Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's not the swifts, not yet anyway.

Please scroll down for today's dahlia, Mango Madness, from Swan Island Dahlias.

A couple of other interesting things happened at Swift Watch 2009.

A flock of Canada geese flew by, headed sort of southeast, I think. I wonder if they're on their way to join all of those Canada geese at the Ross Barnett Reservoir north of Jackson, Mississippi? When Mama and I lived at the Timberlake Campground on the Rez, those doggone geese walked all over the grass, eating and pooping. The flock looks pretty in the picture, but I wonder if they poop while they're flying, like some other birds do, witness many a windshield.

A little while later this Southwest Airlines plane flew overhead. Mama and I are flying Southwest to visit family and friends in Mississippi later on in October.

I promise the swifts did come to roost in the chimney. I'll show you tomorrow.

Today's dahlia, Mango Madness. Facts from Swan's Island Dahlias--Bloom: 11" Orange, Bush: 3 1/2'

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ah, Portland, I do love living here because you never know what you're going to see or where you're going to see it!

Please scroll down to see today's dahlia, Swan's Sunset, from Swan's Island Dahlias.

While waiting to see the swifts last Thursday night, I couldn't resist a couple of nearby sights.

Trader Joe's Rosemary Apricot Chicken Salad. Cilantro & Chive Yogurt Dip. Two different kinds of crackers. Fresh grapes. Two different kinds of chips. And something called Marina, whose subtitle literally translates as "Starter Kit for Goldfish Attitude,"at least according to Yahoo Babel Fish. What's with all this fish? Surely those folks had re-packed the Starter Kit box with picnic goodies. Surely they didn't schlep a brand-new, unopened

And this. A Big K Lemon Lime in a can. A cylinder of propane fuel. A Paul Revere kettle. A single burner propane stove, replete with carbon monoxide hazard warnings.

Later on, in between watching the chimney with the perched hawk and wondering when the swifts would swoop in ...

...I noticed the owner of the single burner had it lit and heating water. She soon made a cup of tea--love it! That's so Portland. Out there on a steep, hard-as-concrete hillside among hundreds of people gathered to experience a wonder of nature, she made a cup of hot tea.

Tomorrow more birds, all sorts of birds.

Today's dahlia, Swan's Sunset. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 10" Red with Yellow Tips, Bush: 3 1/2'
DSC_0131_swans _sunset_630

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not part of the plan

Please scroll down to see today's dahlia, Sunny, from Swan Island Dahlias.

Last Thursday evening after work Marsha and I rode three buses to get to Kenny & Zuke's to pick up our to-go orders, half pastrami sandwiches and sides of potato salad. We had a plan that included a picnic, a chimney and lots of birds. We wanted to take part in Swift Watch 2009.

This particular bird wasn't part of the plan, though. Later on once we'd arrived at the site and had joined hundreds of people waiting for the event, I did hear a man near our blanket saying that there had been a hawk present last year, sitting atop the chimney as the swifts flew around and around. More photos tomorrow and Wednesday.

I'm not sure if I cropped and sharpened the previous photo too much, so I've left this one for you to see, too.

Here's a bit from the Audubon Society's Web site: Join us on the lawn at Chapman School each evening in September for a spectacular display of Vaux’s Swifts as they gather to roost in the school’s chimney. Volunteers from Portland Audubon will be present each night with information about the swifts, binoculars and a spotting scope for viewing.

Swifts are insect eating birds that migrate south each fall. At sunset during migration they choose a place where dozens to thousands of birds can roost (sleep). Since the late 1980’s the Chapman chimney has been one of these roosting sites.

Swift watching – coming to view the swifts as they prepare to roost – has become a very popular activity at the Chapman School site in recent years. On most evenings in September, several hundred to several thousand people gather on the school lawn and neighboring Wallace Park grounds to watch and listen as the swifts gather overhead before entering the chimney.

Today's dahlia, Sunny. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 9" Bright Yellow, Bush: 4'

Friday, September 25, 2009

Floral Friday, flowers in a nearby yard and today's dahlia

Please scroll down to see today's dahlia, , from Swan Island Dahlias.

I like the contrast of the blossoms and leaves. They're in a front yard around the corner. Do you think the three bright green leaves sticking out above the lower greenery detract from the look of the photo?

I wish they weren't there myself. I've cropped and treated it differently with Picnik.
Which one do you like best, please?

Today's dahlia, Kidd's Climax. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 10" Pink and Cream Blend, Bush: 3 1/2'

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Exercising at lunch in Tom McCall Park, June 18, 2009

Please scroll down to see today's dahlia, Swan's Desert Storm, from Swan Island Dahlias.

Happy Birthday, Lamont!

On my lunch hour I hurried to the bus, then hurried from the bus to the sidewalk along the river. I wanted to be sure to get some photos of The World, docked on the west bank of the Willamette. More about The World soon.

Anyway, I'm walking along, gawking with lots of other folks when I hear an amplified voice and look around to my right. I see this row of people being led by a diminutive woman calling out their exercise routine. Naturally I swung the camera up to my eye and clicked!
The grass has been worn out by the Rose Festival's Waterfront Village. It closed up shop just four days before I took this photo.

Today's dahlia, Swan's Desert Storm. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 10" Yellow and Rose Blend, Bush: 3'

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Birds of prey and a dahlia bud

Please scroll down to see today's dahlia, Vassio Meggos, from Swan Island Dahlias.

Photos from September 6,2008, at the Riverfest South Waterfront Day. The Audubon Society presents "Birds of Prey." Impressive, even in repose.

Two photos of the peregrine falcon on the Audubon Society lady's hand.


Two photos of the kestrel, on the other lady's hand.


Dahlia bud, Vassio Meggos. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 9" Lavender, Bush: 4 1/2'

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Leverage," at City Hall, Downtown Portland, May 27, 2009

Please scroll down to see today's dahlia, Cynthia Louise, from Swan Island Dahlias.

I haven't been in the right place at the right time to get any actual people who are in TNT's "Leverage," but I like these shots anyway. One day when Mama and I were in Lamont's station wagon, driving west on NW Glisan, he did see Timothy Hutton standing on the sidewalk, waiting to cross the street. Not having a rear view mirror connected to the passenger seat, I missed him! I tell you, my brain's going--I can't remember why we were in Lamont's car, but I can remember that I missed seeing my first ever live Academy Award winner. Not that I've seen any dead ones, didn't mean to make it sound like I had.

Outside City Hall on SW 5th Avenue. Notice the feet and legs on the right of the photo? There was a guard on duty.

Outside City Hall on SW 4th Avenue. The entrance is through this rounded portico.
City Hall is a four-story Italian Renaissance-style building, completed in 1895. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 21, 1974. City Hall has gone through several renovations, with the most recent overhaul gutting the interior to upgrade it to modern seismic and safety standards. The original was built for $600,000, while the 1996 to 1998 renovation cost $29 million.

Dahlia, Cynthia Louise. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 10" Soft Yellow, Bush: 4'

Friday, September 18, 2009

Floral Friday--a ladybug and a bunch of dahlias for y'all

Today I'm joining a new blog, Floral Friday! Hope you enjoy the blossoms--they're Myrtle's Folly, all from the same bush.

Dahlia, Myrtle's Folly. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 7" Orange and Purple, Bush: 4'



Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hawthorne Bridge 2010 Centennial Calendar Launch Event, Sept. 10, 2009, and a dahlia with a bee! I saw lots of bees at Swan Island Dahlias!

Please scroll down to see today's dahlia, Gitts Respect, from Swan Island Dahlias.

Remember when I was so excited and I just couldn't hide it? Here's the rest of the story, so far--well, just a bit of it today, more soon.

Here's my photo that is on the December 2010 page in the Hawthorne Bridge Centennial Calendar. If you clicked on the link above you saw where it's placed on the page. I was so excited when I first unrolled the print and saw it! At 11x14, this is the largest print I've ever had done of one of my photos. And then I was so excited when I saw it matted and framed. I grinned and grinned, not really believing what I was seeing. Then I walked into the event and saw it on an easel. Swooned. I practically swooned!

Now for some info about the Hawthorne Bridge and the event itself. Opened in 1910, the Hawthorne Bridge is the oldest vertical lift bridge in the U.S., likely the world. With next year's 100th anniversary in mind, the Friends of the Willamette River Bridges has produced The Hawthorne Bridge 2010 Centennial Calendar, a 12-month, 26-page, full-color booklet.

A calendar launch and gallery viewing of selected works from the calendar is scheduled for Thursday, September 10, 2009, 4-7pm in a historic trolley barn under the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge.

The trolley barn, at 1403 S.E. Water Avenue, is now the Multnomah County’s Bridge Maintenance headquarters. (The County owns and maintains the Broadway, Burnside, Morrison, and Hawthorne bridges across the downtown Willamette River.) The launch, sponsored by the Friends of Willamette River Bridges, in cooperation with Multnomah County, is open to the public. All ages are invited.

Here's the sign that greeted folks as they arrived.

Here's my photo's first fan, photographer Randolph.

Here's Randolph's spectacular photo, which is on April's page.

Here's Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler beside my photo. He attended with his family and made remarks about the Hawthorne Bridge and in support of next year's PDX Bridge Festival.

And here's my photo with the man who bought it, on the left, Bill D. whose company printed the calendar, and on the right, Ian C., Multnomah County's Bridge Services Manager.
Yep, you guessed it. I was so excited--again!

Today's dahlia, Gitts Respect. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 10" Red and Yellow, Bush: 3 1/2'
Love the bee!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Seen on the streets of Portland, B-Line, sustainable urban delivery

Please scroll down to see today's dahlia, Nick Sr., from Swan Island Dahlias.

Click here to read all about B-Line, sustainable urban delivery. This is one of the reasons I really like my new home city.

Heading north on SW 6th Avenue, July 17, 2009

Heading north on SE 6th Avenue, July 24, 2009

Waiting at the traffic light, heading east on SE Hawthorne Blvd., April 14, 2009

Today's dahlia, Nick Sr. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 11" Red, Bush: 5'

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

VW bus in downtown Portland (and a matching dahlia, Maniac)

Please scroll down to see today's dahlia, Maniac, from Swan Island Dahlias.

I'm over the bridge, across the river, at lunch time on July 23, 2008, when from my park bench I notice an orange VW bus, making the block. I put my sandwich down in its plastic bag and take out my camera. I feel pretty good about my chances of getting a shot. I'm ready. There it is.

Yep, starting to turn left to go around the block again, I'm thinking.

Careful driving going on here.

Going, going, heading for gone.

Today's dahlia, Maniac. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 12" Soft Orange Splashed Red, Bush: 4'

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beautiful exterior ... makes me wonder about the interior

Please scroll down to see today's dahlia, Lavender Ruffles, from Swan Island Dahlias.

An apartment house on NW 23rd Avenue, or maybe it's condos. I took this photo on March 12 with the Nikon CoolPix L12. I vividly remember when I first saw the building. Lamont, Leland and I had walked and walked and walked throughout the Pearl and the Northwest Hills one afternoon in 2004--when Mama and I were here on our first visit. The building was undergoing renovation. I wondered then how it would turn out, little knowing that in a little over two years we'd be living within walking distance. I love Portland!

Here's another one that I took with the Nikon D50 on May 9.

Today's dahlia, Lavender Ruffles. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 12" Lavender, Bush: 3'

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bullseye Gallery, in The Pearl--it's on my morning bus route.

Please scroll down to see today's dahlia, Inland Dynasty, from Swan Island Dahlias.

One morning I saw these sort of silhouettes from the bus window and knew that I'd soon have to walk down there before catching the bus 11 blocks from home. I had to have a photo or two. You understand. You also understand when I wish it were a picture window instead of one with dividers--or whatever you call them--in it.
Information about the work of art on the left, found at the Bullseye Web site: artist, Dafna Kaffeman, Wolves Hunting (01), 2008, flameworked glass, 45"x29.5" x 2.5", DKA-1015-BO, $12,000.
Information about the work of art on the right, found at the Bullseye Web site: same artist, Wolves Hunting (02), 2008, flameworked glass 27" x 43.25"x 2.5", $12,000.

I cropped it and sharpened, hoping you can see the details better.
Here's some artist info from the Bullseye Gallery Web site: “It is very important for me to try to ‘touch’ the material, to make it more accessible for me and for the viewer,” explains Dafna Kaffeman of her rounded, often spiky forms in glass and silicone. “Glass for me is a way to express thoughts, desires, wishes, and to tell stories. In my work I try to stretch the natural abilities of the material to its limits…I combine glass with other materials in order to change its natural characteristics.” Kaffeman works from her studio in Tel-Aviv and lectures at the glass department of the Bezalel Art academy in Jerusalem.

Information about the Bullseye Gallery itself, 300 NW 13th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209,
phone 503-227-0222 fax 503-227-0008, Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and by special appointment.

And here's what you find when you click on About Us: Bullseye Gallery works with a select group of international artists in the field of kilnformed glass with the aim of furthering exceptional design through innovation in material and method. The gallery is part of Bullseye Glass Company, a maker of colored glass for art and architecture since 1974.
For the last 30 years Bullseye has supported individual artists and art-school programs by developing new materials and unique technologies that help to facilitate the designer’s vision. The Bullseye Gallery represents the most dynamic of these artists through exhibitions and projects that sit at the leading edge of contemporary studio glass.
To learn more about the Bullseye Glass Company's history and full product line, please visit the factory website at

Today's dahlia, Inland Dynasty. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 12" Yellow, Bush: 4 1/2'