Monday, May 31, 2010

one nation under God

It's Memorial Day, the unofficial beginning of summer. Traffic is hideous, the three-day weekend is winding down, and cheerful flowers dot the cemeteries.

Hundreds of flags have been erected along the pathways through Goldendale's cemetery. Every one once draped a veteran's casket.
That's a lot of people who believed that we as a nation were worth dying for.


Though Memorial Day is mostly about remembering our veterans, I spent a considerable amount of time looking through the headstones of non-veterans as well, especially down in the original part of the cemetery. No flags marked those graves and only one or two had been decorated with flowers. The grass there has grown over some of the headstones. Sadly, many have been worn away, broken off, or vandalized.

Those headstones represent some of our area's original settlers. The oldest grave I found was that of a one-month-old infant, born and died in 1862. A surprisingly large portion commemorated children and teenagers. One or two told of Civil War veterans. Others had lived long, some past age 100. 

Cemeteries can be melancholy places. They represent painful loss. But aren't they inspiring too? (Yeah, I'm a history person . . . not to mention curious.) They beg us to ask who these people were. What were they like? How did they live?

And will we see them in Heaven someday?

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).

Saturday, May 29, 2010

rain dance

Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness never danced in the rain.  ~ Author unknown

I love rain. Maybe it's because rain where I live is so indecisive most of the time. It spatters a little, sprinkles, graduates to a shower, and then almost immediately dwindles. A high wind sends those clouds on their way only to bring in new ones to repeat the ritual.

But my favorite kind of rain is a delicious downpour--the kind that crash in out of nowhere, fill the gutters to overflowing, and then over the course of about an hour settle down to a nice steady shower.

That's the best for rain dancing.

We had one of those just the other day. A few claps of thunder and an hour's downpour left us with half an inch of rain and very wet sweatshirts.

I think I was even wetter than I am after doing irrigation in the mornings.

Especially since I was sprawled flat out on the wet lawn taking pictures . . .


I love rain.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

feedback needed!

In case I haven't mentioned this before, photography is one of my main projects in 4-H. Every year I select the best of all the pictures I've taken and have them professionally printed and mounted for competition at county, state, and once even national levels. But there's always one part about all this that I hate. . . .

. . . And it's the part where I have to whittle several thousand pictures down to a couple dozen.

And this year, I think I have more than just several thousand to go through.

I have no idea where to start.

So . . . would anybody like to help me out? Have you found a photo somewhere in my blog posts that you think I should enter? I would truly appreciate your suggestions! Leave a link or a description in a comment for me and I'll check it out! Thank you so much! The county fair isn't until August, but I wanted to get a head start on all my printing and mounting this year. :)

And just for you: my latest of majestic Mt. Adams, taken this evening from the window right beside where I sit at the computer desk. God knows exactly how to take my breath away.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

imagination or a headache?

"A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache." ~ Catherine the Great

Today I was inclined to go for the headache route. I've been chilled all day, even indoors, thanks to getting up to a blustery 38-degree morning and heading immediately out to change the irrigation set. Anyone care to guess how cold creek water is at that time of day?!

But the wild lupine and balsam root blooms didn't mind the wind, so I decided not to, either. I even found that the colors were even a little crisper thanks to the muted light and clear air.

 It's amazing how many different shades of purple wild lupine comes in. I found some that were sky-blue and others that were pale pink, with an entire range of purples in between!

A mossy wood post and stray wires from an old field fence lie across this bunch of lupine. The fence is definitely in sad disrepair, but its pairing with the purple lupine was too intriguing to ignore! 
Isn't balsam root such a sunny flower? It's hard to believe there was such a cold wind when you look at these pictures! The worst part of taking flower pictures in the wind is the constant movement, which sometimes reduces the sharpness, but many of these actually turned out okay.

Monday, May 17, 2010


So many flowers! I can't help noticing them . . . they scream for attention in reds, oranges, purples, and yellows. And what I notice is what I photograph and pass on to you.

But not everything is that noticeable.

We see the flowers, but do we see the leaves? Late spring in Goldendale explodes with green. But a day or two into it, it's hard to even really notice the green anymore. It's overshadowed by the blazing colors of fruit blossoms and flower beds.

Green happens to be my very favorite color. It can contrast between coolly calm and vibrantly energetic, camouflage and totally obvious; but all greens have one thing in common. They signify life. The green of a cat's eyes; the green shoots marching in rows down the garden; even the green light at a traffic stop--they all mean life and movement.

In honor of green, then.


Our place is the epicenter of green! The orchard grass is green and we've started to irrigate; the barley is sprouting; the trees are leafing. Don't you love green??


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