Poet Tree

Poet Tree

Several people in the neighborhood post poetry outside their homes, either in a dedicated housing or in this case, attached to a large tree by the street. Sometimes the poetry is self-written, while some highlight the work of others. Ellie and I pass by this tree pretty frequently on our walks, depending on the route she wants to take home, and the postings change over time, a Pooh quote below and a poem above. I was rather struck by the current poem, Langston Hughes‘ “I, Too”. I despised poetry in my youth so it’s not surprising that I was familiar with neither poem nor poet, but I was both moved and educated on our walk that evening.

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table,
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed —

I, too, am America.

Langston Hughes

A Summer Night in Irvington

A Summer Night

Cars line NE Fremont Street as the sun sets behind the Door of Hope church. This is normal for a Sunday morning but this was a lovely, if hot, Friday evening and the cars belong to moviegoers in adjacent Irving Park attending Movies in the Park, a program put on by the city of Portland at various parks around the city throughout the summer. A band entertains the crowd as they await dusk and the start of the movie. I noticed the crowd beginning to gather when I took Ellie on her normal walk earlier in the evening, so I took her on a bonus walk near sunset to get these pictures. Her reward for sitting still while I took pictures was a generous helping of treats, which delighted her to no end.

Movies in the Park

Golden Hoodie

A female hooded merganser swims in golden water near sunrise

The new year got off to a sunny start in 2012 and I spent the morning beside Bull Lake watching this merganser, a male/female wigeon pair, a mallard, a hungry heron, and a bunch of coots. There were big crowds at the refuge so I left early and took Ellie on an extra walk up to the dog park.

Lovely start to the year.

First Scout

The first picture I took of our cat Scout as a two month old kitten

In honor of my 500th picture posted to Flickr, this is the first picture I took of my beloved Scout after we adopted her. It was just a quick snapshot, and of course at the time I had no way of knowing that a remarkable bond would develop between us and she would be my constant companion for almost 12 years until spleen cancer would end her life far too soon.

Don’t I Deserve a Treat Just for Being Sweet Ol’ Ellie?

Our dog Ellie arching her gray eyebrows while sitting on my love seat in August 2014

One of Ellie’s great joys in life is eating. She was a little overweight when we got her and while she has been at a good weight for many years now, we still keep her on her diet food as it lets her eat a larger volume of food. We have a variety of low-calorie treats to give her, they were useful on her walks in the early days as we trained her but now I dispense them liberally when she does the things she’s long since learned to do, just because it makes her so happy.

But I love, love, love how we’ll be sitting on the couch and she’ll start arching her eyebrows towards the closet with the treats, her subtle little way of asking for a treat.