Rhodie Garden




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

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5 Responses to Rhodie Garden

  1. snicklefritzin43 says:

    I have never visited the rhodie garden in Portland…certainly must be on the list for my next visit to the west…hopefully next spring. The photos make me want to find a quiet place like that to do some writing here…the bird sanctuaries are busy in the fall, and thinking about winter ahead has every part bustling with folks…just need to find a quiet spot this next week…poetry class begins again in a week and having time to write away from home is so wonderful…I will look at your photos as I do my writing study tomorrow…they are quite wonderful.


    • June says:

      So glad you are taking a poetry class — I often do that kind of thing in the fall. It just seems right, somehow. Glad you like the photos — they were really fun to take. Take care and write well.


  2. revab says:

    Lucky you! I always look for green herons at the Rhody Garden, but seldom see one. You know we live within walking distance. Come by for a glass of water, or whatever, when you’re finished with painting for the day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • june says:

      I had no idea what I was looking at until Susan, my painting buddy, said it was some kind of heron. And then on FB, it got identified. I felt privileged. The photos weren’t very good because I couldn’t separate the greens from the Green. Thanks for the invite. I’m so exhausted by the time I give up painting that it’s unlikely I’ll take you up on it, but thank you, thank you. Maybe I’ll pace myself better some day:-)

      Liked by 1 person

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