Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Portland Walks: Marquam Trail

We hiked up the Marquam Trail to Council Crest the weekend before last and guess what we saw!: 

Barred Owl

It's a Barred Owl. And not only that, moments after this picture was taken the owl swooped down to catch its dinner and flew away. The trail was also laden with moss, ferns, salmonberries, slugs, snails, and mushrooms:

Salmonberries Garden Slug & Moth Fairy Ring

I took my Audubon book, but I'm still such a novice at identification. After a week or so I am pretty confident that these are salmonberries, a garden slug and a fairy ring mushroom, but I'm not 100% confident. 

Anyway, the trail is lovely enough on its own, but the view from the top (Council Crest Park) is also very nice, with a view of Mt. St. Helens:

View from Council Crest

I was a bit taken with a sculpture called Westward, that also featured three drinking fountains. We ended up resting at Vista Spring Cafe before heading home. They served us Widmer Hefenwizen in the right glass while we pondered what it would take to get their unusual fans up and running again. It all made for the perfect Sunday!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Word of the Week: Acanthus

DCP_3656 Acanthus

From Wikipedia: 

Acanthus (ornament) - "In architecture, an ornament is carved into stone or wood to resemble leaves from the Mediterranean species of the Acanthus genus of plants, which have deeply cut leaves with some similarity to those of the thistle and poppy. Both Acanthus mollis and the still more deeply cut Acanthus spinosus have been claimed as the main model, and particular examples of the motif may be closer in form to one or the other species; the leaves of both are in any case rather variable in form. The motif is found in decoration in nearly every medium. These sculptures were made from 75 BCE through 15 BCE."


Acanthus (plant) - "Acanthus is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants in the family Acanthaceae, native to tropical and warm temperate regions, with the highest species diversity in the Mediterranean Basin and Asia. Common names include Acanthus and Bear's breeches. The generic name is derived from the Greek word ακανθος (acanthos), meaning 'thorny.'"

File this under things I probably should have known something about with my background in architecture but  I don't recall seeing this plant much before living in the Northwest. What a weird looking thing. It looks like it a stalk full of little hungry mouths eating bugs or something. And yet it's commonly carved into column capitals. The plants I've been seeing around Portland are also called "Spiny Bear's Breeches," a cute name.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Word of the Week: Saison

(Gigantic Image via BeverStateBeer: http://beaverstatebeer.com/its-going-to-be-huge-gigantic-brewery-opens/) ; Upright Brewing via leapbeer: http://leapbeer.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/leapbeer-review-150-five-by-upright-brewing-company/ )

Lots of beer festivals going on, and it's acting like summer weather-wise. This means I'm learning new beer words lately. The latest is Saison, From Wikipedia

Saison (French, "season") is the name originally given to low-alcohol pale ales brewed seasonally in farmhouses in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium, for farm workers during harvest season[citation needed]. Modern-day saisons are also brewed in other countries, particularly the USA, and are generally bottle conditioned, with an average range of 5 to 8% abv,[1] though saisons at the more traditional 3.5% strength can still be found.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom Inspired Knitting

Over the weekend we went to see director Wes Anderson's new movie Moonrise Kingdom. It's really good, very pretty with many things I could obsess over. I've started with the Narrator's mitts. I haven't found any great pictures of them yet, but they were fingerless, black and white, and stranded color-work knitting. And I think they did have a floral motif, while still managing to look masculine. I loved that his costume gave him a back story; I imagined his wife at home knitting elaborate gifts for him while he explored the island. I was inspired to pull together a collection of Moonrise Kingdom knits today. Most of these are free patterns, with the exception of the amazing & adorable raccoon knits at the bottom. But they are so cute!:



Suzy Bishop:


Khaki Scouts: