Autumn in Oregon

Autumn in Oregon heralds our rainiest season of the year. Weather prognosticators promised rain for days. Areas nearby and surrounding us received showers. Sometimes only sprinkles. Our neighborhood received nothing.

 
Until…last Saturday night. We awoke on Sunday morning with evidence of overnight rain. And we’ve had several good…let’s say heavy showers since.
 
When it rains in Oregon, we experience fog of varying levels–light, moderate, heavy. Especially when driving through forested areas. The fog dances through the branches of thick and heavy evergreens. It may sound a bit spooky, but it’s a lovely site and cozy too. The white-gray of the fog softens everything around it.
 
Sitting here watching the rainfall, I’m entertained by everchanging colors. The sky goes from blue to gray to almost black and then bursts open with either rain or sun breaks and white clouds.
 
The leaves are changing from green to the bright colors of autumn. With the days shortening, darkness drops its curtain earlier. Then the sky turns a blue-black dotted with sparkling lights if the sky is clear.
 
As I watch the changing of the seasonal colors and weather, I sense the Presence of the One who made it all possible. He calls me to rethink changes in my life and the lives of those around me.
 
I take a few moments and reflect on family and friends. I realize our great-grandchildren are no longer toddlers but are four, seven, and ten. Oh, and a new one on the way in January!
 
I take a look too at those friends who have left us for a better place and give thanks for their presence in our lives. God now has new angels in His heaven looking down on us.
 
Always present God provides our every need. Even a good conversation on a somewhat dark and dreary day.
Featured image attribution: Knopka Ivy on Unsplash

Catching Up

With family coming for a visit this past weekend, we decided it was time to work on catching up on a bit of housekeeping. This would be my first serious effort at helping Husband Bob do household chores. I’m happy to report my catching up on housework exercise worked out A-OK for a newbie (that’s what they call you after a four-year hiatus from your duties!).

 
Early Friday evening our niece and her husband arrived for the weekend. Our niece was attending the Rose City Comic Con. Her publisher provided a booth for authors to sell and sign books. With a new book out,* she wanted to take part. Their visit provided us with time to catch up on family and memories. Lovely house guests create a feeling of successful hospitality. We hope they’ll return for another visit when we can take in a few wineries in the area.
 
On Saturday night, we were happy to hear the sound of rain hitting the roof. Our summer had been so dry we desperately needed the rain. It spent Sunday catching up with the rainfall deficit. Despite a dark day, it felt good to know that this rainfall might actually be enough to make a difference. A few candles lit brightened things up.
 
Catching up is always a good thing as long as you’re not the object of a hunter like the tiny mouse in the photo above.

 

Feature image attribution: Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto from Pixabay

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Stormy Weather

Last evening the kitties and I enjoyed the thunderstorms in our area. The kitties probably didn’t enjoy the stormy weather as much as I did.
The image above, shared by our local TV station, KOIN, shows the storm system moving over the Portland area. 
storm-damaged tree
Attribution: KOIN

We were among the fortunate who escaped damage to property or grounds. Others weren’t so lucky.

 
As a youngster growing up in the south, my favorite summertime event was a thunderstorm. Trouble with my mother came my way because I dared to stand outside and wait for the storm to arrive. Then I refused to go inside.
 
I have since come to understand Mama’s fear of the dangers inherent in a storm. In my memories, those were some thrilling times.
 
Thunderstorms are not frequent visitors in Portland. But I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that more will come this summer!
Feature image attribution: Jose Julian Araya via KOIN

Cottonwood Season

Summer “snow” is falling. Our patio and drive look as if snow fell overnight. The winds are blowing it here and there. Bob will have a mess to clean up. Our best hope is rain to eliminate the accumulation on the ground and dirt areas of our property. That should rule out the possibility of blowing it around any more with a leaf blower.
 
The source of this blight on our landscape in June or July? A stand of cottonwood trees nearby. We have seen less of their detritus in the last few years. We thought perhaps our neighbors had cut them down. From this year’s evidence, that is not the case.
 
Outside Longview, WA, there is a lovely cottonwood tree farm along the banks of the Cowlitz River. Lovely is the best descriptor when the trees aren’t blooming. And these are far enough from home not to bother us.
 
If you’re not aware of what summer “snow” looks like, here’s a sample for you. This shows the seeds inside the “cotton.” As you think of that blowing hither and yon, also think of all the new trees that will be growing.
 
Cottonwood seeds
Attribution: EarthSky

At least with the cool temps we’re having, the cottonwood “snowfall” fits in with the rest of the weather.

 

Featured image attribution: bstad from Pixabay 

Summer Begins?

As I sit here in my hoodie and long pants, the question on this first day of summer remains, “Summer begins?” For days, we’ve been in a weather cycle of cool temps, scattered drizzles, and no sun until mid-afternoon. Does that sound like summer?

Granted our daisies are blooming. Today Bob found buds on some of our hostas. The geraniums are loaded with blossoms. And believe it or not, our Christmas cactus now residing on our back deck is setting buds. The plants obviously believe summer is here.

I’m sorry, but it doesn’t feel like summer yet. Not long ago we had temps in the upper 90s. We turned our furnace off. The mornings have been crisp and cool, so I’ve kickstarted the furnace to take the edge off.

Summer comes every year. I know that in my mind and heart, but I want to see it, feel it, be outside in it. And in August or September, I’ll likely be begging for a cool down.

You can’t please some folks, can you?

 

 

Image attribution: pixel2013 from Pixabay

Gray Days

Watching raindrops fall silently onto the leaves of trees and flowers. Hard to believe a week ago it was sunny and almost 20° warmer.

Yet this week’s weather–gray, cool, damp–is the norm for May. Last week was a teaser sent by by Mother Nature. Pacific Northwesterners understand summer’s arrival is scheduled after the 4th of July. We know better than to get drawn in too quickly
 
Rain has been on our wish list for a while now. Each glistening raindrop holds life for someone or something. The earth has been dry and hard. And then again, too much rain can cause distress for others in the form of flooding or landslides. 
 
The snow depth on Mt. Hood is at 113″ as of today’s report. Although spring runoff supplies rivers and streams, it can be dangerous. The dangers come with early warm days. We’re prone to be fond of slow runoffs.
 
For me, I’ll sit back and watch the droplets fall and spring off leaves. And I’ll take the sunny days but not too warm too soon as well. 
 
Mother Nature seems to know best.
 

Adopt the pace of Nature. Her secret is patience.

~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 
Image attribution: Aaron Burden on Unsplash