks instead.

Ducks in the pond. This was only a few weeks ago, but already it is much much greener on the banks.

I’ve been lucky enough to catch a couple of videos of the critters around here. I hope it isn’t boring to you that I always post new photos of the animals I see. I find unending joy in them. These big beautiful animals so wild and different…and so close to me!

I had been seeing elk sign out there, but finally got to see the magnificent beasts themselves one morning.

Tara came home over Spring Break. It’s always fun and calming to have my kiddo home again. That side of the house gets opened up, and the heaters come on and there is music blasting and the shower running, and ahhh…. all is right in the world.

My college sophomore. Tara has dyed their hair dark green this time (can you tell?). I can never predict what will happen next with that hair!
They kicked my butt at Scrabble, due in part to their word skills, but maybe possibly also due to these rotten tiles? And yes, I posted this photo on facebook and got a dozen great suggestions for what to do with my hand. But it is TOO LATE you people!

I took my friend Vlad into the Gorge and we played in waterfalls in the rain. And why not? Since viewing waterfalls, one tends to get wet anyway. A rainy day is a perfect day to go the Gorge.

Bridal Veil Falls is just one of many astounding waterfalls along the Old Columbia Gorge Highway.
I liked this crooked old mossy tree branch as much as the arched bridge behind it.
The dramatic cliffs around here are, of course, the reason for the amazing waterfalls.

One of my favouritest, most beautiful, inspiring friends was diagnosed with cancer in January. She is another mom with a huge heart and an open mind and an honest gaze upon the world, that I put effort into keeping in my life because she’s the kind of woman I want to be when I grow up. Susie has been through chemo and radiation and is right now waiting to see what the next step is. She lives in Boston and I am so very far away when I want to be there to drive the kids to practice, and pick up some groceries, and mop the floor for her. I can’t do any of that. But I can send her messages of love and messages that don’t say anything about cancer, so maybe for 2 minutes, there will be no cancer on her mind. But I can be a forgetful, scatterbrained friend, no matter how much I love her. So I got the idea to dye my hair pink to remind me to send a note to Suz. It’s temporary dye, so I have to re-dye once a week, and I’ve been doing it since January. And I am proud to report that I have, indeed, remembered to send cards and notes.

Pink! And green! Look at that springtime hue behind me: woo hoo!
One of my many fires on the back of the property.

I’ve been cleaning up the land. Branches down everywhere, accumulated during the winter snows and rains and wind. I’ve been hauling them into piles and setting them alight. It’s a tricky thing to slog through the mud to a pile of wet wood in the rain and set it all ablaze, and I have gradually begun to perfect the art. And…very little chance of wildfire… so there’s that! 🙂

I hope you are enjoying the change in the season, finding your sources of joy, and making a way to connect to the people you love.

9 thoughts on “A shift in the weather

    1. Ha ha ha!! Derrick, I had that exact thought about Tara’s hair colour when I finished this post: well, look at us both. I sponsor a child in India and I send photos with my letters. This morning I sent these same two photos to her. I was wondering: what must she think of our hair (she’s 9 years old)? Every year we have new colours going on, ha ha. She going to grow up thinking Americans are just as crazy as the rumours suggest. 🙂

      Oh, I’m so glad to hear my joy in Spring comes through with this one. Spring has been distinctly infectious for me this year. Much needed. The medicinal powers of this planet to heal me are more effective than anything a doctor could prescribe. Just wait till I get my hands in the dirt – I’ll be soaring. I trust you and the Master Gardener are watching similar signs of change with similar delight.

  1. Hey, Crystal. Post animal pictures to your hearts delight. You will never bore me! I am down in Florence, Oregon now, waiting for the sun to come out. It just did! I’m out of here. Fun post. Sorry about your friend. –Curt

    1. Thank you, Curt, for your empathy about Susie. No one deserves cancer. What a rotten rotten disease to have to endure.

      You’re over on the coast, huh? I’m especially glad there is sun, then. A sunny day makes the ocean magical. Florence has one of those great bridges. Don’t you think there are a lot of great Oregon bridges? Hm, seems to me you posted about this already. Well have a happy Easter weekend with your lovely bride.

      1. A good friend of ours just told us she has cancer. That makes the second in six months. Some day, Crystal, the disease will be beaten.
        Yes, Florence has one of those great bridges. And yes I did a blog on Oregon bridges a while back:) Happy Easter to you as well. –Curt

  2. I’ve been trying to get here but darn, life is just running amok. You have some wonderful shots of the deer, elk and that raccoon out in broad daylight! Loved the videos. Tara’s green hair is prefect on her and I like your pink too. Sorry to hear about your friend. I just don’t understand why these illnesses are so wide spread these days. Just not fair. Hope you are doing well and enjoying that beautiful piece of land you have there. The wildlife is astonishing.

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