Thursday, November 28, 2013

Not Your Usual Winter Apple

The tree is old and scraggly, and only produces a couple of inedible apples each year.
Still, it hovers over the driveway as it has for the past 40 years or so, getting more gnarled and ugly with each passing year. 
This year, one of the apples dropped onto the driveway, where it was squashed flat by my car.
Into a disturbing and yet somehow intriguing heart!
To see hearts from around the world, visit Random Hearts - and join us for "Guest Heart Thursday"!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Walk Downtown ...

Portland is known as "Rose City".
I don't think they meant the roses should look so ... well, dead.
Oh well, at least it formed a heart for "Guest Heart Thursday"!

And just around the corner was this intriguing building ...

I'm not sure what the most interesting ... the curious placement of the windows on this building, or the even more curious billboard message (stop honkaholism???)!

It's been a while since I've joined up with "Signs, Signs"!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Just an Old Garden Bench ...

Or IS it???

Because I think it's a beautiful setting for a tiny heart!

Do you see it?

To see hearts from around the world, visit "Random Hearts" - and share YOUR heart on "Guest Heart Thursday"!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Unplugged ...

I am technologically challenged. I don't have an i-anything, or e-anything (is there a difference?). I've never sent a text in my life. I don't have a gadget to keep track of what I'm doing or where I'm going ... I borrow my mom's (not-so-smart) basic cell phone when I drive places, but rarely use it (except when I pocket-dial my sister-in-law by accident - not sure how THAT happens!). I don't know techno-lingo, and am baffled by techno-speak (when I first heard the terms "3G and 4G", I thought perhaps they had started making bras for toddlers!). I am perplexed by people who are so busy documenting every minute of their lives to people who really don't care ... that they miss life itself.

I was driving on a winding country road the other day, taking my brother over the hill "the back way" to the hardware store. The day was clear and beautiful, and I was enjoying incredible glimpses of Mt. Hood and the Cascade mountains as I drove. My brother had his attention focused on his e-whatever gadget. Here is a summary of a bit of the conversation we had ...
You'll love this app I have.
Oh yeah?
Yeah. It's a map app.
I plugged in the GPS coordinates from home and it's telling me where we are now.
I already know where we are now.
Seriously - it even has the name of the road we're on!
I've been driving this road since I was 16. I already know the name of the road.
Well check this out - it can pinpoint where we are to within 10 feet of the car!
Well I can pinpoint where we are right into the car itself - and I can see MORE than 10 feet from the car!
Some of the roads don't have names.
Yes they do.
Well technically yes, and as soon as we get to where there's a signal the names will show on the app.
Maybe I should pull over so I don't get lost in the nameless wilderness.
(sigh) You're no fun.
No, I guess not.

Maybe someday I will get one of these whoosiwhatsits gadgets ... until then, I don't really see the point.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Urban Wildlife Has Heart!

A couple of weeks ago, while Mom was undergoing a stress test in downtown Portland, I had the opportunity to wander around a bit.

I was amazed at the number of pigeons I saw.

This little guy was the only one willing to sit long enough for a portrait.

Maybe it's because he knew I would link him up to "Guest Heart Thursday"???

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Bench with Shadows ... or Shadows with Bench???

I saw this intriguing shadow shot in town a couple of weeks ago.
It was hard, even when standing across the street, to tell where the bench ended and the shadows began!

I am joining in with "Shadow Shot Sunday 2" today.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Guy Who Drew the Short Straw ...

I was back at the nature park last week, and happened to catch this guy ... whose unenviable job it was to pressure wash the (really crusty) sidewalk where the geese hang out to cross the street.

I hope he is well paid; but somehow I don't think so!

I am linking this up with "Friday's Fences"

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Vulture Surprise

I was walking the other day, when these vultures caught my eye. I mean how could I miss seeing them - they were HUGE!

They were attracted by something (I won't go into detail here, it was kinda gross) that the local coyote pack had killed and left part behind on the old church parking lot ...

As I inched closer to get a better look, both of the vultures suddenly swooped their wings open.
And sat there like this.
For a good 3 or 4 minutes!
I think it must be their intimidation pose.
(like I would really try to steal their food!!!)

As I was closing in on one of the vultures, another bird buzzed into the shot - it was a tiny hummingbird!

It sat in the tree with the vulture - providing an amazing contrast of size.
The hummingbird was about the same size as that vulture's beak!

I soon had to go home, and the vultures have since cleaned up their dinner plate and departed.

I'm so glad I got the opportunity to see them up close and personal!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Duck Reflections ...

These are the DUCKS that should have been using the "Duck Xing" from a couple of posts back. I think these guys are probably pretty smart to have stayed in the water and let the geese take the road risks!

Join us for "Weekend Reflections"!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Through the Fence ...

The daisies are always brighter ...
On the other side of the fence!

Join us for "Friday Fences"!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Geese Can't Read ...

If geese COULD read, they would realize this is a "DUCK XING"!

This is my contribution to this week's "Signs, Signs"

Thursday, July 4, 2013

I "Heart" Bumblebees ...

If you read my post from last week, you will know the story behind why I was standing in nearly 100 degree temperature, in a Target parking lot last Sunday, listening to Rozzelle Medina and others give impassioned and moving speeches about the unnecessary deaths of an incredible number of bees (mostly bumblebees).

((Yep, I'm in this shot (well, my head is in this shot!), taken by Molly Smith of the Oregonian ... I'm just above the speaker's right shoulder ... with the black shirt and glasses ...))

If you didn't read my post, "A Moment of Silence for the Bumblebees" is linked here.

There were an estimated 100+ people gathered for several hours, some even appropriately dressed!

 "ODA has confirmed that the bee deaths are directly related to a pesticide application on the linden trees conducted ... June 15 to control aphids. The pesticide product Safari was used in that application. Safari, with its active ingredient dinotefuran, is part of a group of insecticides known as neonicotinoids. According to investigators, the insecticide was originally applied to control aphids, which secrete a sticky residue while feeding, and can be a nuisance to parked cars. Dinotefuran and other neonicotinoids are a relatively new group of insecticides that are long-lasting in plant tissues. Because of this, the scientists are now concerned about whether the trees will still be toxic next year when they flower again."

I urge each and every person who reads this post to stop using these particular pesticides. They are mostly used by landscape maintenance companies, but are readily available at YOUR local hardware store ... where they are purchased and used (usually without reading those pesky warning labels!) without thought to the consequences.

The trees that were treated with the pesticides are now covered with mesh netting (I found the sun reflecting a misshapen heart on one of them)... which has helped a lot. But the bees are still dying. This stuff is so powerful that the bees are landing on the mesh ... and dying as they sit. You can see the silhouette of one on this shot.

I apologize for the disjointedness of this post. I have so much I would like to say, but if I said it all this post would be WAY too long.

I am simply going to say I will never ever use outside pesticides again.
I hope you feel the same.

I am linking this heart to "Guest Heart Thursday" at "Random Hearts".

Friday, June 28, 2013

Morning Glory on Fence

In another week one of my favorite walking places across the nearby wetlands will be off limits to even foot traffic (it's been closed to vehicles for a year or so to fix the road). So I'm glad I stopped the other morning and got some pictures of this morning glory peeking above the fence!

It's been a long time since I've been able to link up with "Friday Fences" - It's good to be back!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Moment of Silence for the Bumblebees

I've tried to start this post about my neighborhood bumblebees a number of times, but find I am at a loss for words. What happened to the bees just hits too hard and close to home.

What happened is this.
About a week and a half ago, I went to our local Target store to get my sister-in-law a birthday present. As I pulled into the parking lot, the sun finally peeked out from behind the dense morning clouds. On my way into the store, I noticed a bumblebee skittering around on the pavement. If I had been carrying something to pick him up and move him to safer ground, I would have.
Instead I went into the store.

I was in the store shopping for about 30 minutes
When I got back outside, it was warm and sunny. And there were more dead/dying bees.
As I approached my car, I glanced around and was horrified to realize the entire parking lot was black with the bodies of dead and dying bumblebees, and a few honeybees. There were thousands and thousands of them. People coming out of the store stopped and stared in shock. As I was getting into my car, a bee dropped onto my window, and tried to climb in ... then fell to the pavement.
 Several days later it hit the news. The largest bumblebee kill caused by pesticides. Ever. Anywhere. More than 50,000 bees were estimated to be killed. That's over 300 colonies.

I was too upset to take a picture of the parking lot as I saw it.
It made me sick.
You can read the full story at the OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting) website. They are very thorough in their information, and they have a few pictures of what I saw.

I did get a picture of just a few of the 60+ sprayed trees after they were covered with bee-proof mesh.
They give me the creeps ...

But at least there aren't so many dead bumblebees.

It sounds silly, but an environmental group is hosting a memorial service on Sunday afternoon - in the Target parking lot - for the bees.

I'm thinking of going.
(even though the lady at the flower shop told me that I need to "get over it" - it was ridiculous to feel so bad about something so "stupid" -- can you believe it?)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Found Photos ...

When I go to the Goodwill outlet store, I always fan through old photo albums. On many occasions I have found photos still tucked into the pages ... 

I found 19 old photos on my last trip to the outlet store ... they were in the middle of an old beat-up photo album. I could find no names, and only a few dates (which ranged from 1918 to 1929).

This guy really caught my eye - he's in quite a few of the shots, and I am AMAZED by his hair!
Seriously - if you enlarge any of these shots, you will see what I mean.

I mean, it looks like the fellow is wearing a rag mop on his head!

But it looks good on him.

I think this is the same guy, only older. Same unruly mop ... different attitude.
Check out the old rifle ... and the ammo clip he's wearing. And he must have a horse nearby - judging from that bow-legged stance!

I love the silent stories these pictures tell.

This is my first contribution to "Vintage Weekly" in a long time.
It's good to be back!

Just Horsin' Around with Shadows

It's been a long time since I've posted here (computer issues, now fixed).
It's been even longer since I've linked up with "Shadow Shot Sunday".

But yesterday's weather was perfect to get out and take some photos ... (wouldn't you know it's raining today!)

What I found was this unique shadow ... what could it be?

It's a horse!
Well, an artists rendition of a horse done in stainless steel ...
Some people like it, some people hate it.

But on an early Sunday morning, he appeared to be contemplating his own shadow.

I don't think he likes it!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Funny Sign ...

Copyright clytie garretson 2013

I was driving through a very busy strip mall parking lot in a nearby town, when this sign caught my eye ... I made another trip through the lot, then held up traffic while I snapped this shot through my windshield.

I offered to take mom to pick up one of those gift certificates ... she declined. She said she had to wonder about the quality for the price ... and the good ones her age are probably already taken anyway!

To see signs from around the world, visit Lesley's "Signs, Signs"!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

BBW Surprise

I was getting ready for BBW ... and I don't mean THE BBW (Big Beautiful Women) with which I am quite familiar ...

 I am referring to our local politically correct "waste management facility" and their yearly "Big Bulky Waste" day. That's where you can stuff as much extra-large trash into your car as you want, and, for a donation of non-perishable food for the local food bank, you can get rid of a bunch of unsightly garbage that doesn't fit into your regular can.

They were also taking e-waste, and I had 4 old dinosaurs, er, computer monitors (when I say OLD, I mean the ones that weigh nearly as much as my BBW self!) that needed to go.

Anyway, I had put the hand truck under the can and was getting ready to move the whole heavy mess, when I noticed something that didn't fit the (other) BBW profile ...

A cute little tree frog, basking in the sun on the back of one of the old monitors.

I watched him sleep for a while, then carefully lifted him up and walked over to the garden.

When I opened my hand, he sat there a moment, surveying his new home.

Then he peed on my fingers and leaped into the middle of the flower patch.

And disappeared.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Where Do I Park?

So ...

Do I try to park on the OTHER side of the sign???


To see signs from around the world, visit Lesley's "Signs, Signs"!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Why I Took the Stairs

From the parking lot to the main lobby of the VA Hospital ...

Thank goodness it was only 2 floors!!!

To see more signs from around the world, join us for Lesley's "Signs, Signs"!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fender Bender Heart

I had to back up and return to the parking lot when I saw this fender bender heart!

To see hearts from around the world, visit "Random Hearts" - and share YOUR heart on "Guest Heart Thursday"!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Found Heart

In the rubble of the demolition of The Abandoned ...

A heart appeared.

In an unexpected place!!!

To see hearts from around the world, visit "Random Hearts" - and share YOUR heart on "Guest Heart Thursday"!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

End of an Era ...

This is the front of the building across the street ... back when it was still a thriving mega-church in the early 2000's.
The entire complex is 42 acres, at it's high point there was over 40,000 square feet of main building, outbuildings ... and 69 retreat cabins scattered throughout the beautifully landscaped property.

The beautiful and vibrant building became "The Abandoned".
(photo taken 2010)

 "New Owners".

The End.

February, 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013

I've Been WHERE?

A couple of years ago, Sissie and I spent several winter days at the Oregon beach.

It was cold, and in fact we woke up one morning to snow on the sand. If you look closely at the heart-shaped rock we found, you will notice a tiny bit of snowy white ...

Here's where the story gets a little off balance.
Because apparently I've been to South Africa!

Based on a tip I saw on a news segment, I went to Google's "Image" search, clicked on the little camera, and uploaded a random heart from my files. It was this one.

And found a huge surprise.

My photo, of a heart-shaped rock on the Oregon beach ...

Was apparently taken in South Africa!

And I don't even remember the trip!!!!!!

To see hearts from around the world (including South Africa!) - visit "Random Hearts" and share YOUR heart on "Guest Heart Thursday"!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Semi Salad???

Just in case you get the freeway munchies, and are tempted to nibble on this semi truck ...


Who knew???

To see signs from around the world, visit Lesley's "Signs, Signs"!