Foxglove Moments

Foxglove Moments

Foxglove is the name of my property, five acres overlooking the Lewis River Valley that was covered with the wildflower when I first moved here in 1996. 

March 2, 2015


From the top of this hill, my road plunges to the valley below.


It is so steep that it requires a four-wheel drive vehicle to make it up to my house.


It's even steeper walking up.




When snow is forecast, I park my car at the foot of my hill so I can make it out to the county road, a mile away. More than three inches of snow, and my road becomes a toboggan run.


Brothers Mike and Rick Lynch and Mike's grandson Jonathan graded and rocked the road this past week, taking advantage of the unseasonably un-winter weather we have been enjoying.



It's been about nine years since it was last done, and was in bad need of repair.












Rick graded the road with his cat, and Mike delivered four loads of crushed rock. The road was in fact so steep that Rick needed to chain up to Mike's truck with his cat, holding and lowering him down so he could dump the rock.


When they were finished, Rick said it was the steepest road they had ever worked.


Made me kind of proud.




February 20, 2015


The flowering plum literally exploded into bloom.


On Tuesday, it was a mass of deep dark crimson buds.






By Wednesday, it was thickly bedecked in bright pink blossoms, much like I imagine Annie Dillard's "tree of lights" in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.


A quite spectacular transformation to witness.








February 14, 2015--



A romantically inclined sky, all blush and beauty. So appropriate for St. Valentine's Day.










February 6, 2015--



A young doe checking out the bird feeder, maybe interested in adding some sunflower seeds to her usual diet of winter grass, leaves, and my "deer-proof" rhododendrons.

Squirrel: "Don't even think it."








January 25, 2015

[Thoughts on discovering the quartz I placed on a stump years ago.]


There is this hunger to see the world in a new way.

To break out of the rut of one's daily being--following the same routines, thinking the same thoughts, talking with the same people about the same things.

Comfort and security--not to be underrated--can become cozy prisons of the mind, and one longs for the unfamiliar, for the untried and unthought, for the yet unlived dream.

Like Tennyson's Ulysses, the spirit yearns to leave the comfort and security of the known world--to be shaken up, to be knocked off-balance, to not know what's going to happen tomorrow--and to set off into the unexplored unknown, expectant.

Ultimately, our salvation may not lie in changing the world, but in changing our perceptions of it, and in doing so, find that we have thereby also changed the world.




January 4, 2015



It's a balmy 36 degrees Fahrenheit here--







That's 2 degrees Celsius for friends
in Australia and Japan,





and 275.37 K (on the Kelvin scale)
for family in LaCenter--

shirtsleeve weather after this past week, where the squirrels took turns ice skating on the frozen birdbaths.




December 30, 2014


Approaching the close of another year.

They seem to come more quickly the older one gets.

(What? Already? Again?)

It's a common observation for those who have lived this long:

Time continues to expand endlessly, then at some point collapses

into a day, or a life, or a moment.

And there is no time,

only memories...


September 28, 2013

On my desk, facing me, sits a Buddha from the Thai Kingdom of Ayutthaya (mid-1300s to 1767), a gift from a friend, Stephen Houser, who collects cultural artifacts. I have probably looked at it over a thousand times.

And then one day as I was writing at my desk, the late afternoon sun poured in through the window and literally cast the Buddha in a new light.

I glanced up and was stopped, transfixed as he seemed to emerge out of the shadows of the distant past.

With a shiver I realized that I was gazing into the face of someone from the 18th century.



December 18, 2014



Years ago, a friend who had emigrated here from the Midwest to be with his girlfriend would complain about the Northwest's "pissy little winters."

Of all the seasons, he missed most the full-strength winters of his native Minnesota--and days of bright sun on bright snow. He never could adjust to the glum drabness of the Pacific Northwest at this time of year.

And yet, if one looks, there are striking dashes of color on this gray palette.