Signs of the season

Colours burst at Cathedral Park beneath St. Johns Bridge in Portland.

By the looks of the gold and red leaves, summer slipped away and Autumn is here. Yay for October, my favourite month!! I leave tomorrow for two weeks in Jordan with everyone’s favourite travel-partner: Sassy, fashionable, California-girl Margaret. I’ll do my best to keep up with the blog while traveling.

Met up with my other girlfriend, Heather, for drinks, eats, and a play. She is colour-coordinated with autumn. 🙂
While mowing, a dragonfly with a truncated abdomen rode on my arm for a long time. I made about 3 loops around the yard before it finally flew off.

Summer was unseasonably wet this year, and the winter rains started early. However, there were a couple of dry breaks in there during September, and I was able to do a final lawn mowing job. The bee people came and removed their bees September 30, so I had a chance to cut the grass all around that part of the lawn. Needless to say I had been giving the bees plenty of space all summer. If the grass continues to grow during October, I’ll just have to leave it alone because it’s too muddy out there for my little Husqvarna tractor. It doesn’t usually snow here, and doesn’t freeze very often, but thankfully the grass does stop growing during the winter.

Girls take one of their last dust baths in September. They won’t be able to do this again until about July 2020 because the ground is soaked now.
FINALLY two of the new babies are old enough to lay eggs. I’m getting small green eggs from the Easter Eggers. Here you see their egg compared to one from the store.

I don’t make it into the big city (Portland) as often as I used to. When I do, I have fun noticing all the extra things to look at. Graffitti always catches my eye, traffic patterns, how the sky looks when I leave the forest and there aren’t trees in the way, and I even notice my car itself, which does not get enough love from me. Thank god it beeps at me and blinks messages on the screen when it’s time for an oil change or that might not ever happen. When I’m rich, I’ll hire someone to take care of my car, ha ha. Until then, I’m sorry Jeep.

I spotted this message on a garage door while I waited for a red light.
I caught these double-rainbows while driving home.
I spotted this on my dashboard while driving. The odometer says 111,111 miles. That’s a lot of miles. I still think of my Jeep as new. I guess….it’s not so new.

Once the rains begin, that means it’s bonfire season for me!! I love having fires at my place. The first one of the season is often the best, because I’ve been piling up branches all summer, and the wood is nice and dry. When I set that thing alight, it usually causes an inferno. The rest of the bonfires for the winter will be when I have collected saturated branches (branches blow out of the trees all year long in storms, and I collect them and burn them to keep my land clear). Success then will be a matter of whether or not I can get all of the wood to burn. Sometimes I can’t even get it to catch fire to begin with, the wood is so wet.

A September blaze is made up of very dry wood beneath. The green branches on top are from recent pruning.
It’s also the season for the local wildlife to bulk up for the winter. Here I scold a deer from my office window. She is clearly hoping to fill her belly from my garden.

And as well as a fabulous performance of In The Heights with my friend Heather (at top), I also was fortunate enough to catch a Portland Symphony Orchestra performance. There was a trombone choir outside the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and then I went into the gorgeous venue for the symphony.

Rose City Trombones performs in front of Antoinette Hatfield Hall, across from the Schnitz.
The inside of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall is sumptuous.
Portland Symphony warms up before their performance.
1000 Broadway Building gleams pink in the evening light.

I made a couple of short trips recently. Since my friend had made the long drive down to Portland to do the sensory deprivation tank with me, it was my turn to drive north and meet him at his stomping grounds in Olympia. It’s the capital city of Washington state and I had never explored it. We walked up and down streets on a gorgeous day, seeing the sights and the people. We ate great barbecue, bought art in a gallery, smelled sea air at the marina, talked to protesters at the Capital steps, and more. It was a long fun day.

Marina in Budd Inlet, one of the southernmost parts of Puget Sound. Olympia is 70 miles east of the Pacific Ocean, but from here we could sail north to Seattle. The mountains in the distance are in the Olympic National Forest.
We walked all over the beautiful capital grounds.
WWI memorial statue at the Capital in Olympia.

A week ago I headed up to the Canada border to subject myself to an interview for the Department of Homeland Security and become a “Trusted Traveler.” With all my travelling, can you believe I had never even heard of this program till a girlfriend mentioned it two months ago? Well good heavens, better late than never. Fill out an application, pay a fee, get an interview, then badda boom – skip the horrible security lines at the airport!! And skip the customs line coming back!! Yay!! The interview seemed ridiculous – not sure exactly why they needed to see me in person. They asked my full legal name, whether I had used any other names (I had used a hyphenated surname during my first marriage), what my current address was, and my current phone number. That was it. I assume the content of the answers was not the purpose of the interview – probably more like comparing the photos on my passport and driver’s license to the woman standing there. The best part about all this hassle is that it’s all done in time for my trip to Jordan. Sweet.

I drove through Seattle to get to the interview, so I picked up my brother and he shared the day with me. Thank goodness because it would have been so boring otherwise. The border is 2 hours north of Seattle, and we talked for 2 hours going north, for an hour while we waited for my interview, and for 2 hours going south. I stayed the night in Seattle with my brother and his girlfriend and their super sweet cats. I always love the view from the guest bedroom.

Looking out the window from my brother’s guest bedroom.

I can’t tell you how eager I am to leave all this rain behind me and head out to the desert! I am very sad to leave for two weeks during my favourite month. And I am sad to be on airplanes during my favourite holiday of the year: Halloween. I will spend 28 hours on airplanes or in airports, before I arrive in Portland at 9pm. One silver lining is that it will be the longest Halloween of my life. Because we’re travelling “backward” around the globe, it’ll be Halloween the entire time.

A house in St. Johns I spotted while walking with my friend Vladimir.                                    Happy Halloween everyone!!

19 thoughts on “Signs of the season

  1. so much to enjoy here – top pics – the deer being scolded – looks like “who me?”
    and your gf with the color-coded autumn – ahhh
    and never saw the Easter egg before – how do they taste ?

    1. The Easter Egger eggs taste the same as my other eggs from home. They are all different from store eggs, with harder shells and more orange yolks. I chose those chicks specifically this spring because ever since I heard about green and blue chicken eggs, I wanted some!! When the buff-coloured hens get old enough to lay, theirs will be brown, like the black and white. So I’ll have a mix of green and brown.

      You are exactly RIGHT about that deer. She was trying to play innocent, but I knew that as soon as I turned my back, she would go eat my honeysuckle vine. Brat.

      1. If I was able to harvest my own eggs I would go for the colorful options like you did.
        and my hubs and son buy eggs from the farmer’s market – almost every Saturday – and we do notice a difference in yolk and sometimes even viscosity of the egg. side note – right now my son has started his little pile of “cartons” to return them to the folks at the farmer’s market.
        He keeps them not he tea cart and at first – I was like “what is that there? and then realized he was doing that – I guess he has a rapport with the folks down there and he saw that they would value having the containers back. and last time he left for the market he had a cloth bag with about ten cartons. And Crystal – I was the proud parent – I know other people measure huge successes of their children in different ways – but for me – this was an ultimate proud moment of my twenty year old – first – he cared about his health and had wisdom for healthy eggs (like you do – and I think I recall your cage-making photos from a while back) second – he cared about his health to eat better eggs and went on his own to the market and get them – and third- the social connecting with the folks there showed kindness and caring to bring them back the cartons – and the whole environmental caring that underpins it –
        I dunno – the little things, eh?

        and so cool to have a camera to capture photos of the deer –
        There is a new neighborhood going up close to us and we have been walking the new area – and see deer running – they have such free gliding run and I like to watch them dart away

      2. Yvette, those are exactly the things that make me proud as a parent. In my opinion, it’s raising a good human being that should be the goal – not so much good grades or promotions at work. Your son has learned empathy and generosity, and it’s wonderful. ❤

      3. oh thanks p- those were the words I wa smoking for (thanks for succinctly finding them)
        empathy and generosity
        and may we all continue to find and live it

    1. I’ve never seen Homeland, but I’m guessing there are desert scenes. I looked it up and so far nothing has been filmed in Jordan. There is some shooting done in Tel Aviv, which is close. I’ll be posting desert shots soon, and we can compare. Is it good? There are some great actors in it.

      Yes, Heather is my gorgeous red-haired friend. Her long wavy hair is a constant accessory that needs to be matched with clothing and jewelry. It must be fun when the whole world matches her for a change.

      1. It is good – stunning acting – all political and international lying, mistrust, and manipulation. Violent, gripping and intriguing. Not for the faint hearted. People have been. recommending it for years – I needed to wait until I could start at the beginning

  2. Peggy and I just did the TSA thing, Crystal, but it was in Medford. You are right on how simple it was. My guess is that they do further checking. The deer looked just like ours when Peggy scolds them. What it hears is “By all means, help yourself to the garden.” Have a great time in Jordan. Peggy and I will be at the Grand Canyon tomorrow. Peggy says to tell you that she is working on finding a quilt for you. –Curt

    1. That is so funny, Curt. I’m pretty sure that’s what my deer heard, as well. I’m enjoying Jordan so much, and I’m sure you will love your time in the Grand Canyon. I love it every time. Peggy is so dear. I can’t imagine how to say “thank you” to her adequately, but I’ll come up with something.

      1. Enjoyed your Jordan post, Crystal! And yes, we loved the Canyon, as we always do. We are in Flagstaff now, heading on for the Petrified Forest tomorrow. Next up, after that, Canyon de Chelly. 🙂 –Curt

  3. I’m quite far behind so I started at the beginning, I think. You do have some interesting friends, Crystal. Love the red hair on Heather. Thought mine might be a redhead too as her aunt was but no such luck. I loved reading all about the chickens and the eggs and that sweet deer. I would be planting just for them so they could stay well-fed and visible. Glad you are back and thank you for the information on travel. Sounds great for someone that does as much traveling as you do. I’ll keep it in mind. Time with your brother sounds like a great way to spend the day. On to the next post. 😉 Hugs. M

    1. That’s so funny Marlene. I wished for a redhead too, but Tara’s hair is much the same colour as mine. Originally… I have to clarify… originally their hair colour is the same as mine. However, Tara has been dying it with henna, and it’s a gorgeous natural-looking red now. I finally got my redhead!! 🙂

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