Every Blooming Thing

Yesterday morning, we awoke above the clouds.

I had breakfast with Erik. It's the best way I know to start a day...breakfast with my kiddo. After we parted, I needed a few things from the market. I decided to walk to the New Seasons market about a mile away. Along the way, I took a picture of every blooming thing. Wanna see?

This is a red flowering currant. It's an Oregon native. One used to see it growing only in the wild. Now, it is for sale in nurseries as we are encouraged to plant only native species. We have one growing wild at the edge of our woods.

I believe this is an impatiens. Obviously, it has been raining, but I was taking advantage of a dry spell.


Okay, so this isn't exactly blooming, but there's plenty growing all over right now. We're at the transition from wet to dry, which tends to be way more wet than dry.

Oregon grape...our state flower.

Huge azalea bush.

Daffodils, of course...those harbingers of spring.

I was walking in an area that used to be acres and acres...many square miles, no doubt...of open pasture and farmland. It's all developed now, and I'll show you in a minute. The developer took pains to make this area livable for families and to maintain the natural landscape wherever possible. For one thing, a creek habitat was protected, restored, where necessary, and preserved. This is Hillshire Creek, although I never knew its name before.

Here, a bridge was built, and you can see in the image below that this is a beaver pond. The beaver dam is in the upper third of the image, right in the middle.

Oregon is, after all, the Beaver State. The reverse side of our flag has a beaver on it.

And so it makes sense that we would have beavers in our state, doesn't it? I have never seen one in the wild, but there are plenty of beaver dams around attesting to their presence. Sometimes they cause problems with all their dam building.

So, from there, I continued on to the market. As I got closer, I saw more beds of pansies.

Many businesses plant blooming trees in their parking lots, and they are always my favorite parts of spring.

Daffodils of a different color.

And tulips...these were for sale at the market, but they count as blooming things, right?

The market has its own take on a shoe tree...can you see the fruits, veggies, and Campbell's soup can hanging in the tree?

Also, they had this gorgeous blooming clematis. These are fragrant beyond belief. We had one at our previous home, which is only about a mile from where I was standing.

Before we moved out to the Three Cats Ranch in 2002, we lived just over the hill from here. Remember that this was once a vast expanse of pasture and farm land. Now...it is a big neighborhood with thousands of homes. The most recent addition to the area has been this shopping center. Looking back the way I came (west), you can see that it no longer resembles what it once was.

I was standing at a huge intersection. Looking east, you see this...and this road didn't exist about ten years ago.

Looking north, you see this...the City of Beaverton lies in that direction.

Looking south, there is another bridge over the creek, and this is the way I continued walking.

With development, the old road was rerouted away from the houses that were being built. The developer built a very nice park here. That asphalt walkway you see beyond the sign is the old road.

There were lots of people out walking their dogs, jogging, playing with children, and it's a nice place for a family. Benches have been added.

Fish and reptiles for climbing.

Playground structures and picnic tables.

Blooming trees and more landscaping.

And native plants have largely been left in place and protected. This is a snowberry.

I love the blooming plum trees.

Here's another azalea.

As I walked on, I was hoping I'd find a place where I could see the beaver dam a little better. When I saw this path, I thought I might be able to get closer. When I approached it, I realized it was too muddy and steep, and I was trying not to die.

Just a few steps more, and I found this flatter path that gave me access. Even at that, I managed to slip in the mud and almost ended up on my rear-end. Catastrophe avoided, thank goodness.

So, it's not a great view, but there it is, almost dead center in the image below.

Walking on from there, I found drinking fountains...even for your dog!

When I passed this area, I was moving out of the park and into the more residential areas. These plants were growing in peoples' yards.

I believe this next image is of a candytuft.


Being in this area made me nostalgic for our old place. We moved in there in 1987, and we were thrilled to have found it. It was a wonderful place for raising a family. We were at the end of a dead end street, and so there was virtually no traffic. Our west property line bordered the urban growth boundary, and there was a blueberry farm behind us. To the north was one neighbor who owned the 14 acres of property on that side...the farm and pasture land of which I've been speaking. We had one neighbor across the street, and one to the south. The house on the south side was owned by an elderly woman who no longer lived there. We lived in our house for 15 years, and the house was vacant the whole time. Some adult children came by every couple of months to do some cursory maintenance, but otherwise, the place was abandoned. To us, it was the wide open spaces. I stopped here to take a picture through my windshield. This is the 14 acres of vacant property that was to our north. Look at it now.

We loved our place until the day we moved, and we always knew the wide open spaces couldn't last forever. Still, 15 years was a gift, and we were able to raise our family there. When we got wind that the neighbor to the north had sold his 14 acres, we knew it was time to go, and we put our house on the market right away. In divide and conquer fashion, Mike and I printed off listings from the internet and went in search of a new place. We found the Three Cats Ranch, and moved in June, 2002, one week before Matthew (our youngest) graduated from high school.

Here's our old house in the image below. There was trellis over the front door, and you can see the blooming clematis out front. At the end of winter, it was always necessary to pull down the old dead stuff off the clematis, and until it put out new growth, it always looked a little sick. The previous owner encouraged us to give it time and promised us a beautiful blooming and fragrant vine once it got going. When the subsequent owner bought the place from us, we did the same thing. "It has the most amazing fragrance," I remember telling the new owner.

He said, "Well, I hope not too fragrant. My wife hates flowers." 

Whah??? Keep in mind this was a house with a garden of 56 rose bushes. Yikes.

Here's how the house looks now. Doesn't even look like the same place, does it? They've done some remodeling, obviously, and it was time. The house was built in 1973. I'd love to see what they did to the interior.

So remember, I said we were at the end of a dead end street, with only one house beyond ours. Here's how it looks now.

 So there you go...development done right for the most part. From there, I headed home and got to work finishing up the applique for Maggie's Pawtrait. I'll tell you about that in a separate post.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

liniecat said...

We call that Oregan Grape, Mahonia and it's very good for dyeing fabric.
I've never managed to get colour from the berries but the bark and branches give some striking yellows and creams.
Shredded bark gives stunning textural effects too

liniecat said...

Sorry, we call the Oregan Grape Mahonia, my words disappeared in the ether!

gpc said...

What a beautiful walk, what a beautiful area! Michigan is called the Wolverine State and we were taught as children that there are no wolverines here, so you are lucky to have Beavers in the Beaver state. (Actually, they found a dead wolverine up north a couple of years ago so there was at least one, at one time. Now there's just a dead one in a museum as far as I know.)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

It's nice that the developer kept the integraty of natural surroundings - most just tear everything down and it's just house after house. Very pretty, but I like open spaces, too.

Dana Gaffney said...

Memory Lane certainly is beautiful. Hates flowers??!!

quiltzyx said...

What a nice park! And I agree, the developer did a very nice job.
I can't IMAGINE someone hating flowers! Even my Mom, who had a lot of allergies, loved them. Humph. They did do a nice remodel - or someone did, to your old place. Nice Craftsman style touches.

Brown Family said...

It is great that they preserved some of the natural feel and places. It is too bat that they took out the front yard of your old home!

Kate said...

Lots of beautiful blooming things. Isn't it strange to go back to the places that were such a big part of our earlier lives and see how they've changed.