Hey Portland! Welcome to the weekend and to another edition of our weekly Portland blog! The record rainfall this week means one thing is certain: it really is spring! That's all we have to say about that.
"Where you have a plot of land, however small, plant a garden. Staying close to the soil is good for the soul." ~ Spencer W. Kimball
I spent some quality time in the garden over the last few weeks as I am sure many of you did as well. First on my agenda was pruning, shaping and cleaning up natural debris like leaves and the seemingly endless little branches dropped by our birch and cedar trees. There is not a stitch of grass in the back garden- by design of course. The front garden, however, is a flowering wonderland of clover and wildflowers thanks to the lovely (and local) Fleur de Lawn. I'm pleased to see it has awakened with new growth and is flowering pink, white and purple flowers. Watching my garden world awaken in the new spring is so exciting.
Of course, no new season can make an entrance without some new additions to the garden. The birds got a new bird feeder from Marbott's Nursery and new suet and feed from The Backyard Bird Shop, two of my most favorite places in Portland. Marbott's is a classic old independent Portland nursery run by the Marbott family, whom I simply adore for their kindness and deep knowledge.
The Backyard Bird Shop is just a delightful place in every way. The selection of bird feeders, books and feed is mindboggling. The passion and knowledge in the staff is amazing. I could easily (and have) spent hours at the shop over on N Fremont. Thanks to great feed and careful planting, I am very happy to say that we have a wonderful mix of birds who regularly visit our backyard. In just the last few seasons we have seen: Western Tanager, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, the Annas and Rufous Hummingbird (who stop by many times a day), House Finch, Spotted Towhee, Yellow Rumped Warbler and the Red-breasted Nuthatch- to name a few. I never knew that I would become a bird nerd but here I am! Our urban home in N. Portland's Piedmont neighborhood is a abuzz with life and Spring is such a happy time here.
On the topic of local Portland birds, you might be surprised to learn that The Great Blue Heron came to fish in our pond last year. Yes, the five foot bird with a seven foot wing span- he was here, fishing in our little urban pond. While he was truly lovely, he ate all but one of our fish and as such, we don't wish for his return. We now have about fifteen goldfish who live in our pond along with a few frogs who migrated over from the neighbors pond.
The Portland Photo of the Week
The Portland Photo of the Week is by Michael Barton. This beautiful Redwinged Blackbird lives in the Vanport Wetlands which is located in Northern Portland. "Vanport Wetlands provides habitat for over 100 species of birds, many of which nest and raise young on the site during the breeding season. In 2005 the Port confirmed that yellow-headed blackbirds had successfully nested and fledged young – Vanport Wetlands may be the furthest west this species is known to breed in Oregon. Many mammals have been observed including small rodents, beaver, muskrat, coyote and black-tailed deer. Amphibian species that are frequently observed on the site include the Pacific treefrog, long-toed salamander and bullfrog; and, reptiles include the common garter snake and western painted turtle." Source
Our Portland Photo of the Week winner gets a $20 gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing. Michael will receive a $20 gift cert to one of our favorite local restaurants, Miho Izakaya. Miho's menu is creative and incredible and the service is excellent in every way. We lovelovelove an evening at Miho and so will you.
Come and upload your Portland photos to the Photo Gallery for your chance to win each week. Check back to see if your photo is selected for a spotlight in the weekly Portland blog!
Try This On
Written by PortlandNeighborhood Guest Writer, Rob Creighton Garrison
At the risk of getting to be known as Mister One-Note, I'm going to write about parks again. One park particularly, anyway. You'll dig it. I have pictures!
Last week the missus and I were talking to a friend about her and her four children taking a hike with us somewhere together. She was up for it and the kids definitely were all for it. The only concern was rain.
Much as I talk and write about living in the Willamette Valley and accepting rain as a given during fall and winter, and how that shouldn't stop anyone from doing stuff outdoors because, seriously, it's not acid falling from the sky (yet, but give the march of “progress” another fifty years – oops, off-message!) and getting a little damp never hurt anybody, I concede that my perspective is that of a person whose child is grown and doing his own laundry. That very possibly wouldn't be the viewpoint of a mother of four whose progeny are all under the age of eleven. To my mind, returning home tired from a good hike and then having to hose down kids and schlep their sodden togs down to the community laundry might go a-ways toward dulling the keen edge off a great time.
As it happens, Fortuna smiled upon us and Saturday turned out to be a dry and mostly sunny day, so early in the afternoon we set out for Tryon Creek State Park.
Tryon Creek State Park is Oregon's largest state park within the boundary of a major metropolitan area. I know this because I have internet access. I also know that it's a great park because I have feet. I could hang out at this park all day. Very kid-friendly; it's easy walking and I can attest that none of the flora that the three-year-old Zoey chose to stuff into her mouth (before we could lurch forward to stop her) was detrimental.
If you'd like to know more about Tryon Creek State Park, please see the Friends of Forest Park's website here. It's a great park. Your kids will thank you. I can name four who'll agree.
For a handy trail map of the park, see here. As always, I suggest that you get out and enjoy!
Read and comment on the original post here. Like this article? Check back weekly for a peek into Rob's world.
Featured Portland Events this Week
April 6, 2012 to April 28, 2012 – Public House Theatre Company performs at CoHo Theater The Pub Presents: Tuesdays with Morrie by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom. Produced by Public House Theatre Company. A young man, an old man, and life's greatest lesson. The Pub presents the true story of sports writer Mitch Albom’s weekly Tuesday visits with his former professor, Morrie Schwartz, during the final weeks of Morrie’s life. After a lapse of 16 years, their rekindled relationship teaches Mitch lessons he never knew he needed to learn about life, love, and letting go.
January 7, 2012 at 11am to March 31, 2012 at 3pm –Portland Art Museum Local food carts will design menu items, both savory and sweet, to serve on Saturdays and Free Fourth Friday nights. All specials will be inspired by works in the collection. Share ideas over an art-…Organized by | Type: special, event
December 31, 2011 at 10am to April 1, 2012 at 5pm –Oregon Historical Society From the rare and priceless to the peculiar and mysterious, the artifacts in the Oregon Historical Society’s collection document everything from key moments in Oregon history to the minute details of…Organized by Oregon Historical Society | Type: exhibit
January 21, 2012 at 10am to May 6, 2012 at 5pm –World Forestry Center Washington Park Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats Opens January 21! "Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats," a touring museum exhibition produced by Evergreen Exhibitions, is bringing the myster…Organized by Amber Morrison | Type: exhibit
March 3, 2012 to April 1, 2012 – Audition location varies Now through April, teens interested in Singing in English or Spanish or like doing standup comedy can go to Portland Teen Idol.com to register - or be interns. Organized by Portland Teen Idol Season 6 Registration | Type: open, casting, call, -, teens
March 9, 2012 at 10am to November 11, 2012 at 5pm – The Portland Art Museum This spring, the Museum will celebrate the restoration of Money Tree, an extremely rare bronze sculpture that embodies wishes for eternal prosperity in the afterlife. The money tree will be displayed…Organized by The Portland Art Museum | Type: exhibit
March 16, 2012 to April 8, 2012 – "Portland Center Stage, Gerding Theater at the Armory" Based on legends about early Celtic kings, Cymbeline is one of Shakespeare’s most fantastical creations—familiar Shakespearean themes of jealousy and innocence wronged are joined by a piano-playing w…Organized by PCS | Type: theater
March 29, 2012 to April 13, 2012 – Concordia University- George R. White Library Come join Concordia University for our new exhibition, "Art Extraordinaire", featuring three local artists; Joyce Gabriel, Teresa Rosen, and Eugene Lee. For more information, visit www.cu-portland.e…Organized by Concordia University | Type: art
March 31, 2012 from 8:15am to 11am – Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum Join the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum for a special Easter event! Spend the morning making fun crafts, hunting for eggs, meeting baby animals at our petting zoo, and watching the Easter Bunn…Organized by Rosanna Rocha Luna | Type: easter, egg,hunt
March 31, 2012 from 12pm to 4pm – Portland We begin at Coalition, a small 10 barrel brewery in the inner SE where we taste their handcrafted, highly drinkable beers that reflect traditional brewing techniques and NW innovation. Our next spot…Organized by Brewvana - Portland Brewery Tour | Type:brewery, tour
April 1, 2012 from 2pm to 3pm – Central Library, US Bank Room Hear the stories of Jewish Portland, whose roots stretch back to the gold rush, whose heart is “the old neighborhood” of South Portland and the memories of its residents, and whose identity is alive…Organized by Multnomah County Library | Type: presentation
Portland Mayor Sam Adams enjoying a cup of Coava Coffee
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