Saturday, August 14, 2010

lucky shots

One thing I'll remember about Portland is the sunrises that could take my breath away. I'm not a very good photographer but all I had to do for these was to stand still and press the button. This one was taken from our upstairs bedroom window after a rainy night. The roof of the quickie mart is what's shining in the lower left. Beyond is the bulk of the medical school campus, then clouds that covered the river, the southeastern part of the city, and all the way beyond the foothills of the Cascade Range. You can see Mt. Hood shimmering in the distance on the right.

Summer mornings with Maxfield Parrish skies were a frequent delight when I drank my before work cup of coffee on the balcony. I wonder if he ever spent time here.

This one was taken on an autumn morning when I stood inside by my drawing table waiting for the hummingbird to return. We saw her often but she always seemed to know when I had a camera ready and would be there and gone before I could click.

Then came the morning I got lucky. Isn't she lovely?

Today I got my art supplies packed - something that I didn't particularly want to do (far too many niggly bits) but now it's done I feel better. Tomorrow it will be time to repack the china I saved from my mother's collection. Oh well, we still have 13 days.


Seraphine said...

they say there is no such thing as luck. maybe it's true- we place ourselves in a position to maximize (or minimize) our own possibility.
some people have all the luck. some can't catch a break.
others, like you, have the patience to wait for possibility to come to you, with the ability to recognise it when it happens.
i like your hummingbird. i hope there is room in your suitcase; hummingbirds, after all, don't take up much space.
13 days will go by very fast. with any luck.

jams o donnell said...

Such happy memories you will have. I love that hummingbird

Spadoman said...

Beautiful photos and beautiful memories, and guess what? Postland isn't going anywhere and neither is ole sol or the clouds. They even have them in Canada.
I have to laugh, I was singing the Canadin Please song all day yesterday. (I'm leaning towards Ontario for my Septemeber bike trip).
Hope the packing goes well. Just tightly wrap all those "niggly bits" in a large sheet of doubled newsprint and stuff them in a box with other packages of the same. What fun you'll have discovering what you have when you unpack!


Lisa said...

What gorgeous photos!

Liberality said...

I like Maxwell Parrish skies too. 13 days to go. Soon you'll be in a free country (or at least freer than this one) and on another coast.

Sean Jeating said...

Why should I try to put 'my way' what Seraphine put so well?
Had to come back several times to watch your hummingbird. It is - so to speak - fanning joy into my heart.

In case this and that does not exactly work out as intended during the coming days: I do wish you lots of serene calmness and calm serenety, Susan.
Good move! :)

susan said...

sera - It's a good idea to spend a little time each day counting our blessings, don't you think? When we're able to do that we witness so many more.

Hummingbirds take up an infinite amount of space. I'll just have to hope there's a hardy relative of ours already in residence there.

jams - Portland is a lovely city even in the rain.

spadoman - I'm sure whatever our destination (or yours) the light and the sights will be memorable.

Maybe I should write about the 5 moves we've made since our arrival in Portland. The problem this time is that everything has to be packed (and inventoried) so it's accessible to Canada Customs. It wasn't always so complicated.

lisa - Glad you like them.

liberality - Canada has some serious ongoing political issues because of its current Conservative government. Stephen Harper, the PM, is as bad as anyone here and is backed by the western oil shale industry. I'll be staying active on both sides of the border because the world is too big for small minds to rule.

sean - Sera is very good with words and a very clever blogger I'd recommend you visit. I'm glad you like my hummer - that might be the best photograph I ever captured.

I know there are going to be some challenges on the road ahead but we're doing our best to anticipate where we can and will trust to our 'luck' for a safe arrival. Thanks :-)

Lisa said...

After reading this and seeing Liberality's comment, I went looking for a book on Maxfield Parrish. Sadly, our library didn't have one, but there are lots of photos of his paintings online.

Thank you for for introducing me to another artist.

susan said...

lisa - Absitively, posilutely a major influence of stoner culture he was. Years ago in Vancouver we found a copy of 'Knave of Hearts' - original hardbound printed 1925 in an unusual (for the time) oversize format. The shop owner wanted $200 for it but we didn't have that much money. Not borrowing it is something I regret.

gfid said...

13 sleeps! and you will be driving into autumn as you travel. apples, pumpkins, leaves in a glorious blaze of color, sky as deep blue as a broken heart..... enjoy! but first you have to finish packing - your reward awaits!

i had hummingbirds at my old renovated church years ago. they loved the delphiniums i had all over the very prolific garden. never EVER managed to get a picture of one. well done!

susan said...

gfid - Now it's 12 sleeps. Still so much to do but we're getting through it. We had to collapse some bookcases upstairs to make room for boxes. I'm looking forward to the journey and I know it will be beautiful. Bought some extra camera batteries today.

I couldn't get my picture until all the flowers had dried and I deliberately placed the feeder near that window :-)

gfid said...

i get all wiggly and excited for you just thinking about it..... only 12 sleeps! but first the grind of packing. one of my least favorite things of all time. am still unpacking as i renovate here. total chaos reigns. i hopehopehopehope this is my last move / renovation for a long time.

gfid said...

am being very disciplined and not tackling the yard (with fantasies of hummingbird attracting flowers) until i finish the interior. maybe next summer.

Gary said...

Wow! I hope you enjoy the snowstorms in Halifax as much :) Just kidding - the deciduous trees in the city parks, with light flickering through them in summer and taking your breath away in fall... also nice.

You have the eye (and the soul).

susan said...

gfid - As the boxes start piling high around us it's becoming more clear with each passing day we don't live here anymore. Unfortunately, we don't think we're going to be living at the place we rented in Halifax longer than the one year lease. They had 5 extra pages of things we had to agree to - like paying $40 for a picture hanging hole in the wall and $900 in charges if they have to repaint. It didn't sound right to us but what do we know?

I wish you well with your renovation and finally being able to settle in. Maybe next year we'll buy a place and be able to unpack the boxes we plan on leaving closed.

gary - Cold? Snow? You're kidding, right?

Linda said...

my goodness, it's almost time to go! and i bet you are tentatively ready...well, one can hope to be ready anyway...and now the art stuff is put away to be taken out when next you stop, a new place, a new outlook, a new horizon...i can't wait to see through your eyes, your world...these photos are wonderful as well, it's good to see the world where you live today as well :)

susan said...

linda - So nice to see you out and about again (or oot and aboot in Canadian). It's good to be getting the packing well underway since that in itself makes it all the more real. Never mind missing my paints, paper etc etc.

Glad you liked the pictures :-)

Seraphine said...

be careful, i heard a vary large iceberg broke off from greenland, and it is going to crash into canada. the same thing happened to india in 1513, and caused such a collision that the himalayas were formed.

susan said...

sera - Oooooo, I have to get there in time for that. There's already a very famous Tibetan Buddhist monastery there just waiting for a nudge.

La Belette Rouge said...

I would like to put my order in for some sunrises like that while I am in Portland. So much beauty!!!xo

gfid said...

11 sleeps

Seraphine said...

you've already done your research- good for you. scoping out a good monastery beforehand is wise. you will be a pleasant diversion for the monks too, i'm sure.

susan said...

belette - We're expecting cooler weather and some clouds later this week. That's a perfect combination for pretty sunrises and sunsets too.

gfid - Then 10 and you know how fast things go counting down from there.

sera - Gampo Abby on Cape Breton Island was the first in North America. I wonder if I'll be able to see it yet remain out of sight.