Every city has them — the small hidden gardens that only the locals know of, sources of delight for dogs and children and even jaded adults.
Portland’s Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is one such place. The end of August isn’t as exuberant as the middle of May, but when it’s a hot summer day, the greens are cool, the water delicious to see and hear, and the birds, fowl, dogs, and people are thoroughly happy.
Recently I’ve been painting with a friend at the Garden. The first time we sat at the waterfall and I did a lot of photographing.
After a while, an old guy came along with his lab, a cheerful friendly dog who trotted past me and found a specific pool of cool water to drink from:
The dog’s person explained to me that this as the sole pool the dog would drink from. The Garden, and accompanying green spaces (Reed College and the Eastmoreland Golf Course surround it) is served by many springs which flow together to make Crystal Springs Creek, flowing into Johnson Creek. Crystal Springs Creek is probably the most pristine stream in the city. Its cold water creates ideal conditions for native salmonid species (Coho, Chinook, and Steelhead). And in fact, a bit further away, in the Garden’s pond, I saw a big fish jump. (For more information about Crystal Springs Creek, go Here).
On a branch near where I was sitting to paint, this guy appeared.
I waited, camera in hand, for this green heron to flap its wings and floop, floop into the air, but she seemed to be taking her afternoon rest, grooming herself occasionally, and ignoring the duck who lingered near her.
I was forced to return to my painting and to contemplating the delights of a cool green patch on a hot August day.
jou, Aug. 31, 2016