Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lady Slippers

Mu friends, Jimmy and Shari, provided information about these flowers:
This is a slipper orchid, related to the lady slipper Cypripedium kentuckiense. They are rare
Also called Moccasin Flower.
Native American folklore tells the story of a young maiden who ran barefoot in the snow in search of medicine to save her tribe. She was found collapsed on the way back from her mission with swollen, frozen feet. The story goes that beautiful lady slipper flowers then grew where her feet had been as a reminder of her bravery. In addition to inspiring folklore, lady slipper roots were also widely used by Native Americans as medicinal herbs.
We are glad you take photos because a picked lady slipper will not rejuvenate itself. The plant has a less than 5% transplant success rate, they are often considered “off-limits” to pickers and diggers. Some species of lady slipper are listed as endangered or threatened. Others, like the common Pink Lady’s Slipper, are listed as “special concern” under the Native Plant Protection Act. Although regulations on picking or transplanting lady slipper plants vary from state to state, either practice is generally discouraged and it is illegal to pick or dig up lady slipper plants on Federal properties.
Lady slippers
Lady slippers
Lady slippers
Lady slippers
Lady slippers
These beautiful orchids don’t transplant successfully and have declined dramatically in our area due to grazing and logging. They require specific soil fungi in order to grow from seed, so even seed collection is rarely successful unless in soil with the correct fungi and just the right amount of sunlight. Enjoy them in the woods!

The Whitman Overlook, Umatilla National Forest

Whitman Overlook, Umatilla National Forest, Umatilla County, Union County
Whitman Overlook, Umatilla National Forest, Umatilla County, Union County

Here is an account from the journal of Narcissa Whitman, who crossed the Blue Mountains in late August, 1836.  She and her husband, Marcus, established the Whitman Mission that fall in Walla Walla.  They had left from Independence Missouri, and followed what became the Oregon Trail.  She    was the first white woman to come west in this fashion.

“After dinner we left the plain and ascended the Blue Mountains. Here a new and pleasing scene presented itself-mountains covered with timber, through which we rode all the afternoon; a very agreeable change. The scenery reminded me of the hills in my native country of Streuben.

August 29th. – Had a combination of the same scenery as yesterday afternoon. Rode over many logs and obstructions that we had not found since we left the states. Here I frequently met old acquaintances in the trees and flowers, and was not a little delighted; indeed, I do not know as I was ever so much affected with any scenery in my life. The singing of birds, the echo of voices of my fellow travelers, as they were scattered through the woods, all had a strong resemblance to bygone days. But this scenery was of short duration-only one day.

Before noon we began to descend one of the most terrible mountains for steepness and length I have yet seen. It was like winding stairs in its descent, and in some places almost perpendicular. The horses appeared to dread the hill as much as we did. They would turn and wind around in a zigzag manner all the way down. The men usually walked, but I could not get permission to, neither did I desire it much.”

 

Beloved

Beloved Is Where We Begin

If you would enter
into the wilderness,
do not begin
without a blessing.

Do not leave
without hearing
who you are:
Beloved,
named by the One
who has traveled this path
before you.

Do not go
without letting it echo
in your ears,
and if you find
it is hard
to let it into your heart,
do not despair.
That is what
this journey is for.

I cannot promise
this blessing will free you
from danger,
from fear,
from hunger
or thirst,
from the scorching
of sun
or the fall
of the night.

But I can tell you
that on this path
there will be help.

I can tell you
that on this way
there will be rest.

I can tell you
that you will know
the strange graces
that come to our aid
only on a road
such as this,
that fly to meet us
bearing comfort
and strength,
that come alongside us
for no other cause
than to lean themselves
toward our ear
and with their
curious insistence
whisper our name:

Beloved.
Beloved.
Beloved.

 —Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

Boy Scout Troop 514 rock climbing

Troop 514 recently took its annual September backpacking, camping, rock climbing weekend. Eleven Scouts enjoyed their time camping at Hoffer Lake above Anthony Lake and then rock climbing higher up.  We have been doing this event since the early eighties.

We set up our tents in the rain.  When the clouds cleared in the evening, we enjoyed a spectacular sunset that reflected in Hoffer Lake.

 

Hoffer climbing wall

Hoffer climbing wall

Hoffer climbing wall

Hoffer climbing wall

Hoffer climbing wall

Gunsight Anthony Lake

Hoffer climbing wall

Hoffer Lake fall

Hoffer Lake Anthony Lake sunset

Hoffer Lake Anthony Lake sunset

Hoffer Lake Anthony Lake sunset

Hoffer Lake Anthony Lake sunset

Spring in the Mt Emily Recreation Area (MERA)

The Mt Emily Recreation Area is less than a fifteen minute drive from where we live.  When the Boise Cascade timber company decided to sell its land for home development on Mt Emily, a group of dedicated and far sighted people raised funds for Union County to  purchase this land.  The MERA provides trails for hiking, mountain biking, off road  motor cycles and 4 wheelers and horses. These multiple users cooperate to make maintenance and trail development happen.

 

Meg and I have enjoyed hiking, biking, snow shoeing, and cross country skiing here.  This spring has been particularly intense for us. We have hiked here several times a week, watching the first round of wild flowers appear, peak, and slowly fade until next year.  Our minds and memories have enjoyed wrapping around this nuanced and delicate beauty.

 

“If I could stop time and contemplate the true beauty of a given moment, my eyes would widen and my jaw would drop. (Wait, I can do that! That’s why I photograph!) ” Dewitt Jones

Glacier lilies Mt Emily Recreation Area
Glacier lilies Mt Emily Recreation Area, Union County OR

glacier lily MERA
glacier lily MERA

grass widow and buttercup
grass widow and buttercup

Grass widows MERA
Grass widows MERA

Spring Mt Emily Recreation Area
Spring Mt Emily Recreation Area

Meg hiking in the Mt Emily Recreation Area MERA
Meg hiking in the Mt Emily Recreation Area MERA, Union County OR

Meg photographing glacier lilies in the MERA
Meg photographing glacier lilies in the MERA, Union County OR

 

Glacier lilies
Glacier lilies

Spring beauty
Spring beauty

Yellow bell, MERA
Yellow bell, MERA

Yellow bell
Yellow bell

The allure of winter days

When the sun is shining and the air is still, nothing is more beautiful, inviting, and invigorating than a winter day in the outdoors!

Rock Creek road

Rock Creek road Union County

Rock Creek winter sky

Winter sky

winter fence line Union County

Eternity

winter selfie

winter selfie

 

Meecham Divide
Meecham Divide Union County

Embracing winter
Embracing winter

Cross country skiing Meecham Divide
Cross country skiing Meecham Divide

Meecham Divide cross country skiing
Meecham Divide cross country skiing

 

The freshness of fall in Wallowa County

I enjoyed a Friday overnight stay at our shared cabin at Wallowa Lake in NE Oregon. Kokanee, a landlocked salmon, are running in the Wallowa River above the lake. Their redish colors are mirrored in the beaufiful fall maple leaves in downtown Joseph. The air was fresh and clear early Saturday morning, a great befinning of the fall.

wallowa-lake-panorama

Wallowa Lake, NE Oregon

Wallowa Lake

 

 

Wallowa Lake and Bonneville PeakTeasel and spider web

Teasel and spider web

Kokanee in the Wallowa River

Kokanee in the Wallowa River

 Chief Joseph Mt above the town of Joseph, Wallowa County

Chief Joseph Mt above Joseph, Wallowa County

Downtown Joseph, Wallowa County

Downtown Joseph, Wallowa County

Kokanee sculpture

Kokanee sculpture in downtown Joseph

Keeping it together

As the winds of the political environment pull us back and forth, Henri nouwen provides some wise words.

“How can we not lose our souls when everything and everybody pulls us in the most different directions? How can we “keep it together” when we are constantly torn apart?

“Jesus says: “Not a hair of your head will be lost. Your perseverance will win you your lives” (Luke 21:18-19). We can only survive our world when we trust that God knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. We can only keep it together when we believe that God holds us together. We can only win our lives when we remain faithful to the truth that every little part of us, yes, every hair, is completely safe in the divine embrace of our Lord. To say it differently: When we keep living a spiritual life, we have nothing to be afraid of.”  Henri Nouwen

 

Quail at bird fountain
Quail at bird fountain

quasi enjoying a drink
quasi enjoying a drink

 

How Great Thou Art

I am trying something different with my post this week.  With the help of a group of local university students who have formed their own web based services, I developed a video setting my pictures to flow through the great old hymn, “How Great Thou Art.”

So, the link is set out below.  You can also view it on my new Face Book site, “Praise Photography,” which Miranda, from this web group, is setting up for me.  Enjoy.

Alleluia, the You Tube link to a blend of the vocal and the visual

Last fall, I enjoyed the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with Dr Peter Wordelman at Eastern Oregon University and the Chamber Choir he teaches.  Peter is a master teacher who brings in talented students and stimulates them to do pieces they never thought possible.

This piece, “Alleluia,” was composed by Eric Whitacre who grew up in Australia, and now resides in both Great Britain and the US.  The images take you through the seasons of eastern Oregon.I greatly enjoyed the synthesis of the vocal and the visual.  Here is the link to the You Tube piece.