Mt Hood Daffodils – and Mt Hood

I planted a White Garden over thirty years ago, inspired by the famous one at Sissinghurst castle in England. Over the years, the “White” has become less disciplined, but the Mt Hood daffodils have survived, multiplied and continue to bloom.

In August 2011, we spent a few days in Portland, Oregon, enjoying the views of the actual Mount Hood. When we got home again in early September, my ghostly white daffodils had excelled themselves, and were the first thing I saw as we pulled in to our driveway.

They have flowered well again this year. The trumpet is a soft lemon when they first open, but over a week or two, they fade to snowy white – just like their namesake.

Weekly Photography Challenge:Glow

Things that glow are enticing subjects for photographers – it’s a challenge to capture the effect of light, and of course we want to preserve it for posterity, or at least be able to say “Look at that!”.

Early morning and late afternoon are best for that certain slant of light, but artificial light can be rewarding too, as in the two pics here of glass vessels back-lit and seen through frosted glass.

With the red Sparaxis – an old variety given to my mother  at least 50 years ago – the glow is all about the colour and texture in the petals, whereas the Mt Hood daffodil glows because the sun is shining through it’s crystalline whiteness.

The spectrum from a crystal in a window is glowing more than usual, because the textile is quite bright to start with. Look at that!

Creativity:Progress at Last!

I started on this project with my son Alex quite a while ago, and haven’t found the time to do any more work on it in months. I’ve scored a few days Home Alone with no commitments, so I’m trying to catch up with and finish as much as possible while I have the chance. Today I made some progress on our trope l’oeil window.IMG_8731edit

Alex composed the composite image (taped up on the left) from my photos and stock pictures “off the internet”, and I’m adding a few refinements as we go. The idea was that, for a moment as we open the door, we can pretend to be in the Pacific North West – that’s Mt Hood, but some of the trees were “uprooted” from Discovery Park in Seattle. That’s where we saw that eagle, but the wolf cub was in the Portland zoo, as was the hummingbird that I haven’t painted yet…

Some of the acrylic paints I’m using are almost as old as Alex (he just turned 25…), so I think I’m going to have to go paint shopping before I get this finished, and before I start on the painting of Juniper and Matilda as mermaids.

Weekly Photography Challenge: On The Move

This weeks challenge is “On the Move”, and I’ve pulled out a few images from my vast collection, all taken whilst on the move in car, train, plane  or  boat/ferry.

The first two are close to home, the first after a tremendous hail storm that covered everything for miles in ice. The golden statue – the Queen of Heaven, I believe – overlooks the Marybinong River as you approach Melbourne by train.

Then there’s Mount Hood (?) from a plane window, two shots from our (successful) Whale watching trip out of Victoria B.C., and the Olympic Mountains and a big boat, seen from the deck of a ferry on it’s way to Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound. The Trip of a Lifetime…happy to repeat it anytime. sigh

Weekly Photography Challenge: Grand








This week’s Photography Challenge is “Grand”. For today, I have gone back to The Trip Of A Lifetime for images of both human-made and natural grandeur. The Australian Alps are much older (and smaller)- a grand old dame of a mountain range – than the massive splendour of Mt Hood and her strato volcanic sisters which are strung out along the Pacific Northwest of America. The oft maligned city of Aberdeen Washington, has many grand old buildings from her glory days, such as the lovely Driftwood Playhouse, and the timber baron’s mansion – now a B&B, I think. Plus the iconic Space Needle in Seattle, built for show, a futuristic exclamation point in that lovely rainy city. Not that it rained much while we were there – just look at the blue, blue skies in Aberdeen, famous as much for rain as being the birthplace of Nirvana.


Daily Prompt: Identity

Identity can be very changeable. I know I’ve written some other ‘self descriptive’ poems that would paint a different picture to this non-too serious assessment of my personality according to the (somewhat doubtful) science of Astrology. Like many pieces that are dashed off quickly, it may be rather more revealing than intended!

About Myself
(according to the stars!)

At the moment I was born
Mars was, it seems, in Capricorn,,
And this explains, at least to some,
My sense that “Duty must be done.”
They say my soulmate’s a conservative prat
But I’d rather love an emotional slob (like me).
My ‘Moon in Sagittarius’
Means something more inspiring –
An interest in the mysterious,
The inner journey and the spring
Of passionate pursuit of Truth
And Life and Death and Everything.
‘Venus in Aries’, apparently,
Makes sex a carefree romp for me,
Boyish, no-nonsense (Oh I wish!)
So don’t be  wimp, Sweets,
Jest gimme a kiss!
On the other hand, my ‘Pisces Sun’,
Watery, mutable, feminine
Colours the rest with moody dreams
And since I arrived with days first beams
(I think) Pisces is my ascendant sign, too,
So I’m soulful and fishy with an extra serve.
Kindness, compassion, empathy,
Peace and Love and Poetry,
Transcendent,  despondent in equal measure,
Living with me is a special pleasure!Mt Hood daffodil