Magic and Miracles

Action Painting in Mexico

March 11-18 2017

Jerry Ann Fenter…Instructor and Guide

I’m excited to be offering another art experience in Mexico! This year’s workshop is again located in Melaque, Mexico. Melaque is a beautiful small town in the state of Jalisco on the west coast of Mexico. The class will be held at La Paloma Resort in Melaque right on the water. This year we will focus on some loose, experimental and fun types of drawing and painting that will help you capture the joy and energy of Mexico itself, its colors, its texture and its magic. It will help you to let go, free yourself from any self-consciousness and create your own special kind of art. I will be working alongside all of you as your teacher, your coach and your fellow experimenter. This class is for all levels of experience. Don’t worry if you haven’t done art in years or ever for that matter. I keep the class small.  This year we will be able to get most supplies (paper and paints) in Mexico.  I’ll send suggestions of anything else you might want to bring with you closer to March.

This year we will again be in Melaque during St. Patrick’s Day. There is celebration in town on that day that we can be a part of! The cost of the workshop is $475. (Not including airfare). Housing for the week will be arranged through La Paloma Resort It will be up to each student to contact Kyla in the office to pay for your stay and choose your room. Mention you are coming for my workshop and you will get a discount. Travel, Art and Great Company plus plenty of time to relax! It’s a promise. You can find my work and my blog at

To sign up for the workshop please fill out and send this form and a check for $475 made out to Jerry Ann Fenter. My address is 26 Frontier Road, Appleton, WA. 98602. Questions? Call me at 509-365-5119. My e-mail is The class will be limited in size so sign up now.



Way Back in the Woods


It’s been so long since I posted. I’ve been painting instead of writing. Got into a semi-abstract painting phase and I love it. I have an interesting show in Baker City, Oregon right now at the Short Term Gallery. Baker City is a small town with lots of art and truly creative people. Since I got home from the opening of the show I’ve been reading, walking my dog Cody, wrangling cats and doing a lot of thinking.
I like having a break. I’ve lived in the woods for a long time and am used to being alone. Timber Valley is totally different from Portland, Seattle, The Dalles or Hood River. Sometimes it can seem really lonely when you are fourteen miles up from the Columbia River Gorge and you aren’t a windsurfer, kayaker or fisherman.  The woods and mountain are beautiful.  Lots of places to hike and hang out on the Klickitat River or the Columbia. But if we want to go out for breakfast, lunch or dinner it involvesmaking a plan“. There are no meals to buy within walking distance. The closest actual business  is the Appleton Post Office…with an outhouse and a tiny woodstove. Even it is only open four half-days per week.  There is no Starbucks or even a Taco Bell (my favorite) in Timber Valley.  It’s a 50 minute drive to get to the nearest place to have a meal out.  When we moved up here from Portland years ago I’m sure some of our friends thought we had disappeared into the wild. We are out of sight, unreachable by car especially in the winter, invisible, gone but not forgotten. Everyone is busy.  I know.  I don’t often leave home for Portland to visit either.  Our lives are too fast and complicated even though we would like to keep in touch with everyone. Living this far away from civilization is even harder when you have the curse of slow dial up on your computer.  Because of that most of my life is off line. I know that not being “connected” is unheard of these days.  I have totally accepted it. I try to keep up with what everyone is doing. Believe it our not I am on Facebook. I am on S- L- O- W  Facebook.  For me to write a simple post it takes at least ten times longer than anyone else. The computer keeps timing out. Often it freezes. Any unwanted advertising, or “Like this Page” notifications get so complicated that my computer will sit forever before it downloads anything and usually will just turn off. I’m “timed out”. I must “refresh”. I spend most of my on-line time just waiting for something to happen. But I love to see what my friends are doing…they are so amazing.  I’m beginning to accept the wait just for the news.  Sometimes I feel weird putting my life into short posts for everyone in the universe to read…or  not read but just respond. Facebook sometimes makes me sad for the silliest reasons.  I don’t have a better connection. I don’t have more online friends (I guess over 200 isn’t enough for me).   I don’t get enough likes. Am I crazy? I never know what to post. I have some odd interests that don’t seem to be anything most people want to chat about or share. I guess I’ll have to learn patience, wait, and accept my own slow cyberspace or perhaps get up out of my chair and take a hike!
Bear Wakes Up (acrylic on canvas) 14 x18 175.00
It is bear season in Timber Valley. It’s always bear season in Timber Valley but this year there are more than usual. They have been clearcutting lots of the properties on SDS lands. Log trucks, chain saws, mud and old found tires litter the roads. Think beautiful Doug Firs, tall and elegant, ripped down, cut and stacked on now barren properties. Much land that used to be green and lush is now brown. The lupine is gone, the vetch is gone and all of the ground cover is gone. The animals are all confused. They have to move into new territory, rebuild nests, hives and other homes. Logging companies leave enough green to make it seem “not so bad”. They re-plant baby trees…usually pine instead of Doug Fir…and line many of them up near the highway hoping no one will notice how many are missing. This year our favorite pond, Disappearing Pond, has been so disrupted we only have one nesting pair of ducks and only three ducklings there.  More bears are around this spring. Mother bears and baby bears. Bears up trees and bears climbing up phone poles are seen early in the morning. I haven’t seen our usual bear who steals our crabapples yet. Who knows where he is hanging out now? Maybe he’s thinking of moving to Portland or Seattle.
I’m going to post a couple of my new acrylic pieces for anyone that wants to see them. Remember these are at Short Term Gallery in Baker City if you want to buy one. Hope you “like” this post. I don’t get lots of hits on my website but it is certainly a good place for me to ramble.

A Story From Mexico

Palms Mexico smaller Mexican Time by Jerry Fenter

“Get in the damned car”, barked Richard from the passenger side in the front seat. “This is going to be an adventure!” Richard never just spoke, he barked.

Like a decorated general from the old English Raj he talked to Nancy and me like he was addressing his troops. Car fully loaded we shot out of the parking lot of the Costco in Puerto Vallarta into bumper on bumper traffic. Traffic on the main highway was particularly slow this morning. We passed small accidents. A crowd of people stood in a circle around a crushed ice cream freezer pulled by a bike. It seems the driver had been distracted by what he thought were three people carrying a kicking goat in the lane next to him. Watching the goat and not the road, he’d rear-ended an old rusty Chevy. The impact caused him to fly through the air into oncoming traffic. He bounced off the hood of a tricked out Ford with a decal of Guadalupe on the back window. His bike and its contents were destroyed in the crash. Traffic was stopped. People watched the ruckus from open windows, cigarettes dangling from their lips. Street dogs were having their fill of the sweet melty liquid spilling out of the tiny broken freezer. They lapped it up. They rolled in it.
“I swear I saw them crossing, the goat was kicking and I didn’t want to hit anyone,” the ice cream man explained.
The Chevy driver was pissed. He hadn’t “seen any fuckin’goats or nothing”. Richard didn’t stop. The accident disappeared from view. Richard pulled out his map.

“By map it’s only two hours to San Sebastian.” Richard shoved the tail end of a Costco kosher hot dog into his mouth. “Piece a cake!”
Nancy rolled her eyes. She knew that two hours Mexican time could mean anything. In Mexico time can be bent, go backwards, even stop. Time will always surprise you. We turned left onto an unmarked road just past the Botanical Gardens. The car stumbled up the vertical highway, over topes, past broken parts of huge boulders, some that blocked parts of the road. Each of us took turns moving obstructions.

“And this is the new road,” said Richard, relaxing into the passenger seat while hooking up the new hand held gadget for driving directions he’d just bought.
“Check this out Nancy. It’s called the Tom-Tom. It’s the latest thing in getting to wherever you want to go. No getting lost. Saw it on TV. Picked it up back at Costco.”

Nancy looked hard at the little screened device. Her attention was fully on the gadget in Richard’s hand. I held on tight as the car absently drifted to the left side of the road just missing a noisy large group of crossing chickens. As we rumbled over loose rocks The Tom-Tom guided us with its feminine voice and detailed map. The voice was confident with a strong English accent. You could trust this that voice to get you anywhere.

Trucks full of livestock, cars stuffed with oxygen tanks and old pickups sped downhill, swerving just in time to miss our car. Signs saying PELIGROSO marked hairpin turns. Yet somehow I felt safe. I had moved into a fearless Mexican mode. I was invincible. I had lost all doubt. We had the Tom-Tom and the English lady’s calm reassurance. Also, luck seemed to always stay close to Richard.

An iguana languidly crossed the road. The blazing sun was gone. We had entered the jungle. Unfamiliar plants entwined road signs. We crawled by dwarfed pineapple trees and overloaded banana plants. A mist rose up from the pavement and clouded our windows. I couldn’t get enough air. It was like breathing under water. I cleared my window. Gold light shined out of small openings in the trees like a promise.

The map on the Tom-Tom was harder to follow as we drove higher. Roads on the screen split, turned and even curled backwards where no roads could exist. The calm female voice repeated that we’d missed our turn over and over despite the fact that there was only one way to go and that was straight up.

We were surrounded by jungle. I imagined ancient animals peering through dark branches. Irrational geography confused the real with the unreal.

We drove around potholes as the pavement became cracked and broken. To our right the trees opened up leaving a half moon shaped clearing by the road. We slowed to a crawl. Too our right was an entire traveling carnival alive with dwarves, sideshow characters and workmen trying to push a dilapidated fallen trailer to an upright position out of a deep muddy rut. People appeared from nowhere just to watch. They talked and smoked as Siamese twins tried to wedge a plank under the trailer’s sunken back-end, every careful movement the exact copy of the other’s. The twins whispered to one another as they struggled with the weight.

“Tamales, tortillas, pan dulce,” a birdlike man called out to the crowd hopping from one foot to the other then setting his platter down to spin around and around. People surrounded him. The food was gone.

Nancy and Richard were arguing about directions. The road grew narrow. Moss dripped with moisture as bright pink leaves and dirty speckled lizards fell on the car. So many bugs smashed to death on the windshield made it hard to see. I turned and watched the circus vanish as we rolled up the steep hill.
The screen on the Tom-Tom went blank.
The English lady went silent.

“Shit, let’s get rid of this God damned thing.” Richard rolled down his window and tossed out the Tom-Tom. It vanished, sucked into the shadow of the jungle wall.

The mountain air was fresh and fragrant with mangoes. I could breathe. Above the mist of the jungle the sky was cobalt blue. Two hours turned into four as we crossed a one lane bridge. We looked down. A creek ran under us surrounded by white water. Standing birds lifted their wings and danced near the shore. We had entered a place where magic could happen. Church bells chimed the hour. The road now was cobblestone. The city of San Sebastian Del Oeste shined white with casas de adobe. We were inside living history full of old haciendas, gold and silver mines protecting ghosts from the past, acres of sharp blue agave plants and broken down tequila tasting stands. Bakeries displayed pan dulces fresh from the oven. We passed the Catholic Church in the square, drove another half mile and pulled to a stop. A statue of San Sebastian pierced with arrows shone in the afternoon light. We had arrived at La Galerita de San Sebastian, once a ruined hacienda and now our destination.

Richard’s voice quieted as he and Nancy settled into their private casita. I was alone with the jungle. Tiny birds moved from tree to tree, each telling their own story. Coffee beans brushed against my face. I carefully pulled one from a cluster carefully leaving the stem. Smoke rose. The roasting coffee smelled amazing. The statue of St. Anthony with his tortured eyes watched as I picked up my bag. I stopped at the door of my own casita. Two dark purple orchids shifted then turned toward me from their tree branch. Their spicy aroma teased me as I walked up the steps into my own private sanctuary.

Hi everyone. I thought you might enjoy a story an experience I had in Mexico. I’m hoping to get a few more people to sign up for my painting workshop. This years Mexico Class is in Melaque, Mexico at The place is beautiful, and so much fun. Check the last post on this website for a sign up sheet. If you have any questions just give me a call at 509-365-5119 or Our dates are March 14-18, 2016.

Painting in Paradise



I’m so proud to be offering another wonderful painting workshop in Mexico. This year we will focus on nature, flowers, plants, color and the wonders that you will find in Melaque, Mexico. Melaque is a beautiful small town on the west coast of Mexico. It is a magical place and alive with color, excitement, texture and inspiration for artists of all levels. The workshop will be held at the beautiful La Paloma Resort right on the water. I’ve been painting for over 30 years and will be there alongside you both inside and outside the studio as your teacher and coach. For those of you who are beginning…don’t fear. I keep the size of the class small and will work with you at your own level. For both beginning and experienced students I try to focus on bringing a touch of Mexico into your work. This year we will be in Melaque during St. Patrick’s Day. There is a lot of celebration in the town on that day that we can be a part of! The cost of the workshop is $600. (Not including airfare). Housing for the week will be arranged through La Paloma Resort It will be up to each student to contact Kyla in the office to pay for your stay and choose your room. Mention you are coming for my workshop and you will get a discount. Travel, Art and Great Company plus plenty of time to relax! It’s a promise.
To sign up for the workshop please fill out and send this form and a check for $600 made out to Jerry Ann Fenter. My address is 26 Frontier Road, Appleton, WA. 98602. Questions? Call me at 509-365-5119. My e-mail is The class will be limited in size so sign up now.

(Photo at the top of the page was taken last year during the workshop at the Flower Market in Melaque.)

Black Bear

Late Summer in Timber Valley

It’s the third week of August. Summer has almost come to an end. It is hot here. It has been hot all summer. Smoke hangs in the air. Fires are burning up my mountain. I drive up to my mailbox where I can always see Mt. Adams. All I see is drifting dark clouds. The mountain is gone. I look for it.

Around the cabin it is very quiet. Hornets have taken over the hummingbird feeders. No hummingbirds come to drink. Deer rest near the shade in the back field. A doe and her two fawns don’t move when I go outside on the deck. Back in my studio I watch them through the window. If the doe leaves the fawns for a short rest, the two of them make a strange sound…somewhere between a bark and a cry. She returns. On occasion the babies nibble on a Hermiston melon that I put out for them near the drinking water. The mother lets them eat. She watches.

The crabapple tree is dripping with fruit. It’s been two years since there have been apples on it. It stopped fruiting after a black bear climbed up the tree and put her arms around it pulling all of the ripe fruit to her mouth. Hugging the branches to her body she fell backwards, mouth full. She pulled down half of the tree. Full and happy she ran from the field.

Two years have passed and the fruit is back. I will watch for her return.

I’m happy. I’m back in my studio painting. I’m working on a series of nature paintings and prints. I am selling my work at Art on Oak in Hood River, the Lawrence Gallery in Sheridan and the Attic Gallery in Portland. If you are interested in my work contact me at

Black Bear by Jerry Fenter framed, 22″ x 17″. $115.00 (plus shipping)

I’m Back

I’m finally back to writing posts. I’ve taken a break from writing but want to get in the habit again. Most of my posts will be about my art, galleries and other activities. But today I’m just writing about an incident that happened yesterday. I have an eye doctor at Cascade Eye Center in The Dalles, Oregon. In September he did an eye exam and wrote a prescription for new glasses. I could not afford to get them at Cascade and was assured by both the doctor and the opticians at the center that I could take the prescription anywhere and have it filled. I did. When my glasses were done I couldn’t see very well. The prescription was correct (I checked it as did the new optician). NOWHERE on the Cascade prescription was it mentioned that I needed progressive lenses or tri-focals. I called Cascade and they refused to admit that the prescription was written in a way that I could “only” buy my glasses at Cascade. They blamed me. The office manager was so rude she hung up on me. The doctor was supposed to give me a call and he didn’t. Now I’m left with a useless pair of glasses. What to do? I’m writing this to warn anyone buying glasses in the Columbia River Gorge to be sure and not go to Cascade Eye Center…My friends warned me and I didn’t listen. Hopefully I’ll figure out something. Wish me luck. Costco, where I took the doctor’s prescription, has kindly offered to do an exam and fix the problem. Hooray for Costco! Five stars. Believe what I’m saying about Cascade Eye Center. Don’t buy your glasses or contacts from them.

I’ll be back with more positive news soon! Hope your summers are all going well.

Magical Mexico Adventure

Happy mid-July everyone. My post is back! Still having a few technical problems but I’m working on them. Since we still have dial-up here in Timber Valley I guess I’ll have to start writing from my favorite coffee shop down by the river.

Great news! From March 21st-28th 2015 I’ve scheduled another teaching event that will have your artistic minds spinning.  During this week I’ll be coaching and teaching a 5 day clinic in Melaque, Mexico. This clinic will explore “Color as a Central Expression of Mexican Life”.  The  small town of Melaque is alive with color, excitement, texture and magic. So we will come together at  one of my favorite places in the world the La Paloma Resort on the west coast of Mexico. To take a look go to The resort has a beautiful studio and is right on the water.  It is a relaxing and inspiring destination.

It’s never too early to plan.  So I’m writing this .now because it will give you plenty of time to  set aside this week for yourself or for you and your friends to explore color and art with me, Jerry Fenter, as your coach, teacher and guide.  For those new to art…don’t fear.  We can work with watercolor or drawing at your level.  For those more experienced or who have a special area of expertise (all media…for example oils, acrylics, pastels, soft cloth work, drawing, ink, photography etc.)   I will be there to help bring that color into your work with my past experience in Melaque .  This will be a true magical art week to remember. Surprises are everywhere. These dates are before Easter so all local restaurants and sites should be open for us to explore.  Seeing and experiencing is so important in making art.  Also this will be a great adventure.

I will have details in flyer form soon.  Please forward this to anyone you might think is interested.  To  talk to me write to or call 509-365-5119.

Magical Mexico

Magical Mexico

Timber Valley in Moonlight

Moon 1

Moon 1

It has been snowing in Timber Valley almost every night for a week.  It snows during the day and stops at night. Late in the evening the sky clears and a bright moon can be seen off the back deck of the cabin through dense Douglas fir trees.  The sight of the moon through those trees reminds me of why I choose to live here.  I went out on to the deck last night, barefoot in snow, at about midnight to look at the moon.  Even Cody had gone to bed and it was quiet and clear and the air smelled of fir.  I thought about a painting I once painted called “We Share the Moon”.  I did it when I was traveling almost all of the time and missed Timber Valley and Ron and all of our animals.  I had almost forgotten about that painting.  I thought about how the moon is feminine in Spanish…la luna.  Why feminine?  Is it because of the changing nature of the moon, the fullness of the moon?   I remembered the places I’ve lived before and how I saw the exact same moon then and now.

Moon from the deck

Moon 2

Cody likes the moon.  I know all wise scientists say that a dog never looks back over his shoulder but Cody does.  He does this when he looks up at the moon.  I can hear coyotes during all phases of the moon.  I notice it more during a full moon.  Wolves too sing to the moon.  My cats like a dark moon, the moon you can’t see.  It keeps them hidden from juicy night prey.  I read somewhere that a dark moon is a good time to light a candle and burn it until it goes out. That will rid your life of anything that needs to be gone.  Kind of like smudging a house with sage, it will purify.   I don’t know if it’s true.

I watched a documentary on the artist Ai Weiwei last night.  I’m fascinated with him.  He is a brave man and a stellar artist.  He puts himself in danger with each piece of art and each statement he posts on the internet.  He’s not just a flavor of the month as an artist.  His studio is in China, but he finds a way to let the entire world know about the way the Chinese Government lies to everyone.  They tell lies that are outright and lies of omission.  Take a look at his art.  Google him.  Give him a chance. By the way, he sees the same moon as we do.

We Share the Moon

We Share the Moon watercolor by Jerry Fenter

My shoulder is still injured.  I go in for my second cortisone shot tomorrow.  Hopefully that and one next month will keep me from surgery.  Since I can’t paint, I’ve been reading and watching lots of TV.  High point:  The Oscars.  Why? The clothes, the silliness of it and the fact I don’t think I’ve ever missed the awards as far back as I can remember.  I love movies.  They are real.  Low point:  The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Yep, I used to watch Beverly Hills 90210 in its heyday, too.  Why? The puffy lips, glass refrigerators, ugly tasteless art and clothing and my never-ending  search for how can they be so unhappy when they have so many shoes in their closet.  Hot shoes too.

Moon 3

Moon 3

I also watched a mini-series called Generation Kill.  It’s based on an article from Rolling Stone by Evan Wright called “The Killer Elite”.  I give it five stars.  Don’t forget to watch the extras on the DVD.  They are worth it.  Also it stars Alexander Skarsgard….always a feast for the eyes.

Now I’m off to read Sanctuary by William Faulkner.  I’m about halfway through.  It’s dark and disturbing.  This is a book that takes some focus to read.

“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” Mark Twain


“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; Show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Checkov

What are your favorite movies?  Best dressed nominees?  Ideas and thoughts on the moon?  Make a comment!!

Good luck on Wednesday Jeremy.





The Season for Sundance

First Stop

First Stop

I had a phone call last fall from a good friend, Sue Martin, an excellent artist from Salt Lake City.  I had been down with a shoulder injury, not writing, not painting and trying to endure the usual Timber Valley cabin fever.  All she had to say was “It’s time for us to go to Sundance again.” I didn’t even have to think. I got a plane ticket to Salt Lake, bought a furry warm coat for Park City and left for the Sundance Film Festival 2013.

Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah

Wow.  I am one of the world’s greatest film lovers.  I can say this with certainty. I remember coming out of the first movie I ever saw “on my own”.  I had seen “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” at the old Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Oregon. When I came out of the theater still lost in make-believe and the magic of film I was convinced that EVERYONE was one of the “pod people” I’d seen in the movie.  I ran home a little scared but so happy and amazed that I could become almost part of the story I’d seen.  I loved the feeling of being somewhere else. Movies have everything that can pull me out of myself and into other worlds.

So I’m just back from Sundance.  Sue and I had a great time fitting in nine movies, lots of galleries, great food while fighting a weather inversion that left Salt Lake in cold icy smog.  But up at Park City, high in the mountains, we were above the bad air and into the snow and sun.  Beautiful landscapes, beautiful people and a world that was full of the excitement of directors, writers, actors and movie lovers.  I LOVED it. Sue and I had made lists of the movies we wanted to see.  After comparing them we picked ten that we both agreed on.  We saw two premieres.


Alexander Skarsgard

Alexander Skarsgard

“The East” was one of my favorites starring Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard (of True Blood fame).  Eco-terrorism, elite operatives and Alexander Skarsgard made for a tense few hours of great film.  “The Way Way Back” with Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Sam Rockwell was a twist on the “coming of age” story that made you laugh and cry at the same time.  One of the “Spotlight” films we saw was a British dark dark comedy called “Sightseers”.  About two lovers, running away from a horrible mother take a “caravan” (travel trailer) around England.  Things happen.  That’s all I can say. “Cutie and the Boxer” was a movie about art…but more about relationships.  The two artists from the film were there to answer questions after.  They also did a demonstration of their art after the film near the theatre. Zachary Heinzerling, director, won the Directing award for U.S. Documentary in the 2013 Sundance Awards.

I was in heaven at the Tower Theater in Salt Lake.

Line at the Tower

Line at the Tower

“The Whole World is Wild at Heart and Weird on Top.”

                    —David Lynch

I was back in Timber Valley for a week when Ron and I went to see “Django Unchained”, last year’s Quentin Tarantino movie.  It was a kind of spaghetti western/Civil Rights movie so well directed by Tarantino that we were both excited and impressed.  This movie was powerful and unflinching in showing slavery and bigotry in a way we’ve never been able to read or hear about.  Sometimes darkly humorous sometimes violent, it made me proud of Tarantino for being brave enough to approach the subject so directly and unflinchingly.  Movies have power.  Art has power. Don’t ever stop making movies Quentin.

If you haven’t seen the old 1988 movie “Mississippi Burning” with Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe about the slaying of three civil-rights workers in 1964 you need to stream it or rent it before seeing “Django”.

I also discovered an exciting gallery in Park City called Coda Gallery.  I saw some great paintings but fell in love with the work of John Erickson.  Page Juliano was nice enough to take time to show me some of his other work. I also liked the work of Kim Brown, a ceramic sculptor showing at the gallery. I was impressed.  Coda has beautiful work, a perfect setting and a great person to show you the art.  It also has a nice balance of painting, sculpture, color with a touch of humor that will keep me coming back.


"Breey Day" by Jerry Fenter

“Breey Day” by Jerry Fenter


Did you like Beyonce’s Zumba Workout at the Super Bowl?  How about those Ravens?

Remember the stock market is up, the country is in recovery, Obama is president, maybe Hillary Clinton will run in four years.  Be optimistic.  Buy art!!

Forest Friday


A reporter on MSNBC just called it a “fast moving Friday” on the news.  The world is moving fast in the strangest directions.  Everyone has their individual opinions on everything. We live in a confusing, fascinating and uneasy world.

Forest Friday

Friday isn’t moving fast up here if I turn off the TV and the radio. I’ve been feeling like staying around the house and property.  I joke a lot about country living.  But the quiet of the woods is peaceful and simple. Plants and trees are starting to seed.

Last of the poppies

Poppies, sweet Williams, maples, even some of my bloomed out tulips actually have seeds left in pods after blooming. To see them you have to be patient.  Sometimes I get ahead of the slow pace of nature and pull out bloomed tulips or day lilies.  This year I waited.  I’m glad I did.

Sumari from a maple

Fires have been burning all around us.  Smoke stings our eyes. We’ve been lucky.  We haven’t had to evacuate our cabin. We’re told to just be on high alert.  We watch out for our animals and our neighbor’s animals.  The woods are dry.  It’s going to be a dry dusty fall.

Cody on deck

I’ve been spending lots of time outdoors.  It’s cooling off during the evening and nights are cold already.  We’ve ordered wood for the stove.  Birds are everywhere.  So are frogs.

Frog on the run

The frogs at night sometimes drown out the noise of the TV.  The birds love our little outdoor fountain and the big dusty dirt piles near our barn.  Bathing is part of their Friday. They fly from water to dust and back. I’ve been seeing pileated woodpeckers eating bugs on the trees.  The fires on Mount Adams seem to be driving them east.  They are big, over 16 inches long, and their feathers are black, white and red. I chase after them with a camera trying to be quiet. They seem to sense me no matter what.

My animals are quiet and follow me from place to place as I try and take some pictures.  Berry is very happy to be outside after falling from the rafters in the barn and having to make a trip to the vet.  She lost hair on her tail and now looks very much like a poodle.  Cody loves his walks.  Sometimes we’ll walk for an hour and not see a car or a person.

We found a nest on our walk yesterday.  I think it belonged to a robin because of the mud ring around the top.  It had blown out of some high trees.  I have heard that nests that fall are just part of the natural selection.  The bird that builds the best nest wins.


Fallen nest



      by William Stafford

Of a summer day, of what moves

in the trees.

Of your own departing.  Of that branch

no one elses notices.

Of time, what it carries, the sideways

drift of it.

Of hiding important things because they don’t belong in the world.

Of now.  Of maybe.  Of something

different being true.