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April 30th, 2012

Happy “Poem in your Pocket” Day!

April 26th, 2012

Thanks to blog reader Talia for bringing this to my attention — I’d never heard of Poem in Your Pocket day, but her sharp ears caught a mention of it on NPR this morning.  Click here to read the transcript or listen to the audio clip.

The idea is to carry a favorite poem in your pocket today, and share it with friends and people you meet.  How fun!  Count me in — here’s one of my favorites for this time of year that I’ll happily share with you:

[In Just-]

by e. e. cummings

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles          far          and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it’s
spring
and

         the
                  goat-footed

balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee

Portland is definitely “puddle-wonderful” this time of year!  You can read more about Poem in Your Pocket Day here, and feel free to share a favorite poem with us in the comments below.

Weekend update

April 25th, 2012

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer:  I didn’t win anything Monday night at the Oregon Book Awards.  But a wonderful book DID win — WILDWING by the lovely and talented Emily Whitman.  I highly recommend it!

On to my “fishing” trip.  I spent the weekend with three dear friends in one of the prettiest spots in the world:  Camp Sherman, Oregon.  It’s situated along the banks of the Metolius River in the Deschutes National Forest, a few hours from where I live.

Isn’t it gorgeous?  Here’s that same view taken with Hipstamatic, a cool new app that I’m trying out on my iPhone:

It’s supposed to make photos look kind of vintage, like they were taken in the 1960s with a Polaroid camera.  Awesome, huh?  I’ve decided that my iPhone is going to be my only camera, since it’s so convenient and since I always have it with me, so I’m trying to become an expert.  Not there yet by a long shot, but I’m having fun learning as I go…

One of my girlfriends has a family cabin, and that’s where we stayed.  It’s like something out of a fairy tale.

My favorite feature, apart from the amazing deck out back overlooking the river, is the big stone fireplace.  It’s a real beauty.

It looks even better at night, don’t you think?

We sat in front of it for hours every evening, talking and laughing over endless cups of tea and a ‘smore or two.  There’s nothing like hanging out with friends!  I learned to play a new card game called “Poohead” (hey, I’m not the one who invented it!).  There are no winners, only one loser who’s the poohead until the game is played again.  Guess who earned that title? Yeah, that would be me!

Every morning I got up early to go for a walk.  I love to walk, and I do some of my best “fishing” (for ideas) that way.  I always stopped at the Camp Sherman General Store on the way back.  Stepping inside is like stepping into the past.

It reminds me of every camping trip I ever took when I was growing up.  Inside is an irresistible jumble of souvenirs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, food, camping equipment, fishing rods and doo-dads (the Metolius is legendary for its fly fishing), and would you believe espresso?  (OK, so that didn’t remind me of our Vogel family camping trips, I have to admit–they didn’t even have espresso back then!)  There were even decaf soy lattes, my favorite.  (Mrs. Wong would definitely approve.)  And don’t you love the big carved bear totem guarding the front door?

This part of Oregon is much drier and sunnier than Portland, where I live.  We had a blast soaking up the sun every day on hikes and bike rides.

Two of my friends pretending to be awed by the sight of the sun, which is a real treat for us Portlanders this time of year!

One afternoon we biked to the Head of the Metolius, the place where the river bubbles out of the ground.  Its source is a bit of a mystery–nobody’s ever been able to figure out for sure exactly where it starts.

The Head of the Metolius

See how the water just suddenly appears out of the hillside?  (That’s another Hipstamatic shot, by the way.)  It gushes out at a rate of some 50,000 gallons per minute, and just a few yards downstream it’s already a full-blown river.  The Metolius is one of the largest spring-fed rivers in the United States.  Clear and cold–a steady 48 degrees near the source (brrrrr)–it’s picture perfect. I’m serious!  Check it out:

(That’s another Hipstamatic shot that I tinkered with in Photoshop Express, where I found this fun frame.)  And here’s me, not picture perfect but having a great time anyway.

Another outing over the weekend was to Black Butte Ranch at sunset, where we explored the Big Meadow and made some new friends…

… including a red-wing blackbird, who perched on a fence pole watching us.  I got ridiculously excited when I spotted him (her?).  I grew up in New England, where they’re a dime a dozen, but I haven’t seen many since moving to Portland 20 years ago and they’re one of my favorite birds.

I also got ridiculously excited fiddling with my camera/iPhone. So excited, in fact, that at one point I somehow managed to accidentally take a picture of myself …

What a dork!

The absolute best thing about walking the Big Meadow trail at Black Butte is the panoramic view of some of the Cascade Mountains, including Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Three Fingered Jack.  I’ll let the rest of the pictures speak for themselves, but can you see why I love living in this part of the world?  Oregon is breathtakingly beautiful!

 

 

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