Showing posts tagged Portland

Mt. Tabor

I live close to an extraordinary Portland (Oregon) City park called Mt. Tabor.  I walk there as much as I can – preferably every morning and often with friends later in the day (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tabor,_Portland,_Oregon).  Portland is one of three cities in the United States to have an extinct volcano within the city limits. 

I have walked up at Mt. Tabor literally hundreds of times over the seven years I’ve lived in Portland, in every season and every temperature.  It never fails to fascinate and rejuvenate me.  As I continue my studies in horticultural therapy, I’ve become keenly aware of the benefits of spending time in nature.  The New York Times published an interesting essay on “Why Trees Matter” (April 11, 2012) that you might be interested in reading: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/opinion/why-trees-matter.html?_r=3.

Walking at Mt. Tabor, or anywhere in nature, reduces my stress, provides sensory stimulation (sight, sound, touch, smell and even sometimes taste), and of course provides physical exercise.  Below are some of my favorite photos that I’ve taken over the years. 

Springtime in Portland

Hey there – I’m Kate and I live in Portland, Oregon.  I’ve lived here for almost seven years, having moved from Massachusetts.  I’m in the midst of a major transition in my life.  I decided early last fall to leave my former career after 20 years and go back to school to study horticultural therapy.  As a result, I’m starting my own small business called Blossom Consulting LLC.  So this blog is about me and how I relate to nature, gardens and people.

We’ve all been complaining about the weather here this spring.  It seems like the longest, wettest and coldest spring ever, and it feels like winter is just now ebbing.  It may have been a wet and rainy winter, but it wasn’t cold – at least not cold enough for a killing frost.  Some herbaceous perennials never lost their leaves over the winter.  Last weekend was stunning, sunny and low 80’s – when Portland shines, there’s nothing quite like it anywhere on the planet and I am reminded just how much I love living here.  Yesterday it rained, hailed, the sun came out and there were rainbows and the high was 59 degrees – a very typical Portland mid-spring day.

I walked in my neighborhood in Southeast Portland early this morning.  Yesterday during the heavy rains and wind, the Kwanzan cherry trees (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’) were losing their vibrant pink petals in a flurry, and the sidewalks were covered with what appeared to be bubble-gum colored snow.  This morning the air smelled of spring lushness.  My neighbors, like many Portlanders, are passionate gardeners and growers.   Here’s some pictures from this morning. 

The tree peonies (Paeonia) are just beginning to bloom – here they grow huge, sometimes to 6’ tall with dinner-plate-sized blooms and are considered to be a deciduous shrub. 

The lilacs (Syringia vulgaris) are in full bloom

As are the dogwoods (Cornus)

And Redbuds (Cercis Canadensis) – particularly remarkable because of the way the buds grow right out of the bare branches, and in this case, out of the main trunk.